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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

CFR's 2008 Preseason Top 25: 21-25

As always I go by power rankings, how good a team is instead of what its schedule says it should be.  Once the season starts everyone's rankings get blown to bits anyway, mine included.

Five teams will be released a day, with the finale on Monday.  We're going with an Election 2008 theme here.

25: Colorado

Hope: That last year's young team took its lumps and has a better grasp on how to win ballgames.  Cody Hawkins threw for over 3,000 yards and 22 touchdowns last year as a redshirt freshman, numbers that should improve.

Change: A respectable recruiting class including the bruising and speedy consensus top back Darrell Scott.  Fourteen starters return, so the "change" if you will is a return of the core of last year's team.

Straight Talk: Maybe I'm crazy but Colorado should be pretty darn good this year.  That schedule is tough with West Virginia and Florida State and Texas and Missouri, but everything else is winnable.  Their defensive interior should be quite good with senior tackles Brandon Nicolas and George Hypolite back.  This is a team that should be able to run the ball, stop the run, and throw the ball and put up points in a program that's used to winning.

24: Wisconsin

Hope: That I don't fall asleep writing about them?  Wisconsin is unique in that they've played a certain way for well over a decade now.  Their success hinges at some level on how good conference opposition is in any given year.  They'll never dominate the Big Ten but they're ready to pounce if the usual favorites aren't playing like a top 10 team.

Change: Quarterback Tyler Donovan graduated.  He was solid, but I'm sure they're hoping for something more out of the position.  That may not happen this year with Kansas State transfer Allan Evridge.

Straight Talk: There's not much to write about in the Big Ten this year.  Illinois loses its best player and many people seem to think they're headed for another trip to the Rose Bowl.  In other words, the league is a disappointment once you get past Ohio State.  This is a great place for Wisconsin to make a move, although I hunch Michigan will be much better than people anticipate.

23: Pittsburgh

Hope: That star back LeSean McCoy stays healthy and carries this team to the top of a weakened but incredibly competitive Big East.

Change: Expectations!  That's weird to say about Pitt, but there hasn't been much excitement here since Larry Fitzgerald went to the NFL.  This program has a recent enough history of winning to point towards, but could afford a little more talent than they've got right now.

Straight Talk: McCoy can do a lot of damage on his own, but staying in the rankings will involve stealing some wins they didn't get last year (like against Connecticut, Navy and Louisville).

22: Fresno State

Hope:A WAC Championship, coach Pat Hill's first, would be nice.  The first win against Boise State since 2005 would be nice as well.

Change: The revolving door at Offensive Coordinator continued.  Out went Jim McElwain to Alabama, in came Doug Nussmeier.

Straight Talk: This is a nice little team, with a senior quarterback with NFL prospects, sophomore tailback Ryan Matthews and seven returning starters on a still-young defense.

21: Clemson

Hope: A top 10 season is expected with yet another season of Davis/Spiller and a Heisman Trophy candidate in quarterback Cullen Harper.  The ACC appears to be horribly average once again while Miami and Florida State slumber, Boston College lost its quarterback and Virginia Tech can't figure out how to run the ball or figure out its quarterback.

Change: Clemson didn't quite collapse late last year, winning five of its last seven and dropping close ones to ranked Boston College and Auburn in the bowl game.  Has this manic program finally figured it out?

Straight Talk: ... I don't think they have.  They simply deflated a little earlier, by the middle of last year in embarrassing back-to-back defeats to Georgia Tech (13-3) and Virginia Tech (41-23).  There's a ton of talent here and a lot of people are excited about frosh defensive end Da'Quan Bowers, but that offensive line is extremely young and the opener against Alabama could end the season before it even begins.


Gettin' The Love From Trev Albert

Very cool, thanks for the kind words Trev!

This is a reminder to get back to writing some more.  I've been busy with the software changeover and getting the College Football FanHouse up to speed.  Fear not, content is coming, and lots more railing against a college football playoff.


New Look

And far from final.

The software that I use to run College Football Resource recently underwent a massive update.  Unfortunately the old template I had been using is outdated, making life hell in trying to do even the easiest of changes on here.

So: new style, new look.  I've gotta play around for a while and see what I can put together here.


Big Ten Media Days Quotable

MGoBlog's Brian Cook (via FanHouse)

There's a photographer in the back with a West Virginia hat. Am I going to have to throw myself in front of a bullet in a couple hours?



It's Hurricane Season

Hopefully there won't be any disruptions this year.  In the meantime, say hello to Bertha.



This And That

(--) Jerry Green at the Detroit News proposes an annual Pac-10/Big Ten football challenge.  I like it, although I'd do it on a much smaller scale, with at most 2-3 games between the conferences.  Additionally, I'd love a similar hyped "series" between all the other conferences as well.  A natural fit would be an SEC/ACC challenge, for example.

Those would be a smart fixed starting point, and then everything else could rotate, so we could see a Pac-10/Big 12 series one year, and then a Pac-10/SEC series the next.  This is dream world stuff, I know, but it's fun to think about.  Obviously teams independently schedule out-of-conference opponents to where organically you might see several SEC/ACC games early in the year, but it might be nice to have the schools, conferences and television networks get together and coordinate such games and make them more of an event.

Bringing back the "Kickoff Classic" type games would be tremendous as well.  There's still plenty of room for regular season growth in college football, and these types of ideas should be at the top of the list of those responsible for the stewardship of the sport.

(--) Lou Holtz has obviously learned the dangers of mixing sports and politics.  The South Bend Tribune links him to controversial and recently deceased North Carolina Senator Jesse Helms.

(--) More from the Deseret News about the always-interesting Pac-10 expansion talks.  Ain't happening, for philosophical as well as cash reasons as spelled out by Dick Harmon.

(--) USC continues to clean up in recruiting.  It's still unclear what the NCAA will do about the Reggie Bush situation, but if recruiting is a barometer for anything it appears USC isn't in much danger.

(--) This bums me out: Most college football coaches favor an early signing period.  For fairly obvious reasons, I think it's unwise to lock players into commitments before college football's hiring/firing season is over.  This works well for lazy coaches and extremely committed players, but I think the longer recruiting stretches out the more information all parties can gather which leads to better decisionmaking.

(--) Cool new SMU uniforms.  They're a throwback to the Pony Express days.  I like the look, but they're tempting fate in looking back to an era that ended up with the "Death Penalty".

(--) Georgia quarterback Matt Stafford is getting some love.  I hyped him as a recruit and he's turned into a solid player, but in that Georgia offense he may never quite become all that he can be as a passer.  Heisman talk seems outrageous unless Georgia greatly opens up their offense, which is debatable given just how good their running game will likely be this year.

(--) An Anaheim man will attempt to set a world record by sitting in every seat in the Rose Bowl.  A good chunk of the "seats" are actually barely-marked benches, so we doubt just how accurate that final seat count will be.  Whatever, good luck to him as it is for a good cause.


But They're Better Than College Football


Well Said About The Pac-10

The Pac 10 is the gemini conference, made up of twin universities in each state/region of the west, and it has remained unchanged for 30 years. There's a lot of people who would like to see the conference add two more members to make 12, but that's just not going to happen - ten is the number of balance for this conference.

One of the main reasons the Pac 10 won't add two more schools is that the presidents of these universities don't feel that any other schools in the west measure up to their institutions' high "Research I" standards. Whether or not that's true doesn't matter - it's what they believe. And this group of university presidents is about as tightly knit as you're going to find in the NCAA. They're probably more unified than any other group of administrators in their conference-wide decision making, and they're unified against not expanding further.

- The National Championship Issue



Bobby Bowden manages to pull this off.  Not so much for Pete Carroll.  Dude.



LOL College Baseball

Fresno State is thriving from a postseason model that actually works

- Caption under a photo in this article by Rivals.com's Kendall Rogers

First things first, let's get this out of the way: I really like college baseball.  Love the ping of the bats.  Love the tradition.  Love the College World Series, even.  But college baseball boosters are fooling themselves if they see their sport as some great model of equity and fairness.  Equally foolish is pretending college baseball's championship is superior to anything, particularly college football's.

Some celebrate the elevation of the little guy like this year's champion Fresno State.  It's a great story, and I don't want to detract from that, but pronouncing their rise as why the college world series is superior to say, college football, is laughable.  Fresno State was a good team, not a great team in a year with several great teams like Miami and Arizona State.  That both they and fringe top 25 opponent Georgia were in the final speaks volumes to the inefficiency of college baseball's postseason model.

Their ascent proves just how open the model is, but what you gain in inclusion, you lose in, you know, accuracy.  College baseball's championship ends up being more fabled than college football's when it's all said and done.  I do give credit to college baseball for going to a "best of three" championship series, but that's nothing compared to Major League Baseball's "best of seven" and that model is itself deeply flawed.  Too much statistical noise and factors outside of the actual quality of a team work their way into the actual outcomes when the only control is double elimination in regionals and best of three in the championship.

Thus: Fresno State and Georgia instead of say, Arizona State and Miami.

Did I mention just how flawed the actual allocation process is?  The tournament committee continues to use the horrid and inaccurate RPI in selecting teams, and then unfairly allocates where those teams end up, working against western squads in particular.  But college football is the bad guy.  Right.



He served Georgia well

Kelly Lambert/Flickr




Name the most recent college football team with fewer than two losses and a high national ranking (top Ten Associated Press) in one season fall to a losing record the next


Friday Off Topic: The Office

Video from the season finale of The Office, about the whole Kevin/Holly dynamic.  It's gold.


At Least One Bruin Doesn't Think USC Is A Professional Team

From the gimmicky state vs. state/city vs. city pre-finals bet files:

Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is stepping things up with his proposal to Boston's Thomas Menino for the NBA Finals. You can read his full letter below the jump, but here's the good part:

If the Celtics win, we'll send you the best professional football team L.A. has to offer: the Arena League's Los Angeles Avengers.

If the Lakers win, we get the Patriots.

Villaraigosa is a UCLA grad.  Take that, Reggie Bush!


When You Buy The Plus One, You're Buying A Playoff

Interesting exchange here between SEC Commissioner Mike Slive and Florida State President T. K. Wetherell.  Excerpted from The Wizard of Odds:

Recent comments about a playoff system by Florida State president T.K. Wetherell sparked the ire of SEC commissioner Michael Slive. "Let me always be very clear to tell you I don't agree with the Florida State president," Slive said. "President Wetherell's statements were counterproductive, because those who support a plus-one do not support a playoff. I never said playoff. I never used the 'p' word."

That strikes me as terribly naive, if not an outright con job by Slive.

As noted many times on here, a four-team "Plus One" will never last.  Too many forces will be at work and eventually stretch that thing out to something bigger than envisioned.  It's sort of like where if you buy a property, you're buying whatever else is associated with it including neighbors and dead bodies (see Funny Farm).  Slive should know better, as several of his fellow conference commissioners have gone public with concerns about a Plus One eventually expanding into a full-blown playoff.

He's correct in that he may never (to our knowledge) us the "p word" when talking about a Plus One, but indirectly he really is.  The Plus One is effectively the gateway to -- shudder -- a real playoff in college football.  I don't think Slive is so naive as to not realize what the extension of his Plus One plan is.  This of course makes me suspicious that although publicly he's not saying the "p word", in his heart that's what he is working towards.  Hopefully I'm wrong, but Slive's no dummy, he has to know the down-the-road inevitability of a playoff if a Plus One is arranged.

(Via: The Wiz


Pundit Roundup Status

I'm in favor of scrapping it.

All those in favor say aye, all those opposed say nay.


We Can End The Speculation

Phil Steele has released the national cover for his 2008 College Football Preview.


Cushing, Wells and the defending Heisman Trophy winner.  Not bad, although I'm a bit surprised he went with Cushing given the hype around teammate Rey Maualuga.

Expect the Bible of preseason magazines to hit newsstands in early June.


Memorial Day


Playoff Quotable

As in generally the case, great finds from Get The Picture.

NCAA President Myles Brand in a Q&A with the Houston Chronicle.

Q: What do you see as the major issues against having a college football playoff in the Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division I-A)?

A: I’m not inside those discussions, but let me give you my best sense of the matter. I think those (school) presidents take very seriously the regular season. They don’t want to, in any way, threaten the regular season and turn football into a tournament sport. Basketball is a tournament sport. They want to put the emphasis on the Saturday rivalries. That’s where the fans show the most interest. They are very much concerned about moving toward an NFL-type playoff system.

Bonus talk about money, and how elusive it might actually be despite proclamations to the contrary of mad scrilla come the day a playoff is created:

Q: Only six Division I programs are making money. How long can this go on?

A: I don’t know how long. Presidents’ lives are short — 4 1/2 for a public university and 6 1/2 for a private university. So presidents turn over. Eventually, you may get another group that thinks differently, so you can’t forever go forward with this. I don’t know if it will change. I don’t think in the near run it will. I don’t think there is as much money in (a football playoff) as people think. [Emphasis added.] A lot of the revenues are coming in through ticket sales and TV contracts on the regular season. I think you’re going to continue to see good TV contracts in the regular season. If you had a playoff, what would the size of those regular-season contracts be?

Chew on all that for a bit.

ALSO: Georgia Sports Blog comes out against a playoff.  The list of people against a playoff in college football continues to grow.  A decent handful of them are listed under "The Coalition" on the menu at left.


The Charity Bowl

See FanBlogs and EDSBS.

Like you, I've been touched by the devastating cyclone in Myanmar, the tornadoes in Oklahoma, Missouri and the Midwest, storms in the Southeast, wildfires in California & Florida, and earthquakes in China, not to mention the everyday needs in our own communities.

Orson from EDSBS and I are asking you to show your school spirit and help those in need today by making a donation to the American Red Cross, CARE, or the International Rescue Committee.

In turn, we'll rank the total donation by school and display it this week at Fanblogs and Every Day Should Be Saturday. The winning school will have its colors displayed at EDSBS and logo/mascot shown on every page at Fanblogs.

The particulars:

1) Make a donation online to the American Red Cross, CARE, or the International Rescue Committee.

2) Email the donation confirmation to kevin@fanblogs.com and state your team affiliation by 8pm EDT on Wednesday, May 14th.

3) Results will be displayed at Every Day Should Be Saturday and Fanblogs throughout the week, with the final results shown by Thursday, May 15th.

4) The winning school will have its colors displayed at EDSBS and logo/mascot shown on every page at Fanblogs.
Give, bitches.  And you can pimp your school while at it.