It's almost time for the season, so I bet you're wondering what's going to happen. Specifically, I bet you're wondering what me and some other people think will happen, because I am your anchor and rock for all things.
Well, you're in luck! Me and the SoP staff share our predictions for the season after the jump, and we'd like to hear yours as well.
Hold it, then hit it!
Heading into this season everything would have to go right to exceed seven wins. Kain Colter would need play up to his potential and become a Russell Wilson lite. He has many weapons at his disposal, but none really proven. If the receivers live up to the hype, they can be a high octane offense, but they are losing their top 3 pass catchers from last year (including Colter) so it is imperative that Kyle Prater becomes what we all want him to be. The much-maligned defense should be playing with a Doritos Locos Taco-sized chip on their collective shoulders this year after all the criticism they've sustained, but personnel-wise they look weaker than last year with departures of All-Big Ten performers Brian Peters and Jordan Mabin.
Vanderbilt looks like the most likely loss, South Dakota should be an easy win, and Syracuse and BC are likely wins for a 3-1 record. My final prediction is 6-6 (3-5) and a trip to another lower tier bowl.
I am unconcerned about the offense; with the talent at the skill positions, it has a good chance to match or better last season's 28.9 PPG even with question marks on the right side of the line. Though the defense lacks depth (or top end talent) at defensive tackle, I expect the run defense to be moderately effective due to the strength of the defensive ends, linebackers, and Ibraheim Campbell against the run. Even if Campbell turns into the second coming of Ed Reed, however, the secondary is likely to be vulnerable to the pass. The key to improving on last year's defensive showing, then, will be the pass rush. If one or more of the defensive ends can apply consistent pressure, the defense could claw its way to mediocrity, and the team could improve on last season's win total. Since I don't expect this to happen, I would be satisfied with stopping the downward slide in wins and setting the stage for a stronger 2013.