(No Fall Down Pass Out today. This took too much time) Looking back at my post-season poll, it seems I was a little emo about the whole thing. Like I said, it's all darts. You have no idea who is going to rise up and who's going to fall flat on their face. Too much respect for Georgia. Not that they are going to be awful all of a sudden. Having a stout defense is a bare minimum to win a conference title. The way their offense ran away and hid in the Outback Bowl against Michigan St. makes them an iffy pick.
As if betting on Lane Kiffin is a good one. At any rate, the NCAA really made USC suffer, huh? They have a proven quarterback in Matt Barkley and the departure of Darron Thomas from Oregon puts USC in the early drivers seat for the Pac-12 title.
Alabama and LSU will be their usual selves. LSU will almost certainly have better quarterbacking this year. Just because neither of their quarterbacks from last year return. Neither team has a favorable schedule like Georgia does, ie, not having to play LSU or Alabama. I give the slight edge to LSU because Les Miles was off his game a bit last year. That won't happen two years in a row. He's already removed the 50 yard line from the practice field.
Moving Oklahoma down a bit because of some holes on defense that need filled. Perhaps Mike Stoops will work some magic with the defense. I have to imagine the collapse and fall from the top of the polls last year will be motivation enough for the Sooners this year. They should be primed and ready by the time they play Kansas St. on the 22nd of September.
Florida State is always going to be an iffy pick until they prove otherwise. They showed signs of being an elite team last year. But the ACC frowns on such things. If they can break the mold, they too can get plastered in the Orange Bowl this year.
Most coaches would worry about losing their starting quarterback and top wide receivers. But like I said in the post-season poll, this plays right into Mark Dantonio's hands. If he could win every game 2-0 he might actually smile.
The first rule of the blogpoll is that you shouldn't rank a team by how their schedule looks. But in the SEC, not having to play the top two teams and one true road test @ South Carolina could mean big things for the Bulldogs. They've looked like this before, and didn't live up to expectations then. For now, I have a wait and see attitude.
Oregon and South Carolina are both sleepers. Both teams need their quarterbacks to step up. Otherwise, the pieces are there for both to win their conference. South Carolina is going to have to find a way to keep Connor Shaw on his feet. He was sacked 23 times in eight starts. A solid running game could help that if Marcus Lattimore returns to form.
I have my questions about West Virginia's defense. It's never an easy thing when you switch coaches like we did on defense this offseason. It's not as bad as a switch of offensive coaches. But with the move to the Big 12, a lot of things are going to be different. How West virginia adapts to those changes will be crucial.
I couldn't put Michigan in front of West Virginia and that's all I have to say about that.
Wisconsin has quarterback questions and since they didn't get it done last year, I find it hard to believe they will win the Big 10 this year. Arkansas should be much higher, but the Bobby Petrino scandal is going to have an affect on the team at some point. Slappy John L. Smith just can't help it. Louisville should run away with the Big East this year. But as we've seen, it's hard not to play down to your competition in the Big East. There's so much to play down to, after all.
Virginia Tech returns three starters on offense. If they can fill those holes, they can compete for an ACC title again. Clemson might be SOL depending on what happens with Sammy Watkins drug possession case. The might need some help getting over the PTSD from last year's Orange Bowl as well. Too many strikes against them before the season even starts. What's your thoughts on the poll? Besides being way to early to really know anything.