There are some good questions going around about the now-here football season. I posed some a couple of questions to the staff and we began, what hopefully will be a weekly segment during the season here on the Connection. Join me after the jump as our Staff and our Overlord Jeremy Mauss dare to answer the tough question:
Beautiful Image Courtesy of THujone from shaggybevo.com and prevailandride.blogspot.com (warning extremely funny and occasionally NSFW, enter at your own peril).
Question 1: With the season upon us, what teams are on upset watch, and which one of those teams (if not all) will lose?
BHSMarine: I don't see an upset this week. The first game could always surprise but I don't think anyone should be to worried.
Jeremy Mauss: I don't see an upset happening this week but the most likely to happen would be Georgia over Boise State or Baylor over TCU. Between the two the most likely upset to happen would be Boise State losing. They are essentially on the road where there will be around 75 percent of the stadium filled with Georgia fans -- if not more. Georgia recruits better and athletes at a lot of the positions which could provide some issues for some Boise State players, but really I am reaching here since Georgia is starting a true freshman running back, they lost A.J. Green to the NFL and return only nine starters back off a 6-7 team from 2011.
rebelfan1: I'm with Jeremy on this one, there really isn't a good chance of any upset happening. The only games that I see being close would be the BSU-Georgia game and the Baylor-TCU game.
Chris Holly Taylor: The upset that will shock the MWC this week will take place in Laramie, WY where Weber State will catch the Cowboys lingering in pre-season QB uncertainity.
AIRFORCETWO: This week I only see two possible upsets, albeit long shot upsets. TCU is playing at Baylor and has many new guys in the line-up. I'm sure Gary Patterson would have prefered that Casey Pachall would have gotten his first start at home and against a weaker opponent. CSU has higher expectations this year and has a lot of pressure on them and Steve Fairchild to start the year off with a win. Will it be the same New Mexico as the past couple years? We won't really know until they get on the field.
pack_fan: Like others I don't see an upset this week, but TCU is on upset watch. I expect Pachall will be fine, but we're not sure until we see him in action, and the last minute shakeups on the O-line are concerning. I still think TCU wins, but it might be close. I'm not sure I'd count Georgia winning as an "upset".
Ben Findley: CSU(-6) @UNM, TCU(-6.5) @Baylor, & Weber St. (+11) @Wyoming are all probable upsets. I'll follow CHT's lead and say that Weber St. pulls the upset.
bluesyourdaddy: I really don't see an upset but I am having doubts about the Georgia-Boise State game. I just got back from Nevada today where the odds for Boise have dropped to -4 over Georgia. And I must be buying into all the Bulldog hype and thinking that if an upset is in the works, it comes from this one. But then I say, Naw. Won't happen this year. Just thinking out loud, here, but you don't think the Broncos could have their tails handed to to them again by the Dawgs, do you?
greekpadre: Well, I meant this as a general upset of the week but, out of the MWC, the only upset I could see is Baylor; mainly because the SEC and everyone else won't consider BSU an upset if they lose... Future MWC members, I see an upset in Fresno St. to beat Cal on Saturday.
Question 2: Who do you predict to be the MWC surprise team of the year?
greekpadre: I'm going to go out on a limb here and say San Diego State. People know they're supposed to be decent-good, but I'm going to one-up by saying despite the WR problems, SDSU can be poised to go 10-2 this season or even 11-1 if they go to the Big House and defeat Michigan on the road.
bluesyourdaddy: It would have to be the Colorada State Rams. I did some homework on them this past spring and followed up with an article saying they would go 6-6 and a Bowl game. My opinion has not changed.
Ben Findley: My surprise team of the year will be CSU going 7-5 and becoming bowl eligible after back to back 3-win seasons under Fairchild. Lots of pressure on sophomore QB Pete Thomas to save Fairchild's job but I think Thomas has a breakout year in 2011.
pack_fan: Air Force is certainly a good choice here, but I'll go with SDSU. The changes to the coaching staff and the questions at receiver are certainly vaild, but they have good experience at QB and RB, so their offense could end up surprising some. Air Force on the road will be a tough task as will TCU and BSU, but at least those two games are at home.
AIRFORCETWO: I don't really see any team making a move over what they did last year. The conference is pretty much slotted the same. Of course saying that someone will jump up and surprise, but I just don't see who. I would have to say Air Force has a good chance of leaping over TCU this year simply because TCU has to play at the Academy in week 2 with an inexperienced QB (just like BYU had to in 2010) and at Boise. If the TCU-AFA game was later in the year TCU would probably win, but in week 2, I have to lean towards the Falcons experience. But I expect my pre-season rankings to hold throughout the season.
Chris Holly Taylor: TCU will not finish in the top 3 of the MWC this year. This will be the surprise team of the year if only on the down side! Andy Dalton will be missed more than expected early and often.
rebelfan1: I can't really decide whether to go with Air Force or Colorado State. I think Colorado State will make it to a bowl game this year, and that most likely will be a surprise to most people who don't follow the conference, but I also think Air Force could easily beat either TCU or Boise State. Air Force gets TCU at home in Week 2 and if Casey Pachall still hasn't gotten his legs underneath him, I could see that being a tough game for the Horned Frogs to get through.
Jeremy Mauss: I am extremely high on Air Force but their four game stretch in October is brutal and makes picking them as conference champion difficult. They go to Navy, to Notre Dame, San Diego State on a Thursday night and then at Boise State. I think they a legitimate shot to win the league, they get TCU at home in week two where TCU will still be with an inexperienced Casey Pachall and last time TCU came to Colorado Springs they squeaked out a win but weather was an issue. Air Force has the experience in quarterback Tim Jefferson and running back Asher Clark as well as Jonathan Warzeka at wide receiver and a returner. I think Air Force will finish in the top-three, beat Notre Dame and the surprise that they will beat either TCU or Boise State.
BHSMARINE: I think Air Force or the Rams. More Air Force though, Calhoun has some great athletes and could make a few upsets. The Rams could surprise if their defense shows up big one week against an AF or SDSU. Wyoming also might be surprisingly bad this year, that QB situation is scary.