Here are my Pre-Season rankings for the upcoming 2008 College Football season. I've included 30 teams, a top 25 with some honorable mentions to hedge my bets. The top-5 have some additional thoughts added. This is a SEC, Big-12 heavy list. There just seem to be a bunch of good teams poised to make some noise in those 2 conferences. So here goes:
JOAJ's Preseason Poll
With one of (if not the) toughest schedules, it’s hard to put
Key Game and Prediction – Edging out
2nd Thoughts – Can we actually beat
The Pac-10 won’t be too hard for the Trojans to win, and if the last 2 national title games have been any indicator,
Key Game and Prediction – Destroying OSU
2nd Thoughts – Where will the Trojans stumble in the Pac-10? They always seem to flop somewhere.
DeMarco Murray and Sam Bradford will have a top-notch O-Line to work behind and
Key Game and Prediction – A tough rivalry win over
2nd Thoughts – Watch out for T. Tech and A&M, they’re giant killers.
Key Game and Prediction – Close loss to UGA…should handle UT.
2nd Thoughts – What about LSU?
It’s easy to ridicule this team. The Big-10’s soft, they can’t beat the SEC in a bowl, they’re too slow, etc. But, the Buckeyes are a good football team. They have talent at the skill positions, solid lines, and good coaching. Boeckman is a proven leader, Tyrelle Pryor might provide an electric play-maker spark as a freshman, and Beanie Wells might be the best RB in the nation. I still think they’ll tote a butt whooping from USC, but they should still cruise through an easy conference stretch and be considered for a BCS Title shot.
Key Game and Prediction – They will get straight owned by USC
2nd Thoughts –
We all know that with Chase Daniel back, the Tigers Offense should be a fireworks spectacle just like last year. However, beyond that, Mizzou’s returning a great Special Teams and 9 or 10 starters on Defense. They don’t have OU on the schedule (at least until the Big 12 Title game), the north’s soft, but
Usually with two new coordinators, it would be hard to rank a team this high. But, Tubs will have the ship righted and the Tigers will beat LSU and Bama to clinch the West. Also, look for the War Plainsmen to be a stumbling block in
No more Ryan Perrilloux. I actually believe that his absence will benefit the Tigers. That kid had to much lip, attitude and baggage and would probably have only hindered a team that’s been a perennial title contender without him. However, the loss to
The Mountaineers will win the Big East, despite a careless conference loss somewhere, and they have the talent (and the hot, nasty, bad-ass speed) to beat
Bronco Mendenhall is a good coach and BYU is a good team. They usually cruise through the Mountain West, but struggle with whatever Pac-1o foes they have to face. This year should be different as the Cougs are tough enough to beat Washington and UCLA. They could easily be a BCS bowl outsider, and have the ability to play with almost anyone.
- Virginia Tech
Why not? The ACC is not what it’s supposed to be, and I’m not sold on Clemson as a title contender. VA Tech has been the most consistent team in the conference since their arrival. There are a lot of questions to be sure: personnel loss, 2 quarter backs and no running game. But they always seem to overcome. Plus, they don’t have to embarrass themselves at LSU again.
The Horns should have a stellar defense this year, with their talent and new DC Will Muschamp. Colt McCoy has matured, but the running game seems a little lost and that might be enough of a weak spot to cost them some big games. The Red River Rivalry should be very interesting, but Tech seems like a more unsuspecting loss to sting the Horns return to dominance.
Bielema has done a great job at Wisky. They play old school football, and with the stable of RB’s on hand, that shouldn’t change. There’s a tough stretch of road through
Maybe Clemson should be higher than Va Tech. And, maybe they should be in the top 10, or 5, even. But, we’ve seen the collapse too many times for me to put that much faith in the Tigers. The Offense looks sharp with QB Harper, and Spiller and Davis toting the rock, but the D looks a little iffy. The non-conference tilt with Bama will set the tone for the season, and it ain’t automatic.
Despite what others may say, Fulmer is a good coach, and this is a good team. There’s a new offense to implement, but the Vols look up for the task, and the Defense should be as good, if not better than last year. Playing at
The Sun Devils host Georgia and travel to USC within weeks of each other, but Erickson’s a good enough coach to set them up to win at least one of those. They also play both
I’m predicting lots of passes, yards and points (shocker, huh?). Graham Harrell has great numbers, but he’s a system QB. Crabtree looks like a statistical deity, but I think he’s a system WR (if that’s not a thing yet, it is now). The whole season hinges on what Tech is touting a vastly improved defense. I’ll believe it when I see it. Tech will upset someone big this year, though and maybe throw a wrench in the Big-12 South standings.
Honestly, this team could go 6-6 or win the Big-10 outright. Where they had lingering questions from last year, they’ve seemed to fill the holes.
Todd Reesing is an impressive QB and will be a more than able leader for the Jayhawk offense. But,
Once you’ve coached in the SEC meat-grinder, the Big-10 must not be that hard. Just look at Ron Zook. The Illini played (kind of) in the Rose Bowl last year and the recruiting has been top notch, but Mendenhall and Benn cannot carry the team.
Who knows? Was it all
If the Tide can roll Clemson and
If Ben Mauk get his lingering appeal, the Bearcats oculd finish up higher than this. If the appeal is denied again, the Maukless ‘Cats will definitely finish lower. I figured why not just shoot the gap and rank ‘em 23rd.
The Bulls have a big test with
Most polls have
The Gamecocks collapse at the end of 07 makes us forget how they started the season. I see improvement down the stretch and the talent to be a serious competitor in the SEC East. Smelley (despite his unfortunate name) should have confidence at QB and the D should be solid. And, at the end of the day, you can’t count out Steve Spurrier. Who might be swan-songing with a sub-par record.
Dantonio’s been impressive at State so far, and if the Spartans can turn close losses into close wins, they could be competing for the conference title. I think the schedule is tougher and this won’t be the year they’ll overcome the Buckeyes, Badgers, and Lions.
They are pure consistency. Ryan or not, they’ll win games and compete for the
- Wake Forrest
In the down and out ACC, Grobe has been impressive at Wake. The Deacs have won big games and played as solidly as anyone. They return a slew of starters and should finish in the top of their division. Watch out Clemson.
Keep an eye on: Utah, FSU, Cal, ND, and Tulsa
As an afterthought. I'll rank the conferences according to ME!