Sunday, August 8, 2010


Army (4-8)
-Of all the service academies having a resurgence, Army has struggled to get back on track of remotely coming close to its heyday of the 1940s and three straight claimed national titles from 1944-1946. Even worse, Navy has taken eight straight from Army and 11 of the last 13. Army will fall short again, but I see them at 4-4 before a rough final four games with Notre Dame and Navy to end the season.

Navy (9-3, Poinsettia Bowl)
-Navy has owned both service academies recently. Dating back to the 2002 Army-Navy game, Navy has won 15 straight against Air Force and Army combined, while earning the last seven Commander-in-Chief trophies (given to the school that beats the other two). I am willing to give Navy wins over two ACC teams (Maryland and Duke), but they will have trouble against ECU, Notre Dame, and Louisiana Tech, giving them a 9-3 record and another bowl.

Notre Dame (8-4, Meineke Car Care)
-If you thought Notre Dame's schedule last year was easy, then you will be surprised about this years' slate of games. Tulsa? Army? Western Michigan? Obviously, this will make things smooth (or tough, if he loses) for first year head coach Brian Kelly. Utah, USC, and Stanford are sure losses, but if Notre Dame can just win the games that they should win, they'll be alright.

1. Boise State (v. Virginia Tech [in Landover, Md.], v. Oregon St.)
Pros: After games against the ranked BCS foes is a very easy schedule, returning 23 starters
Cons: If two other teams from quality BCS conferences go undefeated, does Boise play for the title?

2. TCU (v. Oregon State [in Arlington, Texas], v. Baylor)
Pros: strong team, experienced QB, Utah and BYU have taken a step back
Cons: the Mountain West is still tough, could we see the selection committee take two non-BCS teams again?

3. Houston (@ UCLA, v. Mississippi State)
Pros: experienced Heisman candidate for a QB, great receiving corps
Cons: lack of a good running game, suspect defense

4. Utah (v. Pittsburgh, @ Iowa St., @ Notre Dame)
Pros: hosting TCU and BYU, dual threat at running back
Cons: fairly young QB, front seven is semi-suspect

5. BYU (v. Washington, @ Florida St.)
Pros: good receiving corps and offensive line
Cons: travel to TCU and Utah, holes on defense, not as strong as 2008 and 2009 teams, no Harvey Unga

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