Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Top 25 in 2008 - College Football

You will find not find a bigger college football fan than Young Swole. So while he's sad to see the 2007 end, one eye has already been turned toward 2008, which promises to be much more Top-Heavy than this year was.

1. Georgia. OK i might be biased a slight bit here, but UGA is absolutely stacked heading into 2008. The entire 3-deep defense is returning, we lose only 3 starters on offense, and are headed toward a top-3 recruiting class. One more scary thing to consider...Caleb King will be playing next year, and a lot of people think he is better than Knowshon Moreno.

2. USC. Another team with a ton of talent returning. However, they do need to replace a starting quarterback and defensive standouts like Sedrick Ellis and Rey Maualuga. Schedule also sets up well with Oregon and Arizona State coming to SoCal.

3. West Virginia. If everyone on that offense returns, they might average 60 points a game. It also helps that they play in the awful Big East, especially since South Florida and Cincinnati both have to travel to Morgantown.

4. Florida. Despite inexplicably losing to Michigan, this team returns damn near everyone. Tebow will still dominate, and will actually have someone to hand off to now that Emmanuel Moody is in town. That defense better grow up though for them though, they were terrible in the Citrus Bowl.

5. Oklahoma. The Sooners still have a ton of talent, and Sam Bradford could be a heisman candidate. They have to start winning big games though, people are starting to hate on Bob Stoops' big game preparation skills.

6. LSU. Reloading year in the Bayou. But when you have Ryan Perriloux, Keiland Williams and Terrance Toliver returning on offense, and the next great college safety in Chad Jones leading the defense, you aren't going to drop far.

7. Texas. The greatest coaching signing of the offseason was when the Horns got Will Muschamp to lead their defense. If he can turn that defense into what he had at Auburn, Texas could make a run at the title, especially if they sign Darrell Scott to replace Jamaal Charles.

8. Ohio State. Once again they will be coming off of an embarrasing championship loss. Once again they will dominate a weak Big 10. Once again it will not be enough to taste true glory. Chris Wells is a monster though.

9. Missouri. Another team whose offense will be near unstoppable. Chase Daniel will once again be a bona-fide heisman candidate.

10. Clemson. No team does less with more talent, but if they ever put it together one of these years, they could be extremely scary, especially with the ACC wide open for the taking.

11. Oregon. If Jonathan Stewart returns to school, he will be the top running back in the nation. They may also have the best defense in the Pac-10 next year.

12. Virginia Tech. Tyrod Taylor begins his mission to make Hokie fans forget all about the Mexico brothers.

13. Illinois. Losing Mendenhall is a huge loss, but all those Zook recruits will make the Illini the most athletic team in the Big 10, which can't help but make them successful.

14. Kansas. Its going to be hard to recapture the 2007 magic, but Mangino is as smart as he is hefty and Todd Reesing will have that offense runnin' and gunnin'

15. Auburn. Undoubtedly the best 4 loss team in the nation. Still gave many teams a hard time despite this being a rebuilding year on the plains. If Kodi Burns can be a dual-threat, watch out.

16. Arizona State. Dennis Erickson knows how to coach, and you know he's going to find some JUCO studs who will give the Sun Devils that swagger. If he was smart, Rudy Carpenter would be the back up QB.

17. BYU. The stormin' mormons are back. If they go undefeated in their out-of-conference schedule, they could make a BCS game if the cards fall right.

18. Cincinnati. With Ben Mauk back at quarterback, and Coach Kelly getting those ath-a-letes fired up on defense, they could win the Big East if West Virginia stumbles.

19. South Carolina. Make or break time for Spurrier. UGA and Tennesee both come to Columbia, where the Cocks defense will be much more intimidating.

20. Tennessee. Losing Erik Ainge hurts. Losing David Cutcliffe hurts even more. He was the reason why Ainge became any good. Without those 2, its a good thing they have Eric Berry on defense, he may be the best defensive player in the SEC next year.

21. Texas Tech. Harrell to Crabtree. Harrell to Crabtree. Harrell to Crabtree.

22. Michigan. Despite Rich Rod having to completely re-do the mindset of the Wolverines, I still have trouble seeing them being any worse than 3rd in the Big 10.

23. Cal. The offense is always good in Berkeley. They also have the advantage of getting Oregon, USC and Arizona State all at home.

24. Alabama. If John Parker Wilson can step up and throw it like a man, this team could be very dangerous. That if is about as big as Mangino's gut unfortunately.

25. South Florida. Their home-grown florida athleticism alone makes them a threat to every other team in the Big East, just ask West Virginia

Others to watch: Ole Miss, Boise State, Fresno State, Tulsa, Penn State, Wake Forest, UCLA, App State, Fresno State, Air Force, Indiana, Miami, Texas A&M

2 comments:

Young Cicero said...

Very little love for a Mizzou team that took the Razorbacks to the woodshed, loosed a very small number of starters (most of whom will be replaced with more capable underclassmen), and finished #4 in the final poll. Oh well. Mizzou-Rah will just have to shove it in everybody's faces like they did last year, going from unranked to #1, a nearly impossible feat in and of itself.

Young Cicero said...

loosed = lost.