I'll preface this by saying that I loathe preseason rankings, but it's a slow board month, and figured this could generate some discussion or at least a few laughs. This may in fact be the most asinine ranking list I have seen in awhile. I'll also post the dreaded SIAP, but I did a rather thorough search and could not find anything.
Anyway, College Football News released their 2013 pre-season rankings yesterday, ranking every FBS team. I'm impressed simply by the massive undertaking of writing even brief Offensive and Defensive previews on EVERY team. I'm unimpressed by their completely crazy rankings and half-baked analysis.
They separate their ranking classes (and of course separate links) into:
1 to 5 - The Elite | 6 to 10 - BCS Title Contenders | 11 to 20 - BCS Contenders | 21 to 30 - Potential Stars | 31 to 40 - Fringe Conference Contenders | 41 to 50 - Mid-Level Bowl Teams | 51 to 60 - In the Bowl Hunt | 61 to 70 - Searching For A Bowl | 71 to 80 - Also-Rans | 81 to 90 - Not Awful, But ... | 91 to 100 - Sure To Struggle | 101 to 110 - In For Tough Seasons | 111 to 125 (why no cute name?)
#13 MSU (!!)
#94 Central Michigan
Other Odd Choices:
#2 FSU (REALLY?)
#22 Ole Miss
#25 Mississippi State
The rankings are clearly all over the map, with no justification as to why one team is put where. There are, however, some OK brief previews for some teams. The Michigan preview is pretty worthless in my opinion, but judge for yourself. They even found a way to take a RichRod jab... how original.
Fui must have spent a long time on this one because, outside of saying Indiana twice in one sentence instead of Indiana and Iowa, it's a pretty well thought out analysis (yeah, I know, and it's not even 2012 yet and we've got armageddon on our hands!).
What Will Happen: The team with the ball last will win. Wisconsin is a good, sound defensive team that’s about to get dragged down in a wide-open street fight. It’s not going to be Illinois-Michigan, but it’ll be a shootout with plenty of home runs and great offensive plays after great offensive plays. The Wolverines will unleash all the weapons, and Tate Forcier, who’ll step in after Robinson gets banged up, will lead the way to thrilling game-winning drive.
CFN Prediction: Michigan 47 … Wisconsin 45 … Line: Wisconsin -5
This by no means exonerates Fiu from, well, being Fiu but I've gotta give him some love for actually writing something intelligent about Michigan Football...
Shhhh. If you listen quietly, you can hear the Michigan coaching staff not seeing that Illinois is going to run Mikel Leshoure in the wheel route AGAIN … For those of you who think that football can’t be interesting without a physical style of play and hard-hitting tackling, you didn’t see Michigan’s 67-65 triple overtime thriller over Illinois. This is the game that’ll be used as an example of how much fun it can be when the official switch to Flag Football is made in 2016, once studies are complete on the effects of tackle football on cognitive function.
(I think that part is funny but probably only because we won...) And more importantly here's the intelligent part:
“D! D! D! You dumb mother****er. Learn how to speak English first. D!” … If I’m a Michigan fan, I’m jacked up right now. First of all, the Rich Rodriguez hot seat talk has to stop now, no matter what happens in the final three games against Purdue, Wisconsin, and Ohio State. The goal isn’t just to be decent, it’s to be a national powerhouse, and the rest of this season has nothing to do with that. Michigan will go to a bowl, and that’s the step that had to be taken; everything else is just gravy. If you want to fire him and get a new head coach, then you’re basically putting off being BCS Championship relevant again until 2014 at the earliest.
Taking the approach that the program is half full, the offense works. Kids, this is what you were buying when you brought the man in from West Virginia, and now you know that when you combine his attack with Michigan-level offensive players, very, very good things will happen. If the defense can do something, anything, then the makings are there for something potentially special. And it should be an easy sell.
Any good defensive recruit can look at Michigan and know there’s a chance at instant playing time. Of course, defensive coordinator Greg Robinson might not be there next year, but all that’ll matter to a freshman is a chance to step on the field from Day One and be a factor. If Michigan had a halfway decent D, and not the worst one in the Big Ten, the Rose Bowl would’ve been in the picture going into the last three weeks this year.
So, yeah, doesn't forgive all the rampant stupidity but I'll give him a +1 (yeah, every site now makes me look for an up-vote button) for this work.
"Rich Rodriguez is like John Calipari. He works in the gray areas of his profession, but damn, can he coach ‘em up at game time."
On what basis does he compare Calipari to RR? It's like that ND blog that posted yesterday that RR was a sleaze because he put a DUI scumbag like Kevin Grady in as the captain for the game. Is thinking optional in the world of college football opinion? RR - from an objective point of view and looking at facts - has been "cleaner" than Lloyd Carr and Charlie Weis and Lane Kiffin and Urban Meyer and Pete Carroll and Jim Tressel. Yet, I can avoid thought and expand the misrepresentation of RR because it is conventional wisdom.
Nice lengthy article w/ lots of quotes from Ortmann. Is CFN getting on the bandwagon?!?!
Fiutak writes that Nick Sheridan "wasn't awful in the season opener against Utah" which is exactly why he was replaced by Steven Threet in that game. Fiutak makes such genius "observations" as Brandon Moore is "not a great route runner, but he's a devastating blocker" (Moore never saw the field during his first season last year, so how could Fiutak know that?). And don't get me started on his preview of the offensive line:
"The key to the line might be the play of Mark Huyge, a 6-6, 291-pound sophomore who was good enough this spring at right tackle that it allowed Schilling to move inside. A major surprise, considering he didn’t see the field last year, he showed that he could handle the workload with excellent athleticism and good toughness. He’s great at pulling and getting on the move."
First of all, Huyge didn't see the field last year because he was INJURED, so it shouldn't be much of a surprise that he did well in spring ball because he would've surely played last season if he was healthy given the state of the offensive line. But Fiutak makes no note of this as he was merely pulling this preview out of his ass. He even contradicts himself when he says Huyge is "great at pulling and getting on the move", How the hell do you know that if he didn't play?! Were you at spring practice? Did you ever watch Michigan play and actually take notes of how every player on the offensive line was performing? Did you exhaustively go over the game tape and analyze the intricacies of every play as Brian does here at MGoBlog? No. You merely looked at the names on the roster and made up stuff that would make you look like you know what the hell you're talking about.
This matters only because innocent people might go to this website thinking they are getting real analysis. Not knowing that Fiutak and his coworkers are no smarter than the anyone else. Sure, they can probably tell you the names of all the starting quarterbacks for every FBS team, but just because you can memorize all of the defensive lineman on North Texas doesn't make you smart. Just because an 8 year old can know the batting averages of every batter on the Tigers doesn't mean he could manage the team. Fiutak is put on Big Ten Network as an expert, he writes a column for FoxSports.com last I knew. He is polluting the internet with his uneducated viewpoints. A hack like this must be discredited at every possible turn.
Death to CFN!