The 2008 college football season can't come soon enough. NCAA Football 09 is great, but I need the real thing.
With that in mind, I came up with 30 predictions for the 2008 season.
1. The SEC will be really good this year, again. Unfortunately, they will be too good—and no team will finish in the top three of the BCS.
2. 15 returning starters and a win against Texas on October 18 mean that the Missouri Tigers will head to South Beach to play for the national championship.
3. Ohio State-USC will be one of the most enjoyable games of the whole year, and the winner will face Missouri for the championship.
4. The third time will be the charm for Jim Tressel's crew, making it two National Championships for the Buckeyes in Miami.
5. The Heisman race will be the most closely contested of the decade. Chris Wells, Knowshon Moreno, and Michael Crabtree will all be legitimate contenders.
6. A Buckeye will win the Heisman for the first time since Troy Smith won it two years ago.
7. Michigan will be much better than people predict. Even if Rich Rodriguez's offense doesn't work at first, they will still be the fourth-best team in the Big Ten. Hello Outback Bowl.
8. Sticking with the Big Ten, it's still Buckeye dominated, but Wisconsin will go to the Rose Bowl to face USC. And then get pummeled.
9. After losing to Ohio State, USC will go on a tear and win the Pac-10 without much trouble, except for...
10. Circle October 11 on your calendar. Arizona State at USC will be a must-see, and Rudy Carpenter will do whatever he can to win the game. However, it won't be enough.
11. Jake Locker will be first-team All-Pac-10 in leading the Washington Huskies to their first bowl game in five years—and saving Ty Willingham's job.
12. The Big 12 North will not be as good as last year, and it won't be as competitive as the South.
13. Kansas will fall back down to earth with a tougher schedule. Expect losses at South Florida and Oklahoma, at home against Texas Tech and Texas, and against Mizzou.
14. The Big 12 South title will not come down to the winner of Texas-Oklahoma, but from the winner of the Oklahoma-Texas Tech game.
15. Missouri-Texas Tech will be the most exciting Big 12 championship game in a long time.
16. No Rich Rod means no problem for the Mountaineers. Expect them to take the Big East crown without much competition.
17a. A win over West Virginia in the last week of the season is nice, but it doesn't mean that all of your problems will be solved. Yes, I'm talking about you, Pitt Panthers. You still went 5-7 and lost three O-Linemen, including your All-Conference left tackle.
17b. Don't expect Pitt to be in the Top 25 at the end of the season. They will be only the fourth-best team in the Big East after the aforementioned Mountaineers, South Florida, and Rutgers.
18. It's going to take a while before Louisville reaches national prominence again. This year is the start of the rebuilding process. Translation: 5-7 record.
19. This is the year for Clemson to finally break through and win the ACC. If they can't even reach the championship game, Tommy Bowden will be shown the door.
20. The ACC Coastal Divison is Virginia Tech's to lose. In fact, don't be surprised if they have only one loss at season's end.
21. Besides Clemson and Va. Tech, don't expect any other ACC team to make much noise this year.
(21 1/2. I wish I could write more about the ACC, but it's the most boring conference this year.)
22. As I mentioned before, the SEC will beat each other up until no team is in position to go to the national title game.
23. Georgia will lose at least one game. Don't be surprised if they lose two. Against Florida and at Auburn are good bets.
24. Florida will start 2-0 and then be knocked out by Tennessee in Knoxville on September 20. The October 25 game against Kentucky (one week before the Georgia game) will give the Gators all they can handle.
25. A two-loss Auburn team will face and beat a one-loss Florida team in the SEC championship game.
26. No non-BCS team will crash the BCS bowls. Unfortunately.
27. BYU will lose at TCU, Boise State will lose at Oregon, and Fresno State will lose at Boise.
28. Fresno State at Boise State will be the best non-BCS conference game. Hey, you can't beat the blue turf.
29. Think Hawaii will fall off the map? Well, they will, but it's not like they will be horrible. Expect the Warriors to win at least seven games during the regular season and beat a mediocre Pac-10 team in the Hawaii Bowl.
30. This year will not have nearly as many upsets as last year, but in no way will it be less exciting.
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