Posted on: September 2, 2008 8:51 pm
Edited on: September 3, 2008 4:44 pm

The Best Damn Poll in the Land Week 1

Ok sorry fellas I didn't see the deadline, but sent my ballot to The Greek on Sunday. Of course that means that I have Tenn still in the top 25, but didn't update my ballot. For that purpose I will put the ballot I submitted to the Greek here. After the game on Monday I would take Tenn out of the top 25 and probably insert UCLA at 25. The polls are so fluid here, that the bottom 5 or so will be tough to rank at this point in the season.

Without further adeu....

Name: bigtenboy07

1. Georgia- Nothing out of the ordinary for the Dawgs. The offense looked good, and Caleb King and Knowshon Moreno will be a tough combo at RB. It seems that the points were scored once the first team left the field. Which doesn’t give me too much concern about UGA’s D.

2. Ohio State- Everything was going very well for the Buckeyes until Beanie Wells went down. Without contact the injury still has many puzzled. The Buckeyes defense looked very good (giving up 74 yards albeit to YSU). What didn’t look great for the Buckeyes was their red zone offense having to settle for FGs 3 times and twice when they had first and goal. Perhaps that can be attributed to rust, but against better teams they will have to cash those into TDs.

3. USC- USC was flat out impressive. I don’t think UVA is a very good squad but going there and destroying them was impressive. Sanchez looked outstanding and that stable of backs including Gable and McKnight seem very impressive. USC scored 7 TDs…and no one scored more than 1. Look out for the weapons out there on the west coast. They will have a week off before the Buckeyes come to the Left Coast.

4. Oklahoma- Chattanooga isn’t a very good way to judge Oklahoma (neither are most of the opening games) but Oklahoma did what they were supposed to do. Winning 50-0 at halftime is pretty impressive. The offense appears crisp, and they seem poised to make a run at the Big 12 title.

5. Florida- The offense seemed to struggle for the first quarter, but more than made up for that in the latter part of the game. Tebow didn’t have to do as much as he did last year, and the parts around Tebow appear to be outstanding. Good news for Gator fans is that FLA had a couple of picks and a good punt return from Brandon James. An improved defense could mean a monster squad in the Swamp.

6. Missouri- Missouri played a pretty good Illinois squad and scored almost at will. The offense with Chase Daniel, Chase Coffman, and Jeremy Maclin along with an impressive showing from their RBs make their offense one of the most potent in the country. The defense with 10 returning starters looks pretty good even though Juice carved them up a bit.

7. WVU- Pat White showed that he throw the football. Albeit against Villanova (and no this isn’t basketball). The Stewart era seemed to get off to a pretty good start although it is a little concerning that Villanova scored 21 points on the WVU defense (especially with a couple of tough games coming up).

8. Auburn- The last time that UL Monroe came into Bama they won (although it was against Alabama) not so much this time. Auburn plays very good defense and it may take a little longer for their new spread offense to begin clicking.

9. Texas- Colt McCoy looked very good both passing and rushing the football. A resurgence of Colt McCoy could make Texas a tough team to contend with. Texas honored Vince Young during the game, will McCoy be honoring the Texas faithful with a big bowl win…who knows?

10. LSU- LSU played a game in very difficult circumstances. The players had to be worried about their families, homes, and the imminent arrival of Gustav. That said the defense looked strong and fast. The D-Line may be the nastiest I have ever seen. The offense looked vanilla and Charles Scott filled in very nicely. The question at QB still looms against more difficult defenses.

11. Kansas- The Jayhawks? Yes those Jayhawks. They move up in the rankings mostly because of a terrible performance by Clemson.

12. Texas Tech- Graham Harrell was lighting up the scoreboard just as he did in 2007. He threw for right around 500 yards and a couple of scores. Crabtree again played very well. The questions don’t lie with the offense, they can score on everyone. The question comes when the other team has the ball. Can the Red Raiders stop the other guys enough to win the big games?

13. Wisconsin- Wisconsin imposed their will running for 400 yards. PJ Hill was dominant running for over 200 yards. Akron isn’t a great football team, but Wisconsin took it to them. The Badgers will have to continue to run the ball and supplement it with the pass. Evridge looked pretty good in his debut, although he didn’t have to do much. Wisconsin can’t look ahead to Fresno State just yet…they have to handle Marshall first.

14. Arizona State- Rudy Carpenter is a solid QB who could lead the Sun Devils to a couple of big wins. They will have to be ready quickly as UGA comes to visit the desert.

15. BYU- The Cougars had no issue with Northern Iowa. Hall was throwing the ball all over the yard. The question in part will be their defense and they way they handle the success of being the Non-BCS darling.

16. Tennessee- How will they perform on Monday?

17. Alabama- I believe the phrase is ‘Roll Tide’. The Tide did just that and rolled over Clemson. Bama’s D held the explosive duo of Spiller and Davis to nearly nothing. JPW carved the Clemson D and the Big Freshman Jones tore up the secondary and appears to be a physical monster. Bama could be a serious contender in the SEC West but will have to finally beat Auburn (for the first time in recent memory).

18. South Florida- South Florida played well, and appear to the only other hope for the Big East. Pitt was embarrassed by a MAC team at home. Matt Grothe is a good QB who could lead the Bulls to a very successful season in the Big East. George Selvie is a beast on the end…and can bring the heat for the Bulls D.
19. Penn State- They played Coastal Carolina…wow. The Lions were pretty good throughout the game though. The rushing attack with Royster looked good and Clark still has to prove that he can throw the football enough to keep the defense honest. Williams and Norwood will have to step up at the WR spot to help Clark.

20. Fresno State- Can they handle Rutgers?

21. Wake Forest- The Deacons headed down to Texas and demolished the Baylor Bears. The offense is good, and the defense appears strong. It just doesn’t seem right that Wake would be good at football…but they really are. Believe in them.

22. Illinois- A team without a win cracks the top 25. They played a very tough Missouri team and handled themselves well. A couple of times the game could have gotten out of hand, but didn’t. The defense looked tired against the spread. However the offense looked good and Juice Williams being able to throw the ball could be serious trouble for other teams on their schedule.

23. Cincinnati- Can Ben get a 6th year of eligibility? It could go a long way in determining how the Bearcats do in the Big East.

24. Oregon- The Ducks are down to their 10th QB…ok it just seems like it. It will be interesting to see how they play that offense without the protypical run QB.

25. East Carolina- Skip Holtz got his team prepared and took down the mighty VT. They looked sloppy throughout the game, but still handled the Hokies. The Hokies however appear to have little to no depth/talent at WR, and Glennon appears to not be ready for the starting job…lose that redshit Taylor.

Out of the rankings: Clemson (11 last week), VA Tech (19), Pittsburgh (20).

New Arrivals: Alabama (17), Oregon (24), East Carolina (25)

POW: Juice Williams, Illinois. Juice had a great game against a tough Missouri defense and kept the Illini in the game. Juice threw the ball 42 times connecting 26 times. He threw for 451 yards and 5 TD’s. Juice had two INTs and one was ripped from his WR. A very good game for Juice who has shown that he can throw the ball a little bit which will make him a much more dangerous player. Playing a tough opponent allows Juice to get my vote for POW.

Category: NCAAF
Posted on: July 13, 2008 5:09 pm
Edited on: July 13, 2008 5:12 pm

The Best Damn Poll in the Land Preseason Top 25

The poll spearheaded by the Greek is going to be a good thing. It gets the opinions of the fan out there, and should be interesting to see how it compares to the 'experts'. Have been really busy this weekend with family in town, but the Greek has done a great job of getting this thing going, and the poll looks great, with the top teams separated by a VERY slim margin.

I thought I would disclose my ballot so everything would be out there and I could be put on the grill for my picks. The preseason polls are not my favorite thing, because it is almost all guesswork. That said this is just my opinion at this point and injuries and surprise teams could certainly change this.

Ok here it goes:

My Top 25

1. Georgia- The team is loaded with young talent, including Knowshon Moreno. Moreno is one of the top backs in the nation, and Matthew Stafford provides a good passing attack for the Dawgs. The defense has potential and should improve. The thing that may hold them back is a tough stretch of games they have in the SEC. 

2. Ohio State- Easy now…not a homer pick here. The Bucks return a bundle of starters from a team that made a title run last year. Todd Boeckman will have to improve and become more consistent, and more confident in the pocket (he was very nervous the last couple of games of the season) in order for the passing game to keep the field open for one of the top running backs in the country Chris “Beanie” Wells. Watch for Beanie to be in the Heisman talk…

3. Oklahoma- Oklahoma is also loaded with young talent. The Sooners got run over in the Fiesta Bowl, and have struggled in BCS games lately, but that doesn’t diminish the talent that squad has. Stoops should be able to get this team ready for the improved Big 12 to make a run at the National Title.

4. USC- The Trojans still have a lot of talent on this team. Sanchez is finally getting his chance to start (Mustain still crying?). The USC offense should be impressive this year with a great stable of running backs, perhaps Joe McKnight is the best one. The WR position is where the Trojans have a lot of young, unproven type of talent. The defense is just nasty and the Trojans should be Pac 10 Champs, a date in early September against the Bucks should be a great game.

5. Florida- The Gators have the reigning Heisman trophy winner, and Superhuman Tim Tebow. He was the do everything player for Florida, but the addition of Moody at RB should take some carries away from Tebow (thankfully for Tebows health). Percy Harvin will continue to be one of the most versatile players in college. The offense will be explosive without a doubt…the defense will probably still leave something to be desired.

6. Missouri- Missouri has a great offense. Chase Daniel and Jeremy Maclin are outstanding offensive players. The loss of their two TEs Rucker and Kauffman may hurt their offense slightly. The way Daniels has run that offense puts him in the Heisman discussion. Defense will have to continue to step up if they want to seriously compete for the NC.

7. WVU- Stewart is now the headman at WVU but he will keep the same scheme in place, and still has Pat White. Although Slaton is gone Noel Devine remains to keep the offense potent. I am unsure if the defense will remain a 3-3-5, I would guess it has to because of personnel. The defense is the question for this team, and they could be competing in another BCS game.

8. Auburn- The Tigers play a nasty brand of defense. Even with the loss of Muscamp the defense will be very good. The offense will be the thing to watch on this team as they go into the more wide open offense. If the offense can protect the ball and put up points every once in a while the defense will win them a lot of games.

9.  Texas- Texas had perhaps one of the best offseason of any team. Sure they got their share of recruits but most importantly they got Will Muscamp to be DC. He has lead great schemes everywhere he has been and with the talent at Texas he should put up a great defense. This is the 3rd year that Colt will be the starting QB and he appears ready to lead the offense to new heights…especially with an improved D.

10. LSU- The defending champs fall all the way to 10. The loss of RP will hurt the offense. The defense however will remain stout, and look for Ricky Jean Francois (he could only play for LSU…or France with that name) to be an absolute monster. The question mark in my opinon is the CB. The CBs last year were great for LSU and allowed them to play some serious pressure on the QB losing Zenon and Jackson could hurt the D…although LSU is loaded with talent. This is a team that could be doubted and sneak into the top 5.

11. Clemson- Yes those Clemson Tigers. This is a team who had a great recruiting class to go with a pretty successful season last year. The Tigers still posses Thunder and Lightning with Spiller and Davis but to that attack Harper vastly improved last year. The offense should be pretty dynamic, but the loss of several key defenders will be question marks. They start with Bama, then have a soft ACC schedule (which doesn’t even include VT!).

12. Kansas- Rock Chalk…JayHawk, and I’m not talking about basketball either (although they did win that championship). The JayHawks are solid on offense with Reesing leading the charge at QB. The defense should be improved from last year even with the loss of Aquib Talib. A tough two game stretch of at Oklahoma and hosting Texas Tech will show a lot about this team.

13. Illinois- The Fighting Illini are a young talented team. Juice Williams continues to lead a tough offense although the loss of Rashard Mendenhall will be tough to fill. On defense the Illini is solid but the loss of leader J Lehman will be tough to fill. The Illini has to play Missouri, Penn State, Michigan, and Wisconsin all on the road…tough road.

14. Texas Tech- A lot of people are really high on this team… I am not sure what to think. Sure they have a great offense with Harrell and Crabtree but their defense has me wondering. The problem with a team like this in my opinion is they keep teams in the game because of the amount of times they throw. They don’t have the play where they just run out the clock. I am still skeptical of this team.

15. Arizona State- The Sun Devils have a tough meeting with UGA early in the season, but it will tell us a lot about this team. Rudy Carpenter will be back and is a strong QB and good leader for this team. This appears to be the second best team in the Pac 10 and a date at USC will probably decide the Pac 10.

16. BYU- The Cougars are a solid team and have a fairly easy schedule. The Cougars have a rematch with UCLA from the whatever bowl that was, appears to be the toughest OOC game. They are a talented team that will win the MWC conference. The question is will they get an invite to a BCS Bowl?

17. Wisconsin- The Badgers are losing Tyler Donovan at QB but still have a very good backfield with PJ Hill and Zach Brown. The offense will be mostly run oriented but that is not new for the badgers. The defense will have to improve from last year. The real key for the Badgers is their schedule with Ohio State, Penn State, and Illinois all at home…watch out for a rowdy Camp Randall, it is where ranked teams go to lose.

18. Tennessee- The Vols are also losing an experienced starting QB (like the Badgers). It seemed as if Erik Ainge was there for like 12 years…but that is beside the point now. A new offensive coordinator will have to install a new system to fit Johnathan Compton. This team has a chance to be a good ballclub playing Auburn and Florida back to back will be tough, and then having to visit UGA between the hedges.

19. VA Tech- Last years ACC champs will have a tough time replacing Brandon Ore who is no longer on the team. Glennon and Taylor will most likely continue to share time at QB which is not really a great idea in my opinion. Sometimes if you have 2 QBs you don’t really have 1… The defense and special teams will be outstanding as always and will keep them in a lot of games…especially with a fair weak schedule.

20. Pittsburgh- The Panthers have some really good young talent under Dave Wandstandt. Sophmore RB LeSean McCoy will be one of the top in the nation, even reminding some of Tony Dorsett (including Dorsett). The defense should improve and the team can build on the late season victory over WVU.

21. South Florida- Does anyone remember this team was number 2 at one point last year. They are a pretty talented team who can make a run at the Big East championship if they can get past WVU and a few others. George Selvie still leads the defense and is an electric player.

22. Penn State- If this team can get past the off field problems they can be a semi-factor in the Big Ten race. They will have a good defense as is usual, but the offense will leave something to be desired. Look out for Royster to be a sort of breakout RB for the Lions. Oh and they still have Joe Pa…for better or for worse.

23. Fresno State- Pat Hill will play anyone anywhere…and he put it in practice in 2008. Out of conference they begin At Rutgers then host Wisconsin, then at Toledo and UCLA. That is a pretty good OOC schedule and then get into their WAC schedule. Look for the Bulldogs to take 2 or 3 of those OOC games and possibly contend for a BCS game.

24. Wake Forest- This is not a team with a bunch of names that are known throughout households in America, but they just get it done. They play tough and compete in the tough games. This team could surprise some in the ACC.

25. Cincinnati- The Bearcats return 16 starters and could be contender in the Big East. Brian Kelly is a good young coach who can lead the Bearcats to another successful season.

Teams who just missed but should be watched: Michigan State (everyone loves Dantoni), UCONN, ND, Alabama, Miami (FL)

Category: NCAAF
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com