Winner: Virginia Tech over Florida State
Player of the Year: Russell Wilson
2010 Fun: Watching the North Carolina Defense week-in and week-out, if they remain on the field. If they are sanctioned, watching the North Carolina Defense on the field try to fill the holes.
What to watch for: The return of Beamerball, not just in Blacksburg, but conference wide.
Keep your eye on: The 5 QB’s in the league that are touted for national awards, in addition to the strong stable of tailbacks, even if they aren’t household names, yet.
Winner: Iowa in a squeaker
Player of the Year: Tyrell Prior because nobody will step up to take it from him.
2010 Fun: Watching the offenses across the league open things up a little more this year. No more 3 yards and cloud of dust.
What to watch for: The growth and maturity of the QB’s across the board.
Keep your eye on: The depth of the defensive linemen and linebackers that will make a difference at the next level.
Winner: Oklahoma over Missouri.
Player of the Year: Ryan Broyles. Or DeMarco Murray. Or Landry Jones. Either way, it’s headed to Norman. But nobody will touch Broyles if he stays healthy (see Larry Fitzgerald)
2010 Fun: Watching the south against one another, ala 2008. With Texas, Oklahoma, Texas Tech and Texas A&M, there should be some must-see tv throughout the fall.
What to watch for: How well the “replacement” QB’s fair stepping into shoes at Texas and Oklahoma (and even Texas Tech) against the seasoned veterans at Missouri, Texas A&M and Nebraska.
Keep your eye on: The awards that are going to head to the Big 12 this year! They will fill draft sheets over the next few years.
Winner: West Virginia with a back yard brawl victory in late November.
Player of the Year: Noel Devine, if they give him the ball and let him loose. He could out highlight reel CJ Spiller this year if given the chance.
2010 Fun: Watching games in November that matter in the conference, something other conferences are missing.
What to watch for: The emergence of team defenses that may steal some wins in the middle and late season.
Keep your eye on: BJ Daniels when he gets healthy.
Winner: Oregon. USC who?
Player of the Year: Jaquizz Rodgers in a landslide.
2010 Fun: Watching Lane Kiffin take a talented team and lose 3 games with them, and then try to explain why they didn’t win. It won’t be a comfortable year in Trojan Land.
What to watch for: The Civil War in Oregon, which will actually matter this year. The path to get there with each teams running backs will be impressive.
Keep your eye on: The decline of Stanford, and the potential upswing of the Bruins, maybe.
Winner: Arkansas over Florida
Player of the Year: Co, between Ryan Mallett and John Brantley
2010 Fun: Watching the weasel Nick Saban squirm as they fall from grace, and the top 15 in the polls!
What to watch for: The emergence of the next great Gator quarterback, and a receiving corp that will shine.
Keep your eye on: Russell Sheppard at LSU taking direct snaps, running reverses, lined up in the backfield, catching deep passes, returning kicks, filling water bottles and even kicking on-sides kicks in the first quarter. There’s nothing this guy can’t do.
Of course Boise State and TCU will win their conferences. Kellen Moore will put up big numbers this year, but they won’t be in Glendale on January 10.
I’m calling Oklahoma over Virginia Tech in the National Title. The Hokies will make it back after 11 years, but won’t be able to lift the Crystal this year. However, they will end the trend of opening against the eventual national champs (2004-USC, 2006-LSU, 2009-Alabama.)