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: 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 CBSSports.com