Spring football is ongoing around the country which gives fans a teaser of what to expect during the upcoming season in the fall. It also allows for coaching staffs to see what they need to work for during the summer months. New coaching staffs get to meet their players and see what they have coming back. Example Mike Bobo who inherits a teams that went 10-3 last season and returns some key pieces but needs to find a quarterback to run his system. So with that being said, here are the bold predictions for the upcoming football season, with almost all of them subjected to change.
Bold Prediction 1: Colorado State's offensive won't miss a beat.
The Rams had an explosive offense last season in which in the middle part of the season torched teams behind the arm of Garrett Grayson and receivers Rashard Higgins, Steven Walker, Joe Hansley and others. Dee Hart was explosive at running back as well. The issue is that they need to replace Grayson and Hart. Nick Stevens looks to be the one that will lead the way. The Rams are going to more of a no huddle spread offense that is power heavy. So expect to see a lot of Treyous Jarrells, Jason Oden and Purdue transfer Dalyn Dawkins. Expect them to not miss a beat, and be much more explosive in the run game. Higgins will be another national player of the year candidate.
Bold Prediction 2: Wyoming will go Bohl-ing (Get the pun)
The Pokes have a much easier schedule this season. They challenged themselves in the non-conference in Craig Bohl's first season playing the likes of Oregon and Michigan State. They had issues with health at running back and their best defensive player had a season ending injury this year, With a good recruiting class this year and another year under Bohl's system they will drastically improve. The question will be quarterback with Cameron Coffman looking to be the leader and a host of players returning he will need to play well in order for the Pokes to be successful. The Pokes will be bowl eligible for the first time since 2011.
Bold Prediction 3: San Diego State will win the West
The West division winner will be the Aztecs. Last season the Aztecs finished 7-6 and had opportunities to upset North Carolina and Boise State on the road D.J. Pumphrey is a player of the year candidate with the potential to rush for 2,000 yards. They have two transfer quarterbacks from Oregon and Kentucky respectively. The sky is the limit for the Aztecs this season but the offensive will be the reason it either wins or lose the conference. The defense will be fine, Rocky Long's defense will always be ready to play. The defense will play its game and the offense will do enough to win 9 games and win the division.
Bold Prediction 4: Utah State wins the Mountain
Chuckie Keeton will be back after being out for the season with a knee injury. If he's the same explosive Keeton from years past the Aggies will be tough to beat. They already have a potent defense and a healthy offense could present problems to the rest of the conference. The defense led by Kyler Fackrell who is returning from a knee injury will continue to be its stingy selves and will always keep the Aggies in the game. They have two Pac-12 foes on the schedule which will help them come conference time. Don't be surprised if they run the table in conference if all things work in their way. Especially with CSU, Boise and Wyoming having to travel to Logan.
Bold Prediction 5: Hawaii will have their best season under Norm Chow
The Rainbow Warriors had an improved season last year. They finished 4-9 but were highly competitive in all of their games except for two blowout losses to Utah State and CSU. If a couple things went their way last year they could very easily won 8 or 9 games. The financial situation wouldn't be as bad either, because the Warrior faithful would have returned. Looking at this years schedule there is a possibility that 7 games could be won. They only have to play one of the big three from the Mountain Division that's a road game at Boise. Any team traveling to Honolulu knows they are in for a fight, and with traveling their legs will be tired as well. If Hawaii wants to go bowling they will need consistent play from the offense. The defense will be good, it will come down to the offense. They can likely go on a run late to make a bowl game because four of their last five is at home.
Bold Prediction 6: The Border War will be an all time classic, but the Bronze Boot stays in Fort Collins
This year's game will likely be the closest from an odds standpoint in a long time. The Rams won in blowout fashion last year despite what the final score was (45-31). That game was over when CSU went up 38-10 in the 3rd quarter. With an improved Cowboys team, and the Rams losing some firepower from the offensive side this game is a toss up. I hope this game is a late game on ESPN or CBSSports so that it gets a national audience. This game will come down to defense and this game will be in the 20s. This could be a game that comes down to a late field goal. The Tampa 2 defense could cause problems for the new offensive system and whoever is the quarterback is for the Rams.
The season is less than five months away. A lot can happen between now, fall camp, and the start of games. This should be a competitive season none the less.