Sunday, May 07, 2006

Early prediction (unofficial)

During the Kentucky Derby preview show, ESPN ran a tease for its College Football kickoff: Boston College at Central Michigan. I knew we were playing early, but did not realize we were the first game of the season. With that reminder, here is my gut prediction on our 2006 schedule. Things will change once I’ve studied our opponents over the summer. But with Spring Practice behind us, this is how I see the season playing out right now.

Aug. 31 at Central Michigan – Win. Some teams take an anytime, anywhere mentality to scheduling. We’ve added our own little twist to the phrase: “anytime, anywhere against any MAC team.”

Sept. 9 Clemson – Win. We get Clemson at the best time of the year – early. They lost some key players, so they are one of the teams I’ll have to become more familiar with over the summer.

Sept. 16 BYU – Win. We wore on them last year. More of the same this year.

Sept. 23 at NC State – Win. This has the makings of a WTF. I still think we control.

Sept. 30 Maine – Win. Maine upset Mississippi State two years ago, so they have the ability to pull off a win. It better not happen here.

Oct. 12 Virginia Tech – Loss. I really like our chances: Virginia Tech is replacing many starters, we are at home, I love Ryan, but writing this in May, I just don’t see TOB starting 6-0.

Oct. 21 at Florida St. – Win. I know Florida State still has a ton of talent, but I really question some of their gameday coaching and think we will have a good chance here.

Oct. 28 at Buffalo – Win. Another MAC victim. At this point the team will be 7-1 and probably in the Top 10. However, I can already here the critics crying about our joke of a schedule: “they’ve only beaten two MAC teams and Maine!”

Nov. 4 at Wake Forest – Loss. I don’t really need to explain this again.

Nov. 11 Duke – Win. Duke also has potential to be a WTF, but if we lose to Wake, we’ll come into Duke looking for redemption.

Nov. 18 Maryland – Win. The honeymoon is clearly over for Fridge. At this point in the season, he’ll either have the Terps back on track or they’ll be mailing it in again. I am voting for mailing it in.

Nov. 23 at Miami – Win. I think Miami will continue to struggle this year and we’ll be coming in very strong. In past big games, our QBs played tight. I see Ryan as living for these moments.

Take a look at the scenario I just played out. 10 and freakin’ 2. Is that possible? This schedule is so light that it could happen. Like I said, I’ll keep reading stuff this summer and certainly reserve the right to change my mind, but if TOB is ever going to do it, it will be with this schedule. Now 10-2 would be fantastic, so let me put a damper on this picture. With two conference losses, I don’t think we will play for the ACC championship. I also don’t see us making a BCS game due to our strength of schedule and travel rep. So keep your fingers crossed for the Peach or Gator Bowl, but be prepared to play in the Champs Bowl.

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