Why our desk looks like 'A Beautiful Mind' this week*
While we've been neglecting this space over the past week or so, we've been working behind the scenes helping to prep SI.com's preseason packages. You can view all 2012 preseason content here; below, we've excerpted passages from our five non-AQ conference reports. Yes, we think Ohio could go undefeated. Stop that chuckling, chuckleheads.
Can Ohio really enter the BCS discussion? Ohio didn't receive a single vote in the AP Poll. Not so much as a courtesy nod in the No. 25 spot from a single voter. So you might be wondering about our 12-0 crazypants prediction. Well: The Bobcats return 14 starters and are fresh off a Famous Idaho Potato Bowl victory. (Stay with us here.) They catch a Penn State squad that will likely be reeling at least a little bit early on, have Marshall as their only other remotely viable out-of-conference opponent and then settle into a conference slate which features not a single team that produced a winning record in 2011. Of course, we also had Washington as our sleeper national title game pick in 2010, so expect the Bobcats to lose to UMass or something, and expect that to be our fault. [Read the rest]
Houston? Again? Seriously? Maybe? The Cougars have big names to fill, position-wise, and also lost their head coach, but promoting Tony Levine from within makes for a smoother transition. And apart from the above-mentioned Louisiana Tech game, here's what Houston's schedule looks like from September to November: Texas State, UCLA, Rice, North Texas, UAB, SMU, UTEP. That's a lot of practice snaps. [Read the rest]
Preseason Offensive MVP: Ryan Aplin, QB, Arkansas State. Aplin captained a top 20 offense for the Red Wolves last season, ranking 10th nationally on his own in total offensive yardage. And that was before Gus Malzahn became Aplin's head coach. Now that Malzahn has brought his offensive wizardry to Jonesboro, there may not be a player in the college game whose year-over-year development we're more interested in tracking than Aplin's. [Read the rest]
Preseason Offensive MVP: Robbie Rouse, RB, Fresno State. Expect the diminutive Rouse (who shoulders the obvious nickname of "Mighty Mouse" with dignity) to take two or perhaps three weeks to break the Bulldogs' school career rushing record. A top 10 back last season, the 5-foot-7 senior is only 317 yards shy of matching the team mark and will be able to warm up against Weber State in the opener before taking on Pac-12 teams Oregon and Colorado in Weeks 2 and 3. [Read the rest]
Will we ever see WAC football again? The conference will ditch football for 2013, but if the ship rights, will America's beautiful game return? Or will the WAC remain a football conference we used to know? This is probably where a Call Me Maybe joke should go, but we have still never heard that song. We are pretty proud of that. [Read the rest] *And is just as undeserving of a Best Picture Academy Award.