Posts Tagged ‘Broncos’

Sunday February 3, 2013

***Baltimore Ravens vs San Francisco 49ers: 6:30 PM ET (CBS)***

Brothers John and Jim Harbaugh, head coaches of the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers, respectively, will lead their teams into Super Bowl 47 in New Orleans Feb. 3rd.

Both the Ravens and 49ers had to win on the road against the No. 1 seed, Baltimore at Denver and San Francisco at Atlanta. Both edged the top dog by less than five. Maybe more impressive is the gauntlet of quarterbacks each team has faced.

The Ravens defense has faced and stopped Andrew Luck (consensus future great), Peyton Manning, and Tom Brady. Likewise, the 49ers defense took down Aaron Rodgers and Matt Ryan.

Both quarterbacks, Joe Flacco and Colin Kaepernick, are playing in their first Super Bowl and have much to prove.

For Flacco, winning the Super Bowl would finally silence his critics. Even with the most road playoff wins of any NFL quarterback besides Eli Manning (tied for most), Joe has taken most all of the “Flacc” for the Ravens lack of Super Bowl visits in his 5 years at the helm. No doubt, Flacco is looking to follow Eli Manning’s pathway to respect.

For Kaepernick, winning the “Big Game” would mean “Kaep”-ping off one of the biggest success stories of the season. From day one, all eyes have been “Kaep” and Coach Harbaugh for the risky decision to replace 7-2 starter Alex Smith after he suffered a concussion. Making it to the Super Bowl alone has certainly cemented Colin as San Francisco’s man for a long time.

To answer the question of “Who will win this Super Bowl?” one must first answer another simple question: Which offense will be more successful against the other’s elite defense?

I believe the answer will be that the 49ers offense will be much more successful than the Ravens will be against the other’s “D.”

Baltimore’s offense is geared towards setting up the run, stable tight end play and airing out deep bombs when available. The 49ers defense is built to stop this exact method. With one of the best, arguably the best, “front seven” in the NFL, no team has comfortably run on the 49ers. The back end of that seven, lead by Patrick Willis and Navarro Bowman are some of the best coverage line backers in the league and can hold the Ravens’ TE Dennis Pitta in check. Tony Gonzales’ numbers from last week are not indicative of what to expect as Baltimore does not have a Roddy White/Julio Jones tandem to cover as well.

The Baltimore defense, specifically its own “front seven” is also no joke. Anchored by Haloti Ngata, the Baltimore line is more than capable of stopping the run and rushing the QB with stand-out Paul Kruger, Hall-Of-Famer Ray Lewis, and beast Terrell Suggs. Fortunately, the 49ers offense has no holes, least of all in the O-Line.

Prediction: Last season, the Harbaugh brothers faced off in Baltimore, where the Niners’ offense struggled to put anything but 3 points on the board in a 16-3 disappointment. You can bet the Niners’ bolstering their offense in the postseason had a lot to do with games like this. Younger brother gets the last laugh. San Francisco wins 35-20.

Saturday, January 12th, 2013

***(4) Baltimore Ravens at (1) Denver Broncos: 4:30 PM ET (CBS)***

The Baltimore Ravens handled their business against the Indianapolis Colts at home Sunday afternoon, winning 24-9. With Ray Lewis spotlighted in an emotional return, after tearing his left arm triceps muscle mid-season, the Baltimore defense shined most brightly, allowing zero touchdowns and 3 field goals.
This week the Ravens travel to Denver to play perhaps the one team no one wants to face: the Broncos. Denver is well rested, enjoying a much deserved first round bye. Considering they played the Kansas City Chiefs in their season finale, they really have been off for two weeks.

Prediction: Because the Ravens played such a stellar game against the Colts, they will likely play the Broncos down to the wire. That said, Peyton Manning is Peyton Manning. Denver wins 27-21.

***(3) Green Bay Packers at (2) San Francisco 49ers: 8:00 PM ET (FOX)***

The Green Bay Packers rolled over the Minnesota Vikings at Lambeau Field Saturday, winning 24-10. The score of this game doesn’t explain much about how it went. The Vikings put the first points on the board with an early field goal, but fell behind 17-3 by halftime. Green Bay managed just one more score in the second half, going up 24-3 in the third quarter. Minnesota capped the game with an essentially meaningless touchdown late in the fourth quarter.
Standing in the Packers way this week are the San Francisco 49ers, perhaps the remaining NFC team most feared. The 49ers beat the Packers on the road in Week 1, however, both teams are far from where they were. The “Niners” are led by a different quarterback, altogether.

Prediction: 49ers Head Coach Jim Harbaugh is under a major microscope this week, as his decision to swap Alex Smith out for Colin Kaepernick was a hot topic. If Green Bay beats San Francisco when Smith beat the Packers earlier this season…don’t check your email/texts/mailbox Jim. San Francisco wins 35-20.

Sunday, January 13th, 2013

***(5) Seattle Seahawks at (1) Atlanta Falcons: 1:00 PM ET (FOX)***

The Seattle Seahawks are the only wild card team left in the playoffs and are rolling. In Washington D.C., the Redskins went up early 14-0 in the first quarter and looked to be in control when Robert Griffin III suffered another knee injury and wasn’t the same.
The Atlanta Falcons have the NFC’s best record (13-3) but seemingly have yet to earn a consensus respect the #1 team usually commands. With an unmatched passing attack, Atlanta will put up a formidable test for Seattle’s gritty secondary.

Prediction: Seattle needs to make sure they don’t get behind to Matt Ryan or they might not escape again. That said, Seattle wins 28-24.

***(3) Houston Texans at (2) New England Patriots: 4:30 PM ET (CBS)***

In a less than stimulating opening game, the Houston Texans held off the Cincinnati Bengals 19-13 at home to slip into the divisional round and must now face the Patriots in Foxborough, MA.
The Patriots have wonderful memories of facing the Texans in Week 14 in their house to the tune of 42-14.

Prediction: Expect a similar outcome to Week 14, as the Patriots will be itching to get back to the Super Bowl. New England wins 38-17.

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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.

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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It’s what everyone has been waiting for. The newest edition of Estrogen Corner will feature my great friend Rebecca Roberts.

Rebecca is a huge Broncos fan among numerous other sports. She, like Morgan, knows her stuff. Rebecca danced on the Utes “Crimson Line” and also knows her Utes¬† football (foreshadowing). This is the interview with her:

Dan Condie – First question, How do you feel about Josh McDaniels’ style of coaching?

Rebecca Roberts – It’s embarassing. Honestly, if we weren’t still paying Shannahan, I think McDaniels would have been out after the Raiders totally demolished us. He does not give up on a play. No matter how many times Maroney or Moreno are brought down in the backfield, he runs that same play over and over and it drives me insane! We have one of the best passers in the game right now and he does not properly utilize him. We try and rush in 3rd and long situations every game, and it is so frustrating to watch. I do like what he is doing with Tebow, but now the other team always knows that when he comes in, it’s a QB sneak up the middle. So, I wish on long yardage downs, he would bring Tebow in and have him throw to throw off the other team. I mean, we didnt pick him over Dez Bryant to get 10 rushing yards per game from him. Right? I would really love to see him work on our running game and work on more big yardage throws from Orton.

DC – If you were offensive coordinator, what’s the first thing you’d whip into shape?

RR – We have got to do something about our running game. After the Shannahan era, I think Broncos fans have always expected to have hugh quality RB’s, but we keep giving them away. Hillis for pretty boy Quinn, give me a break! Im very pleased with our O-line and passing but we have to find a way to get our running backs out of the backfield, because they rarely make it past the line of scrimmage and defenses have caught onto that, so it’s almost like they know now what to expect and we’re getting destroyed because of it.

DC – How much is the inexperienced O-line to blame for Denver’s slump and lack-luster first half of tte season?

RR – I think they are hardly to blame. Orton is rarely rushed to get the ball off and if you watch the games back like i do, you’ll see how many times the RB just does not follow their blocks, many times they even run into their blockers, it baffles me. Sure, there have been a couple fumbled snaps, but i think what is really missing, is communication…which I also blame on the coach.

DC – The Broncos showed signs of being very good on defense but have struggled the last few weeks. How do you think they can get back on track?

RR – I think our biggest problem is run defense and penalties. It’s so frustrating when we make an amazing play on pass defense and then are penalized for grabbing a face mask or holding. It seems to happen at the worst time, (ie the Jets game!) Teams run all over us and it’s like our defensive just steps aside and lets them pound the middle. I think if we could pull together our run defense and make them throw we would have some more wins.

DC – If you had the #1 draft pick today, who would you pick?

RR – Like from the current college players or are you talking if we did this years draft all over again?

DC – Current college players.

RR – Given our terrible running game this season, I think we would need to draft a RB that we could make into an elite player. I hate Oklahoma, but I really like Demarco Murray right now.

DC – A RB?! Do the Broncos do anything but select RBs in the draft? What about the need for a DE?

RR – We used to select running backs, back in the Shanahan days that I miss so dearly. I am never very optimistic about a DE as a first round pick, but i suppose if they choose to go that way, I would love Adrian Clayborn. However, knowing McDaniels, we’ll probably just keep racking up the QB’s.

DC – Last question, who on the Broncos has the most breakout potential between Thomas, Tebow, and Moreno?

RR – Thomas. He has already had some great plays and shows potential. Moreno is injury prone and Tebow, well, don’t get me started on Tebow.

DC – Ok Becca, what do you want to say about your Utes? The floor is yours.

RR – Ah the Utes, thank goodness for them or this entire football season would have been a bust for me! I love them, I think watching them play is so exciting. This weekend is going to be tough, but I really feel, win or lose, we have proven the kind of football team that we are. I just love that we are a complete football team and not all centered around one player. We’ll be good for many years to come, unlike that other team down south. I am so excited for next season. All i can say is look out PAC-10, we’re comin for ya!!

DC – Thanks so much!

There it is folks. Rebecca Roberts. Real, live, girl that can go toe to toe with the NFL network’s best. Top tier in all her fantasy leagues. This chick, is the business.

Ok, so the first rankings came out for the BCS polls and not only are people yapping about the Utes at #9 being too high, but Boise and TCU got jumped by Oklahoma.

The argument against Utah is that they have not played anyone great. Utah might not have played any great teams but they are hanging 50 points a game on the teams they do play. The national media doesn’t have issues kissing Boise’s butt for doing the same thing. They won a close one against a struggling Virginia Tech team themselves. Pitt hasn’t been what they were expected to be, but neither have a lot of past great teams.

Utah, TCU, AND Boise State could play with any of the big teams and they’ve proven it. TCU and Boise got shafted last season having to play each other in the Fiesta Bowl, but I think that game showcased 2 of the best teams in the nation and the score showed how evenly matched they were 17-16.

BYU and Utah blasted Cal and Oregon State in their bowl games. I’m glad Utah will finally ascend to the platform of staying in the top 10 discussion with a loss to your name.

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Oh man, what a week! I love college football.

This week had so many shake-ups and big stories, the articles are basically writing themselves.

5 Things to Remember

1. Utah DESTROYED Iowa State. They put up 68 points. Methodically, they ran successful drive after successful drive, while the defense picked 2 passes, and the special teams return squad was unstoppable. Utah is looking like a top 5 team right now. Remember the date Nov. 6th. This is when TCU comes to Salt Lake.

2. Remember 2008. Florida lost to Ole Miss and tore through their remaining schedule to battle back from a #9 ranking to beat #1 Alabama in the SEC championship game and beat Oklahoma in the National Championship game. If Alabama can win out from here, with a lot of help from teams ahead of them, they could end up in the same position. Just remember.

3. Remember newly named #1 Ohio State has to play #18 Wisconsin next week in Madison. This will be the second big test for Ohio State this season (Miami in week 2 was the 1st). Also, ESPN Gameday will be there.

4. Remember Michigan State shut down Denard Robinson. Michigan State has won the last 3 meetings between the rivals. The Spartans’ one big remaining challenge will be playing Iowa on the road Oct. 30th.

5. Remember Florida State has only one loss this season to #6 Oklahoma. They have BCS aspirations now that their biggest conference challenge Miami is in their rearview mirror. Look for the Seminoles to make a huge splash in the ACC.

5 Things to Forget

1. Forget Utah State making a bowl game if they lose one more game. I really thought last week’s victory would carry over into their game at LA Tech.

2. Forget about a clear cut winner by season’s end. There are probably 4-5 teams that can reasonably end the season undefeated. Could get interesting.

3. Forget about USC. They won’t need to argue their bowl eligibility when you’re talking Emerald Bowl range.

4. Forget about a non-AQ team playing in the National Championship game. Voters have showed they are willing to play the jumping game. Oregon, and Nebraska have already jumped TCU. Just Oregon has jumped Boise State but will likely stay there.

5. Forget about Michigan finishing in the top 25 if they can’t get back to the offensive production they had the first 4 weeks. They still have Ohio State’s defense and Iowa’s as well. Its gonna be interesting watching the rest of the Wolverine’s year.

Remember not to punt the ball, kickoff to, or even let Utah’s return men touch the ball, or you can forget anything but the name on the back of the jersey.

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With another week of football behind us, the contenders and pretenders are starting to show.

This week’s version of “5 things to remember and forget” will be devoted to the contenders and pretenders of college football after 5 weeks.

5 Things to Remember

1. Alabama is a legitimate contender. Every week, people who count Alabama out point the finger at their inexperienced defense. Well, Alabama has now beaten a stellar Arkansas passing attack and an explosive Florida rushing attack. They are for real folks so get ready to fill one spot in the national championship with Alabama’s nam

2. Oregon looks amazing. True, it does take them 1 or 2 quarters to get adjusted, but once they do, you cannot stop their offensive speed and productivity. If Ohio State slumps even the slightest degree, look for Oregon to dash, pass, and win their way past them as they did Boise State this week.

3. TCU/Utah come in as the #3 spot because, with 100% confidence, that the winner of the game between TCU and Utah in Salt Lake City, UT on Nov. 6th will win the Mountain West Conference and challenge either Boise State/Nebraska in the Fiesta Bowl or against Ohio State/Oregon in the Rose Bowl. And they would win in any of these matchups (except maybe Oregon).

4. Ohio State is great on both sides of the ball. They have beaten Miami (who has shown that they were able to bounce back). But they also struggled a little bit this week against conference foe Illinois, but Terrell Pryor was injured and couldn’t run but could only hand the ball off and throw a little..aka he turned into a normal quarterback… Once that heals,¬† no problems in Columbus.

5. Boise State rounds off the top 5. This is a good team. No one who is smart will argue that. Sometimes the question of who gets to play in the national championship comes down to not who the best team in the country is, but who deserves to be there. This Boise State team deserves to play in a BCS bowl game.

5 Things to Forget

1. Oklahoma is using smoke and mirrors right now people. That’s now 4 of 5 games played against currently unranked teams winning by one possession. The biggest of the smoke and mirrors so far was this week’s Red River Rivalry game in Dallas against Texas. The last few years, this game held national title weight on it and so the game has come to be viewed as a championship mid-season of sorts. Well, problem is, this year, that game does hot hold anything like that at stake as Texas is a shadow of their former selves.

2. Arizona is a crafty character. They were able to win a big game against Iowa in Tuscon, AZ and it propelled them to the top 15. I think they will soon realize that in order to be one of the best, you have to at least be 2nd best in your own conference, and I think they are 3rd or 4th. We’ll see when they host Oregon State next week.

3. Nevada is an enigma to me right now. They obviously have the fire power to put up impressive numbers, but the teams they’ve put them up on just are not impressive. I am in their corner, however, as I would love to finally see any other team at least challenge Boise State this season so they don’t fall asleep before the season is over.

3. LSU’s offense is awful. The only reason they won their game against Tennessee this last week was that Tennessee apparently can’t count to 11. They had 13 defensive players on the field during the “last” play of the game, that LSU screwed up when they fumbled the snap. The game would have ended and Tennessee would have stolen a game in conference on the road after the shaky start but no, they were bailed out.

4. Michigan…I love these guys. I really do. But they are eventually going to play a great offense. And when that happens, that offense is going to put 70 points on this poor excuse for a defense. I mean, come on guys…your QB rushes for 217 yards and throws for 277 more, accounting for 5 touchdowns and no turnovers, and the game is decided by a touchdown run late in the fourth quarter to win 42-35 against Indiana?! Yikes. Help your QB a little…

5. Oklahoma State is silently 5-0 right now. Oddly enough, they’re also the second highest ranked team in the Big 12 south behind Oklahoma. You know what this fact tells me? Not how good Oklahoma State is, but how bad the Big 12 south really is this year. Oklahoma State had to scrape their last win out against a very mediocre Texas A&M team.

As the season progresses, I’m sure new teams will emerge as dominant or maybe a couple more of the mighty shall fall. No matter what the case may be, remember, Utah State Hey! Aggies all the way! Forget I said that, but its how I feel this weekend.

My BCS Soapbox

Posted: September 7, 2010 by Dan Condie in NCAA Football, Utah
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Utah had to bust the BCS first (hardest accomplishment ever considering you HAD to be ranked top 6 as a non-AQ team).
That paved the way to Boise getting a chance in 06. They weren’t as dominant as the Utes a couple years before but they were exciting and raised that much more attention for the non-AQ conferences.
So much so, that everyone overrated the non-AQ teams and let an average Hawaii team into the BCS. What happened? They got KILLED by Georgia and everyone says “See?! Non-AQ doesn’t belong” then Utah has to claw back AGAIN without hype or respect and they outdo the first time beating a national champion calibre Alabama Crimson Tide. And the cycle starts all over again but this time bigger than the cycle prior. Utah busts and paves the way for Boise State who wins a close game against a good team that probably should have beat them (oklahoma and then tcu) and ESPN goes crazy and the media and coaches overreact by ranking a team way too high the year after. It all starts with Utah when it comes to non-AQ and the BCS but Boise State rode the coat tails to the NC and that is why I am bitter.
Boise State is not a BCS buster. Utah busts the BCS, Boise State is a coat tail rider. Both years Utah busted the BCS, they were ranked above 20th (unranked in 2008). Its not busting when you’re ranked #3 before you play a snap. That’s my soapbox

Written by Dan Condie

With NCAA football fall camps opening up around the country the next few weeks, it’s time to get pumped and ready for college football people!

I gave my MWC predictions last week for which place each team would finish in the 2010 season. Now, with media days for all the conferences this week, and all the attention being given to college football, I figured I’d give my predictions for who will be conference champ at season’s end in each BCS and mid-major conference in the FBS.

So lets cycle through the BCS first shall we?

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