Woo super early posts! Is it even worth commenting on a preseason poll? ND missing stood out, but isn't that surprising.
Blogpoll Preseason Final Ballot
This is the final for preseason. Changes from draft:
- Dropped UCLA, on whom I was being irrationally exuberant. Even if they improve markedly from last year, that doesn't necessarily mean they'll be one of the 25 most deserving college football teams.
- Added Kansas in place of UCLA (though I moved them a couple sots back). They were a decent, not great team last year, and they return most of the pieces from a strong offense, and nearly all of the defensive line, to go along with the entire secondary. I have trepidation about their offensive line (must replace 3 starters, and a couple guys might be changing positions) and their linebackers (no starters return), but what team in the back end of the poll doesn't have a few question marks?
- Bumped Oklahoma State up, both because I had underrated them slightly I think (even if they have to replace 5 starters on defense, a mediocre defense still had them achieving at a high level least year), and because some of the teams ahead of them were overrated (i.e. the Miami Hurricanes, who also moved behind Iowa).
- Moved North Carolina into the poll, at the expense of Notre Dame. I didn't originally want to include the Irish in the poll at all (because they certainly haven't done anything to deserve over the past couple years), but couldn't think of a better team to slot in. UNC provided that. The change in that area caused a lot of things to change very slightly (i.e. Boise State moved down a bit).
- A couple more minor changes, though nothing bigger than moving a team up or down a spot.
When I originally filled out my ballot, it didn't seem like there were enough teams for 25 spots. Now, I feel like I have too many, and felt guilty leaving off an outfit like Nevada. All we can do is bide our time until Actual Football kicks off (10 days!) so we can see which teams really deserve their spots.
Lou Holtz disagrees with your assessment of Notre Dame
Yes, but God is on our side.
OSU playing USC is really the only potential embarrassing loss I see on any of the three ranked teams' schedules. Iowa plays ISU and Arizona. Only if they get bombed will a loss be embarrassing. PSU plays no one, again. A monumental upset by the likes of Temple would be embarrassing. The likelihood of all losing one is slim. I think Iowa & PSU go a quiet 4-0 and OSU loses to SC, but in a better fashion than last season.
I think both PSU and OSU are rated too highly given the number of starters both programs must replace [top 25 yes, but not top 15 for any of the three B10 teams in the top 25].
Where is BYU? All reports are that they could go undefeated this year.
P.S. Not believing it about Nebraska either.
BYU plays OU in week 1, Boise State has a much better chance of going undefeated. But scheduling is not supposed to make influence on this poll. Only the body of work up until this point.
I expect Nebraska's defense to be excellent. A Tackle Named Suh is an absolute beast.
Depending on whether they can figure out the offense this year with a new QB, they're dangerous (they return several RBs who played, that part of the offense should be good). They nearly beat Texas Tech on the road last year. They miss Texas and both OU and Tech come to Lincoln -- their toughest game might well be the roadie at VaTech. If they win that VaTech defensive slugfest, they could very well go 10-2 or 11-1. Putting them at 19 translates to about 9-3, which is a reasonable expectation for that team.
Just admit it and say we bullied you out of the UCLA pick.
Good looking poll. Like you said, we'll know a lot more starting in 10 days.
Opening weekend has games between your 20/25 (Oregon-Boise), 8/12 (UGA-Okie State) and 5/6 (Bama/Hokies).
Prediction for opening week: The Canes will make you look smart by winning outright as 5.5 point dogs at Florida State and thereby justifying that #15 ranking you have given them.
Breakdown by conferences:
Big East: 1
Big Ten: 4
Big 12: 5
And people say the ACC stinks :)
The league is loaded with talented players and has been for years......its given us some amazing division races since the expansion which seem to change fortunes every weeks....and, for whatever reason, I have always been able to make heads and tails out of the changing winds. Bar none, I have my most handicapping success in college football with ACC games.
Not sure why, but I dont question it.
The ACC is competitive within its own ranks, but rarely has an impact on the national scene. VT, BC, FSU, and Clemson are all reasonably good teams (all should make bowl games), but none of them will sniff the MNC this year.
I think we'll know how good the ACC is after the non-conference schedule. VT plays Alabama, FSU plays BYU, USF, and someone else good IIRC, and Miami travels to Oklahoma. TCU-Clemson could be a great game too.
Good poll, but OU #4?
Please, they should have beat Texas last year and will beat them this year.
Oklahoma loses a ton from that beefy offensive line that made Sam Bradford look so calm in the pocket last year. I was one that thought that Texas was a better team than Oklahoma last year, and I feel that the same is true going into this season.
Agreed. I put OU even lower than that, because a green offensive line is the best way to underachieve. Just ask Clemson circa 2008. OU won't be that bad, but any time commentators and analysts and the like talk in glowing terms about quarterbacks and flashy receivers and all that and gloss over O-line issues, it's a big ol' red flag in my book.
I disagree with the Clemson example. I know, as should any sane football fan, that a green offensive line does not usually translate to success. However, Bradford is a better quarterback than Harper and should respond better to adversity in the pocket than harper did. Murray and the rest of the very good backs are patient runners who excel in a zone scheme where they can find holes in a poor o-line (and found great ones last year.) Plus, Oklahoma's o-line, young as they may be, still have more talent than a lot of o-lines out there anyways, because they're a perennial top ten school.
The defense is way, way better this year, getting most of their starters and their starting middle linebacker's back after getting hurt against Texas (up 10, and handling the offense, I wonder how Texas shifted that gameplan after...) Their backup was also hurt and a third stringer who led the defense aws a walk-on is moving to OLB. Their D will be the best in the Big XII, which roughly translates into a pedestrian, good-but-not-great Big X defense.
BYU, UT, and OSU are their big games and the o-line's progression is key. They might get surprised if its terrible by BYU. It needs to have come pretty far along by Texas, and we'll know by Oklahma State. Should be fun to watch.
Good call bumping ND for UNC.
No elite teams in the Big Ten this year, but the four teams listed here will all be solid teams that can win a bowl game. Just not the Rose Bowl.
Well after opening weekend you'll have a reason to rank Nevada. I've been watching Colin Kaepernick for the last two years and really like him.
I always root against Notre Dame, but that game I'll actually have a reason to root for the team playing them.
Colin Kaepernick is one of the best kept secret in college football scene. Not many people know about him because Nevada is from the west coast(hypothetically speaking that is) and Nevada aren't typically known for football. He is probably one of the top dual threat QB in the country.
I have a gut feeling Notre Dame is going to ROLL over Nevada in South Bend. They are a 13 point favorite and have 10 starters returning on offense.
Don't get me wrong i don't think Notre Dame is that good a team, but i don't see them losing at home to any Mountain West team.
What do you have against the Mountain West? I would guess TCU could beat ND, along with one of the Utah schools.
I think the open question is how good Nevada's defense is. ND might not be world-beaters, but they can score some points. I think the game could be close, but I would certainly think that Nevada are going to be dogs going into SB.
Cal is 7? I am not saying they are bad, but I wouldn't put them in the top 15. Why are they getting so much hype? The only reason I can think of is Javid Best. Anyone have any answers?
I believe Cal is returning 8 starters on defense plus most of their offense, so the returning starters crowd likes their experience. Add in Best and the fact that Tedford is a popular coach and you get a top 10 team. I think Cal might be a little overrated, but they are probably the Pac-10's 2nd best team, so finishing around the top ten is definitely a possibility.