Things are slow in the Heisman world these days, so why not skip off topic for a bit and talk about college football in general?
Here’s a few of the things we think we’ll see in 2005:
–Another national title for USC. The Trojans will go 13-0 and run their win streak to 35 in a row. To do so, they’ll have to squeak by Florida in the Rose Bowl, as Urban Meyer’s offense will give USC fits. The rest of the college football world will realize then and there that a wide open, multi-dimensional offense is the only way to beat the Trojans. Note: For our money, the Heisman winner WILL be playing in this game.
–Continued excellence by the five teams in college football whose offensive scheme and playcalling sophistication is above and beyond everyone else’s: USC, Louisville, Boise State, California and Utah. Last year, those teams went a combined 60-4 (with two of the losses coming against each other). And it wasn’t a coincidence. This year, add a sixth team–one with a boatload of talent–to that list: Florida.
–The curtain call for Bobby Bowden. The Seminoles are tough on defense, but without a legitimate quarterback–something he had for about 15 years in a row–Bowden’s squads have struggled. A second-straight loss to Florida will hasten his departure.
–The reformation of the SEC. In 2003, there weren’t any competent, advanced offenses in the Southeastern Conference. The league was surviving on superior talent alone. Despite that fact, the SEC was still being touted as the best conference in the nation, we think wrongly. Then last year, Auburn implemented an antiquated Pac-10 offense run by Al Borges and proceeded to run the table. This year, South Carolina gets to see Steve Spurrier’s Fun ‘n Gun offense in action. And, of course, Urban Meyer is ready to take the SEC by storm as Florida’s head man. So, just like that, there are now three teams in the SEC running offenses that (for instance) actually utilize their backs and tight ends with regularity. While that’s a concept that is fairly mundane in many other parts of the country, it’s revolutionary in the SEC. Expect other teams in the league to shift accordingly, as they are dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century. The result will be that the SEC really WILL become the best conference around, as its unmatched talent base, combined with a big improvement in coaching, will pay dividends.
–Texas will finally beat Oklahoma….but lose to Texas A&M in an epic battle between Reggie McNeal and Vince Young.
–Boise State will beat Georgia in Athens. The Broncos of this decade are a lot like the BYU teams of the 1980s–possessing only a modicum of talent, but very dangerous due to great coaching, superior scheme and a confidence that borders on cockiness. That same formula allowed BYU to beat powers like SMU and Miami in the 1980s, all the while revolutionizing the way offenses (and hence, defenses) were run in college football.
–The ‘hybrid’ will be one of THE stories of 2005, as Reggie Bush, Ted Ginn and Devin Hester will continue to dazzle with their versatility. As a result, more weight will be lent to the ‘all-purpose yardage’ stat, as sportswriters will need to find SOME way to make the contributions of these uber-talents show up in the box score.
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