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We've previewed all of the major college football conferences. We'll now take a look at the best of the rest. The WAC, Mountain West, Mid - American, Sun Belt and Independents all sport a team or two capable of beating anyone on any given day, so we'll take a look at a couple of teams from each of these remaining conferences.
Notre Dame - ND will of course be looking for a new QB this year as Brady Quinn is gone, along with 6 others from last years starting offense. The defense took a hit as well, with 5 returning starters for this year. But there's never a shortage of talent at Notre Dame. Charlie Weis has his work cut out for him though, particularly the first half of the year. As a matter of fact, if ND can make it through the first half of their schedule with some wins, they'll be in great shape. Their first 8 games are all games which could go either way. Ga Tech, Penn St, Michigan, Michigan St, Purdue, UCLA, BC, USC. The final four games of the year should all be W's. Navy, Air Force, Duke and Stanford. So, no question this team is headed to a Bowl. Whether or not they play in December or January will all hinge on what transpires between September 1st and October 20th.
Boise State - Who could forget this teams exciting undefeated season last year capped off by that wacky finish in their win over Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl in what many call the greatest Bowl game ever played. It will be virtually impossible to top last years magical season. They lost key pieces to last years offense including the QB and key receivers. But the talent is still there and the schedule is cooperative at least from the standpoint of making it to yet another Bowl game. But they'll have the bulls eye on their backs, with a couple of other capable WAC teams taking aim, so it should be interesting to see how it all plays out. Still looks like a 9 or 10 win team.
Hawaii - Many suggest that Boise States biggest threat will come from this Hawaii team in the WAC. That could very well be the case. Here's a team that had the number one scoring offense and number one passing offense, (making for a number one total offense) in the entire nation, and they return some key pieces of that offense from a year ago. A look at their schedule shows that of the WAC teams they play from Sept 1st thru November 10th, they blew every one of those teams away last year. It's not until November 17th at Nevada that they'll face a team that was even able to stay close with them last year. They beat Nevada 41-34. Then of course, November 23rd they face Boise State. If things break right for Boise and Hawaii, that could be a monster WAC game on a Friday night in Boise. One thing you can take to the bank. Hawaii will be fun to watch and is sure to provide some offensive thrills.
TCU - TCU has had one down year in the last 5 and that was in 2004 when they won just 5 games. Otherwise they won 11 games 3 times and 10 games once. This year looks like another 10 or 11 wins. The only two teams to beat TCU last year were BYU and Utah. Those two are once again on the dance card of course, but there's also a big test September 8th at Texas that looms large. But TCU returns 9 starters from what was one of the better defensive units in the country last year statistically. I say "statistically" because you naturally have to take into consideration their schedule strength. But nonetheless, it should certainly be the best defense in the Mountain West this year.
There are others we could touch on here, but really lack the time to do an in depth job. Utah and BYU in the Mountain West. Fresno, San Jose and Nevada in the WAC. Central Michigan and Ohio in the MAC. As with every College Football Season there will be surprises. Teams that weren't on are radar going in. Teams we figured to do well that flop, and so on.
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This year the Bettorsworld Key Releases will try something new. We'll have a selection on every college football game played this year, with write ups on many of them. So bookmark us and check in each and every week!