Originally posted at: http://nor-calscott.blogspot.com/
It's that time of year again when every so-called expert opines about who will win which conference and, for the final year (Yay!), the BCS NCG winner. So, I might as well join in on the bandwagon and throw some s**t up and see what sticks!
First, let's be honest. These are all WAG's (wild ass guesses) based on how a team did last year, how many returning starters they have coming back, their schedule (especially home/away), and assuming the stud players stay healthy. Let's face it, if some teams lose their returning starting QB they could go from a team projected with 1 or 2 losses to 3 to 5 "L's" for the year.
American Athletic Conference (AAC): OK, really the old Big East, lol. A new 10 team alignment of some teams from the BE and CUSA. Without a doubt the champion will be Louisville. They have a solid team, a great QB in Teddy Bridgewater (Heisman hype has already begin) and a coach in Charlie Strong who knows what he's doing. They can go undefeated, but we all know a 1-loss team from a power conference will get the votes to go to the BCS NCG before any undefeated team from this little sister conference.
Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC): This will be a battle between Clemson & Florida State who are both in the same Atlantic Division. Whoever wins this division will beat any team from the Coastal Division, where I like Miami ("The U"). I'm going to pick Clemson in a coin flip because they host FSU.
Big 12: With no conference championship game (only 10 teams in the B12) this places an emphasis on head to head games as I see four teams in the race: Texas, TCU, Oklahoma, & Oklahoma State. Mack Brown has a ton of starters returning including QB David Ash, but can they put it together? I don't think so. I like Oklahoma State based on the fact that they host both TCU and the Sooners.
Big 10: Buckeyes, period, end of story. I don't think they go undefeated as many predict. Two of their three toughest games are on the road, at Northwestern and, gulp, Michigan and the Big House. We will learn alot about OSU in games 2 & 3 vs San Diego State and California. These are two teams that the Buckeyes have had trouble with in the near past and could have easily lost both of these recent games. I do see OSU playing Michigan two weeks in a row.
Mountain West: Boise State will take the Mountain Division and I like Fresno State to win the West Division. Based on the home/away schedules I have the Bulldogs with a better record. But a championship game puzzles me... it's a coin flip really, but I know Coach Pete will have his team ready and will take this game.
SEC: Bama & Georgia in the Championship game... in Atlanta. I've loved Mark Richt for years, but no one in CFB prepares a team better than Nick Saban. Roll Tide, Bama wins the SEC again.
Pac12: Last because this is where my heart is. I grew up on Keith Jackson calling old Pac8 games on ABC every Saturday afternoon. "Whoa Nellie!"
North Division: First and foremost, anyone who says Washington is a dark horse to win the division is an idiot. Having lived in Seattle one year during football season I know first hand how passionate Husky fans are. Sark has had plenty of time recruiting, preparing, coaching his team yet he under performs every year. 7-6 will get him fired this year. Go to Vegas with that.
Seriously, the division, and conference championship, all comes down to Stanfurd and Oregon on Thursday, November 7th on national tv. The only real question is how many 'Furd students show up because they have classes the next day. I have the Card beating Oregon and winning the North. And, as a long time Cal fan it makes me wanna puke. The only saving grace is the fact that some Oregon fans can be down right SEC obnoxious and trolls.
South Division: I like UCLA over USC, and not just 'cuz I hate Kiffy and USC. SC has a new QB, whoever it might be, and a new Def Coord. UCLA has Brett Hundley coming back running the offense. But it doesn't matter... Stanfurd (or Oregon) will host the P12 CG and the baby bruins go down in defeat.
BCS Championship Game: Alabama vs Stanfurd. The Card is the only team in the nation who can play with the Tide for four quarters. Furds front seven is as good as Bama's if not better. While most everyone else has picked Bama I like the team with the funny band to win for a couple reasons. 1) No pressure to 3peat. 2) Game is on the west coast and Furd is familiar with the historic Rose Bowl.
And now a bit about my California Golden Bears: Ah, the excitement of a new coaching staff, a new upbeat offense, and the many, many talented young players on the roster has to get all Bear fans on the edge of their seats. I know it does me!
I fully expect some growing pains with a new coach, Off & Def systems, etc etc, but one look at the schedule tells me one thing: it's going to be a long season. Cal has the #1 toughest schedule according to LostLettermen.com, playing the most preseason Top 25 teams in all of the BCS conferences with 7, including our 2 OOC games vs Northwestern & Ohio State. Do I expect to lose all 7 of those games? No. Why? Shit happens. Players get injured, locker rooms divide, whatever, it happens all the time. See Cal Bears 2012.
I see it clearly as a rebuilding year in Year One of the Bear Raid era. Coach Tedford & staff did a good job recruiting players and we have a talented roster. Just imagine 2014... a Soph QB with a year under his belt, a stable of Jr WR's in Treggs, Harper & crew. And the same with the defense: Barr, Barton, McClure to name a few.
Am I resigned to a bad 2013 season? No. Why? Because we don't really know what we have yet. Our OOC games will tell us more, and by the time we hit the Pac12 schedule we can all make better judgments. Heck, even the weasel Rick Neuheisel on the Pac12 Net said he was surprised at the talent on the Bears after attending a practice.
FYI: Cal will probably do great and surprise everyone to win the North and go to the Pac12CG. Why? Because I'll be on a beach in Mexico with no electricity that 1st weekend in December. What idiot plans a vacation the weekend of CFB's conference championship games? This dumbass, that's who. SMH...
Leave your comments & thoughts!