My picks for the 2007 season
Championship game: Texas over Nebraska
For starters, I really like the Aggies this year. But I hate their schedule. The Ags play at Oklahoma, Tech, Missouri, and Nebraska. In addition, there is the early season non-conference game at Miami. Even if the Ags manage to go 2-2 on the road in the Big 12, they could still end up in third in the South, again. Texas and Oklahoma are close, but until I see Sam Bradford in game action, I can't give Oklahoma the edge. Nebraska is the best team in the North, but the champion comes out of the South again this year.
Michigan needs to get it done this year. Chad Henne and Mike Hart are finally seniors, and another loss to Ohio State could spell doom for Lloyd Carr. Wisconsin finished last year 12-1 with the lone loss to Michigan. Nevertheless, I am not quite ready to jump on the Bielma bandwagon. Ohio State and Penn State could flip-flop, given the Lions get both the Buckeyes and the Badgers at home this year. My surprise team is Illinois. The Illini are still a few years away, but they played in some close games last year. Look for them to win (and probably lose) some games they shouldn't this year.
Championship game: LSU over Tennessee
I really like LSU this year. The Tigers are stout on defense, and should have an adequate offense. Their schedule sets up well too. Florida will take a step back this year, leaving room for Tennessee to win the East. And yes, the SEC is the best conference in the nation. Now let's never speak of it again.
This conference is very competitive at the top. Just like last year, expect USF to win a stunner or two. West Virginia is strong on offense, but suspect on defense. I wouldn't be surprised if any of the top four schools wins the conference.
USC is the team to beat again, and their schedule sets up pretty well for them. There are potential stumbling blocks with games at Nebraska and at Cal. UCLA continues to improve and can build on a season ending win over USC last year.
Championship game: Va Tech over Florida St.
The ACC is an interesting conference this year. Look for the return of Florida State to national prominence. There is a lot of excitement at the Carolina schools, with the hiring of Butch Davis at UNC and Tom O'brien at NC State, but those schools will struggle. Miami also has a new coach. It is hard to pick against Va Tech, given they will play this season riding a wave of emotion. They will be tested early out of conference, with a road game at LSU.
BCS Championship: USC v. LSU
Rose Bowl: Michigan v. UCLA
Sugar Bowl: Tennessee v. Wisconsin
Fiesta Bowl: Texas V. West Virginia
Orange Bowl: Va Tech v. Oklahoma