With the end of the year only days away, it is time to take out our Nostradamus file and project what the future of college football will be in the year 2013.
We’ll tackle subjects, rather than use a hard time line, which admittedly allows more time for things to happen.
Alabama will win back-to-back national championships with a solid if unspectacular 24-14 win over Notre Dame. SEC rules–again, which makes it 7 straight for Commissioner Mike Slive’s group. And this is not even a great Alabama team.
For Notre Dame, it will be the unlucky Irish, with the ghosts of great escapes against Pittsburgh and Stanford and six wins by nine points asking for some paybacks. Still, for a team which was unranked at the start of the season, a 12-1 record and a Top 5 final ranking isn’t bad. And yes, we know about the history of 3rd year ND coaches winning national championships, with guys named Parseghian, Holtz, Devine and Leahy each winning a national title in their year at ND. Not this time.
The BCS will also announce that Dallas will be the host of the first title game following a 4 team playoff in January 2015.
Most of the changes have already occurred, but with the National Football League holding its annual job fair, there will be more movement. Alabama coach Nick Saban will take a hard look at returning, but with another national championship, his statue outside of Bryant-Denny Stadium, being the King of Tuscaloosa is better than being the Prince of Cleveland or some other NFL outpost, although the itch to pull off a Barry Switzer–Jimmy Johnson move and go for the National championship-Super Bowl daily double will be constant.
Oregon coach Chip Kelly will jump to the NFL. Most speculation is a move back East to Philadelphia. We think it will be down the Pacific Coast to San Diego. One of Kelly’s first moves might be to give up a draft choice (not first or second or third) for a QB/RB/Wildcat back named Tebow.
On a local note, don’t be stunned if former Boston College head coach Frank Spaziani emerges as a defensive coach on a new NFL staff. The numbers say that Spaziani failed as a head coach. But his abilities as a very, very good defensive coordinator remain. If Spaz wants to stay local, he could make a call to Storrs to see if Paul Pasqualoni needs a good DC.
We are not done yet. While there is some doubt whether the Big Ten will want to expand to 16 teams after gobbling up Rutgers and Maryland as No. 13 and No. 14, it seems to be only a question of when, not if.
What is also certain is that Big East must make more moves, either in a survival or collapse mode.
We still think that Boise State and San Diego State will not do a reverse on their move to the Big East which is scheduled to begin on July 1, 2013.
If that happens, Fresno State will also be added to the Big East mix. Louisville and Rutgers will stick around for one more season before moving to the ACC and Big Ten.
The Catholic 7 will officially announce they will move into their new hoop neighborhood on July 1, 2014. They will also add Xavier, Butler and we will stick with VCU. And they will take the name Big East.
The old Big East will talk to the Mountain West about forming some kind of alliance, confederation with cross over games and championships.
The Big Ten will go quiet until next summer and then make another run at Georgia Tech and nibble at North Carolina and… Boston College. Kansas also might get a second look.
The ACC will have to react if it loses anyone and UConn might finally get a call. Cincinnati probably will have to wait.
The Big 12 is going to stay at 10 teams for as long as it can, but the pressure to get into the big boy Super Conference party will be constant. Florida State and Clemson remain prime targets.
The story line in the ACC will be whether how any of those schools gets around the $50 million dollar buyout that Maryland is now contesting. If that is settled at a lower price, watch out.
All of these guesses are just that. Tune in this time next December to see how we did.
© 2012, Mark. All rights reserved.