Football: Answering my own questions
Overrated: I'll try to keep this within the scope of teams that I know about. My pick here is Iowa, which I hate (the pick, not the school). But this is a team without any semblance of a running game, and that won't change this year. Albert Young is probably their best back but it really takes two years to get back to speed after an ACL tear and this is year one for him. Plus they lost their starting LT for the season and are one injury on the offensive line away from scrambling for players.
Defensively, that entire line is gone and my initial reading of the Iowa tea leaves says that the best that the Hawkeyes can hope for this year is that the guys who replace them are pluggers who hold up okay. Teams that can pound straight ahead (a dwindling few in the Big Ten) will be able to move the ball against Iowa. I don't think that's the profile of a 10-1 team. Much closer to 8-3, in my opinion, and thus they have no business in the top ten.
Why do I hate the pick? Kirk Ferentz. He's been holding the Hawkeyes together with tape for a couple years now and has a proven ability to take 180 pound losers and turn them into Robert Gallery. There's an excellent chance this will end up making me look real dumb.
Underrated: Let's suck up to the ridiculous influx of Falcons out there. I pick Bowling Green, who check in at #29 on that poll. I believe that Omar Jacobs and company will blow Wisconsin out in their opener and then have one of the year's most entertaining games against Boise State. (Do NOT miss that game. The over under will probably be 100, and I'm taking the over.) Will they win? Who knows. What happens when you take two explosive offenses and two trash defenses and put them together?
1) Complete unpredictability.
2) A hell of a lot of fun.
And if they're going to toe to toe with the Broncos in the land of fake blue grass, then dammit, they're probably just as good as a team that many slightly intoxicated blogpollers are pegging in the top 10. mgoblog thinks that's mighty kind to Boise, but both should be around 15-20, meaning that the Falcons are at least ten spots too low.
Rose Bowl flyer: Again in the Big Ten, a team no one is talking about: Minnesota. On the surface Brian Cupito was pretty mediocre last year but that was partially a function of the throws he was asked to make, which were largely bombs downfield. Victimized by a spate of dropped balls, he completed under 50% of his passes... but led the Big Ten in yards per attempt(!). With three great offensive linemen back and Laurence Maroney ready to blow the doors off, I think there's a good chance Minnesota's offense starts ramming protons together, ignites, and becomes a really bright thing that you can't look straight at.
The defense? Probably still atrocious, but that isn't stopping the Boise State/Louisville bandwagons.