2011 College Football Preview: 5 Bold Predictions
Now that the NCAA football recruits have all picked new homes, predictions can begin.
NCAA football has one of the longer off-seasons in any sport, college or professional. The immense amount of time between seasons leaves more time for off-season preparations and activities.
This also means that people have more out-of-game information to examine.
More speculation ensues.
Preseason rankings and scouting reports flood the web, as people surf around looking for intricate details regarding their favorite team and its opponents.
In the very early stages, here are five predictions as to what the 2011 college football scene might offer.
1. 'The U' Returns To Prominence
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The Miami Hurricanes have been away from the top for too long.
A devastating loss to the Ohio State Buckeye in the 2002 National Championship game sent the Hurricanes spiraling in the wrong direction.
The year before, they sported one of the best teams in the history of college football and if it wasn't for a controversial call in the Buckeyes game, the story could be completely different.
Last season's result and their overall recruiting don't show any signs of a turnaround sticking out. It's tough to keep the best programs down for too long.
Miami will win 10 games this season—maybe more.
2. Alabama Turns The Tide On Auburn
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Last year, the Auburn Tigers knocked off the Alabama Crimson Tide by a single point.
This was not the first loss for the Tide since their National Championship, however. They had lost twice previously and were not contending for a title bid. Still, the road for Auburn went through Alabama.
These bitter rivals don't take losing to each other well.
This year, the Tigers won't have Cam Newton or Nick Fairley. The Tide will be without Mark Ingram and Greg McElroy.
Alabama brought in the second best recruiting class, just ahead of Auburn (according to ESPN Football Recruiting).
On Nov. 26, 2011, Alabama will defeat Auburn 27-20
3. Oregon Will Return To The National Championship And Win
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The Oregon Ducks were three points shy of Auburn when the game clock expired.
Unlike Auburn, Oregon keeps its starting quarterback in Darron Thomas. They also keep LaMichael James.
The Ducks have added two speedy wide receivers to try to spread out the field a little. Devon Blackmon and Tacoi Sumler will give Thomas more options and allow the scary Oregon offense to get even better.
Although their recruits as a whole only earned the Ducks the 14th ranked draft class, they targeted an important need.
The Ducks are set to become mighty and take control of the country.
4. LaMichael James Will Beat Out Andrew Luck For The Heisman Trophy
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If Andrew Luck remained at Stanford for another year so he could capture a Heisman trophy, he made a mistake.
Although that's not the case, LaMichael James will edge out Luck for the Heisman on his way to a National Championship.
Luck could have possibly been the No. 1 pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, but he chose to remain a Cardinal after completing a startling 70.7 percent of his passes in 2010.
James will run amok with the new additions at wideout for the Ducks.
He'll run to the two biggest trophies college football has to offer.
5. TCU Will Lose A Game Before They Enter The Big East
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This may not be as bold as some of the other choices, but I believe the TCU Horned Frogs will suffer their first loss since they lost to Boise State in the 2010 Fiesta Bowl.
This loss comes the year before they will join the Big East, but it will take the wind from their sails in their effort to make the National Championship.
One loss for the Horned Frogs is too many as a part of the MWC.
Don't be surprised if the loss is to Baylor, who TCU crushed 45-10 last season. Nerves will get to the Frogs, who went with yet another buttercup non-conference schedule.
If Baylor doesn't get the job done, Boise State will.