Wednesday, September 1, 2010

September 1, 2010: College Football kicks off on Thursday, September 2Nd and plenty of questions heading into the 2010 season throughout the Top 25

So, can we officially say Autumn has arrived with the calender changing to September today? Yes, we know that it is not officially the 23rd yet, but weatherman often consider Fall, the months of September, October and November, like Spring being the months of March, April and May! Autumn is here with the coming of the 2010 College Football season.

There may be more questions heading into the opening of the season in the Top 25 than answers. Let's take a final look at our Preseason Top 25, starting with defending BCS Champion Alabama to some of the near misses in our preseason poll ...

  1. Alabama - The defending national champs will open 2010 without junior RB Mark Ingram, since the returning Heisman Trophy winner has an injured his knee this week. The road to win back to back Grantland Rice Trophies again may have got a little more rocky. The Crimson Tide last accomplished that in 1978 and 1979. Opener: vs. San Jose State Spartans, Sep 4 at 6 pm CT.

  2. Ohio State - The Buckeyes have won five straight Big Ten titles outright or shared ('05 and '08). The Buckeyes have reached five straight BCS bowls. They are the team to beat again in the Big Ten. Junior QB Terrelle Pryor returns after solid performances defeating Iowa to win the Big Ten title in '09 and over Oregon to win the Rose Bowl. But, can the Buckeyes meet the expectations of the 2010 season and reach their fourth BCS Title game, since 2002? Opener: vs. Marshall Thundering Herd, Sep 2 at 6:30pm CT.

  3. Boise State - The Broncos enter 2010 as the top non-BCS school and 20 starters back, with only replacements at LT on offense and CB on defense. They will compete for their eighth and final WAC title in nine years, since the Broncos are moving to the MWC after this season. New DC Pete Kwiatokowski moves from DL coach, since former DC Justin Wilcox moves to Tennessee. Back in the 1984 season the WAC witnessed a team from their conference rise to the top, when BYU won the Grantland Rice Trophy. Could we witness history with another non-BCS program rising to the top of college football in 2010? Opener: @ Landover, MD vs. #6 Virginia Tech Hokies, Sep 6 at 7 pm CT.

  4. Iowa - The Hawkeyes are in the Top 10 preseason in both major polls for the first time in the 12 year Kirk Ferentz era. The Hawkeyes have played in six New Year's Bowl games in the past eight years. It's been 20 years, since Iowa's last Rose Bowl trip, then under coach J. Hayden Fry. It's been twenty-five years, since QB Chuck Long lead the Hawkeyes to an outright Big Ten title in 1985. It has been fifty years, since the 1960 championship Big Ten title team at Iowa was on the field under coach Forest "Evy" Evashevski. Phil Steele has compared Iowa to Alabama the past couple of seasons. Will the stars align for the Iowa Hawkeyes in 2010 with Iowa's offense, defense and special teams? Opener: vs. Eastern Illinois Panthers, Sep 4 at 11:05 am CT.

  5. Florida - Urban Meyer is back for his sixth season in Gainsville and the Gators are always worthy of consideration, after winning it all in 2006 and 2008, so will it happen again in 2010? All eyes will be on junior QB John Brantley in 2010. In addition of replacing personnel on offense and defense, the Gators will have a new DC for 2010. Opener: vs. Miami (OH) RedHawks, Sep 4 at 11 am CT.

  6. Virginia Tech - The Hokies may be America's team for those BCS traditionalists this Labor Day weekend. Coach Frank Beamer is beginning his 24Th season at the helm in Blacksburg. The ACC has not made much noise lately among college football's best conferences. Can the Hokies lead the charge in 2010 for the ACC? Opener: @ Landover, MD vs. #3 Boise State Broncos, Sep 6 at 7 pm CT.

  7. Texas - The Longhorns won it all in 2005 under coach Mack Brown, when QB Vince Young was running wild in Texas. In 2009, the Longhorns came up short, losing 21-37 to Alabama in the BCS championship game. Sophomore QB Garrett Gilbert got a taste of it last year, when departed QB Colt McCoy went down in the final game. The Big 12 will lose its championship game, after this season, when Nebraska moves onto the Big Ten. Who will finish first in 2010? Defense wins championships it is said and the Big 12 has been knocked lately due to defense. DC Wil Muschamp will play a huge role this season, if the Longhorns are going to rise to the top in 2010, in both the Big 12 and nationally. Opener: @ Rice Owls, Sep 4 at 2:30pm CT.

  8. TCU - The Horned Frogs finished second to Boise State among the top non-BCS teams in 2009, after edging Boise State in a bowl game in '08. It was Utah in '08 that edged TCU for the top spot, so will 2010 be the year that the Horned Frogs get it done carrying the non-BCS flag nationally? Coach Gary Patterson enters his tenth season and is 23-3 the past two seasons. Will the Horned Frogs make it three strong seasons in a row, something that fell short after the 2002-03 and 2005-06 seasons witnessed a drop off in the third year? Opener: @ Arlington, TX vs. Oregon State Beavers, Sep 4 at 6:45 pm CT.

  9. Oregon - Coach Chip Kelly enters season two at the helm, after leading the Ducks to the Rose Bowl and a Pac Ten title in his first season. Redshirt sophomore QB Derron Thomas will open as the #1 signal caller, after earning the job with a solid performance in fall practices vs. senior Nate Costa. The Ducks return 17 starters from last year's 10-3 club. Opener: vs. New Mexico Lobos, Sep 4 at 2:30 pm CT.

  10. Wisconsin - The Badgers enter Bret Bielema's fifth season as head coach seeking its first Big Ten title, since 1999. The Badgers return ten starters from a successful offense in '09, but must replace three starters on the defensive line, their top tacker at LB and their starting free safety entering 2010. Will the Badgers step up in 2010 in the Big Ten and nationally? Opener: @ UNLV Rebels, Sep 4 at 10:00 pm CT.

  11. Miami-FL -This will be coach Randy Shannon's fourth season at the helm in Coral Gables. Shannon will have junior QB Jacoby Harris for his second full season as the top signal caller for the Hurricane for a team ready for a breakout season? As an AP story pointed out: "Miami was 5-7 his first season, then 7-6, then 9-4 a year ago. The Hurricanes haven't won an Atlantic Coast Conference title yet, and haven't won a bowl game since squeaking past Nevada in 2006 — the final game before Shannon took over the program." Opener: vs. Florida A&M Rattlers, Sep 2 at 6:30 pm CT

  12. LSU - Like Miami-FL, LSU has been a young team of late, as the Tigers enter their 6Th season under coach Les Miles, who won a BCS title in 2007. Junior QB Jordan Jefferson enters his second full season as the top signal caller. The first three seasons for Miles finished with 11, 11 and 12 wins. The past two seasons have been only 8 and 9 win seasons. Opener: @ Atlanta, GA vs. @ North Carolina Tar Heels, Sep 4, at 7 pm CT.

  13. Utah - Coach Kyle Whittingham enters his sixth season at the helm in Salt Lake City. The Utes will soon leave the MWC for the Pac Ten to become a member of a BCS conference, after developing a reputation as one of the best non-BCS programs. The Utes have won two BCS bowls, since 2004. Opportunity knocks in Opener: vs. #22 Pittsburgh Panthers, Sep 2 at 7:30 pm CT.

  14. Georgia - Coach Mark Richt enters his 10Th season at the helm in Athens. The Bulldogs last won the SEC title in 2005 and haven't beat Florida, since 2007. The Bulldogs will go with redshirt freshman Aaron Murray at quarterback in 2010. Opener: vs. Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns, Sep 4 at 11:20 am CT.

  15. Nebraska - Many believe this will be a breakout season for the Cornhuskers, as they play in their final Big 12 season, before joining the Big Ten in '11. Bo Pelini enters his third season in Lincoln as head coach, with a favorable schedule. Who will lead the Huskers at QB in 2010? Opener: vs. Western Kentucky Hilltoppers, Sep 4 at 6 pm CT.

  16. Brigham Young - The Cougars will become an Independent in football officially in 2011, but the 2010 season comes first. Coach Bronco Mendenhall enters his 6Th season at the helm in Provo and will have to replace QB Max Hall in 2010, with junior Riley Nelson. Will the move to Independence become a distraction in 2010? Opener: vs. Washington Huskies, Sep 4 at 6 pm CT.

  17. Texas Tech - Coach Tommy Tuberville becomes the Red Raiders new coach, replacing Mike Leach, who was fired just prior to the Texas Tech bowl game in '09. The former Auburn coach was very successful for nine of his 10 years leading the Tigers, including an undefeated season in 2004. Opener: vs. Southern Methodist Mustangs, Sep 5 at 2:30 pm CT

  18. Oklahoma - Like Nebraska, the Oklahoma Sooners are getting a lot of love by some in the media heading into the 2010 season. Coach Bob Stoops enters his 12Th season in Norman. Freshmen are expected to play prominent roles in the two deep coming off an 8-5 season in '09. Opener: vs. Utah State Aggies, Sep 4 at 6 pm CT.

  19. Georgia Tech - The 2009 ACC Champs came up short again in a bowl game losing 14-24 to Iowa. Coach Pual Johnson enters his third season at the helm of the Yellow Jackets and Coastal Division is projected stronger than the Atlantic Division. Senior QB Joshua Nesbitt returns for his third season as the top signal caller. New DC Al Groh arrives to improve defense. Opener: vs. South Carolina State Bulldogs, Sep 4 at Noon CT.

  20. Penn State - Penn State shared Big Ten titles with Ohio State in 2005 and 2008. Coach Joe Paterno will have to be patient with a newcomer at QB as he enters his 45Th year as head coach in Happy Valley. Opener: vs. Youngstown State Penguins, Sep 4 at 11 am CT.

  21. Florida State - Where's Bobby Bowden in Tallahassee? That's right, a new coach is on the sidelines as OC Jimbo Fisher moves from coach in waiting into the head coaching position for 2010. Fisher will have senior QB Christian Ponder for his third season. The Seminoles haven't played and won an ACC title game, since 2005, despite playing in the weaker Atlantic Division compared to the loaded Coastal Division. Opener: vs. Samford Bulldogs, Sep 4 at 11 am CT.

  22. Pittsburgh - Coach Dave Wannstedt enters his sixth season as head coach at Pitt. The Panthers have now played in back to back bowl games for the first time, since 2004. Now, can they pull off a Big East Conference title as they enter the 2010 season? The Panthers were within one point in the finale with Cincinnati in '09. Opener: @ #13 Utah Utes, Sep 2 at 7:30 pm CT.

  23. Cincinnati - The past two coaches have remained at Cincinnati for three seasons. Now, the Butch Jones era begins as coach Brian Kelly departs for Notre Dame, after leading the Bearcats to back to back BCS bowls and Big East titles. Coach Jones is replacing Kelly for the second time, after replacing Kelly, when Kelly left Central Michigan for Cincinnati three years ago. Opener:@ Fresno State Bulldogs, Sep 4 at 9 pm CT.

  24. Navy - The Naval Academy is the top Independent in College Football right now. The Midshipmen have a good football program, as they enter Ken Niumatalolo's third season. The Midshipmen haven't been ranked, since the 2004 season, but they have been a bowl bound program, since 2003. Opener: @ Maryland Terrapins, Sep 6 at 3 pm CT.

  25. Houston - The Cougars should be the top C-USA program in 2010. Coach Kevin Sumlin enters his third season and is one of the top up and coming coaches in college football. But, after beating BCS opponents: @ Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and @ Mississippi State last year, the Cougars came up short in the C-USA, losing to East Carolina in the title game. Opener: vs. Texas State Bobcats, Sep 4 at 7 pm CT.

The 2010 College Football season should be an outstanding season, but it does appear most programs from top to bottom have questions heading into the season. Let's look at the conferences for a moment.

  • The SEC is the top conference heading into 2010. The SEC West has Alabama, LSU, Arkansas and Auburn all in the preseason AP and Coaches Top 25 Polls. Mississippi and Mississippi State received votes. In the SEC East, Florida and Georgia are both ranked. South Carolina received votes, from the SEC East.

  • The Big Ten has four solid Top 25 teams with Ohio State, Iowa, Wisconsin and Penn State. Michigan State and Northwestern received votes.

  • The Big 12 has one final year as a two division league. In the Big 12 South, Texas and Oklahoma are ranked, as is Nebraska in the Big 12 North. Receiving votes are Missouri in the North and Texas Tech, Oklahoma State and Texas A&M in the South.

  • The Coastal Division of the ACC is lead in the Top 25 by Virginia Tech, Miami-FL, Georgia Tech and North Carolina in the Top 25. Florida State is the only Atlantic Division ranked in the Top 25. Boston College and Clemson in the Atlantic Division received votes in both polls.

  • The Pac Ten has one program on probation heading into 2010, with USC. USC is ranked #14 in the preseason AP Poll. Oregon and Oregon State are ranked in each poll to open 2010. Arizona, Washington, Arizona State and California received votes.

  • The Big East has Pittsburgh and West Virginia in both polls. Receiving votes were Cinncinnati, Connecticut and South Florida.

  • The MWC is by far the strongest non-BCS conference. TCU is ranked in both preseason polls Top 10, with Utah in the Coaches Poll. BYU received votes in both polls.

  • The C-USA doesn't have anyone in the Top 25 in either poll, but Houston, SMU and UCF did receive votes.

  • In the WAC, Boise State is rated in the Top 10 in both polls. Nevada received a vote in the Coaches Poll.

  • Notre Dame and Navy were two Independents that received votes in each poll.

  • From the MAC, Central Michigan and Temple received votes in each poll. Northern Illinois received a vote in the Coaches Poll.

  • Middle Tennessee State was the lone receipent of votes in the AP Poll from the Sun Belt Conference.



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Useful information and the list about the near misses in the preseason poll , and also the top 25 is excellent.


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