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BCS conference projections by The Times

Our national college football columnist takes a team-by-team look at the six BCS conferences.

August 27, 2011|Chris Dufresne
  • Russell Wilson, a transfer from North Carolina State, gives Wisconsin a fighting chance at the Big Ten title this fall.
Russell Wilson, a transfer from North Carolina State, gives Wisconsin… (Jim R. Bounds / Associated…)


(Title game: Saturday, Dec. 3)

Atlantic Division

1. Florida State: Fisher might be the right dad-gum choice to replace Bobby Bowden.

2. Maryland: Edsall inherits a 9-4 team from coach who shouldn't have been fired.

3. North Carolina State: Solid defense should help overcome loss of QB Russell Wilson.

4. Boston College: Put Beantown down for winning record, a bowl and nobody caring.

5. Clemson: No reason a program like this should ever finish 6-7.

6. Wake Forest: Grobe had done wonders with this program . . . until last year.

Coastal Division

1. Virginia Tech: James Madison isn't on the schedule, but Appalachian State is.

2. Georgia Tech: Was last year's 6-7 a blip or the beginning of a bleed?

3. Virginia: Beautiful layout, gorgeous vistas, but the football still needs work.

4. North Carolina: Miami's scandal is bigger, but Carolina is still in a Tar Hell state.

5. Miami: Probably lucky at this point to be even fielding a team.

6. Duke: Tough to get anywhere when you rank No. 108 on defense.


(Title game: Saturday, Dec. 3)

Legends Division

1. Nebraska: Well, look what the summer expansion wind just blew in.

2. Michigan State: The division title could be decided Oct. 29 at Wisconsin.

3. Michigan: Ask the states — Ball and San Diego — if Brady Hoke is a joke.

4. Iowa: Almanac says low expectations usually produce high yield.

5. Northwestern: With Dan Persa at QB the Wildcats at least will be fun to watch.

6. Minnesota: At USC is a tough whistle stop for a new coach to start a campaign.

Leaders Division

1. Wisconsin: QB transfer Russell Wilson gives Badgers a very interesting edge.

2. Ohio State: A lot of talent here if you can get past the off-season horror show.

3. Penn State: Early win over Alabama would be early 85th birthday gift for coach.

4. Illinois: All Zook does (every now and then) is win more games than he loses.

5. Purdue: NFL will not make team carry six straight defeats into 2011 season.

6. Indiana: Wilson arrives from Oklahoma's staff without any of Oklahoma's players.

BIG 12

1. Oklahoma: Starting out No. 1 has never been the Sooners' problem.

2. Oklahoma State: No Big 12 title game means crown to be decided Dec. 3 vs. Oklahoma.

3. Texas A&M: Should be exploring options for winning first title since 1998.

4. Missouri: Ten-win seasons might have left with QB Gabbert, who went to the NFL.

5. Texas: Saturday morning Longhorn Network will show "Bevo and Cecil" cartoons.

6. Texas Tech: More interesting when Craig James was calling the shots.

7. Baylor: QB Robert Griffin gives Bears a shot to improve on last year's 7-6.

8. Iowa State: Tosses playbook that had no pass play longer than 39 yards.

9. Kansas State: Might climb higher if Snyder can work a little Manhattan magic.

10. Kansas: Hoping Turner Gill's second season starts out better than his first.


(Title game: Friday, Dec. 2)

North Division

1. Oregon: Some Eugene squad cars can't keep up with up-tempo players.

2. Stanford: As luck would have it, ban on "Luck" puns broken on first day of camp.

3. Oregon State: There were times that 5-7 was considered a great season in Corvallis.

4. Washington: Coach at first practice: "What do you mean Locker's not here?"

5. California: Pining for days when Tedford could develop quarterbacks.

6. Washington State: Wulff enters fourth year of his three-year, "five-win" plan.

South Division

1. Arizona State: Coach says "Only thing to fear is 'Fear the Fork' itself."

2. USC: Kiffin earns "Employee of Month" for not breaking major NCAA rules.

3. Utah: Norm Chow at USC not a bad Pac-12 debut, huh?

4. UCLA: Even Confucius says Neuheisel on "proverbial hot seat."

5. Arizona: Stoops warms up for sideline by watching Joe Cocker at Woodstock.

6. Colorado: Welcome to the first year of the Pac-12 . . . plenty of parking in rear.


(Title game: Saturday, Dec. 3)

East Division

1. South Carolina: Spurrier's genius parking meter is down to 23 minutes

2. Florida: Muschamp tries to return school to its "Chomp chomp" days.

3. Georgia: Coach who has averaged 9.6 wins per year might need 11.

4. Tennessee: Fans think saying "Lane Kiffin" in public should be a major violation.

5. Kentucky: Part of the mediocre middle the SEC never likes to talk about.

6. Vanderbilt: Program remains an integral part of boosting SEC's overall GPA

West Division

1. Alabama: Saban plans to "hunt down" every voter who has Tide at No. 1.

2. Louisiana State: Mission statement changed to: "You have the right to remain silent."

3. Mississippi State: Mullen has brought stark swagger to town thought to have none.

4. Arkansas: Season-ending ankle injury to RB Knile Davis makes season "iffy."

5. Auburn: Tigers are half as good without Cam Newton and Nick Fairley.

6. Mississippi: Nutt doesn't think he's another year away, but he probably is.


1. West Virginia: Best the Big Least can offer and still receive an automatic BCS bid.

2. South Florida: Holtz (Skip) could wake up echoes with opening win at Notre Dame.

3. Syracuse: Word is some guy named Marrone has taken over and done well.

4. Pittsburgh: Todd Graham's arrival from Tulsa will add pop to punch-less offense.

5. Rutgers: Program said to be in serious danger of becoming Rutgers again.

6. Cincinnati: Good/bad news: 10 defensive starters return from unit ranked No. 63.

7. Connecticut: Edsall's bailout to Maryland leaves Paul Pasqualoni in charge.

8. Louisville: Trying to build up bullion from last year's big Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl

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