WHICH CONFERENCE CHAMPS WILL REPEAT IN 2010?
By mark rogers
March 15, 2010
The popular pick will be Alabama at #1 followed by all the regulars: Ohio State, Virginia Tech, Nebraska, Georgia Tech, Texas, Florida, Boise State, etc.
But which of the BCS conference champs from 2009 have the best shot at repeating the feat in 2010? The choices are Texas, Ohio State, Oregon, Alabama, Cincinnati and Georgia Tech.
If I had to predict today? I would say Georgia Tech.
Alabama is the defending national champion which comes with a ton of expectations and a huge target. They bring back the Heisman trophy winner, starting QB and WR, but lose nine starters on defense including All-Americans Rolando McClain, Terrance Cody and Javier Arenas. Plus they're in the SEC which has three or four other very strong candidates thrown in the mix.
Cincinnati brings back the second fewest starters in the Big East and lose their QB, Tony Pike. They also have a new coach. I like WVU or UConn in 2010.
Ohio State looks like a good pick since they bring back Tyrelle Pryor at QB and eight other offensive starters. They only lose five on defense and always recruit well on that side of the ball (so replacing the departures won't be an issue). The problem is that Wisconsin brings back all but two offensive starters including their QB and six starters on defense. The Badgers quietly won 10 games last year and are very tough at home which is where they play the Buckeyes in 2010.
Texas loses McCoy, Shipley and Earl Thomas and although Garrett Gilbert got some great big-game experience in Pasadena and will be toughened up a bit, Nebraska brings back 18 starters. They'll be tough to beat. And you always have to factor in Tech, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State to the mix.
A month ago I would have picked Oregon to have the best chance to repeat since they were slotted to bring back 10 offensive starters, but lots has happened up there recently. Starting QB and Heisman hopeful Jeremiah Masoli was suspended for the entire year after pleading guilty to a burglary charge. Starting RB will miss the season opener after apparently choking and beating an ex-girlfriend. They also lose LeGarrette Blount to the draft. It just doesn't seem like there's a whole lot of positive vibe coming from Eugene.
That brings us to Georgia Tech.
They bring back their starting QB along with six other offensive starters and nine on defense. They lose RB Jonathan Dwyer to the draft but have a pretty nice stable of runners to replace him. Plus they're in the ACC which puts them at an advantage. Biggest competitors are UNC, Miami (which lost to Wisconsin in the bowl), Florida State and Virginia Tech (which loses seven on defense).
That's my March 15 analysis of the reigning BCS conference champ with the BEST CHANCE to repeat.
I still think Ohio State, Texas and Bama have shots, just not as good as the Jackets. We're just a few months away from all the pre-season magazines hitting the stand!!
More and more spring practices are popping up across the country. For some, this is the most exciting time of the year.
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