It's time for more way, way pre-season BlogPoll action! And Rocky Top Talk has a ballot again! I took this more seriously than the January BlogPoll ballot, but it still should be held with the weight appropriate for a preseason poll. Which is to say, none. As usual, discussion is heartily encouraged and my own comments are after the jump. I don't have things to say about every team, but I did in the last one, so you can follow that link and see what I'm thinking and what's changed.
- How many top ten teams do you see? Just five? Oh, good, me too. I guess we could have three of the top seven teams in the country on our schedule this year, just because I don't see who else is going to be #6 and #7.
- And as bad as 6-10 is, 9-12 is worse. I trust Florida State as a pre-season favorite in the ACC less than pretty much anyone except Georgia as a pre-season favorite in the SEC East. It's not clear that West Virginia has a defense, and this is a team that got thumped last year by Syracuse. Clemson is Clemson. And Michigan State only returns three starters on offense. A team with no offense can't be top 12, can they? The trouble is, while Michigan has the look of a Big Ten favorite, I'll believe Denard Robinson can solve Mark Dantonio's defense when I see it.
- You can see what I think of Justin Wilcox as a defensive mind.
- You can also see what I think of Bobby Petrino as an offensive mind.
- You can also see what I think of Kansas State. They return too much from a Cotton Bowl team to be completely unranked, but can they win that many games while being outgained two years in a row?
- Wisconsin and their QB transfers. Danny O'Brien won't be Russell Wilson, but he'll do enough to keep the Badgers ranked even though they lost most the team and as many assistants as Tennessee (read: eleventy billion)
- The usual Cinderella suspects have moved on to high-level conferences, so who takes their place this year? Three teams with low-end top 25 ability have a chance to play an entire season without facing a ranked team: Louisville, Louisiana Tech, and UCF. If the Cardinals don't win at least 10 games, it'll be a huge disappointment. At least for those of us who believe in Charlie Strong. Tech and UCF both play several BCS-conference schools and have somehow cajoled SEC teams into visiting their states. They'll have shots at high-profile victories without actually playing the cream of the crop. And while I don't see UCF walking into the Horseshoe and beating Ohio State, Texas A&M's visit to Louisiana (Shreveport) on the opening night of the season could be worth watching.
- While I only see five top ten teams, I see about 30 that could fit in the 20-25 range. Those who came the closest include Nebraska (who should be a top 25 team but who also should've been a top 15 team last year), Texas and Virginia Tech (both of whom should have great defenses, neither of whom should have offenses with a pulse), and Boise State (who lost as many starters as Auburn did last year). If you felt like it, you could also make arguments for Auburn, Florida, Tennessee, North Carolina State. . . you get the idea. Alternatively, you could be Jerry Palm and predict Tennessee to miss a bowl for the second straight season. This is old news and not strictly relevant, but I just noticed it and really?