2010 College Football Predictions: Alabama, VaTech To Play in Title Game

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2010 College Football Predictions: Alabama, VaTech To Play in Title Game
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Alabama and Ohio State enter 2010 as the clear favorites to meet in the National Championship in January, but Boise State, Florida, Texas, and Virginia Tech all are hoping for a shot at the title this year.

 

No. 1 Alabama

No. 1 Alabama returns its starting QB Greg McElroy and Heisman-winning RB Mark Ingram. Julio Jones, the Crimson Tide's star WR, is also returning. However, they lost a lot of defensive starters to graduation and the NFL, which is especially hard in the very competitive SEC.

Nick Saban has the talent to fill any vacated spots though. Penn State will probably challenge them at least early in their September 11 showdown in Tuscaloosa. Other games to watch are October 2 vs. Florida, November 6 at LSU, and November 26 vs. Auburn. All in all, I think Alabama should be very good this year. Look for them to win the SEC and meet Florida or Georgia in the Championship game. 

Should be ranked: No. 1

Predicted Record: 12-0

 

No. 2 Ohio State

No. 2 ranked Ohio State also returns their starting QB and RBs. Terrelle Pryor was brilliant in his showing in the Rose Bowl, defeating Oregon soundly. One of the top ranked recruiting classes from two years ago should finally be ready to make a big impact in the Big Ten, as many of them are now sophomores (and some redshirted freshmen).

Jaamal Berry, Boom Herron, Jordan Hall, and Brandon Saine should all get some carries, a RB by committee instead of one undeniably starter. The defense loses five starters, but only one starter leaves the offense. Still, Jim Tressel has the talent to fill any gaps. If Pryor stays healthy, this team should be really good. Key games include September 11 vs. Miami, October 6 at Wisconsin, November 20 at Iowa, and November 27 at Michigan. Ohio State should win the Big Ten.

Should be ranked: No. 2

Predicted Record: 11-1 (A loss to either Miami, Wisconsin, or Michigan)


No. 3 Florida

No. 3 Florida has a gaping hole at QB, which used to be filled by Heisman-winning Tim Tebow for the past three-plus years but is now filled by John Brantley, a highly recruited Junior. Florida has six returning starters on both the defense and offense, all that remains of a team that made it to the SEC Championship game last year and beat Cincinnati in the Sugar Bowl.

The October 2 game at Alabama will be a deciding one for this young team. On October 9 they play LSU at home, have Georgia on October 30, and finish out the season November 27 at FSU. If UF can somehow beat Alabama and then Georgia, they could be in the national title game. FSU will be a tough last game though. Georgia will battle Florida for the best team in the SEC East.

Should be ranked: No. 4

Predicted Record: 11-1 (Losing to Alabama)

 

No. 4 Texas

No. 4 Texas is returning 13 starters from last year's national runner-up. However, they won't have star QB Colt McCoy this year. Garrett Gilbert will be the starting QB, despite limited playing time (he did play in the NCG when Colt McCoy was injured, however).

It's really a toss up right now between who's the better team, Florida or Texas. Only time will tell. Texas does have an easier schedule than Florida. October 2 vs. Oklahoma and October 16 at Nebraska should be the toughest games for Texas. If they get by those two, they'll win the Big 12 and be eyeing a NC appearance.

Should be ranked: No. 6

Predicted Record: 11-1 (Losing to Oklahoma or Nebraska)

 

No. 5 Boise State

No. 5 Boise State returns all 22 starters from an undefeated team, so they should be extremely good this year. Kellen Moore is one of the nation's most efficient QBs and some would argue one of the best, even though he is undersized. Chris Peterson is a great coach and BSU has sky high expectations this year. I think their dreams will be broken on September 6 when the Broncos face VT in a virtual home game for the Hokies.

Tyrod Taylor should do the Broncos in. If the Hokies don't get them, Boise State has a huge home game against Oregon State on September 26. I think BSU loses to VT and beats Oregon State.

Should be ranked: No. 8

Predicted Record: 11-1 (Loss to VT)

 

No. 6 Virginia Tech

No. 6 Virginia Tech only has four returning defensive starters, but they do have eight returning offensive starters, including star QB Tyrod Taylor and Ryan Williams, who should become a great RB. I think VT will beat Boise State on September 6 in DC. Facing Georgia Tech on November 4 should be a challenge but I think they can get past it. VT has Miami on November 20 and both teams could win that game. I think Miami and VT will compete for the ACC title.

Should be ranked: No. 3

Predicted Record: 12-0


No. 7 TCU

No. 7 TCU returns 16 starters from a one-loss team last year that had a stingy defense, which was one of the top in the nation. Andy Dalton is a solid QB. If they beat Oregon State on September 4, I think they'll go undefeated. Look for the Horned Frogs to win the MWC fairly easily.

Should be ranked: No. 7

Predicted Record: 12-0

 

No. 8 Oklahoma

No. 8 Oklahoma returns 14 starters, but loses Heisman-winning QB Sam Bradford. Demarco Murray will return at RB and Laundry Jones is an up-and-coming QB. Oklahoma faces FSU on September 11 for an interesting matchup. October 2 is the big game though, facing Texas in the Red River Shootout. The winner will most likely win the Big 12, and maybe even get to the NCG. I like the Sooners' chances to beat Texas, and Coach Bob Stoops seems ready to make up for last year's bad season. 

Should be ranked: No. 5

Predicted Record: 12-0


No. 9 Nebraska

No. 9 Nebraska returns 17 starters from last year's Big 12 runner-up squad. They have Zac Lee returning at QB, but the Huskers' defense lost an important piece when Ndamukong Suh left. Still, Nebraska will have a very good defense. Will their offense hold up, though? September 18 at Washington will be an interesting game, facing Jake Locker, but I think Nebraska will win it. Texas at home on October 16 is a gigantic game for the Cornhuskers, but I think they lose.

Should be ranked: No. 9

Predicted Record: 11-1 (Loss to Texas)

 

No. 10 Iowa

No. 10 Iowa returns 14 starters from last year's surprisingly good team. If Ricky Stanzi stays healthy, this team should be good. They lost Bryan Bulaga on the O-Line, which will hurt them. October 16 at Michigan, October 23 vs. Wisconsin, and November 20 vs. Ohio State will be their toughest games.

Should be ranked: No. 14

Predicted Record: 9-3 (Losses to Wisconsin, Michigan, and Ohio State)

 

USA TODAY TOP 25

1 Alabama (55) 0-0 1469
2 Ohio State (4) 0-0 1392
3 Florida 0-0 1245
4 Texas 0-0 1240
5 Boise State 0-0 1215
6 Virginia Tech 0-0 1052
7 TCU 0-0 1051
8 Oklahoma 0-0 1035
9 Nebraska 0-0 1001
10 Iowa 0-0 952
11 Oregon 0-0 940
12 Wisconsin 0-0 778
13 Miami (FL) 0-0 728
14 Penn State 0-0 508
15 Pittsburgh 0-0 492
16 LSU 0-0 476
17 Georgia Tech 0-0 455
18 North Carolina 0-0 445
19 Arkansas 0-0 438
20 Florida State 0-0 374
21 Georgia 0-0 312
22 Oregon State 0-0 263
23 Auburn 0-0 260
24 Utah 0-0 169
24 West Virginia 0-0

169

 

MY TOP 25

1. Alabama

2. Ohio State

3. Virginia Tech

4. Florida

5. Oklahoma

6. Texas

7. TCU

8. Boise State

9. Wisconsin

10. Miami

11. Nebraska

12. USC

13. Iowa

14. Oregon

15. Penn State

16. Pitt

17. LSU 

18. Georgia

19. UNC

20. FSU

21. Georgia Tech

22. WVU 

23. Oregon State

24. Arkansas

25. Auburn

 

Big Ten Champ: Ohio State

SEC: Alabama

Big 12: Oklahoma

Pac-10: USC

ACC: Virginia Tech or Miami

Big East: Pittsburgh

 

NCG: Alabama vs Virginia Tech

Rose Bowl: Ohio State vs Oregon

Sugar Bowl: Boise State vs Pitt

Orange Bowl: Miami vs Florida

Fiesta Bowl: Oklahoma vs TCU

Heisman: Tyrod Taylor

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