Predictions for the 2011 College Football Season

Alex FergusonSenior Analyst IIAugust 31, 2011

MADISON, WI - OCTOBER 16: Student fans of the Wisconsin Badgers make the 'W' sign with their hands before a game against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Camp Randall Stadium on October 16, 2010 in Madison, Wisconsin. Wisconsin defeated Ohio State 31-18. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

1. Wisconsin - with Montee Ball as running back, will win the Big Ten despite the fact that everyone's talking up the likes of Nebraska. Ohio State and Michigan will be the dark horses for the division—although everyone's eyes about the Big Ten is going to be on Penn State's Week 2 match-up with Alabama. The favourites have Alabama as a nailed-on favourite. Sadly, we'd tend to agree.

2. Oregon - not helped by losing cornerback/punt returner Cliff Harris to suspension, will lose to LSU on the opening day of the season in an absolute classic. Everyone's talking up the speed on Oregon's offense and speedy diminutive running back LaMichael James, but they don't have an offensive line that can deal with LSU's defence, which is as solid as they come. Plus, and here's the kicker, LSU might be without quarterback Jordan Jefferson (also due to suspension), LSU's solid running game are going absolutely pound Oregon's defence and not give the offense the chance to get on the field. Oregon might be able to score quickly, but LSU is pretty darn good too. Maybe that's because both teams are No.4 and No.5 in the nation.

3. Saying all of this, Oregon will win the Pac-12 and earn a spot in the Rose Bowl. Here's the reason: They are the best team in the league. However, USC's a very, very good dark horse and QB Matt Barkley's going to be a solid NFL player. Plus, their cheerleaders have already got the National Championship sewn up!

4. Oklahoma will win the Big XII. Landry Jones is a great quarterback, and Ryan Broyles is going to punish every defence he plays at wide receiver. Yes kids, he's that good.

TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 26:  Head coach Gene Chizik of the Auburn Tigers is congratulated by head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide after the Tigers 28-27 win at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 26, 2010 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kev
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5. Now that Miami has been beset by problems, we think it's going to be Florida State who win the ACC this year, beating Virginia Tech in the title game.

6. For those of you who care about the Big East in anything other than basketball, West Virginia will win the conference. So there you go.

7. College football will be completely disrupted by Texas A&M's decision to go to the SEC. Texas A&M's move to the SEC continues some seismic shifts in college football that at the end of the day, creates some super conferences that no-one will enjoy. Why? It's all about the TV money, stupid. Frankly, we're stunned that the SEC would take Texas A&M because we think they would be a pretty forgettable SEC player with a TV market (ie: teams that are interested) who cares about Texas A&M Football. If we're honest, Texas is the biggest team in Texas. Texas will then announce a decision to play Notre Dame on Thanksgiving, screwing up one of the best rivalry games of Thanksgiving weekend.

8. Speaking of the SEC, the competition continues to be absolutely outrageous in football's best conference. We know that people don't like us saying it (we were accused of 'drinking the Kool-Aid' by a writer we know after a pro-SEC article written for Sky, but it's still the most competitive conference—if you ignore Vanderbilt, Kentucky and (this year) Ole Miss, who are going to be forgettable. Anyway, in the SEC East we think South Carolina—despite losing to Georgia (on the second week of the season) because they'll beat Florida and Florida (once again) will beat Georgia in the "Biggest Cocktail Party In The World". In the SEC West, it's not easy to choose between Alabama, LSU and dark horse Mississippi State (we still can't believe we're saying this). Auburn won't compete for a title (after losing Cameron Newton to the NFL this year), but they'll be competitive. We're going with Alabama because their talented running back, Trent Richardson and their defensive talent is absolutely frightening. Plus, Nick Saban (or 'Satan', as he's known in some college football circles), is one of the best coaches in the sport.

9. Winning the SEC will be Alabama. That'll make sure Alabama goes to the National Championship Game.

10. Alabama will play Oklahoma in the National Title Game...and beat them.