It's time for the sixth installment of Five Crazy Predictions, the annual feature in which my friend Ben and I offer up picks for the year that are almost invariably wrong. Let the massive shifts in betting lines commence as the market tries to price these nuggets:
1. Auburn plays Alabama on November 26,2010 with the SEC West title on the line.
[Ed. - We're both on the Auburn bandwagon. Gus Malzahn plus Cameron Newton equals fun! It's interesting to me that the consensus in the South has shifted away from Arkansas being the challenger to Alabama. I can't speak for others, but my thought is that Auburn is more likely to improve its defense from crap to mediocre because Gene Chizik must know something about defense and also because Auburn's freshmen will give them the depth that they lacked last year.]
2. Michigan opens the season 0-2, then rallies to win 8 of the next ten and finishes above Iowa in the Big Ten.
[Ed. - Michigan pulled this off in 2007 and the season was a disappointment. If they do this in 2010, then I'll be in insufferable "I told you Rich could coach!" mode. Yay for diminished expectations!]
3. Boise State has two loses by season's end and TCU is once again undefeated and makes a BCS bowl.
[Ed. - This pick isn't rational because of Boise's track record and their returning starters, but I can see a scenario where the Broncos spend the entire offseason getting amped for playing Virginia Tech, lose, and then have a hard time picking themselves up off the canvas.]
4. Notre Dame beats USC in Los Angeles
[Ed. - I'm high on both of these teams.]
5. Texas A&M gets at least nine wins this season.
[Ed. - Mike Sherman. Res ipse loquitur.]
1. Arizona beats Iowa. Iowa is overrated. (Anyone else notice that Vegas has the Hawkeyes' over/under at 8.5 wins. Seems a little low for a top ten team, no? Maybe the people with actual dollars riding on their evaluations disagree with the notion that Ricky Stanzi is college football's David Eckstein.) Big Ten teams don't do well when they go west. Arizona is a little undervalued because of their faceplant in the bowl game. Tuscon is hot.
2. Notre Dame goes to a BCS bowl. Weis's recruiting plus Kelly's coaching. Seems simple, no?
3. USC wins the Pac Ten. This is not an endorsement of Lane Kiffin by any stretch of the imagination. This is an endorsement of Monte Kiffin and Ed Orgeron coaching a bunch of five-star players. USC's defense should rock the Pac Ten.
4. Baylor goes to a bowl game and escapes the basement of the Big XII South. If I keep picking it, then it has to happen sometime, right?
5. The ACC finally gets a sold-out title game with Virginia Tech and Clemson. This may be my most ludicrous prediction yet.