Saturday, August 18, 2007

Blogpoll: Take One, Preseason

Whew. I was fretting putting that together. It's nice to move teams up you are high on--like West Virginia and TCU for instance--but in doing so other very solid teams fall down the ladder. Such is the fun of the Blogpoll.

Brian at Mgoblog organizes this weekly event during the season, and I'm honored to be part of it this year. This is my first take, and it can be altered before the Blogpoll is tabulated Wednesday morning. I'm going to run through a few of my thoughts, but if anyone has any thoughts, positive, negative or in between, please comment. We can put the Blogpoll together as a team.

1Southern Cal 25
2LSU 24
3West Virginia 23
4Florida 22
5Texas 21
6Wisconsin 20
7Virginia Tech 19
8Oklahoma 18
9Michigan 17
10Louisville 16
11California 15
12Tennessee 14
13TCU 13
14Ohio State 12
15Hawaii 11
16Auburn 10
17UCLA 9
18Arkansas 8
19Rutgers 7
20Nebraska 6
21Oregon State 5
22Wake Forest 4
23Penn State 3
24Oregon 2
25Boston College 1

Some thoughts:

1. USC: The Trojans have what I believe is the eventual Heisman winner in John David Booty, what should be an improved running game and the best coach in the game. I'm not a fan of dynasties or anything close to it. But I can't not respect the USC beast.

3. West Virginia: Junior quarterback Pat White was the Big East Offensive Player of the Year. Steve Slaton finished fourth in Heisman voting and is arguably the best running back in the college game. Rich Rodriguez' squad is loaded and should have no problem going 7-0, with Western Michigan, Marshall, Maryland, East Carolina, South Florida, Syracuse and Mississippi State on the docket. Then, the Mountaineers have a two-game stretch that should determine if they are a BCS contender. They travel to Rutgers and then host Louisville in back-to-back weeks. Hosting Louisville is key here.

4. Florida: The Gators begin a stretch of five teams that I played around with for quite some time. I'm not sold on this location but am giving the champs the benefit of the doubt.

6. Wisconsin: In other previews I've written, I've picked the Badgers to win the Big Ten. Running back P.J. Hill and the conference's best offensive line should get the job done. They could fall behind Michigan and Ohio State in the conference if the quarterback situation unravels.

7. Virginia Tech: Blacksburg, Va., is a tough place to play already. I try to make it to one Hokie game per season and something is telling me Frank Beamer's boys will be ready to play this season. I like the Hokies enough to pick them as natinoal title contenders, but a schedule that includes trips to LSU, Florida State and Miami is a difficult test for anyone.

13. TCU: The vast majority of the Horned Frogs' outstanding defense returns for another year as that small school Texas team that can get the job done. They are fashionable picks to crash the BCS gates. Whether that is possible or not will be answered quickly. The Frogs head to Austin to take on the Longhorns. A win vaults them into BCS contention. A good loss could put TCU in a position to be this year's Boise State. The Utah Utes also loom large in the Mountain West, but the Frogs host the Utes this season.

14. Ohio State: I'm not sure if this is too low or too high. Can someone convince me one way or another?

15. Hawaii: This year's WAC sweetheard. Colt Brennan is poised to put up silly numbers. Boise State, I think, returns to Earth.

21. Oregon State: The Beavers came on strong at the end of last season and return the majority of that squad. It shuld be good to finish fourth in the conference. Senior running back Yvenson Bernard is reason enough to tune in.

Unranked? I figure someone might yell about Georgia. But I say what's to like? Quarterback Matt Stafford, granted as a frosh last year, tossed seven touchdowns to 13 interceptions. The defense has went through a massive overhaul. I just don't see the Bulldogs contending for the SEC title.

And Minnesota fans, I can't wait to put Tim Brewster's squad up here when we remain undefeated after beating Purdue.

Did I miss anyone?


Dallas Cowboys Blog said...

Ahh yes, some very disturbing choices in here. I will name them: Hawaii? Are you serious. Please stop. Don't jump on this bandwagon, Ok?
Secondly, Rutgers is returning almost every player from their first successful season in decades. Please give them respect. The Big East will be a force this year, with four, possibly five, very powerful teams.

Arkansas is too low, with the return of the likely Heisman winner. USC is not even going to finish in the top 5.

Please redo this.

PJS said...

DCB is a buddy of mine, for readers who might not know.

He's so high on Rutgers because HE CAN'T BEAT THEM IN NCAA Football on PS2. Just wanted full disclosure :-)

lonebadger said...

Ohio State's defense warrants a higher ranking. Say 13? Convinced yet?

PJS said...

You make a very strong argument lonebadger.

Dallas Cowboys Blog said...

He makes a very strong argument? he made one statement. He made a horrible argument.
Ohio State will not, mark my words, WILL NOT make the top 20 this year. Their defense is not as strong as it has been and the offense is just downright boring. LAst year's loss was shattering for the program.
But here's the telling point: The team that FLorida CRUSHED loses Ginn, Antonio Pittman, Anthony Gonzalez, Heisman winner Troy Smith, and six starters on the defense. Wow. Only USC comes back from that this decade.
Don't be surprised, little Buckeyes, if you play your way out of a BSC game this year.

Make room for the Big East this year.

PJS said...

My last comment, DCB, was intended as sarcasm!

lonebadger said...

As was mine. But I'm sure the two of you don't mind if ONE other person joins in your little diatribe do you? I'm just getting my feet wet for a while. Someday, in the not too distant future, I will have at least one coherent and relevant point to add to this discussion.
p.s. Keep up the good work pjs. I enjoy your opinions and daily check here to 'smarten myself up'.

lonebadger said...

I think that Wisconsin's offensive line, to this point, is overrated. Last year, against the top defenses they played, they struggled. i.e. Michigan, Arkansas, and for the most part PSU. With 4 returning linemen, the unit, as a whole, should improve. I would just like to see it before I buy my tickets to Pasadena. I would put them around 8, below Michigan and probably Oklahoma.

Mark said...

I saw the haters at SI have Minnesota going 0-8 in the Big Ten in their college football preview issue.

Please, Brewster, prove them wrong!

Dallas Cowboys Blog said...

Badgers will win 3 games all year. Sorry.

lonebadger said...

Did you know that the Badgers were 10th in yards per carry in the Big Ten last season? Even with Joe Thomas! But I think we can muster more than 3 wins. We'll take the Citadel, UNLV, Indiana, and our last game is a gimme so there's 4 right there.