Drew Thurman (11:26 am)
10) Notre Dame will improve on it's 3-9 season last year, but will fight to barely get over the .500 mark.
Everyone seems to be jumping on the Irish bangwagon these days. In fact, Mark Schlabach has predicted a bowl game for Notre Dame this season. I am not so optimistic! I realize that the Irish have lots of talent, and I also realize that they will be more experienced this season. With that said, I am not so impressed with Weis' coaching style, and I think he is overrated. So, the Irish take a step in the right direction and finish just above the .500 mark.
9) After a disappointing end to the 07-08 season, Boeckman will be the Big Ten’s top performing quarterback.
Boeckman was the highest rank passer in the Big Ten a season ago, but really took a few steps backward towards the end of the season. He started to get "happy feet" in the pocket, and looked very rattled on several occasions. I look for him to get his confidence back, and to improve on his 2379 yards and 25 touchdowns a year ago.
8) After a zero win season in the Big Ten, Minnesota will become this year’s “sleeper team.”
Minnesota was the laughing-stock of the Big Ten last season. This was because of a 1-11 record, and 0-8 record in the Big Ten. I first look for the Gophers to have some early non-conference success. Second, look for Minnesota to suprise a few teams in the Big Ten this season. Just when someone overlooks the Gophers, look for them to provide a shock.
7) The coaches in SEC will have an press conference battle, to see who has the biggest ego.
Urban Meyer, Les Miles, Nick Saban, Steve Spurrier, and Phil Fullmer just to name a few. Wow, the SEC has some high profile, high ego coaches! Believe me, Les Miles rapping for Snop Dogg is just the beginning. I expect to see quite a few high ego press conferences coming from the SEC this year. I am not sure how all of them coach in the same conference together!
6) Clemson will win the ACC, saving Tommy Bowden’s job.
Clemson has been a disappointment for the last several years, and Bowden is on the hot seat. I expect Clemson to finally pull out the ACC this season, and save Bowden's job. The ACC looks weaker and weaker every year, and this season I do not see a team that is stronger on paper than the Tigers.
5) Tiller's Boilermakers will have one upset in his honor, but will not fight for much else in the Big Ten.
Tiller and his Boilermakers could go in several directions this season. I personally do not think they will improve much on their 7-5 campaign a year ago. The Boliermakers could very easily be a 8-4 team, but they may just have one suprise in store. Look for the Boilermakers to have one upset (Penn State, Michigan, Michiagn State) in Tiller's honor.
4) Michigan State will win in Ann Arbor, and will also finish ahead of the Wolverines in the Big Ten.
"That State Up North" has a serious battle on its hands this season. Michigan and Michigan State will both be fighting for position in the Big Ten standings. You better believe that that the game in Ann Arbor on November 1st will be a heated one. I expect the Spartans and their superior running attack to defeat the Wolverines, and to also finish ahead of them in the Big Ten.
3) The Big 12 will have it’s representative in the National Championship Game, Oklahoma.
The Big 12 was probably the second best conference in football last season behind the SEC. Teams like Kansas and Missouri suprised the college football world, and helped put the Big 12 on the map. I look for the Big 12 to have a team in the National Championship Game this season, regardless of what goes on in the Big Ten and SEC. Oklahoma is the favorite in the Big 12, and looks to have the best shot to get to National Championship Game. It will be interesting to see!
2) In what many call the year of the quarterback, a running back will steal the Heisman.
College football is loaded with quarterbacks this year. Guys like Tim Tebow, Chase Daniels, Pat White, Graham Harrell, and Matthew Stafford look to shine in the the 08-09 season. Even with all of these studs at quarterback, I look for a running back to win the Heisman trophy. Beanie Wells and Knowshon Moreno are the easy favorites to win.
1) Ohio State will win yet another Big Ten Title, but not without a major challenge from Wisconsin, Penn State, and Illinois.
The Buckeyes seem to be two or three steps above everyone else in the Big Ten right now. With that said, anyone in the Big Ten could play spolier like Illinois did last season. I expect Wisconsin, Penn State, and Illinois to challenge and push the Buckeyes, but in the end it will not be enough. The Buckeyes will win their fourth straight Big Ten Championship!