spoiler alert: i linked this
Roundtable #5 Roundup
(Some have left notes saying that you're getting around to it... do it posthaste and I'll modify the roundup to note these things.)
Okay. Feedback was received on Roundtable #5, but there are still swaths of uncharted lands. Most of the ACC: dunno. Pac-10 teams not named "USC": dunno. SEC? Dunno. Any chipping in on the mysteries of Auburn, Georgia, Miami (Florida), Virginia Tech, Arizona State, Cal, etc., would be appreciated. A second opinion on the Big Ten would also be fantastic.
Anyway. On with the show.
No one bothered to attack my ranking of Purdue in the top ten. I provide a link to my thoughts on the matter here. In summary:
Michigan: I said #5, but given everyone else's input I actually put them #3 in my first poll by default. The offense: mauling OL, Mike Hart and Kevin Grady and Max Martin, Chad Henne, Avant and Breaston. At first blush the most talent of anyone outside USC. The defense: well... there's a lot of talent on the defensive line, and the linebackers should rebound. Leon Hall is one really good corner. The safeties, meh.
Purdue: #7. They almost had a really good season a year ago but were undone by untimely fumbles, a spate of short missed field goals, and an 80-yard, 31 second scoring drive in the Sun Bowl. Every defensive starter returns, and Brandon Kirsch and Kory Sheets should improve the run game. Ingraham, Bryant, and TE Charles Davis are a good 1-2-3 receiving combination.
Ohio State: Troy Smith is not that good. They can't run. Their pass defense is questionable. I try not to dwell on the linebackers and receivers. I had them #10, but in a fit of pissiness dropped them to #11. The djl Zone also says that "ranking them much higher than tenth is being exceptionally generous," but he doesn't like Ohio State any more than I do.
Iowa: Drew Tate, Ed Hinkel, and Clinton Solomon will make a fearsome pass-throwing-and-receiving trio this year but there are significant questions at OL, especially the tackles, and RB. The defensive back seven is formidable but the front four is all new and totally green. The projected starters are all either sophomores or freshmen, and while I believe in Kirk Ferentz, I don't believe that much. I've got them from #12 to #14.
Minnesota: I have them #22. Laurence Maroney is good, and so are three of their offensive line starters. Like "whoah did three Gopher offensive linemen go on the first day of the NFL draft" good. They have a huge, rangy wide receiver in Ernest Wheelwright who is the next Braylon Edwards if he just gets those hand things working right. Brian Cupito is pretty okay. The offense: muy good. The defense? Uh... that's why they're #22.
Texas got hammered in the first edition of the roundtable for being the most overrated team going into the season, but damn if a couple of the Big Twelve blogpollers didn't peg them second anyway. TAMBINPO is sadly permalink-free, but I promise if you scroll down extensively you'll come across a thoughtful rundown of the various Big Twelve teams. He, citing AAARGH Vince Young, like, a lot, says that there's as good a choice as anyone for #2. Not so fast, my friend, says Struggling Joe, who admits that the Longhorns are a top-10 team but certainly not #2. Texas Tech blogger RD Baker has them #7.
There's much conflict of opinion on Oklahoma. The Bruce says they're due for a fall (as does ESPN Bruce, by the way) and has them #13. So does TAMBINPO. Joe says... #5? RD Baker says #5, too, but both Bruce and TAMBINPO bring copious nasty facts to the table, like OU will be breaking in new starters at seven defensive spots, quarterback, three offensive line slots, and wide receiver. Oy vey!
Texas A&M, at least, seems to be well-pegged by voters. Joe says #17. TAMBINPO says #16. RD says #11. Year three of Reggie McNeal and the promise of the Year 3 Franchione liftoff has various persons buzzing.
Texas Tech returns a lot this year and seems to have a defense that can keep up with the Joneses in the Big Twelve for a change. RD Baker has them at #20; TAMBINPO says the Red Raiders are #23.
Colorado was mentioned a couple times. TAMBINPO has them #25, but actionBERG specifically calls them out as a team that shouldn't be ranked.
Nebraska shouldn't be ranked according to Husker partisan Joe, but could "almost stumble to a 7-4 record" this year. So they've got that going for them.
Section Six reiterates his belief that NC State is a likely surprise (oxymoron?) team this year. Most of a defense that was really good a season ago returns and NC State was on the implausibly short end of the turnover stick in 2004. If Jay Davis doesn't suck the Wolfpack could be a really good team. As it is, he says they're worth a ranking from 20-25.
He's also down on Florida State, although not as down as I thought he'd be. Citing the mere 9 returning starters and big gaps at DB, DL, and QB, he has them from 14-16.
Eagle In Atlanta offers his educated opinion on Boston College: "At this point I think Tom O'Â’Brien can squeak out seven wins in any conference in the country. I also think we'Â’ll win a crappy bowl. So starting the season at No. 22 seems right." Feel the excitement! EIA also takes some time to wonder about a "Mackovic-like mutiny" against Chan Gailey. Uh, now that you mention it, Georgia Tech is not ranked by EIA.
Pittsburgh is sneaking onto the end of a lot of lists, but EIA says nyet. SportsBiz, on the other hand, says da, #23.
SportsBiz is listed as an NU partisan but also has a strong Louisville affiliation, so listen up when he says they are for real. #8 for real.
No one covered anyone in the Pac-10. MDG did note that he thought USC should be #1 and Cal #21 but rightfully spent most of his time covering the two WAC powers (more on them later).
Section Six also addresses
Alabama in his post, saying that the Tide should indeed be ranked coming off a 6-6 year. Brodie Croyle, who's like MSU QB Drew Stanton in that his last name may as well be "Ifhealthy," should be good, er, if healthy, and nine starters return from one of the best defenses in college football last year. S6 has them at 18-20.
EDSBS is content with Florida's just-outside-the-top-ten ranking of 11. Ditto for Auburn's modest expectations at #15.
The Bruce attempts to get in EDSBS's good graces by knocking Tennessee, placing them #10 instead of the coaches' poll-anointed #3, citing Ainge's late-season tendency to throw copious interceptions, a dearth of talent at wide receiver, and that 22.7-ppg yielding defense, which is all back. Good thing or bad thing? Bruce says the latter. No pooftahs.
Eagle in Atlanta is veeery skeptical of Georgia's chances this year, rating them from 23-25. But here's Wacky RD again. He's got Georgia #2! Go go gadget Tee Martin Hypothesis, I guess.
Both the djl Zone and Have You Met Tony? make cases for the Falcons in the top 25. Omar Jacobs is real good, but Tony points out that the other dudes around him have pretty nice credentials, too. Both Falcon partisans are extremely worried about the defense, which was crapulent in traditional Explosively Offensed Mid-Major fashion, but neither pegs BGSU a top-ten team either. DJL says 17-23. Tony says 15-20. Non-Falcon The Bruce also pegs BG at 20. Sounds like something of a consensus.
Our lone WAC pollster, MDG, weighs in on both Fresno State and Boise State only to find them (slightly) lacking. MDG notes something that EDSBS is on, too: the Bulldogs have a really undersized defense that leaves them susceptible to plowing by teams like, say, maybe Georgia that makes it somewhat difficult to take them super seriously. Like say, #4 seriously. He's torn as a Fresno fan. The talent is there, he says, but who knows how they'll hold up mentally? He wouldn't object to you placing them anywhere from 15 on up, but says for the record he won't be voting them in the top 25 to start. Ditto for Boise.