College footbll summer camps have opened up and we are less than 4 weeks to the start of the season, so I thought it was high time to get some saturday pigskin discussion underway.
To start things off, I present my guarnteed to make you broke in Vegas top 10.
Number 1: USC. Can they win 3 in a row, playing in the Pac-10 certanily helps their chances.
Number 2: Michigan. Same formula, dominant team in a weaker conference.
Number 3: SEC team number 1, more on the SEC at the bottom.
Number 4: Texas, until they beat OU, then having all the talent in world is moot, if they dont do it this year...
Number 5: VA Tech, if lil Vick is the real deal, they could be your national champs.
Number 6: Louiville, they will eat the Big East alive and gladly take the automatic BCS bid.
Number 7: SEC team number 2.
Number 8: Iowa, If they can run the ball they might well flip places with Michigan. They get big blue at home.
Number 9: SEC team number 3.
Number 10: No Jason White, Yes Adrian Peterson = still very dangerous team.
Now onto the SEC. Tons of talent with 5 of the teams capable of being top 10 teams or even making a run at Pasadena if they dont all beat each other up.
In my opinion there is basically no quantifiable pre-season difference between LSU, TENN, UF, UGA and AU. All have major question marks somewhere, and pretty much all of them have had off-season woes.
The Vols seem to be the higest regarderd in the national press, but I am not convinced. The Vols over the last 3 or 4 years have lacked mental toughnss, and Im not sure they have really changed that. Gerald Riggs Jr., had a big statistical year, but he is still questionable on picking up blitzes and then we have this quote for Coach Fulmer on Riggs "It will be interesting to see if Gerald can carry that load and manage it from a maturity standpoint that he prepares himself well every week.", not exactly complete confidence in your main offensive threat.
LSU and UF have alot of returning talent, but new coaches, the SEC has historically not been kind to rookie coaches, even ones as talented as Meyer. Plus, while Chris Leak has seemed poised to be one of the best QBs in the country since his freshmen campaign, he just hasnt quite reached those loftly levels for a whole season yet. I find it very telling that the SEC coahces named Jay Cutler from Vanderbilt the first team all-sec QB ahead of Leak. If Jamarcuss Russell is more mature and consistent, then the Tigers should be right in the hunt.
Auburn is probably the weakest of the big 5 this year, they have to replace more than anyone else, but they have the easiest schedule of the bunch, not playing UF and UT, though they do have to go to LSU and UGA.
My darkhorse for the nationl title is Georgia. OK, you can all stop laughing now and here me out. The O line is a monster and deep, the RBs are a younger version of Cadillac and Ronnie Brown, and Shockley might be capable of a special year. The Defense will still be one of the nation's best, if they can avoid injuries to the LBs. The schedule while not as easy as Auburns is manageable. Get by a very tricky opening game against Boise State, and they are left with one tough road game, in Knoxville. Of course they would have to win the worlds largerst outdoor cocktail party, and beat Auburn at home, but If they get by the Vols undefeated I think they can start dreaming of roses.
As a point of comparison, the last SEC east team to win the National title also had a athletic senior QB who got one year to shine after being the back up to the winningest QB in college history, No one predicted Tee Martin would lead the Vols to the promised land in 97 either.
Again, if you take any of this and use it to make bets, I won't be held responbile when they forclose on your house, your wife leaves you or your dog runs away.