Five really super bold ideas for the Big East in 2013.
1. Louisville will run the table. You already know I have the Cardinals as my way-too-early preseason favorite to win the Big East. Given their nonconference schedule, and the teams coming into the Big East, I think they have an even better shot in 2013 to go undefeated than they did in 2012. Everything sets up perfectly for Louisville, especially after its upset win over Florida in the Allstate Sugar Bowl.
2. Teddy Bridgewater will be in New York in December. Bridgewater threw for more than 3,700 yards yards as a sophomore this past season with 27 touchdowns to eight interceptions. Given another year to learn under coordinator Shawn Watson, and the way the schedule sets up, I think Bridgewater has has as great a shot as anybody in the country to be in New York as a Heisman finalist come December 2013. And along with that, I think 2013 is his final season in college football.
3. USF will go bowling again. That doesn't mean the Bulls are going to win 10 games, but it means they will be at least .500 under Willie Taggart in Year 1. Before USF fans go yelling at me for jumping on the bandwagon again, I think there is some talent on this team for that to happen -- particularly at receiver, and on the offensive and defensive lines. Given the way some other teams look in the league, USF should be able to get to six wins.
4. Charles Sims and Adam Muema will make a big impact. The Big East takes a huge hit in the running back department headed into 2013, with Jawan Jamison, George Winn, Ray Graham and Jerome Smith all gone. So watch out for two incoming players -- Houston running back Charles Sims and San Diego State running back Adam Muema. Both are in line to be the early favorites to lead the Big East in rushing.
5. Greg Blair will be Big East Defensive Player of the Year. You guys have heard me talk a lot about Blair in the past few weeks. I think he goes into 2013 as one of the preseason favorites to be the best player in the Big East on defense. He is very active in the middle of the Cincinnati defense and has a knack for making big plays. With his sixth season of eligibility, I think he is completely determined to have an even better year than 2012.