Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Just a Few Weeks Away...

and college football will kickoff again. Most of the preseason magazines are out now and not suprisingly Notre Dame, Oklahoma, and Ohio State are the preseason favorites to win the MNC.
Stassen.com has done an excellent job once again in the rankings analysis and compiled predictions from most of the major college football annuals into an average Top 25 and conference finish. Auburn, Florida, and LSU are ranked 7, 8, 9 respectively on average leading the SEC while the top rated ACC team is Florida State at 11. You will find 5 SEC teams in the Top 25 (add Georgia, Tennessee to above) and 4 ACC teams (Miami, VT, Clemson).

The ACC predictions ran very close to those of the coaches at the ACC Football Kickoff this week. The only significant difference was that Virginia predicted to finish 5th in the Coastal instead of 4th (North Carolina). Many people are high on Clemson this year as an upset to win their division, but only one magazine annointed them number one in the Atlantic Division surprisingly. Boston College should be an interesting team to watch this year because they did lose some key talent on the offensive and defensive lines last year, but always seem to surprise the analysts by playing solid football all year.

Miami was not surprisingly the favorite in the Coastal Division receiving all but one first place vote from the magazines. The Coastal may be a better division top to bottom with 4 legitimate bowl teams, but both Miami and Virginia Tech have serious questions to be answered (Miami - new offensive stafff, VT- new QB) that Georgia Tech just might be able to snatch the top spot. Of course that would mean throwing the ball to preseason player of the year Calvin Johnson, )who Coach Chan Gailey insists they do not forget about (Reg reqd).

The SEC race in the West will come down to LSU @ Auburn. Tommy Tuberville's Auburn team is the odds on favorite to win the West receiving 7 out of 9 first place votes. I was a little surprised LSU did not get more recognition despite a possible QB controversy (I guess it is not better to have two capable people than zero). More shocking is that Alabama takes a nose dive to #4 in the SEC West. Houston Nutt has some serious pressure on him at Arkansas and will need to make a bowl this year to take some heat off. I wonder if he wishes he should have gotten on that plane to Lincoln, NE a couple of years ago? The Eastern Division will be a dogfight despite everyone and their cousing praising Urban Meyer and the Gators after their strong finish to last season. If Georgia can find a somewhat consistent QB, then they will be tough to handle with the talent they have back. You know Tennessee will rebound and play in a bowl this year and you never know what the ol' ball coach will have up his sleeve in Columbia. We should find out pretty soon who is for real in the East this year at Georgia travels to South Carolina in Week 2 and the Gators play in Knoxville the following week. Don't forget, Florida has to play LSU, Auburn, and Alabama this year from the West - ouch!

This season should be as exciting as any yet with the new BCS bowl game and the ACC instituting an improved bowl selection process, which will prevent Boston College being sent to Boise with 9 wins.

The SEC looks to be the better conference right now as the ACC doesn't have any top notch teams it appears this year.

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