Football season is synonymous with cold weather, painted faces, barbeques, intense debate, and gambling.
I'm here to help assist you with making a few future wagers that could pad your pocketbook in these trying economic times.
These aren't single games to key on during the season—more projections of various NCAA and NFL teams' futures.
Coming off its worst regular season in school history at 3-9, I see this team's cupcakes being Delaware State, Eastern Michigan, Western Michigan, and Indiana. But this is only four victories.
Trying to guarantee this team goes 3-4 against its remaining opponents—Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Michigan State—is a lofty goal.
Best case scenario in 2009: 6-6 (3-5 Big Ten)
Aside from the fact they have no offensive weapon to rely on, the Raiders have not recorded more than five wins since their 2002 Super Bowl loss to Tampa Bay.
Plus, their 2009 schedule offers no opponents that the Raiders are clearly better than. Kansas City is a tossup, as well as Cleveland and Cincinnati.
The Raiders also travel to play the Giants, Steelers, and Cowboys.
What will happen first: the Raiders going 5-11 or someone making Al Davis' face into a Halloween mask?
Do you think Davis know what day it is? What month? Year...
Best case scenario: 5-11 (2-4 AFC West)
It is absurd to think this team is going to repeat its success from last season in 2009.
The loss of Pat White and the fact they must travel to Auburn, Cincinnati, and South Florida equal three potential losses. One more slip and 8-4 is their ceiling.
While the Mountaineers can win this season, I doubt they will, due to coaching mistakes and inexperience.
Look for these facial expressions frequently on the sidelines this year.
Best case scenario: 10-2 (6-1 Big East)
USC plays 12 games this season, with the only real scare game occurring Week Two when they travel to Ohio State.
Even with a loss, assuming USC rebounds and does what they are supposed to, they finish 11-1 in the regular season.
Their games against Cal, UCLA, Oregon, and Oregon State should be handled with caution, but expect USC to compete once again for a national championship.
Best case scenario: 12-0 (9-0 Pac-10)
The Lions are coming off what in my mind is more difficult to achieve than a perfect season, finishing 0-16 in 2008.
To say they will go 5-11 in 2009 is nothing short of crazy. How? Who are they going to beat? They certainly are not better than anyone going into the season...
WK DATE OPPONENT Projection
1 Sun, Sep 13 @ New Orleans No
2 Sun, Sep 20 Minnesota No
3 Sun, Sep 27 Washington No
4 Sun, Oct 4 @ Chicago No
5 Sun, Oct 11 Pittsburgh No
6 Sun, Oct 18 @ Green Bay No
7 BYE WEEK
8 Sun, Nov 1 St. Louis Maybe
9 Sun, Nov 8 @ Seattle No
10 Sun, Nov 15 @ Minnesota No
11 Sun, Nov 22 Cleveland Maybe
12 Thu, Nov 26 Green Bay No
13 Sun, Dec 6 @ Cincinnati No
14 Sun, Dec 13 @ Baltimore No
15 Sun, Dec 20 Arizona No
16 Sun, Dec 27 @ San Francisco No
17 Sun, Jan 3 Chicago Maybe
Let's concentrate on staying within the field of play this season.
Best case scenario: 3-13 (1-5 NFC North)