2007 College Football Predictions

2007 College Football Predictions

2007 College Football Predictions
by T.O. Whenham

With the college football season fast approaching, the time has come to shake off the cobwebs and take a real look at teams that could get it done in January. The best part of college football is that there are as many as 20 or 25 teams every year that at least stand a chance of making the National Championship Game. We don't see teams come from nowhere as often as we do in other leagues, but there are just so many impressive and talented teams out there that it is really hard to know what is going to happen. It's especially important to figure out which teams could be left standing when the dust clears because there are future bets on the national championship winner to be made. Here's a look at the pros and cons of placing a future bet on some of the higher profile teams in the country. There are six teams that oddsmakers seem to view as the elite at this point in the year (all odds are from Bodog).

USC (5/2)

Pros: They are likely the most talented team in the country, they have a quarterback who should have a huge season and they have few weaknesses. There are a few challenges on their conference schedule, but there are also a whole lot of gift games.

Cons: With so many teams in the picture, it is awfully hard to find value in a price of just 5/2.

Michigan (7/1)

Pros: The offense, led by Chad Henne and Mike Hart, should be potent. Lloyd Carr had the sense to shake up his coaching staff and bring in new talent that might make his team less predictable. The first 10 games of the season are mostly easy, and any challenging games are in Ann Arbor, so 10-0 is certainly within reach.

Cons: Ending the season at Wisconsin and then at home against Ohio State is as hard a challenge as any team has to face. The Wolverines have not proven themselves in big games in a long time. The defense has some work to do to catch up to the offense.
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Florida (8/1)

Pros: Urban Meyer certainly knows how to get it done when it matters. Chris Leak is gone, but it shouldn't take Tim Tebow long to fit into Meyer's system and make everyone forget that Leak was ever there. Tebow will have lots of targets on the field, and he's dangerous in his own right if he is well protected, which he will be.

Cons: With only one returning starter on defense, Meyer will have to quickly get a bunch of young players up to speed. Everyone will be at their very best every time they play Florida. The top of the SEC is as tough as it always is, and Florida has to travel to LSU this year, and then potentially beat them again in the conference championship. That's a big task.

Texas (8/1)

Pros: Colt McCoy had 29 touchdown passes as a rookie, and he looked uncomfortable at times, so he should only get better with age and experience. All the wide receivers are talented returning starters, led by Limas Sweed. TCU might be a little challenging, but the rest of the non-conference schedule couldn't be easier. Defense should be improved with a new coach brought in to address the linebacker woes which hurt the team so much last year.

Cons: The offensive line is raw, so it is questionable how well they can protect McCoy and help Jamaal Charles establish himself as starting running back. Oklahoma is strong this year and will be looking to break the streak of Texas dominance.

West Virginia (9/1)

Pros: Pat White and Steve Slaton both return, and they are probably the most potent one-two punch in the country. Receiver Darius Reynaud is no slouch, either, so offense shouldn't be an issue. The defense has seven returning starters. Non-conference games present no significant challenges.

Cons: Louisville looms large on the schedule, with Brian Brohm back and healthy. Rutgers will be solid again, and South Florida is improved. The Big East could still be an impediment - they aren't likely to get the benefit of the doubt if more than two teams end up undefeated. The secondary was disastrous at times last year, and the cornerback starters are returning.

LSU (10/1)

Pros: Compared to other teams on this list, the Tigers present some value at their current price. There is impressive depth at running back. The defense returns eight starters, so an always impressive unit could be as good as it has ever been. The road schedule, unless Nick Saban works miracles in Alabama, is very easy. The recruiting has been phenomenal.

Cons: A new offensive coordinator has to get comfortable with a new quarterback. The QB starter is unclear at this time, with Matt Flynn and Ryan Perilloux both having their attributes. Brandon LaFell, the second starting wide receiver, is inexperienced.

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