I have to admit, I think I’ve almost forgotten what football is.
I’ve seen many pictures of players and watched something called “preseason,” but it’s been a coon’s age since I’ve actually seen real live football.
Even way up north here in Michigan, fall hasn’t really set in- it’s been 80+ degrees all week, so it certainly doesn’t feel like football season yet. But here we are, on the eve of college football kickoff weekend.
The votes are in, and the AP voters seem to think that Alabama is going to be pretty good this year. 58 of the 60 #1 votes cast went in favor of the Crimson Tide, and for good reason- they have arguably the best coach in the country and arguably the best quarterback in the country.
But the Tide have more than Nick Saban and AJ McCarron going for them. They also have one of the easiest schedules among BCS contending teams. They face only two ranked opponents this season: at #7 Texas A&M on September 14th and at home against #12 LSU on November 9th.
Now, those are both daunting opponents, but with two weeks to prepare for both games, I don’t expect Saban and the Tide to drop either. He’ll have revenge on his mind from last year’s contest against A&M, and not I’m not sold on LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger.
So Alabama will run the table and find themselves in the SEC title game once again. And yes, it will be that easy for them.
Sick isn’t it.
But who will face ‘Bama in the SEC final? I’d guess Georgia again, but Florida and South Carolina should be right on their heels. Any of those three could end up playing the Crimson Tide in the Georgia Dome.
This game will almost certainly decide one of the two spots in the BCS Championship game. With how strong the SEC has been (seven straight BCS titles), the two teams playing in this game will almost certainly be ranked inside the top five, if not the top two like we saw last year.
I can’t predict who will win, but whoever does will seal a ticket to play for a National Title in Pasadena, CA.
Ok, if I had to pick I’d take Alabama. But who will face them in the final BCS final?
Or will they still call it the BCS final even with the playoff system?
Whatever the game is called after this year, it’s the BCS Championship for now, and Alabama needs an opponent. Who will it be?
Ohio State jumps out as the immediate favorite, but they’ll have to overcome a lot to get there. The Big Ten is improving, especially Michigan who will be a much better team without Denard Robinson. OSU has also faced a bevy of off-field issues this summer, with the latest being allegations that head coach Urban Meyer covered up failed drug tests and criminal charges for Aaron Hernandez while he was catching passes at Florida.
Will the Buckeyes be able to overcome this adversity that may include a suspension for Meyer?
If Meyer does get suspended (which is possible, but unlikely), that would be a blow to Ohio State. Not having him on the sidelines for even a week or two would send a ripple effect through the program.
Does this rule OSU out? Hardly. With a clear-cut Heisman candidate in QB Braxton Miller, the Buckeyes can go as far as any team in the nation. They have a great offensive line and a defense that continues to improve under Meyer. OSU’s chances all come down to something they call “The Game.” As is customary, the Buckeyes travel to Ann Arbor for the final game of the season on November 30th.
Ohio State has a legit chance, but they’ll have to top Michigan and Northwestern on the road and then win the Big Ten Championship game to boot.
I don’t think they’ll do it.
In fact, the only team I see running the table outside of Alabama is Louisville, who plays absolutely nobody this year. Seriously. Their hardest game is against Cincinnati in the season finale. Or Kentucky, take your pick.
It’s very possible that Louisville makes it all the way to the BCS Championship game on the shoulders of Teddy Bridgewater. For their own sake, I hope that doesn’t happen because I don’t think they match up well with Alabama at all. TJ Yeldon would have a field day against that defense.
But I think there will be a one-loss team that slides ahead of the Cardinals for the chance to beat Alabama in the Big Game.
That team is Clemson. The Tigers have an explosive offense with playmakers like Tajh Boyd and Sammy Watkins, and they also have an experienced running back in Roderick McDowell.
I like the Tigers this year, but for them it will all come down to the season finale against the Old Ball Coach, Steve Spurrier, and his South Carolina Gamecocks. The Tigers must go on the road and win this one to have a chance, because I believe they’ll lose one game this year, either to Florida State or Georgia.
Luckily for us fans, they play the games for a reason- to decide who the best teams are on the field, not on paper.
But don’t be surprised to see the Crimson Tide face off with the Tigers in Pasadena early next year.
And don’t be surprised when I say I told you so.
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