Bruce over at the Ciskie Blog has put out some general questions for college football blogers to mull over this weekend. As it is June, and were still some 80 days or so away, I thought this would be a good way to kick around some opinions of mine on the rest of the NCAA.
Which preseason college football magazine is your favorite?
Obviously, it's Phil Steele's. The 328 pages of nonstop college football action tops anything out there, including Athlon's, Lindy's, and The Sporting News. This isn't to say the other magazines are useless, or that they "suck." Yet anyone who has read Phil Steele's preview knows that the sheer amount of information contained in it, including 2 full pages on every team from the Ohio State University to Florida International University beats everyone else. Athlon comes in second for me, mostly because I like the way they set up the magazine, and the cheerleader section does alright by me too.
What team is being supremely overrated in the preseason rankings?
I'm not going to say Notre Dame because 1) I think Coach Weis is going to have that defense ready 2) I like Notre Dame, and 3) frankly I don't want Tommy Z to knock me out. If you read Steele, you know he has Oklahoma as his number 1 team. Like many, I think that call is just a bit too high. While I see Oklahoma as a Top 15 caliber team, I'm not sure if QB Rhett Bomar can lead the Sooners to a National Title as a Sophomore (and I'm not sure after 3 offseason misdemeanors’ if he's as mature as he needs to be). It's really hard to say who exactly is "overated" considering the disparity between different preseason polls thus fall, but I'm not sold on Florida St. making it back to the BCS. Certainly the talent is there, but the defense loses a number of starters and the offense has somehow become completely one-dimensional. My overrated teams by conferences are LSU (SEC), Michigan (Big 10), Colorado (Big 12), Georgia Tech AND FSU (ACC), West Virginia (Big East), nobody in the MWC, Boise St. (WAC), East Carolina (Con-USA), Bowling Green (MAC), and the whole Sun Belt just sucks.
Turn the tables. Who is underrated?
The short answer? A whole lot of teams. It used to be chic to say Texas Tech was underrated, but I don't think anyone overlooks Coach Leach (arggghh) and the boys in Lubbock anymore. I do however like Utah with it's two superb QBs in Brian Johnson and Brett Ratliff, and I think it's schedule tailors to 10 or even 11 wins, including a win over TCU (who they lost to in overtime last year) and the MWC. I may be one of the only people in America (along with Phil Steele mind you) who thinks Purdue is going to bounce back and finish within the Top 3 of the Big 10. Anyone who saw Curtis Painter finish out the season can attest to his athletic ability, and with All-American candidate Dorian Bryant at WR and big target Kyle Ingram (6'9) finally squared away in his personal affairs, Painter will get a chance to improve upon his biggest crutch last year, his accuracy. I also like Iowa State in the Big 12 North. Jr. QB Bret Meyer leads what is perhaps the most underrated passing offenses' in the country, and Todd Blythe is the best player in college football nobody has ever heard of. The defense will be weak, but the offense alone can easily get this team to another Bowl. By conference by underrated teams are Arkansas (SEC), Purdue (Big 10), Iowa State OR Nebraska (Big 12), Boston College (ACC), Arizona St. (Pac-10), Rutgers (Big East), Utah (MWC), Houston (Con-USA), Nevada (WAC), Ohio (MAC), Louisiana Lafayette (Sun Belt).
Which conference will be the best in 2006?
States go to war over questions like this, so I’m going to choose not to answer this. I do however reject the notion of Pac-10 dominance.
Which "non-BCS" conference will be the best in 2006?
Is there really any question? Alright, so after Orson said it was the WAC, i guess there is, but the MWC still looks the best to me. Utah and Texas Christian both have the ability to win 9 games (at least) this year, and BYU is making a quiet comeback with Bronco Mendenhall at the controls. San Diego State, Colorado State, New Mexico, and even Air Force all should hover around .500, and I'd be surprised if UNLV or Wyoming won less then 4 games. Overall, this is a Conference that really doesn't have any teams that "suck", which can't exactly be said for any of the other Non-BCS conferences.
Which non-BCS conference team will have the best season?
I'm bias, but I think Navy wins 10 games, which is pretty good. I think Utah has the best chance at getting to a BCS bowl, and for the record I think Boise State is overated when were talking about them on a national scale. For God sakes, look at their schedule man!
Let's get your first read on this one...who will win the H*i*m*n? Oh, by the way, players whose last names begin with the letter "Q" are ineligible.
Brady...oh wait, he doesn't count. Adrian Peterson is of course the other favorite, but I'd keep an eye out for Drew Stanton. Had Michigan St. pulled off a few of their close loses last year, the QB may have found himself in the Finalist pool. He was the best QB on a non-winning team last season.
Little or no posting this weekend. As the Enlgish say, "I will be on Holiday"