Let me look into the crystal ball and forecast the future of NCAA football in the year 2014!
Trending Upward: UCLA
Jim Mora has done an excellent job as head coach of the Bruins in his first two seasons. He finished 9-5 in year one and 10-3 this past season. The year before he took over the Bruins finished 6-8….yes you read that correctly…6-8. He is 2-0 in the battle for the victory bell over rival USC. The year before he arrived on campus the Bruins lost to the Trojans by the score of 50 to zero.
The Bruins defense put Virginia Tech on lock down in the Sun Bowl. Junior quarterback Brett Hundley will return and already has the attention of NFL scouts. I look for UCLA to win the Pacific-12 next season and be in the four team national championship playoff.
Trending downward: Louisville
Louisville loses both, Junior Teddy Bridgewater to the NFL and coach Charlie Strong to Texas. I was not surprised to hear of Bridgewater leaving as his numbers were sure to be far less in the ACC next season as compared to playing in the “fake big east” this season. However, I was surprised that Strong left for Austin. Louisville is a great college athletic program and a great city. With the program moving to a tougher conference in which the Cards can eventually compete in and thus make a legitimate case for the national title playoffs, I thought Strong would stay in The Ville. If Louisville finishes 6-6 next season I would consider it a good season.
On the Hot Seat…..
With the “resigning” of Mack Brown from Texas this season and the “resigning” of Bobby Bowden from Florida State after two national titles, the landscape of NCAA football coaches shows no regard for tenure and accomplishments. The same holds true for newer coaches such as Auburn’s former head coach Gene Chizik, who has fired 2 seasons after leading the Tigers to the national championship. In other words, no coach is safe.
Even though he is the winningest coach currently in college football, as well as, the longest tenured coach, Frank Beamer at Virginia Tech will be on the hot seat next season.
In 2012 the Hokies were 7-6 and finished 8-5 in 2013. Television commentators have made comments about the lack of talent on the sideline in Blacksburg. People are noticing the decline to top recruiting prospects signing with the Hokies. A third season of not living up to the standard Beamer created with 7 conference championships, 13 ten plus win seasons, and 8 BCS caliber bowl appearances may cost him his job.
And the Heisman goes to…..
Trevor Knight of Oklahoma smoked the Alabama secondary in the Sugar Bowl. Most critics said Oklahoma would not win due to Nick Saban having time to prepare the Tide. That did not affect Knight who tossed 4 touchdowns passes. He has experience as a starter in a stellar conference, so I look for 2014 to be the year of the Crimson and Cream Knight!!