Thursday, July 14, 2005

Preseason(BlogPoll Top 25)Top 40

The best teams do not always have the best talent. The 2002 Ohio State team beat one of the most talented teams ever, 2002 Miami, in the Fiesta Bowl to claim the national championship. The top 40 consists of the best overall teams for 2005. These are not the 40 most talented teams in order or a prediction of where they will finish at season's end.

The road to the Rose Bowl is easier for some than others. Some teams have an easier schedule or play in a weaker conference. This is my prediction of the best forty teams in America based on a combination of talent, experience, coaching, and intangibles. Some will lose early in the season, therefore, allowing them to recover in the polls and BCS, while others get punished for losing late in the season. I will update this poll every week in the season, based on how well each team is playing and their overall strength, not politics nor impressive records against weak competition. The top 25 teams is my first official preseason BlogPoll, in theory, on a neutral field one is better than two, two is better than three, and so on. This is where they rank now.

1. Southern California- Head and shoulders above the rest of college football in terms of talent and experience. A loss of three starters and Norm Chow could hurt the Trojans early, but by season's end if the new coaches blend well, expect another national title for the Trojans.
2. Tennessee- Numbers two through ten are practically interchangeable, each one is capable of playing in Pasadena. The Volunteers are just a bit more talented than the rest. If Coach Fulmer doesn't let the offseason troubles effect his team, Tennessee is poised to take the SEC.
3. Virginia Tech- It all rest on the shoulders of Marcus Vick. Opening up at NC State and that nasty defense is not going to be easy. Even if the Hokies start out 0-1, they will be in the hunt for the Rose Bowl.
4. LSU- Outside of a quarterback, LSU is the most talented team in the country. The Tigers are capable of running the table up until a potential rematch with Tennessee in the SEC championship.
5. Ohio State- I like the Buckeyes a lot this year. A lack of running game will be their downfall, along with a trip to the Big House.
6. Michigan- Michigan is good this year, but next year this might be the hands down national title favorite. Chad Henne and Michael Hart are just reaching their potential.
7. Texas- In a perfect world Texas would not have to play at Columbus, and Oklahoma would not have their number. Even in that scenario there is still a trip to College Station. Cedric Benson will be missed on a otherwise loaded team.
8. Oklahoma- This Sooner team is not as talented as the past two, but without the added pressure, Oklahoma just might sneak into Rose Bowl.
9. Miami- The defense will be outstanding, but the once stellar Miami offense needs to get on track this year if the Hurricanes want to beat Virginia Tech.
10. Iowa- By the end of September the nation will know if the Hawkeyes are a national title contender or pretender.
11. Alabama- The tide is loaded on defense, Croyle just needs to stay healthy for Bama to win nine games.
12. Georgia- I do not know why very few are giving DJ Shockley any love. Richt work wonders with another mobile QB in his offense, Charlie Ward, at FSU.
13. Florida State- The loss of Sexton might be a good thing for the Seminoles. Xavier Lee will be stud at QB, but overall they still can not beat Miami.
14. Texas A&M- Coach Franchione will produce his best team to date. The Aggies close the season with Texas Tech, Oklahoma, and Texas. A&M is capable of wining two of three.
15. Florida- In Urban Meyer's four years of coaching, his teams have only played two ranked teams, Oregon in 03 and Pitt last year, hardly the SEC. The Gators are loaded, but the spread won't catch the SEC off guard like the fun and gun did.
16. Auburn- This is still a good team, and as defending champs will get everybody's best shot. Underachieving but talented receiving corp needs to have breakout season.
17. Penn State- Joe Pa's back. Michael Robinson finally has the offense to himself. Lead by one of the nation's best defenses, and an easy non-conference slate, by the time Ohio State comes to town, the Nittany Lions will be ready for the upset bid.
18. Purdue- Everybody's national title sleeper will lose at least two games. Joe Tiller is a great coach, but none of his teams have lost less than three games or won more than nine.
19. Boston College- Left the Big East one year to early. The Eagles will compete in the tough ACC, but would have finished undefeated in the Big East.
20. Georgia Tech- The Wramblin Wreck have their best team since the 1990 national champs. Reggie Ball needs to cut down on his mistakes.
21. California- I believe Tedford can pull another rabbit out of his hat with QB Joseph Ayoob.
22. Texas Tech- Tech's weak non-conference slate will hurt them in the long run.
23. N.C. State- This team will surprise many. It's stellar defense can not mask a weak offense all season long, though.
24. Louisville- I am not sold on this Cardinal team, yet. Who did they beat last year, Boise State? Please? They still should win a share of a weak Big East.
25. Utah- Andy Ludwig is the new OC, formerly of Oregon and Fresno State. Hopefully, the Utes offense will not be as stagnate and predictable.

26. Michigan State
27. Virginia
28. Arkansas
29. Arizona State
30. Boise State
31. Fresno State
32. Bowling Green
33. Maryland
34. Pittsburgh
35. Wisconsin
36. Oregon
37. Iowa State
38. Oregon State
39. UCLA
40. Nebraska

Remember it's the preseason, it does not mean anything until September.

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