Yesterday, we released our list of potential Heisman winners for this upcoming season. Today, we look at it from more of a team perspective as we predict the winner of each BCS Conference. With a potential playoff format in the making to decide a champion, winning your conference will become as important as ever. Let’s take a look at who we think will come out on top of their respective conferences.
ACC – Clemson
This team started the year very hot and then kind of cooled down as the season went on. However, Tahj Boyd (Heisman black horse for some) and receiver Sammy Watkins are back along with 13 starters from last year. There are three players on offense that could walk away with an award; running back Andre Ellington and aforementioned Boyd and Watkins. Their experience gives them an edge over teams like Virginia Tech and Florida State.
Big 12 – Oklahoma
This one was a tough one and a toss up between Oklahoma and West Virginia. At the end of the day, I went with the team that actually plays defense and won’t have to install a new defense (WVU has to install a 3-4 defense this offseason). Add in Landry Jones and a very talented receiving corps and I had to pick OU. If they get their running game together (starting running back Dominique Whaley is injured), OU will win this conference.
Big East – Louisville
This is a dangerous, up and coming team that Charlie Strong has put together. They also happen to play in the weakest conference of the Big Six. The Cardinals are returning 18 starters from last season and Teddy Bridgewater, who is just a sophomore, could easily be the top quarterback in the Big East. The only way the Cards don’t win this conference is if B.J. Daniels can have a career year and lead South Florida to the title.
Big Ten – Michigan
I went back and forth with this as this is a very wide open conference. At first I went with Sparty sole based on their defenses but without Kirk Cousins and four of their top receivers, I couldn’t go with them. Then came Wisconsin, who just got Danny O’Brien, a transfer from Maryland. However, they lost both their offensive coordinator and offensive line coach. The latter is the most important as Wisconsin relies heavily on great line play, without their coach, that play could dwindle. I went with Michigan, who has perhaps the best player in the conference with Denard Robinson. I’m cashing this in expecting that Shoelace is consistent, only time will tell.
Pac 12 – USC
This is the year for USC and it’s probably not going to stop at the conference championship. The Trojans have the best, and perhaps by far, quarterback in the country with Matt Barkley. He will be throwing to arguably the top receiver in the country in Robert Woods. Opposite of Woods will be Marquisse Lee, a sophomore that could easily be the top receiver on basically any other teams. We haven’t even mentioned their defense, who returns eight of its starter on a unit that recorded the same amount of sacks as Alabama last fall. The only team that could challenge them is Oregon but I give USC the edge over the Ducks.
SEC – LSU
Picking the winner of the toughest conference in all of college football was not easy. You have Bama, last year’s national champions but they lost Trent Richardson and most of their secondary along with a few key linebackers. You have Georgia, who got real hot as the season ended but inconsistency does not go well in the SEC. Arkanasas is a really good team but they lost their coach and have a very tough schedule. Ultimately I chose the Honey Badger’s team and last year’s runner up in the BCS Championship. Despite losing six starters on the defensive side, I believe that Zach Mettenberger will be an upgrade at quarterback and will lead LSU to another SEC Championship.