College Football Predictions
Welcome to Playbyplayinc.com's ncaa college conference predictions page. Our expert college football and ncaa basketball scouts handicap, analyze and breakdown every team in each conference to assist you into making better gambling decisions.
2009 College Football Major Conference PreviewsBIG East - Unpredictability has been the only constant in the Big East Conference college football race of late. Cincinnati didn't receive much consideration as a favorite in the Big East in 2008, but the Bearcats won the league title outright and earned the school's first BCS berth. Thanks to several upsets in league play, Big East teams have popped in and out of the Top 10 rankings like a "Whack-a-Mole" game the past couple of seasons.
This season's conference race should be wide open yet again in the Big East. Pitt has been selected most often as the preseason favorite, but if an unexpected team ends up on top of the standings in December, it shouldn't be a surprise -- just business as usual in the Big East.
PAC 10 - USC's dominance in the Pacific 10 Conference is well documented; the Trojans have won at least a share of seven straight Pac-10 Conference titles, along with four straight Rose Bowl berths. This season, the Trojans hope to be playing in the Rose Bowl stadium in the post-season, but they're hoping to be in the BCS Championship Game instead of the actual Rose Bowl.
To reach the national title game, Southern California will have to break in a new starting quarterback and replace six starters from one of the best defenses in college football. If anyone is going to break USC's stranglehold on the Pac-10 title, this might be the season. However, with numerous teams unsettled and inexperienced at quarterback, look for USC to be back on top of the league standings in December.
BIG 10 - Ohio State has been the class of the Big Ten Conference the past four seasons, winning at least a share of the Big Ten championship each season. When matched against the class of other conferences, though, Ohio State hasn't matched up. The Buckeyes were blown out in national title games to end the 2006 and 2007 seasons, and USC hammered Ohio State early in the 2008 season.
However, Ohio State is hoping to reverse that trend and build on the momentum it gained in a tight, 24-21 loss against highly regarded Texas in the 2009 Fiesta Bowl. Without a doubt, the Buckeyes are heavily favored to win another Big Ten title in 2009; their fans just hope they're catching up with the rest of the country as they continue to rule the Big Ten.
BIG 12 - The Big 12 Conference was the talk of college football for much of last season, thanks to record-setting offenses and a controversial divisional tiebreaker that helped Oklahoma reach the national championship game. In the end, though, the Sooners and the Big 12 learned the old saying still rings true: Defense wins championships, as Florida defeated Oklahoma in the BCS championship game by limiting the Sooners to a season-low 14 points. In 2009, Heisman Trophy candidates abound in the Big 12, which should have plenty of offense again, along with three preseason Top 10 teams. The question is: Will the defenses improve enough to give the league a better result on the national scene?
WAC - Boise State has ruled the Western Athletic Conference since joining the league in 2001, winning the championship in seven of its eight seasons and finishing unbeaten in league play five times. Winning an eighth title in nine years in 2009 almost appears to be a foregone conclusion, as the Broncos are loaded with talent again.
In fact, Boise State has its sights set beyond winning another WAC championship. Instead, the Broncos are looking at returning to a BCS bowl game with an undefeated season. Louisiana Tech might have the best shot this season among WAC teams of derailing Boise State's championship hopes ... and Tech lost to Boise State 38-3 last season. Dethroning Boise State in the WAC might be tougher than opponents adjusting their eyes to the Broncos' blue turf.
SEC - The Southeastern Conference is the best conference in college football. If you don't believe it, just ask any fan, coach, or player associated with the league. Or ask someone associated with Ohio State or Oklahoma, both of which have been victims of SEC teams in national championship games in the past few years. Florida and LSU have combined to win the past three national championships, cementing the SEC's spot as the nation's top conference.
Florida is among the heavy favorites to win another national title for the SEC this season, with challenges expected from Mississippi, Alabama, and LSU. While other conferences are seeing exploding offensive play, it's the defenses that rule the SEC ... and, come January, college football, too.
MWC - Among the non-BCS conferences, the Mountain West Conference enjoyed the most successful season in 2008, going 3-2 in bowl games, pulling several regular-season upsets of Pac-10 teams, and placing conference member Utah in the Sugar Bowl, where the Utes completed an undefeated season with a dominating 31-17 win against Alabama.
In 2009, the MWC may have a tough time entirely matching its successes from a year ago, but it should be another very strong year for the league. Utah, BYU, and TCU all will make a strong bid for the MWC title, with Air Force, Colorado State, and UNLV challenging for bowl bids.
ACC - The ACC in 2009 might not send another record 10 teams to college football bowl games as the league did last season, but the middle of the ACC pack should be highly competitive again this season, after 10 teams finished either 5-3 or 4-4 in league play in 2008.
What about the top of the ACC? On paper, Virginia Tech appears to have separated itself from the rest of the league in 2009. Virginia Tech won its second straight ACC championship last season, defeating Boston College for the second straight year in the ACC Championship Game. Although the Hokies are the strong ACC preseason favorite again in 2009, the battles for bowl bids should be very interesting. And if the Hokies stumble, several teams will be poised to dethrone them.