The 2011 college football season is beginning on Sept 1, and is already filled with questions, controversy and season predictions.
Thus far, 12 ESPN analysts have pegged Alabama, Oklahoma, Virginia Tech, Florida State, Nebraska and Oregon as season favorites. The ESPN analysts predicted that Oklahoma would win the BCS title game, Virginia Tech would win the ACC Coastal title, Florida would be the ACC Atlantic winner, Nebraska would prevail in the Big Ten Legends, Oregon would be the Pac-12 Champions and Alabama would be SEC champions.
Although conference predictions have been rolling in, some have also anticipated the choice for the season’s best player and Heisman Trophy winner. ESPN Insider Ryan McCrystal said that Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones has some edge over his competition to win the trophy this year.
“The key to Jones' candidacy will be his success in big games. The (Oklahoma) Sooners are set to face three teams ranked in the AP preseason top 10 (Florida State, Texas A&M and Oklahoma State), which will give Jones a chance to shine on the biggest stage throughout the course of the season,” McCrystal wrote. “Assuming each of those games is a matchup of top-10 teams, Jones could earn up to 15 Predictor Points. These potential performance-based points -- which, obviously, are not available to every candidate -- give Jones a decided advantage over his closest competitors.“
Although the beginning of many college football seasons are filled with predictions, this particular one is filled with scandal. This year, Ohio State, Southern California, Michigan, North Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia Tech, Boise State and Miami have all been investigated for taking part in NCAA violations.
Some have started to question the college sport as a result. Mike Tranghese, former Big East commissioner, said the scandals have shaken the world of college football.
"I think the public in general is losing faith in our system," Tranghese said, according to The New Orleans Times-Picayune. "And I don't blame them."
Despite the controversy surrounding the sport, the opening game for the college season will take place on Sept. 1 and will end with a championship game on Jan. 9.