By Mark Schlabach
My 2006 college football predictions proved to be so prophetic that my editors asked me to look into the crystal ball once again. Here's some of what I told you would happen during the 2006 season: I predicted Miami would struggle and end up playing in the Champs Sports Bowl. Hurricanes fans told me I was dead wrong. They were right -- the Hurricanes beat Nevada 21-20 in the lesser MPC Computers Bowl in Boise, Idaho. I told you Auburn would finish unbeaten and play in the BCS title game. The Tigers lost twice and didn't even play in the SEC championship game.
I told you Mitch Mustain would start at Arkansas (I didn't tell you he would transfer) and Matthew Stafford would start at Georgia. I told you the Big East would be better than the ACC (I also slightly suggested at midseason -- when Auburn, Georgia and South Carolina were struggling -- that the Big East was better than the SEC). So keeping that track record in mind (and who's really keeping score?), here are my early predictions for the 2007 season:
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2. The Trojans will finish on top: Southern California will be tested only twice -- at Nebraska on Sept. 15 and at California on Nov. 10 -- before finishing the season undefeated. The Trojans will play West Virginia for the national championship Jan. 7 in the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, three weeks after the Trojans receive a formal notice of investigation from the NCAA for alleged violations involving 2005 Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush.
20. TCU will crash the BCS party: West Virginia and USC will play in the BCS title game. California will play Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl. Florida State will play TCU in the Orange Bowl. LSU will play Louisville in the Sugar Bowl. Texas will play Georgia in the Fiesta Bowl.