Posted August 17th, 2006 by Brian
Filed under: Football

10. TCU. With two Big 12 teams on their schedule in the first three games we’ll find out very quickly if the Horned Frogs can hang with the big boys. By far the toughest games on their schedule, an improving Baylor will give them a fight and Texas Tech could be favored to win in Fort Worth. TCU the last several years keeps losing a game they shouldn’t and it’s cost them an opportunity to play in a BCS bowl. With the new BCS title game and two more spots available, a one-loss season (if the loss is to Baylor or Tech) might still be enough to get them to their goal.

9. Notre Dame. With their schedule, there’s no way in hell they go undefeated. There’s a very real chance they start the season by going 2 and 2. Charlie Weis and Brady Quinn give them a chance to have a huge year but do they a wide receiver that can step up to take Maurice Stovall’s spot? And can their secondary, which got killed by any team with a little speed last year, keep opposing offenses at the end zone? Everything hinges on their defense.

8. Iowa. I think this is pretty much Iowa’s permanent spot on my rankings, they seem to be right around here every year. In a down year for the Big 10 (other than Ohio State) I think Iowa should be the clear number two team in the conference. A down year last season, but I really like Drew Tate and Kirk Ferentz is one of the nation’s top coaches.

7. Florida. Is Chris Leak any good? Can Urban Meyer’s spread option offense fly in the SEC? Will Nike make them wear those awful uniforms again? Tons of potential but probably too many issues to go through their schedule without a loss or two.

6. Miami. The Hurricanes need to finish here or better this year or Larry Coker will be looking for a new job. They’ll be without two offensive starters for the opener with Florida State with Tyrone Moss and Ryan Moore suspended for violating team rules. Probably reason number 3,092 to schedule Directional State U. for that season opener and not your biggest rival. If Kyle Wright continues his improvement and their young offensive line is up to the task, they’ve got the defense to beat anybody on their schedule.

5. West Virginia. WVU is a team that can’t afford a misstep. No team from the Big East can lose a game and still hope to be in the title picture. They’re young at quarterback and running back, but lots of experience elsewhere. If QB Pat White progresses from his exciting freshman season and they get past their main test in Louisville (and maybe Maryland), there’s no reason they should lose another game.

4. Southern Cal. Texas is replacing Vince Young, the Trojans have to replace two Heisman winners in their offensive backfield and the school’s all-time leading scorer. The quarterback spot is in young but good hands with either John David Booty or Mark Sanchez. Running back is a bigger issue. Their top two tailbacks have a total on 19 career carries and fullback Brandon Hancock will miss the entire season. They’ve got blue chippers all over the place, if a few of them step up in key positions they’ll right back in the thick of things at the end of the season.

3. Ohio State. Probably the best overall offense in the nation, Troy Smith is like a much smaller version of Vince Young who doesn’t run nearly as effectively. The strength of their team last season was their elite linebackers and dominant defense, and they’ve lost nine starters from that side of the ball. That’s a lot of talent to replace and I’m not sure they do it quickly enough to be ready for their game in Austin on September 9th. As the defense gels this team will get much stronger and should be favored to win the rest of the games on their schedule.

2. Auburn Can an SEC team finally get through the tough conference schedule undefeated and earn a spot in the BCS title game? Auburn fans are still pissed about 2004, but with the parity this season an undefeated season with victories over teams such as LSU and Florida should be good enough to earn them a chance to play for the championship. If Florida’s Leak plays well, they and Auburn could very well swap places.

1. Texas. Last year when Texas was outplaying Southern Cal in the middle of the season the national media kept screaming that USC deserved to stay number one based on the fact they were the champs last year. “You have to keep them at number one until they lose.” Personally I think that’s a bunch of crap, but I’m going to use it just for fun. The Longhorns have as much returning talent as anyone in the country and have recruited among the best the last several years as well. There’s just that one question to answer…


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1 Comment

  1. reply to  #1


    TCU at #10 seems awfully high. I think I have them in the early 20s.

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