2010 College Football: BCS Bowl Predictions
As July has nearly come to an end, it's time to think about college football.
In truth, most of us never stop thinking about it.
The BCS has always provided drama, intrigue, controversy, and some really good football games over the years. That trend will undoubtedly continue in 2010.
With every conference seemingly more competitive than it has been in years, we can expect a roller coaster season.
Not to mention that Boise State and TCU are just a few of the non-BCS teams that could make some big noise. Heck, they could even make it to the title game if the chips fall correctly.
So who will be standing at the end, and where will they go?
Let's take a look.
BCS Championship: Alabama v. Oklahoma
I know, it's just all too predictable.
Let's face it, the cream rises to the top of college football and it will once again in 2010.
Alabama is just scary talented, with running back Mark Ingram, they can simply pound their opponents into submission and use their defense to stifle any doubters.
Sure, the SEC is perilous. The Crimson Tide survived a few close calls last year, but with Arkansas and Auburn both lacking a consistent defense and LSU's volatility, they are the safe bet.
I predict some close calls, but when it's all said and done, Alabama is back in the title game.
Oklahoma had some misfortunes in 2009 but it prepared them for this season.
Quarterback Landry Jones developed nicely as a freshman. He may have had some hiccups along the way, but he threw for over 3,000 yards and 26 touchdowns.
Having a dynamic wide receiver like Ryan Broyles doesn't hurt either.
After a nice victory over Stanford in the Sun Bowl, Oklahoma looks to be back on track and could find itself back atop the Big 12.
Rose Bowl: Washington v. Ohio State
If there's anything more difficult than predicting the PAC-10 winner this season, I don't know what it is.
We know that the Trojans are going to be out of it for the first time in a long time, even though they have the talent for a Rose Bowl berth, if not for the NCAA violations.
That leaves teams like Arizona, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford and even California to vie for the crown.
However, I am going to go with the Washington Huskies.
They have the best proven quarterback in the conference with Jake Locker, a good coaching staff, and they might have enough offense to muster a few close wins.
In truth, it is more the flaws of others that I see than any greatness in the Huskies. Rest assured that whoever wins the PAC-10 will be bloodied by at least two if not three losses.
Whoever it is, the BCS appearance could do wonders for the program's morale.
Ohio State, on the other hand, is used to a BCS appearance.
The last time the Buckeyes failed to win at least a share of the conference title was in 2004.
Sure, they get an occasional loss from Penn State or Iowa, but coach Jim Tressel has amassed only 13 conference losses in nine seasons at the Ohio State University.
Expect that success to continue as Ohio State wins the Big Ten, perhaps with a blemish on their record though.
Orange Bowl: Florida State v. Iowa
It's been quite some time since Florida State was in a BCS game, but the time may have arrived.
The ACC is rather unpredictable this year with the Seminoles, Clemson, Miami, North Carolina, and Virginia Tech all claiming a chance to take the title.
Which means it will be probably go to Florida State.
Anyways, we know Florida State has a dynamic offense. The question is on the defensive side on the ball.
I certainly think they will experience growing pains and probably have the worst record of any BCS team.
However, Florida State built its reputation in the ACC by winning the big games, and just like in 2005, I think they will take the crown despite not being the best team in the conference.
As for Iowa, they had a tremendous team last year and an inconsistent quarterback in Ricky Stanzi. If he improves, they will be a very tough team to beat.
However, the Hawkeyes always seem to drop a game they shouldn't and that will cost them the Big Ten title.
They will get a return trip to Miami though, and could see history repeat itself.
Fiesta Bowl: Virginia Tech v. Connecticut
Oh don't worry boys and girls. We're still going to get our ACC v. Big East matchup. Whether we like it or not.
Now it may seem rather insane to see the much maligned ACC get two BCS bids.
However, this year may be the perfect scenario for this.
I expect the Virginia Tech Hokies to only lose two games this year.
The first will be at Miami, spoiling a late perfect season run. The second will be in the ACC Championship game to Florida State, costing them the automatic bid.
Now a late loss can sometimes knock you out of this coveted spot, but I predict that the landscape will be so topsy turvy in 2010 that they will still find a way in.
Besides, Virginia Tech always travels well and that will play into their favor.
Connecticut had so many close games last year, it was ridiculous. All five of their losses were by four points or less.
Not to mention that their three biggest challengers, Pitt, West Virginia, and Cincinnati were games all road games for the Huskies.
In 2010, the tables have turned. The Huskies get all those games at home and have one of the few proven quarterbacks left in the Big East.
I think it will be between Pittsburgh and Connecticut but the Huskies pull it out.
Sugar Bowl: Georgia v. Boise State
Boise State will finally get its chance against a BCS team in a BCS game since the showdown with Oklahoma.
The Broncos will start the season highly ranked and certainly could create chaos if they beat Virginia Tech to start the season.
Can they do it? Of course, the Hokies have questions on the defensive line and are taking on one of the more experienced teams in the country.
However, while everyone is concentrating on the Boise State offense, don't sleep on the Virginia Tech defense. Coordinator Bud Foster is an artist at blitzes and it certainly can catch teams by surprise.
I expect the Broncos to lose but then win out, allowing them to be the highest ranked non-automatic qualifier.
As for Georgia, they will finally break the Florida domination in the SEC East...barely.
The Bulldogs have some amazing talent, particularly in the backfield and with wide receiver A.J. Green. They also have a fairly manageable schedule and a Florida team that has question marks for the first time in years.
Georgia will lose the SEC Championship, but slip into this spot, the same place where it crushed Hawaii not too long ago.
Can the Bulldogs crush another non-BCS team's dreams again?
Guess we'll have to wait and see.