Summer Six-Pack: Six Burning Questions for the 2010 Season
The 2010 college football season is just weeks away now. All of the predictions and analysis will come to a close and we can just let the teams decide for themselves on the field. Here's a few questions that seem to keep coming up quite a bit in the college football circles.
#6. Can Cincinnati rebound from all of the losses?
The Big East is wide open now. Cincinnati's stranglehold on the conference could be over. Over the past few seasons, Cincy has dominated the conference, winning back-to-back titles. Now with QB Tony Pike and WR Mardy Gilyard and others in the NFL, plus head coach Brian Kelly leaving for the Golden Domers and Touchdown Jesus, this could be the year that another team takes the Big East reins from the Bearcats. But with Zach Collaros taking over, who started 4 games for the injured Pike and played extremely well, the Bearcats offense won't sputter too much. Now head coach Butch Jones steps in to take the reins and keep the Bearcats on track for a third consecutive Big East title. But can he?
#5. Will Washington make a run at the Pac-10?
Second year head coach Steve Sarkisian has a loaded offense this season. Future No. 1 pick Jake Locker and Heisman hopeful is returning to handle the signal calling duties, as well as tallents like RB Chris Polk and WR Jermaene Kearse coming back. The offensive line is stacked with upperclassmen, and the rest of the offense is loaded. This could be the year that UW wrestles the Pac-10 from the likes of Oregon and USC.
#4. How will USC handle the heat from the NCAA?
First year head coach Lane Kiffin came into what seemed like a great situation at USC. That is until about a month ago. Now, with the sanctions the NCAA has imposed and player transfers, as well as a lawsuit from the Tennessee Titans, how will the Trojans handle the 2010 season? The Trojans look to be reloaded (as usual) after a disappointing season a year ago. How will they fare in the now-competitive Pac-10?
#3. Is Garrett Gilbert as good as he looked so far?
1st quarter, BCS National Championship Game. That's when we all met Garrett Gilbert. He played very well in place the winningest college quarterback of all time, Colt McCoy. Now McCoy is off to the NFL and Gilbert has control of the offense. In the Longhorns' annual spring game he performed extremly well, completing 10 of 13 passes for 165 yds and 3 TDs. Mack Brown has a lot of faith in his young signal caller. But can he be the new face of the Longhorns?
#2. Will the Buckeyes have another National Championship Game flop?
The Ohio State University is being ranked between #1 and #3 in most preseason polls this year. We all know that head coach Jim Tressel will have an outstanding product on the field, as he always does. The Buckeyes will likely go through Big Ten play undefeated, and go on to the BCS title game. But as we have seen in previous years, the Buckeyes don't always live up to their touting when it comes to championship games. In 2006, OSU was favored to beat the Florida Gators, with Heisman winner Troy Smith leading a high octane offense. But all of the optimism from fans ands boosters was quickly dashed, as the Gators rolled to a 41-14 win and embarrassed the Buckeyes. Enter 2007, when the Buckeyes faced SEC champion LSU. Another loss to another SEC team. Overall, the Buckeyes have been supreme disappointments in the title game. This season may prove otherwise, or continue the trend. Which leads to #1...
#1. Will the SEC continue their monopoly on college football?
The Southeastern Conference can claim 4 straight national championship teams, and 5 in this decade alone. Florida, Alabama, and LSU have each won it all this decade. The Gators and Tigers have done twice each. Now, with upstarts like Arkansas and Auburn gunning for a place in Atlanta, as well as the dark horse South Carolina Gamecocks, the SEC will again be the toughest conference in the land. Pundits joke about it being "NFL - lite" yet it's the truth. The SEC is racking up titles and churning out NFL players like a machine. The NFL loves players from the conference, due to their superior conditioning and devotion to the game. But, in the college football landscape, we're all wondering if the SEC will keep bringing in titles, or will finally be the year when another school/conference wins it all.