Well, its a new season. Despite what a week of incoming and outgoing catastrophes, that being Earl, a completely different oil disaster in the gulf, and a hostage situation at the Discovery Channel offices regarding their insensitve programming to the environment(I'm not kidding), it is day one of the 2010 season for college football. While there is plenty to discuss regarding international, political, and ecological topics, this being the start of a new year, I will throw down the gauntlet of debate over something even more important. Who are the best teams in college football?
Now those of you who know me, have seen an article or two similar to this in the past. This is a top 26 of who I think are simply the best teams in order. By no means is it a predicter of the final standings. For example, Ohio St. is not in my top 5, even though I say they will run the table and be in the National Championship game. Sometime in the future may be an article regarding what I see as the fallacies of the AP rankings, but I'll save that for a later day.
Also due to the sheer length I'm cutting it in half so as not take up ALL the space here on my first day.
Anyways, let the debate begin!
1. Alabama-Saban truly is a god. The best collegiate coach I've ever seen. He brought a program still reeling from a postseason suspension to the national championship in 3 years. They've got two refridgerators at RB, McElroy is a perfect game manager for these guys, plus a monster defense. Ugly.
2.Nebraska-Yes they lost Suh, but gues what? Thier defense is actually better. Pelini is in the magical third year with two consecutive improving seasons with the third being no exception.
3.North Carolina-Granted, they have about 170 players that are going to be suspended for the first week minimum. All assembled, this is the best defense in the country. They're still going to lose becaus of a rough conference slate, but look for them to win 11 games by seasons end with an average margin of 8 or less.
4.TCU-Some MAY have been offended by now, this guarantees it. I Looove the Horned Frogs. The only reason these guys have gotten no love as a BCS buster is they play in the same state as Texas, A&M, and Tech, with OU and OSU in their backyard. Since LaDainian graduated from here all they do is consistently win against BCS teams with an SEC-type defense and an underrated Mountain West.
5.Arkansas-I hate Petrino, but he knows offense. This offense is retarded good. In fact its so good, they killed their underrated defense last year by scoring so quickly. I say this year thier improved offense will do better on clock management and give the D some more rest during game time. Ark is my best guess to challenge Alabama to win the best division in football.
6.Auburn-Auburn never gets love. HC Gene Chizik has done a surprisingly astute and quiet job recruiting and overhauling Tommy Tuberville's anemic offense. They have noone sexy, but thier O-line is for real. Look for RB Fannin to get 1200+ yards while whoever starts at QB learns the playaction.
7.Miami(FL)-If it wasn't for UNC and a killer out of conferance schedule which includes Ohio St. in Colombus, and Pittsburgh in PA, I'd say this is my clear-cut favorite to represent the ACC in a BCS bowl if not National Championship. I say this because they have virtually NO weakness on Defense. Thier Line, Backers, and Backs are ALL solid. If they go on a silly run of wins, look for Jacoby Harris for Heisman.
8.Ohio St. I have a somewhat biased opinion of the Buckeyes. It seems like every time I see them go out of conference, they lose. I actually even hesitate to put them this high. One thing they do well is when EVERY game they should. Look at Terrell Pryor as Troy Smith the sequal. They'll dominate every game then reach the bowl with a serious defense and lay another egg.
9.Iowa-These guys are good and have been for a while. In fact i think the difference between these guys and OSU is that Iowa always seems to lose to some crappy high school team while destroying unstoppable out of conference opponents. If they can actually avoid the silly loss, look for the Hawkeyes to challenge for the Big Ten title.
10.Florida-Everyone says how great Brantley is and how they are going to dominat the East and contend for a national title. I say that they have a coach that resigned in the offseason and was rehired amid serious health issues. Jesus Tebow is gone and with it three years of jump-pass offense. I say its a three-team race for the division.
11.Georgia-Probably the best O-line, and best receiving corp in the country. Aaron Murray is untested at QB and the defense has to be improved with a new DC, but still is suspect. One thing I like is that whenever the Dawgs are looking subpar for the year, Richt always seems to overachieve.
12.Boise St.-I give them credit for winning bowls when it counts. Hell, they beat OU with the Statue of Liberty play and the Hook and Ladder. This year almost everyone is returning on both sides of the ball. If they get past Va Tech in the opener and don't run through everone else on thier schedule, than they will NEVER be invited to play for national championship.
13.Virginia Tech-Despite how far VaTech is from both Miami and UNC, these guys are good. Defenses will key in on Ryan Williams who almost got 1700 yards on the ground last year but it won't matter. I have questions on a D that doesn't have much experience, which makes them 3rd in a packed ACC Coastal.
Surprised yet? Stay tuned for the finale that will surely include some Big East and Pac-10 teams. As for tonight, I like South Carolina giving 13.5 points to Southern Miss at home. Cheers guys, and Happy New Year!