"Spend a few minutes reading College Football Resource" - Whit Watson, Sun Sports

"Maybe you should start your own blog" - Bruce Feldman, ESPN

"[An] Excellent resource for all things college football. It’s blog index is the definitive listing of the CFB blogosphere ... [A] must-read for fans." - Sports Illustrated (On Campus)

"The big daddy of them all, the nerve center of this twisted college football blogsphere" - The House Rock Built

"Unsurprisingly, College Football Resource has generated some discussion" -Dawg Sports

Top Teams 2008

After Week Seven

  1. Alabama
  2. Penn State
  3. Texas
  4. Oklahoma
  5. Florida
  6. USC
  7. Georgia
  8. LSU
  9. BYU
  10. Missouri
  11. Ohio State
  12. Oklahoma State
  13. Texas Tech
  14. Utah
  15. Kansas
  16. USF
  17. North Carolina
  18. Miami
  19. Boise State
  20. Georgia Tech
Search CFR
Submission Corner
Saturday Night's Alright For A Fight

Whoaaaah Nellie!

The first Saturday of the college football year is upon us.  We're already three days in now, but obviously today is the headline maker.

Feel free to leave comments below, I'll be working mostly at College Football FanHouse, we'll have some "chat" software up to get all interactive on you as well as the usual flurry of entries as the day goes along.

And, yes, we miss Keith Jackson.

Early kudos to GameDay's Chris Fowler for challenging the NCAA's ridiculous decision to penalize minor on-field celebrations.  Everyone knows what's acceptable and what's over the top, let officials distinguish as much and leave the rest to the athletes who make the game exciting and personal in the first place.


Opening Day Thoughts?

Fire away in the comments below.

Things weren't the most exciting today aside from the Oregon State/Stanford matchup.  ESPN needs to stop scheduling teams with quarterback issues for its marquee Thursday game.  That's two years in a row that an SEC quarterback wet the bed on national television on opening Thursday's big game.

Last year Mississippi State's Michael Henig all but handed the ball six times to the LSU defense.  South Carolina's Tommy Beecher wasn't much better this year in tossing four picks into the belly of the North Carolina State defense.  His replacement rallied the team to a 34-0 shutout that looked nothing like it was scored.

Another quarterback from South Dakota State tossed at least five interceptions tonight.

Stanford's bear of a tailback Toby Gerhart was impressive.  For a big guy he's got some wheels and had a nice season with the Stanford baseball team this year which the broadcasters were quick to remind tonight.

Is Stanford rising?

Did Buffalo really destroy UTEP 42-17? Wow.

Thumbs up to Georgia Tech, thumbs down to Ryan Perilloux.

Thumbs down to the NCAA's prohibition against "Kickoff/Preseason Classic" type games.  College football does itself no favors with less than compelling matchups on the Thursday before the big Saturday.  The conferences and broadcasters should be getting together with the schools to patch together a fair process to pair two or four quality teams in interesting Thursday night games.


Finally, College Football

Join myself and most of the College Football FanHouse crew for a CoverItLive chat starting tonight at 7:45 p.m. Eastern.

Here's tonight's full schedule of games.

The headliners are Oregon State @ Stanford (9 Eastern, ESPN2) and North Carolina State @ South Carolina (ESPN).  Miami, Connecticut, Georgia Tech and Wake Forest will also play.


Zero Hour

Showtime, boys and girls.  Welcome to College Football 2008.

No sleep 'til January.



College Football Weather

Toby from Weather Underground (no, not the Weather Underground, I'm not friends with unrepentant terrorists) emailed this worthwhile link:

NCAA College Football Weather

That's definitely going up in the Links as well as the Portal.  Thanks Toby.


ESPN 25 Hours of College Football

Personally I think they should spend 24 hours a day on college football, but in its absence there's a special devotional starting at 7 p.m. Eastern, tonight.

Rece Davis returns as the host this year.


Sunday Morning Quarterback Goes Bigtime

Belated but still noteworthy: Sunday Morning Quarterback has a new gig with Yahoo! running its college football page.  Be sure to check out Matt Hinton at "Dr. Saturday".

Great tagline BTW --

Or: How I learned to stop worrying and love the BCS


Cool College Football Injury Resource

College football injuries are a bummer.  CollegeInjuryReport.com is most definitely not a bummer.

It earns CFR's stamp of approval.  Very "resource"-y.


The Joe McKnight Video

Last year the gentlemen at TrojanWire produced the John David Booty video.  This time around it's the Joe McKnight video.  Nice musical choice, too.

"Hey Joe":


Do They Look Presidential?


Chick-fil-A Loves College Football

They're all over Southern football broadcasts and now have a role in ESPN College GameDay, escorting the mascot head for Lee Corso's end-of-show selections.

And they want to give you free food.

Chick-fil-A is kicking off the college football season with a free food giveaway.
To introduce the new Chick-fil-A Chick-n-Strips and mark the Aug. 30 Chick-fil-A College Kickoff, Chick-fil-A restaurants nationwide will offer a free serving of Chick-n-Strips to any customer wearing any football related apparel from 10:30 a.m. until closing Sept. 1.

I'm in.


Myles Brand At The Huffington Post


Intercollegiate athletics is not the entertainment division of the higher education business; it enhances the educational experience of student-athletes. Student-athletes are not a human resource in the great business machine of intercollegiate athletics; they are the object of intercollegiate athletics.

Be sure to bookmark his archive.  I've got more at the FanHouse.


Heisman Pundit's weekly Heisman Poll

The nation's most-respected weekly Heisman Trophy straw poll returns in 2008.  And now, it's being sponsored by the Orlando Sentinel.  Nice work, HP.

“The Heisman Trophy is a big part of the pageantry and history that makes college football so popular,” said Tim Stephens, college sports editor of the Orlando Sentinel. “We’re proud to team up with the best Heisman site on the Web to give readers a weekly look at the how the race might unfold.”

Poll voters include Mike Bianchi (Orlando Sentinel), Olin Buchanan (Rivals.com), Tom Dienhart (Rivals.com), Bruce Feldman (ESPN.com), Ted Lewis (New Orleans Times-Picayune), Jenni Carlson (The Oklahoman), Austin Murphy (Sports Illustrated), B.J. Schechter (Sports Illustrated), Stewart Mandel (Sports Illustrated) and Dick Weiss (New York Daily News).


CFR's Preseason 2008 Top 25: 1-5

The suspense is over.  What we have here is a flawed top five, which makes me suspicious that we once again won't see an elite team in college football this year.  A repeat of the madness that was 2007 isn't likely, but its reasonably safe to assume there will be no preseason coronation and things are very much up for grabs.

1: Oklahoma

Hope: A BCS bowl victory would be nice.  They've done it before -- beating Florida State for the title one year and also against a Washington State team that didn't look like it cared to play for departing coach Mike Price.  The Sooners would also love to have quarterback Sam Bradford avoid the sophomore swoon that plagued rival Colt McCoy.

Change: Tailback Allen Patrick is off to the NFL, as are several defenders.  Everyone else is on board.  The Big 12 suddenly turned competitive the last year or so, making Oklahoma's schedule perhaps a bit tougher than it might have been two or three years ago.

Straight Talk: Not the sexiest No. 1 around, but they'll do (until the games are played, of course).  Bradford is ruthlessly efficient and plays effortlessly.  Their line is big, and perhaps the nation's best.  They've got a pair of former No. 1 defensive tackle recruits on the interior.  DeMarco Murray makes plays all over the field yet will be pushed by powerful frosh Jermie Calhoun.  The upset loss to Colorado early last year was disconcerting, but Oklahoma had no troubles after that until Texas Tech had Bradford seeing stars.  As far as personnel, Oklahoma is basically at a draw with Georgia, Ohio State, Florida, USC and LSU, but they should be motivated and not as burdened by expectation as someone like Georgia or USC.  They also have perhaps the best combination of offense and defense in America.

2: Georgia

Hope: To go somewhere the program hasn't been since the Herschel Walker days.

Change:  Sky-high expectations.  Georgia went on a major tear at the end of last year and never relented.  The rise of star back Knowshon Moreno had something to do with it, but also a change in how coach Mark Richt handled his business.  He ditched the script a little bit and let his guys have more fun.  It worked.  The challenge is maintaining that energy after college football's endless postseason.

Straight Talk: Georgia as a program sometimes pulls back when in the spotlight and its something worth monitoring.  Matt Stafford is a future high draft pick but is just now starting to look like a college star.  Georgia will win on the ground but for them to be scary good he'll have to take yet another leap in his development.  That is an unknown as of right now.  The defense is solid but maybe not spectacular.  Lots to like here, particularly if Georgia plays with that confidence we saw last year it'll be hard to slow them down.

3: Ohio State

Hope: BCS Championship redemption.

Change: Most of the program's star players returned for their senior seasons.  Ohio State also welcomes the nation's top recruit, athletic quarterback Terrelle Pryor who should play this year, perhaps extensively.

Straight Talk: I have the same feeling about Ohio State this year as I did in early 2006, that they're among the nation's best teams in a year with no clear favorite.  The offense is a bit mundane, so the addition of Pryor might help.  Tailback Chris Wells is playing for the Heisman Trophy and early, early NFL draft status.  The defense is among the nation's elite although lacking in star power on the interior line.  Other than the USC game they have an easy schedule as the Big Ten is down this year and has rarely troubled the Buckeyes in the last three seasons.  The sky is nearly the limit although Ohio State has that same BCS bowl burden shared by Oklahoma.

4: Florida

Hope:  For an improved defense.

Change: Several players have been injured or snared in offseason trouble.  Star defensive end Derrick Harvey is off to the NFL but has a great replacement in Carlos Dunlap.

Straight Talk: The offense will be tremendous, likely better than last year.  Percy Harvin's nagging injuries are concerning, but the Gators mix in several elite frosh as well as speedy Chris Rainey who tore up the spring game on national TV.  The defense is the major question, as the secondary in particular was vulnerable last year.  The Gators may start a true freshman safety and overall this group is incredibly young.  If they can patch together a defense that is among the SEC's 3 or 4 best this season will be a coronation instead of a worry for the Gators.

5: USC

Hope: To restore that championship feeling.

Change: Ten Trojans were chosen in April's NFL draft.  USC is one of the rare schools capable of adequately replacing so many departed stars.  There's also that new quarterback situation to figure out.

Straight Talk: The opening schedule is rough (Virginia, Ohio State, Oregon State) but USC always finds a way to navigate troubled waters.  The defense will be spectacular, although replacing nose tackle Sedrick Ellis could be slightly troubling.  The trouble since 2005 has been fielding an elite offense.  Mark Sanchez is the likely starter, and he's yet another former No. 1 quarterback.  He adds moxie, mobility and a better deep arm, or at least the fans hope he does.  There's more than enough offensive talent (particularly tailbacks Stafon Johnson and Joe McKnight) but USC has to overcome conservatism and a scheme that's led the offense into rough waters much more consistently than under Norm Chow who is now coaching the offense for that team across town.  It's hard to predict a championship here but USC has the horses and a nice schedule after the first three to reclaim what was lost in January 2005.  If they can put together a dominant offense there's no doubt this is the best team in America.  If not?  See 2006/2007.


Heather Dinich Cracks Me Up

ESPN's ACC blogger, Dinich has been on several episodes of College Football Live this week.  She's not the most comfortable person on set, sort of rigid but she makes up for it with this very impish look that never goes away.

What's interesting is that in the sort of mildly polite broadcast world she's regularly throwing daggers.  She's like a cat, just sitting there all calm and them thwap! out goes the paw at some critter that dared crawl in their vicinity.  Then, back to the usual calm, as if nothing had happened.  Cold, Heather, cold.

Anyway I love it, ESPN needs to make her a more regular part of the rotation.


CFR's 2008 Preseason Top 25: 6-10

I'll release the top five on Monday

6: LSU

Hope: To defend the national championship and maybe even lose fewer than two games in the process.  Is that too much to ask?

Change: Quite a bit.  Glenn Dorsey is gone from the defensive interior.  Quarterback Matt Flynn, receiver Early Doucet and powerback Jacob Hester are all off to the NFL.  At least the new Mike The Tiger is back for a second year.

Straight Talk: LSU should be much better than people assume.  They played it close to the vest last year, with power football and repeatedly going to skilled but less athletic players like Hester and Doucet.  LSU has a chance to be much more explosive this year.  In fact, given the personnel, they don't really have a choice.

Andrew Hatch is a complete unknown at quarterback, but they run a fairly mundane power spread look that's manageable for all the players and that should create space and opportunities to score in new and exciting ways instead of the more methodical and plodding method of last year.

Defensively they should be about the same.  The defensive line looks darn good and the secondary will be much more athletic, if inexperienced.  People are pointing to a rough schedule, but this team should have that winner's swagger and make it through most of the season unscathed, if not quite perfect.

7: Missouri

Hope: That having Oklahoma off the schedule (Texas slides in) leads to an undefeated season this time around.

Change: Not much, although shifty tailback Tony Temple will be missed unless they've got some super secret replacement ready in the wings.

Straight Talk: The relatively easy schedule and a taste of success should take Missouri far, particularly with Heisman Trophy finalist Chase Daniel directing traffic.  Missouri has two or three really good individual defenders, but they desperately need to improve the overall defensive numbers to be taken seriously as national title contenders.

8: West Virginia

Hope: That program success doesn't rapidly go out the door with former coach Rich Rodriguez.

Change: Well, uh, they lost their head coach.  That's kind of a big deal.  Interim turned permanent coach Bill Stewart led the Mountaineers to a surprising thrashing of Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl.  I can't help but wonder if he's a Larry Coker clone though, the nice guy steering the ship for one more magical season before putting his own, likely less successful stamp on the program.

Straight Talk: At least for one game, West Virginia proved it could be great even without the old coach.  They're running the same system and offensive centerpiece Pat White is back for what should be a magical senior year.  He's got some weapons who should do quite well in the absence of Steve Slaton and Darius Reynaud.  This being college football, this is a team that will still dominate for at least a little while and should have a fine 2008.

9: California

Hope: That last year's dramatic, little-discussed collapse is behind the Bears.

Change: Kevin Riley literally just got the starting nod at quarterback, although two year starter Nate Longshore will reportedly participate against Michigan State in the Bears' first game.  Enigmatic and explosive receiver DeSean Jackson is now in the NFL as well.  Oh, and steady smurf back Justin Forsett.

Straight Talk: Cal has a little less firepower this year, but more balance.  Eight starters return from a slightly disappointing defense.  The offense should be much more consistent under Riley, and get its pop from zippy tailback Jahvid Best.  Cal isn't particularly deep with talent, but they've got some marquee players to help navigate the rougher partches of the season and are out for redemption and a taste of the glory that has eluded them since that magical 2004 season.

10: Kansas

Hope: A return to last year's good times.  Kansas lost just one game but still faced a BCS snub that has to bother more than a little.

Change: Most starters return, although bruising back Brandon McAnderson graduated.

Straight Talk:  Kansas was quietly quite the team last year.  Sure, everyone saw the offensive numbers, but their offense actually stagnated a few times last year.  What saved their bacon was a terrific run defense all year, particularly in games where the offense wasn't putting up points.  If they can keep that up, the offense will continue to do its job and Kansas will be right back in the championship race.


New Digs For The Wiz (Of Odds)

Classy digs for the Wiz of Odds, shifting to a new URL and banner.

Check it out.


CFR's 2008 Preseason Top 25: 11-15

11: Oregon

Hope: That last year's Sun Bowl outburst against a good USF defense (56-21 victory) with a third string quarterback was a sign of very good things to come.  JUCO star back LeGarrette Blount is expected to dominate right away.

Change: Wiry but awesome quarterback Dennis Dixon is off to the NFL.  With him went pounding tailback Jonathan Stewart and his nearly 2,500 all purpose yards.

Straight Talk: A projected 12 other starters return, however.  Oregon has an impressive group of offensive linemen and a loaded secondary to build from.  Last year's bowl star Justin Roper may once again find himself third or fourth string, that's how deep Oregon is at quarterback.  If Blount disappoints, senior Jeremiah Johnson is more than capable.  Oregon's offensive system appears to be a winner so long as it has a healthy quarterback with some reps under him.  Their defense will tell the story, but they appear to be the second or third best team in the Pac-10 this year and there's a steep drop-off after them.

12: Rutgers

Hope: That everything will be alright even with the departure of offensive workhorse Ray Rice

Change: Ray Rice is gone! The sky is falling!  Run!

Straight Talk: Rutgers is one of those teams that bores you to tears, but has a bit of Rocky in them.  Every time I was ready to write them off the last few years they'd find themselves and play tremendous football.  Rice is gone, but they have a surprising number of really good football players who we'll all finally notice now.  They've quietly become more explosive while still managing to do the dirty work of running the ball and stopping the run.  I'm shocked how low Rutgers is on most peoples' rankings, as I think they're presently a better version of what the Wisconsin model of football should be.

13: USF

Hope: That last year's collapse was merely growing pains for a still-young program that is in essence a commuter school (I love college football).

Change: Not much.  A total of 17 starters are projected to return although two elite corners moved on to the NFL.  Auburn is now off the schedule but there will be a big home game on Sept. 13 against Kansas.

Straight Talk: This is a team more than capable of being in the top 25.  They play hard-nosed football, but have some creative offensive looks and rally behind the charismatic quarterback Matt Grothe.  They could use a little more help from backs Mike Ford and Benjamin Williams but this appears to be a team that will contend for the Big East crown.

14: Wake Forest

Hope: That coach Jim Grobe's straightforward approach continues to work.  Wake likes veteran players and an offense built around all kinds of tricky looks to create running lanes and attack space.

Change: Not much on defense, as nearly the entire squad returns.  The offense takes some hits with the graduation of some receivers and linemen as well as do-it-all star Kenny Moore.  He'll be tough to replace.

Straight Talk: This is one of the better teams in a weakened ACC.  Josh Adams was a revelation last year, gaining close to 1,000 yards outplaying veteran Micah Andrews.  Cornerback Alphonso Smith is getting lots of NFL looks.  The defense surrendered just 3.2 yards/carry last year and should produce something similar this year.  Quarterback Riley Skinner disappointed last year but he's still only a junior and posted 72% completions last year which is remarkable.  Lots to like here.

15: Alabama

Hope: To return to championship football.  The program's at least another year away if not more, but with Nick Saban they may finally have stability and turn the corner on the gruesome years since the departure of coach Gene Stallings (and the ghost of Bear Bryant).

Change: A top-rated recruiting class, for starters.  Receiver Julio Jones is already getting phenom hype.  They'll need his production after losing the top three receivers from last year.  Alabama also switched out offensive coordinators, trading Major Applewhite for Fresno State's Jim McElwain.

Straight Talk: The schedule is tough.  Alabama isn't the most explosive team offensively but their solid line should be able to run the ball and help sophomore Terry Grant to a really nice season.  They must also get past the string of four consecutive defeats last year before the bowl victory.  There's a lot on this program's plate and tremendous expectations and impatience, but it's hard not to like a team with players like Rolando McClain, Rashad Johnson, Andre Smith, Antoine Caldwell and Julio Jones.  Alabama should be above average, but not quite elite.


CFR's 2008 Preseason Top 25: 16-20

20: BYU

Hope: Lots of it. BYU finished 11-2 last year including a last-minute bowl victory over UCLA to avenge one of its defeats. Nine starters return on offense including surprise quarterback Max Hall, who transferred in from Arizona State.

Change: Only three defensive starters return which could spell trouble although there are only two underclassmen projected among the starters.

Straight Talk: The more I think about it this may be a bit high for the Cougars. They'll be tested early against Washington and UCLA before things lighten up. Their defense wasn't bad last year (3 yards/carry, 210 pass yards, 57% completions) but that could take a hit which the offense needs to make up.

19: Auburn

Hope: Tommy Tuberville is above peers when it comes to choosing qualified coordinators (ignoring the Hugh Nall disaster). He's lost a ton of them in recent memory, and his newest test is offensive coordinator Tony Franklin. He brings in a wide-open offense As Seen On TV/Internet.

Change: The new offense moves Auburn into the modern era offensively, but is it too fancy for the hard-hitting SEC? Florida had no trouble transitioning to Urban Meyer's offense, but they've kept focus on being tough and Tim Tebow is a major piece of that artillery. Kodi Burns isn't powerfully built so the test will be how well Auburn keeps its powerful backs involved.

Straight Talk: Auburn looks a bit down this year, but they always, always beat one or two teams nobody expects them to. I don't envision a 10 win season, but they should be a gleeful spoiler in a loaded SEC this year and come out of it with 8 or 9 wins like last year.

18: Texas

Hope: Something better? The Colt McCoy toughness shtick got a bit old last year as he tossed 18 interceptions and was bailed out late in the year by a resurgent Jamaal Charles. In steps the very athletic John Chiles to shoulder a bit more of the quarterback burden and add a new element to the position not seen since Vince Young.

Change: Only four defensive starters are back. Will Muschamp was hired from Auburn to revive the Texas defense and give them a bit more toughness and energy.

Straight Talk: Texas is still very near in memory to that 2005 title team and I think is still sleepwalking a bit since then. They're fat and happy if you will. Between that mentality and lack of a real national star on either side of the ball to give them more of an identity, I think we're looking at another typical Texas season with 10 or so wins and a likely defeat to Oklahoma.

17: Texas Tech

Hope: That the program's crazy offense plays even better than last year and that its defense continues to have a pulse. If they can merely stop someone on occasion Texas Tech is suddenly quite dangerous. Their defense found a pulse after the termination of the DC midway through last year, and more of the same is expected.

Change: Not much other than experience. A total of 18 starters are projected to return, including the program's two best players in receiver Michael Crabtree and quarterback Graham Harrell. I can look at Crabtree's numbers last year as a redshirt freshman and I still don't believe them they're that good.

Straight Talk: This is a put up or shut up year for Texas Tech. The offense is always good, but they appeared to have turned a corner last year with Crabtree's ascent and the victory over Oklahoma. People are expecting very big things this year, including a victory over Texas and being near the top of the Big 12 South standings.

16: Michigan

Hope: The program is experiencing a breath of fresh air with the departure of good guy but curmudgeonly Lloyd Carr.  Rich Rodriguez's offenses at West Virginia were ridiculous, and achieved with modest talent.  Michigan recruits better than all but a few programs, so people are putting two and two together and thinking Michigan's headed for the elite quite soon.

Change: Of course, that won't happen overnight.  Michigan had to face the transfer of the likely starting quarterback and a starting linemen and others will likely depart after they realize they're not good fits once the season starts.

Straight Talk:  Michigan will take its lumps early, but I think they'll be way better than expected.  The Big 10 isn't particularly daunting this year and the program's excitement and positive vibes may give them a psychological edge that trumps the newness to the system.  Michigan showed tremendous guys in rebounding from the home disasters against Appalachian State and Oregon last year.  Credit goes to the old staff, but also to the players who kept their heads straight and went about the business of getting to a decent bowl and then taking it to Florida.  I see similar gumption holding the team together this year.


Remember Me?


What a difference a year makes for Rice's Jarrett Dillard.  Some other receiver at a Texas school seems to have blown this guy off the national radar, huh?

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