ACC Champion- Virginia Tech
The biggest game of the season is the opener against a top 5 Boise State team. Win that and the Hokies have a great shot to run the table and play in their first National Champions game since Michael Vick was a freshman. Outside of Boise State, the toughest game looks to be at Boston Collegw in late September. If Frank Beamer's squad can avoid the customary late season meltdown, this could be a special team. QB Tyrod Taylor and RB Ryan Williams are ready to make themselves Heisman contenders.
Contenders- Boston College, Florida State, Georgia Tech
Randy Shannon can't coach his way out of a paper bag. Jacory Harris is the second most overrated player in the country behind Jake Locker.
Big 10 Champion- Ohio State
If Terrelle Pryor can play like he did in the Rose Bowl against Oregon all season, the Buckeyes won't be beat. Jim Tressel plays to and maximizes his team's strengths better than any coach in the country. The defense will be stout again. It call comes down to Terrelle Pryor.
Contenders- Penn State, Michigan State, Wisconsin
Whenever coach Kirk Ferentz has a team that starts off the season highly ranked, they always disappoint. No reason to think this year will be any different.
Big 12 Champion- Texas
Despite the loss of Colt McCoy, the Longhorns are still the class of the Big 12. Garrett Gilbert should step in an fill McCoy's shoes nicely after taking over for the former Hesiman finalist in the National Championship Game last year following a McCoy injury. That experience is going to go a long way towards their run at a conference title. As is usually the case, the conference is going to come down to the Red River Rivalry game against Oklahoma.
Contenders- Oklahoma, Nebraska, Missouri
Robert Griffin can only do so much. People have been waiting for Baylor to turn the corner for years. This isn't the year.
Big East Champion- UCONN
Surprised? Don't be. Randy Edsall has his best team ever and can win a poor Big East Conference. Notre Dame transfer Zach Frazer is the most underrated QB in the conference, and running Jordan Todman is going to break out for 1,500+ yards.
Contenders- Pittsburgh, West Virginia, Cincinnati
Disappointment- South Florida
With Jim Leavitt leaving amidst scandal, this program takes a step back, even with up and coming QB BJ Daniels.
Conference USA Champion- Houston
Case Keenum is going to finish the season as the leading passer in terms of passing yards and touchdowns in college football history. This offense can put up 50 points a game and Keenum, if he makes a run at becoming the first player to throw for 6,000 yards in a season, could be a Heisman finalist. The defense will keep the Cougars from something special.
Contenders- Southern Miss, SMU, Central Florida
Disappointment- East Carolina
Skip Holtz is gone as is Patrick Pinkney. The Pirates fall back into mediocrity.
MAC Champion- Temple
Al Golden is the best non-BCS coach in the country outside of the Mountain West. As soon as Joe Paterno retires or dies, the Penn State job is his. The sophomore running back duo of the bruising Bernard Pierce and the speedy Matt Brown form one of the best tandems in the country.
Contenders- Northern Illinois, Ohio, Kent State
Disappointment- Central Michigan
The loss of Dan LeFevour is going to be too much to overcome with a new coach and the Chippewas slide back to the middle of the conference.
Mountain West Champion- TCU
The schedule sets up well for another BCS run and maybe even a shot at playing in the national title game. The season comes down to two games: against Oregon State in Dallas and at Utah. Win both of those and the Horned Frogs should be undefeated. Their strength of schedule may keep them from the national title, so strong seasons by OSU, Utah, BYU, Air Force, and SMU would be helpful.
Contenders- Utah, Air Force
Cougar fans don't want to call it a rebuilding year, but by BYU standards, it will be. Don't expect the 10 win season streak to continue, but this will still be a solid team.
Pac 10 Champion- Oregon State
The Beavers have arguably the best offensive duo in the country in brothers James and Jacquizz Rodgers. Breaking in a new quarterback to replace Sean Canfield in Texas against a top 10 TCU team the first game of the season is going to be tough. OSU generally starts slowly but is firing on all cylinders by midseason. Coach Mike Riley is one of the best in the country. .
Contenders- Oregon, Arizona, Cal
Disappointment- Stanford and Washington
Losing Toby Gerhart is going to hurt much more than people think for Stanford. Jake Locker is the most overrated player in the country. Don't be surprised if both of these teams finish with losing records in a balanced Pac 10.
SEC Champion- Florida
Everybody loves Alabama, but the Gators are the pick in the first year AT (After Tebow). John Brantley is an upgrade throwing the ball and the gators brought in one of the greatest recruiting classes ever in 2010, with many of those recruits ready to contribute immediately. Watch for Jeff Demps to be a breakout star. He's the fastest player in the country……by a lot.
Contenders- Alabama, LSU, Georgia, South Carolina
A cushy schedule last year led to a padded record. Gus Malzahn is a top notch recruiter, but the Tigers are a year away.
Sun Belt Champion- Troy
Troy has been either champs or co-champs each of the last four years and their is no reason to think that ends in 2010.
Contenders- Arkansas State, Louisiana-Lafayette
Disappointment- North Texas
The Mean Green should be able to win this conference every year with the talent they can bring in from Texas.
WAC Champion- Boise State
21 of 22 starters return for a team that will be ranked in the top 5 to start the season. If the Broncos get past Virginia Tech in Maryland to open the season, and Oregon State at home, they'll be playing for the national title. The last time Boise State opened the season away from home against a high caliber opponent, Georgia wiped the floor with them in 2005. The odds of them losing a WAC game in their last season in the conference are almost nil. .
Contenders- Nevada, Fresno Sate
After a strong season in 2009 under Rob Akey, the Vandals regress in 2010 and finish in the middle of the WAC pack.
National Championship Game-Virginia Tech vs TCU
National Champs- Virginia Tech
They don't have the best team in the country, but they'll be the last one's standing after the only two undefeated teams in the land square off.
Heisman Trophy Winner- Jacquizz Rodgers- RB- Oregon State.
Quizz leads the Beavers to their first Rose Bowl since 1965 and captures the Heisman Trophy after rushing for 1,600+ yards and leading the nation in scoring.
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