Friday, August 23, 2013

PREDICTIONS: CAN BUCKEYES DETHRONE CRIMSON TIDE?

Braxton Miller
TBT/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell
With T-minus one week until the opening of the college football season, I will put forth in writing my predictions for the 2013 campaign.

And as always, I will be 100-percent correct with my expert prognostications.

CONFERENCE CHAMPIONS ...
AAC: Louisville
ACC: Clemson
BIG 12: Oklahoma State
BIG TEN: Ohio State
CUSA: East Carolina
MAC: Ohio
MNT WEST: Boise State
PAC-12: Oregon
SEC: Alabama
SUN BELT: Arkansas State

HEISMAN TROPHY GOES TO ... Braxton Miller, QB, Ohio State
— Although there are some extremely worthy candidates to be considered (Tajh Boyd, Teddy Bridgewater, A.J. McCarron, Johnny Manziel), Miller just has that "it" factor which cannot be ignored.

The 2012 Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year — fresh off a school-record for total yards (3,310) — will be unstoppable in his second season running head coach Urban Meyer's high octane offense. 

As in the past, quarterbacks have flourished during their second seasons under Meyer, winning a Heisman (Tim Tebow), a national championship (Chris Leak), as well as going on to become the first overall pick in the NFL Draft (Alex Smith).

With a weak schedule and the spotlight shining bright on Columbus — now that the Buckeyes are bowl (championship) eligible — Miller may run away with the coveted hardware.

BCS BOWLS ...
ROSE BOWL: Oregon over Michigan
FIESTA BOWL: Stanford over Oklahoma State
SUGAR BOWL: LSU over Notre Dame
ORANGE BOWL: Clemson over Louisville

BCS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME: Alabama over Ohio State.
— The Buckeyes certainly have what it takes to make it to Pasadena for the BCS title game, but I believe they're still another year — and a stellar recruiting class — away from dethroning the Crimson Tide.

Although I believe Miller and the Buckeyes' offense will be able to put points on the board against anyone in the nation, I am not ready to claim the OSU defense as championship caliber. I believe they have all of the pieces in place, but with the inexperience along the front seven, I am just not comfortable enough to predict the Buckeyes weak schedule will have them prepared enough to take down the two-time defending national champions.

Maybe midway through the season, I'll be singing a different tune about the OSU defense, but as of now ... the Tide is my pick to take home the roses.