Man, what I wild offseason that was. With all the conference realignment/dealignment rumors out there, it seemed like college football was the talk of the summer. Heck, ESPN even took a break from Favre Watch 2010 to report some more (wildly inaccurate) Big 10 expansion rumors from Joe Schad. So, for us college football geeks, the good news was that we had plenty to discuss all summer. The bad news was that we had plenty to discuss, but it was still only summer.
But, finally, all the talk is behind us. Everybody is ready to go and I never thought I’d be so excited to tune into Versus and the Big 10 Network. So, without further ado, here are the Cynic’s 21 fearless preseason predictions that are guaranteed to be wrong. Unless they’re right, in which case I want a cut of whatever you won in Vegas.
1. Winner Takes All
A non-BCS team will make the national championship game, but it’s not the one you think. Boise State’s title hopes will be done in week one when they lose to Virginia Tech. Meanwhile, TCU will quietly run the table and, thanks to the amazing power of poll voter inertia, magically move up the rankings to make the title game. But they’ll lose to Ohio State. (And yes, I know it’s blasphemous to pick a national title game that doesn’t have an SEC team in it.)
2. The Best of the Rest
- Rose Bowl: Oregon vs. Florida
- Orange Bowl: Miami vs. Nebraska
- Fiesta Bowl: Oklahoma vs. UConn
- Sugar Bowl: Alabama vs. Wisconsin
3. Hype Springs Eternal
With Tebow, McCoy and Bradford all finally gone, this year’s Heisman race is as wide open as ever. The finalists will be:
- Oklahoma wide receiver Ryan Broyles. Missed two games last year with a broken shoulder blade and still set the school record for receptions.
- TCU quarterback Andy Dalton. Be the top player on a team in the title game, and you get an automatic invite to New York. It’s a rule or something.
- Arkansas QB Ryan Mallett. It’s also a rule that you have to have at least one SEC player invited to the party. Mallett is the one most likely to put up the big numbers.
- Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor. The hype on Pryor is too great this year for him not to get an invite. And if tOSU runs the table, he’ll have earned it.
- Oregon RB LaMichael James or Oregon St. RB Jacquizz Rogers. Depends on whichever Oregon team has a better season.
4. This time next year, Butch Davis and Rich Rodriguez will still be involved in lawsuits against their respective schools after being fired at the end of the season, but both schools refusing to pay their buyouts, arguing they were fired for cause after running afoul of the NCAA.
5. Other BCS-conference coaches looking for a job: Dan Hawkins (Colorado), Mike Stoops (Arizona), Ron Zook (Illinois) and Tom O’Brien (North Carolina State).
6. Steve Spurrier will announce his retirement from coaching at the end of the season.
7. Lee Corso will announce his retirement at the end of the season. And will be replaced by Steve Spurrier.
8. Joe Paterno will announce he’s coming back for 2011, mainly because he wants to be in the Big 10 with “that young whippersnapper” Tom Osborne.
9. Miami head coach Randy Shannon will be a hot name rumored for a couple of NFL openings, but will ultimately stay with the Canes.
10. Western Kentucky will extend their nation’s-worst losing streak to 32 games by the end of the season.
11. Tim Tebow will be referenced at least 15 times during every Florida Gators broadcast this year. And at least 5 times in every Denver Broncos broadcast.
12. With Texas Tech athletic director Gerald Myers announcing his retirement, the “Mike Leach for AD” campaign will be in full force by the end of the season.
13. USC will find a half-eaten cheese sandwich that Reggie Bush accidentally left behind in 2004. They will send it back.
14. At least 5 walk-ons will start for North Carolina this season. Because everyone else has been suspended.
How many times did I tell you not to Tweet about going to your agent’s stripper parties while your tutor wrote your term papers for you?
15. Joe Schad will report something that is actually true. (Hey, it’s gotta happen eventually, right?)
16. People will make 54,376,232 jokes about the Big 12 having 10 teams and the Big 10 having 12. And they’ll think they’re being funny every time. And they’ll be wrong every time.
17. Since Jeremiah Masoli was ruled ineligible, Ole Miss coach Huston Nutt will go after other soldiers-for-hire. But the Rebels will still finish last in the SEC West.
18. Virginia Tech will upset Boise State in Week One. Tyrod Taylor will jump to the top of the Heisman watch lists. And then Virginia Tech will then gift wrap the ACC title for Miami with the same two inexplicable conference losses the Hokies always seem to manage.
19. Top 25 team (not named North Carolina) most likely to tank this season: #19 Penn State. A freshman QB, a suspect offensive line and road trips to Alabama, Iowa and Ohio State are not good omens.
20. Unranked team most likely to join the party: You heard it here first, Connecticut will win the Big East.
21. Player most likely to be benched at least three times this season: South Carolina QB Stephen Garcia
A couple of random notes:
Biggest Badass: Miami DE Allen Bailey. The man once killed an alligator. With a shovel. So he could eat it.
Best Name: Nebraska CB Prince Amukamara