So i've realized that I need my Football. Its been way too long without Football in my life and i've got to give into this sweet sultry addiction. Time to break out the old Tennessee jersey, get the College Football 2008 game out, and enjoy the fact that Saturday IS the best day of the week!
Now as a College Football fan, one thing I followed heavily last year was Hawaii's run for an undefeated regular season. This team was anchored by its record setting QB Colt Brennan and their ringleader of a coach June Jones. They also had a phenomenal trio of WR's in Ryan Grice-Mullen, Devone Bess, and Jason Rivers who posed threats to any challengers.
Though Hawaii was slaughtered by Georgia, they still showed it was possible for a Non-BCS team to pull an undefeated season and get into the bowl they righfully deserved.
They didn't help the upcoming "Mid Majors" in the fact that they were supposed to make a good game out of it and were blown clean out of the water. It still opened the door in the end.
Now we all know Colt Brennan is gone along with June Jones now so Hawaii's chances to repeat as claim stakers to the Non-BCS "At Large" Bid are all but diminished, there are still some hungry teams out there ready to have their shot as David against the perenial Goliath.
Here are 5 teams that you may want to keep tab of during the College Football season as teams that could earn the bid and slay the dragon.
Big Games: at New Mexico (8/30), vs. Stanford (9/13), at Oklahoma (9/27), vs. BYU (10/16), at Utah (11/6)
Why they will succeed and earn the bid: They have it in place, QB Andy Dalton improved greatly through the season last year along with a dynamic tandem at RB with Joseph Turner and Aaron Brown who should provide the offense with a sense of stability and balance. They also have Jason Phillips and Stephon Hodge as All- Conference performers coming back to their defense.
Why they will fall short in their attempt: This is not the Horned Frogs' first time having it set up like this, there have been a couple of years (2006 and 2007) where they had a hyped team coming in, but injuries and under performances have led to their downfall. If they can stay the course, they have a good shot to run under the radar and have a great season.
Big Games: at Michigan (8/30), vs. Oregon State (10/2), vs. TCU (11/6), vs. BYU (11/22)
Why they will succeed and earn the bid: They have Brian Johnson returning at QB and set to have a huge year in Coach Wittingham's offense. If they are able to come in to the Big House for a second year and pull off the opening upset, that would vault them greatly in rankings and publicity.
Why they will fall short in their attempt: With an extremely tough schedule it will be tough for them to come out undefeated, but if they are able to maintain a good conference record, it all falls on whether they can hang with the big boys.
#3 Central Michigan
Big Games: at Georgia (9/6), at Purdue (9/20), at Indiana (11/1)
Why they will succeed and earn the bid: Their prolific offense led by QB Dan LeFevour will put up plenty of points and allow them to hang with most opponents. Not to mention Ontario Sneed and Justin Hoskins at the RB position who combined for over 1,000 yards and 16 TD's last year. Along with LeFevour's #1 WR coming back in Antonio Brown.
Why they will fall short in their attempt: Plain and Simple, its their defense, its nothing short of awful. Though they will be better this year, they still lack a good bit on that side of the ball still.
#2 Fresno State
Big Games: at Rutgers (9/1), vs. Wisconsin (9/13), at UCLA (9/27), at Boise State (11/28)
Why they will succeed and earn the bid: They, like TCU, have it set in place for a run. They return almost every skill position player from last year besides Clifton Smith, but they are deep at the RB position as it is. Tom Brandstater will need to be as consistent and throw even better this year if Fresno wants a chance to perform on the national stage.
Why they will fall short in their attempt: they face a tough schedule in the beginning of their season, and will need to win both and at worst one if they intend on banking on a big season. If they can make it through that tough stretch, then they should be fine as the WAC is definitely on a down year.
Big Games: at Washington (9/6), at UCLA (9/13), at TCU (10/16), at Utah (11/22)
Why they will succeed and earn the bid: Max Hall and Harvey Unga are the cornerstones of this offense and will have no trouble scoring points. This team is as loaded on offense as they are on defense and will pose a problem to any BCS team they approach. Also, Hall brings his top 4 receivers back with him.
Why they will fall short in their attempt: Well their lone challengers seem to be UCLA and Washington, while they aren't high caliber Pac-10 teams, they still can give the Cougars problems. Also, their hardest conference opponents are at home when BYU plays them, making it more convincing to the committee, but posing a much tougher challenge in the end.
So there they are, your 2008-2009 BCS Party Crashers. Now will they dominate and rise to a #1 ranking? Probably not, but they still can make a run at the Top-10 and earn the bid to a BCS bowl, which really isn't that bad of a consolation considering theyre in non-BCS conferences.
So what are your thoughts on these teams? Will any of them compete on a high level in your opinion? Feedback is welcome.