I meant to say that you want to win your homecoming game . . .
Sounds like you guys had an excellent recruiting class. Great, just what the rest of us need... ;) Actually, it's kinda scary that UF was able to snag a couple of guys who were considering Miami, as well as a couple of major Texas recruits who Mack Brown had locked down.
I don't think anyone can knock Miami's schedule, apart from playing FAMU. I just don't buy into the need to play IAA's anymore. I realize you guys are also throwing A&M a bone though. You guys had the best out of conference schedule, at least on paper, last year.
Talking about FAMU and Miami, there is a similar situation w/ Clemson and Furman. I've noticed that the I-AA team Clemson has scheduled the most times is none other than...Furman. Catdaddy, can you tell me why Clemson likes to play Furman so much???
We play UNC on the road first, which SHOULD be a gimme (no telling with our problems though). The two make or break games will be Maryland at home (second game of the season) and Miami here. If we drop the early one to Maryland, we will get POUNDED all season. If we win that one, we'll probably be on a roll (especially since we get Colorado here in the heat nad since Colorado stinks against the pass) until we play Miami. If we win that one (we should have a decent chance with Berlin, hopefully being rusty and you guys losing some major skill players, plus it being here in Tally) I think it'll galvanize the team, and we'll survive scares at UVA, ND, Clemson, and UF, as well as NC State at home, and we'll be in the BCS title game, where we'll lose to Ohio State, USC, or Oklahoma.
UNC should be a gimme for the Noles. I had thought the Terps might be able to beat FSU the last two years, but somehow FSU still came out on top. However, this early game may change that or it may not. Definitely a must-watch, IMO.
UVa has been able to scare FSU in the past, but I'm not so sure w/ Coach Groh. I think FSU will come out alright, but I could be mistaken.
Clemson, believe it or not, should be a gimme. Bobby Bowden really prepares hard for that game and it shows.
I think an ACC team that could really scare FSU would be Georgia Tech. I know that my Dawgs poured the points on them last year, but that could be just what they needed to get out of their complacency. I look for the Jackets to surprise quite a few folks this year.
Agree that NC State should also give FSU a scare.
Anything could happen in the UF game, IMO.
I think the top teams right now, on paper, are OSU, Oklahoma, LSU, and USC. Miami might be back, or they might struggle a bit. Neither would surprise me. FSU is a coin flip also, though we are much more likely to nosedive than Miami. The SEC will be brutal next year, so LSU will have hell coming out undefeated. Same goes for the ACC and BE. I think OSU will be even better next year, but either Illinois or Michigan will tarnish their record. No way they can run the table twice in-conference. If they do, just hand them the title. Oklahoma has a decent shot at going undefeated, but now they have to worry about teams like A&M and especially Ok. St. I think they'll own the conference, but someone in the Big 12 will surprise them. I just hope they don't allow Texas to back into a title game by dropping two. USC will be less talented next year but much more confident. They could run the table in their conference, but they'll lose at least one going on the road to ND and Auburn. Illinois, UVA, and Auburn are teams to really watch out for next year. They all have shots at major upsets and they'll have great records by the end of the season. Colorado could really make noise, but they have to actually beat Colorado St. and survive FSU in Tallahassee (both very possible, but Colorado hasn't been able to do anything out of conference for years).
UGa might be able to join that top teams' list or they might. The Dawgs will definitely struggle some next year with all of the departing seniors. However, Richt has shown the Dawgs how to win, so even if we're a little down next year, we'll be back w/ a vengeance year after next.
A team to really watch out for out of the Pac 10 is Arizona State. Although the Sun Devils have struggled a lot recently, they have shown themselves capable of prime time performances in the past. Also, the heat will be on for Belloti to produce next year. Losing to Wake is unacceptable to UO, so I expect Bellotti to be a little on the hot seat next year.
As far as conferences go, no doubt that any move by ND could change the landscape permanently, though if the Irish move to the BE they could freeze membership at 9 indefinitely. I'd like to see a couple of non-BCS teams, Navy and Louisville, brought in also. I think Pitino is making Louisville a more desirable addition with every win this season. PSU would be the perfect capper, but if that doesn't happen, So Miss, UCF, or Marshall (I know, West Va will forbid it) would all be interesting, as would Villanova moving to IA. Actually, Army would be interesting too, since you could play that game in the early afternoon, then play the conference title game right after. The BE would dominate an entire Saturday in November every year--
If Tranghese gets his way and keeps his job for awhile, I can really see the Big East getting ND to join, and that could be the end of expansion for awhile. If Tranghese doesn't get his way, I could see him getting the hook, and seeing a new Big East commish on the scene. That new commish will give serious looks to Louisville, Cincy, UCF, and Navy.