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August 28, 2008

Bowden: Things I'd like to see this season

More Bowden: Spread option no magic bullet | Triple option can work

I already have written that Ohio State will beat USC on Sept. 13 and that the teams will play again for the national championship.

I also have announced that Chris Wells will win the Heisman Trophy and that 2008 will be proclaimed as "The year of the Spread Offense."

Now let me tell you 10 things I really want to see in 2008.

College football season is here. Let's have some fun!

  • 10. A new-fangled defense
  • You win championships with defense, but all we ever hear about these days is offense. This season, I want to see someone come up with a defense that will shut down all these rapid-fire, no-huddle spread attacks. We've had the bump-and-run, the zone blitz and the "Tampa 2." Now it's time for a soon-to-be famous coordinator to design a scheme that puts defensive football back in the limelight.

  • 9. A sideline penalty when it matters
  • There used to be a sideline warning when coaches or players got too close to the sideline during a game. Now it will be an automatic 5-yard penalty. When USC is on the 1 against Ohio State with three seconds left and a chance to score the winning touchdown, I want to see an official drop the flag for a 5-yard penalty that makes it fourth-and-6. Just like the celebration rule when it came out, now that it's there, refs better be willing to call it.

  • 8. A plan for Terrelle Pryor
  • Ted Ginn Jr. led the nation in punt returns as a true freshman, and Maurice Clarett led Ohio State to the national championship in his freshman season. The question is not if Jim Tressel utilizes freshman sensation Pryor this season, but how. Pryor, Rivals.com's No. 1 player in the class of 2008, is better than both aforementioned players. Count on seeing him early and often.

  • 7. Another option on offense
  • New Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson proves what most coaches knew but were afraid to say over the past 20 years because they didn't want somebody to actually try it: The triple option will work in major college football.

  • 6. A fashion statement by June Jones

  • Now that Jones will be coaching at SMU instead of at Hawaii, the big question is not how many times will he throw the ball but rather what will he wear on the sideline.
    A. Flowered shirt
    B. Bowling shirt
    C. Flowered bowling shirt
    D. Flowered bowling shirt with a lei

    Bonus question: Will he wear socks?

  • 5. Mark Richt still up to his old tricks
  • Knowing that his good friend, Urban Meyer, grew up a huge Notre Dame fan, Georgia coach Richt pulls out the green jerseys against the Florida Gators. The only color more unexpected on the field is the shade of red on Meyer's face.

  • 4. Deja vu all over again
  • Appalachian State pulled last season's biggest upset by knocking off Michigan in the Big House. This season, the Mountaineers head down to Baton Rouge to open up with the defending national champions, LSU. But Appalachian State won't be sneaking up on anybody this season and LSU starts the season 1-0. Hey, wait a minute: Didn't I say deja vu? Yes, I did: Michigan loses its opener against Utah.

  • 3. Like father, like son
  • New South Carolina offensive coordinator Steve Spurrier Jr. throws his visor in disgust after the triple-reverse halfback pass he calls out of the end zone is intercepted by Clemson safety Michael Hamlin, setting up the game-winning field goal by Tommy Bowden's Tigers. Unfortunately for Bowden, the kick sails wide right.

  • 2. Victor/Victoria
  • One year after his infamous tirade and after having a secret sex-change operation in the offseason Oklahoma State coach Michelle Gundy blows up in her first post-game news conference and yells, "I'm a woman. I'm 39."

  • 1. Decide it on the playing field
  • After Penn State goes 9-3 and Florida State 8-4, tying them at 381 wins each, Joe Paterno and Bobby Bowden agree to retire if they can play each other in a bowl to determine once and for all who will be the winningest coach in Division I-A history. But the Rose Bowl forces Penn State to honor a Big Ten agreement and play a Pac-10 team in Pasadena, once again denying college football the opportunity to see a champion decided "on the playing field." Both coaches then decide to continue coaching well beyond the 2009 season.

    More Bowden: Spread option no magic bullet | Triple option can work

    Terry Bowden is Yahoo! Sports' college football analyst. For more information about Terry, visit his official web site.

    Send Terry a question or comment for potential use in a future column or webcast.

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