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Staff picks


Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday, August 31, 2004
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'04 College Football

What will Arizona's season record be?

Charles Renning:

It's amazing how excited people are for Arizona football. I just hope it lasts until next year if this team only matches last season's two wins. There's no doubt the Wildcats will be more competitive than last year, but with another tough schedule I don't see them winning more than two games. The only thing that might save them is a weak Pac-10.

Pick: 2-9

Amanda Branham:

Four wins may not sound like a lot (NAU, UCLA, Oregon State and, of course, ASU), but this team will never lose as big as they did last season. They will - at worst - be competitive, and we will get to see first-hand the possibilities for the future of UA football. Too bad I graduate in May.

Pick: 4-7

James Kelley:

Since it looks like the UA can actually make an FG, you can add two wins to last year right off the bat, in place of losses to UCLA and TCU. Now that the Wildcats return pretty much everyone, have bulked and sped up and finally have top-notch coaching, a couple more Ws can be added, too. That puts them in their first bowl since 1998, in the Bay Area.

Emerald Bowl or Silicon Valley Classic

Pick: 6-5

Shane Bacon:

As I watched ESPN Motion in the lonely right corner of my search page, I saw a special on Mike Stoops and his approach to the season. If anything stuck out in my head, it was the way the team ended practice. "Pac-10 Champs" was the finale, which got me wondering, "Do they get Arizona games in Oklahoma?" We can only hope his positive nature extends until the Territorial Bowl in November, and he's not breaking huddles come ASU saying "2-9!"

Pick: 3-8

Who will win the Pac-10?

Renning:

For the last seven months all I've heard is USC this, USC that. The Boys of Troy lost to Cal last year and the Bears are a better squad now. I'll take Aaron Rodgers and Geoff McArthur over Matt Leinart and any one of his cronies (minus Mike Williams, who'll be watching games from the SC student section, since, according to the Trojan coaching staff, he's been "working toward" his degree).

Pick: Cal

Branham:

I can't imagine it being anyone else but USC, though it pains me to say it. The Trojans are so stacked, Leinart won't even need his arm at 100 percent for this team to waltz through the Pac-10 with little damage. They won't win the national championship, though. I can't bring myself to pick them twice for something.

Pick: USC

Kelley:

Since they lost 10 starters, there is no chance that USC will repeat. Wait, no - the team has more top recruits than pages in their dictionary-sized media guide. They even sent the Wildcat three copies as opposed to just one, using more wood than a Trojan horse or a Trojan.... never mind, that will just get removed by my editors like most of my jokes.

Pick: USC

Bacon:

Durex, Lifestyles, Avanti, Beyond Seven, Trustex, flavored, ribbed, Crown, Contempo, Innerwear, polyurethane, Exotica, Kimino, InSpiral, Sagami, Ruffrider, Atlas, Maxx, Vivid, Kiss of Mint, Reality, RIA, Naturallamb, NightLight, Okamoto, Kimono, PleasurePlus, climax control, for him, for her ... And what is the king of them all? The Trojan.

Pick: USC

Who will win the national championship?

Renning:

I'd like to stay in the Pac-10 for this one, but I just don't think it's gonna happen. So I'll go to the next-best thing, the Big Ten. The Big Blue returns 13 starters from a team that finished sixth in the nation last year. It will come down to Michigan and OSU, and unless Mo Clarrett comes back, give me the Wolverines.

Pick: Michigan

Branham:

It probably isn't logical, but hey, neither is the BCS. I mean, so what if Georgia doesn't win its conference championship game? Who says they can't go to the title game? Oklahoma did it last year. Ooohhh, I forgot, they made some changes to the "flaws" in the system. I'm sure it's much better.

Pick: Georgia

Kelley:

How good are the Trojans? After losing both starting receivers from last year's team, running back Reggie Bush shifted outside to go for 127 yards against Virginia Tech in Washington, D.C., Saturday night. At least for one night, he became the least popular Bush in our nation's capital. When Bush is off his game, expect some diaper dandy who only frequent message board posters know of to step up. USC will finally go to the BS championship game and beat Oklahoma.

Pick: USC

Bacon:

I picked them last year, and by GOD, I'm picking them again. The Sooners had a chance to win it all last year and folded like a cheap lawn chair in the middle of Hurricane Charley. But with a Heisman winner returning at the helm and a schedule that has only two realistic upset possibilities, Mike Stoops' ex-home front could run through its schedule undefeated. My only request: please don't let USC repeat.

Pick: Oklahoma

Who will be awarded the Heisman Trophy?

Renning:

With Cal's growing success, the pub on Rodgers will grow. After he out-duels Leinart in the teams' Oct. 9 game, Rodgers will get national exposure. Jeff Tedford is the best coach in college football and a quarterback guru. Seven of his students are in the NFL, including Joey Harrington, David Carr and Kyle Boller, but Rodgers will be the first to win the Heisman.

Pick: Aaron Rodgers, Cal

Branham:

Darren Sproles led the nation in rushing in 2003 - all 5'7" of him. The only returning player to beat him in the Heisman race last season was winner Jason White. The list of two-time winners is extremely short, and White is just not special enough to warrant that distinction. Matt Leinart is already having trouble with his elbow, so he won't put up Heisman-worthy numbers. Gotta pull for the short guy.

Pick: Darren Sproles, Kansas State

Kelley:

Obviously at UO or OU, whatever it wants to be called, offense will not be affected by the loss of Stoops and will continue to roll. Meanwhile, Jason White will become the first repeat Heisman winner since Archie Griffin in his sixth year because the Sooners will tear through the Big 12 like the USA basketball team did all those countries with one NBA player. OK - bad analogy, but you get what I mean.

Pick: Jason White, Oklahoma

Bacon:

Since my pick last year (Reggie McNeal of Texas A&M) turned out to be as likely a candidate for the Heisman as Paris Hilton for canonization, I've decided to allow myself a more professional approach this year. I'm picking another firecracker quarterback, in Chris Leak, to pull away from the already-stacked QB lineup. He's young, but has better vision downfield than Mike Vick did at this point in his career. Besides, Florida's first four games are against teams outside the top 70.

Pick: Chris Leak, Florida



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