Thursday marked the official kick-off for the 2010 college football season. Surely, players, coaches and administrators are glad that many issues arising this summer will be set aside just long enough for their frustrations to be played out on the gridiron. Here are my predictions for who will win each BCS-affiliated conference:
ACC: Clemson will repeat as the Atlantic Division champion, with Boston College nipping at their heels. In the Coastal Division, Miami will catapult over Georgia Tech to win. Overall, with star QB Kyle Parker’s help, Clemson will win the ACC Championship.
Big East: Pitt will overcome their heartbreaking loss to Cincinnati last year to claim the “Beast of the East” title in 2010. Heisman Trophy hopeful RB Dion Lewis, WR Jonathan Baldwin, and DE Greg Romeus will lead the Panthers to a second 10+ win season. Both UConn and WVU will have strong showings but will fall just short of the winning the crown.
Big 12: The off-season turmoil regarding conference allegiance won’t stop Missouri and Texas from claiming the North and South Divisions respectively. Texas has too much firepower for the rest of the Conference will claim the championship easily.
Big Ten: Ohio State, the perennial favorite, will again punch their ticket to a BCS bowl game. Wisconsin will have a great year, but, will fall just short. Penn State will have a disappointing season by their standards with a 9-win season.
Conference USA: UCF and SMU will reign as champs of the East and West Divisions. The team from the Sunshine State will win the conference championship.
Mid-America: Temple will continue their resurgence to win the East Division. Central Michigan repeats as West Division. Overall, Temple surprises Central Michigan as the Mid-America champ.
Mountain West: Brigham Young and TCU battle for what will be the last Mountain West championship as we know it. Brigham Young takes the crown with them as they join Notre Dame as an “Independent” football school.
Pac-10: Oregon and Oregon State will have a close battle to the end. Lane Kiffin’s USC squad make the Conference race interesting, but, James and Jacquizz Rodgers help the Beavers ultimately claim the title.
SEC: Often dubbed the best conference in the country, the SEC will again find Florida and Alabama as division champions. The Tebow-less Gators still have a strong team, but will be overshadowed yet again by ‘Bama. Saban’s squad will make a solid showing despite an early season injury to 2009 Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram.
Sun Belt: Middle Tennessee and Troy will position themselves the leaders of the pack, with the Blue Raiders prevailing.
WAC: Gotta love the blue field and gotta love Boise State. They really have no competition and will easily win the WAC championship.
BCS Championship: It should be interesting to see how the non-BCS schools fare with the computer. With that said, the National Championship game won’t be much of a surprise - Texas vs. Alabama. “Hook ‘Em” Horns!!