WAC - Nevada. It would be Hawai'i if the Warriors weren't such a bad road team and didn't have to travel to Reno. Bryant Moinz is a fantastic quarterback though. Fresno State will be in the hunt too but will disappoint as usual in league play, particularly considering it goes to both Honolulu and Reno. Those are the only three contenders and the Wolfpack get them both at home. Colin Kapernick's a brutal loss but the rest of the team remains loaded as this has become a rock solid mid major. If you're looking for a sleeper, it's Louisiana Tech and Sonny Dykes' Air Raid (think Texas Tech) attack.
And now to the big boys...
ACC - Florida State. It has to be. Virginia Tech looked terrific in its opener as well and they should be the title game opponent but the Noles are just loaded on both sides of the ball and Jimbo Fisher has breathed new life in to the program in every single way. It's happening - Florida State is becoming FLORIDA STATE again. Clemson is the second best team in the Atlantic and gets the Noles at home but they have to go to VT, Georgia Tech, Maryland and N.C. State and also draws North Carolina from the Coastal, meaning it has about the worst possible interdivisional draw. The Terps have the best QB in the conference in Danny O'Brien but they're still a very flawed team as Monday's thrilling win over Miami showed and they've never won at Doak Campbell Stadium, which is where they play FSU this year. N.C. State has a relatively soft ACC schedule with Clemson, GT, Maryland and UNC all at home but they too have to traverse to Tallahassee. Boston College got ripped up by a backup Northwestern QB on its home field and has a nasty three game road swing at Clemson, Virginia Tech and Maryland that will more than eliminate it from division title contention (oh and FSU's their "homecoming" from that little trip.) Wake Forest remains far removed from 2006 and should bring up the cellar.
Heisman - Trent Richardson. I don't have a clue why he's not getting more Heisman pub. He's the star running back on the best team in the country and he rang up three TD's on just 13 carries in Alabama's opening day domination of Kent State. He'll beat out Andrew Luck and LaMichael James (who will most likely split votes, particularly in the west, if both make it to New York and James might face competition from his teammate, QB Darron Thomas), Landry Jones and Brandon Weeden (ditto but obviously in Big 12 country) and every other serious Heisman candidate (no, Robert Griffin is not one unless he puts up video game numbers every week.) This is always a next-to-impossible call - NO ONE had Cam Newton as their choice before October of last year - but Richardson seems like the most logical guess. Neither A.J. McCarron nor Phillip Sims will be in the hunt and Alabama doesn't have any Julio Jones' for them to throw to anyway.
National Champion - Alabama. They're quite simply the best team in the country. Trent Richardson will shine even more without Mark Ingram. Greg McElroy and Julio Jones are gone but the Tide honestly won't even need a passing game with Richardson and, especially, the defense. Dont'a Hightower leads what is head-and-shoulders the best defense in the country. Dre Kirkpatrick, Mark Barron and Courtney Upshaw are all superstars and this team has the perfect combination of talent, schedule, motivation and hunger from last year's "flop" of a season (not being able to stop South Carolina, blowing the LSU game and then "The Comeback") and the inspiration of a town needing something to feel good about after the tornadoes from earlier this year wrecked so much havoc. Well, I think they'll get it. The Tide take down Oklahoma in what is a boring but hopefully intelligent (mythical) national title prediction.