The 2010 UConn Huskies are hungry to prove to the rest of the world that they are more than just a basketball school. After the 2009 season that included the death of Jasper Howard, a star cornerback who was stabbed to death, this team is ready to make a BCS bowl appearance.
Yes, all the pundits and analysts love to hate on the Big East. They talk about the weak competition and how it is a much weaker conference than the SEC or Big Ten. Yet, college football's biggest game is decided by the computers.
Sure, the human bowls have some say, but it's what the computers think that matters, and this 2010 UConn team could be in the top 10 of the final BCS computer rankings when all is said and done.
Call me crazy, but this team is not losing many games this year. Just watch and see how the Huskies open up at the Big House in Ann Arbor when they take on Michigan on September 4th.
UConn last year went 8-5 and won its last four games, including a win at Notre Dame that cost Charlie Weis his job and then again at the Papa John.com Bowl against South Carolina.
It was a season of adversity, and this team is determined to compete for a Big East title this year. Head coach Randy Edsall has built this team through the transition from Division I-AA to Division I-A.
It's a tall order, but he remains committed to winning an outright Big East Championship.
This year's UConn team is loaded. Yes, they lost the services of Andre Dixon and Marcus Easley on offense, and Lindsey Witten, Robert Vaughn, and Robert McClain in the secondary, but this team brings back depth and talent.
In total, this Huskies team will have 17 starters back at Storrs.
UConn returns four offensive linemen who will be needed to open holes for star running back Jordan Todman and Robbie Frey in the backfield. The line will also be expected to protect Zach Frazier, who has come out of spring ball as the definite No. 1 QB going into the fall.
Both receiver Kashif Moore, who made some unbelievable catches last season, and big tight end Ryan Griffin are back to produce in UConn's passing game.
The defense is going to be the backbone of this Huskies team. On the defensive line, Kendall Reyes, Jesse Josephs, and Trevardo Williams will anchor the line when it comes to getting sacks and stuffing holes.
Even the linebacker core remains intact with Scott Lutrus and Lawrence Wilson back and ready to give it a go. Lutrus battled injuries last season and is finally healthy. He is looking to have a strong year to attract the attention of scouts at the next level.
The one question mark that remains for this UConn team is its secondary. Shaky at best, this is the one area where UConn is inexperienced and could cost it in close games.
Jerome Junior and Bhidi-Ray Wilson, who filled in for Howard, will have to be able to shut down the passing game in the open field. One of the big moves in spring resulted in Kijuan Dabney being moved from linebacker to safety. It shows the inexperience and worries that the coaches have making the move.
Luckily, the season doesn't start until September, and Edsall's staff will make it a point of emphasis to clear up those problems. Teams that expect to win all the time won't let mistakes like that cost them football games.
UConn lost five games by a combined 15 points. It was a season of heartbreaks that was overshadowed by the death of a teammate, a brother, and son. If that's not motivation and desire to go out there and give it your all, then I don't know what is.
Knock the Big East all you want. This UConn Huskies team is for real. When they go into Ann Arbor and leave victorious, take note: This team is winning double-digit games in 2010.
A win at Michigan and there's no reason to think if UConn remains healthy, it is 7-0 headed into the Friday night October 29th game at home with conference rival West Virginia.
This team has the potential to do something special this year. The BCS better beware of these UConn Huskies.