The 2012 college football season begins in a few short days and, as usual, I am looking forward to a lot of fun and a bit of bitching about the BCS system. Time is short before work so I am throwing up a few predictions for week one.
ASU vs Oregon: The Sun Belt is no longer the pushover of the past. Arkansas State lost their HC to Ole Miss (his mistake), but return most of the starters from last year. The Red Wolves (I still want to call them the Indians) will likely be in the hunt in the SBC but facing the Ducks is a pretty rough one for a starter. Oregon has an outside shot to compete for the national championship. That won't happen as the Ducks always seem to find a way to shoot themselves in the foot, but they should have enough to have a fairly easy time in the opener. It might not be the five touchdown victory that the "experts" are predicting however.
UCLA vs Rice: The Bruins come to Houston with new enthusiasm. That enthusiasm should be dampened in short order but it is doubtful that the Owls will be the team to start their downhill slide. David Bailiff needs to win at least six or seven games to keep his job at Rice but this is likely not to be. Go with UCLA. Hope not. I may slide on over and see this one. Might have to feel an illness coming on Friday morning. Oh well, it looks like I have another offer on the table. Working in a jailhouse ain't for me anyway.
TAMU vs Louisiana Tech: The Bulldogs are not the Tigers but they may have a shot at starting what may be an awful long one for the Aggie faithful. La. Tech is a good WAC team and the Aggies are on their way to year in and year out mediocrity in the SEC. This game is pretty much a toss up but I will have to go with Louisiana Tech to pull off a minor upset here. Or perhaps Kevin Sumlin can change water into wine?
Ohio Bobcats vs PSU: PSU has problems. Perhaps you have heard about it? Solich over at Ohio has done a very good job keeping his small school competitive and the team from Ohio will give the decimated Lions all they can handle. I will go out on a limb and predict an upset here. Go with the Bobcats in a close one.
Hawaii vs USC: I don't know what Hawaii has this year but I have a pretty good idea what the Trojans are about. About the only downside for the Trojans is their ridiculous head coach. If the Warriors were to pull this one out of the hat it would be one of the major upsets in the history of the game. It would eclipse the NLU (now ULM) victory in Tuscaloosa a few years back. That was one of the few times coach Nick suffered humiliation. It felt good. Still does.
Texas State vs Houston: The Cougars lost a good head coach and an excellent college QB. It remains to be seen if they will make a play in CUSA this season. The Bobcats are in their first year of D1 and have just not been a very good team of late. Franchione is back in the coaching ranks and it remains to be seen just how good (or bad) he can be. He was one of the lights of the game supposedly a few years back, but it did not take long to expose him as semi competent at best. He has character issues also. Texas State could have done much better methinks. I would go with Houston here with relative ease.
Wyoming vs Texas: I have done no research at all on the Cowboys and really very little on the Longhorns. If Mac can get his QB situation straight then he may have a team that has an outside shot at the Big Twelve. If not. Look for a seven or eight win season (something Longhorn fans will not long tolerate). I will go with the Horns here.
Oklahoma vs UTEP: The Sooners travel to El Paso. The Sun Bowl will be sold out. The Miners will be crushed. Fans will go home disappointed. End of story here.
SMU Mustangs vs Baylor: Both teams are well coached and this should be a good game. For the first time that I can remember Briles will not have a stellar man (that we know of yet) behind center. Jones is building a program and he will have some success. This one may be a toss up and I will go with Baylor in a close one.
Tulsa vs Iowa State: The battle of the tropical systems. OK pretty lame. Iowa State has trouble being competitive in the Big Twelve and the other major program in the state draws a bit better players. This is something that Tulsa should know a thing or two about with two Big Twelve teams in Oklahoma. That being said Tulsa is a contender in CUSA this year and Iowa State will likely be Iowa State. This could be close but I will go with Tulsa.
I will close with an Ayyyiiiiiiii... Go Cajuns.
Adendum: The Louisiana Tech vs TAMU contest has been postponed due to the tropical system. I will substitute that game for Michigan vs Alabama game. Michigan is ranked higher than I expected by the "experts" while Alabama will be likely in the hunt for the mythical national title. Michigan may be a top 20 team but Alabama will be a top ten team certain. Anything less than playing for the title would be considered by many a disappointment. Go with the Tide to roll by two (or more) touchdowns.