LSU tops pre-preseason Top 25
Published: Monday, January 17, 2011 at 2:07 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 17, 2011 at 2:07 p.m.
This isn't just a guess.
IT'S A SUREFIRE, MORTAL LOCK!! CALL MY 1-800 NUMBER AND I'LL TELL YOU WHO WILL ABSOLUTELY FINISH EIGHTH IN THE COUNTRY!! GIVE ME YOUR CREDIT CARD NUMBER AND SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER, AND I'LL FILL YOU IN ON WHAT SURPRISE TEAM WILL BE IN THE TOP 25!!! LOCK!
Sorry. Got carried away there. Been listening to too many of those alleged experts who somehow have a lock every week.
There are no locks here. This is Division I football, to quote a former Colorado coach.
It's just a guess. Heck, by the time these teams tee it up in September, who knows who will be playing where? Who knows about injuries?
But based on what I know right now, here's my pre-preseason top 25. Don't bet on it, and gambling is illegal at Bushwood anyway.
1. LSU: I'm one of the few people who looks at schedules when trying to figure out my top 25 and that would seem to be a death blow for the Tigers with Oregon and West Virginia in the non-conference and five games against the best division in college football. But with 16 starters and Zack Mettenberger coming in, I like the Tigers to be the SEC's yearly rep in the title game. Hopefully, The Hat has not run out of luck yet.
2. Oklahoma: The Sooners will be preseason No. 1 and for good reason with so much talent coming back. Just don't put too much into the demolition of UConn in the Fiesta Bowl.
3. TCU: As long as Gary Patterson is there, the Horned Frogs will play great defense. Casey Pachall will take over at quarterback.
4. Boise State: Kellen Moore enters his eighth year as the Broncos quarterback. OK, well, it seems like it. Boise will be unbeaten and the debate will rage on.
5. Nebraska: A lot of turmoil this year, but Tyler Martinez is back and so is Nebraska.
6. Alabama: The Tide will be impressive on defense, but so much will depend on which quarterback wins the job.
7. Oregon: Chip Kelly knows what he's doing and has plenty of weapons returning.
8. Texas A&M: After all those Mike Sherman-to-the-NFL rumors, he's back to take a swing at the conference title.
9. Michigan State: Once the Spartans get over that embarrassing Cap One Bowl, they'll be a contender again.
10. Oklahoma State: Really tempted to put the Pokes higher, but not sure how much of the success was because of Dana Holgorson.
11. Virginia Tech: You know the Hokies will be there and are likely to repeat as ACC champs.
12. Notre Dame: Got a hunch about the Irish in their second year under Brian Kelly. And it has nothing to do with their annihilation of Miami in the Sun Bowl.
13. Stanford: Andrew Luck is back. That's good. Jim Harbaugh is gone. That's not good.
14. Ohio State: Who knows what to expect with those five-game suspensions?
15. South Carolina: Perfect season for the Gamies — win SEC title and turn down bowl game.
16. Florida State: Not as sold as some on E.J. Manuel, but overall the Seminoles are better.
17. Wisconsin: Big losses on offensive line, but Badgers should still be solid.
18. Missouri: You don't replace a Blaine Gabbert, but this team was more than the quarterback.
19. Central Florida: I like what George O'Leary is doing down in Orlando.
20. Arkansas: Ryan Mallett leaves, but backup Tyler Wilson is pretty good.
21. Arizona State: The Sun Devils return 20 starters, but also Dennis Erickson.
22. Utah: New offensive coordinator for the Utes, but hard to forget last November's two-game collapse.
23. Florida: As I have cautioned Gator fans, it's tough the first year with a new coach. But the talent is there and I like the coaching staff.
24. Auburn: Recruiting will help the Tigers stay relevant.
25. Mississippi State: Year Three of Dan Mullen might be the best yet.
Contact Pat Dooley at 352-374-5053 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can listen to The Pat Dooley Show weekdays from 4-6 p.m. on 104.9 FM. And follow at http://Twitter.com/Pat_Dooley.