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Thursday, August 16, 2007

1 Southern Cal
2 Oklahoma
4 Michigan
5 Texas
6 West Virginia
7 Arkansas
8 Penn State
9 Ohio State
10 Wisconsin
11 Louisville
12 Virginia Tech
13 Oregon
14 Florida
15 California
16 South Carolina
18 Florida State
19 Nebraska
20 Georgia Tech
21 Texas A&M
22 Missouri
23 Iowa
24 Rutgers
25 Hawaii
Poll poll poll! I post this in the spirit of extreme flexibility. This is an off the cuff poll that I will refine over the next week with help from commenters and other bloggers. So I'll skip commenting on the fairly obvious USC #1, Michigan top five stuff and focus on things that may or may not be outliers.

  • #2 Oklahoma. One: believe in the Demarco Murray hype; return virtually everyone. Have very hyped recruits set to go. Still have no quarterback, might not need one.
  • #7 Arkansas. Shouldn't this be a better offense than it was a year ago? McFadden, Jones, Monk, and Casey Dick return. Ben Cleveland is a promising tight end. If they get any semblance of a quarterback, yikes. I am leery of only two returning offensive line starters and the departure of Chris Houston and Jamaal Anderson, but five of seven starters return to the front seven and the secondary is moving a lot of people around but has a number of folks who started games last year. Yeah, yeah, Arkansas is a maelstrom of controversy and insanity and could implode at any moment but if there's anyone out there who can ride this wave of pork crazy, it's Houston Nutt. His internal monlogue is a David Lynch movie. He can do it.
  • Penn State/Ohio State/Wisconsin. This knot of Big Ten teams seems close to indistinguishable to me. I think they're all a couple notches too high, but who goes in front of them?
  • #13 Oregon. I read the Blue Ribbon preview of them and was terrified. Because Blue Ribbon is on crack, though, they predicted something like 6-6. Again. They imploded last year, Dennis Dixon played baseball this summer, and they've been stuck in neutral for the last few years. But Jonathan Stewart, and Dixon is a senior now, and many returning receivers. On defense they've got a guy with way, way too many vowels in his name (Donald Faaeteete) who picked up 5.5 TFLs in a half season of starting as a DT. Their horrible run defense last year could be chalked up to a slew of injuries; their horrible pass defense probably had something to do with the starting corners being freshmen. This seems like a place to buy Oregon low.
  • #14 Appalachian State. What? This is reasonable placement.
  • #14 Florida? Nine starters gone on defense and a new quarterback, no apparent running game and worrisome Percy Harvin tendinitis has me skeptical. But both Zook and Meyer have recruited very well. Maybe this is an overreaction to the nine doofi coaches who ranked them #1?
  • Unranked Georgia. I am highly dubious about Matt Stafford's ability to develop behind Georgia's patchwork, JUCO-laden and just preposterously thin offensive line. They also got red flagged by B&B's Charles Rogers theorem, which isn't good. Georgia's season-ending surge was built by games against Brandon Cox, Reggie Ball, and Sean Glennon. More ominously:
    Georgia returns two starters on the offensive line and have a true freshman penciled in at left tackle. That couldn't be a problem against Derrick Harvey or Quentin Groves, could it? On the defensive line, Georgia returns one starter. Its projected starters at defensive end are a junior college transfer and a senior who has never started before.
    Sell. Sell sell sell.
  • Unranked Tennessee. Um... I do not endorse this ranking. An oversight. Where should they go?
  • Unranked Auburn. Yeah, I think this offseason of nonstop SEC crowing has filled me with so much hate that I can't possibly rank SEC teams appropriately. Also, Orson convinced me to rank them #1 last year and look how that turned out. I do have one good reason: Brandon Cox is terrible.
  • #24 Rutgers. SMQB has me sold: the Scarlet Knights were beneficiaries of fortune last year and would do well to replicate their record of last year, let alone improve it. But, hey, they're here.
Note: on second thought I should excise Iowa with a vengeance, as they're dead to me after last season's performance -- I ranked them #2 preseason.