2010-11 College Football Predictions
by Trevor Whenham - 9/1/2010
We are, as I write this, within 24 hours of kickoff of the first game of the college football season. I can’t begin to tell you how excited that makes me. Though I would be far more accurate with my college football predictions if I waited until the season started - or ended - before making them, but that’s not sporting. Here, then, are 10 predictions I feel reasonably good about heading into this season:
1. Ohio State will not win the national championship - This partly because I hate them more than anything. More than that, though, I just don’t believe that Terrelle Pryor is consistent enough to lead a team that needs him to be very good all the way to the promised land.
2. Boise State will be undefeated - I keep hearing how they are going to lose to Virginia Tech, but I’m not buying it. The Hokies are all about what’s possible given what they have on paper, while Boise State has virtually the same roster that has already done so much.
3. Mark Ingram will not win the Heisman - This is obviously not a bold choice now that he is out for at least one game with a knee injury. Even before that, though, I was certain he wouldn’t repeat. The two wins of Archie Griffin are held in such high esteem that it will take an extraordinary player to be deemed worthy of matching his record, and while Ingram is very good he is a long way from exceptional.
4. Michigan will win eight games - The reports of the demise of Rich Rodriguez are premature. He hasn’t forgotten how to coach, and he’ll show it this year. His secondary is horrifying, but the offense is generally strong and the schedule is fairly favorable. The team is moving in the right direction, albeit very slowly.
5. The Razorbacks will fizzle - There is a lot of hype surrounding Ryan Mallett and Arkansas. Mallett has yet to take a step into the elite, yet he has been placed there by the media, and the team has enough issues to make the schedule tough.
6. Washington is still Washington - Steve Sarkisian is the ideal coach for the Huskies, and I like Jake Locker a lot, but expectations are out of hand for Washington. They are climbing out of a very deep hole, and that inevitably takes a while. They’ll be better than they were, but this still isn’t the glory days of Washington football.
7. There isn’t room in the Top 10 for both Florida and Texas - Both teams have to replace legendary quarterbacks, and both lost a lot to the draft. They both recruit so well that they won’t be disastrous, but I don’t believe that both of them will stay in the Top 10. One will, but I’m not sure which one.
8. The winner of the TCU - Utah game will be undefeated - I believe very much in both of these teams, and I have their Nov. 6 meeting at Utah circled as one of the best games of the year. Both have schedules that they can manage, so it’s very likely in my eyes that the winner of this game will be looking to bust the BCS.
9. Kellen Moore is the best Heisman bet on the board at 10/1 - Boise State is already ranked third, and if they beat Virginia Tech they aren’t going to fall any lower than that unless they lose. Moore has an absolutely loaded offense to play with, and he’ll be very comfortable since it’s the same offense as last year. He has to overcome his conference, but that has happened in the past, people look at Boise State differently than the rest of the mid-majors at this point, and there’s already a lot of momentum to have a non-AQ in the BCS Championship Game, so it’s not a leap to see a player from a non automatic qualifier win the Heisman as well. Moore’s numbers will be gaudy as long as he stays healthy. His biggest competition is all quarterbacks, and all of them have more potential than proven performance. Moore is very nice value. By the same basic logic Andy Dalton at 45/1 is an intriguing longshot.
10. Wisconsin is a nice BCS winner longshot at 40/1 - They are a tough team with a nice defense, a great running game, a competent quarterback, and a decent schedule. This price is an overlay. On the other hand, Oklahoma is a brutal underlay at 15/2, and Florida is only marginally better at 9/1. Having TCU at the ridiculously low price of 16/1 and Utah at 100/1 since they are teach other’s toughest opponent doesn’t make a lot of sense, either.
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