Tuesday, August 23, 2011

2011 DBTH Top 25 Countdown to Kickoff: #25 and #24

Each day from now until the kickoff of the 2011 college football season, I will be counting down my personal Top 25 list from #25 to #1.  Keep in mind this poll is a prediction of how I think this season will play out at season's end, and NOT a preseason poll.  As we count down, feel free to comment on your team's placement.

I will be predicting the games from each teams' schedule, using this key:
Sure Win  Swing Game Win  Swing Game Loss  Sure Loss



2011 Season Forecast
9/1 UC Davis
9/9 Missouri
9/17 @ Illinois
9/24 USC
10/1 Oregon St.
10/8 @ Utah
10/15 @ Oregon
10/29 Colorado
11/5 @ UCLA
11/12 @ Washington St.
11/19 Arizona
11/25 California

My Take:  After going 5-7, 4-8, 6-6 the last three years, this may be Dennis Erickson's last chance to save his job in Tempe.  Luckily for him, they could be just a win away (USC) from playing in the first Pac-12 Championship Game.  As usual, the Sun Devils play a tough non-conference slate, and games against Missouri and Illinois in September will set the tone for the Pac-12 stretch.  If ASU comes home from Illinois with a win, watch out USC!  Dodging Stanford will also help the Sun Devils overall record.

Final Prediction:  (8-4)  The Missouri, Illinois, USC stretch in September will be the key to the Sun Devils success.  If they can pull off two of these, with one being the USC game, they could be staring at a berth in the Pac-12 title.  If they manage to lose two or three of those, that could be the end of the Erickson era in Tempe. 


2011 Season Forecast
9/3 @ Ole Miss
9/10 @Texas
9/17 Utah
9/23 UCF
9/30 Utah St.
10/8 San Jose St.
10/15 @ Oregon St.
10/22 Idaho St.
10/28 @ TCU (Jerry World)
11/12 Idaho
11/19 New Mexico St.
12/3 @ Hawaii

My Take:  After many years in the Mountain West Conference, BYU has decided to return to its roots as an Independent in football.  This will allow the Cougars more flexibility in scheduling in the future, allowing them to garner a national profile once again.  The first two games this season will be extremely tough, but the Ole Miss game is definitely winnable.  After those first two, there are only 3 more road games on the schedule, but all will be dogfights.  With 10 returning starters on offense, the Cougs should be much better on offense, and the defense will be improved as well.

Final Prediction:  (8-4)  BYU could definitely be a 10 win team this year.  The Ole Miss game is very winnable, as is the Oregon State game, both on the road.  The home schedule is very light, with Utah being the only game that could possibly be a swing game.  Remember what happened the last time BYU closed the season in Hawaii? In 2001 they were in the national championship discussion until a trip to the islands derailed their title dreams. They got hammered 72-45.  I don't think that will happen again.  Look for this season to be the beginning of BYU's return to national prominence. 

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