The “Wow, This is Early” Top 25

Spring football has come and gone, and with that, it's time for the first-ever (and hopefully annual) "Wow, this is early" Top 25. I'm going with hunches and just gut feelings, which means that my poll will probably differ a bit from a lot of those out there, but it's always fun to get the debate heated up early, so with that, I'll keep it short and sweet. Here's my poll.

1) Alabama — They have tons of questions defensively, but Nick Saban is doing more of a reloading than a rebuilding. Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson will keep the Tide offense rolling along.

2) Ohio State — I really wasn't big on the Big Ten last year, but the Buckeyes were certainly impressive in taking down Oregon in the Rose Bowl. Terrelle Pryor really seems to be coming into his own, and I see yet another Big Ten title for the Buckeyes.

3) Texas — Garrett Gilbert showed already that he's not a slouch. There's some questions on defense, but overall, shouldn't expect much of a drop from the Longhorns.

4) Virginia Tech — Tyrod Taylor will continue to progress, Ryan Williams will give defensive coordinators fits, and yes, I think the Hokies win the ACC and ruin Boise State's title dreams this season.

5) Nebraska — Bo Pelini has brought the Blackshirt legacy back to the Husker D. If the offense shows any glimpse of being solid, Texas might have a serious challenge.

6) Boise State — They have a veteran team, and we all know they rise to the occasion. No doubt, they could make a run at the BCS title game. Paging the Butler Bulldogs, please.

7) Florida — The pressure will be on John Brantley, but the Gators, similar to Alabama, are simply reloading. No one is slipping them out of that favorite role in the SEC East.

8) Pittsburgh — The Panthers will dethrone Cincy as the kings of the Big East. Keep an eye on Dion Lewis, possibly the best tailback most of the nation hasn't heard of.

9) Arkansas — Almost the opposite of Nebraska. Bobby Petrino has a monster offense in Fayetteville. If the defense shows any glimpse of being solid, Alabama better watch out.

10) Oregon — The Pac-10's best this low? For now, yes, Granted, if Masoli was around, I'd have Oregon ranked second, but his loss has a pretty big effect, much more than Blount's last year.

11) Oklahoma — So many players headed to the NFL, but on gut feeling, Bob Stoops will go back to basics, and a nasty defense will guide the Sooners back to their high standards.

12) TCU — Andy Dalton will ensure that the Frogs will have another fantastic year. A big part of me says they should be ranked higher, but I really want to see how that game in Dallas with Oregon State goes first.

13) Iowa — I have the Hawkeyes a little bit lower, mostly because of their inconsistency last year. Iowa played many times to the level of competition. They beat great teams in Penn State and Georgia Tech, and then struggle with Northern Iowa and Arkansas State. Can Stanzi and company be a little more consistent? I'm waiting to see.

14) Wisconsin — The Badgers certainly are hoping that tailback John Clay will be healthy come fall. If Clay is 100 percent, Wisconsin, an old-school, throwback Big Ten team, will once again be in the thick of the BCS picture.

15) Florida State — Bobby Bowden didn't leave the cupboard bare for Jimbo Fisher, and with Christian Ponder returning, the 'Noles should see an upswing next year, and possibly a run at the conference title.

16) Miami — Randy Shannon is no flash-in-the-pan coach. He's building the Hurricane program back brick-by-brick. The health of Jacory Harris is a question, but Miami definitely has a lot of the pieces to make fans remember the days of "The U."

17) LSU — Quarterback issues surround Baton Rouge, otherwise, LSU would be ranked much higher. At least whoever wins the job will get to throw to QB-turned receiver Russell Shepherd.

18) Oregon State — Surprised? The Beavers were just a game away last year from the Rose Bowl, and with Jacquizz Rodgers still haunting the Pac-10, Oregon State is once again a dangerous sleeper team.

19) USC — How the mighty Trojans have fallen. Matt Barkley will still lead a talented group of kids, but the aura of invincibility is gone, and Lane Kiffin has a long way to go to rebuild the Trojan swagger.

20) Georgia Tech — The Jackets lost Jonathan Dwyer, but Paul Johnson's triple option hasn't had much trouble succeeding in the ACC. Look for Georgia Tech to not give up their ACC title without a nasty fight.

21) Stanford — Gerhart is gone, but Andrew Luck is still the real deal at quarterback. The key for the Cardinal is to find enough of a running punch to avoid being one-dimensional, allowing Luck to control the game.

22) Cincinnati — Anyone catch that spring football game? The Bearcats played basketball on grass and tore it up offensively, which means they'll still be a contender in the Big East. The question is will Butch Jones be able to just outscore everyone, or will he need his defense to win a couple of games for him?

23) Texas A&M — The Aggies made significant strides last year, and Jerrod Johnson is still a ery exciting quarterback to watch. The Aggies will need some players to step up and help out defensive beast Von Miller.

24) Houston — Kevin Sumlin's high octane offense returns for more next year. Case Keenum will continue to bomb away at Conference USA defenses, and it'll be no surprise to watch the Cougars knock off some bigger name opponents again this year (I've got the game at UCLA marked down).

25) Connecticut — I never thought I'd be putting UConn in a college football poll. However, Randy Edsall has done an incredible job building this program up. The Huskies are a sleeper in the Big East, and it'll be interesting to see how they've progressed from that stunning bowl rout of South Carolina.

Comments and Conversation

May 4, 2010


Um. This is a joke, right?

May 5, 2010


The Hokies will fall like usual. Beamer is lacking on defense and T Taylor will pull some leg muscle or something. The Canes and Heels will throttle them

June 8, 2010


Yeah, It’s gotta be a joke. I hope he’s wrong about V Tech, but BSU should be going undefeated again this year. Moore is getting better all the time, the defense is loaded to the gills, and our special team has a lot of tallented player itching to get onto the field and show their stuff. The best is yet to be seen!

Leave a Comment

Featured Site