Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Blog Pollin' The Top 10

The coaches released their top 25 yesterday last Thursday with Michigan being ranked 15th. EDSBS, DawgSports, and Bruins Nation have all submitted their own Top 10-25 in accordance with the upcoming Blog Poll. With the first week of voting approaching, I took a stab at my own top ten (soon to be top 25). Take a look and give me your thoughts. Please keep in mind in accordance with Blog Poll rules I didn't take scehdules into consideration (at least I tried not to). The key here is head to head, neutral site.

Maize n Brew's Arbitrary Blog Poll Top 10

1. Texas - You win it all, you get to keep the top ranking 'till someone knocks you off.* To win you need strong lines on both sides of the ball. When you win the national championship and return 4 of 5 starting offensive linemen and 3 of 4 starting defensive line men, well, lets just say you're in good shape. 7 Defensive starters from one of the nations best D's return. Texas' skill positions are still loaded with two returning wideouts and a stable of mouth watering running backs. The only notable exception in experience is at QB. Even so Texas' only early challenge is an Ohio State team traveling to Austin. If anyone thinks Troy Smith & Co. will scare the Longhorns they're missing a vital, vital point. These guys practiced against Vince Young everyday for the last three years.

2. Auburn - Senior, experience, and talent heavy. Unless the wheels come off the bus (*cough* grade scandal *cough*), Auburn can run the table. Tubs went undefeated once, I think they can do it again this year.

3. USC - Just too much talent on both sides of the ball. The starting O and D lines have more total stars than most D1 teams have on their rosters. The notable questions are at RB and QB. Whether Booty or Sanchez will step up and get the ball to their obscenely talented receivers will make or break the season. If not, this ranking is a year early.

4. Ohio State - The offense will come up just a hair shy of Texas' performance last year. Their Defense is full of holes, and I'm on record as saying their juggernaut to be on offense might not be as strong as first thought. Still, skill wise few teams can match up with them and Cheatypants can flat out coach. He's proven the ability to craft a Defense out of silly putty and icyhot, so OSU will at a minimum be "good" on D. I think their offense will score enough points to make up the lapses their defense will have, for the most part. If they beat Texas, they're No. 1.

5. LSU - Only team in the SEC with the flat out talent to match up with Auburn. Always scary. Any team that keeps a live Bengal tiger on the sidelines gets a top 5 head nod.

6. Miami - Love this team. The offense is loaded and the defense is stacked. No one will be able to throw on them and the D-Line is guaranteed to break someone in half by mid-season. Only weakness appears to be O-Line and the coaching changes. But it's Miami. Fear them.

7. Louisville - Another stacked offensive team. Brohm. Bush. Sickness. They should've beaten West Virginia last year. They should've gone to a better bowl. This year they will. I can't see the mind bending collapses again this year. The Cards will win the Big East walking away and dance in a big time bowl. Just not the Biggest.

8. Oklahoma - Even with Bomar being a moron and getting thrown off the team this is still a vicious team to face. The defense is as good or better than Texas'. However, now, instead of a single question at offensive line they're faced with a more pressing matter of what to do with their QB. I think Stoops will handle it well. Regardless of who is under center Peterson will take the pressure off and allow him to throw the ball. Talent wise, OU is worse off without Bomar, but decision making wise it could end up being a wash.

9. Notre Dame - The top pick in the draft is under center. With Rhett Bomar getting booted, Quinn has officially taken over my top spot for the Heisman (Peterson will see a lot of 8 and 9 man fronts). While I believe there is far less skill at the other skill positions than others do, this is still at minimum a 9 win team. The limiting factor will be their defense, which unlike OSU, does not have the coaching, talent or speed to compete with the big time. In a year or two, watch out. But for now, I see them at 9.

10. Michigan - That's right. I said it. 10th. None of this 15th BS. Everyone there knows there's something to prove. Especially the Defense. The DL is minus planet-sized but useless Gabe Watson, and has plenty of help returning. The defensive backfield is stizzacked and the LB are the conference's best after Penn State. Only one spot on the OL is a question mark. The Hart/Grady/Brown running back troika is one of the best backfields in the Big Ten. Henne is a seasoned pro. Speed and skill on the wings. Can they win it all? Sure. Will they? Probably not. Execution and play calling are what stand in this team's way, not talent.

Tomorrow 11-25 ...

* Oh yeah, I wasn't supposed to take last year into account either. D'oh!


At 1:11 PM, Blogger Font O'Know said...

Your internets must be slow, the coaches poll came out last Thursday.

At 3:27 PM, Blogger Brian said...

Well, if you're going to adhere to the blogpoll rules, "last year's number one stays until they lose" is way, way against the rules. Cough cough: please take this year into account only.

At 6:17 PM, Anonymous Other Andrew said...

I may be getting crazy here, but I'm starting to think 10 is too low. I'm generally pessimistic heading into every season. But as long as Hart stays healthy, I really think Michigan's going to go off this season. Yes, the road schedule is pretty tough, but as long as Henne plays like he did the last couple games of the season and not the first eight, Michigan's a national title contender. I realize I put in two "as long as's" there, but it's not like I'm saying "as long as Markus Curry can be an All American DB" or anything...

I really can't wait for the season to start. Bring on the... er. Commodores? Can I get excited for this? It'll be Easy like a Sunday Morning. See, I must be giddy to be typing stupid crap like that!

At 6:25 PM, Blogger Maize n Brew Dave said...

Ahhhhh... Dammit!

Can't even make it through my first blog poll post without a rebutal!

Comment redacted. However, I still say they're No. 1 based on the reasons set forth therein.

At 6:28 PM, Anonymous Zippy said...

I'll help out because most people are too lazy to do anykind of research.

O-State D will be fine:

D-Line returns a ton of experience and it has a ton of talent sitting on the bench.
Jay Richardson, Patterson, Pitcock, Lawrence Wilson all started last year or saw starter minutes. Toss in Vernon Gholston, Barrow, Penton... The strength of the D..

Linebackers are actually shaping up to be a solid group. Yes most didn't see alot of time but if you did your research..cough cough. You would of discovered that OSU has a guy who the staff thinks is on Par with A.J. Hawk and pushed for starting in Bobby Carpenter but a knee infection cut the season short..Marcus Freeman will be a beast.. Mike D'Andrea is a 5th year senior and he started the last two but had major season ending inuries. John Kerr was POY for the big 10 at frickin Indiana before he got wise and decided to transfer to OSU.. He sat not due to talent but numbers. He is a tackling beast...Larry Grant/Curtis Terry/Chad Hoobler are all capable starters who have also waited there turn..

Secondary- Malcolm Jenkins started last season and was probably the top cornerback last year as a true freshman. Brandon Mitchell played starter minutes at free safety and Jamario O'neal was a H.S. all american... The other corner..I have no clue about but I think its safe to say that this D-fense doesn't have the wholes that you WANT to see.....

At 6:51 PM, Blogger Maize n Brew Dave said...

Other Andrew-

Amen. I thought about putting them 7th, but my better judgement said otherwise. Breaston is not a good receiver (yet) and there are (some) depth questions after he Manningham and Arrington. I also need to see something more out of the linebacking corps. Personally, I think they're pretty damn good.

Coaching, at this point, is the unknown. The teams in front look to have better coaching. And when the talent is relatively evenly distributed, that's the intangible.


Dude, I ranked OSU 4th with the caveat of beat Texas you're No.1. What more do you want?

OSU lost its entire starting linebacking corp and 8 of its top 10 tacklers. The defense has the holes I see. The OSU defense will not be NEARLY as good as you think. But it will still be good enough.

Oh, and Kerr was All-Freshman Big Ten, not DPOY. That was Michael Haynes of PSU in 2002. In case you wanted to do your *cough* *cough* research.

At 7:29 AM, Anonymous Walrus said...

I think OU is due for a good start and trainwreck finale.

First three of four games, no sweat, someone will get hurt though, I'm guessing someone from the O line, leaving Stoops to be introduced to a few new stadium groundkeeping techniques. Texas, they'll lose. Then an upset loss to Iowa. Colorado will be a close game, but they'll fall just short, probbably by a field goal, and Texas Tech will also tear these kids apart.

I don't think Stoops can step up to the plate this season and lead a successful offensive assault.

I'm seeing a 7-5 season for OU.


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