Saturday, June 07, 2003

Check out this musing by Matt Hayes of The Sporting News: are five things I can't wait to watch play out this fall:

1. The emergence of a team you'd never expect in the national title game. It happened in 2000 when Oklahoma won it all, and two years later when Ohio State beat Miami.

There are a handful of candidates this season, including Auburn, Virginia, Purdue and Kansas State. Look at the last four national champions (FSU, Oklahoma, Miami, Ohio State); all played knockout defense and had a quarterback who played big in big games.

Seems like a simple enough formula, but it's rare when it all plays out and the breaks go your way. Auburn, Virginia, Purdue and K-State will have four of the best defenses in the country by the end of the season, so quarterback play will dictate their seasons...And Purdue? Until coach Joe Tiller sticks with either Kyle Orton or Brandon Kirsch, the lack of chemistry and consistency will contribute to the Boilermakers losing close games again this season.

Purdue University must have some of the guys from The Sporting News on payroll. Not that I mind the prediction, and, of course, I'd love to see it happen, but... I can't believe how optimistic all of the preseason prognosticators are given the fact that Purdue doesn't have a proven FG kicker and struggled mightily in that department last year. I'd love to be wrong and have Hayes be right, though.

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