Sunday, August 24, 2008

2008 College Football: my revised preseason Top 25

Well, it is time to revise my final preseason Top 25, since the season opens on Thursday.

Back on May 31, 2008, I gave Georgia the #1 nod, but as we watch 2008 unfold, I don't see Georgia finishing #1. My preseason #1 for the 2008 college football season is The Ohio State Buckeyes.

You can call it: three's a charm or one hell of a way for the Buckeyes to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Woody Hayes last mythical football title back in 1968. The Buckeyes won in 2002 and six years later appear poised for another BCS title carrying the banner for the Big Ten Conference.

If Ohio State played Georgia today, I would pick the Buckeyes. One reason I am revising my preseason Top 25. Georgia is one SEC team in football that I believe the Buckeyes can beat. Though, the Ohio State history vs. the SEC in bowl games is plain awful. I am projecting the Buckeyes to get it done in 2008.

Here's my revised preseason Top 25 for the upcoming 2008 college football season:

  1. Ohio State Buckeyes (11-2, 5th in final AP Poll for '07) - Coach Jim Tressel's Buckeyes have finished runner-up for two straight BCS title games... with two QBs like Florida in 2006, if the Buckeyes reach South Florida for this year's BCS National Championship Game, pick the Buckeyes to win it all.

  2. Georgia Bulldogs (11-2, 2nd AP ‘07) - Coach Mark Richt may have his most talented team, but they will face a very difficult schedule and the Bulldogs are one candidate that has never played for the BCS title and I think they will come up short in '08.

  3. USC Trojans (11-2, 3rd AP '07) - Coach Pete Carroll has built the most consistent program in nation since ’02... they play in a great conference, since the Pac Ten has a true round robin outcome with nine conference. They are the consensus front runner for the Pac Ten, again.

  4. Oklahoma Sooners (11-3, 8th AP '07) - Coach Bob Stoops was magic year two (2000) as a head coach, leading the Sooner Nation to the top. After back to back runner-up seasons in '03 and '04, the BCS title game has been a difficult quest for the Big 12's top program.

  5. Florida Gators (9-4, 13th AP '07) - Coach Urban Meyer seeks to keep the SEC banner high in the BCS and will seek to win his second BCS title in three seasons, behind Heisman trophy winning QB Tim Tebow.

  6. Auburn Tigers (9-4, 15th AP '07) - Coach Tommy Tuberville will have his team in hunt for the SEC title and a chance to make it three straight for the SEC in the BCS... make up for what the Tigers missed opportunity in 2004 going undefeated!

  7. Texas Longhorns (10-3, 10th AP '07) - Coach Mack Brown needs his team to build early momentum has they enter the 2008 Big Twelve race for ’08…

  8. LSU Tigers (12-2, 1st AP '07) - Coach Les Miles will likely turn the defending champs into the role of spoiler for ‘08 in the SEC race. Like Florida in '07, it will be a tall order to come close to a repeat in the BCS title hunt.

  9. West Virginia Mountaineers (11-2, 6th AP '07) - Coach Bill Stewart takes over the helm left by vacating Rich Rodriguez... will work to stay in Top 10.

  10. Missouri Tigers (12-2, 4th AP '07) - Coach Gary Pinkel looks to repeat, after winning first Big 12 North title LY!
  11. Clemson Tigers (9-4 21st AP '07) - Coach Tommy Bowden and his Tigers should be the team to watch in the ACC & one of the up and coming teams in the Top 25 this season!
  12. Virginia Tech Hokies (11-3, 9th AP in '07) - Coach Frank Beamer hopes his young Hokies can carry banner again as ACC’s top rated team as they finished last year.
  13. Brigham Young Cougars (11-2, 14th AP '07) - Coach Bronco Mendenhall and his Cougars plan to carry torch as nation’s top in non-BCS in '08.
  14. Oregon Ducks (9-4, 23rd AP '07) - Coach Mike Bellotti could be a QB away from competing with USC and the best?
  15. Tennessee Volunteers (10-4, 12th AP '07) - Coach Phil Fulmer and the Volunteers open with big games in top half of the schedule in '08…
  16. Arizona State Sun Devils (10-3, 16th AP '07) - Sun Devils in '08 look to build on Mo in coach Dennis Erickson’s 2nd year!
  17. Penn State Nittany Lions (9-4, NR) - Does Joe Paterno’s Nittany Lions make one more run in '08?
  18. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (9-4, NR) - Coach Jim Grobe and his Demon Deacons look to get into hunt for ACC title & Top 25 in '08!
  19. Texas Tech Red Raiders (9-4, 22nd AP '07) - Coach Mike Leach and his Red Raiders are often dangerous, especially on offense, when starting QB is back!
  20. Illinois Fighting Illini (9-4, 20th AP '07) - Coach Ron Zook has some key leaders to replace entering ’08…
  21. Kansas Jayhawks (12-1,7th AP '07) -Coach Mark Mangino and the Jayhawks are coming off best season, since #7 finish in ’68…
  22. Fresno State Bulldogs (9-4, NR) - Coach Pat Hill and the Bulldogs look to pass Hawaii and Boise State in WAC
  23. Utah Utes (9-4, NR) - Coach Kyle Whittingham and the Utes open season at Michigan and close at home w/ rival #13 BYU...
  24. Wisconsin Badgers (9-4, 24th AP '07) - Coach Bret Bielema and the Badgers will try to make it 5 straight Top 25 finishes in ’08!
  25. Tulsa Golden Hurricane (10-4, NR) - Coach Todd Graham and the Golden Hurricane look to carry CUSA torch & grab a Top 25 finish!

Other Teams that were considered for the Top 25:
Boston College (11-3, 11th), Cincinnati (10-3, 17th), Michigan (9-4, 18th), Hawaii (12-1, 19th), Oregon State (9-4, 25th), Virginia (9-4) , Kentucky (8-5), Boise State (10-3), Arkansas (8-5), Mississippi State (8-5), South Florida (9-4), Connecticut (9-4), Air Force (9-4), Rutgers (8-5), Florida Atlantic (8-5), New Mexico (9-4), East Carolina (8-5), Purdue (8-5), TCU (8-5), Alabama (7-6), California (7-6), Oklahoma State (7-6).

Other Teams to Watch that didn’t fare well LY that look to rebound (like Kansas and Illinois from '07) in ’08:
Miami-FL (5-7 in '07), North Carolina (4-8), Pittsburgh (5-7), Colorado (6-7), Iowa (6-6), Northwestern (6-6), Notre Dame (3-9) and Arizona (5-7).


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