Let’s tee it up! Tonight is a night for burgers, beer (OK, gardenburgers and Bud Select, because I’m dieting, but still) and college football! Color me extremely excited. I’m still not a BlogPoll member, so in the meantime, I’ll be trying to provide weekly top-10s.
The reminders: 1, this is not a prediction. I don’t factor schedule in on my preseason poll. 2, I don’t believe in inertia. Just because SC is No. 1 this week, doesn’t mean they will still be in 3 weeks even if they keep winning. If somebody else is more impressive, they get bumped up.
1. USC. Unbeatable? Of course not. Best team in the country? Absolutely, to my eye.
2. Michigan. Deep, talented, experienced. I believe they’ll be reloading on defense; lot of bodies gone but a lot of talent returning. This is a very good team.
3. LSU. Very, very good. And probably a betterbet to make the title game than the team I have ahead of them,
because they only have one daunting road game (Alabama). If Flynn is good, these
guys are awesome.
4. Virginia Tech. The more I look at this team, the more I like them. Experience in all the right places (lines, QB) and deep at the skill positions. This is a scary team.
5. Oklahoma. The QB situation is the only thing that keeps me from putting this team as high as No. 3. So much talent coming back, a big-time D, and they were better last year than anyone realized — thanks to the Oregon loss. If Bradford is even pretty good, this team is a serious title contender. I’ll take Stoops over Brown any day.
6. Texas. People love this team, but some things about them really scare me. Lots of turnover on O-line and in the secondary, and those are two places where learning on the job can be tough. A&M is the only scary road game, plus of course the OU game in Dallas, but the sked is pretty friendly.
7. Wisconsin. Not sure what to make of this team, but I expect that Donovan will be another in the line of steady, "game-managing" Wisconsin QBs, so they won’t see much dropoff from Stocco.
8. West Virginia. I’m not sold on them, even at
this position. They’ll score a lot of points, but I think they’ll give
up a lot too.
9. Florida. By the end of the year, I think they’ll be extremely good. At the start of the year, all the turnover makes me nervous. As exciting as Tebow is, we still don’t know whether he can actually run an offense. Maybe the hardest top team for me to figure.
10. FSU. Yeah, I’m a fan. But hey — SMQ had them higher than this at one point this month, and Phil Steele has them No. 8. They’ll stop the run, they should run better, they have their best secondary in ages, and, well, the QB play HAS to be better with actual coaching, right?
Just missed: Louisville, Penn State, Alabama, Cal, Oregon
Sleepers and/or much improved teams (ie, the football version of M’s I-Have-A-Feeling teams): UCLA, Alabama, South Carolina, Georgia Tech, Miami
Deep, deep sleeper: Vanderbilt. Really interesting team with tons of experience. It’s now or never.
Game of the week: Cal-Tennessee. I really like the Pac-10 this year, and I expect Cal to handle them. But we shall see…
-M, with Ryan Shaw playing on the speakers. Lucky Seven still to come today.