Welcome to College Football 2008. If you thought 2007 was a wild one, wait until you watch the 2008 edition. As most of us already know, craziness has already begun. In the SEC, you have a team in the Georgia that was picked #1 in both Coaches and Associated Press poll but is expected to do this without winning the SEC East as the SEC Media pick Florida to win that division before either poll came out. Did that not keep Georgia from going to the BCS national title game in 2007? They were stuck playing Hawaii in the Sugar Bowl instead of Ohio State in the same stadium a week later because they forgot to show up against Tennessee in mid-October. This will be a sensational season with many, many upsets and teams that aren't supposed to "be there" actually winning a few more games and grabbing the national spotlight away from the powerhouses. No, Appalachian State will not shock the world for the second straight year, but there are conference predictions I will make to start the season.
1) Conference champions
ACC-Virginia Tech gets revenge from the first ever ACC title game and beats Florida State in FSU territory down in Tampa. No more Jacksonville Landing for the ACC Champion. Clemson finds a way to lose two games that they shouldn't.
BigEast- West Virginia will finally beat South Florida after losing two in a row against them. People say Pittsburgh won't be far behind, but when it comes to Dave Wannstedt, I'll believe it when I see it.
Big Ten- Everyone picks Ohio State to be undefeated and playing the SEC Champion in the national title game. All they have to do is win the USC game and they have sealed their trip to Miami. They will not be going to the BCS title game, nor will they be making a return trip to Los Angeles. Wisconsin wins the Big Ten by virtue of their victory over Ohio State on October 4.
Big 12- Missouri might as well go ahead and reserve hotels for two weeks in KC. The week after they play Kansas in what I still call the Border War, they should be returning to Arrowhead to face Oklahoma. Boomer Sooner will have a few close calls from the likes of Texas and Texas Tech but should come out unscathed heading into the Big 12 title game. Oklahoma gets by Missouri for the third time in two years and heads to the Fiesta Bowl again.
Pac-10- Southern California continues their domination of the Pacific-10 conference in football. Unlike the last two years, this year's conference championship will not be shared. USC should go undefeated if they get by Ohio State. The Pac-10 representative in the Rose Bowl presented by Citi or AT&T or whoever this year will not be Arizona State. I see the Oregon Ducks heading to Pasadena.
SEC- Sorry Georgia, sorry LSU. I tend to be on the side of SEC media instead of national media on this one. I am picking Florida vs. Auburn on this one with the Gators winning the SEC championship.
Now for non-BCS love.
Conference USA- George O'Leary set UCF up with a tough non-conference schedule but should roll into the C-USA title game when they go to Tulsa and lose in the championship game. 3rd time in 4 years that these two will have played each other in the championship game, this being the first that would be played in Tulsa.
MAC- Bowling Green vs. Central Michigan will be the matchup in Ford Field. Miami Univ. will contend in the East while Western Michigan and Ball State could represent the West in Detroit.
Mountain West- This should be an exciting race with as many a 3 teams not only playing for a Mountain West title, but could be this year's BCS crasher. A tough call here, but Brigham Young will be the MWC champs with Utah and TCU not far behind.
Sun Belt- The last two years, the Sun Belt champion has gone on the road on the last Saturday of the regular season and stolen the crown. If that were the case, then Arkansas State would be going to Troy December 6 to win the Sun Belt, but they will actually be playing for second place that day. Florida Atlantic will be the rep in the New Orleans Bowl for the second straight year.
WAC- WACky again with the last two BCS crashers coming from this conference. Fresno State could make it a third. They will beat Boise State for the conference title. Meanwhile, Hawaii's offense will be nowhere to be found.