I usually do this at the end of the season, but that’s too far away and I wouldn’t get the chance to make any midseason predictions.Right before the season, I made my predictions on conference champions and BCS bowl games. I fully understood I would most likely be wrong, but if I didn’t post any, I would have no evidence if I ended up being right. I’ll start with the conference championships.
My Pick: Alabama over South Carolina
This one looks pretty good. I still think Alabama is going to win the West and beat whoever comes out of the East. The surprise of the conference is Missouri. The Tigers are currently 7-0 and 3-0 in the SEC. They play South Carolina this weekend then have Tennessee, @Kentucky, @Ole Miss and finally Texas A&M. That won’t be easy, but they only have one East rival on the road. If Mizzou is able to beat South Carolina, they will probably win the SEC East and face Alabama. If South Carolina can pull the upset, they only have 2 more SEC games, and both are at home (Florida and Mississippi State). These are both winnable games, and with Georgia going downhill, South Carolina still has a chance. This week’s game between South Carolina and Missouri is probably the game to determine the winner of the Eastern division.
Outlook: This preseason pick still has a chance of being right.
My Pick: Ohio State over Nebraska
Much like my SEC prediction, I am satisfied with this pick so far. Ohio State is almost a lock to win the Leaders division, and Nebraska is in second place in the Legends division behind Michigan and Michigan State. Nebraska has been playing pretty well this season, but I’m not sure that they will be able to pass Michigan in the standings. I am confident that Ohio State will win the conference, anything less would be a surprise.
Outlook: I give this the about the same chance as my SEC prediction.
My Pick: Oklahoma State
Well, this one is not looking too good. While it is not impossible for Oklahoma State to win the conference, it is highly unlikely. Oklahoma State still has to play @Texas Tech, @Texas, Baylor and Oklahoma this season. From what I have seen of the Cowboys, they might win one of those games, and thats a big might. But, I’ve been proven wrong before. At the moment, I like Baylor to win the conference with Texas Tech a close second.
Outlook: There is still a chance, but a very, very small one.
My Pick: Clemson over Virginia Tech
Florida State decided showed me that picking Clemson was a bad idea. I give myself next to no chance of picking this conference correctly. BUT, Virginia Tech is leading the Coastal Division, so I have a chance to get this pick half right. But Miami is second in that division and might be able to overtake the Hokies. Clemson should come in second in the ACC Atlantic division. Florida State will probably win the conference, but they have to get by NC State this week, and that didn’t work too good for them last year.
Outlook: Slim to none chance that I picked the winner, but a chance I picked the loser.
My Pick: Stanford over Arizona State
When I was doing research for my preseason picks, I originally picked Oregon to win the Pac 12 and play Alabama in the national championship. Then I remembered they had a new coach and thought they wouldn’t be as explosive. I wish I never remembered they had a new coach. But, Stanford is having a great year and Oregon has to come to them. That is the biggest game remaining for both teams. I am going to pat myself on the back for picking Arizona State. They have been great this year and I think they have the best chance to win the Pac 12 South. They do have to go to UCLA, but based on what they did to Washington, I’m not too worried. But the game everyone is waiting for happens on November 7. That might decide the winner of the Pac 12.
Outlook: I still think I have a decent chance at getting this correct. It all depends on the Oregon Stanford game.
My Pick: Louisville
We all saw Louisville get beat by UCF, but I don’t think that is going to mean the end of the Cardinals chances at winning the conference or going to the BCS. It hurts the chances because of how good UCF is playing, but I still consider Louisville the favorite. If Louisville can win out and get some help from maybe Rutgers or Houston, they can still win the conference and go to a major bowl game.
Outlook: Still pretty good, it will depend on how Louisville responds to loss.
My Pick: Boise State over Fresno State
Fresno State has been awesome this year. The two have already faced each other and it came down to the wire with FSU winning 41-40. I think there is no question that these two teams will meet in the conference championship game. I would give the edge to Fresno State based on how well they have played this year, but Boise State could upset the hopeful BCS busters. I wish I had originally picked Fresno State to win, but who knows? I might end up being right.
Outlook: Quite possible. I would be shocked if any team besides these two made it to the championship.
My Pick: Tulsa over Marshall
Apparently I don’t know much about Conference USA… Tulsa is 2-4 and 1-1 in the conference. But, they could come out and win in conference still. Right? Marshall is leading their division and is currently 4-2 and 2-0 in conference play. I’m not going to give up on my picks just yet, neither of these teams have played more than 2 conference games, so it is very hard to tell how good they will be. I think Marshall will make the conference championship, but Tulsa might have a tough ride. Rice is currently leading the West division, and Tulsa is in the middle.
Outlook: Not too good, but still a chance. Neither team has really gotten into conference play.
My Pick: Northern Illinois over Ohio
Time for some MACtion! (That is one of my favorite words that has to do with college football, second only to “trickeration”.) Northern Illinois is once again having a very good year. They are ranked 18 in the first BCS poll and are undefeated. They are getting challenged by Ball State for the division title. Ohio is currently 2nd in the East behind Bowling Green and Buffalo. I am confident in this prediction because of the QBs leading these two teams. Jordan Lynch(NIU) and Tyler Tettleton(Ohio) are both seniors this season. Each have brought success to their respective programs and I would love to see them face off for the chance at a conference championship.
Outlook: I like this pick and think I have a pretty good chance at being right.
My Pick: ULM
My poor, poor Kolton Browning. Out for the season. Without him, ULM does not have a chance to win the Sun Belt. After taking down 8th ranked Arkansas in Little Rock last season, ULM has been unable to notch another big win. But, you know who is leading the Sun Belt? Louisiana-Lafayette. You know who beat those rowdy Rajun Cajuns? Thats right! ARKANSAS! (Let me have my moment.) Who did ULL beat? WKU (Bobby Petrino) and Arkansas State. I’m just saying. ULL has the best chance at winning this conference, and I would be a little surprised if they didn’t win out and finish the season 10-2.
Outlook: Not even a little chance.
Now on to the BCS games:
My Pick: Ohio State over Oregon
I think Ohio State will end up here or in the national championship game. I’m leaning toward the Rose Bowl because I think Oregon or Stanford (whichever one wins the Pac 12) will play Alabama in the championship. I think this is a solid pick given how the year has gone so far for these teams. Both of these teams have a good chance to go to the title game, and I think that would be the only reason they would’t play in this game. But, if this were the matchup, knowing what I know now, I would pick Oregon to win. Ohio State is a good team but Oregon might have more firepower.
Outlook: I think these teams have a good chance of making it, but I would now pick Oregon to win.
My Pick: Oklahoma State over Nebraska
I don’t think Oklahoma State will be able to make it to a BCS game the way they have been playing. Though they only have one loss so far, they have an extremely difficult schedule the rest of the season. I don’t see them winning too many more. Nebraska on the other hand has a chance to make the BCS if they can continue to win. They will have to be ranked in the top 14 to get this at-large bid. It is going to be difficult for either of these teams to make a BCS game.
Outlook: I don’t have high hopes for this prediction.
My Pick: Texas A&M over Notre Dame
I don’t think either of these teams makes it to a BCS game. Both already have two losses and Notre Dame is not ranked. Texas A&M does not have a strong defense and it is starting to show. If the Aggies can’t fix this problem, they are going to have a tough time against Missouri and LSU. Notre Dame still has to play BYU and Stanford this year. I think A&M will make it to a good bowl like the Cotton or Capital One, but not a BCS bowl. Notre Dame will also make a bowl, but not a major one. I think Missouri will be the SEC team that makes the game and then a team like Northern Illinois or Fresno State.
Outlook: Not good. I don’t think either of these teams can make a BCS game.
My Pick: Clemson over Louisville
I don’t think Clemson will make it to this bowl, and maybe not even a BCS bowl. I still think Louisville will win the AAC and earn an automatic bid into this game. Last year, Louisville was given a shot at the BCS and took down Florida. I see Florida State winning the ACC, but they will not have a tough enough schedule to stay at 2 in the polls. This will put the Seminoles in this game to face the Cardinals. If that is the case, I am going to pick Florida State to win. But I wouldn’t count out Louisville.
Outlook: I think Louisville will be in this game and will lose to Florida State rather than Clemson.
My Pick: 1Alabama over 2Stanford
It all comes down to who wins the Stanford Oregon game. I think the winner will go to the BCS championship game to play the Crimson Tide. Either way, I’m picking the Tide. I’m pretty sure I’d pick them if you put any of the other 123 FBS teams against them. They have not given me a reason to doubt them so far, so I’m going to stick with them. It would be exciting to see Oregon’s explosive offense face off against the Alabama defense, and I’d like to see if Stanford could hold their own with the Tide. But like I said, whether it’s Stanford, Oregon, Florida State, Ohio State or Baylor, I would pick Alabama to win it all, for the 3rd time in a row, 4th time in 5 years and 8th straight for the SEC to end the BCS era of college football.
Outlook: I’m not disappointed with this pick at all, and think it is still plausible.
Overall, I am ok with my picks at this halfway point in the season. When we get weeks like last week, you realize how easy it is for the status quo to change within a conference. We are still only halfway through the season, I’m sure there is much more chaos and drama ahead of us.