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The 2012 college football season kicks off Thursday August 30th.

As with each new year, the associated press has determined that these are the top 25 teams in college football for 2012:

AP Top 25
RK TEAM RECORD PTS
1 USC (25) 0-0 1445
2 Alabama (17) 0-0 1411
3 LSU (16) 0-0 1402
4 Oklahoma (1) 0-0 1286
5 Oregon 0-0 1274
6 Georgia 0-0 1107
7 Florida State 0-0 1093
8 Michigan (1) 0-0 1000
9 South Carolina 0-0 994
10 Arkansas 0-0 963
11 West Virginia 0-0 856
12 Wisconsin 0-0 838
13 Michigan State 0-0 742
14 Clemson 0-0 615
15 Texas 0-0 569
16 Virginia Tech 0-0 548
17 Nebraska 0-0 485
18 Ohio State 0-0 474
19 Oklahoma State 0-0 430
20 TCU 0-0 397
21 Stanford 0-0 383
22 Kansas State 0-0 300
23 Florida 0-0 214
24 Boise State 0-0 212
25 Louisville 0-0 105

 

Predictions

Kentucky @ (25) Louisville – Sunday Sept. 2, 2012:

It’s always hard to pick these games. A rivalry game always has potential for upset and in this case, Kentucky seems to be fully capable of blindsiding #25 on the road if they play a clean game. Because of the home crowd, I give the slight edge to Louisville.

Louisville wins 24-23

Bowling Green @ (23) Florida – Saturday Sept. 1, 2012:

Classic SEC warm-up game for the Gators. Some analysts have Florida as a SEC dark horse this year.

Florida wins 45-13

Missouri State @ (22) Kansas State – Saturday Sept. 1, 2012:

Kansas State looks to continue moving forward after a breakout 10-3 season in 2011. Missouri State will need a miracle.

Kansas State wins 35-14

San Jose State @ (21) Stanford – Friday Aug. 31, 2012:

Stanford faces no small task in replacing Andrew Luck which cannot be anything but a step backwards. Coach Shaw won’t have too much to be concerned about week one however.

Stanford wins 31-17

Savannah State @ (19) Oklahoma State – Saturday Sept. 1, 2012:

OK State’s offense took two huge hits in losing both Veteran QB Brandon Weeden and WR Justin Blackmon to the NFL. The defense may need to step up to buffer the blow as they gave up 26 points per game in 2011. Savannah State will not likely put more than 20 on the board, though.

Oklahoma State wins 28-10

Miami (OH) @ (18) Ohio State – Saturday Sept. 1, 2012:

Welcome back Urban Meyer! Look for this Ohio State team to be markedly better than the Buckeyes from 2011. Meyer has a knack for making instant improvement everywhere he goes.

Ohio State wins 38-20

Southern Miss. @ (17) Nebraska – Saturday Sept. 1, 2012:

Nebraska looks to be fast and ready to run in 2012. Southern Miss. is about a 20 point underdog in this game but I see it being a little closer.

Nebraska wins 31-21

Georgia Tech. @ (16) Virginia Tech. – Monday Sept. 3, 2012:

Why they have to play Monday is unknown to me but what I do know, is that VT has a tendency to start slow and GT is no slouch. Look for the Yellow Jackets’ triple option offense to confuse an untested 2012 defense.

Georgia Tech wins 28-24

Wyoming @ (15) Texas – Saturday Sept. 1, 2012:

After a disappointing 2011 season for the Longhorns, they look to turn things around and again, win the Big 12. To do that, they must start by crushing the outmatched ‘Pokes of Wyoming.

Texas wins 40-7

(14) Clemson @ Auburn – Saturday Sept. 1, 2012:

Expectations are high for Clemson this year. Doesn’t that sound familiar? We’ll see how the past few stellar recruiting years will pan out for Clemson. Auburn struggled to beat Utah State at home in last year’s opener.

Clemson wins 21-17

(24) Boise State @ (13) Michigan State – Friday Aug. 31, 2012:

Ah, the annual event of Boise State facing a BCS team in a battle of the ranked in week one. Although Boise has a great track record in the past, they lost a lot on their defense and will struggle to keep Spartan points off the board.

Michigan State wins 31-21

Northern Iowa @ (12) Wisconsin – Saturday Sept. 1, 2012:

Wisconsin has high hopes for another 10+ win season. All signs point to Michigan and Wisconsin facing each other in the B1G Championship. First things first, tune up game against NIU.

Wisconsin wins 49-10

Marshall @ (11) West Virginia – Saturday Sept. 1, 2012:

West Virginia makes the move from the Big East to the Big XII this season. Some analysts expect the Mountaineers to challenge Oklahoma for the conference title.

West Virginia wins 34-17

Jacksonville State @ (10) Arkansas – Saturday Sept. 1, 2012:

The Arkansas Razorbacks were supposed to be flying high this season until Head Coach Bobby Petrino was caught in a scandal and fired in the off-season. The talent level alone keeps Arkansas afloat at #10 but will have a tough road ahead. After the first week at least.

Arkansas wins 56-14

(9) South Carolina @ Vanderbilt – Thursday Aug. 30, 2012:

It’s a rare occurrence to have a week one conference game. Especially dangerous when a top ten team goes on the road to face a conference foe. Vanderbilt isn’t the most threatening team in the SEC by any means, but they should not be overlooked.

South Carolina wins 31-24

Murray State @ (7) Florida State – Saturday Sept. 1, 2012:

Murray State was a huge story in the college basketball world in 2011-’12. Too bad that won’t help them from getting destroyed by the Seminoles on their way to trying to win the ACC.

Florida State wins 45-10

Buffalo @ (6) Georgia – Saturday Sept. 1, 2012:

The Georgia Bulldogs crack the preseason top 10 for the first time since starting at #1 in 2008. It’s been a while since Georgia made big waves in the SEC. Buffalo should provide good practice.

Georgia wins 31-7

Arkansas State @ (5) Oregon – Saturday Sept. 1, 2012:

Oregon looks to get off to a fast start to the 2012 season with a warm-up game against Arkansas State. The Ducks will be flying in this game with new QB Marcus Mariota and potential Heisman candidate RB DeAnthony Thomas putting up points.

Oregon wins 49-13

(4) Oklahoma @ UTEP – Saturday Sept. 1, 2012:

The Sooners have national championship aspirations this season and with good reason. NFL prospect Landry Jones returns for his Senior season and will get UTEP to cut up before the tough games begin.

Oklahoma wins 45-9

North Texas @ (3) LSU – Saturday Sept. 1, 2012:

LSU is on the BCS National Championship rebound after losing 21-0 to Alabama last season. With Tyrann Mathieu unavailable this season, LSU really has to worry about North Texas upsetting…I’m kidding. N. Texas is toast.

LSU wins 48-3

(8) Michigan @ (2) Alabama – Saturday Sept. 1, 2012:

This is the marquee game of the week without question. Michigan is the top ranked B1G team and Alabama is the top SEC team. Regardless of the outcome, whichever team loses will have work to do to get back into the BCS conversation. Michigan is returning Denard Robinson with a steadily improving defense under Brady Hoke.

Alabama wins 28-21

Hawaii @ (1) USC – Saturday Sept. 1, 2012:

With all the talent USC has returning in 2012, the #1 spot is deserved. With a tough schedule this season, it’s hard to think USC will make it through unscathed. Hawaii will not be the team to taste victory against the Trojans this year.

USC wins 42-7

***Locally***

Southern Utah @ Utah State – Thursday Aug. 20, 2012:

After a 6-6 season in 2011, the USU Aggies are hungry for a new season and hopefully even more improvement. There’s no reason to think that they can’t add to last year’s success and they will start that road by hosting in-state D-2 Southern Utah.

Utah State wins 35-14

Washington State @ BYU – Thursday Aug. 30, 2012:

New Washington State Head Coach Mike Leach begins his tenure with the Cougars by heading down to Provo and taking on his alma mater BYU. BYU is expected to be good on defense while Leach is an offensive mastermind with tools at his disposal.

Washington State wins 27-24

Northern Colorado @ Utah

Utah heads into its second year in the Pac 12 with high expectations and improvements all around the offensive side of the ball. Northern Colorado will be a great opportunity to solidify some positions for the Utes and prepare for tougher competition later on.

Utah wins 42-3

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The SEC is a very polar topic when it comes to college football. Either you are convinced that the SEC is the cream of the crop of college football, or you are of the opinion that they are overrated.

I, for one, believe that the SEC is, as some NCAA football analysts call it, a “mini NFL“.

When the first round in the NFL draft is dominated by SEC talent and you see Rookies from the SEC making waves in the NFL, you know where the best football is being played.

That being said, there is a large difference between having the most talented individual players athletically, and being capable of winning games. There have been many occasions that have proved this. Utah’s victory over Alabama was due in large part to the Utes game plan and the higher level of coaching and play calling. Same with TCU over Wisconsin, Boise State over Oklahoma, and BYU over Oklahoma.

But when all is said and done, SEC players, more than any other conference’s players, are better prepared for NFL play because so much is expected of them at the college level when compared to the teams playing in the Mountain West and the WAC for example. You see it all the time with players that put up huge numbers in lesser conferences and then those numbers tank in the pros.

Alex Smith and Max Hall are proving examples of this.

On the other end of the spectrum, you have players such as the Pouncey twins. Maurkice and Mike Pouncey both played football for the University of Florida on the offensive line. Maurkice played right guard and forewent his senior season to enter the 2010 NFL draft. He started all 16 regular season games at center for the Pittsburgh Steelers and has made a name for himself. Mike Pouncey played his senior year at Florida as their center and was highly regarded as one of the best offensive linemen in college.

These are the types of players and talent that exist in the SEC all around. They play for these schools to prepare for the NFL. Cam Newton might have a few things to tweak here and there, but he is able to break tackles from linebackers just as fast and heavy as the ones the NFL has to offer. Sure, they might be more experienced but that will come in time for Cam.

Cam’s biggest challenge and criticism is that he has not played in a pro-set offense taking snaps under center. He will deal a lot with this package in the NFL no matter where he goes, and will need to prove that he can handle that style of play. If he can do that, why shouldn’t he be able to make big plays like he is doing now? Tim Tebow showed potential at Denver the back-end of the season. Newton should do just fine, if not, spectacularly.

Fake Logo combining MWC and WAC

Conference expansion dominated the college football world last off-season and even trickled into the season itself. After all was said and done, at least the first waves, no conference was affected more than the Mountain West Conference and the WAC. (more…)

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I know what a lot of you might be thinking after reading that title. “The BCS is the very epitome of unfairness!” How dare a Utah fan of all people call the BCS fair?

Let me explain my reasoning.

There is an elitist culture in college football when it comes to the BCS. The haves and have-nots. The SEC is deemed strongest conference every year before the first snap in the fall. Certain geographic regions gain more attention and respect than others. Heisman hopefuls are selected before a single stat sheet is filled in.

The #1 argument against the BCS is that by selecting just 2 teams at season’s end based on what their BCS poll rank is, you run the risk of leaving an equally deserving team out of the conversation.

Let’s use the ’08-’09 season as an example.

Hindsight is 20/20. Utah finished the regular season undefeated and ranked #6 in the country. Like 2004, I was just excited that the Utes were able to play in a BCS bowl game. Before the selection of the teams, I ran over the possible opponents Utah could have faced, Texas, Alabama, and Ohio State. In all honesty, I didn’t have a lot of confidence doing a mental run down of each matchup. When Utah and Alabama were matched up for the Sugar Bowl, I thought, “Well, it was a great season. Let’s hope Utah can somehow pull this off.”

It wasn’t until AFTER Utah showed what they were capable of, beating Alabama senseless, that I started hollering for a chance at the title. But would Utah have deserved it in all reality? No.

True, they were the only remaining team in Division 1 without a loss. True, the Utes handled the same Alabama team that future champion Florida needed a come from behind victory to beat. But also true, is that Utah’s pathway through the season was much more pleasant.

I am a firm believer that anything can happen in college football on any given day. Appalachian State beat Michigan. James Madison beat Virginia Tech. These things happen. Does that mean because a team is capable of beating another team, that they are deserving of a chance at the national title? No, at least not the way the setup stands.

The bottom line is this: There are 2 spots only in the national championship game. There will be teams left out.

A team that has faced more overall talent in their field of competition throughout the year, (and anyone who follows college football recruiting knows where the most talented players flock) is more deserving of a spot in the title game than a team that destroyed and tore through teams with half the talent.

This isn’t to say that the more deserving team is necessarily more talented. For example, I think that TCU could hold its own against Auburn and come out victorious 70% of the time. However, the hardest opponents on TCU’s schedule were Oregon State and Utah, and Utah didn’t even show up for that game.

TCU showed that they were talented enough to beat BCS powerhouse Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl, but they also didn’t have to play the same strenuous schedule as Auburn did.

In the end, the real solution to the problem is, of course, a tournament and playoff system. You wouldn’t even have to get rid of the BCS bowls or their sponsors.

You can still have all the crappy 6-6 consolation prize teams play in their “Jack’s construction in Eastern Mississippi and the surrounding area.com” bowl games all in one day or week, but reserve the Cotton Bowl, Capital One Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, and the Orange Bowl for the 8 top teams selected to the tournament. You can play those games the same week as the lower tier bowls currently start, the week before Christmas.

The 4 winners then play in the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl as the semifinals the week after Christmas. Then, you can hold the National Championship game on New Years Day like it should be.

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College football is drawing to a close. With just the BCS National Championship left (of the games we care about) it’s time for another edition of 5 things to remember and forget.

5 Things to Remember:

1. Cam Newton is not out of the woods.

If you’ll all remember the Reggie Bush saga, there were accusations and speculations regarding whether or not Bush had accepted payment for his abilities while still at USC. It wasn’t until 5 years later, long after Bush had been in the NFL, that the investigations were concluded and the sanctions laid down.

If I were the NCAA, I would have done the same thing regarding Newton with the amount of evidence present at the time. Remember, it’s much better to hold off on punishment until all skeletons are uncovered than to discipline in anticipation of finding said skeletons.

Believe me, Cam’s case is being prepared and thorough investigations are in order, even if the NCAA hasn’t gone public with each step of the process. Besides, the NCAA is benefitting greatly from Newton playing just as they did Bush. Just saying.

2. The landscape of college football changes drastically next season with the expansion of conferences.

Nebraska to the Big 10, Utah and CU to the PAC-10, TCU to the Big East, and BYU moving independent. The moves alone would be big enough, but now throw in 2 new conference championship games, the Big 12 losing their championship game, and you have a huge shake-up.

The Mountain West Conference, in essence, has become the WAC but with better lower tier teams than the WAC had. Boise State Community College will remain a BCS buster while Utah and TCU vie for an automatic bid (TCU more than likely will be conference champ favorite off the bat).

3. The SEC will remain the most elite conference.

I know, I know, the SEC gets more respect than it deserves before the season even starts, but let’s just take a quick glance at the conference rundown. The SEC has won the national championship the last 4 years in a row and has a contender in Auburn in the game this year.

The 7th ranked team in the conference was Florida. The 7th best teams in the other “elite” conferences are as follows; Big 12 – Kansas State, ACC – North Carolina, Big 10 – Michigan, Big East – Cincinnati, PAC-10 – Arizona. The best part is that only 2 teams in the SEC were not bowl eligible by season’s end. Impressive to say the least.

4. USC still isn’t post season eligible.

The reason I mention this is that Utah will be a member the PAC-12 South Division, made up of USC, UCLA, Arizona, Arizona State, and CU. Of these teams, the only one I’m concerned about is possibly Arizona, because Utah plays them at Arizona. Since USC will be ineligible for postseason play, Utah gets the conference championship slot even with second place in the division under USC.

5. Remember Boise State and Notre Dame will be the only teams likely to be BCS busters next year.

Although Boise State got a rude awakening as to how far 1 loss will drop you when you play in the WAC, having to play in the Maaco Las Vegas Bowl while other one loss teams received BCS invites, they will certainly remain a force in their new home, the Mountain West Conference.

Brian Kelly finally started getting things clicking for Notre Dame, as they destroyed Miami in the Sun Bowl in El Paso, TX. Freshman QB Tommy Rees had a great game and will be returning next season to Kelly’s offense. Should be interesting to see what he can do next season.

5 Things to Forget:

1. Forget about the WAC.

Even though they found a few teams to fill holes, they’re pulling no-names. University of Texas San Antonio, Texas State University, and Denver University will replace Boise State, Nevada, Fresno State, and Hawaii…totally balances out.

Hard to believe that the WAC used to be home to Arizona, Arizona State, Utah, TCU, and BYU at one time or another the last 35 years.

2. Stanford can forget about the success they’ve seen the last few years.

Head Coach Jim Harbaugh is likely headed to the NFL, and starting QB Andrew Luck is surely headed to the NFL as well. Likely destinations for Harbaugh include the Denver Broncos, working under Stanford alum John Elway, the 49ers in nearby San Francisco, or even the Miami Dolphins.

Luck will be the #1 overall pick in the 2011 draft in all likelihood. Sorry Stanford.

3. Forget about the SEC national championship streak.

Oregon plays at a pace Auburn hasn’t seen yet. Sure, Auburn will get theirs, but as I’ve said all season, Oregon might not be the most completely balanced team (like TCU) but they are the nations most unbeatable team. Their offense is outstanding and they don’t slow down. Even if Auburn can keep it close through 3 quarters, they won’t for 4.

4. BYU can forget about long-term independence.

The minute the Big 12 decides to replace Nebraska and Colorado, BYU will be at the top of the short list of candidates.

If not for weakness in all categories other than football, Boise State would be considered with the Cougars but the Big 12 does have SOME pride in it’s academics and sports outside football. Can you picture Kansas vs Boise State as a basketball conference game? Yikes.

5. Forget about the good old days when college football news consisted of stories and reports on the game itself.

With ESPN Sportscenter, 24/7 news and blog updates, Twitter, Facebook and endless other media outlets, the stories that get the most face-time are the scandals, firings, and drama. Fans can only read about the game itself so many times before needing to search out other forums with more debatable topics than the stats and highlights.

In reaching the final chapter of this college football season, hopefully we can all remember the history and memories made in 2010 and forget our teams’ struggles and move forward with hopes of a brighter twenty-11.

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What a year 2010 turned out to be in sports. From the Alabama Crimson Tide winning the national championship to the Giants winning the World Series.

2010 saw Tiger Woods’ first full calendar year without notching a single victory, neither in majors nor non-major events.

2010 was host to both the Winter Olympics in Vancouver and the World Cup in South Africa. Surprisingly, South Africa seemed to handle the role better with seemingly less to work with. Really, the only negative throughout the World Cup were those Vuvuzelas (they haunt my dreams).

2010 was the year of the media. Endless talk of where LeBron James would play the ’10-’11 season and beyond hijacked every sports radio station, column, channel, etc. until finally, it built up to “the Decision”, a poorly thought out plan by the LeBron James group to publicly announce his contract plans live on ESPN.

“The Decision” badly backfired when James chose against returning to Cleveland, where he was drafted 6 years ago, and left to play in Miami with Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh. The backlash was instant in Cleveland and soon even the media, which profited greatly from “the Decision” threw James under the bus, calling his actions classless, selfish, and pretty much all the things the audience was wanting to hear.

Nearing the end of the year, and with the season under way, many of the media are forgiving of James and are more focussed on his play on the court.

2010 was a shaky shaky year for college football. It started with expansion rumors out of the Big East and the Big 10. The Big 10 fired first, inviting Big 12 member Nebraska into their ranks. Nebraska accepted the invite. The PAC-10, not to be outdone, fired next. They invited Colorado, Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Texas A&M. Colorado was the only school to accept. They later invited the University of Utah, who gladly accepted.

BYU, being passed over and no longer sharing a conference tie with rival Utah, left for far greener pastures as an Independent in Division 1A football, and far browner pastures in everything else, joining the West Coast Conference in all other sports.

TCU left for the Big East, and the top half of the WAC in football shifted over to the Mountain West Conference, to fill the holes left by the power trio that had, for nearly a decade, ruled the top of the conference.

Cam Newton burst onto the scene, dominating all in his way to winning the Heisman trophy and leading the Auburn Tigers into the national championship game. Looming over his accomplishments, however, were allegations that he was involved in a pay for play scheme with his father and an agent. Cam was ruled eligible for lack of evidence that he knew anything about the scheme. Let’s hope 5 years from now that we don’t have another Reggie Bush situation.

2010 was the year of the pitcher in the MLB. Roy Halladay, Tim Lincecum, Cliff Lee, and numerous others were in the spotlight this season. The Giants’ pitching staff received praise all season and they showed why. Solid pitching and late season play from Rookie Buster Posey led the Giants into the playoffs and hot bats at perfect times in the World Series sealed the deal for them.

The Lakers won their 2nd straight title, beating the Celtics and avenging their 2008 defeat in the finals to that nearly identical Celtics team.

Jimmie Johnson won his 5th straight Sprint Chase for the Cup title in a row (first ever to do so).

The UConn women’s basketball team broke the once thought impossible win streak record of 88 wins, set by the UCLA men’s basketball team under coach John Wooden. The lady Huskies’ record ended at 90 games.

All in all, a very crazy year. Can’t wait to see what 2011 brings.

Post Christmas Utes Recap

Posted: December 26, 2010 by Dan Condie in Boise State, NCAA Football, Utah
Tags: , , , , , ,

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Well guys, it’s been a long time since the last article so there’s a lot to catch up on. Let’s run over the important stuff now, more to come later.

First off, the “Less” Vegas Bowl; I’ve had it with the stagnant offense on Utah’s end. There really wasn’t any one aspect that was to blame.

Terrance Cain once again showed poor pocket presence, being sacked needlessly, fumbling the ball and looking nothing like earlier this season.

The play calling was actually very VERY good early on in the game, but was ruined by dropped balls that my grandma could catch. After the dropped passes early, the play calling flat out sucked.

The Utes faced 3rd and long so many times, the Boise State defensive coordinators barely had to work after the 1st quarter. The Utes could easily have been up 21-0 in the first quarter with all the turnovers the defense forced.

The Utes offense nailed their own coffin shut with more dropped passes and terrible play calling in the second half, ending a 9 bowl game win streak (2nd longest in NCAA history).

Hats off to Kalani Sitake, Utes defensive coordinator and the Utes defense. At the beginning of the season, the defense was the biggest question mark and, once again, the Utes defense carried them this season when times were tough on offense.

Congrats Boise State. Great season this year. Good luck filling Utah’s shoes in the Mountain West next season.

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As the lower tier bowl games kick off, it becomes clearer that the end of another action packed college football season us quickly approaching.

Alabama and Ohio State were listed as preseason #1 and #2, respectively, and were expected to win out and play in the national championship game. Current #2 Oregon and #1 Auburn had other plans.

#3 TCU, with a preseason ranking of #7, watched every team in front of them lose throughout the season, while they stayed undefeated. Yet, they didn’t have the same strength of schedule that Auburn and Oregon had to push them over the #3 hump.

Arkansas, Ohio State, and Stanford will also play in BCS bowl games as at-large picks with the Horned Frogs.

Wisconsin will represent the Big 10 against at-large TCU in the Rose Bowl.

Big 12 champion Oklahoma will face Big East champ Connecticut in the Fiesta Bowl.

ACC champ Virginia Tech will play at-large Stanford out of the PAC-10 in the Orange Bowl.

At-larges Arkansas and Ohio State will face off in the Sugar Bowl.

Fiesta Bowl: Oklahoma vs UConn

I’m not sure how I feel here. 75% of the bowl-eligible teams this season are more deserving of a BCS bid than UConn. Still, Oklahoma is notorious for losing the big games under Stoops. Oklahoma has lost the last 5 BCS bowl games they’ve played in (including 3 national championship appearances).

UConn could pull an upset larger than the one Boise State pulled over Oklahoma in ’06, but I don’t see it happening.

Oklahoma wins 45-17

Sugar Bowl: Arkansas vs Ohio State

This should be a good game that pits the Ohio State defensive unit against Ryan Mallett. The X-factor, as always, will be Terrelle Pryor. Pryor tore Oregon apart last  year in the Rose Bowl. If Pryor can bring that same performance, even Ryan Mallett won’t be able to do enough to beat the Buckeyes.

Ohio State wins 35-24

Orange Bowl: Virginia Tech vs Stanford

This could end up being the hardest game to call. Stanford’s defense might be the best since Boise State that VT has faced. Stanford is used to the speed that V-Tech plays with, being from the speedy PAC-10.

Tyrod Taylor and Andrew Luck will be the difference makers here. The quarterback that has the bigger game, will be the winning quarterback.

Stanford wins a close game 35-31

Rose Bowl: Wisconsin vs TCU

Mark my words , this will be a replay of the ’09 Sugar Bowl. Wisconsin is coming in with a smash mouth, in your face run game, and a solid defense. TCU is coming with the nation’s best defense and a high powered, speedy offense.

TCU will jump out early and win by 14, 31-17.

National Championship game: Auburn vs Oregon

Offense, offense, offense. Cam Newton vs LaMichael James. I like Oregon in this game for the same reason I like TCU over Wisconsin. Oregon is going to go 100mph for 60 minutes, whereas, Auburn will gas trying to keep up with them. Cam Newton will get his, but accounting for 5 TDs might not be enough, unbelievable as that might be.

Oregon wins its first ever national championship 42-38.

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On December 22nd 2010, Utah and Boise State will meet in Las Vegas, NV where they look to face off for the first time since 2006, when Boise State beat Utah soundly, 36-3.

Whether it gets any attention in the media or not, there is an unspoken rivalry between Utah, TCU, Boise State, and BYU, collectively, as the cream of the non-AQ crop. TCU and Boise State’s rivalry has been under the spotlight the last 3 seasons as each team has been playing outstanding football.

Utah and Boise State have a very intertwined relationship that goes back to Utah becoming the first non-AQ team to play in a BCS bowl game in January of 2005.

That year, Boise State was also undefeated through the regular season but had to settle for playing Louisville in the Liberty Bowl, losing 44-40.

Boise got their chance in 2006, when they beat Oklahoma in that same Fiesta Bowl that Utah played in a couple years earlier.

In ’08, another undefeated Boise State team watched as Utah received more respect and got the BCS bid again. Boise State was forced to play in the Poinsettia Bowl against fellow BCS at-large hopeful TCU. Boise State once again lost.

Utah enters the Vegas Bowl with the most to lose. The Utes currently own the longest active bowl winning streak at 9 games. Boise State comes in with nothing to lose.

Kellen Moore is coming off his trip to New York, where he came in 4th in the Heisman voting.

Coach Kyle Whittingham is a bowl game genius. The man knows EXACTLY how to come up with a gameplan and gets his guys to execute that game plan.

Utah’s defense will need to play a flawless game and force turnovers. The key here will be getting pressure on Kellen Moore quickly with the D-line to force ill-advised throws. If you give that kid time, he will give you fits, carving up your defense on short slant routes.

The most crucial aspect of this game, though, will be a combination of back-up QB Terrance Cain and Utah’s Offensive Coordinators. In Utah’s last game, the play calling was a little frustrating when Cain was in the game.

It seemed the Schramm/Roderick combination was more interested in running plays so conservative, you’d think the Utes were  winning by 20 and trying to run clock off, instead of  the reality of Utah being down 13-0.

The best chance for a Utah victory will come if Utah’s defense is lights out, their coordinators call plays like September and October, and if Boise can come out a little flat and disappointed over their late season loss to Nevada.

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Well, the 2010 college football regular season is over. The BCS bowl games are set, and for the third straight season, the Utes will finish with 10+ wins and 2 victories over rival BYU in those 3 seasons.

Here’s the Utes season review.

Utah started the 2010 season with a home game against #15 ranked Pittsburgh.

Utah’s offense was able to run the ball with split carries between Seniors Eddie Wide and Matt Asiata.

The defense gave up a couple big plays that let Pittsburgh erase the Utes lead late and force overtime. True freshman Brian Blechen stole the game from the Panthers with his first interception of his career coming on Pittsburgh’s first offensive possession in overtime. Utah sealed the victory with Joe Phillips’ field goal.

For the next 6 games (UNLV, @New Mexico, San Jose State, @Wyoming, @Iowa State, and Colorado State), Utah averaged 51.2 points and held those opponents to an average of 11 points.
During that streak, Utah climbed to #8 in the BCS rankings.

At 7-0 (5-0), Utah headed to Colorado Springs to face in-conference rival Air Force. The Utes/Falcons game carries with it an aura. Every fan expects a close, hard fought battle, and this game was nothing different.

The Utes beat up on the Falcons in the 3rd quarter, offensively, and Air Force turnovers throughout the game equated to a Utah victory.

It was anything but a cake walk, however, as the Utes endured 2 blown coverages on defense that lead to Air Force TDs and a Joe Phillips field goal attempt that hit the uprights and bounced out.

As is often the case with Utes football teams over the years, the defense held strong to secure a Utah 5 point victory.

At 8-0, #5 Utah set to host #3 TCU and ESPN’s College Football Gameday.

Without question, this was one of the biggest football games in Utah’s program history. A win would put Utah in position to step into the national title game.

Offensive struggles matched with flawless play by the Mountain West Conference champion TCU Horned Frogs, on both sides of the ball, produced an embarrassing, upsetting, and heart breaking loss for the Utes.

The struggles on offense continued through the next week at Notre Dame as Utah managed only 3 points on their first possession and didn’t score again.

Facing a tough road game at San Diego State, many thought Utah would be in for their 3rd straight loss. Judging on how well the Aztecs had been playing up to that point, a Utah loss did seem likely, if no adjustments had been made.

Well, something did change. The team started finding success here and there, from a hail mary TD pass to Kendrick Moeai, to a blocked punt deep in Aztec territory that lead to Utah’s go ahead touchdown run from Eddie Wide in the 4th quarter.

That victory gave Utah confidence heading into their rivalry game against BYU in Salt Lake City.

BYU entered Rice-Eccles Stadium with a 6-5 record, having beaten New Mexico the week before to make the Cougars bowl eligible.

Both teams seemed to have issues getting anything productive on offense, especially the Utes. Time and time again, Utah would go 3 and out or have their drive end on a turnover.

A fortunate combination of BYU miscues, poor clock management by Cougar offensive coordinator Robert Anae, a booth fumble review in Utah’s favor, offensive production for the Utes, and a miraculous field goal block by Brandon Burton equated to Utah’s 2nd victory over BYU in the last 3 years. Utah claimed bragging rights for the last match up between the two as conference equals.

Now, Utah faces the biggest bowl game challenge since Alabama in the Sugar Bowl, following the perfect ’08 season as they will face the Boise State Broncos in the Las Vegas Bowl. A victory would be a gigantic boost for Utah recruiting going into the PAC-12 next season.

4th and 1 Season Awards:

Offensive MVP – DeVonte Christopher

Defensive MVP – Brian Blechen

Special Teams MVP – Shaky Smithson

Players to watch next year:

Brian Blechen – This guy is for real. Blechen was drafted for his outstanding athletic ability at Quarterback and Linebacker in high school. He hits like a truck and is always in the right place at the right time.

Reggie Dunn – Can you say fast? This guy has a gear most players don’t. Look for him to step up into Shaky Smithson’s shoes as primary kickoff and punt returner. Also, look for the Utes to use Dunn in the slot and in the option to capitalize on his quickness.

DeVonte Christopher – Look for Christopher to continue as the most productive receiver for the Utes.