Posted on: October 3, 2008 12:00 am

The Best Damn Poll In The Land: Week 5

I was heartbroken this week so the poll is late. I still love CFB, but this was a bitter pill to swallow. Still, we all have a duty to this poll and I won't slack on mine.
  1. Louisiana State - LW 1 - Defense didn't look great against MSU. Gets a bye week before the huge game in the Swamp with the Gators. Game has lost some of its luster, but if LSU wins it, they will be looking good for back to back championships.
  2. Alabama - LW 7 - Most impressive team in the nation so far this season. I did not have them in my top 25 this season and they have proved me wrong and added an exclamation point to it with how they flat out dominated UGA. I don't think they go undefeated, but the West is going to be a great battle this year in the SEC.
  3. Oklahoma - LW 3 - I definitely think OU is one of the best teams in the nation, but I still want to see them play a legitimate team. Baylor is better, but they don't count. I'm not buying the hype on this team until I see them against top competition.
  4. Texas  - LW 6 - Looked great against Arkansas, but who hasn't. I think Texas might be the best team in the Big12 this year. We'll see in a couple weeks at the Red River Shootout.
  5. Southern California - LW 2 -USC is not invincible, duh. People who had that attitude are now bailing on USC. However for those who had a rational view on them won't be so hasty, as USC is still one of the elite teams in the country. Oregon State just played out of their minds and took advantages of breaks when they go them. Who would have thought Orgeon State would be the OSU to upset the Trojans before the season? However, USC does need to fix it's run defense as that is the most troubling aspect of the game to me.
  6. Missouri - LW 8 - I still think this team is overrated. They can do a little bit to dispel the notion against the Cornhuskers this weekend, but Nebraska is still rebuilding. Missouri is top 10, but not a national title contender in my mind.
  7. Penn State - LW 12 - Probably the second most impressive team in the nation when considering just performance and not opponents. I think they are for real, but want to see them play a real team first before I crown them.
  8. South Florida - LW 9 - Looked better against NCST than Clemson, East Carolina, and South Carolina did. I don't know if that means anything, but it's good enough to be in the top 10 in my mind.
  9. Florida - LW 4 - Crushing loss to Ole Miss. All facets of the game looked bad. Still, UF lost this game more than Ole Miss won it, with multiple turnovers after having none this year, and allowing a blocked extra point. This team needs to pull together as it can still accomplish all its goals with some help. Playing the worst team in the SEC this week might help.
  10. Georgia - LW 5 - In the most surprising result of the season in my mind, UGA got destroyed by Bama for a half before making the score look better in the second half. A ton of talent on this team, and a loss to a top 5 team doesn't kill your season. Still, just like UF, they have a lot of soul searching to do.
  11. Brigham Young - LW 11 - Continues to beat up on subpar teams, but that's what good teams do. Looks like the cream of the BCS busters this season.
  12. Auburn - LW 13 -Another ugly game against UT this time. Still, with that defense, Auburn should be in every game they play this season. A big game with Vandy this weekend (who would have ever thought that sentence would be typed some day).
  13. Kansas - LW 14 - Still winning game as others falter. With as strong as the Big12 is, this team has a chance to make some noise in the national picture. OOC schedule is still piss poor though.
  14. Ohio State - LW 15 - A lot of people are falling in love with OSU again. I don't see exactly why. Pryor has looked good no doubt, but after the shellacking by USC, they have had to so so performances against Troy and Minnesota. Where is all the excitement coming from?
  15. Wisconsin - LW 14 -Brutal loss at Ann Arbour. They completely blew this game. All is forgiven if they beat OSU this weekend though. If they win they are still in the drivers seat for the Big10 in my mind. If they lose they are all but done.
  16. Texas Tech - LW 16 - Most overrated team in the nation. Still haven't played a team with a pulse yet.I predict 4 Big12 losses and another bottom of the top 25 finish. Not bad, but a far cry from the top 10 ranking they are getting by most.
  17. Utah - LW 17 - A huge game against Oregon State this week. Can OSU pull an upset two weeks in a row or will they have a let down? I say Oregon State shocks the world again and gets their second huge upset in as many weeks.
  18. Virgina Tech - LW 24 - That ECU loss is looking more and more flukey. This is never a team to write off. Should be the ACC favorite as of now.
  19. Fresno State - LW 19 - Not looking great against Toledo, but a let down was expected after a tough loss. This team still can do big things this season. Needs to win out though.
  20. Vanderbilt - LW 20 - Saturday might be Vanderbilts biggest game ever. Gameday is going to be there (okay, I finally believe in SEC bias) and Vandy has a chance to make a statement and let the nation know that they're for real and not a byproduct of a weak schedule and playing the SEC. Good luck!
  21. North Carolina - LW 22 - Great win against Miami. Has a great shot in the ACC this year and would have been set if they hadn't folded against Virginia Tech. Still going to surprose a lot of people though.
  22. Connecticut - LW 21 - Yes they're winning, but they aren't looking good doing it. They are the darkhorse pick for Big East champion, but I see them losing a minimum of two game in the conference and likely more. Still, they're undefeated and have done as much as any other team at the bottom of the top 25 and deserve to be ranked.
  23. Boise State - LW 25 - Beating Oregon won't look as good later in the season. Will probably make a BCS bowl with an undefeated season, but I hope they lose, because I don't think they deserve it this year. If Fresno beats them and wins out otherwise I think they should get a spot.
  24. Oklahoma State - LW UR - T. B. Pickens should be proud right now. His alma mater has taken care of business and they have a chance to do big things in a loaded Big12. The schedule is tough, but it also provides much opportunity. I think they're defense needs to improve if they're to contend in the Big12 though.
  25. Michigan State - LW UR - Javon Ringer is my top Heisman running back now and as long as he is leading this team they are dangerous in the Big10.

Jacquizz Rodgers
- Amazing performance against USC. Almost single handily beat the men of Troy. My favorite performance of the year so far.

On the cusp:

  • Illinois - I was high on Illinois, but am full of questions after a bad game against Louisianna Lafayette.
  • Wake Forest - Losing to Navy is almost inexcusable, but it doesn't hurt them in the ACC. It's still a good team, but not great.
  • Air Force - Playing in the MWC will give them a couple shots to beat some high profile teams. Even BCS teams don't want to play them though with their crazy offense.
  • Ball State - Don't know a lot about this team, but they have done what they need to do and I'll pay more attention as the season goes on.
  • Kentucky - Huge game against Bama. They should get slaughtered, but if they win the SEC might end up being 8 deep this year and definitely 6 deep at worst.

East Carolina (23) - Cinderella has turned into a pumpkin and been dropped from the third story. It has gotten ugly.
Wake Forest (22) - ABOVE
Category: NCAAF
Tags: Football, NCAA, Poll
Posted on: September 14, 2008 6:38 pm
Edited on: September 14, 2008 6:59 pm

The Best Damn Poll In The Land: Week 3

I have never watched more football in a single week. I saw every possible second of college football this past week/weekend. UNC/RU, USF/KU, MSU/FAU, UGA/USC, UT/UAB, USC/OSU, UW/FSU, ASU/UNLV. I also loved every second of it.

Some great games and some of my feelings on certain teams got confirmed (OSU, ASU) and some were debunked (Oregon, BYU).

Can't wait for another great week. Although I can do without Rocky Top. I might have to wear ear plugs during the game. Though whenever Brent Musberger does a game again I will do so as well. On to the rankings!
  1. Louisiana State - LW 1 - Manhandled North Texas, but QB play still unimpressive. First test next week at so far punchless Auburn. Should be another 10-7 barnburner. Still, LSU is #1 until they lose.
  2. Southern California - LW 2 - What can you say? They're the team to beat again after thrashing OSU. Speed everywhere and Mark Sanchez is looking like a USC QB should. Miami is looking like a lock for this team.
  3. Oklahoma - LW 3 - Continues to dominate inferior competition. All facets of the team look great, but they do everyyear until the last couple games. On track for a titanic showdown with Mizzou in the Big12 Championship Game. TCU is an interesting game in 2 weeks.
  4. Florida - LW 5 - Defense looked great as they didn't give up a point, offense a no show again. The schedule starts for real this week with UT. Can't wait to hear Rocky Top. Many beers await.
  5. Georgia - LW 4 - There are definite concerns with this team, but I don't think reading to much into the USCe game is very useful. Spurrier always plays the Dawgs tough and UGA has had problems in the past with them, despite great teams. Remember, UF won it all in '06 and needed a blocked FG at the buzzer to beat USCe at home. However, the offensive and defensive lines need to do a better job, and UGA killed themselves with dropped pass. Better fix it quick with a trip to ASU who got caught looking ahead.
  6. East Carolina - LW 6 - I knew they would have a let down game against a better than expected Tulane squad. However I'm even more impressed with this team now. They toughed it out and managed to come away with a win on the road after two huge wins. This team looks to be the top BCS buster a long with BYU. Another BCS matchup next week with NCST and the schedule never gets really easy with a decent C-USA this year.
  7. Missouri - LW 8 - Put up PS3 numbers against another dog. Won't get tested until October and won't have a real test until Texas Oct 18th. I still am not in love with this team, though Chase Daniel should be 1 or 2 in the Heisman race right now. Jeremy Maclin is a beast as well.
  8. Texas  - LW 9 - Prayers go out to all those in Texas affected by the storm. Good luck in the recovery.
  9. South Florida - LW 12 - Great game against Kansas. Both teams deserved to win. USF is my darkhorse national title contender. Should be favored in every game except for maybe the last one in Morgantown. Groethe has matured and can lead this teams to the top. What happened to the defense though? I just think Kansas offense is that good.
  10. Wisconsin - LW 14 - I would not have dropped them much if they had lost to Fresno as they seemed to have a couple very bad calls go against them and really controlled the game. The passing game looked good and makes this a dangerous, and balanced, team. My preseason Big10 champ pick is looking good, although Penn State is looking good as well.
  11. Alabama - LW 15 - Another blah game against an overmatched opponent. Looking good opening up SEC play. Real test is in two weeks at UGA.
  12. Penn State - LW 16 - Penn State has been one of the more impressive teams so far this season. Too bad Joe Pa is classless for running it up on a team of teenage girls. Oops sorry, that was Syracuse, my mistake. The resemblance is striking though.
  13. Brigham Young - LW 23 - Big jump after the dismanting of UCLA. I wasn't sold on this team after two poor performances, but they convinced me now. I wasn't buying into UCLA, but still, beating an average BCS opponent 59-0 is just incredible. Could come down to the end with them and Utah for a BCS bowl berth.
  14. Auburn - LW 11 - It might just be me, but I don't think Auburn has mastered the spread yet. The defense is still great though, and the play calling has been pretty conservative. We'll see how good Auburn is next week with the defensing champions coming to town.
  15. Kansas - LW 10 - I was really impressed with their offense against a fast USF defense. They are the best one loss team in my mind. Reesing was going to be my POW until USF's great pass rush forced a late Reesing interception. I think this is the only team that can keep Mizzou out of the Big12 championship game, and I think they will.
  16. Ohio State - LW 7 - I was lower on OSU than most. They have been trashed enough so I'll be brief, but it really does look like OSU has been overrated for a while. This is still a good team, but find BuckEyeTodds post on OSU to see a great analysis that I agree completely with. OSU could rebound and win the Big10, but if they win out and make the NC game, expect a revolt from the CFB proletariat.
  17. Texas Tech - LW 17 - Now that OSU got exposed, this is the most overrated team in the nation in my mind. I do not see where the love for this team is coming. Not a single notable win. Until they beat a couple of the big four teams in the Big 12 this team is no better than the bottom of the top 20 in my mind. That said, Graham Harrell is a very good QB.
  18. Florida State - LW 21 - Keeps plodding along against low quality 'competition,' but still looking good while doing it. Class of the ACC in my opinion Big game against the best two teams in the ACC next week. Can Wake make it three in a row versus the Garnett and Gold?
  19. Utah - LW UR - Big jump into the polls after a pasting of one of the worst FBS schools in Utah State. Maybe this team was more than just Urban Meyer and Alex Smith. A lot of good ball players on this team and they really spread the wealth. Should be an entertaining game against Air Force next week.
  20. Fresno State - LW 13 - Had Fresno overranked last week, but they still look like a solid team against Wisconsin (although they also had some homecooking going). They have the talent to compete with the top teams, but their BCS dreams are likely over.
  21. Wake Forest - LW 22 - Week off to prepare the early ACC game of the year. No way they beat FSU three years running, right?
  22. Oregon - LW 25 - Really impressed me by hanging tough and coming back to beat Purdue, although they needed a little luck (and bad Purdue coaching) to get it done. The injury to Roeper seems signifigant though and I still don't think this is a top 15 team like some do.
  23. North Carolina - LW UR - My sleeper pick this year. I dropped them from 25 after a disappointing game against McNeese State, but they seemed to correct their problems against Rutgers. With the state of the ACC the way it is, this team can make some noise. Now, don't lay an egg against Virginia Tech.
  24. Connecticut - LW UR - I was NOT a believer of this team after two less than impressive performances against weak competition. However they worked over Virginia as bad as USC did and deserved to be ranked so far. They have a very good defense, but if their offense performs like it did yesterday, the Big East better watch out!
  25. Vanderbilt - LW UR - This ranking feels good. Vandy deserves to get some recognition for being the only academic all-star in the SEC. However this isn't charity. They have beaten some pretty decent competition and I think they are equals right now of the teams left off for them. I'm sure this ranking doesn't last long though as SEC play starts in earnest.


Javon Ringer
- Completely carried MSU against FAU in rain and muck on an ugly day in East Lansing. Had a career day and deserves a second straight POW award.

On the cusp:

  • West Virginia - They dropped 6 spots after not playing, but when thinking about it, no way they deserved being ranked over several undefeated teams after an insipid showing against ECU. Plenty of time to move back up the rankings though.
  • Illinois - I was high on Illinois, but am full of questions after a bad game against Louisianna Lafayette.
  • Virginia Tech - Good win against GaTech, but big game vs. UNC next week (who would have thought that?)
  • Clemson - Underwhelming win against the dregs of the ACC in NCST. This team just might not be very good.
  • Tennessee - See what happens when you run the ball UT? Now please go back to using the UCLA gameplan this week.


  • Illinois - LW 18 - Analysis above
  • West Virginia - LW 19 - Analysis above
  • Arizona State - LW 20 - Maybe they were looking ahead, but wow. Should never lose at home to UNLV. Pac10 took a beating.
  • Virginia Tech - LW 25- Analysis above

Way Too Early Heisman Ballot:

  1. Mark Sanchez - Surgical against OSU. I'm still impressed with his dislocated knee. Frontrunner unless USC loses.
  2. Chase Daniel - Might be the best QB in the nation, but I want to see him do it against some real teams first.
  3. Tim Tebow - Hasn't done anything to lose the Heisman but needs some big performances in SEC play and a NC game berth to win it again.
Posted on: September 7, 2008 1:54 am
Edited on: September 7, 2008 10:48 am

The Best Damn Poll In The Land: Week 2

Here is my ballot for the Best Damn Poll in the Land for week 2. Not big changes all around except for WVU dropping and ECU shooting up the rankings. There are several minor changes at the bottom of the poll though

However, next week is going to be extremely fun Several great games, but a lot of interesting OOC games as well. Look at these.

Great games:
  • Kansas @ South Florida
  • Georgia @ South Carolina
  • UCLA @ Brigham Young
  • Ohio State @ Southern California
  • Wisconsin @ Fresno State
Interesting OOC games:
  • North Carolina @ Rutgers
  • Oregon @ Purdue
  • Michigan @ Notre Dame
  • Arkansas @ Texas
  • Stanford @ TCU
Looking forward to it.

On to the poll.

  1. Louisiana State - LW 1 -Off because of the ridiculous weather we have down south, but they will remain number one until they lose.
  2. Southern California - LW 2 - Off as well. The game of the week (and possibly the year) against OSU is coming up. Can solidify themselves as the team to beat this year.
  3. Oklahoma - LW 4 - Cincinnatti is a good team. Oklahoma dominated them. The offense is looking unstoppable. They look great, but honestly, they seem to do this to start every season. Is this team for real? I think it is.
  4. Georgia - LW 5 - Blew through another lower tier team (though not quite a cup cake). Knowshon Moreno looked Heisman worthy. Big game against South Carolina who has seemed to have UGA's number since the Visor came back.
  5. Florida - LW 3 - Drops two spots due to a lackluster offensive performance against Miami. Miami's defense is very good, but Tim Tebow played poorly in the first half and the running game was almost non-existent. Lots of work to due in the bye week heafing into SEC play.
  6. East Carolina - LW UR - They were my 26th ranked team last week and that was a mistake. No team has done more than ECU so far this year. I believe they would have beaten Ohio State if they played today, so they jumped 20 spots up to the elite group of teams. Do they stay here? Probably not, but there isn't any reason they shouldn't be this high, this point in the season
  7. Ohio State - LW 6 - Quite a scare this week versus Ohio. Does Beanie Wells mean that much to this team? Regardless, this game is forgotten if they beat USC next week. Chalk this up to OSU looking ahead.
  8. Missouri - LW 8 - Can't tell a lot from a whipping of Random Directional State School. Offense looked terrific as usual and the defense looked good as well. Where do they find these schools though?
  9. Texas - LW 9 - Watching the UTEP game as we speak. Texas isn't looking great, but the defense is doing its job. UTEP can't get anything going despite playing good defense and making some big plays. Will edit this with the results tomorrow as I'm going to bed.
  10. Kansas - LW 10 - Don't sleep on this team. They are everyone's one year wonder pick, but that defense doesn't look like it has lost a step from last season. They shut out a La Tech team coming off a win against Mississipp State. Kansas might surprise us all again.
  11. Auburn - LW 11 - The QB play was much better, but the offense is still struggling to score a lot of points. Southern Miss isn't a cupcake though. Auburn has two weeks to work out the kinks, before the meat of the SEC schedule is reached.
  12. South Florida - LW 12 - Had a nailbiter with UCF. A drop might be warranted, but UCF was more than Kevin Smith last year. Plus this was technically a rivalry game. Not because of the teams part history, but their close proximity and the fact that most of the players know each other from high school. USF is looking like the class of the Big East so far.
  13. Fresno State - LW 13 - Off week to prepare for Wisconsin. One of my most anticipated game. Is FSU for real or just another BCS tease? We'll see next week?
  14. Wisconsin - LW 14 - Off week to prepare for Fresno State. Just kidding, though it might as well have been. Blasted Marshall back to West Virginia. Rough day for the Mountain State.
  15. Alabama - LW 15 - Very lackadaisical game against Tulane, but coming off the big win against Clemson it is understandable. Should move up in the coming weeks as it has two relatively easy games until it plays Georgia in Athens. That could be epic if both teams take care of business.
  16. Penn State - LW 16 - Looked amazing against Oregon State, but Oregon State is looking very down this year. I really like PSU and they have a great opportunity to win the Big Ten this season.
  17. Texas Tech - LW 17 - Ho hum win against Nevada. Texas Tech doesn't have a real legitimate game until Oct. 25th versus Kansas. I'm not buying into this team until they prove they have an adequate defense to go along with that high flying offense.
  18. Illinois - LW 18 - Dominant performance by the Illini in a game that looks closer due to two fourth quarter TD's by Eastern Illinois. That said, it's Eastern Illinois so not a lot can be gleaned from the game, except for that Juice Williams is looking like the best QB in the nation.
  19. West Virginia - LW 7 - I really didn't think they would get got surprised by ECU... and they weren't. They were beat by a better team. I still think WVU is a good team, but they looked pathetically inept today. The Big East is very down this year and it can't count on WVU carrying the load this time. Needs to regroup the next few weeks before they play Auburn.
  20. Arizona State - LW 20 - Looked fine against Stanford. I still think this team is overrated, but we'll see in two weeks.
  21. Florida State - LW 22 - Shhh, FSU is looking like the best team in the ACC. This is more due to the teams in the ACC looking putrid rather than FSU looking great, but the offense was spectacular against everyones favorite patsy, Western Carolina, in a storm delayed game. FSU should apologize to its fans for its opening season schedule, but this team is going to exceed expecations.
  22. Wake Forest - LW 23 - Needed some big plays and a little bit of luck to beat Ole Miss. This is not what the ACC needed, especially with Wake Forest looking as the ACC's best team. Ole Miss is looking much improved this season so maybe this game doesn't look so bad later in the year.
  23. Brigham Young - LW 19 - Everyone will be talking about the penalty, but in my mind it's irrelevant. If BYU was a serious BCS contended it would not have even needed a block extra point to beat Washington. BYU was the trendy BCS buster pick this year, but ECU and Fresno are looking like better bets. Heck, BYU might not even be the best BCS buster from Utah. We'll see.
  24. Oregon - LW UR - I'm not very high on Oregon, but they have looked impressive so far (albeit very poor competition). Will have a chance to prove themselves in what is looking like an above average Pac10 this season.
  25. Virginia Tech - LW 24 - In danger of losing it's spot in the poll due to a lazy performance against Furman. However the ECU loss isn't looking nearly as bad as it did. Still one of the top ACC contenders.

POW: Jahvid Best - Bulldozed Washinton State for over 200 yards and 3 TD's in what is looking like a better than expected Cal team.

Dropped Out:

  • South Carolina (25) - Should not have been ranked and that is on me. I thought Smelley was the answer at QB and that the defense was good enough to carry them and I was wrong. Now watch them go and shock Georgia this week.
  • Cincinatti (21) - I don't think Cincy is a bad team, but the Big East is looking awful and they really never posed a threat to Oklahoma. Ranking them is not currently justified.

New to Poll: East Carolina (6), Oregon (24)

On the Cusp:

  • UCLA -Great game this week against BYU. Was the UT game a fluke, or is there a good (and consistent) team in central LA this year.
  • Utah - Took care of business against UNLV. Could conceivably be undefeated going into season finale versus BYU, but not enough challenging games to move up the rankings without others losing.
  • California - Looking surprisingly good to start the season. Are they over the nose dive they took last season?
  • Clemson - Still a decent team here. Should challenge for the ACC.
  • Tennessee - I think UT was a better team overally than last year, but the QB is so bad that it doesn't matter. If their QB improves, this is a bottom of the top 25 team.
Category: NCAAF
Posted on: September 3, 2008 8:23 pm
Edited on: September 4, 2008 1:07 am

The Best Damn Poll In The Land: Week 1

Well now we have results to back up our bias.

Here is my week one ballot for The Best Damn Poll In the Land.

  1. Louisiana State - LW 1 - Stays number 1 until they lose, but they actually did a good job with Appalachian St. QB situation still seems unsettled, but has the talent to make another run. Schedule looks tougher though with Alabama looking much improved
  2. Southern California - LW 2 - Looked flat out dominant in a blow out of a UVA squad coming off a 9-4 season. I was very impressed with Mark Sanchez coming off a dislocated knee cap. The team to beat in my mind.
  3. Florida - LW 6 - Moves up three spots due to fears over the improvement of the defense being allieved and the overwhelming team speed. It was only Hawaii, so if the defense sputters Florida will drop right back down the rankings, however even in their easier games, the UF defense look poor last season. So it seems safe to say the defense is at least improved.
  4. Oklahoma - LW 4 - Feasted on overmatched opponent per usual. Man do they look dominant in doing it though.
  5. Georgia  - LW 3 - Drops due to injuries and not performance. Looked great in the opener before Richt put in the backups. However the loses of their starting LT's and DT's will be big down the road, and as good as UGA is, I don't think they can overcome them.
  6. Ohio State - LW 7 - Looked great against Youngstown St. and injury to Chris Wells doesn't look major. Hopefully it won't linger into the season. I'm lower on OSU than some, but in two weeks they can prove me wrong and vault to the top.
  7. West Virginia - LW 8 - Where has this Pat White been? Makes biggest Heisman statement of week 1. I like WVU a lot this year. They should move up as teams above them falter. Can they get the monkey (actually Bull) off their back this year and beat USF?
  8. Missouri - LW 5 - Strange to drop a team after beating a top 25 team but the defense made Juice Williams look like Doug Williams (and that is a complement) and could seriously hold this team back this year. Mizzou can probably beat any team above them, but the defense does not look championship worthy. Plenty of big games this season to dispel the notion though.
  9. Texas - LW 9 - Took care of business with FAU, a surprise team from last year that looked like they could make some noise in this game. Texas is one of the teams I feel will move way up before the end of the season. Just some advice to future Longhorn opponents though, keep your mouths shut: Howard Schnellenberger told a FAU student paper before the game, "Texas always has a very polished team that has great talent, but they aren't tough, they aren't a physically tough team." Yikes.
  10. Kansas - LW 10 - Beat up on the worst D1A school from Florida. I'm actually higher on Kansas than a lot, but a lack of beef in the schedule will prevent them from moving up much and they will likely be jumped without winning  huge most weeks.
  11. Auburn - LW 11 - The spread didn't take in week 1, but it never does the first season, so no big concern. The starting QB seems to be up in the air, but the defense looked great as usual. Better watch out for SM this week though.
  12. South Florida - LW 16 - A nice jump up due to some losses and great performance. Many think USF was a one year wonder, but they have a ton of speed and should challenge WVU for the Big East crown. Need to avoid a mid season swoon like last season.
  13. Fresno State - LW 21 - Biggest in poll mover of the week. They were my favorite non-BCS team, but a brutal schedule temperered expectations. However they really shut Rutgers down in the second half and I was impressed that they won comfortably despite them having to travel thousands of miles across the country for their first game against an upper echelon Big East team. Wisconsin better watch out. Even if FSU loses to Wisconsin in a close game, I think they can be the first non-BCS one loss team to make the BCS games, provided the win out.
  14. Wisconsin - LW 14 - I should have probably swapped Fresno and Wisconsin, but that will be rectified one way or the other in two weeks. Looked okay but not great against Akron. Still is my pick to win the Big10. Big test against FSU will be telling.
  15. Alabama - LW NR - Alabama completely manhandle clemson. 0 yards rushing. Just unbelievable. I would have moved them hire, but I felt Clemson was overrated to begin with. I thought Bama was one more season away from contending, but I could be wrong. They looked great, but I'll wait until SEC plays to move them further up.
  16. Penn State - LW 24 - Looked good against a team without a pulse. Not a lot to say. Won't be able to tell much for several weeks until the Illinois game as Oregon State looks like one of the Pac10's worst and is followed by Syracuse and Temple
  17. Texas Tech - LW 17 - Defense doesn't looked like it has improved (24 to Eastern Washington?) meaning no better than 5th best Big12 team.
  18. Illinois - LW 12 - Was overranked to start the season. I should have started them at 16 or 17. Thus I'm not really penalizing Illinois here as I was impressed with how well they played against Mizzou (despite the defense looking highly overrated). Should remain a top 25 team throughout the season (though they won't move up much unless they improve the D).
  19. Brigham Young - LW 19 - The trendy BCS buster pick looked sloppy versus Northern Iowa. Four fumbles in the second half needs to be fixed. Still, winning out will almost assuredly result in a BCS bid. Could there be two BCS busters this year.
  20. Arizona State - LW 20 - Looked less than stellar against Northern Iowa. Interesting games the next few weeks. Will have a chance to shoot way up against UGA later on in the month, but don't sleep on UNLV and Stanford.
  21. Cincinnati - LW 22 - Another team who beat up on a non-D1A school. Nothing much to tell. -Dustin Grutza looked very good though to the relief of Cincy fans. Chance to make big noise this week against OU. I think OU wins comfortably, but I don't see a blow out.
  22. Florida State - LW 23 - Moved up on a bye. FSU will take what it can get hehe. Starting QB chosen but not named. Still, has a very manageable schedule for the several weeks. Should move up while others fall. Still my darkhorse pick for ACC champs.
  23. Wake Forest - LW UR - Like with Wisconsin, wish I flipped them with the team above. Baylor isn't a worldbeater, but Wake looked good against them and might be the class of the ACC.
  24. Virginia Tech - LW 15 - The ACC looks to dominate the bottom of the top 25 this year. People might question VT ahead of ECU, but I do feel VT is a better team and that is what a poll is supposed to be. I overranked VT a bit to start the season, but they still have a great defense and special teams, which ironically is what did them in against ECU. Should win the Coastal division still.
  25. South Carolina - LW UR - A lot of people aren't impressed with SC because of the ugliness of their win, but they still shut out a BCS team 34-0. I feel the QB play will improve dramatically and therefore will make SC a dangerous team with that defense which will vie for best in the SEC and thus the nation.

POW: Mark Sanchez - The Navy RB got a lot of love and deservedly so, but Sanchez brought back memories of Matt Leinhart and Carson Palmer with a thorough dismantling of Virgina. And he did this coming off a busted knee a few weeks ago. This got him a POW vote from me.

Dropped Out:

  • Clemson - LW 13 - Didn't fall in love with Clemson like some did, but I still overranked them. Pathetic performance versus Alabama. 0 yards rushing is inexcusable with the talent at RB. They can still win the ACC, but unless they improve the offensive line play it will be a long, disappointing season.
  • Tennessee - LW 18 - I was high on UT's team this season, but underestimated the loss of Erik Ainge. There is a good team here if they get better QB play and the OOC realizes that running the ball is a good strategy when your avergaing over 7 yards a carry and your QB couldn't find an open receiver with a GPS and a search team.
  • North Carolina - LW 25 - My sleeper team looked horrid against McNeese St. Could have been first game jitters, but no excuse for looking that bad and they aren't getting ranked until they prove something now.

New to Poll: Alabama, Wake Forest, South Carolina

On the Cusp:

  • East Carolina - Could have easily ranked them instead of Virginia Tech, but I think they played over there heads. Playing WVU close will move them into the rankings for sure.
  • Boston College - Strange road game versus Kent St. Offensive was not up to par, but the defense look dominant as expected. With the state of the ACC they could make some noise with that defense.
  • Oregon - Looked better than I thought they would versus Washington. I still don't think this is a great team after all their losses, but if they keep performing like they did this week, they will move up quickly
  • UCLA - Front four looked amazing against UT. If their QB can play like he did in the 4th quarter as opposed to the first half this team can do some damage in the Pac10. Then again you can never tell with this team.
  • Utah - Beat a Michigan team that won't be very good this year. I think Utah could be good this year, and will have the chance to prove it, especially since fellow BCS cinderella Brigham Young is their conference.
Category: NCAAF
Posted on: July 13, 2008 11:32 pm
Edited on: July 17, 2008 4:22 pm

The Best Damn Poll in the Land Poll: Preseason

This is my first blog ever. I never thought I'd do one because I'm not a big fan of them, but this is a good venue to post my poll without clogging up the message board. I'll do my riff on blogs on another post. So here is my first poll.

Here is a quick description of how I'll vote. I'm going to vote for the who I feel are the best 25 teams in the nation each week...

Sounds simple. I wish the actual voters did that as well instead of rewarding teams for starting higher than other teams. This means that just because a team starts high they won't have an advantage over another team who starts lower.

This is important for my poll, because I am starting LSU number one. I believe in voting the previous champion number one to start the year since the preseason poll isn't based on any on field results. However they won't be rewarded just for starting high, so if they prove to not be a great team they will be ranked accordingly down the road regardless of wins and losses.

So without further ado, my first top 25.

*NOTE: In my official ballot UF was ahead of Missouri but since the news of a major injury for UF I swapped them. Also, italicized teams are my predicted conference winners. All conference winners, BCS picks and national title game participants are listed after the poll.
  1. Louisiana State - Lost a lot, but this team should reload, not rebuild. I doubt they win the SEC but a BCS at large berth is in play.
  2. Southern California - A lot of people are sick of USC starting high every year. Well until they stop producing great players, winning conference championships and BCS bowls they will remain ill. USC is returning a great defense and is loaded at the skill positions. Replacing Booty is an area of concern, but since the new starter will be a QB who was the most touted in his respective class (Sanchez or Mustain) and the PAC-10 lacking a serious contender USC should roll right a long.
  3. Georgia - This team is stocked everywhere and they are young. I do question UGA's offense as far as style goes as I think it doesn't make best use of its immense talent, but the pieces are there for a championship run. I believe the SEC comes down to UGA and UF with Auburn proving the 'darkhorse' and Tennessee (or maybe South Carolina) being a possible spolier.
  4. Oklahoma - Maybe I am too harsh on Oklahoma for their huge bowl losses, but I am not too high on them. However when I look objectively at this team they have a terrific defense, an extremely efficient offense with a Heisman candidate at QB (despite his cocaine dealing problems ;) and some of the best coaches in the nation. I don't think they will win the title, but subjectively I think this is one of the best teams in the nation.
  5. Missouri - This is a team I didn't originally think I'd rank all that high, but on offense they will still be a juggernaut and their defense should improve, while their schedule seems easier than last years. This team will not slip much if at all from last season.
  6. Florida - This should be the best offense in the nation. With a Heisman winner at QB, one of the best all purpose players in the nation in Percy Harvin, the fastest wide receivers/scat backs in the nation,  a future pro tight end, an extremely soild o-line and some of most innovative play calling in the country this offense should be better and more balanced than last year which is scary considering how dangerous it was. The defense is the big question mark. I for one think the pass rush improves immensely and this team wins the SEC and gets a legit shot at the NCG game, but it all hinges on how much the youngsters improve on the d-line. If they haven't this could be a very disappointing year.
  7. Ohio State - I'm not as high on OSU as some. I don't think they're a bad team by any stretch. I just don't think they are the best team. There defense is solid and their offense should improve, but I don't know if they have what it takes to win it all. Most expect another Big10 title, but the USC game should determine if they have national title aspirations.
  8. West Virginia - This is a team that I expected to sink after Rich Rodriguez left a la Louisville when Bobby Petrino ditched them. I like the coaching here better though and I really think the players are going to have a huge chip on their shoulders to show they can succeed without the man who spurned them. With Pat White and Noel Devine the offense will be lethally fast and agile. The defense should continue to be strong as well. If things fall the right way I think WVU could make the title game and unlike years past I would have no problem with it.
  9. Texas - This team should be back from a subpar season for UT standards. I can see them not making the Big12 Championship game due to a loss to Oklahoma, but stealing a BCS big from Missouri like Kansas did last year. The offense is in good hands with Colt McCoy having another year under his belt. I don't think replacing Jamaal Charles will be extremely difficult but the key is how much the defense improves after getting shredded through the air last year. I think the coaching changes shape this defense up and Texas finishes in the top 10.
  10. Kansas - This was the 2nd toughest team to rank for me. I considered low 20's and settled at number 10. They are definitely capable of stepping way back from last season with a tougher schedule, but from an actual talent perspective I think this team is top 10 worthy. Reesing is a darkhorse Heisman candidate and the defense should remain sturdy although it loses some key players. I don't see another BCS bowl for this team, but I don't think it falls off the face of the earth.
  11. Auburn - This team lost a lot of big time players with Quentin Groves being the biggest. However the west will be wide open this season and the new offense should help Auburn score more points which I think will be enough to get them the bid in the West. Tuberville has proven to be a great coach and I think he will keep Auburn near the top as usual.
  12. Illinois - Will take a step back, but Zook has brought in some athletes and with another year Juice Williams and Arrelious Behn should put up some points. No BCS bowl, but I think they should remain a top 25 team although I don't see them finishing this high.
  13. Clemson - A trendy pick for having a great season. I don't buy it. They have the talent and they're backfield is studly, but this team always seems to lose the games it shouldn't. Maybe this is the year Tommy Bowden takes Clemson all the way, but I want to see it first.
  14. Wisconsin - My pick for the Big10 champion. There are no surprises with this team. They will run through you and play great D. I see them being able to do it well enough with P.J. Hill, a great o-line, and the best TE in the nation to beat OSU at home and making it to Pasadena despite questions with the passing game.
  15. Virginia Tech - This was my 3rd hardest team to rank. A lot of questions with this team, but this is not the team to count out as they seem to always exceed expectations. Beamer will have the defense and special teams as ready as ever. Tons of questions on offense, but I'm pretty high on Tyrod Taylor. Should contend for the ACC.
  16. South Florida - A team poised for a big drop considering how they finished last season, but I think they use the disappointment of last season as a spring board. This is a team on the rise. The defense is FAST and will be very good when facing teams like WVU even though they need to replace some great players in the secondary. Matt Groethe should bounce back from a season in which he didn't live up to expectations. Will challenge for the Big East but I see West Virginia beating them this year.
  17. Texas Tech - This was my hardest team to rank. I had them as high as 11 and as low as 25. The offense is a given and Michael Crabtree and Harrell should light up the scoreboard but as always, the defense is in question and they play in a tough division. Will they finally get over the hump and beat Texas and/or Oklahoma? I don't think they do, and with questions for a defense that wasn't great to being with, I don't see them living up to the big predictions I've seen from a lot of voters.
  18. Tennessee - Tennessee is almost the forgotten team in the SEC. Neither Florida or Georgia won the East last year. UT did and they almost won the SEC. This team should be even better than last years team. However breaking in a new QB will be rough in the early going and I think the East is too tough for UT to do much better than a top 20 season a lower tier New Years day bowl.
  19. Brigham Young - The offense is fun to watch. This could be a BCS buster. I don't think a one loss season will do it. This team needs to go undefeated to break into the BCS and although I think they're good enough to do it, I don't think they will. 
  20. Arizona State - This might seem like a disappointing year compared to last season, but that's not fair to the great job Dennis Erickson is doing. I think he is ahead of schedule and that ASU was overrated somewhat last year, so them being a top 20 team again is a testament to how good a coach Dennis Erickson is despite being the Larry Brown of college football. ASU's defense should keep them from winning the Pac10 though.
  21. Fresno State - I like this team. I think they unseat Boise State as WAC champs. A ridiculous opening 4 games (3 BCS teams and 3 road games) should prevent them from being major BCS players, but they will stay in my rankings all season if they split those games and win out. Tom Brandstater is the real deal at QB and this team will be New Years Day Bowl worthy although I don't think they will get one.
  22. Cincinnati - I thought this was a one year wonder team, but this was an explosive offense and should stay that way with a new QB who is pretty experienced. The defense caused a lot of turnovers and with their style I see it happening again. This is another team I think is on the rise.
  23. Florida State - Too much skill on offense along with a stubborn defense to keep this team out of the top 25. They need above average QB play to challenge for the ACC. I think they will and they are my darkhorse pick for the ACC.
  24. Penn State - This team has too tough a schedule to seriously challenge for the Big10, but it has great depth on defense, o-line, WR, and TE. Questions at QB keeps this team from being any higher right now considering how good it looks at a lot of positions. Could go much higher if the QB situation gets solved.
  25. North Carolina - This will be a surprise team. Butch Davis has brought in some serious talent which isn't easy at Chapel Hill. They should be a year away from contending, but they lost so many close games last year and if they win half of those games this year they will be a top 25 team. I'm banking on that.
Just Missed:

  • Wake Forest - Lost too much from last season to earn a preseason ranking. Grobe won't let them fall to far though.
  • South Carolina - Spurrier needs a big season. It will be tough in the loaded East but with a great defense this team could surprise some people.
  • Rutgers - Greg Schiano has done a remarkable job at Rutgers. They could challenge for the Big East but losing Ray Rice hurts. Will hover around the top 25 all season.
  • Boston College - Didn't think BC would amount to anything this year at first but when I looked at their defense I was surprised. They are returning a ton of talent and might have the best defense in the ACC. Won't be near the top of the rankings like last year but should be ranked at some point in the year.
  • Oregon - Another team I disregarded at first. I think losing Dennis Dixon and Jonathan Stewart will be too much to overcome, but Justin Roper looked good in the Sun Bowl and the defense will be a little better. Won't repeat last year but should one of the better teams in the Pac10.

Conference Winners

  • Atlantic Coast Conference - Florida State
  • Big 12 Conference - Oklahoma
  • Big East Conference - West Virginia
  • Big Ten Conference - Wisconsin
  • Conference USA - East Carolina
  • Mid American Conference - Central Michigan
  • Mountain West Conference - Brigham Young
  • Pacific 10 Conference - Southern California
  • Southeastern Conference - Florida
  • Sun Belt Conference - Florida Atlantic
  • Western Athletic Conference - Fresno State
BCS Participants:
  • Florida State
  • Oklahoma
  • West Virgina
  • Wisconsin
  • Southern California
  • Florida
  • Ohio State (at large)
  • Georgia (at large)
  • Texas (at large)
  • Clemson (at large)
Title Game:
  • Southern California vs. Florida
Category: NCAAF
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or