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August 29, 2010

Roundtable: Preseason predictions for 2010

At the College Football Roundtable each week, we ask each member of the coverage staff for his opinion about a topic in the sport.

THIS WEEK'S QUESTION: We're five days from the start of the season. Which 10 teams make the BCS, which two teams play in the national title game and who wins the Heisman?

Olin Buchanan's answer:
My list of teams to make BCS bowl games will look quite similar to the teams that played in them last season. I anticipate Alabama, Florida, Ohio State, Oregon, Iowa and TCU making return appearances in the glamour games. My "new" picks are Nebraska, Virginia Tech, Oklahoma and Pittsburgh, but I wouldn't be surprised if Miami, Texas, Boise State or even Connecticut and Stanford show up in them. As far as the BCS title game goes, the popular pick is Alabama-Ohio State. It's also the smart pick. But I'm going to say Ohio State-Nebraska. And the Heisman winner? Ryan Williams of Virginia Tech.

Tom Dienhart's answer:
In the BCS title game, I'll go with Alabama-Ohio State. The eight other teams in the BCS will be Oregon, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Iowa, Florida, Pittsburgh, Virginia Tech and Boise State. And for the Heisman, I'll go with Ohio State's Terrelle Pryor.

David Fox's answer:
I picked Florida to win the SEC and Oklahoma to win the Big 12, so I'm essentially picking a rematch of the 2008 title game. I realize this will put me in the minority, by leaving Alabama and/or Ohio State out of the game. I'd expect Alabama to beat Florida in Tuscaloosa, but I can see the Tide losing to an SEC West opponent and also the rematch with the Gators in Atlanta. A title defense isn't easy -- just ask Florida. In the Big 12, I'm not buying the Nebraska offense just yet, and I don't see a first-year starting quarterback at Texas winning in Lincoln, winning the Big 12 or going to the national championship game. My remaining BCS teams: Oregon, Iowa, Alabama, Ohio State, Virginia Tech, Pittsburgh, Nebraska and Boise State. I think Boise State makes a run at the title but gets stuck at No. 3 when the computers punish the Broncos for their WAC schedule and the human pollsters get cold feet when it comes time to launch an outsider to the title game. For the Heisman, this is another year for the running back but the run for sophomores ends. I'm picking Oregon State's Jacquizz Rodgers. My best guess at finalists in for a wide-open award: Virginia Tech's Ryan Williams, Pittsburgh's Dion Lewis, Navy's Ricky Dobbs and Boise State's Kellen Moore.

Mike Huguenin's answer:
My 10 in the BCS: Alabama, Boise State, Florida, Iowa, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pittsburgh, Texas and Virginia Tech. I'll chicken out and pick the chalk for the title game: Alabama vs. Ohio State. As for the Heisman, I say no repeat winner, and instead will go anti-chalk with Houston QB Case Keenum; I think he flirts with 6,000 passing yards, which will sway enough voters.

Steve Megargee's answer:
I'll pick Alabama, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pittsburgh and Virginia Tech to earn automatic bids from their respective conferences. And I like Florida, Iowa and Texas to earn at-large bids. I'm going to predict Boise State loses one of its two tough non-conference games (Virginia Tech or Oregon State) to fall out of the BCS mix this season, but I do think TCU goes undefeated to get that final BCS invitation. The past two BCS championship games have featured the SEC champion against the Big 12 champion. Alabama and Oklahoma make it three in a row, though I have much more confidence in my Alabama pick than my Oklahoma selection. I'm having trouble picking a Heisman winner. Many of the nation's top running backs (such as Alabama's Mark Ingram and Virginia Tech's Ryan Williams) could be splitting carries with talented teammates. If Boise State does indeed fail to go unbeaten, that would pretty much end Kellen Moore's candidacy. I'm still not sold on the notion that Ohio State's Terrelle Pryor is about to become the next Vince Young just because he had a great Rose Bowl, and most of the other top quarterbacks (Houston's Case Keenum, Arkansas' Ryan Mallett, Washington's Jake Locker, Florida State's Christian Ponder) play for teams that probably won't earn BCS bids. I'll go out on a limb and pick Pittsburgh running back Dion Lewis. You know he's going to get the ball enough times in Dave Wannstedt's system to rank near the NCAA leaders in rushing, and he should get plenty of national attention if he helps the Panthers earn a BCS bid.

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