The season starts Thursday, so what better time to jump ahead five months and predict what teams will play in the Bowl Championship Series and who wins it all. Remember, it's no fun to pick the obvious.
Rose Bowl. TCU (at-large) vs. Oregon (Pac-10 champion). The Pac-10 might be the toughest conference in the country to forecast. The Ducks won't miss quarterback Jeremiah Masoli all that much and they make it two straight Rose Bowl appearances. The Horned Frogs become the first team from a non-automatic qualifying conference to play in the Rose Bowl.
Fiesta Bowl. Oklahoma (Big 12 champion) vs. Connecticut (Big East). The Sooners bounce back from a messy 8-5 season to reclaim the Big 12 and earn a chance to snap their BCS losing streak at three games. The second-toughest conference to predict is the Big East. The experienced and well-coached Huskies earn their first BCS bid.
Orange Bowl. Miami (ACC champion) vs. Nebraska (at-large). The rebirth of Miami and Nebraska as elite programs leads to an Orange Bowl matchup that has decided national championships in the past. Soon we might see the Hurricanes and Cornhuskers playing each other for national titles again.
Sugar Bowl: Alabama (at-large) vs. Ohio State (at-large). The preseason favorites to reach the BCS title game will both be relegated to second-best in their conferences. The Buckeyes get yet another postseason opportunity to show they can keep pace with the SEC.
BCS championship in Glendale, Ariz. Florida (SEC champion) vs. Wisconsin (Big Ten champion). The Gators have more than enough talent to make another run at the national championship. The only thing they lack is experience. And even if they lose to Alabama in Tuscaloosa on Oct. 2, they will get another shot at the Tide in Atlanta for the SEC title in December. The Badgers clear the only major hurdles on a manageable schedule by beating Ohio State at home and Iowa on the road in consecutive October weekends and play for their first national title.
BCS champion: Make it five straight for the SEC and three championships in five seasons for Urban Meyer and the Gators.