Now look at the home schedule for 2004 and the major upgrade in 2005. 2004: Penn State, UConn, UMass, Rutgers, and Syracuse. 2005: Army, Florida State, Ball State, Virginia, Wake Forest, NC State. Wow. A nice mix, a marquee program and only one real dog (Ball State).
Now on to my ridiculously early predictions. (WARNING: This was done with very little analysis and will certainly be revised in the months ahead.)
Sept. 3 at BYU – Win. BYU will have a new coach and is low on talent. I don’t like us in road openers especially if Porter looks shaky, but my initial reaction is that this is a win.
Sept. 10 Army – Win. Home opener against a service academy. I think Ross will have them playing better, but we will still have a huge talent advantage.
Sept. 17 Florida State – Loss. I think this will be closer than most will predict. FSU has struggled on the road recently and will have a young QB, but I still think they will pull it out.
Sept. 24 at Clemson – Win. The team has won 4-1 in the last five games I’ve attended. Plus college friends and family will be there. We better win!
Oct. 1 Ball State – Win. We barely won this year. I expect a better performance. At this point we’ll surely be ranked.
Oct. 8 Virginia – Win. TOB has some anymosity against UVA. He dedicated the majority of his career there and was not even given a look as a head coach. I expect him to have the team well prepared. Plus they know Al Golden.
Oct. 15 Wake Forest – Win. There is no way we are losing three in a row to Wake.
Oct. 27 (Thurs.) at Virginia Tech – Loss. We were lucky last time in Blacksburg. Expect things to revert to normal.
Nov. 5 at North Carolina – Win. I was not impressed with UNC.
Nov. 12 N.C. State – Loss. After a down year, I expect NC State to be much improved.
Nov. 19 at Maryland – Loss. I’ll probably be at this game too. Like NC State, I just don’t see them being bad two years in a row.
Final record: 7-4. Hopefully that will be enough to get a Peach Bowl bid. More likely -- another third tier bowl.