Seven Bets Not to Make This College Football Season

Shaun AhmadSenior Analyst IAugust 14, 2008

Why a strange number like seven?  Everyone does 10.  By giving you seven bets not to make, I give you three fewer reasons to rip this list to pieces.

Without further ado...

1. Don’t bet on Georgia showing up for the National Title Game.

The Bulldogs are a great team.  I love their roster top to bottom.

What I don’t like at all is their schedule.  Road games at South Carolina, Arizona State, LSU, Kentucky, and Auburn, in addition to home bouts against Florida and Tennessee, will do the Bulldogs in.  Great team, terrible schedule.

2. Don’t bet on Virginia Tech running the table, despite their cake schedule.

This one is going to get me killed by fellow friends and alumni.  The Hokies have a ridiculously easy schedule this season.  Their toughest game is a tossup between at Nebraska or at Florida State.  Other than that, they play the likes of Furman, Western Kentucky, Maryland, and Duke.

So why won't they go 12-0?  They return only 10 starters, have completely new receivers, a brewing controversy at quarterback, and a mediocre (at best) offense.  Plus they like to choke in November, so don’t get too excited if they start off 8-0.  I’ve seen that script before and it doesn’t end well.  Trust me.

3. Don’t bet on USC beating Ohio State, despite playing at home.

USC quarterback Mark Sanchez will be coming back from the knee injury and will be facing one of the toughest defenses in the country.  Ohio State is returning 20 starters from last season and is primed to show up again in the BCS title game.  I just gagged a little thinking about that.  No, I gagged a lot.

4. Don’t bet on the SEC being represented in the title game.

Without a doubt, the SEC is the best conference in the country.  Anyone who argues that is delusional and not in touch with reality.  However, being the best could end up hurting them, as teams will eliminate themselves from national title contention courtesy of their brutal head to head matchups.  I like seeing SEC teams in title games, personally, but I don’t foresee that happening this year.

5. Don’t bet on Missouri not being in the title game.

I didn’t know how to word that one, obviously.  What I’m saying is, I think Missouri is going to be playing for the title when it’s all said and done.  Chase Daniels is a solid leader, and the Tigers’ schedule isn’t as brutal as those of SEC teams.

A road matchup with Texas on Oct. 18 could determine how likely this bet is to come true.  If the Tigers can pull that one out, I don’t see them losing the rest of the way, and I have them on a collision course with Ohio State. 

6. Don’t bet on Penn State losing more than two games.

The Nittany Lions return 20 starters, just like Ohio State.  Ironically enough, one of the teams I have them losing to is Ohio State, in Columbus on Oct. 25.  The other is at Wisconsin.  Vegas has the over/under win total set to 8.5 for Penn State.  Take the over.

7. Don’t bet on Notre Dame missing a bowl game.

The Irish return 18 starters this year and have a favorable schedule with their two toughest games being at Michigan State and at USC.  Though they will drop both of those, I see the Irish winning nine out of their 12 games, including (drumroll…) a Week Two win against Michigan.  Call me crazy.  I probably am.

There you have it.  To recap, I picked the school I graduated from (Virginia Tech) to choke, I have the Ohio State Buckeyes in the title game for a third straight year, and I picked Notre Dame and the awfully annoying Jimmy Clausen to have a good season.  Shoot me now.