10 Bold but Plausible Predictions for the 2011 NCAA College Football Season
We're coming down to the last weeks before fall classes start and it's time for everyone's favorite all—American sport; football. EA Sports' NCAA Football 12 was released last week which helps soften some of the summer sports apathy but fans are ready to get back into the swing of football season. So to jump start the college football spirit here are 10 bold but plausible predictions for the 2011 College Football Season.
Remember these aren't predictions I definitively believe will happen, they're just some bold predictions that have some evidence that they could happen.
10. Notre Dame Will Return to National Prominence
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In year two under coach Brian Kelly; the Fighting Irish will build upon their strong finish at the end of last season with some much improved defense. Notre Dame will put together a 10 win season and will play and win a new year's day or later game.
A tough schedule this season as well as some need for maturity at key positions will keep the Irish out of the title game this year but the team looks poised to make a run at their first title in over 20 years next season.
9. The NCAA Will Hit Ohio State with More Sanctions
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Poor Luke Fickell. The man is probably going to make a great head coach one day. However, that's not going to happen at The (who else is tired of that?) Ohio State University.
After the Reggie Bush fiasco, look for the the NCAA to hit OSU with the same level or more severe sanctions then the ones they levied against USC. And if they don't then expect immediate backlash from fans and the media.
8. More Scandals Will Be Revealed
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Until the NCAA stomps down its foot and hard, some universities will continue to find ways to sneak around the governing body to grab recruits. While some players will continue to reap illegal rewards and void their amateurism.
After a busy 2010 season and 2011 off season many more scandals will be brought to light. Let's just pray that it won't ruin college football.
7. A Team from the SEC Will Not Win the National Championship
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I expect a ton of backlash on this. Especially since the SEC has dominated the football landscape for the past five years
But it's time that the other conferences in the FBS step up their game. I don't expect a single SEC team to finish the season undefeated which will be what costs them the title game.
6. Texas Will Bounce Back from Their 5-7 Finish
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After the worst season (by far) in the Mack Brown Era, 2011 will see the Longhorns return to form after an impressive recruiting class and some coaching changes.
Texas still has a way to go before it's back in championship form but with recruits like Malcom Brown it's hard to see these guys staying down for long.
5. A Player from Boise State Will Win the Heisman
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Boise State has one of the best backfields in the country and two legitimate Heisman contenders with players Doug Martin and Kellen Moore.
Moore finished fourth in Heisman voting last season and has been turning heads with his incredible composure since he was a redshirt freshman. He will definitely be looking to cap his college career with some hardware.
Martin has been placed on the Maxwell award preseason watch list after rushing for a career high 1,260 yards last season. Martin is also a redshirt senior and will do some damage before he leave Boise State for good.
4. The Big East Will Yet Again Lack a "Great" Team
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The Big East's best will still fail in comparison to the champion's of the other conferences. After UCONN failed to even compete against Oklahoma in last season's fiesta bowl the Big L(East) many doubted the conference's automatic bid into a BCS game.
Unfortunately the conference will have to sit and wait the arrival of TCU before they have a real BCS Contender.
3. Nebraska Will Win the Big Ten in Its First Year
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The Cornhuskers are always going to yield a talented football team and the 2011 season will be no different. Taylor Martinez is a playmaker and will only continue to develop under Bo Pelini and will probably be a Heisman contender in years to come.
For now Martinez and the Huskers will have to settle on winning the first ever Big 10 (12) championship game.
Unfortunately for the Huskers it's something they just couldn't do for the last decade in the Big 12, giving some credit to those who say the Big Ten is weak.
2. Stanford Will Win the PAC-12
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When you have a quarterback named Andrew Luck your team will always have a chance to win any game they play in. Stanford may have lost their head coach and some key players but this is still a team that is incredibly dangerous. Heck they were one second half letdown away from playing in the national title game last season.
It will be tough going in the first season of the newly formed PAC 12 but the Cardinal will prove that they can still win without Jim Harbaugh. All because they have Luck on their side.
1. Boise State Will Play for and Win the National Title
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Yet again another prediction where I expect a lot of backlash but hear me out. The Broncos are set up for a storybook miracle season that movies are made of. With 16 projected senior starters this season and some motivation from last year's near miss at a BCS game Boise will be poised for yet another undefeated season.
It's hard to believe that the BCS will overlook the Bronco's third undefeated regular season in four years. Especially if there is not an undefeated SEC team or there is only one other undefeated team in FBS (Likely Oklahoma or Stanford).
If Boise gets left out again for one loss teams then College football fans across will yet again be disappointed and call for a playoff that will, unfortunately, never come.