Tag Archives: virginia tech hokies

The Powerless ACC

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So this is why Pittsburgh and Syracuse are throwing away their basketball allegiances?

This is the reason that the Big East is going through a hideous makeover?

After watching Virginia Tech and Clemson the last two nights in BCS bowl games I can’t help but wonder what the hell Syracuse and Pitt were thinking?

The move by both schools was supposed to bolster it’s football programs, but after watching Virginia Tech lose another big game and Clemson just get drilled you have to wonder if it was really a smart move on their parts.

The Hokies had every opportunity to beat a weaker Michigan team but couldn’t convert inside the red zone all night and settled for field goals. In the end their offensive ineptitude caught up with them and Michigan continued it’s recent resurgence with a 23-20 win on overtime. The loss dropped Virginia Tech to 1-5 in BCS games all time (more on that later), this is supposedly the class of the ACC in football but every time they reach the big stage they just can’t get over the hump.

However, at least they put up a fight… What the hell Clemson?

In their first BCS game and biggest bowl game since their 1980 national title Clemson just got murdered. How does a supposed top 15 team and conference champion allow 49 first half points and 70 total? Clemson look far less skilled than their opponents from the Big East as Tavon Austin and Geno Smith looked like they were playing on All-Madden while Clemson was stuck on rookie. The funny thing about it is before the game every analyst picked West Virginia to get killed. They must’ve forgot that the Mountaineers take BCS games very seriously as seen by their previous convincing wins over Oklahoma and Georgia.

West Virginia has now won 3 BCS bowls… The ACC has 2 total. The ACC is 2-13 lifetime in BCS bowl games… 2-13!!! Boise State has the same amount of wins in two games (yet had to watch Va. Tech go to the Sugar Bowl over them). The Big East is 7-7 in BCS bowls with one less BCS bowl win than the Big 12, and people want to revoke the Big East’s automatic bid?

The ACC has been one of the weaker power conferences for years now and this just proves it.

The ACC has no business being considered a power football conference. Their mediocrity has been exposed by everyone from Florida, to Iowa and even Kansas (yup, the Jayhawks beat the Hokies in the Orange bowl a few years ago). The fact that teams would jettison their conference to join this circus for football reasons is laughable. After the last two nights the hilarity should be at it’s highest level ever.

After watching the Sugar and Orange Bowls I hope Syracuse and Pitt are happy with their decisions.

You thought that aligning yourselves with the ACC would mean stiffer competition and a better brand to recruit with. Instead you just joined the laughing stock of the BCS and forced West virginia’s hand in leaving behind a crumbling conference that they made respectable.

Nice job guys. Good luck wallowing in even more mediocrity than what you began with.


Boycotting The BCS

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Five years ago I watched the number two team in the country, my Michigan Wolverines, lose one of the best 1 VS. 2 matchups of my lifetime to Ohio State. The 42-39 thriller had so much hype due to the fact that nor only was it #1 against #2, but also it was the fact that it was the biggest rivalry in college football.

The game was incredible. It was a seesaw battle where if one team made a mistake you knew they were screwed. That mistake belonged to Michigan as OSU held on for the victory and a shot in the title game.

OSU was the only undefeated team in the nation with USC, Florida and Michigan as the best one loss teams behind them. I thought Michigan should’ve been OSU’s opponent because the game was so closely played and because they were #1 & #2 all year long. OSU and Michigan were the best two teams in the nation and they proved it on the field. A rematch would’ve been fitting because Michigan would’ve gotten to avenge it’s only loss of the season, and because… Well… I’m a Michigan fan.

The logic was there. However, Michigan didn’t win the Big Ten. The end result? Florida played OSU and we haven’t seen a non SEC BCS Champ since. I was pretty salty because I always thought that Michigan should’ve played in that game despite the result. I thought that not winning it’s own conference shouldn’t have played a factor into the game.

5 years later the BCS suddenly has had a change of heart and it’s ticked me off to no end.

After watching last nights announcement of the BCS national title, which is a rematch of a sloppy 9-6 affair between LSU and Alabama I’ve had enough of the BCS.

I understand that the SEC is the see all end all of college football in most people’s eyes, but to give Alabama a rematch against LSU when Oklahoma State was more deserving is an insult to college football.

Bama and Oklahoma State were the viable options to face LSU in the title game as each team had one loss on it’s resume (so did Stanford but they didn’t win their conference… Wait a minute…) Bana lost a game they should’ve won to LSU, as did Oklahoma State to Iowa State only one day after the tragic death of it’s women’s basketball coach.

Oklahoma State beat 7 teams with .500 records or better and 4 in the top 25 including a comeback victory against Texas A&M, an overtime thriller over Kansas State (more on this later) and a royal beat down of preseason #1 Oklahoma.

Alabama beat an overrated Penn State, an offensively challenged Auburn, and Arkansas without it’s best defensive lineman. They played a weak schedule in a down year for the SEC and got the benefit of the doubt because of it’s conference affiliation.

Some say Oklahoma State should’ve won all of their games and this wouldn’t be an issue… well shouldn’t you say the same for Alabama?

Why does Alabama get a rematch when they lost their shot earlier in the season? Alabama had LSU on it’s home turf and lost in a turnover filled game where defensive brilliance over shadowed both teams offensive ineptitude. If you’re saying that Oklahoma State blew their chance in Iowa City well didn’t Alabama blow theirs at home?

Also remember this quote… “if you don’t win your conference championship then you have no business playing for the national championship.” That was Nick Saban in 2003 after Oklahoma was announced as the opponent for his LSU Tigers after losing their conference title game. So why not hold Saban to his word?

Here’s a few reasons why the BCS won’t: 1, the system to award the title game and BCS games is a joke. 2, the matchups are predetermined. 3, the notion that every game counts is BS.

Let’s move past the title game for a minute; the only sensical match-ups this year are Oregon-Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl & Stanford-Oklahoma State in the Fiesta Bowl. For the second straight year the Big East gets a team in the BCS with more than 3 losses. West Virginia got crushed by LSU and Syracuse (yup 5-7) and they get the Orange Bowl? Michigan isn’t ranked in the top 10 but they get the Sugar Bowl? Virginia Tech got killed by Clemson by a combined 61-13 in two games and they get a BCS bowl game?

Meanwhile #7 Boise State gets the Las Vegas bowl? Didn’t they kill Georgia in SEC country this year?

If the BCS is truly about setting up the best matchups in the country then it truly is an epic failure.

#6 Arkansas, #7 Boise, #8 Kansas State & #9 South Carolina are all BCS no shows. If four top ten BCS teams don’t even make BCS bowl games then what is the point of the system?

I understand conference winners gets dibs on these games and that a conference can’t get more than two teams in but four BCS qualifiers are outside of the top ten and two conference winners are below the top 15. Hell WVU is behind, TCU, Houston and Southern Mississippi. How does any of this make sense?

How do you tell K-State after Virginia Techs thrashing that they deserve a BCS game ahead of you when you almost beat the #3 team in the NCAA and had the 10th hardest schedule nationally? How do you tell Boise after losing by one point to last year’s Rose Bowl Champs that Michigan or VA Tech are better than you? What’s the point of playing tough games out of conference when it doesn’t seem to matter?

Even worse if you’re Oklahoma State what’s the point of winning your conference when all you get is the second best team in the PAC-12 instead of playing for the national title?

The only solution for any of this is an abolishment of the bowl system and the creation of a playoff. Put the best teams in the nation up against each other and let them duke it out. It’s the only logical way if deciding these arguments. How would we know if Alabama is better than Oklahoma State if they don’t get a chance to play each other? What about Stanford? They didn’t win the PAC-12 but they only have one loss, why can’t they play for the title?

The BCS has proven year after year that is not a good way of determining a national champion and this year its proven to be ineffective in providing college football fans with sensical match-ups for its other big time bowl games. It’s time to be rid this system once and for all.

I’ve had enough. I won’t watch the BCS title game or any other BCS game this year. I’m over this system that has shown itself to be unfair and plays favorites instead of awarding teams for their play.

All I can think about is five years and the possibility of a Michigan-OSU rematch. Those were the best teams in the nation and they should’ve played each other again but didn’t due to BCS hypocrisy. What’s changed that makes it ok for non conference champs who lost to the #1 team in the nation to now play for the national title?

Give me a break, matter of fact, give me a playoff because this system sucks.


Random Thoughts Vol. 3

OH GOD THERE'S MORE?!?!

Beginning of the month, been watching a lot of sports… yep, it’s time for another round of random thoughts.

Fernando Torres has scored one goal since being acquired by Chelsea in January… one. I always pick the best teams to follow don’t I?

The Yankees wouldn’t trade for Ubaldo Jimenez due to concerns about his velocity. In a possible trade the Rockies would’ve wanted Ivan Nova as part of the deal… Jimenez hasn’t made it past the 5th inning in 3 of his 7 starts with the Indians, Nova hasn’t lost since June… I think Cashman got that one right.

Losing to a FCS school should be like relegation in soccer shouldn’t it? Hi Oregon State.

Me at 8:30 pm last Saturday of the Boise State-Georgia game: “those Georgia uniforms are hideous.”

Me 48 hours  while watching the Maryland-Miami game: “those are the worst uniforms I have ever seen.”

Nyjer Morgan called Albert Pujols “Alberta,” does he realize Pujols is 4 inches taller and 50 pounds heavier than him?

Oregon State should probably leave this out of the recruiting package.

Baylor is mad that Texas A&M is leaving the Big 12 and possibly breaking up the conference leaving them in football limbo. Somewhere Rice, TCU and SMU are uttering to themselves karma is a mother.

Wait a minute, Kevin Durant has tattoos?

At least David Garrard and Byron Leftwich have something in common to be mad about.

The way that analysts were criticizing his QB skills you would’ve swore Tim Tebow was black.

Appalachian wants to join the FBS… after getting drubbed 66-13 by Virginia Tech they should reconsider.

Tom Brady said he would welcome back Randy Moss with open arms. I’m not saying that’s in some way related to Chad Ochocinco… but I’m saying.

So if John Isner wins the U.S. Open is his career a bigger success than Andy Roddick’s?

Utah State almost beat Auburn, BYU beat Ole Miss, and Utah beat Alabama in the Sugar Bowl years ago… maybe the SEC should stop playing teams from Utah.

Stephen Strasburg’s back, and he looks good.

(honestly it didn’t matter if the Nats lost that game or not, all that mattered was if Strasburg looked like he was the same pitcher he was before he left or not and he was. His movement and velocity were pretty darn good, he made everything look effortless and dominated a decent Dodgers lineup. If I’m the Nats and I look at a rotation with Strasburg, a rejuvenated Chien-Ming Wang, Jordan Zimmerman and John Lannon at bats like Ryan Zimmerman and Mike Morse then I’m feeling good about next year. that is if Jayson Werth can hit with that $18 million per year salary on his back.)

That Carlos Beltran deal isn’t working out so well for the Giants… shocker.

Who’s the next program to get stung by the NCAA? I’ll take South Carolina.

I’m still blinded by Maryland’s uniforms.

TIki Barber is shocked that no one threw him a bone this offseason. I mean who wouldn’t want a 36 year-old running back that hasn’t played in 5 years with tons of public baggage?

Ndamukong Suh is not dirty, he’s just playing football the way Deacon Jones would like.

It might be time for Tiger Woods to consider new career options.

This hasn't gone exactly as planned.

I will not talk about A.J. Burnett, I will not talk about A.J. Burnett, I will not talk about A.J. Burnett.

Aaron Rodgers called out Mark Sanchez for his GQ pictures. What can Sanchez respond with? Rodgers just won a Super Bowl he can say what he wants.

I think we might actually have a season without Brett Favre.

I have a feeling Luke Fickell might be more conservative than Jim Tressel.

By the way, how does Tressel get a six game suspension from the NFL for his NCAA violations?

(Goodell needs to keep college problems in college. Their penalties don’t transfer to the NFL. Tressel quit/ got fired by the Ohio State University so his 5 game suspension is pretty much obliterated. The fact that Tressel and Terrelle Pryor for that matter have carry over suspensions from college shows that maybe Goodell has too much power when it come to these disciplinary actions and should some of that power stripped. And it will be… in ten years with a new CBA. Good job NFLPA.)

Doesn’t it seem like Lance Briggs and the Bears have been beefing since 2006?

Apparently the NBA is making strides to getting a CBA done real soon. How does Wilson Chandler feel about that?

If the Philadelphia Phillies don’t win the World Series it would be a Greek tragedy.

I have a few choice words for how the Baltimore Orioles handled the makeup games with the New York Yankees and the results of those games. I can’t say them on this blog but I’ll let your mind wander.

After all of the controversy surrounding Ohio State this year how do three more players get suspended for taking benefits? I should’ve went to Ohio University.

I expected more from the Winnipeg Jets jerseys.

Mike Fisher you lucky son of a gun.

At least they weren’t Maryland’s.

(you know what’s even scarier than what we witnessed on Monday night? There are more than 12 color combinations that Under Armour has in store for this year. Under Armour is based in Baltimore, Maryland and I guess they are doing to the Terps what Nike did to the Oregon Ducks… except Oregon’s outfits look extremely cool. Oregon’s designs have flair and eye popping designs, Maryland’s are a horror show. There was way too much of the Maryland flag for any human being to take. A message to UA: emulation is the sincerest form of flattery but leave the flashy stuff to Oregon. By the way Maryland’s football team is going to make some noise this year and you should pay more attention to Danny O’Brian than his jersey.)

What Ana Ivonivic could’ve been.

Derek Jeter and Minka Kelly broke up… hide your girlfriends New York.

NHL training camps start this week…

That mean we’re a month a away from Rachel McAdams shots at Vancouver games and Carrie Underwood at Predators games.

God I love hockey.


Tough Day To Be In The ACC

This is Florida State's and the ACC's day in a nutshell.

The good news for the ACC from yesterday is that Virginia hung in with USC and almost upset them in Los Angeles and the conference the most exciting game from yesterday with a 54-48 shootout between Duke and Wake Forest… yeah that’s right Duke and Wake Forest combined for 102 points and 1000 yards of offense.

The bad news… well… just about everything else. Two high profile nationally televised games, a team coming off of a highly publicized game faced an FCS opponent, and a road test against an inferior BCS conference opponent all went wrong for the so called power conference and went wrong in horrifying ways.

Miami, Florida State, Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech, the big 4 in their conference got shelled in each of their games. Miami got careless with the ball versus a hungry Ohio State team, Florida State got run off the field against Oklahoma, Georgia Tech had its secondary exposed by Kansas and Virginia Tech lost a home game against James Madison—of the FCS—a team that went 6-5 in the FCS last year—THE FCS!!!

This season is so not going how we planned it.

The ACC has been talked about in recent years as being the weakest of the power conferences and yesterday’s poor showings did absolutely nothing to curb those feelings. What’s interesting about these games is their poor showings in big matchups in recent years.

The ACC is 1-9 in BCS bowl games including Georgia Tech getting beat-up by Iowa in the Orange Bowl last year. Then look at their games against big game competition. Florida State hasn’t beaten Florida in 5 years; Tech has beaten 8 out of nine times by Georgia. The conferences season kick-off classic versus the SEC has been a joke with Alabama and LSU stomping out Clemson, Virginia Tech and UNC. Then Boise State had a virtual road game with the Hokies and jumped out to a 17-0 lead eventually beating Virginia Tech in the last minute 33-30.

Then there was yesterday. There was no excuse for Miami or Florida State to play as poor as they did on the national stage with all of that talent like they did.

Miami came into Columbus, Ohio talking about revenge over the 2003 National Championship game where a controversial pass interference call cost them their sixth national championship. They left with their so-called swagger slapped right out of them.

The Buckeyes caused four turnovers thanks to Jacory Harris’s poor play and if not for two special teams scores or the stalling of the OSU offense the score would’ve been a lot worse. Miami was pushed around on both sides of the ball and Terrelle Pryor strengthened his Heisman Candidacy with an all-around impressive performance. “Feeling good doesn’t always end up good,” Harris said after the game. No kidding. For all of the hype about the game it all came crashing to a halt when Cameron Heyward picked off a Harris pass on Miami’s opening drive in the third quarter and returned it the OSU red zone. So much for that swagger.

Hey this is better than throwing another interception.

At least Miami hung around. Florida State got a Boomer Sooner smack down. Traveling half-way across the country just to get destroyed defeats the purpose of scheduling such a game, unfortunately the Noles didn’t see it that way. Landry Jones and the Sooners offense got rolling and the Noles could only watch and not be willing participants. The Sooners rebounded from a poor performance against Utah State to easily handle Florida State and put themselves back in the national title talk. The Seminoles have nothing to do but more tweaking. “When you play good football teams and they get hot you have to match them, and you have to match them in all three phases,” said Jimbo Fisher, Florida State’s head coach. ” We matched them one time on offense and then we got pushed back on field position and didn’t execute.” His aforementioned statement is something the whole conference should take heed to.

For Georgia Tech it was a matter of taking a team for granted. After a humiliating 6-3 loss to North Dakota State the Kansas Jayhawks scored their biggest win since a Orange Bowl victory over (you guessed it, an ACC team) Virginia Tech.

“They came out mad,” said Yellow Jacket quarterback Joshua Nesbitt. “You could tell that they came out mad from losing their last game and they came out hungry.” Unfortunately for Georgia Tech they couldn’t match the intensity and couldn’t overcome a late 11 point deficit. The relatively young Jackets defense struggled in some instances to stop Kansas even though they only allowed 320 yards of offense. They routinely missed tackles and it showed on Daymond Patterson’s game clinching 32 yard touchdown reception to put the Jayhawks up 28-17 in the fourth quarter. The defense gave Kansas QB Joe Webb too much time to throw the ball and make plays and he burned them.

Meanwhile on the other side of the ball the Jackets normal running game was superb as they ran for 291 yards out of Paul Johnson’s triple option offense. However, when they needed to get back in the game throwing the ball Josh Nesbitt once again showed why he is a one-trick pony. Nesbitt was 5-15 for 115 yards and a touchdown, however he is not accurate at all and the offense if ever in a hole will suffer time and time again. Johnson has to figure out a way to get something out of the passing game going down the road or else the Jackets will see this same result over and over again.

Maybe we should start throwing the ball.

Lastly there’s Virginia Tech… yikes. Coming off of a huge showcase game versus Boise State, you go out onto your actual home field and get pushed around by James Madison? An FCS school?

You couldn’t score more than 16 points against a team that allowed 38 to Maryland last year? Three turnovers all in the red zone versus a 6-5 team… FROM THE FCS!!?? REALLY?!?! Dude I know Mississippi and Minnesota just lost to FCS opponents, but at least they dropped 49 and 38 points respectively.

“I don’t know what’s going on,” tailback Ryan Williams, Virginia Tech running back said. “I really don’t.” I’ll give you a hint… TURNOVERS AND MISCUES ARE KILLING YOU!

If it wasn’t the special teams miscues from Monday’s thriller it was the Darren Evans fumble on the Dukes 19 yard line that sealed their fate. The offensive line couldn’t create holes for Ryan Williams who finished with 91 rushing yards. Tyrod Taylor looked nothing like the monster that he was versus the Broncos as he threw a costly interception and under threw Jarrett Boykin on a 4th down play that could’ve put the Hokies up early in the fourth quarter.

For a team that was seriously considered as a national title contender, this lost may put them in the back of the ACC title race.

Not that the ACC title would be anything to brag about. This Saturday put the ACC in the afterthought of the minds of college football when talking about the big names in the game. An ACC team will not play for the national championship, hell they won’t even be favored in the Orange Bowl against whoever they play. Right now the ACC is an inferior conference that needs to improve on its regular season results against bigger competition before we start talking about revivals in Tallahassee and Coral Gables, and national titles in Blacksburg and Atlanta.

For now let’s see if they can handle Pittsburgh, Rutgers, East Carolina and BYU in the next two weeks. If it’s anything like this past weekend’s results, it won’t be pretty.


The Haters College Football Preview

So here’s an interesting scenario for college football this year, there actually is only one team to beat this year, Alabama. They’re back, reloaded and just as good as last year. Mark Ingram returns for a possible second Heisman, John Parker Wilson comes back at the helm at QB, plus the defense is anchored by Marcel Daerus who is gaining lots of attention for the NFL draft.

Mark Ingram is back to add to his collection

They do play in the SEC, you know the best conference in college football (yawn) and looking at the SEC they should go undefeated due to Florida having to replace key pieces on offense and defense and teams such as Georgia, LSU and Auburn who all have little kinks to work out before they become contenders again.

So there you have it, it’s a shoe-in, Bama repeats as national champions with ease—if any of you know me, you know damn well I’m not this stupid.

Honestly I could see Alabama winning it all because when you look at the preseason top ten there isn’t one team I actually could see myself picking to win it all, however this includes Bama.

Yeah yeah yeah, they play in the SEC, Ingram’s back blah blah blah… they lost Rolando McClain, Javier Arenas and Terrance Cody on defense, that’s key ingredients in three areas that were all important on that defense. You don’t just replace three all-SEC players and expect to just run through a conference no matter how down of a year it might have—

Yup you read that correctly, DOWN YEAR and SEC in the same sentence. I know that as far as talent on the field goes no one is better than them and it’s showed, they’ve won the last four national titles and have done it convincingly. However, when you look around the league you really can’t see any of the guys factoring into the title chase.

Florida is replacing #15 behind center (you know I never use Jesus’ name in vain) Aaron Hernandez, Riley Cooper and Maurkice Pouncey on offence and Brandon Spikes and Joe Haden on defense. Auburn is throwing another quarterback under center in Cam Newton. LSU with Jordan Jefferson has underachieved mightily since its title win three years ago and Les Miles is starting to feel the heat (luckily for him Rich Rodriguez will be fired in three months so can slide right into his alma mater without a hitch). Then there’s the Betty Ford clinic in Ole Miss with Jeremiah Masoli, the school for convicts in Tennessee and Georgia (no jokes, no shaking of the head just Georgia. When will this school put Mark Richt on the burner for a. never winning an SEC title, b. always coming up short in big games, c. not factoring into national title picture at all and d. ALWAYS ALWAYS UNDERACHIEVING?!?!) You’re probably saying hey Arkansas is a dark horse—they are but I still hope Bobby Petrino gets run over by a Greyhound bus and Arthur Blank drives by to laugh at him with Matt Ryan in the passenger seat, so I am a little biased towards them.

So here is where you probably think I’m going to persuade you into thinking that the Ohio State Buckeyes, my alma mater as of June 2010 thank you, will overtake an over confident Alabama team and win the national title—eh not quite.

I like the Buckeyes I really do but (warning: beating a dead horse) I don’t really trust Terrelle Pryor. For all of the hype that Pryor has received, and is still receiving as he is the favorite for the Heisman, the only really good game that he has put together since coming to Columbus was that Rose Bowl win against Oregon.

I’ve watched Pryor, dissected him, criticized him, prayed that Jim Tressel put him at wide out and I still can’t trust that for a full season based on that Rose Bowl that he will put it together running and throwing the ball. Is that wrong? Maybe but that’s what I’m rolling with (plus Ohio State has to figure out their running game. Is it Brandon Saine? Jordan Hall? Jamaal Berry? Carlos Hyde? Maurice Clarett? Who’s running the ball consistently for them?).

I want to trust the both of you, but I know I can't.

So who do I like then for the national title? No one really. I’m a hater this year. I can’t find reasons to like these teams enough to pick them to win the national championship including Boise State who I’ve been touting since they embarrassed Bob Stoops at the Fiesta Bowl years ago.

The top 5 is really a top 3. Florida and Texas? I have no clue how teams that lose that much talent the year before, can start the year in the national championship race. Garrett Gilbert at QB for Texas can grow into something special in Austin especially after his gutsy debut at the Rose Bowl versus Bama last year. However, number 4 in the country? No, not yet.

As much as I don’t like any of these teams there has to be a way to find a viable national title pick among them so let’s try to find one. (Note: these are my personal rankings, like it matters anyway because rankings this early in this season are foolish)

ALABAMA (no.1, defending champions, SEC, key player: Mark Ingram)

What I don’t like: losing Arenas, Cody and McClain will hurt them at some point. The defense is still one of the toughest in the nation nut I feel it’s going to struggle. They play a soft non-conference schedule with Penn State coming to Tuscaloosa in September then they get a wake-up call from Arkansas and Ryan Mallet in Fayetteville on the 25th, it might not seem like such a big deal right now but I can see a loss to an upstart like the hogs and all those weapons they have on offense.

However, I do like: one, they’re the defending champs; they got the hunger to go back and continue the SEC dominance. Two, it’s a week SEC this year, sure they go to LSU but I don’t see LSU as a challenge for the Tide. It could make for an easy road back to the BCS championship game.

OHIO STATE (no. 2, Big Ten Champions, Winners of the Rose Bowl, Key player: Terrelle Pryor)

Hate: Pryor. He has to put together a full season to gain my trust and the trust of the Buckeye faithful out there. I’m anxious to see if his throwing motion has improved or if he can spread the ball around to receivers other than Dane Sanzenbacher and Devier Posey. Also, I hope Jim Tressel tells Tresselball to kick rocks. He has to open it up and air it out, Tresselball has been the reason for the Buckeyes deficiencies in recent years on offense and Tressel has done nothing about it. He has to either adapt or watch another title dream go down the drain.

Like: Miami comes to the Shoe in three weeks which provides a good early season challenge for the Buckeyes. Also the Big Ten is looking pretty good this year, Iowa and Wisconsin are dark horse national title candidates and will provide the Bucks with their first real Big Ten challenge in years.

BOISE STATE (no.3, WAC champions, Winners of the Fiesta Bowl, Key Player: Kellen Moore)

Hate: I don’t want to hate the Broncos, but they play in the WAC and traditional voters will do everything in their power to use that against them in their contention for the national championship. Also they start off the season in a neutral site game against Virginia Tech in Washington D.C.—Blacksburg is a good two and a half hour drive from the capital— neutral? Yeah, sure.

Like: They are faster, tougher and deeper than you want to believe. Austin Pettis, Jeremy Avery and others provide a punch on an offense that will score lots of points with Heisman Contender Kellen Moore at the helm and Ryan WInterswyk leads a tough defense that shut down Oregon and TCU last year. I’m really pulling for these guys but I don’t see it happening.

TCU (NO. 4, MWC champions, 12-1, Key Player: Andy Dalton)

Hate: They totally choked up in the Fiesta Bowl last year. The mental toughness should be a concern as the Mountain West gets more attention this year than ever with their recent success. Also losing Jerry Hughes in defense hurts more than they’ll know.

Like: They are the best team in Texas. On offense Andy Dalton will get a long look for the Heisman and he’ll have plenty of help in looking good from Jeremy Kerley and Joseph Turner. The defense is still stout without Hughes as Coach Gary Patterson will rely on defensive tackles Kelly Griffin and Cory Grant to lead one of the nation’s top ranked and toughest defensive lines.

VIRGINIA TECH (No.5, ACC, 10-3, Key Player: Ryan Williams)

So I could win the Heisman, we could go 12-0, again and still wont play for the National Title again?

Hate: They play in the ACC, the worst conference in all of football. They have to go to Miami and Chapel Hill against the best the conference has to offer. Also they shrink against the big competition. They lost to Georgia Tech, UNC, and Alabama last year while barely beating Nebraska in a game that they were not impressive in. suddenly that home field advantage versus Boise State doesn’t look like a big deal.

Like: The progression of Tyrod Taylor. He is the undisputed man at Va. Tech and has finally found a way to make them score regularly. Having Ryan Williams in the backfield doesn’t hurt. He should match his 1600 season last year with the cupcakes coming up on the schedule.

IOWA (no. 6, Orange Bowl Champions, 11-2, Key Players: Defensive Line)

Hate: Turnovers, turnovers, turnovers. They plagued them in losses and in games that shouldn’t have been close last year. Ricky Stanzi has a flash for brilliance at QB but his iffy arm puts the Hawkeyes in trouble A LOT! Also that week three matchup against Arizona will be tougher than most think.

Love: That defense. Ask the Big Ten about it. Led by Adrian Clairborn and Karl Krug they can rush the QB at will with just the front four. The front line won six of their games last year and can do it again this year. Also Penn State, Wisconsin and Ohio State have to come to Kinnick Stadium this year. Talk about a lucky break.

FLORIDA (No. 7, Sugar Bowl Champions, 13-1, SEC, Key Player: John Brantley)

Hate: They’re young, with unproven receivers, no real threat in the backfield and a defense that lost four key starters. They face South Florida September 11th which could be a tough test for them. This might be the year that Florida State restores the balance of the rivalry in their favor.

Like: Mechanically and from the eye test John Brantley is a better quarterback than Tim Tebow (BLASPHEMY!!). With the spread offense in play they should still put up lots of points especially with Vandy, Appalachian State and Miami (Oh) on the schedule.

TEXAS (No. 8, National runner-up, 13-1, Big 12, Key Player: Malcolm Williams)

Hate: The fact that they are ranked third in the nation without their returning top QB, WR, tackler and defensive back. If Malcolm Williams cant step up and be Garrett Gilbert’s main target then that offense will have problems scoring, even in the pass happy Big 12.

Like: They only play Nebraska, and Oklahoma. There schedule screams 10-2 or 11-1 even without the clarity on offense.

OKLAHOMA (No. 9, 7-5, Big 12, Key Player: Landry Jones)

Hate: Normally I’d rage against a coach for scheduling Utah State as its first game of the year… until you see Oklahoma facing Florida State, Air Force and Cincinnati in their non-conference.  Nice job Coach Stoops scheduling your team coming off of a wretched year against a rejuvenated Seminole squad a tough Air Force team and the Big East champs on the road. Oh yeah followed by a matchup versus Texas.

Like: Landry Jones was a revelation last year. With Sam Bradford being injured Jones got his reps early and knows what to expect this year. He’s got weapons by the boatload and will put up lots of points. Oh and the top ten defense returns all of its starters too, that helps.

NEBRASKA (No. 10, 10-4, Big 12, Key Player: Jared Crick)

Hate: Replacing Ndamukong Suh is not going to be easy for Jared Crick. While he won’t be expected to put up the same numbers as Suh they will expect the same presence and motor that Suh brought every Saturday.

Like: Bo Pelini’s defensive schemes gave the big dogs nightmares last year, ask Texas; also no one is throwing on Prince Amakamura (great name). QB Zac Lee looks to rebound from an up and down year but won’t be asked to do much with this great defense in front of him.

Hey Tressel! Here's your preview of what's to come!

Ideally I would love a TCU vs. Boise State BCS title game however that will never happen in a million years. So I’ll instead settle for Nebraska vs. Ohio State in Glendale. Why? Why not.

Look, of all of these teams these are the two I feel safest in picking. The Buckeyes because they get Miami at home early and should handle two tough tests at Iowa and Wisconsin, The Huskers because they get Texas at home and in a conference that’s offensive minded they will have the upper hand with their suffocating defense. Also do you really see Oklahoma beating them in the Big 12 title game with the Prince all over Ryan Broyles, Landry Jones’s only real threat down field? Nope.

So that means the national champion will be… NEBRASKA!!! The Buckeye faithful hate me right now. I like Nebraska a lot. They have an NFL mentality, defense wins championships and Zac Lee will play Trent Dilfer easing the ship on its course. Plus we know how Jim Tressel fails versus the SEC over and over, so coaching against Pelini and his SEC ties to LSU will be a nightmare for him. Also wouldn’t that be interesting? Nebraska beating Ohio State then starting Big Ten conference play the next year as the clear favorites? Hmmm…

So as it turns out, I do like one team. Even without Ndamukong Suh the Huskers are still a force to reckon with and won’t fall a second short like they did last year versus Texas. Also its sort of a win for the SEC as one of their old coaches gets another ring. So everyone’s happy, well except the folks in Columbus. Another failed title game appearance and to lose to the new guy coming in next year? Ugh. There’s something to hate.

ACC Winner- Florida State (Dark Horse- Georgia Tech)

Big East- Pittsburgh (Cincinnati)

Big Ten- Ohio State (Wisconsin)

Big 12- Nebraska (Oklahoma)

Pac 10- Oregon (Arizona)

SEC- Alabama (LSU)

BCS Busters- Boise and TCU

Orange Bowl- Florida State vs. TCU

Sugar Bowl- Alabama vs. Pittsburgh

Fiesta Bowl- Oklahoma vs. Boise State

Rose Bowl- Oregon vs. Wisconsin

BCS Title Game- Nebraska vs. Ohio State

Heisman Winner- Kellen Moore, Boise State