This feels like an odd year. Alabama is the defending National Champion, with a returning Heisman trophy winner, but I have to admit I am not “feeling Bama”. Be it the quarterback or the significant losses on defense, or just the natural letdown after being the national champion. I do not see Alabama getting to the title game.
One team that is not under the radar, or will not be in a week or two is Oklahoma. I think this year’s title game will be Oklahoma-Georgia. Oklahoma makes sense and may even become a chic pick by the time the season is a week or two old.
Georgia is not, but before I defend the Georgia pick I will list some reasons why no other team feels right.
I am not feeling Boise State. Until the day comes that I seriously feel like Utah, Boise or TCU could beat a team like Alabama, than follow it up the next week with a win over a team like Florida, I cannot take their title chances serious. Sorry, those are the types of things teams from the SEC, Big 12, and Big 10 have to deal with every year. Boise beats one solid team a year and expects to get into the title game, silliness.
Florida and USC and Big 10
USC is not eligible so it is easy to eliminate them. Similar to how I am not feeling Alabama, I do not feel “Florida”. Florida lost such a huge leader in Tebow that I think it will take a year or two to fill in that leadership, especially if you add in the explosive weapons and defensive studs that the Gators have lost in the last two years.
The Big 10 is actually too good this year to get a team into the title game. Unless another two loss team is allowed entry into the BCS title game I doubt a Big 10 team will get in. Ohio State, Penn State, Iowa and Wisconsin are all too good to allow one of the other teams to make it though conference play undefeated. A one loss SEC team will make it in before a one loss Big 10 team.
Here are some of the main reasons I feel Georgia is a team with a chance
- Serious pressure on the coach and team due to a couple down years. I love desperate teams.
- Defense switching to a 3-4, the only defense capable of slowing down the spread.
- Talent, Talent, Talent. Only a handful of teams out-recruit Georgia and they might have the best player in the country in AJ Green.
- Great Offense. 10 returning starters and according to Phil Steele a top five RB group, a top three WR group, and the top offensive line in the country.
- Great Linebackers. A big reason why they are moving to the 3-4, they are putting more playmakers on the field by going with the 3-4.
- Schedule, let me repeat SCHEDULE. They avoid LSU and Alabama from the SEC West. They get Georgia Tech at home and the toughest road non-conference game is at Colorado, a team they should be able to overwhelm. Tennessee, Kentucky and Vandy should not be that difficult. Toughest games are Florida on a neutral field, @Auburn, and @South Carolina. For an SEC team that is very manageable.
The only negatives are quarterback and secondary. Quarterback is a big one but at leat this year they are going with a highly touted high school recruit Aaron Murray, who was the 6th best QB prospect coming out two years ago. Last year Georgia plugged in Joe Cox, who was not an SEC level quarterback and it showed early and often.
The secodary is also a concern but has been bolstered with a top Junior College prospect, Jakar Hamilton and some incomig freshman expected to make an impact.
I think an SEC will make it again to the BCS title game and this year I think that team is the Georgia Bulldogs.