30 August 2006

Football, Football!!!

The start of college football is merely hours away, and even Flagpole is talking about it.

I'm so excited, I've got to get my TOP 25 out on the web. This is not a ranking of where I think teams are going to be at the end of the season. This is how good I think particular teams are.

1. Auburn: The best college football program in the best college football conference. Their sociology department notwithstanding, Auburn is elite. They may loose one or even two games, but it won't be by much, and it will be because other teams got lucky. If the fumbles bounce Auburn's way, they can end up being the big Southern Buzzsaw for this year.

2. Notre Dame: This guy can coach, and now that this team has tasted victory, and has a shot at a legendary season, they won't let people down. This whole team will play with their hair on fire from September to January and that will keep them high in the rankings.

3. Texas: That defense is sick, and we all know about defenses and championships. The new guy at QB isn't the brightest star yet, but he's good enough not to loose games, and that will allow returning star power to do their work.

4. Florida State: That defense is sick all over again, and they appear to have a bit of competency on their offensive squad for the first time in a while. Baby Bowden's plays can work now that he doesn't have an offense committ seppukku.

5. Ohio State: They've got some serious offensive chops, but I think linebackers are the most important players on the field, and the Buckeyes were carried last year on the backs of the best. Now that the defenses' mad core division is gone, that will weaken this team significantly on the defensive side of the ball. But that offense is going to be a juggernaught.

6. LSU: Their only loss may be to Auburn. Les Miles may screw up this program eventually, but Saban left them with so much talent, Miles might not even have to call a play this year. Without so many distractions, this team (not unlike Notre Dame) is going to be playing with their hair on fire all season.

7. California: Hippie Bears beat USC, UCLA & Tennessee, but get crushed by the Buckeyes in the Rose Bowl. Counting Crows release a new album six months later.

8. Clemson: The second most important group of players on a field (after linebackers) are the offensive line. Clemson's has some good experience, a running back and a good enough defense not to melt down. Those close games from last year fall in their favor this year.

9. Georgia: Underrated linebackers stack with the stud defensive line and the raw talent of the secondary to produce the best defesne in the SEC. The offense, no matter what QB we go with, will be based around power rather than finesse, and that will keep winning in the SEC.

10. Louisville: Offensive fireworks and defensive speed will win this team the Big East, and their out of conference schedule. They will look like FSU of the 90's and put up unreasonable numbers.

11. Oklahoma: A running game and a Hiesman candidate can take you a long, long way. It won't take you all the way, but it will give you some power as a team.

12. Florida: Will win the 3 way tiebreak for SEC East champion, and have the pleasure of losing to Auburn twice. Chris Leak was the best SEC QB after Jay Cutler and DJ Shockley last year, and now both of them is pros. He will quiet critics with his numbers, and the defense will be stout.

13. West Virginia: I don't believe in ranking teams based on their lousy schedule. When WV loses one game it shouldn't and then to revenge minded Louisville, that easy schedule will be the only thing that keeps them ranked this high.

14. Miami: Used to be a stellar team playing in a crappy conference, now a good team playing in a real conference.

15. Michigan: This is a good team that won't have a special season.

16. USC: They've been up so long, they don't know down. I sense a Miami or Oklahoma like collapse. Western league will feast on this team, as will Notre Dame. Then they get to play Oklahoma in the Holiday Bowl...

17. Iowa: This is a good team that won't have a special season.

18. Virginia Tech: Rebuliding year for a very good program.

19. TCU: Will try to play gate crasher, but won't be able to get over the hump this year.

20. Fresno State: Will try to play gate crasher, but won't be able to get over the hump this year.

21. Nebraska: Good enough to win the Big 12 North.

22. South Carolina: The other team in the 3 way tie for SEC East champ. Will take whole state to Outback bowl to beat Iowa.

23. Arkansas: The most underrated team in the best college football conference.

24. Penn State: They had enough experience from last year to do some damage, but not enough depth to do a lot of damage.

25. Georgia Tech: Will win games in spite of selves.


At 10:25 AM, Blogger Dante said...

I think Pat's religious obligations and conference preferences have gotten in the way of his common sense so I'll throw out my own top 25. You want them by how good I think they are? You got it.

1. USC - In the battle of suck, they've lost a lot less than the other guys. Some of the best talent available paired with an excellent coach means a good team.

2. Ohio State - I just can't think they're the best with their loss of defenders to the draft. They'll still hold their own though. My confidence in them has improved in the offseason.

3. Texas - The defense is ok but Big 12 defenses always look better than they are. They've also lost very little but this QB change will require bigger changes in the offensive scheme than USC will be needing.

4. Auburn - Great running game. Great defense. I'm not sold on passing. Remember that Carnell and Ronnie only started looking top shelf when someone else snatched the offensive clipboard from Tubberville's hands and turned Jaason Campbell into a decent threat at QB.

5. Florida State - There's always this twinge of pain when I have to put an ACC team in the top 5 but this is where they belong. Their offense is better than it's been in a long time. If Bowden had done the sensible thing and retired already, could you imagine what FL State head coach Mark Richt could do with this squad? It would be sick.

6. Florida - Didn't I put these two next to each other last year? Their fates are linked by state I guess. All the talent they need if they can just keep Meyer from screwing it up. They're still not ready for the spread offense (and may never be ready in the SEC). If Meyer can live with that, this is where they belong.

7. California - Speaking of pain, my fingers are hurting as I type this because I'm putting two Pac10 teams in the top 10.

8. LSU - The only thing they have to fear is fear itself... and Les Miles' coaching. They could go undefeated with their talent. Instead, they'll be a solid 1 or 2 loss team.

9. Notre Dame - Notre Dame gets overhyped a lot. That still doesn't change that they're a top 10 team this year. They'll get ranked way too high again this year and extend their bowl loss streak but they belong in the top 10 at least even if you'll see some good team absolutely shellack them in their bowl game.

10. Louisville - It's hard to tell how good this team really is becuase they don't play anyone all season and the Big East's non-BCS bowl lineup is definitely meant for the Ocho. I still think they're a decent team though.

11. Oklahoma - Read Auburn's blurb and think "even less so."

12. Miami - I only recognize one Miami team You'll see no "Miami(FL)" here. If nobody in your roster has even a remote possibility of running across Tubbs and Crockett on their days off then you're not really Miami, are you? Good team though. They're in decline but it they'll still crank out a few more decent seasons before they bottom out.

13. Georgia - I think we've all covered the pros and cons of UGA. I'll leave it at that.

14. Virginia Tech - Not a bad team and sometimes just not being bad is good enough.

15. TCU - TCU is kind of like the Arizona Cardinals or the Detroit Lions. Every year they say they'll be better and every year they look pretty good on paper. Then they suck. I don't buy into Card or Lion hype anymore but for some reason I'm drawn into believing the TCU hype. I should've learned a long time ago to stop believing any non UT SWC team will ever be good again. At least I'm not putting SMU in this list.

16. West Virginia - Yes, I'm putting them here and there's no animosity intended. WVU outright beat a good Georgia team last year and saved the Big East's image a lot and they did it by playing good solid football. That doesn't mean they're a great team this year. They're a team to beat now. In the mid-majors, there's some street cred in being a team that beat a real team in a BCS bowl. There's a target on their backs and they won't always be able to shake it. I think Louisville beats them and someone else upsets them, someone embarrasing. Then they go down in a non-BCS bowl game.

17. Iowa - I'll just put them where everyone else is putting them.

18. Penn State - Joe Paterno (I despise name shortenings) will have a decent year with what he has.

19. Clemson - Clemson? Really? If there's a team I can't stand it's Clemson. That probably stems from living half an hour away from Athens, living in the state of GA (Commerce to be exact), and still seeing more local Clemson fans than UGA fans. For a team with no defense, they're pretty good though.

20. Oregon - I don't even want to talk about Oregon. They should be happy I'm at least acknowledging them.

21. Arkansas - Nutt is not a good coach. That used to be ok because Arkansas wasn't a good team. Now they're a decent team again. Let's see what they can do with it.

22. Michigan - Why no love for Michigan? Because everyone else in the country can see they're on a slide but they still think they're hot stuff. They're going to slide faster than Miami because they get less talent influx.

23. Texas Tech - Why? Because I'm out. I have no further insight into where teams are slotted and it looks like TT can be as good as the Bamas and Nebraskas of the world.

24. Alabama - See TT.

35. Mississippi State - Come on. I'll look like a genius if they end the season ranked.

At 1:22 AM, Blogger S.A.W.B. said...

I'll throw one out here as well, but i'll go 25-1, just to be different.

25 - Navy - Paul Johnson has a good thing going here.

24 - Ole Miss - This year's surprise SEC team. I pray that Brent Schaffer comes back to haunt Tennessee's nightmares.

23 - UTEP - Not much for Mike Price to do in El Paso other than coach...

22 - Arkansas - Tomorrow destruction at the hands of USC aside, they'll pull out a respectable season.

21 - Boston College - Someone has to win 8 games in the ACC.

20 - Fresno State - why not...Pat Hill puts out a consistently good squad.

19 - Oregon - Someone has to win 9 games in the Pac-10...

18 - Penn State - JoePa will wring 9 wins out of this team this year. Then he'll go extend his deal with the devil to keep coaching until 2050...

17 - West Virginia - Call it Tennessee 2005, Alabama 2004, Auburn 2003 syndrome. Just in a miserable conference.

16 - Louisville - This is your prize for winning the Big East.

15 - Nebraska - This is your prize for embracing the forward pass. You'll still get murdered by Texas/Oklahoma/one of the Colorados...

14 - Florida - Dear Urban Meyer, you do, in fact, have to run the ball in the SEC. Check your contract.

13 - Michigan - why not. Someone has to lose to Ohio State again.

12 - Auburn - I smell a slip up, perhaps against someone from a boot-shaped state that will get a mention shortly.

11 - FSU - Bowden almost cracks the top ten. He then takes a number behind JoePa for contractual negotiations with Satan.

10 - Miami - Sure, you won the ACC, but is it really THAT big of an improvement over the Big East?

9 - Georgia - Richt will crack the top 10 again. I'm smelling 12-2 after a loss in the SEC Championship and a bowl win.

8 - USC - Pete Carrol's deal with the devil finally runs out.

7 - Oklahoma - QB issues aside, they'll lose to Texas twice.

6 - Notre Dame - Overrated, but not by much. They'll lose a bowl game, and maybe finally lose to Navy.

5 - Iowa - I *THINK* this is the year they finally break through, and win the ones they're supposed to win.

4 - Cal - I feel very strange typing this, but I think they run the table, starting with a destruction of Tennessee later today.

3 - Texas - Losing Vince Young, and whatever the running back's name was, is too much to repeat as National Champs.

2 - Ohio State - Close, but not quite...

1 - LSU - Can't really call them a dark horse, but they're the real class of the west...also the east, north, and south.


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