A few months back Kyle, JazzyUte, and I all gave our picks for the best of the non-BCS conference teams of the 2006 season. Now it looks like the "big guys" are getting into the act. Tom Dienhart from SportingNews.com runs down his non-BCS Top 25 for the 2007 season, with TCU taking the top spot. The Midshipmen are ranked 8th on the list, a pick which I more or less have to agree with. This might be a little high considering the questions on defense, but I do believe Navy is a top-10 non-BCS conference team with all things considered (note, that means the best non-BCS conference coach.)
Dienhart however gets it wrong with several other teams. He overrates Houston and New Mexico to start out with. Houston will be a good team in 2007 but the loss of Kevin Kolb is going to test the identity of the team while New Mexico has more or less always faded in the stretch and underachieved under Rocky Long. Both are solid non-BCS programs, but probably fall just outside the Top 10. I think you move Utah up a few spots from #10, especially considering they get Brian Johnson back after a redshirt year. I also think he severely underrates Wyoming, which should have a more explosive offense in 2007 and remains solid on the defensive side of the football despite some key loses. At last but certainly not least, where the heck is Central Michigan? No Navy players were named to the All-Non BCS team, although I really think Antron Harper, Clint Sovie, and some other deserved consideration. All in all though it's great to see columns like this, so I'd like to thank Mr. Dienhart for taking the time to write this. Here is his Top 25 juxtaposed with mine:
Mr. Dienhart's Top 25
1. TCU 2. Boise State 3. Southern Miss 4. BYU 5. Hawaii 6. Houston 7. New Mexico 8. Navy 9. Miami (Ohio) 10. Utah 11. Tulsa 12. Troy 13. Western Michigan 14. Nevada 15. Ball State 16. Fresno State 17. Ohio 18. Bowling Green 19. Toledo 20. UCF 21. Wyoming 22. San Jose State 23. SMU 24. New Mexico State 25. Marshall
Adam's Top 25
1. TCU 2. Hawaii. 3. Boise St. 4. BYU 5. Utah 6. Southern Miss 7. Tulsa 8. Navy 9. Wyoming 10. Central Michigan 11. Houston 12. New Mexico 13. Troy 14. Ball St. 15. Western Michigan 16. San Jose St. 17. Nevada 18. Fresno St. 19. Toldedo 20. UCF 22. Ohio 23. Marshall 24. SMU 25. Middle Tennessee St.