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Tuesday, August 29th 2006

CFB Predictions

I’m stickying this to the sidebar, and I’m not editing it.

Trojan Season

Date Opponent Prediction Confidence
9/2/06 Arkansas W, 27 – 14
++
9/16/06 Nebraska L, 24 – 31
9/23/06 Arizona W, 31 – 17
+
9/30/06 Washington St. W, 42 – 20
++
10/07/06 Washington W, 38 – 10
+++
10/14/06 Arizona St. W, 35 – 30
-
10/28/06 Oregon St. W, 28 – 7
+++
11/04/06 Stanford W, 33 – 7
+++
11/11/06 Oregon W, 35 – 30
+
11/18/06 Cal W, 28 – 24
-
11/25/06 Notre Dame W, 40 – 24
+
12/2/06 UCLA W, 35 – 14
+++

Confidence? That is a funny term considering I’m predicting stuff months out based on nothing but my completely unreliable intuition. Take it more of a grade of the difference in talent levels and the matchup itself. It is a rough estimate of how much faith I have in my prediction coming true. +++ signs mean a high degree and — mean a low degree of confidence.

Wiggle Room: So what’s my prediction for the season? Actually despite my predictors up there I think USC will lose two games this season. Watch for the Trojans to drop against Nebraska and either ASU or Cal.

Still we might see a one loss season. And a one loss year, that might be enough to get USC a berth in the national championship game, in this “wide open” season. It is easily imaginable in 2006 that no one will go undefeated. I however actually doubt that, I’m high on some teams. Check my bowl predictions below. I think we (even if the Trojans only drop one) win the PAC 10 and play in the Rose Bowl to cap the 2006 season.

BCS Conference Champions

Conference Champion
Big East West Virginia
ACC Miami
SEC Auburn
Big 10 Ohio St.
Big 12 Nebraska
Pac 10 USC

I think these speak for themselves. Except for the Big 12 champion, I think anyone who takes a look at CFB can buy these picks. As for the Big 12 champion, I think this is the North’s year. That is about as satisfactory an explanation as…well…it isn’t satisfactory. I just think the gap between the North and South has been narrowed with the loss of Bomar, questions about AP, and of course the loss of Vince and his replacement being named Colt McCoy.

BCS Bowls

Date Bowl Teams Winner
1/1/07 Rose Bowl USC — tOSU USC, 37 – 17
1/1/07 Fiesta Bowl Nebraska — TCU Nebraska, 31 – 10
1/2/07 Orange Bowl Miami — LSU Miami, 28 – 25
1/3/07 Sugar Bowl Cal — Michigan Cal, 21 – 10
1/8/07 National Championship West Virginia — Auburn Auburn, 25 – 17

Wha–?! The Rose Bowl features the PAC 10 champ and the Big 10 champ. Nebraska wins the Big 12 (see above) and unfortunately gets the joy of facing TCU (who beats out Utah for the MWC title) under the new auto bid rules which hand out BCS bids to non majors. What respect they’re shown.

Despite all the hype around Florida the West in the SEC produces the success. Auburn beats LSU and wins the SEC championship game but, that might be LSU’s only loss of the season and they get an open bid to face Miami. Cal and Michigan get the other two non-conference champion bids, which might get Carr off the hotseat despite yet another loss to Ohio St.

The national championship features two conference champions and the only two undefeated teams in the country. West Virginia, as much has been made of, has a relatively easy path to an undefeated season. I know they just pulled out a win against Georgia in the Sugar Bowl last year but that was in Georgia’s backyard and with an incredibly young team. I’m really high on Rich as a coach and on this offense. As for Auburn, well I think it is a strong team (albeit with a tough path to an undefeated season) and when they finish the season unscathed this year there will be no denying them for a USC v. OU matchup.

So, where are all those other hyped teams? Notre Dame? Overrated, they’re not going to a BCS bowl. Texas? Feel free to substitute Cal OR Michigan for Texas. Do I really think they’re going to lose the Big 12 Championship game to Nebraska? Yes. But I literally just flipped a coin to determine the last two bids and certainly Texas could just as easily showed up (in my mind at least) than Michigan or Cal. Florida? Yeah, I’m not buying it. Lets see something out of Leak first.

Finally, how can these predictions jive with my power rankings on the side bar? Shouldn’t W. Virginia and Auburn be #1 and #2? Those rankings are based on the moment and heavily favor public opinion and performance last year. These bowl predictions are more exploratory (I’m sure some would say waaaay out there).

Heisman

Final Place Candidate
Winner
Brady Quinn, QB (Notre Dame)
2
Kenny Irons, RB (Auburn)
3
Adrian Peterson, RB (Oklahoma)
4
Brian Brohm, QB (Louisville)
5
Marshawn Lynch, RB (Cal)

I’ve got three guys on there (including the winner!) playing for non-BCS bound teams. Brohm might not be so defensible but I like the guy and think he’s going to have a monster season. Plus he’s all the way down at fourth in the voting. Brohm, with Louisville failing to win the Big East, is one of those guys who draws a LOT of third, fourth, and fifth place votes on the ballots because of his personal stastics but is never in real contention to take the trophy.

As for Quinn. Well, I think the trophy is his as long as he doesn’t screw up. Notre Dame can have a three or even four loss season and as long as Quinn is performing well and making highlight reels I think he’ll be hoisting the trophy in New York.

In anycase those are my predictions for the Trojan and college football season. See you on the other side.

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