In anticipation of the 2008 season kicking off less than four weeks from now, I have decided to compile a list of predictions. Bash them if you want, but I'd bet that I get at least one right. Let me know where I'm completely wrong and where I may be right.
10. Georgia will not finish No. 1 in the country.
The Bulldogs will finish third in the SEC East. Florida and Tennessee will finish No. 1 and No. 2, leaving a two- or three-loss Georgia team in third place in the East. Georgia will be done in by schedule (read: travel), distractions, offensive line inexperience and most of all, the giant No. 1 target on their backs. Preseason No. 1's have a poor track record of staying there.
9. You will witness a historically close Heisman race and vote.
Tim Tebow will remain in contention, but many challengers will step up. Tebow's numbers will likely drop because of the now-deep Gator backfield. This will open the door for everyone else.
There will be no clear-cut favorite, with the likes of Jeremy Maclin, Knowshon Moreno, Chase Daniel, Sam Bradford, Percy Harvin, Beanie Wells, and a plethora of other talented offensive players out there.
8. Pittsburgh will win the Big East.
Coach Wannstedt will ride LeSean McCoy and a good defense to a BCS bowl. West Virginia will not be the team it was in 2007, and Pittsburgh will be improved. Plus, Pitt proved it could beat the Mountaineers in 2007.
7. The new clock rules will result in exciting shootouts.
As many have observed, you will see hurry-up offenses try to create mismatches. With so many talented offensive players across the country, defenses will be scrambling to get into the right coverages.
6. The new clock rules will lead to more penalties and turnovers.
The hurry-up can backfire if young QBs are given too much control of the play-calling and players are hurrying instead of huddling. Look for a lot of miscues and interceptions.
5. Florida RB Brandon James will be such a threat as a punt returner that teams will stop kicking to him by season's end.
In 2007, James was a threat to take it to the house every time he caught a punt. James will be a junior this year and should really make a leap.
4. Ohio State will beat Southern Cal to quiet all the Big Ten haters.
OSU returns many more starters than USC and will have the extra motivation of being the probable underdog on the road.
3. OSU will go on to lose a Big Ten game.
This could cripple their title chances, depending the win-loss records of other conference champs. The good news for Buckeyes' fans is they'll still hold the "tiebreaker" over a one-loss USC.
2. Appalachian State QB Armanti Edwards will get manhandled by the LSU defense.
He looked good against Michigan because the Wolverines were not ready for him. LSU is a great defensive team that will not have blinders on like Michigan. Expect Edwards to have a long night. I just hope he makes it out of Death Valley in one piece.
1. There will be FOUR one-loss teams vying for a BCS title berth.
Just imagine the mayhem.
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