14 August 2005

From our man Jerzey

(I've edited this for language only. Many of you will be able to read the subtitles..)

Jersey’s Top 25 College Football Teams

1. Michigan- This is my favorite pre-season pick. I already have money on it. I think Mike Hart is right now one of the best running backs in the country and will win the Heisman in 2006 if he stays healthy. With a schedule that has seven out of ten games at home, including a rematch against rival Notre Dame, look for the Wolverines to possibly run the table in the Big Ten if they can get past Iowa at Iowa City.

2. Louisville- This one I admit, I’m going out on a limb here. However, if every Division 1 team had a schedule like these guys, we could see mighty Vanderbilt in the Sugar Bowl. Scheduling, plus a no joke squad who I think has actually improved after going 11-1 last year with a Miami comeback being their only blemish, and you’ve got program that should go undefeated in a very weak Big East Conference.

3. Texas- The past 5 years has seen Texas as consistently one of the top 5 football programs in the country. I see as long as Vince Young stays healthy behind center, we should see the Longhorns contend for the Nat’l Title yet again, if they don’t (foul) up the Red River Shootout against an inferior Oklahoma team.

4. Usc- (Hurricane Radio Edit). I’m the only (rear end) in the country that thinks these (male organs) are overrated. The only BCS conference worse than the PAC-10 is the Big East, and if they were there, Louisville spanks them. Predictions: Reggie Bush wins the Heisman while the Condoms either lose to Arkansas, at Oregon, at Cal, or all three.

5. Iowa- Possibly the second best team in the nation. Led by Drew Tate, who will be a serious contender for the Heisman, the Hawkeyes should finish strong in a very tough Big Ten. They have a much tougher schedule than Michigan, playing at Ohio St and at Purdue, but if they can squeeze by those teams as winners, than the winner of the Michigan-Iowa game should feature a Rose Bowl competitor.

6. Virginia Tech- Va Tech has been seen regularly in the top ten if for no other reason than the genius of Frank Beamer. If Marcus Vick can keep his off the field problems under control, and Coach Beamer can continue to block the occasional kick or so, the Hokies should vie for the ACC Championship.

7. Florida- With 2 UF-like wideouts in Chad Jackson and Andre Caldwell to throw to, Chris Leak is going to give the Defensive Coordinators fits in the SEC East. Urban Meyer, while being new to the conference, has already admitted many times how dominant the play is in the Southeast. With his offensive mindset, coupled with yet another playmaker at quarterback, look to Florida to have one of the most aerodynamic offenses in the country.

8. Florida State- Even with losing quarterback Wyatt Sexton to Lyme Disease, the ‘Noles still have one of the best defenses in the conference. If running backs Leon Washington and Lorenzo Booker stay healthy, and they somehow find a way to make that last second field goal against Miami in the home opener, look to FSU to play in the inaugural ACC championship game in Jacksonville.

9. Georgia- It’s going to be an interesting season in Dawgnation this year. The losses of the 2 Davids stings but not moreso than Defensive Coordinator Brian VanGorder. However, if the defense can stay out of jail and on the field, and DeMario Minter at CB and Tony Taylor can somehow step up as playmakers, the Dawgs could be seen in Atlanta at the end of the regular season. Look again to the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party to determine who represents the East in the SEC Championship.

10. LSU- The LSU Tigers might very well have the most talented team in the conference. Their conference record last year was a very respectable 6-2 and this year they have 16 returning starters. I am not convinced, however, that Les Miles truly knows the difference between SEC and Big 12 play. The Tigers will win a strangely weakened Western Division despite 2 conference losses and will lose the Championship to either Georgia or Florida.

11. Purdue- This is a toughie. Last year the Boilermakers' 5 losses were outscored less than 3 per game. This year they have, count ’em, 20 returning starters. This squad is very capable of making a run at the national championship. Of course it seems like we’ve said that before in the last couple of years. Reason why I’ve ranked them so low? I refer to previous precedent. They just can’t finish close games.

12. Miami- The ‘Canes, after a couple of years looking straight up invincible, have shown some chinks in the armor as of late. With the loss of productive Brock Berlin at QB and outstanding Frank Gore at RB I don’t see Miami returning to the NC without some remarkable play from their intimidating defense. Unless the secondary pretty much sets the bar in turnovers and all-world returner, Devin Hester, actually does return 10 kicks or punts for touchdowns, look for Miami to finish 2ND or even 3RD in a very competitive ACC Conference.

13. Oklahoma- With Mr. Universe still taking handoffs, OU is supposedly back again to make another NC run. I see an inexperienced passing core that has less than 600 yards combined passing. I see 5 losses to the receiving unit. I see 3 starters and 1 backup gone from the O-Line. Don’t be surprised to see Adrian Peterson return for a slightly inferior season from last year with a decimated passing attack. Plus with just 4 starters returning on defense look for the Sooners to finally lose to Texas in the Red River Shootout.

14. Ohio St- The Buckeyes have a National Champ. caliber team yet again. They have as deep a QB corps as anyone in the nation and an impressive O-Line to compliment whoever Tressel decides to take the handoffs. OSU’s largest obstacle is their schedule. They will be in the Rose Bowl if they can string wins against Texas, Iowa, a no joke Penn St. in Pennsylvania, and Michigan at Ann Arbor. Survive this schedule, and look for the Buckeyes in Pasadena.

15. Tennessee- Last year UT went 7-1 in conference play. That great record was compiled with falling (rear-end) backwards into wins against Florida, Ole Miss, Alabama, and Kentucky. This year they do have virtually the same talented team as last year’s squad who could very well had five losses in conference. Even giving that experience, all I see is possibly an overrated squad with possibly the most grueling schedule in the nation, complete with three legitimate national title contenders. The Vols’ finish behind both Florida and Georgia in the East with an invigorated South Carolina team nipping at their heels.

16. Virginia- The Cavaliers are just not to be underestimated. Even with only 12 total returning starters, Al Groh has a history of bringing home wins with unexceptional talent. Virginia is always good for 8 wins and bowl contention with Coach Groh at the helm. The Cavs won’t win the ACC crown but look for them to dash Championship dreams of Florida St., Virginia Tech, both at home, or even Miami in Florida.

17. Boise St- The Broncos have been dominating the WAC for years. Now that Louisville is a part of the Big East, Boise St. is the non-BCS team to be reckoned with. The WAC’s crown will be played for on Nov. 12, when the Broncs go to Fresno St. While BSU has beaten the Bulldogs four years running, they haven’t yet seen a Fresno ST. team this talented. Getting past them means winning the WAC.

18. Penn St- Yet again this is a must win season for the second-winningest coach in college football. This year however, I believe Joe Paterno succeeds. The defensive unit was one of the best in the country last year and they have 9 starters returning. If Joe could only get the offense to produce more than last year’s anemic 17.7 points a game, the Lions could pile up some wins in a strong Big 10.

19. Fresno St- I’ve already stated that the Nov. 12 game against Boise St. will decide the conference championship, and Fresno St. is playing that game at home. Running the table in the WAC, and getting victories at Oregon and at USC, which wouldn’t surprise me, would virtually guarantee the Bulldogs in a BCS bowl.

20. Auburn- Losing four first round draft picks hurt the Tigers bad. However with one of the better O-Lines in the country, and with the surprisingly weak conference schedule(exceptions: @LSU and @Georgia), Auburn does have a legitimate chance to win the Western Division over LSU.

21. Texas Tech- If the Red Raiders can continue to score 11,000 pts. a game, as well as having a schedule chock full of lackluster opponents, they will be playing in a prestigious bowl game. There’s no way they’re going to play past Texas and Oklahoma but TT is probably the third best team in the Big 12.

22. Pittsburgh- With sensational returning QB Tyler Palko in the mix the Panthers could give Louisville a run for their money in the weakest BCS conference. Dave Wannstadt knows his (poop) in the college ranks and with a Pittsburgh team almost entirely intact from last year’s conference championship. The underdog Panthers might be contenders on Nov 3. when they pay a visit to the Cardinals.

23. NC State- The Wolfpack had the best D in the country last year and this year we should see more of the same. The D-line features everybody coming back for another year to keep the D on top of the league. Having an impressive stable of running backs should give enough pop on the offense to give the Wolfpack a fighting chance at the Atlantic Division title.

24. Alabama- With 16 returning starters plus more than that counting injury returnees and you got yourself a dark horse in Tuscaloosa. Given the fact that the schedule features four away games as winnable, as well as the Tide could win any game at home, and you got yourself a sleeper in Bama.

25. Oregon- With most of the starters returning and playing in a weak as Hell Pac-10, the Ducks should slide through the season fairly easily and finish off losing in whatever bowl they happen upon.


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