College football season is back.
With that comes experts breakdowns of each conference, possible BCS busters, and Heisman favorites.
Within each of the conference breakdowns you will always see a note like "Could compete for a conference title this year."
Well I am not here to breakdown the conferences, there are people that have much more college football knowledge than I do for that.
What I am here to do is give you five BCS schools, that could surprise and find it's way into a BCS game, and in one case, maybe even make a run at the BCS Title game.
5. Notre Dame
Anyone that knows me, knows of my disdain for the Irish.
They do not have a conference to align itself with, and can schedule as many cupcakes as they would like year in and year out.
Now I do give the Irish credit in that they try and schedule a school like Michigan, Boston College or USC every year and it is not there fault that some of these schools will be down.
But the rest of the schedule is a joke.
Combine that with the "Five Star" Classes that Charlie Weis has recruited over the last several years are finally turning into players and you have a winning formula.
The key to the season will hinge on the right arm of Jimmy Clausen. And that arm has shown a great improvement from year one to year two. Now if year three can just put this school back on the map
The Golden Bears are in an enviable position this year.
They have 15 returning starters, but the most important returner is also the key to their season.
Running Back Jahvid Best is not only one of the best backs in the nation, he is my sleeper Heisman pick.
Sure all those QB's in Texas, Oklahoma and Florida will be up there, but there is no better runner in college football right now.
Combine that with a one of the better defenses that no one has heard of and the Bears are in a nice position to beat the USC Trojans this year.
The Golden Bears have the ability and the coach to get back to the top of the Pac 10 and possibly back to the Rose Bowl.
3. North Carolina
Isn't North Carolina supposed to be a basketball school?
The Tar Heels are on the rise, and Butch Davis is the reason for that.
Davis is assembling talent like he is back at the U, and maybe this time he will stick around to see the fruits of his labor.
Sure the Tar Heels are young on offense, but they will have a dominating defense that keeps them in games.
The front seven is talented and experienced.
If they can get by UConn in game two, look for the Tar Heels load up for a big time showdown with Georgia Tech down in Georgia.
After last years 21 point beat down can North Carolina do it again to the Jackets?
Can they continue to grow into a BCS contender?
2. Penn State
The Nittany Lions are back and loaded up for another run at the Title game.
I know a lot of fans from OU were sending care packages to Iowa last year after their upset of Penn State.
That is how close this team was last year to being the Gators' opponent in the National Title game.
Well, they will be right there again this season, led by their outstanding defense and bruising running game.
Nov. 7 is the date that all college football fans need to remember because this will be the opportunity for Ohio State to stop the Nittany Lions, and will really decide which of these teams will be headed to the Rose Bowl.
1. Ole Miss
I know, they play in the SEC.
I know, they have not been great in a long time.
Well all you need to know about the Rebels is this:
They bring back a ton of starter on offense and defense.
They bring back one of the better quarterbacks in the country in Jevan Snead.
They have the one of the best rush defenses in the entire country, just ask Tim Tebow and Florida.
All of that is good, but the best part and the reason they are my sleeper pick to make it to the National Championship game is simple...
They get both Alabama and LSU at home this year. There toughest road game is at Auburn.
Most importantly, they miss Georgia and Florida during the regular season.
With a great defense and a QB that has the ability to win games when needed, they could not only make it to the SEC championship game, they could win it.
Five schools that could represent their respective conferences in the BCS this year.
Are they all likely to live up to their potential? Doubtful, but don't be surprised if a couple of these teams are playing in big bowl games at the beginning of the 2010 year.