I have had a vote in the Associated Press poll before but not this year. They rotate the Florida vote around, which is fair.
So that’s not why I was up late Saturday night alternating between Colorado-Hawaii and ESPN’s highlight show. I just love the game.
So I’m voting anyway. Each week on this blog I will offer up my Not-Ready-For-Prime-Time Top 25. In addition, you’ll get my four-pack of SEC thoughts from the weekend. So here we go.
NOT READY FOR PRIME TIME
COLLEGE FOOTBALL TOP 25
1. Alabama: A summer of studying and one week of the season leads me to this conclusion.
2. LSU: The Tigers have the best win of the young season.
3. Oklahoma: The loss of two starting linebackers is the reason the Sooners are not No. 1 but that could change in two weeks.
4. Stanford: It’s a cautious vote because of the transition but Andrew Luck is really something.
5. Boise State: Very impressive in the opener.
6. Oklahoma State: The Cowboys are going to put up amazing numbers this year.
7. Florida State: I don’t think that will be the Seminoles’ last shutout.
8. Nebraska: Huskers are my national title pick.
9. Wisconsin: Can’t wait for Huskers v. Badgers.
10. Oregon: If not for the turnovers, eh?
11. Texas A&M: Pending the Sunday afternoon game.
12. Virginia Tech: Hokies have to stay focused.
13. Arkansas: Does any league have as many big games as the SEC?
14. South Carolina: It’s going to be an interesting season.
15. Michigan State: I’m in show-me mode with the Spartans.
16. Ohio State: Good start after awful off-season.
17. Florida: Count me impressed with debut but road ahead is tough.
18. West Virginia: Again, pending Sunday night game.
19. Penn State: Think Joe Pa will stay in the press box?
20. Missouri: Solid team with a chance this year.
21. Mississippi State: I might have undersold the Bulldogs in the preseason.
22. Arizona State: Want a darkhorse BCS team? Try the Sun Devils.
23. South Florida: I hope it was sunny in Tampa Sunday.
24. Houston: Is this Kevin Sumlin’s last year there?
25. Hawaii: I know Colorado stinks but I was impressed.
THE SEC FOUR-PACK
Four things that hit me on the first weekend of SEC football:
1. There is no better drama than South Carolina’s quarterback situation. I’m going to miss Stephen Garcia. Steve Spurrier started Connor Shaw and the Gamecocks fell behind 17-0. Gacria came in and led his team to 56 points. And Spurrier said the quarterback competition isn’t over. This quote about Garcia after the win over East Carolina is classic Spurrier: “He was ready to play, he’s had a good attitude about it. He cleaned up today, shaved up his beard, decided to act like a quarterback. I think the guys really admired and respected him for cleaning up and getting ready to play.” Stay tuned.
2. I’m not one to believe that a coach can face a must-win game in the second week of the season. Let’s say South Carolina beats Georgia Saturday and the Bulldogs reel off 10 straight after that. Mark Richt’s job is safe, right? Why are you laughing? Hey, I know the seat is warm for Richt and the loss to Boise State was a bad start even if the Broncos were favored. What’s more alarming is that Georgia didn’t look like a well-coached team. Richt has lost nine of his last 11 games against top 10 teams and the Bulldogs are 14-13 in their last 27 games. That’s not good.
3. Most of the people I talked to Saturday afternoon thought the Auburn-Utah State game was a perfect way to start the day. They wanted a close game but they certainly didn’t want the SEC to suffer an embarrassing loss. Auburn’s opening game was more evidence why I don’t gamble. I thought the lock bet of the year was to bet the over on Auburn’s over/under for wins at 6.5. Anyone want the over now? The Tigers have issues, especially on defense.
4. Overall, it was a decent weekend for the league. The SEC went 10-2, split the two big games (losing the one where the other team was favored). Winners from the weekend: Alabama, Mississippi State and LSU. Losers — Auburn, Kentucky and Georgia.