Wednesday, May 14, 2008

ESPN is Feeling Spunky Early This Year

ESPN's early rankings by Mark Schlabach

For what it's worth... having a predatory feline as mascot seems to be profitable this year.

4 tigers
1 panther
1 cougar
1 lion

1. OSU Buckeyes
Can't truly fault people here. Tressel's too good to not be ranked as a top 10 team. ESPN is just embracing the inevitable here. See USC below.

2. Georgia Bulldogs
Most are picking them as the sexy number one to start the year. FWIW they're going to be good. And they ain't going to be undefeated.

3. Oklahoma Sooners
It's early. The Sooners have to be ranked high. Late October - Mid November is when Stoops Swan Song dips the Sooners into bolivian

4. USC Trojans
Pete Carroll is stoked folks. Stoked I say. Whoever wins between OSU and USC will either take the #1 spot or #2 behind Georgia.

5. Florida Gators
Florida is an early sexy pick for the MNC. Unless that secondary and running games are nights and day different... I don't see it. Tebow is still Jeebus in cleats for the mean while

6. Mizzou Tigers
What a tough break last year. Beat two BCS teams lose to one (albeit twice) and you get gyped. Still one of the best seasons in school history. Moneymakers Macklin and Daniel are back with a what should still be a solid defense.

7. Clemson Tigers
This is supposed to be Clemson's year to go big.... you know... again. Cullen Harper is a good QB and has come a long way since Charlie left. He's honestly one of the better QB's you probably haven't heard much about

8. Texas Longhorns
The Horns manage to be a perenial top 10 team but have only gotten over the hump of being second in the Big XII once in Mac's tenure. And that was solely based on the freak of nature cheetah/gazelle/emu freak codenamed Vince Young.

9. West Virginia Mountaineers
Slaton and RichRod are gone. But White's still here and some midget named devine who will run circles around you like the pygmies did the Rock in the Rundown. Should still be the class of the East.

10. Auburn Tigers
TT lost a DC and a lot of fire in the offseason but bring in a fancy spread thingy. I think this ranking is based more on reputation than the actual team. Sorry.

11. Texas Tech Red Raiders
18 returning starters and some kid name Crabtree is just sexy. No ifs ands or buts about it. If the defense improves as much as Raiders like to think OU and Texas need to look out.

12. LSU Tigers
Ranking last years winner below 10 is an injury. Ranking them below three teams they beat last year is insult to injury. These tigers are still a top 10 team.

13. ASU Sun Devils
Was the Sun Devils' success based on a down Pac-10 or an improved team. Cal and Oregon imploded late in the season and the Sun Devils were there to reap the benefits. There were no huge stars, but the offense and defense did just enough to merit a 10-3 season. This year will be a more telling year.

14. BYU Cougers
One of the funniest things is the outcry for a team like BYU at the end of the year who may or may not end up undefeated. "They started out ranked so low.... Personally don't do rankings if that's your cry.

wait.... what???

Seriously, the Mormons should be pretty good. They just need to get by the # 0 Huskies and UCLA in consecutive weeks and their golden, Jerry. Gold

15. Tennessee Volunteers
The Vols turned in a better year than anticipated. The loss to Cali and Florida at the first of the season looked ugly but, they rapidly put those behind and won the SEC East and their bowl game. A lot of talent is back and except for that pesky 2005 season, the Vols usually ain't bad.

16. Illinois Fighting Redactors
With Juice Williams still at QB this is a question mark. He can play like an absolute woman one game and then rip off first down after first down straight down the middle the next(OSU. Hint. Hint.)

17. Kansas City Jayhawks
The fighting Manginos did it. They proved they deserved to be in the BCS. However, gone is the stars of the show from last season. The Jayhawks should still be ranked in my book, but we'll see very quickly if they deserve it.

18. Wisconsin Badgers
Everidge and Hill in the backfield = sexy. If Michigan isn't back on top, look for the Badgers to challenge for the Midwest.

19. Pittsburgh Panthers
Again.... I'm calling it here. Pitt don't end the year ranked in the top 20. If I'm wrong you can expect something horribly embarrassing on my end. Like me singing some horrible song or painting

20. Virginia Tech Hokies
The Hokies won't ever be unranked. Just write it down for a while.

21. Fresno State Bulldogs
Probably my favorite mid-major. They're not always ranked, but they're not ever bad. They beat KState and GaTech to finish off a good year.

22. Wake Forest Demon Deacons
Grobe has these guys competitive. Clemson's supposed to be the class of the ACC, but a naked Riley Skinner says otherwise baby!

23. Oregon Ducks
Tough end losing Dixon last year, but the Ducks will rebound and J Johnson should continue racking up the yards

24. Michigan State Spartans
Starting them off ranked is just confusing. Even with Ringer. Top on my teams-not-to-rank- in the preseason poll: Texas A&M, Florida State, Miami, Iowa, and Michigan State. There you go.

25. Penn State Nittany Lions
JoePa. I don't need to add or subtract. Kinda like Revelation.

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