College Football is underway and here are 10
Fearless predictions for the 2010 season.
1. Maryland will beat Navy Monday in a very close game in the Crab Bowl.
This will be one of the Terps' biggest games in several years for the program. Several players have stated this offseason that they want to win for Friedgen and a successful season starts with a win in Baltimore. Sure even if they lose they could still get enough W's to get bowl eligible. However, a win out of the gates sets the tone for the redemption tour and keeps the Fridge critics quiet ... for awhile at least.
2. Ralph Friedgen will lead the Terps to a bowl this season.
It will not a BCS bowl, of course, but the Terps will win the 6-7 games needed to be bowl bound for the seventh time in 10 years. Will that be enough for new Athletic Director Kevin Anderson to stay with Friedgen? It should be but it is always hard to predict what the new guy is going to do.
3. Even with a loss in the opener to Maryland, Navy will be headed to an eighth consecutive bowl appearance.
The Mid's have 13 returning starters, which is the most in four years. No starter is more important than quarterback Ricky Dobbs who not only can run the ball effective with his power running style, but also has a real strong arm. He is already being talked about as a Heisman trophy candidate.
4. Navy will win the Commanders-in-Chief's trophy for the eighth straight season.
Navy has rolled up 15 straight wins over the Service Academies. The biggest hurdle this season will be the trip to Air Force on Oct. 2. Navy has beaten Air Force seven straight times, with six of them decided by a TD or less.
New Coach Mike London had a big task in front of him thanks to the damage done in the Al Groh era. London has worked hard to excite the fan base and more importantly he is making inroads in his the most fertile recruiting ground in the State, the 757.
6. Virginia Tech will crack the top five
The Hokies are going to be great this year, led by the best backfield in the nation, with running backs Ryan Williams and Darren Evans and quarterback Tyrod Taylor. They should be 8-0 before a brutal November stretch that starts with a Thursday night game at home against Georgia Tech followed by trips to Miami and North Carolina. Could they go undefeated? Bud Foster's inexperienced defense will need to develop quickly, as it lost eight of its top 13 tacklers from a year ago.
7. Marvin Austin will be the local player with the biggest impact on his team ... if he actually plays
The defensive tackle came back for his senior season at North Carolina and was expected to anchor one of the best defenses in the country. Instead, Austin is suspended indefinitely thanks to his tweeting that got the attention of the NCAA for illegal agent activity. That also led to an investigation into a tutor that may have written papers for players. In all, 13 players were suspended for the team's opening game loss to LSU. A game the Tar Heels had hoped would put them on the national headlines didn't go as planned. They are making headlines nationally, but for all the wrong reasons.
8. Alabama's Mark Ingram will not be a repeat Heisman winner
Ingram is already sidelined with an injury, but even before that, I didn't think he would be a repeat winner. Also, the Crimson Tide will not repeat as national champions. They have a rough schedule with four difficult SEC road games (Arkansas, South Carolina, Tennessee, and LSU), and their last six SEC opponents all have a bye prior to playing them.
9. Notre Dame finally got it right.
Sorry Irish haters (me included), get ready for it, because NBC's team is back. Brian Kelly was the right hire and will get college football's royalty back into the national picture. It may not happen this season, but give Kelly some time and he will bring a winner to South Bend. Anyone who can make Cincinnati a power will be able to get it done with all of the resources at Notre Dame
10. College football fans will once again leave the season feeling cheated by the BCS
You have to leave the safest prediction for last. In another year where it could be wide open, the computers will tell us the best two teams, and not the results on the field. College football brags that every game has meaning (which is actually not true), but they screw up the end game every year. There is always debate about the matchups we never saw, and it will happen again this season. Hopefully a playoff system is actually on the horizon.