|It is good to be back. After a summer of ministry in Mexico, I am excited to be home. I always like this time of year in the US because fall is football season. More importantly, it is college football season. This Saturday I will be in Auburn, Alabama with my son Joseph and 85,000 others to watch the Auburn Tigers take on the Washington State Cougars.|
Since I am a big fan, and I understand that polls, rankings, and the BCS are a large part of what makes up college football, each Wednesday I will post “The Mission Top 10”. The rankings come courtesy of my son Joseph, one of the sharpest minds I know when it comes to college football, although at times he can be a bit of an SEC homer. So… here are this weeks rankings along with a few comments on each team.
Others to watch for (not necessarily in order) Nebraska, Iowa, Georgia Tech, Utah, and Georgia.
- Texas (13-0 in 2005) – Nobody is really deserving of the top spot, so last year’s champion starts on top even though the stay could be short lived with Ohio St. on the schedule September 9.
- Ohio St. (10-2) – If the schedule was flipped with the early games late and the late games early, Ohio St. would be the easy number 1 team. With 9 new defensive starters, getting through September games at Texas and Iowa and against Penn St. could be difficult.
- Auburn (9-3) – Talent-wise, the Tigers are at the same level as many of their SEC rivals, most notably LSU. A schedule that has 8 home games including LSU, Georgia, and Florida at home make Auburn the most likely undefeated team out of the SEC.
- West Virginia (11-1) – The last time West Virginia started anywhere near this high, the results weren’t good. They started 8-1, then lost three straight to at best average teams to throw away the Big East title in 2004. This year, the Big East isn’t as strong and there are no non-conference games of note. It’s a one-game season against Louisville November 2.
- LSU (11-2) – LSU has as much talent as anyone in the country. The question is offensive skill-positions, especially the backfield. There is a brewing quarterback controversy between JaMarcus Russell, starter for the regular season, Matt Flynn, starter for the 40-3 Peach Bowl win over Miami, and super-recruit Ryan Perriloux. Also, both running backs are coming of ACL tears.
- Notre Dame (9-3) – This team is a lot like USC last season. Great offense, no defense. Unfortunately, the offense isn’t in USC’s league. Expect lots of fun games, 10 wins, a BCS bowl and maybe a Heisman Trophy for Brady Quinn, but no National Championship this season.
- Cal (8-4) – The problem last season for this team was quarterback play. With Nate Longshore, who was injured in the first game last season back, that shouldn’t be a problem and everything else is as good as anyone they play, USC included.
- USC (12-1) – There is more talent here than anywhere. The question is how will that talent develop and will it develop in time to survive early road games against Arkansas, Arizona and Washington St. and an early season game against Nebraska.
- Michigan (7-5) – This vote is not a reputation so much as it’s betting on Mike Hart being back to full speed at running back. When he played the full game last year, Ohio St. and Nebraska were the only teams to beat Michigan, and the Wolverines handed Penn St. their only loss. When he was injured, they lost to Notre Dame, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. He gets hurt again, Michigan is screwed.
- Clemson (8-4) – To uphold this ranking, Clemson will have reverse trends under Tommy Bowden and play well at the beginning of the schedule when there are back-to-back road games against Boston College and Florida St. They will with Boston College rebuilding and Florida St. still down and still overrated on the way to an ACC title.
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