College Football 2012: 31 Bold Predictions for 31 Days of August
As we all know, the start of the college football season is inching closer and closer and camps are set to open up within the next week.
There are certainly some key battles that are going to be taking place and the month of August will be one of the most important next season.
With 31 days in August, how about 31 bold predictions for the upcoming college football season. Some however may be a little more bold than others.
31. Case McCoy Wins Texas QB Battle
As it stands right now, the Texas Longhorns quarterback battle is still up for grabs, with Case McCoy and David Ash.
The two posted similar stats when they saw the field last season and the success of Texas will hinge heavily on the play of one of these two.
While it looks like Ash is the clear favorite, Brown will not commit. McCoy threw for 1,034 yards and seven touchdowns last season.
In a surprise, he will win the job for the Longhorns.
30. West Virginia Will Win the Big 12
While Oklahoma is the clear cut favorites to win the Big 12 in most people's estimation, what West Virginia will bring to the conference this season will allow them to come out on top in the Big 12.
The Mountaineers have one of the best offenses in the country and one of the most explosive quarterbacks in Geno Smith.
With the problems Oklahoma is already having, particularly at the wide receiver position, West Virginia appears poised to creep up and win the league.
29. No Top 25 Will Be All BCS Schools
Boise State has not only been a staple in the top 25 over the past 10 years, but has been in the top 10 for most of that time.
This year, they will not only drop out of the rankings, but so will all of the other non-BCS schools.
While teams like Southern Miss and Arkansas State may feel like they have a chance to reach the top 25, by the end of the season, the BCS teams will reign supreme.
28. Alabama Will Stumble Twice During the Regular Season
Nick Saban and his Alabama Crimson Tide have one of the best teams in the country, but they are relatively young, particularly on the defensive side of the ball.
This may be going out on a limb here, but Alabama will lose twice during the 2012 regular season.
With teams like LSU, Arkansas, Michigan and Auburn on the schedule, the Crimson Tide will finish the regular season 10-2 this year.
27. Bryan Bennett Will Lead Oregon to Rose Bowl
While he has not even been announced the clear cut starter, Bryan Bennett is likely to be named the quarterback over Marcus Mariota in the coming weeks.
The sophomore is very talented and would have given Darron Thomas a run for his money.
He will not only win the starting job, but will also lead the Ducks to an 11-2 record and a Rose Bowl appearance.
26. Montee Ball Will Reach 40 Touchdowns
Monte Ball had 39 touchdowns last season and tied Barry Sanders for the all-time record. He only needed two touchdowns entering the Rose Bowl to beat Barry Sanders mark, but could only tie it.
In 2012 most people do not think he has a chance to duplicate that with all the Badgers have lost.
If he can stay healthy, he will get more carries than last season and could reach 40 total touchdowns.
25. Teddy Bridgewater Will Lead Louisville to the Big East Title
Teddy Bridgewater burst onto the scene in 2011 and was one of the best freshmen quarterbacks in the country.
The Big East is as wide-open as any conference in the country and Bridgewater will emerge as the best quarterback in the league.
He will lead the Cardinals to the Big East title and a BCS berth in 2012.
24. Jacoby Brissett Will Win Florida QB Battle
Florida struggled to a 7-6 campaign in 2011 and part of the reason they struggled was because of questions at quarterback.
With John Brantley gone, the quarterback battle is between Jacoby Brissett and Jeff Driskel.
Brissett hardly played last season, but has an immense amount of talent. He will take control of the Florida quarterback job and lead the Gators over the next few seasons.
23. Florida State Will Live Up to Expectations and Win the ACC
Florida State will once again start the season in the top 10 and while it is not too bold to say they will win the ACC, with how they have disappointed, it seems bold enough.
The Seminoles have as much talent as almost anybody in the country and this year they will finally put it all together, win the conference and finish in the top 10.
Simply put, there is just too much talent on the defensive side of the ball for the Seminoles.
22. Notre Dame Will Only Win Six Games
This is not to say that Notre Dame is a bad team by any stretch of the imagination, but because of their tough schedule, they will only go 6-6 in 2012.
The Fighting Irish have road games against Michigan State, Oklahoma and USC. At home they take on Purdue, Michigan, Miami, Stanford, BYU, Pittsburgh and Wake Forest.
A road game against Boston College and the opener in Dublin against Navy are the only certainties for the Fighting Irish next season.
21. Boise State Will Lose Four Games in 2012
There might not be a team in the nation that lost more than Boise State.
The Broncos have a lot to replace and also play a challenging schedule. They start the season against Michigan State on the road and also take on Southern Miss and Nevada away from home.
At home they have to battle with BYU and Fresno State who will be much improved.
Even though they may not be used to it, four losses is a strong possibility for the Broncos in 2012.
20. Three BCS Head Coaches Will Be Fired During the Season
There are always coaches on the hot seat and entering 2012, none more so than Frank Spaziani from Boston College.
Among the others who could lose their jobs by the end of the season is Derek Dooley from Tennessee, Mike Riley from Oregon State, Kevin Wilson from Indiana and Tommy Tuberville from Texas Tech.
Odds are three from this list will be at home by the end of the season.
19. Silas Redd Will End Up at USC
There are a lot of big names at Penn State who are likely to transfer in the coming weeks, but none more so than running back Silas Redd.
Last year he rushed for 1,241 yards and seven touchdowns on 244 carries.
Early indications are that USC is in the running and my guess is he will end up there for the 2012 season.
18. Tyrann Mathieu Will Be a Heisman Finalist Once Again
Tyrann Mathieu burst onto the scene last season and became a Heisman finalist. He was the best defensive player in the country, but some think he became famous because of a few big plays.
Mathieu is one of the most talented players in the country and he will have a repeat performance on a team that might have the best defense in the country.
He will once again find himself in New York for the Heisman ceremony in 2012.
17. Braxton Miller Will Put Up Better Stats Than Denard Robinson
This may seem a little far-fetched to some, but with Urban Meyer arriving at Ohio State, things are going to be a little different.
Once Miller got going last season, he was dynamic. He finished with 13 touchdowns and only four interceptions.
Robinson is talented, but a turnover machine. Miller will improve as much as anybody in the country from his freshman to sophomore seasons and pass up Robinson.
16. Dorial Green-Beckham Will Be All SEC
Without question Missouri wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham was the top recruit in the country.
With James Franklin at quarterback, Green-Beckham will get plenty of touches. He has as much size as any receiver in the league and has all the physical skills.
He will be one of the best receivers in the SEC next season.
15. De'Anthony Thomas Will Score over 30 Touchdowns
De'Anthony Thomas is the most explosive player in the country and next season he will be a key cog on the Oregon offense.
Thomas totaled 16 touchdowns in 2011 and odds are with LaMichael James gone in 2012, his touches will likely double.
Twice as many touches means twice as many touchdowns. Look for an equal balance on the ground and through the air for 'The Black Mamba'.
14. Gunner Kiel Will Take over the Notre Dame Quarterback Job
The recruitment of Gunner Kiel was quite a process and after committing to Indiana, it appeared he was headed to LSU, before eventually ending up at Notre Dame.
He will not begin the season as the starting quarterback, but by the middle of the season with Notre Dame struggling he will step into the starting role.
Brian Kelly will not be afraid to pull the trigger and insert Kiel into the starting lineup.
13. Kiehl Frazier Will Surprise at Auburn
Kiehl Frazier appears to be the favorite to take over at quarterback for the Auburn Tigers.
Early reports are that he has the talent to lead them back near the top of the SEC.
Frazier is going to be one of the more pleasant surprises in the SEC and help the Auburn offense will improve in 2012.
12. Michigan State Will Throttle Boise State
Boise State has a schedule that is a little more challenging than they are used to and it all starts off at Michigan State.
Starting on the road with so many new faces on both sides of the ball will spell doom for the Broncos.
The Spartans will be too much and a 21-point victory is coming their way.
11. Vanderbilt Will Upset South Carolina in Week 1
Vanderbilt and South Carolina begin the college football season with a Thursday night game and while South Carolina is clearly the most talented of the two teams.
The Commodores however are at home this could have upset written all over it.
What a big way to start the season for the Commodores.
10. Matt Barkley Will Win the Heisman
Matt Barkley is clearly one of the front runners to bring home the Heisman Trophy this season.
The bold prediction here is that he will have the season everyone is expecting of him and lead USC to the national championship while picking up a Heisman in the process.
Barkley is on a mission and so are the Trojans.
9. Will Muschamp Will Be on the Hot Seat by the End of the Season
Will Muschamp struggled in his first season at Florida as the Gators went 7-6.
Much more will be expected from him in 2012 and if Florida does not win seven or eight games, Muschamp will find himself on the hot seat after next season.
The schedule is tough and the Gators are not talented enough to win much more than six games.
This will put Muschamp on the hot seat by the end of 2012.
8. The Big East Will No Longer Be in BCS Bowls
With news that a four-team playoff will be taking shape in 2014, the automatic BCS bowl berth for the winner of the Big East will be no more.
The automatic qualifying may not be the same and there is no question that the Big East will have trouble finishing in the top 10 any time soon.
This may be the last year a Big East team reaches a BCS bowl.
7. Penn State Will Lose 10 Games in 2012
The Penn State Nittany Lions will field a football team in 2012 after everything that has happened, but with everyone who is going to transfer, they are not going to be very good in 2012.
They will likely replace Indiana as the worst team in the B1G and could even lose all of their games next season.
10 losses however is likely for the Nittany Lions.
6. Geno Smith Will Lead the Nation in Passing Yards
Geno Smith passed for 4,385 yards last season with 31 touchdowns and only seven interceptions.
In 2012, he will pass for more yards than anybody in the country. The Big 12 is known for producing big time passing yards for its starting quarterbacks and Smith will fit right in.
West Virgina has plenty of weapons around him and 5,000 yards is not out of the realm of possibilities if he stays healthy.
5. Zach Mettenberger Will Lead LSU to the BCS National Championship Game
If LSU is going to win the SEC, then quarterback Zach Mettenberger will need to have a serviceable year.
The Tigers have as much talent outside the quarterback position as anybody in the country and if Mettenberger can step up, they will win the conference.
Look for him to do so and the Tigers to meet USC for all the marbles.
4. Ohio State Will Finish at the Top of the B1G
Even though Ohio State is not eligible to play for the B1G championship, next season they will finish first in the Leaders Division.
There is not much competition in the Leaders division and Ohio State has as much talent as anybody.
A 10-win season and a Leaders division crown is in the future for Ohio State.
3. The SEC Wil Not Win Seven Straight Titles
The SEC has won six straight national championships, and this season that string will come to an end.
While LSU or Alabama will likely find themselves playing in the national championship, 2012 will be the end of the run for the SEC.
Who knows maybe there won't even be an SEC team in the national championship.
2. The B1G Will Kick Penn State out of the League
With everything that has happened to Penn State over the past few months, it is not unfathomable to imagine the B1G kicking them out of the league for good.
While that is not certain to happen in the next few months, there is a chance it will happen once the season ends.
They are not going to be competitive for quite some time and the B1G may be better off without them.
1. USC Will Beat Oregon Twice on Their Way to a BCS National Championship
USC and Oregon meet in the regular season on November 3 and if everything plays out right, they will meet again for the Pac-12 title at the end of the season.
The bold prediction here is that the Trojans will beat Oregon twice on their way to an appearance in the national championship game against LSU.
Matt Barkley and the Trojans will come out victorious in that one, winning the national championship.