Tony DeMeo

2012 College Football Preview

2012 College Football Preview

2012 will be a very interesting college football season because of the new conference alignments, new coaches and a clean slate for all. There will be plenty of surprises and some new powers emerging on the scene.

1. Oregon – Chip Kelly is an offensive wizard and has plenty of speed to run his Gun Option Offense. If you like scoring then become a Duck watcher. Chip’s QB could really be something Marcus Mariota lit it up in the spring game. De’Anthony Thomas could be the most explosive player in college football. Kenjon Barner at TB is a game changer as well.
The PAC 12 has added Rich Rod another offensive wizard at Arizona and WSU commandeered the Pirate Mike Leach to bring his Air Raid Offense to the West Coast. I think these are two great coaching hires and will be great for the PAC 12. It may take a couple of years to get their players in place because their offenses require special personnel but when they do watch out.

2. Air Force is always fun to watch. Troy Calhoun really runs a diverse option offense and moves the ball on everyone. Connor Dietz will be piloting the AFA “O” but they have a great freshman coming in. Calhoun will always find a way to run the clock and be competitive.

3. Nevada – Chris Ault is the Daddy of “the Pistol Offense” so I always try to catch a Wolfpack game. His style of “O” is unique & innovative.
The Mountain West also has Boise St. the Rodney Dangerfield of College Football – they get no respect but like it or not they are one of the top programs in the land. I see Boise as a Top 10 team again. The Wyoming Cowboys have really come on under Dave Christensen who has them playing better than at any time I can remember. Good offense to watch.

4. West Virginia could be in the right place at the right time to challenge for a Big 12 & even a National title. Dana Holgorson has Geno Smith a Heisman Contender pulling the trigger on his style of the Mumme/Leach Air Raid Attack. He has 2 great WRs and a year under their belt running this system. If their defense holds up this could be a huge year for Mountaineer fans.
The Big 12 always has Texas, Okie St. & the Sooners but the dark horse could be K State led by forever young Bill Snyder. At Snyder’s last birthday party it took two fire trucks and a heavy rain to put out all the candles on his cake but HE CAN COACH! He has Colin Klein back at QB & he’s a load. If you overlook the Cats – you’ll lose.

5. Michigan seems to be the class of the Big 10. I like watching MU because Denard Robinson plays the game the way it was meant to be played. He’s another guy who has redefined the Quarterback position.
The Big East has some coaches who are as good as there is. Coach P at UCONN is one of the best and has a great staff – they could go bowling this year. I’m also interested in Rutgers’ Kyle Flood. This is his 1st year as a head coach but he’ll do a great job. Steve Addazio has done a tremendous job with Temple. He got them into a bowl last year which was the Owls first bowl since Noah was worrying about a flood. Addazio has a fun offensive scheme to watch combining power runs and option football from the gun. And his teams don’t beat themselves. I also think Butch Jones at UC has done an outstanding job. He does a great job using his QB’s running ability.

6. Navy – Coach Ken is one of my favorite coaches. A Paul Johnson disciple, he has his own twists to the option offense. He does a great job using compressed sets to create angle advantages. Coach Ken knows the importance of clock control and is a master at keeping the clock as his ally.

7. Georgia Tech – Paul Johnson is the master of the option & has had great success at Tech. The question is will he go to the pass game more in 2012? I think he will & even get in the Gun at times. Tevin Washington is the trigger but he has 2 great RBs in Dave Sims & Orwin Smith. Tech could win the ACC.

8. Ohio St – The story is Urban Renewal. Meyer is a great football coach & will have an instant impact on the Bucks & the Big 10. He has a running QB so I’ll be interested in how much option he incorporates in year one.
The Big 10 has one of the most overlooked team in football – The MSU Spartans Mark Dantonio is one of the best & the brightest. Bo Pelini with Taylor Martinez & Rex Burkhead will challenge also. The Big 10 will certainly have a new look in 2012.

9. So. Carolina led by the Ol’ Ball Coach could be the surprise winner of the SEC. Before you have me committed – remember the Cocks have the best D.Line around and a Multi-threat QB Connor Shaw with a year under his belt. The job Spurrier did adapting his “O” to Shaw’s running ability was remarkable. Oh by the way Marcus Lattimore is back, a legit Heisman contender.
“Bama with Nick Saban at the helm will always battle for the #1 spot & LSU is loaded again so the SEC should really be interesting. Mizzou has an outstanding QB in James Franklin, who is one of the guys redefining the QB position he can run or throw and is 6’2 – 225 lbs.

10. Speaking of James Franklin, Vandy has their own James Franklin who is not as good a QB as Mizzou’s but he is one of the brightest young coaches in the country. He got Vandy into a bowl in 2011 which is like getting a Clydesdale to the Kentucky Derby. He has the core of his team back led by RB Zac Stacy & is looking to go bowling again. A bowl 2 years in a row for the “Dores & Franklin may be Mayor of Music City.
Some other teams I’m interested in seeing are North Carolina, Ohio U, Notre Dame, Marshall, & Army. UNC has an excellent offensive coach in Larry Fedora who is a real innovator. He is taking over a depleted Tar Heel team which will force him to be more creative. Doc Holiday is building up his talent pool he could lead the Herd to a Conference USA title, if he does a good job getting Aaron Dobson more touches. Notre Dame made progress this year under Brian Kelly but the Irish faithful are not patient. Army ran the Wishbone last season and was competitive but they are going to have open it up a little more this season to challenge for The Commander & Chief Trophy –Coach Ellerson has to be more potent on offense to get to a bowl in 2012.

11. Ohio U. is becoming the power in the MAC. Frank Solich has been the best thing to hit Athens since Plato. He has brought in a physical hard-nosed style of football that though not ESPN-sexy is very effective. The Bobcats are running their version of the Pistol and are very entertaining to watch.

These are my thoughts on the 2012 College football season. I would like to hear your thoughts. Post your ideas on the College football scoreboard on the Forums.

Also High School Coaches please post your results on the HS Scoreboard in the forums. I really enjoy following your progress.

Good Luck this season and may the ball bounce your way.