Prepping For Kickoff: Tim's College Preseason Predictions For 2009

Tim Bielik@bielik_timSenior Analyst IAugust 6, 2009

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 13:  Terrelle Pryor #2 of the Ohio State Buckeyes runs the ball against the USC Trojans during the college football game at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on September 13, 2008 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

As we kick off fall camps all across the country, all the hype now becomes reality and the prognosticators will either be right or very wrong.

With so many debates thrown around about the best in the country, here are my August preseason awards:

Best subconference: Big XII South

This part of the nation is very much loaded. Oklahoma and Texas are consensus top five teams, and Oklahoma State is considered a darkhorse this season.

Texas Tech may be down, but will still be very tough to stop.

All things considered, it's hard to think of a division that is four-deep in possible conference championship contenders.

Not to mention three of the best triggermen reside in the South in Colt McCoy, Sam Bradford, and Zac Robinson.

Props also go to the SEC West, loaded with Alabama, LSU, and Ole Miss, all of whom are capable of SEC titles this season.

Most intriguing nonconference matchup: Ohio State vs USC

A rematch between these two powerhouses in Columbus should be a more even outcome, and is at this point a tossup.

But OSU has alot of motivation going into this game, with the pride of the Big Ten at stake and the stigma of not beating the good teams lately.

USC doesn't get off easy either, replacing their entire starting LB corps, although most of the replacements were high-school blue chip prospects.

The Trojans have not been in an atmosphere like the Horseshoe, but Pete Carroll will have his troops and his new QB, whether it is Corp or Barkley, ready to play.

The honorable mention belongs to Alabama vs. Virginia Tech.

The Tide had dismantled Clemson a year ago, and will now test their skills against the defending two-time ACC Champions.

Coach under the most pressure: Charlie Weis, Notre Dame

In the third year of the Jimmy Clausen era, Notre Dame might have their most talented roster since Brady Quinn graduated.

Weis has only one bowl win in his tenure in South Bend, but now he is under alot of pressure. With multiple, deep recruiting classes, he has to put a winning product on the field for a program with probably the richest history in football.

The Irish have not been very relevant this decade, and Weis's time is short if he can't win.

Because if he doesn't, Irish fans and alumni will be calling Urban Meyer's phone and begging for him to make the long drive north.

Runner up goes to Houston Nutt of Ole Miss, who is dealing with amazing expectations for a program that broke out in 2008.

He has to find a way to keep his players hungry and fighting hard in the difficult SEC West.

Major conference team ready for a BCS Game: Oregon Ducks

In the past two years, Mike Belotti has led a very talented Oregon Ducks team to consecutive nine-win seasons and bowl game wins.

With Belotti moving up to AD and Chip Kelly taking control, the team of a thousand uniforms has a great chance at a BCS berth.

Jeremiah Masoli leads the potent spread attack for another season and a schedule which brings Cal, Utah, and USC all to Autzen Stadium.

If the Ducks stay healthy, expect this group to break into the BCS as most likely the second team out of the Pac 10.

Other possibility would the the Ramblin' Wreck from Georgia Tech. With better athletes more suited to coach Paul Johnson's system in Atlanta, look for the triple option to be more effective.

This was a team last year that beat Florida State, Clemson in Death Valley, and Georgia in Athens.

The unusual nature of this offense makes it hard to stop, and could put the Jackets in line to shock people on the way to the BCS.

Team most likely to disappoint: Oklahoma State Cowboys

As good as their combination of Zac Robinson, Kendall Hunter, and Dez Bryant are, the Cowboys will have a tough time winning the Big XII and getting into the BCS.

The season begins with a blockbuster matchup against SEC power Georgia, and ends in Norman against Oklahoma.

No doubt the grind of the Big XII schedule is pretty rigorous, but so is dealing with the kind of expectations the Cowboys are facing.

They are a consensus top-10 preseason team (take preseason polls for what they're worth), and have great aspirations from people in Stillwater.

The true mark of an elite team is not how well they do one season, but how they respond the year after.

If OK State has another good season, their image will grow even more quickly and go another step on their way to being another national powerhouse.

The other likely candidate for this award would be Penn State. Losing an entire starting WR corps will hurt the flow of the Spread HD along with losses in the secondary.

Even though the Buckeyes come to Happy Valley, don't expect anyone to sleep on the Lions this season.


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