Now that we have gone through the Power Five Conferences, it is time to look at the smaller schools. These school have a chance to compete for a National Championship but, the odds of them being their in the end are still slim. Look no further than Boise State. View attachment 54971 Ball State Cardinals We are going to kick off this off with the Ball State Cardinals. The Cardinals finished 9-4 last season. The season ended on a sour note though with a 38-17 loss to UCF in the Beef â€˜Oâ€™ Bradyâ€™s Bowl. Offense The Cardinal return seven starters on offense. Senior quarterback Keith Wenning is back to lead one of the most prolific offense in the MAC. Junior Jahwan Edwards is back looking to build off of last yearâ€™s 1,000 yard rushing campaign. All-MAC receivers Jamill Smith and Willie Snead are back as well. The are of most concern for this offense will be the offensive line. The line only returns senior left guard Jordan Hansel. The offense will need this young unit to come along quickly. [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xTywuLajA2o]Snead USF Game Winner - YouTube[/ame] Defense The defense has six starters coming back. This defense must improve after being dreadful last year. The defensive line returns three starters. The linebacking corps returns zero starters. The secondary returns three starters. The linebacking corps look to be the weakness, but they might actually be a breath of fresh air. Addition by subtraction happens in college football all the time. Overall The Cardinals schedule is much easier this season. The tough road games will be Virginia and Northern Illinois on a Wednesday night. The Cardinals will not have any tough games at home. If the Cardinals defense can improve and the offensive line doesnâ€™t miss a beat, Ball State could finish 11-1. If the offensive line slips up the Cardinals could fall to 9-3. Either way, Ball State should be bowling this offseason. View attachment 54972 Boise State Broncos The Boise State Broncos are always right there. Every year they are undefeated and then their kicker pulls a Ray Finkle. Expectations are high yet again after a 11-2 finish last year capped with a 28-26 victory over Washington in the Maaco Las Vegas Bowl.. Can the boys of the blue finally put it all together? Offense The Broncos return four starters on offense this year. Senior quarterback Joe Southwick is back and looked poised for a breakout year. Sophomore Jay Ajayi will take over in the backfield with the graduation of D.J. Harper. Junior Matt Miller is the leader of this deep receiving corps. The offensive line returns only two starters. Watch the right side of this line. Sophomores Marcus Henry and Rees Odhiambo will be tested early and often. This offense averaged 30.2 points a game, their lowest since 1998. This has to change for Boise to be a serious contender. Defense The defense returns only four starters. This defense was had a hard time against the run at times last season. Otherwise, they were one of the best units in the nation. This is the same defense that held BYU to six points and scored the only points of the game for Boise on a pick six on top of four other turnovers. The defense line returns three of the â€œFearsome Fourâ€. The linebacking corps will be breaking in new starters. The secondary returns one starter in junior free safety Jeremy Ioane. The defense will need the six new starters if the back seven to make a seamless transition. TubeChop - Boise State vs BYU 2012 Highlights (00:35) Overall Boise Stateâ€™s schedule will not be easy. They will have trips to Washington, Fresno State, Utah State, BYU, and San Diego State. If the offense progresses as expected and the defense doesnâ€™t miss a beat, the Broncos could finish 12-0 and host the first ever Mountain West Championship game. If the defense slips, they could wind up finishing 10-2 and play in the Maaco Las Vegas Bowl again. View attachment 54973 Brigham Young Cougars The Brigham Young Cougars finished 8-5 in their second season of being an Independent. Four of those five losses came on the road with the lone home loss being Oregon State. Came BYU crash the BCS party? Offense BYU returns seven starters on offense. Offensive coordinator Robert Anae is back in Provo after leaving Arizona. Sophomore Taysom Hill will enter the season as the starting quarterback after suffering a season-ending knee injury against Utah State last year. Sophomore Jamaal Williams and senior Michael Alisa will man the backfield. Senior Cody Hoffman returns to lead the receiving corps after recording 100 receptions, 1,248 yards, and 11 touchdowns last season. The offensive line only returns two starter, but they are both on the right side. The rest of the offensive line will be sorted out in training camp with six incoming freshman competing for a starting job. Defense The Cougars return six starters from one of the best defenses in the country last season. Senior nose tackle Eathyn Manumaleuna is the only returning starter on the line. The linebacking corps returns two starters led by senior outside linebacker Kyle Van Noy. All four starting linebackers will be seniors this season. The secondary returns three starters. [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r2i-jjNe64k]Kyle Van Noy Fumble Recovery for a TD vs. San Diego State - YouTube[/ame] [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YBdJT8-Bk2E]Kyle Van Noy Pick-6 vs. San Diego State - YouTube[/ame] Overall The Cougars schedule will be difficult once again with road contests at Virginia, Utah State, Houston, Wisconsin, Notre Dame, and Nevada. They will host Texas, Utah, Georgia Tech, and Boise State this year. If the offense can improve and the defense stays dominant, BYU could finish 12-0 and vy as a BCS Buster. If the defenses regresses at all, the Cougars could finish 7-5 and be playing in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl. View attachment 54974 Central Florida Knights The Central Florida Knights had a successful final campaign as members of the Conference-USA. The Knights ended their Conference-USA run with a disappointing 33-27 overtime loss to Tulsa for the conference Championship. They did defeat Ball State in the Beef â€˜Oâ€™ Bradyâ€™s Bowl 38-17 though. This season, they begin play in the newly named American Athletic Conference. The AAC is the new Big East after a nasty split between the basketball schools and Iâ€™m not going to go into any more details about it. How will the Knights do in their inaugural AAC season? Offense The Knights return six starters on offense this year. Junior Blake Bortles returns at quarterback. Junior Storm Johnson will lead the way at running back after the graduation of Latavius Murray. Junior J.J. Worton will lead the receiving corps this season. If there is somebody to keep an eye on though, it is senior Jeff Godfrey. Godfrey was the starting quarterback before Bortles. I expect we will see some trickery when with him. The offensive line returns three seniors. They will be breaking in new starters at center and right tackle. Defense The UCF defense returns five starters from a year ago. The defensive line returns two starters. Keep an eye on Western Michigan transfer Demetris Anderson. After spending all of last season on the scout team, he came out this spring and took the starting job. The linebacking corps is returning one starter in junior middle linebacker Terrance Plummer. The secondary returns two starters. The secondary accounted for eleven interceptions last season, but players who accounted for nine of them are gone. [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDg_UvZDoTM]Stadium Intro Video 2012 - YouTube[/ame] Overall The Knights schedule is quite difficult. They will travel to FIU, Penn State, and Louisville while hosting South Carolina, Connecticut, Rutgers on a Thursday night, and USF. If the Knights can avoid regression, they could finish 10-2 and find themselves playing in a BCS bowl game as AAC Champions. If the Knights have a hard time adjusting to the AAC competition, they could finish 8-4. Either way, I see bowling in the Knights future. View attachment 54975 Cincinnati Bearcats The Cincinnati Bearcats finished 10-3 last season. They had some highs and lows though. They upset Virginia Tech but were upset by Toledo. They finished the season with a thrilling 48-34 victory over Duke in the Belk Bowl. Texas Tech head coach Tommy Tuberville was hired after head coach Butch Jones left for Tennessee. Tuberville brings a winning pedigree with him, but will he win here? Offense The Bearcats return six starters on offense. Both starting quarterbacks from a year ago are back. Senior Munchie Legaux was the talk of the town after upsetting Virginia Tech. Senior Brendon Kay took over for Legaux after the Syracuse game after Legaux accuracy issues because a full fledged problem. Junior Ralph David Abernathy IV will take over at tailback with George Winnâ€™s graduation. Senior Anthony McClung is the leader of the receiving corps. The offensive line returns every starter led by two first-team All-Big East players in junior left tackle Eric Lefeld and senior left guard Austen Bujnoch. This offensive line is the strength on the team. [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s5ceppdtjiQ]Munchie Legaux AMAZING Touchdown to Damon Julian HD - YouTube[/ame] [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K0vkITJDOZo]Cincinnati Hits Trick Play For TD - YouTube[/ame] Defense The defense returns five starters on defense. Senior defensive tackle Jordan Stepp is the only returnee on the line. The linebacking corp looks strong with two returning starters. The leader of this defense will be first-team All-Big East senior middle linebacker Greg Blair but donâ€™t look past Florida State transfer Jeff Luc. Luc will occupy one of the outside linebacker spots. He was the top rated linebacker coming out of high school. The secondary returns two starters. The secondary was the weakness of this defense last year. That must change if the Bearcats want to compete for the AAC Championship. Overall The Bearcats will be difficult. Cincinnati will host Purdue and Louisville on a Thursday night to end the season. They will have to travel to Illinois and Rutgers. If the Bearcats defense can improve without the offense regressing, they could finish 12-0 and find themselves in a BCS bowl as the AAC Champions. If the Bearcats offense regresses, they could finish 9-3. View attachment 54976 East Carolina Pirates The East Carolina Pirates finished 8-5 last season. That season ended in disappointment though as they fell to Louisiana-Lafayette 43-34 in the R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl. This season expectation are much higher. They come into the season as C-USA favorites now that UCF, Houston, and SMU departed for the AAC. ECU will be looking for their first conference title since 2009 in what will be their last season of C-USA play as they will join the AAC next season. Offense The Pirates return eight starters on offense. Junior quarterback Shane Carden returns as does senior tailback Vintavious Cooper. Cooper was the C-USA newcomer of the year after rushing for 1,049 yards and seven touchdowns last season. Junior receiver Justin Hardy will lead the receiving corps. The offensive line returns four starters. Defense The defense returns eight starters as well. Two starting defensive lineman return. The linebacking corps returns three starters. The secondary returns three starters. This secondary was one of the worst in the nation last season giving up 275.7 yards a game. That must change for ECU to compete as a BCS buster. [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wpVgGL2U-NI]East Carolina 2012 Football Highlights - YouTube[/ame] Overall ECUâ€™s schedule became easier when UCF, Houston, and SMU departed. ECU will host FAU on a Thursday night, Virginia Tech, and Tulsa while traveling to North Carolina, North Carolina State, and Marshall. If the Pirates defense can improve, they could finish 10-2 and host the C-USA championship game. If the defense falters once again, they could finish 8-4, but still find themselves playing for the C-USA championship. View attachment 54977 Fresno State Bulldogs The Fresno State Bulldogs finished a surprising 9-4 last season. Unfortunately, they finished the season by getting embarrassed by SMU 43-10 in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl. Expectations for the Bulldogs are much higher this season. Can they live up to those expectations are compete for a BCS bowl berth? Offense Fresno State returns seven starters on offense led by redshirt senior quarterback Derek Carr. Yes, Derek Carr is former Houston Texas first ever draft pick David Carrâ€™s younger brother. Carr set the Mountain West conference record for most passing yards in a season with 4,104. Junior Josh Quezada has the task of replacing Robbie Rouse. Senior Isaiah Burse and sophomore Davante Adams ares back to lead the receiving corps. The offensive line returns three starters from a year ago. This offense was rather prolific this season. It remains to be seen if they will have the same ground threat that they had last season. [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=utWuf4qIgTc]Robby Rouse takes it to the House - YouTube[/ame] Defense The defense returns eight starters from a year ago. The entire defensive line is back. The biggest loss, numbers wise, is linebacker where only one starter is back. The secondary suffered the biggest loss in All-American strong safety Phillip Thomas, who was drafted by the Washington Redskins in the second round. Luckily, the Bulldogs return junior free safety Derron Smith, who had six interceptions last season. The Bulldogs had one of the best secondaries in football last season. The front seven must improve or the Bulldogs could be in trouble. Overall Fresno Stateâ€™s schedule looks difficult with road games at San Diego State and San Jose State. They will host Rutgers on a Thursday night, Boise State, and Nevada. If Fresno Stateâ€™s defense can improve against the run, the Bulldogs could finish 12-0 and host the inaugural Mountain West Championship. If the defense shows the same woes they did against SMU, they could finish 9-3. View attachment 54978 Louisville Cardinals The Louisville Cardinals finished 11-2 last season. They capped off their stellar season with a 33-23 upset of Florida in the Sugar Bowl. Man that game was great... Louisville is the overwhelming favorite of the AAC. Can Louisville make a run for a spot in the National Championship game? Offense The Cardinals return five starters on offense led by Sugar Bowl MVP and Heisman candidate Teddy Bridgewater. The junior quarterback is looking to improve on last seasonâ€™s stellar numbers. Joining him in the backfield will be redshirt junior Dominique Brown, who is returning from a season ending knee injury, and redshirt senior Senorise Perry, returning from tearing his ACL against Syracuse. Senior Damian Copeland is the only returning starter at receiver, but he will be joined by Florida transfer Robert Clark and Tennessee transfer Matt Milton. The offensive line returns three starters, but none of the right side. The right side of that line will be tested early and often. They must keep Bridgewater upright for this offense to succeed. Defense The defense returns eight starters from a year ago. The defensive line returns two of those starters. The linebacking corps will return two starters as well. The secondary is returning three starters. This defense was a major factor in Louisvilleâ€™s spectacular season. TubeChop - 2013 Sugar Bowl - Louisville vs. Florida FULL GAME (01:00) TubeChop - 2013 Sugar Bowl - Louisville vs. Florida FULL GAME (01:13) Overall The Cardinals schedule will not be easy. They will travel to Kentucky, USF, Connecticut, and Cincinnati on a Thursday night. They do get to host Ohio, Rutgers on a Thursday night, and UCF. If the Cardinals are the team that beat Florida, they should have no problem going 12-0 and finding themselves in the running for a spot in Pasadena. If the Cardinals look like the team that was embarrassed by Syracuse, they could find themselves at 8-4. View attachment 54979 Northern Illinois Huskies The Northern Illinois Huskies finished last season 12-2. They defeated Kent State 44-37 in double overtime to claim the MAC Championship and earn a spot in the Orange Bowl against Florida State. That is where the fun ended. Florida State physically dominated the Huskies in a 31-10 victory. Head coach Dave Doeren moved on to North Carolina State leading to the promotion of offensive coordinator Rod Carey. This year, the expectation are quite high. Can they live up to said expectations? Offense The Huskies return six starters on offense. Senior Heisman Trophy candidate Jordan Lynch is back once again at quarterback. Senior Akeem Daniels will join him in the backfield. The receiving corps look weak as Martel Moore graduated. Juniors Daâ€™Ron Brown and Tommylee Lewis will leaned on to make up for his graduation. The offensive line returns four starters. This offense was explosive last season. Defense The defense returns four starters from a year ago. The defensive line returns only one starter in senior tackle Ken Bishop. The linebacking corps returns only one starter in junior middle linebacker Jamaal Bbutt. The secondary returns two starters from a year ago. There will be added pressure on the defense as the offense is expected to take a step back. TubeChop - 2013 #13 Florida State vs. #16 Northern Illinois (Orange Bowl) (00:35) TubeChop - 2013 #13 Florida State vs. #16 Northern Illinois (Orange Bowl) (00:50) TubeChop - 2013 #13 Florida State vs. #16 Northern Illinois (Orange Bowl) (00:43) Overall The Huskies schedule is no cake walk. They will have to travel to Iowa, Purdue, Kent State, and Toledo. They do get to host Ball State this year. If the Huskies offense doesnâ€™t miss a beat, they could finish 12-0 and play for the MAC championship game with a BCS bid on the line. If the Huskie offense does regress, they could find themselves 9-3. View attachment 54980 Notre Dame Fighting Irish The Notre Dame Fighting Irish were a pleasant surprise last season. They finish 12-1 but that one loss was a 42-14 shellacking at the hands of Alabama in the National Championship game. This season expectations are high. Can the Irish make it back-to-back trips to the big one? Offense The Irish return four starters on offense. Junior quarterback Everett Golson was expected to main the helm but he was kicked off the team after academic â€œdishonestyâ€. Sources close to Notre Dame claim he was kicked off for cheating on his final exams. Whatever the case may be, Senior Tommy Rees will step in to replace him. Rees was slated to be the starter last season before being suspended for a run-in with the law. Golson took over and that was all she wrote. Junior George Atkinson III will finally have the backfield job all to himself after splitting time with Cierre Wood and Detroit Lions sixth round pick Theo Ridrod. Senior TJ Jones will lead the receiving corps once again. The offensive line returns three starters. This offense wasnâ€™t exactly lighting up scoreboards last season. Donâ€™t expect that to change. Defense The defense returns eight starters from a year ago. The line returns two of those starters in senior Louis Nix III and junior defensive end Stephon Tuitt. The linebacking corps will return three starters. The graduation of San Diego Chargers second round pick Manti Teâ€™o leaves a hole in the middle of the defense. He was the heart and soul of the defense, even if he did get catfished. I still canâ€™t believe the mess that his fake girlfriend created. Her â€œdeathâ€ vaulted him to second to Heisman voting. Take away her death, he probably doesnâ€™t finish top five. What a disturbing situation that was. Anyways, the secondary returns three starters. This defense was one of the best in the nation, until Alabama got a hold of it. Can the defense rebound from that loss? They will be depended on more than ever. [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9D1mh7VjPIc"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9D1mh7VjPIc[/ame] Overall The Irishâ€™s schedule is tough as usual. They will travel to Michigan, Purdue, Air Force, Pittsburgh, Stanford, and Arlington to play Arizona State. They will host Michigan State, Oklahoma, USC, Navy, and BYU. If the Irish still have some luck left over, they could finish 12-0 and be right back in the National Championship game. If they regress as expected, they could finish 6-6. View attachment 54982 Rutgers Scarlet Knights The Rutgers Scarlet Knights beat all expectations last season finishing 9-4. Unfortunately, they ended the season on a three game losing streak losing to Pittsburgh 27-6, Louisville 20-17, and Virginia Tech 13-10 in the Russell Athletic Bowl. The Virginia Tech was quite ugly as the teams combined for a bowl record 20 punts in the overtime affair. Will Rutgers be able to knock Louisville off the top of the AAC? Offense The Knights return seven starters on offense. Junior quarterback Gary Nova will lead the charge on offense. Junior Savon Huggins will be expected to replace Washington Redskins seventh round pick Jawan Jamison. Junior Brandon Coleman will lead the receiving corps. The offensive line returns four starters. This offense was awful last year finishing near the bottom in every major offensive category. That must change this year. [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMc_AuvtkpM]Jawan Jamison spin move to score for Rutgers - YouTube[/ame] Defense The defense will return five starters from a year ago. The line returns three of those starters. The linebacking corps returns one starter in senior Jamal Merrell. Junior Kevin Snyder and freshman Steve Longa will have to fill the shoes of Chicago Bears fourth round pick Khaseem Greene and New England Patriots seventh round pick Steve Beauharnais. The secondary returns one starter in junior free safety Lorenzo Waters. The secondary will have to find a way to replace New England Patriots third round picks Logan Ryan, Duron Harmon, and San Francisco 49ers seventh round pick Marcus Cooper. Sophomore Trey Johnson and freshman Ian Thomas have been tabbed to replace Ryan and Cooper but donâ€™t look back Western Michigan transfer Lewis Toler. Senior Jeremy Deering will replace Harmon. This defense was downright dominate last season. The secondary was the weakness last season, and that looks to be the same this year. Overall Rutgersâ€™ schedule will be trying with road contests at Fresno State on a Thursday night, SMU, Louisville on a Thursday night, and UCF on a Thursday night. They do get to host Arkansas and Cincinnati this year. If the offense can improve, Rutgers could finish 11-1 and vy for a BCS bid as the AAC champions. If the offense continues to be horrendous, they could finish 7-5. View attachment 54983 San Jose State Spartans The San Jose State Spartans were a welcomed surprise last season finishing 11-2. They finished the year with a 29-20 victory over Bowling Green in the Northrop Grumman Military Bowl. San Jose State will be breaking in a new head coach in Ron Caragher after Mike McIntyre moved on to Colorado. The Spartans will face high expectations in their first year of Mountain West play. Will they live up to them? Offense The Spartans return seven starters on offense. Senior JUCO transfer David Fales is back at quarterback. Fales finished the year as one of the top quarterbacks in college football last season with 4,193 yards and 33 touchdowns. The backfield will be led by junior Tyler Ervin this year. Senior Noel Grigsby returns to lead the receiving corps. Grigsby is the schoolâ€™s all-time leader in receptions with 227 receptions and yards with 3,015 yards. The offensive line returns four starters but will have to replace Houston Texans sixth round pick David Quessenberry at left tackle. Defense The defense returns five starters. Junior defensive end Travis Raciti is the only returning defensive lineman. The linebacking corp returns two starters. The secondary returns two starters. This defense played quite well last season. They will need to play even better this year as they will face much stiffer competition. TubeChop - 2012 Military Bowl: #24 San Jose State vs Bowling Green (01:30) Overall The Spartans schedule will be much tougher this year. They will travel to Stanford, Minnesota, and Nevada. They will host Utah State, San Diego State, Navy, and Fresno State. If the Spartans can get the running game going and the defense doesnâ€™t regress, the they could finish 11-1 and play for the Mountain West Championship. If the defense regresses at all, San Jose State could finish 8-4. View attachment 54984 Tulsa Golden Hurricanes The Tulsa Golden Hurricanes finish 11-3 last season finishing the season by defeating Iowa State 31-17 in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl. That victory was sweet revenge after opening the season with a 38-23 loss to Iowa State. Tulsa also won the C-USA Championship with a thrilling 33-27 overtime victory over UCF. How will Tulsa fair with most of their competition moving on to the AAC? Offense The Hurricanes return six starters on offense. Senior quarterback Cody Green returns as does senior running back Trey Watts. Junior Keyarris Garrett is the leader of the receiving corps. The offensive line returns only two starters. Tulsa ran the ball at will last season. Can that success roll over into this year? Defense The defense returns only three starters, none on the defensive line. the linebacking corps returns both starting outside linebackers. Senior safety Marco Nelson is the only returning starter in the secondary. Tulsa will be starting two freshmen at corner in Darnell Walker Jr. and Darrell Williams. Tulsa has the top defense in the C-USA last year. Will the coaching staff be able to rebuild it? TubeChop - Tulsa vs. UCF C-USA Championship Highlights (00:36) Overall The Hurricanes schedule got much easier. They will still have to travel to Bowling Green on a Thursday night, Oklahoma, and East Carolina. They will get to host Colorado State, Iowa State on a Thursday night, and Marshall on a Thursday night. If the Hurricaneâ€™s defense can play at last yearâ€™s level, they could finish 11-1 and host the C-USA Championship game. If the defense regresses, they could finish 9-3 and have to travel for the C-USA Championship game. View attachment 54985 Utah State Aggies Talk about a surprise team last season. The Utah State Aggies finished 11-2 last season winning their first ever WAC championship. They beat Utah for the first time in fifteen years, and throttled Toledo 41-15 in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. Head coach Gary Anderson has left to take the Wisconsin job. Offensive coordinator Matt Wells was promoted to head coach. Expectations are the highest they have ever been. Can the Aggies build off of last season? Offense The Aggies return eight starters on offense. Junior quarterback Chuckie Keeton is the undisputed leader of this team after last season. Junior Joe Hill will be leaned on at running back with the graduation of Indianapolis Colts seventh round pick Kerwynn Williams. Senior Travis Reynolds will lead the receiving corps. The entire offensive line returns. The Aggies offense was pretty good last season and could be even better this season as long as the running game can get going. Defense The defense returns seven starters. The line returns both defensive ends. The linebacking corps has three starters back led by senior first-team All-WAC middle linebacker Jake Dougherty. The secondary returns two starters. Senior Tay Glover-Wright will be charged with replacing Miami Dolphins third round pick Will Davis. This defense was dominant at times last season holding Wisconsin to 16 points and BYU to 6. They must be even better this season. TubeChop - UtahStateFootball: Aggies Upend Utes 27-20 in OT (02:32) Overall Utah Stateâ€™s schedule will be much tougher this season. They will travel to Utah on a Thursday night, Air Force, USC, and San Jose State. They will host BYU and Boise State. If the Aggies can build off of last seasons success, they could finish 10-2 and play on the first Mountain West Championship game. If Utah State has a hard time adjusting to the Mountain West competition, they could finish 7-5. View attachment 54981 These teams will have their fair share of important games starting with week one and ending in week fifteen. Week 1: Utah State @ Utah. BATTLE OF THE BROTHERS! Rutgers @ Fresno State. Both teams will be looking to start the season on high notes. Northern Illinois @ Iowa. NIU will be looking to avenge last seasonâ€™s 17-16 loss. Boise State @ Washington. In what has become a trend for Boise, they will start the season on the road as underdogs. Can they pull off the upset again? Week 2: Texas @ BYU. The first tough test for BYU. Notre Dame @ Michigan. Always a close game. Can Notre Dame make it two years in a row? San Jose State @ Stanford. San Jose State came oh so close last year. Stanford pulled it out 20-17, but can San Jose State spoil Stanfordâ€™s season? Week 3: Tulsa @ Oklahoma. Can Tulsa pull off the upset? East Carolina @ Virginia Tech. ECU still remembers the 27-22 upset they pulled off in 2008. Can they do it again? UCF @ Penn State. Can UCF pull off the upset in Happy Valley? Notre Dame @ Purdue. SHILLELAGH TROPHY! Louisville @ Kentucky. GOVERNORâ€™S CUP! Week 4: Boise State @ Fresno State. MILK CAN! Michigan State @ Notre Dame. MEGAPHONE TROPHY! Arkansas @ Rutgers. Rutgers stunned Arkansas in Fayetteville last year winning 35-26. Can they avoid Razorback revenge? Utah @ BYU. HOLY WAR! Utah State @ USC. How sweet would it be to go into the Coliseum and pull off the upset? Week 5: Iowa State @ Tulsa. They split the series last season with Iowa State winning in Ames and Tulsa winning the AutoZone Liberty Bowl. This time, they face off on a Thursday night. Utah State @ San Jose State. Former WAC rivals become MWC rivals. Can SJSU get revenge on last season 49-27 embarrassment at home? Northern Illinois @ Purdue. Can NIU get a victory over a BCS school? Oklahoma @ Notre Dame. Notre Dame stormed into Norman and left with a 30-13 statement victory. Will Oklahoma return the favor? East Carolina @ North Carolina. Battle of the Carolinas. Can ECU pull off the upset in Chapel Hill? South Carolina @ UCF. UCF will have a week to prepare for this match-up against the SEC power. Week 6: BYU @ Utah State. THE OLD WAGON WHEEL! Arizona State vs Notre Dame. Another tough game. This one will be played in Arlington. Ball State @ Virginia. This will be a tough road test for Ball State. Can they upset the ACC school? Week 7: Rutgers @ Louisville. The AAC Champions could be decided in this Thursday night matchup. Boise State @ Utah State. Welcome to the Mountain West, you get to host the favorite. Upset alert? Georgia Tech @ BYU. Another tough game for the Cougars. Can they take down one the of ACCâ€™s best? Week 8: UCF at Louisville. UCF will be looking to make their mark. Louisville will be trying to make homecoming weekend awesome. Nevada @ Boise State. The rivalry began in 1971 and has seen some great moment including Nevadaâ€™s 34-31 overtime victory in 2010 that ruined Boise Stateâ€™s hopes for a BCS Championship game bid. USC @ Notre Dame. JEWELED SHILLELAGH! Week 9: Boise State @ BYU. Boise pulled out a 7-6 victory last season thanks to the defense. Can BYU return the favor this year? Week 10: Navy @ Notre Dame. A rivalry of historic proportions. Last year, Notre Dame thrashed Navy 50-13 in Dublin, Ireland. Week 11: Tulsa @ East Carolina. This will probably be our preview of the C-USA Championship game. BYU @ Wisconsin. BYUâ€™s schedule doesnâ€™t get any easier as they travel to Camp Randall. Week 12: Ball State @ Northern Illinois. This game will most likely decide the MACâ€™s West division. MACtion! Cincinnati @ Rutgers. An important game in deciding the AAC champion. This game has huge implications. Week 13: Rutgers @ UCF. Welcome to AAC Thursday night action. Can we start calling this AACtion? That just doesnâ€™t look right. Pretend that never happened. Will this game make the standings clear or muddle them? BYU @ Notre Dame. Can BYU get revenge for last seasons 17-14 loss in South Bend? East Carolina @ North Carolina State. VICTORY BARRELL! Week 14: Fresno State @ San Jose State. This rivalry could be quite important in deciding who plays in the Mountain West inaugural Championship game. USF @ UCF. WAR ON I-4! Notre Dame @ Stanford. LEGENDS TROPHY! Week 15: Louisville @ Cincinnati. This game could very well decide the AAC champion on what should be a cold Thursday night. USF @ Rutgers. I donâ€™t care what anybody says. This has become a rivalry. There a multiple contenders on this list that could find themselves vying for a BCS bowl bid at the end of the year. Since these are the top teams of their respected conference, I feel it is only right I give my predictions on who wins the conference. I have Cincinnati winning the AAC, Tulsa defeating East Carolina for the C-USA, Northern Illinois defeating Ohio for the MAC, Boise State to defeat Fresno State for the Mountain West, and Louisiana-Monroe to win the Sun Belt even though they arenâ€™t on here. Where will I have any of these teams playing come bowl season? Just keep waiting.