We would like to once again acknowledge that it is patently absurd at this point to even be predicting conference winners, let alone who will be in and win the national championship. But, in a way, so is the fact that we're even allowed to have a blog. Is this a great country or what?
Our Prediction: We believe that, at the end of the year, the number one team according the the BCS will be USC. The Trojans' Pac-10 schedule, while not as soft as most Southern fans like to say it is, will still include several 3-, 4-, 5-, and 6-win teams like Oregon State, Stanford, Washington State, Arizona State, Washington, and Arizona. Their non-conference schedule includes a season-opener against the mighty Vandals of Idaho, but also road trips to Nebraska and Notre Dame. Then there are the three conference games that could provide some concern: Cal, UCLA, and Oregon. But the Trojans are absolutely stacked, as always, and they also don't have a conference championship game to contend with which means they only have to beat the good teams once. Thus, Southern Cal ought to come through their schedule undefeated and stay in the top spot all year.
We then believe that there will be a melee among a few one-loss teams vying for the number 2 spot. We think Texas is going to be one of those teams, probably beating Oklahoma but managing to lose to Nebraska, a&m, or someone like that. Not to be negative; it's just that this team looks very good but not like one that is great enough to get through the entire season unscathed--especially after a tough off-season. Remember: it's VERY hard to go undefeated in college football. You're also probably looking at a one-loss Big Ten champ in Michigan (or possibly Ohio State, or--in a serious stretch because of questions at QB--Penn State). If West Virginia manages to come through their schedule with just one loss, they will also be in the conversation. But in the end, we predict it will be LSU whom the system selects. The one loss we predict for the Tigers is October 6 against Florida at home. That means it is early enough in the season for them to climb back up through the polls with wins over the Three A's: Auburn, Alabama, and Arkansas. Then, defeating Florida in the rematch in the SEC Championship Game should give them a late quality win component that put them over the top.
The main reason we make and like this prediction is that we don't like USC, and we think it would be funny to see their fans like deer in the headlights surrounded by the crazy LSU faithful in New Orleans for the week leading up to the game. The last time the BCS Championship Game made a stop in the Superdome it was a home game-like atmosphere for LSU, and there's no reason to believe this scenario would be any different. The Tigers took care of Oklahoma last time, and they'll bring down another team we dislike this time. LSU is our pick for national champion.
ADDENDUM TO OUR PICK:
ESPN just weighed in with their picks...twelve analysts, twelve choices for USC. It's this type of analytical groupthink that makes us dislike ESPN.
*Disclaimer: Most of our motivation in this post is to avoid, at all costs, putting any sort of jinx on Mack, Colt, and the Longhorns. Thus, as far as you know, we actually believe it will be Texas raising the crystal football when it's all said and done. We'll never tell!