Because football is less than a week away, I thought I’d make my predictions for the conference champions and the BCS games.
SEC: Alabama over South Carolina; Last year I correctly predicted Alabama beating Georgia. This year my reasoning is the mostly the same. Neither South Carolina nor Georgia has to play Alabama this year, but Georgia has to host LSU. I believe Georgia will be very good once again with Sr. QB Aaron Murray at the helm. But it is hard to overlook Jadaveon Clowney and South Carolina. QB Connor Shaw also showed great improvement last year and should be good this year. That being said, Alabama is still the team to beat. AJ McCarron has won two consecutive National Championships with Alabama and hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down. This should be another good year for Alabama.
Big 10: Ohio State over Nebraska; Last year Ohio State went undefeated but was unable to play in the Big 10 championship game or a bowl game. This year they can. QB Braxton Miller has shown some amazing skill and should continue to be a leader. Urban Meyer is also a proven coach. The Buckeyes also have a relatively easy schedule except for Michigan. I see Ohio State losing one or two games. Nebraska also has an easy schedule. The reason I don’t have Michigan in this game is because they have a much harder schedule. They might be one of the best teams in the Big 10 but they have a much tougher road.
Big 12: Oklahoma State; I think this might be a down year for the Big 12. The teams in the conference are a little more evenly matched, so the conference games should be harder to win. Oklahoma State looks the best to me. This year’s Big 12 could provide us with some really good games.
ACC: Clemson over Virginia Tech; I think this will finally be Clemson’s year to shine. Though they have to start the season with Georgia, they play in Death Valley. They also play Florida State at home. Their final test is South Carolina in Columbia. Clemson has a harder SEC East schedule than 5 of the SEC West teams. If Clemson can beat Florida State, I have no doubt they will win the Atlantic division. The Coastal division was a little harder to pick. I chose VT over Miami because Miami has to play at Florida State and VT doesn’t play them. The winner of this division will probably be decided in the Nov 9th game in Miami. I pick Clemson over VT and if Miami makes it, I would still pick Clemson.
Pac12: Stanford over Arizona State; The Pac 12 looks great this year. It is very hard to pick a winner for the North. Both Oregon and Stanford have shown great talent and skill. But, Oregon lost Chip Kelly to the NFL. Stanford HC David Shaw has been able to keep his team at the top of the Pac 12. Stanford gets both Oregon and Notre Dame at home this year. I believe they have the chance to go undefeated. The South does not look as good. It would be hard for USC to do worse than last year. I think Arizona State has a chance to overtake USC this year. But Stanford shouldn’t have much of a problem with ASU either time they play.
AAC: Louisville; Louisville should once again win their conference and go to a BCS bowl game. This year they are in the AAC, or “The American”. I don’t believe anyone in this conference will really be able to challenge the Cardinals. They might be ranked #9, but they don’t play any other teams currently ranked in the top 25. They also have one of the toughest QBs in Teddy Bridgewater. This Louisville team has a good chance of going undefeated. Cincinnati might be their toughest opponent.
MWC: Boise State over Fresno State; This should be another good year for Boise State. The MWC has not been a power (except for Boise State) in recent years. I would be huge if Boise State didn’t win this conference in a landslide. The Broncos might go undefeated this year, and possibly make it to a BCS game, but they have no strong teams on their schedule.
CUSA: Tulsa over Marshall; This conference might have the ability to pull some big upsets this year. These teams could go either way. If they are underestimated they could cause problems. They could also be overvalued and make predictions hard. I am picking Tulsa to win the conference because they are usually pretty good and went 11-3 last year. Their biggest challenge will be Oklahoma.
MAC: Northern Illinois over Ohio; NIU has been very good in the last couple of years. QB Jordan Lynch has shown great ability at his position. The Huskies made it to the Orange Bowl last year but got beat by Florida State 31-10. NIU should once again have a great season with only one or two losses. I don’t think they will make it to a BCS bowl again, but they should be pretty good. Ohio has to start off the season at Louisville. After this, the Bobcats and their QB Tyler Tettleton should have a good year. Last year, Ohio blew out ULM in the Independence Bowl 45-14. This year should continue the success the Bobcats have been having in the past seasons.
Sun Belt: ULM In my opinion, the Sun Belt Conference is underrated. At least it was last year. A few of these teams have given major schools a run for their money. ULM beat Arkansas last year, and lost to Auburn and Baylor by a combined 8 points. QB Kolton Browning is also a major plus for the Warhawks. ULM opens the season at 16th ranked Oklahoma. It might not be a close game, but ULM won’t go down easy. Their biggest challenges should be ULL and WKU(with new coach Bobby Petrino). I see ULM improving from last year.
And now for the BCS… Last year I picked 5 teams that made it to the BCS, and I picked FSU to win the Orange Bowl, over Louisville instead of NIU, but I did manage to put Louisville in the BCS. If I pick six teams that make it to the BCS I’ll be happy.
Rose Bowl: Ohio State over Oregon
Fiesta Bowl: Oklahoma State over Nebraska
Sugar Bowl: Texas A&M over Notre Dame
Orange Bowl: Clemson over Louisville
BCS National Championship: 1Alabama over 2Stanford
Wow… This could be an interesting season.