Jay Christensen covered college football, among other sports, for the Los Angeles Times and produces the popular college football blog TheWizofOdds.com.
Lousy officiating, big-time teams filling nonconference schedules with creampuff opponents, too many bowl games and no playoff. Thankfully, one of the most forgettable seasons in college football history ends Thursday.
What is there to look forward to in 2010? Gazing into the crystal ball a year in advance is a dangerous practice, but predicting the future is what gambling is all about, isn’t it?
As Commander Cody once said, “I never met a winner who didn’t bet.”
So let’s take a stab at what is going to happen in 2010, starting with Thursday night’s Bowl Championship Series title game between Texas and Alabama.
Texas has four running backs, none of whom I can name. What’s the old saying? If you have four running backs, you have no running backs.
The Longhorns eked out a victory against Nebraska in their last game and really have no business being on the same Rose Bowl field as an Alabama team that not only has a Heisman Trophy winner in the backfield, but steamrolled Florida in the Southeastern Conference title game.
All the evidence points toward a victory for the Crimson Tide. Therefore, I’m taking the Longhorns and the points.
Let’s move to the rest of 2010, starting with bowl games.
There were 34 this season, and depending on how it shakes out, there could be 36 next season. Postseason games in Dallas and New York will be added, but up to five games could be in trouble. Thus, the number of postseason games will be between 31 and 36.
Bottom line: If you enjoy watching crappy 6-6 teams play in the postseason, sit back and relax because there’s more of this nonsense to come.
Several coaches are likely to be fired, starting with Maryland’s Ralph Friedgen, who barely kept his job this season. The same goes for Colorado’s Dan Hawkins. He bravely predicted 10 wins in 2009 and finished seven short of that number. Don’t expect any bold predictions from Hawkins this offseason.
Paul Wulff of Washington State says the foundation is in place for a turnaround. It better happen, because he’s 3-22 in two seasons. Arizona State’s Dennis Erickson is also feeling the Tempe heat. After going 10-3 in his first season, the Sun Devils are 9-15 the past two. Could Arizona State be the eventual landing spot for Mike Leach?
The Big Ten has potential to be particularly bloody. Michigan’s Rich Rodriguez, Illinois’ Ron Zook and Indiana’s Bill Lynch need big seasons to keep their jobs.
There could be two openings in Texas. North Texas’ Todd Dodge is a dismal 5-31 in three seasons but somehow remains employed. Texas A&M’s Mike Sherman is 10-15 in two seasons and the locals are wondering what happened to the Wrecking Crew defense.
As for the team most likely to be put on NCAA probation, my money is on Tennessee. Lane Kiffin is already king of secondary violations, having committed at least six in one year.
If this wasn’t enough to get the NCAA’s attention, the use of hostesses to attract players to Knoxville did. The school recently acknowledged the NCAA is investigating use of the sexy coeds, including one case where two coeds traveled nearly 200 miles to attend a high school game involving three Volunteer recruits.
The NCAA hammer is ready to fall on Knoxville.
A big squawk was recently made about the Big Ten exploring the possibility of expanding by at least one team. Of course, President George W. Bush announced in January 2004 that he wanted to explore Mars with a manned mission, and that one never got off the launching pad.
Yes, the Big Ten would like to expand and it longs for Notre Dame, but the Fighting Irish are like the girl you keep ask