50 Bold College Football Predictions for 2009, No. 1-10

Charles WelchCorrespondent IJuly 24, 2009

MIAMI - JANUARY 08:  Head coach Urban Meyer of the Florida Gators walks on the sidelines against the Oklahoma Sooners during the FedEx BCS National Championship Game at Dolphin Stadium on January 8, 2009 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/Getty Images

1) The Florida Gators will not win the national title. The Gators have won two of the last three BCS national championships, and are odds on favorites to win it again this year. SEC East champs yes. Overall SEC champs most likely. Three out of four national championships however, might be too much to ask for Gators fans.

2) Notre Dame will win at least nine regular season games in 2009. USC, Pitt or Boston College, and possibly one of their Big Ten opponents are the only teams on the schedule equipped to compete and defeat the Irish. While a BCS game is no guarantee, it is a reasonable expectation for Charlie Weis' team.

3) USC will start a true freshman at quarterback in Matt Barkely, and win a total of at least 11, but lose another conference game that it shouldn't. The Trojans will also make another "trip" to Pasadena, where they will defeat another Big Ten school by at least two touchdowns, thus fueling the national skepticism of the Big Ten.

4) Ohio State won't defeat USC in September. In my original prediction for OSU's season, I actually had them earning a win. Although this game is in Columbus, and sophomore phenom Terrelle Pryor could keep it very competitive, USC will prevail. Consolation for Buckeyes fans: they'll contend for the Big Ten title and probably get a sixth-straight victory over Michigan.

5) The Big XII South will send a team to the national championship game for a second consecutive season. Last year, Oklahoma was the representative despite losing to the Texas Longhorns 45-35. This year will follow suit with the winner of the Red River Shootout making the trip to the title game. Most likely it will be Texas.

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6) Boise State will have another undefeated regular season and get an invitation to a BCS game against the Big East champion. Boise State will get the victory behind the arm of Kellen Moore, who completed 69.4 percent of his throws in 2008 for 3,486 yards. A 13-0 record for the Broncos will have BCS critics complaining again about the system.

7) The ACC will actually get a lot of recognition this year as a "power" conference. This has been a conference noted for having several good teams, but no great teams. That perception will change this season with Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, and the Miami Hurricanes all being very strong teams within the same division. FSU, N.C. State, Wake Forest, Clemson, and Boston College aren't bad either.

8) Both Oregon teams will be a serious factor in the Pac 10 this season. Oregon will lose it's opener at Boise State but has Utah, Cal, USC and Oregon State in Eugene. This is a potentially 10-plus win team with BCS potential, but they won't have much room to lose in their last 11 games. Oregon State has Jaquizz Rodgers at RB but has the toughest sled in the conference with USC, Cal, and Oregon all coming on the road!

9) The Big East will be a three-team race between Pitt, Rutgers and South Florida, most likely decided in Piscataway or in Pittsburgh. West Virginia will again be held to an eight-win regular season at best. Matt Grothe is the most experienced QB among the top three teams in the conference, which definitely could play a role in the final standings.

10) The Baylor Bears will provide at least one major upset this year with Robert Griffin having a standout season. Baylor will become bowl eligible for the first time in a long time, and Griffin is a huge part of the equation. Baylor will also finish 4-4 in the Big XII, no longer a bottom dweller in the conference.