Tuesday, August 16, 2005

BlogPoll: One Idiot's Preseason Top 25

If you don't know about the BlogPoll, click here. It's basically a collection of losers college football fans who also blog. They have come together to vote on a weekly poll, so we can show the BCS morons that anyone can do a poll, but we're actually putting some thought behind our selections. The votes are public, so I'll be posting a Top 25 every week during the season. I have just finished work on my preseason Top 25, and the final votes, as submitted to the BlogPoll, appear here for your thoughts, discussion, and criticisms.

1. Southern Cal. Duh. Best team in college football. That is, until Oregon, Arizona State, or California figures out how to beat them.
2. Michigan. Could be the best team in college football (think about how good Henne and Hart may end up). Being that, however, would require breaking a strange streak of five straight years losing their first road game. This year? It's September 24 in Madison.
3. Virginia Tech. Marcus Vick. Marcus Vick. And more Marcus Vick. Just try to avoid giving booze to teenagers during your spare time, okay?
4. Texas. If Vince Young can play 11 games like he played that Rose Bowl against Michigan, they could be looking at a return trip to Pasadena.
5. Miami (Florida). The Hurricanes need to win in Blacksburg and Tallahassee, but you can never count out a team this talented.
6. Iowa.
You can no longer deny what Kirk Ferentz has done. Amazing work, and the best may be yet to come.
7. Texas A&M.
Year Three will be Year Breakout for Coach Fran. McNeal will put it all together as a senior.
8. Florida.
I'm biased, because I'm a big believer in (and fan of) Urban Meyer's offense, but I think he's going to whip up on this conference, and do it a lot sooner than most pundits believe is possible.
9. Louisville.
Brohm gives Bobby Petrino a big arm to work with, and the defense here could be very good this year. Move to the Big East means potential BCS berth without any kicking and screaming to get in from the outside.
10. Tennessee.
Riggs is very good, but Ainge needs to be more consistent and reliable in key games, and the defense must improve. Too many questions for a good team in a very tough conference.
11. Florida State.
Without Cromartie, the defense could make folks nervous. The offense is good, and getting Miami at home certainly helps matters. Just avoid using the kicker unless absolutely necessary.
12. Louisiana State.
Tigers need a QB. But even without a good one, they're probably still the team to beat in the SEC West.
13. Oklahoma. Too many losses up front and at the skill positions to be taken real serious. At least, until Stoops shows that the inexperienced newbies are really good, too. Boom or bust potential is real high here.
14. Ohio State. A.J. Hawk might get tired of chasing Vince Young on September 10. Without a legitimate QB (and, no, Troy Smith doesn't count...neither does Justin Zwick), tOSU will have trouble keeping up in tBig Ten.
15. Georgia. Does David Greene = Ewing Theory? I know he hasn't really gotten much of a chance to play regularly, but D.J. Shockley hasn't exactly reminded me of Michael Bishop yet. He'll get his shot this year.
16. Auburn. I know they lose Cadillac, Brown, and Campbell out of the backfield, but it's not wise to count out the Tigers, who will again this year play some serious defense.
17. Oregon. Something about Kellen Clemens in his senior season, with an improved defense, and USC at home, is intriguing. I like this team to surprise.
18. Pittsburgh. Dave Wannstedt will do some good things here. It starts this year, thanks to Tyler Palko and Greg Lee, but it will take time to mold a defense that can slow Louisville down.
19. Boise State. Zabransky will lead Boise to another WAC title, though it won't be as easy to knock off Fresno and Hawaii this year.
20. Bowling Green. Omar Jacobs has the impossible task of trying to improve off a year where he threw 41 TDs to four picks, but he has a good supporting cast, and Bowling Green's defense is better than most think.
21. Purdue. Kyle Orton = Ewing Theory? Too much talent is back on defense for Purdue to fall now that they've lost their overrated QB.
22. Iowa State. Being the best in the Big 12 North might be like being the most athletic kid at a spelling bee, but ISU has some nice players, including a sophomore QB (Bret Meyer) who is only going to get better.
23. Arizona State. Walter is gone, but ASU still stands on solid ground offensively, and this is another team that should field an improved defense.
24. Toledo. Might not win the MAC again, but Gradkowski is going to have a huge senior season under center.
25. Alabama-Birmingham. Another mid-major team with an NFL prospect at QB (Darrell Hackney). And he happens to be a senior. If UAB can find a way to beat Tennessee in the opener, look out.

Just missed
--> Alabama. Show me some offense and I'll be more of a believer.
--> California. Too many losses on offense; then again, Tedford has done this before.
--> Texas Tech. I'm not going to rank them based on one great performance (bowl). But they're definitely on my "watch list".
--> Boston College. Good team, but how will they adjust to the ACC, which doesn't feature Rutgers, Syracuse (oops, they lost to Syracuse last year), or Temple?
--> Minnesota. I know it's not about the schedule, but the schedule is really hard. And the defense may be as bad as Laurence Maroney is good.
--> Michigan State. WANTED: Cornerbacks. Preferably good ones. Apply with John L. Smith, football coach/babysitter.
--> Virginia. Is this the year of the UVA breakout? Or is Al Groh simply overrated?


Brian said...

That's a *lot* of mid-majors. And Tony is going to be *pissed* at Toledo in there. : )

I'd like to really dispute a lot of stuff, but I can't really make good cases for or against a lot of teams. This ranking stuff is hard. I do think FSU is too high. They've got a couple good RBs but two freshman QBs going at it and a lot of questions all over the D. The other thing: Oregon? Uh. I dunno, man.

Bruce Ciskie said...


Fair enough. I can't make a totally convincing case for them right now. It's just a gut feeling I have. After all, someone has to step up in this conference, and I think it could very well be the team that has USC, Cal, and Oregon State at home.

Oh, and as far as the mid-majors go, you can chalk that up to the slew of BCS conference teams (many of them making the "Just missing out" group) that I'm not sold on yet. The mid-majors I've listed are much more complete teams at this point in time.

I'm a Realist said...

You don't want to rank Texas Tech based on one game (a bowl performance), but that is exactly the reason for the hype over Texas and Vince Young, who you have ranked 4th.

Bruce Ciskie said...

Wrong, but I understand the misunderstanding. My fault.

I didn't mean to make it look like that. Texas was very good down the stretch last year, and Young was great, save for the gaffe late in the first half against A&M.

The Rose Bowl was just the cap on a series of very good Texas performances. And it was the most-watched of them all, so it was the easiest one to mention.

mdg said...

If you are going to rank Boise State, Bowling Green, Toledo, and UAB, might as well, rank Fresno State. The Bulldogs have a mental fix against WAC teams and especially Boise, but there is not a mid-major team more complete than Fresno State right now. They should run over Oregon and Toledo in back to back games in Sept. Boise State and Bowling Green still do deserve top 25 consideration. Texas A&M is a good bet to win the Big 12 and deserve a top 15 ranking, but at this point of the season a #7 is a bit too high. I don't think Purdue will be a national title contender, but are a far better team that #16 Boise State. BSU would have trouble against the Boilermaker D.

tony said...

Well, brian, maybe not *pissed*, but I still don't know how Toledo gets that kind of love. They get their QB back, but unless someone finds a way to run the bubble screen from the WR position like Lance Moore did, I don't know that they're Top 25 worthy. Beat Fresno St., and they'll work their way up there by default, I think, but to start off, that's a little high.

Put this way, if Omar has another season like last year and somehow, inexplicably (though PLEASE GOD LET IT HAPPEN!) comes back for a senior year without Sharon, Sanders and Pope, I don't see how they could lay claim to a top 25 spot. And ... (probably untrue rival jab coming)... Omar loses more talent when he craps than Gradkowski has on a good day.

R. D. Baker said...

Now that you got it, just remember to put it into the system.

The instructions for the ballot are here:

The actual ballot is here:

- R.D (Cheap Seats/Double T Ranch)

dolphinfan said...

Texas Tech should be on your watch list. I think they will make some noise in the south by beating A&M and giving Texas and OU a good run.