Looking at the following schools, they may not look like much now, but in 2 or 3 years more, they could sneak into the BCS.
We'll start with California. What Jeff Tedford has in Berkeley will start bruing into something special. They fell off the mountain last season, and this season will not be as great, as they will have to deal with a talented group of skill guys, but mediocre Quarterbacks to put the ball in their hands. They have the talent, and that QB will come within the next few years. Jahvid Best will emerge as the running back for the Bears, and he's wicked fast. I should know- I missed a tackle on him in high school.
We'll head out of Berkeley and the tree people and head to Ann Arbor. Rich Rodriguez needs to utilize this year as a stepping stone, but once he does his run offense will contend against the great linebacker defenses of Penn State and Ohio State. Wisconsin will be the wild card of how they will fare BCS wise.
Next stop on our trip is Chapel Hill, North Carolina. UNC greatly improved last season, and under new coach Butch Davis, the team has taken strides so large, that the Tar Heels could sneak into a bowl game in 2008. Look at the Tar Heels to contend in the relatively weak ACC for years to come. As the conference will get stronger, so should the Heels. Who knows, maybe they'll be a Wake Forest like team, and make it to the Orange Bowl in 2011. WF is only 60 miles down the road...
Next we'll go a few states south, into Florida. I have to believe that Miami and Florida State will not stay in these trends of the present. Look for both of them to return close to the top of the ACC like they almost always are. That's all I'll say about them.
We head to Champaign, Illinois now. Illinois is a now team, but they haven't been able to win a title, or a BCS bowl game. Last year, they were beat down by USC in the Rose Bowl. Ignoring this loss in a bowl game they had no business in, and was essentially a road game because Pasadena is about half an hour to an hour in traffic from USC, Illinois had a hell of a year under Ron Zook. Zook says that this year his team is much improved, and that they are far ahead progress wise than they were last year during spring ball. In the next few years, look for Zook's recruiting to pay off and get him a Rose Bowl win over a Pac 10 opponent not named USC, or maybe a title. Only time will tell on the Illini.
3 more stops on our college road trip! If I left out your school, I'm sorry and feel free to bash me for overlooking them. We head to Dallas, Texas for some good home cooking as Avery Johnson put it after Game 2 of his series against the New Orleans Hornets. The school I am about to say that has an opportunity to make big news will shock you. SMU. The Mustangs have Hawaii coach June Jones under contract nowadays, and an improvement from 1-11 is almost automatic. Jones brings high powered offensive mind to Dallas, and looks to tear up the WAC like he did at Hawaii. The only reason why I say SMU has the chance to make the BCS is because they do not play that difficult of a schedule, and there's no reason that without good recruiting, they can't do what Hawaii did last year, or something close to it. Look for SMU to vastly improve and make a bowl game in the next few years. Their BCS chances look slim for 2011, but maybe 2015 will hold good fortunes for the Mustangs.
Next we head to a place where there's not much in the town, but the school is phenomenal nonetheless. How could I keep them out, it's of course Notre Dame. Notre Dame is a good year or two away from contending for the BCS like it did with Brady Quinn and company. If Weiss stays in South Bend, then expect big things from Notre Dame in the near future, because there's no way NBC signs a 5 year extension with this team after going 3-11 if they dont' see something that gets them riled up. Watch out for the Irish, because touchdown Jesus will recucitate.
I'd like to say now that this list is in no specific order, only in order of how I thought of them. With that said, I will say that of all of these schools on this list, with the exception of Illinois and Notre Dame, this team gets me the most excited. We end our roadtrip in our 2008 Ford Explorer, with the air conditioning on and a Buzz hat, as we head to Bobby Dodd Stadium and watch Georgia Tech. Under Paul Johnson, former coach at Navy, Georgia Tech will bring out an offense that will surprise many defenses and help them stay afloat in a rebuilding year. GT has a chance to make a bowl game, even though they are rebuilding with a sophmore QB in Josh Nesbitt, and a revamped running game and great defense. Under Johnson, you can only believe that Georgia Tech will return to its tradition of being near the top of the ACC, and maybe even contending for a national title or Orange Bowl in the near future, taking advantage of a relatively weak conference
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