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23 Aug

I Love This Time Of Year… College Football Starting Up

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The first polls are out… which means people can already start arguing about the national playoff. Oh, wait, we don’t have one. Bummer.

In any case, Florida is predictably on the top position. They return Tim Tebow (love him or hate him, he is a great player) and their entire starting defense. What’s that phrase? Oh yeah, defense wins championships. Florida will be tough this year.

LSU opens at #11, but I am going to remain a “show me” fan until I see something out of the quarterback position. QB play killed us last year (how many “pick six” interceptions did we give up?) and remains a big question mark as far as I am concerned.

Alabama opens at #4. I think that’s high, given the number of senior leaders that they lost. They also have to break in a new quarterback but at least they don’t have the same challenge that Georgia does in replacing Stafford who went number one in the NFL draft last year. Georgia, by the way, opens the season ranked #13, just a couple of spots behind LSU.

Who else is ahead of LSU? Probably not a big surprise, but Ole Miss starts the season in the top 10 this year. They finished on a roll with a serious thrashing of Texas Tech in the Cotton Bowl last year, and return one of the better QBs in the league in Jevan Snead. New coach Houston Nutt will have to manage the opening games of the season carefully to maintain the confidence the Rebels built at the end of last season, and if he can do that then Eli Manning’s alma mater just might be contending for the SEC title. I don’t see them contending for the national title, but they do have a relatively favorable schedule. They play both Alabama and LSU on their home turf, and they won’t be playing Florida unless both teams make it to the SEC title game. (Ole Miss gave Florida its only loss last year, so don’t you think that Tebow and Company would love to avenge that this year?)

In the Big 12 we see Texas and Oklahoma starting up right where they left off, trying to catch up to whoever is number one. 🙂 Texas gets the nod for now, starting out in the #2 slot. Oklahoma is right behind at #3. Is it any coincidence that all three of the top teams have Heisman-caliber quarter backs? Oklahoma State shows up in the top ten as well, and is picked by Sports Illustrated writers as one of the potential “spoiler” teams this year. Texas Tech gets no love at all; they’re not even in the top 25 to start the season. They got a few votes, but I’m sure their absense is due to their major swoon at the end of last year after opening so strong.

Nebraska and Kansas round out the top 25 for the Big 12.

In most pre-season rankings I have seen LSU is not picked to win the SEC West this year. That nod goes either to Alabama or Ole Miss. LSU has a tougher schedule than most, playing away games at top SEC teams Georgia, Alabama, and Ole Miss. They also play Florida, but get them in Tiger Stadium aka “Deaf Valley” where Tim Tebow was merely human two years ago. Alabama plays only two of the top SEC teams (LSU at home and Ole Miss away). Ole Miss plays both ‘Bama and LSU at home, and doesn’t have any other top teams on their schedule. Given that situation, the ‘Bama / Ole Miss game looms huge on the schedule. The winner of that game should have the inside track to the SEC title game.

No matter what happens, this season could be one of the all-time best ever due to the strong teams and excellent quarterbacks (Colt McCoy, Tim Tebow, Sam Bradford, Jevan Snead) around to lead them. I’m definitely excited for the season to start. 😎

One Response to “I Love This Time Of Year… College Football Starting Up”

  1. 1
    Dave Rathbun Says:

    Just heard someone on ESPN suggest that LSU was the “dark horse” candidate to win the SEC West. I would be happy if he’s right… but I suspect he’s wrong. 🙂 LSU has too tough a schedule to compete with Alabama and Ole Miss this year.

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