We have been having fun all week going over our various predictions for the upcoming season. I love making predictions, because if I am wrong there are not a whole lot of people that will come back at the end of the year and throw it in my face. But don't let that deter you from doing so. I can eat my words when needed and am prepared to do just that should any of these predictions fail to come true.
Indiana Hoosiers go bowling, and not the kind with a ball and pins
Kevin Wilson and the Hoosiers are reaching the postseason. Mark it down. Photo: USA Today Sports
We all know Indiana is much more known for their annual postseason plans in basketball, but this year the dedicated football fans in Bloomington should start saving their money for a December getaway because Kevin Wilson will take one of the Big Ten’s top pass offenses to a postseason bowl game for the first time since taking over the program.
The schedule could be set up nicely for Indiana. A 3-0 start is certainly not out of the question and the Hoosiers get Missouri at home before entering a bye week. If Indiana can manage to take down the SEC sophomore program at home, Indiana would only need two more wins between the start of October and the end of the year. Indiana gets Penn State at home as well as Minnesota, Illinois and Purdue. Picking up two wins from that group is not that far of a reach, and we haven’t touched on the idea that Indiana might find a way to score an upset along the way.
Six wins for the Hoosiers may be the ceiling in 2013, but it’s not exactly the Sistine Chapel they’re trying to reach for.
Army gets to sing second against Navy
One of the greatest traditions in college football, for my money, is when the service academies sing their alma mater following each game. Other programs have copied it and made it their own tradition over the years, but there is something a little extra special when Army, Navy and Air Force do it. It is especially meaningful when playing against each other, with the losing school singing first and the victors celebrating with the second singing.
Army has not defeated their rivals from Navy since 2001, and Navy has sung twice 13 out of the last 14 years. While Trent Steelman may no longer be there to lead the Black Knights to victory, there is a roster that has been very young working their way up to catch up to Navy. Maybe, just maybe, this is the year Army breaks the longest winning streak in the greatest rivalry’s storied history.
Navy still has the overall talent advantage, but none of that matters when these two rivals play. This year, Army finally gets the upper hand.
Photo: USA Today Sports
Boise State crashes the BCS party one last time
It would seem only fitting to me that the final year of the BCS system would involve one of the teams that helped make it a bit more interesting. The Boise State Broncos, who have twice reached a BCS bowl game, could wiggle in one more time.
The Broncos had what many seem to think was a down year in 2012, but if 11 wins and a postseason win is a step back I think many programs would take it. This season will present some challenges though as far as the schedule is concerned. Boise State opens at Washington in the only game against a BCS AQ conference opponent. The schedule also features some tricky Mountain West road trips, including Fresno State, Utah State and San Diego State. Throw in a game at BYU and the road to an undefeated season could be elusive. Can Boise State work their way in with one loss? Probably, if it comes early enough.
It’s been done before. Why not one more time?
Louisville goes undefeated, gets left out of a chance to play for national title
Bruce Feldman recently explained that Louisville might be the most likely team to go undefeated this season. He’s right. The Cardinals figure to be the clear favorite in every game they play this season and it is entirely possible the Cardinals play an entire schedule without having faced a top 25 opponent.
That could be a problem when it comes to the BCS formula. Although strength of schedule is not a factor for now, the pollsters would be more likely to give the nod to a one-loss Big Ten, Big 12 or Pac 12 champion, not to mention the handful of SEC teams that could gain more merit along the way as well.
There’s only room for two in the BCS Championship Game. That puts the pressure on a very good Louisville team to put on a dominant show for 12 games. For a team that lost to Syracuse and UConn last season, do you have faith Louisville can avoid a letdown every week?
Alabama defeats Ohio State to bring BCS era to a close with one more BCS title
The final BCS Championship Game will feature Alabama, winners of two straight and three of the last four, and Ohio State, led by a coach with a pair of BCS rings and a program that has played in three title games. It will be one of the most hyped BCS Championship Games, and for good reason.
Nick Saban vs. Urban Meyer is just the appetizer. Any time Alabama or Ohio State is involved, it is destined for greatness. Get these two together for just the fourth time in history, and it makes for the perfect way to say good-bye to the BCS.
Old habits are hard to break, but crystal footballs are not. Photo: USA Today Sports