The Obligatory Predictions

By Adam Caparell - September 01, 2006

Since the season is officially here, I figured it was time to do what everyone else around the country has done: make the obligatory predictions. This way, I’m on the record and I’ll be able to look back in amazement about how poorly - or precisely - I predicted things would pan out.

Champion: Miami
Division Winners: Atlantic - Miami | Coastal - Florida State
I think Miami will persevere in the end after an opening weekend loss to the Seminoles. Despite the early season suspensions, the defense should be able to help lighten the load for the Hurricanes as the season progresses. I think Clemson could be dangerous, but no other team jumps out as big time contender.

Big East
Champion: Louisville
It’s down to either West Virginia or Louisville and with the Cardinals getting the Nov. 2 matchup at home, so I’m giving them the edge. Plus, I like their combo of Brian Brohm and Michael Bush better than Pat White and Steve Slaton. Both teams will lose one game. The difference is West Virginia’s loss will come against the Cardinals and Louisville’s will come against Miami.

Big Ten
Champion: Ohio State
Again, for those of you expecting big things out of Penn State, please don’t get your hopes up. Penn State will be a solid team, probably the No. 4 team in the Big Ten, but they’re not going to be competing for a BCS berth. Too many holes to plug. Iowa isn’t getting a whole lot of pub, but could be very dangerous. I think the winner of the Iowa-Ohio State game at the end of September will take it, and judging by my prediction of the conference winner, that means the Buckeyes will win that matchup.

Big 12
Champion: Texas
Division Winners: North - Nebraska | South - Texas
There’s absolutely no reason why Nebraska shouldn’t be the winner in the Big 12 North. Iowa State should give them some competition, but come on. Is there really anyone else who is worthy of making it. The South should be interesting, but I can’t see Oklahoma making it out of there. I’m interested to see Texas Tech and how their season shakes out.

Conference USA
Champion: UCF
Division Winners: East - UCF | West - Tulsa
UCF continues to rise under George O’Leary and returns the favor to Tulsa this year after facing off in last year’s C-USA championship game.

Champion: Northern Illinois
Division Winners: East - Akron | West - Northern Illinois
The Huskies will run Garrett Wolfe right to the MAC title.

Champion: TCU
The Horned Frogs will go undefeated in conference play with Utah a distant second. I think BCS is a distinct possibility.

Champion: USC
I think Cal will make it another great game against the Trojans, but USC is still loaded all around. Pete Carroll is the best recruiter in the country and despite what they lost, they still have so much. Cal finishes a close second, mostly in part because of Marshawn Lynch.

Champion: Auburn
Division Winners: East - Georgia | West - Auburn
Simply put, if Florida didn’t have the toughest schedule in the country, I would be going with them to make it ahead of Georgia to the SEC title game. I like Auburn a lot. I like Kenny Irons, Brandon Cox should be solid and their toughest conference games are at home. I think LSU can sneak into a BCS bowl because everyone in the East beats up on each other throughout the season.

Sun Belt
Champion: La.-Lafayette
In a league with no dominant team, Lafayette seems like the logical choice.

Champion: Nevada
Boise State has to lose it one of theses years and with Jeff Rowe back for his senior season and the Wolf Pack hosting Boise in the season finale at home, last year’s co-champs will face off for the title with Nevada taking it.

BCS matchups:

Fiesta: Texas vs. TCU
Sugar: LSU vs. Louisville
Orange: Miami vs. Notre Dame
Rose: Ohio State vs. West Virginia

BCS Title Game: Auburn vs. USC

The Trojans beat Notre Dame in their matchup that decides who is going to the national championship game. I like Auburn to win it all.

Heisman Winner: Unless Brady Quinn just falls flat on his face this year, with all the hype, all the attention focused on the Irish this season, all he has to do is come close to equaling his numbers from last season and he’ll be the run-away winner.

1. Brady Quinn, QB, Notre Dame
2. Marshawn Lynch, RB, Cal
3. Adrian Peterson, RB, Oklahoma
4. Brian Brohm, QB, Louisville
5. Troy Smith, QB, Ohio State

Posted by Adam Caparell at 05:36 PM on September 01, 2006

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