Tuesday, August 24, 2010
NCAA Football Preview: Coaches Poll 14-10
So I debated about commenting on the pre-season coaches poll. As most of you know, I think pre-season polls are dumb, especially since they are used as a starting point to determine the national champion. However, I decided these 25 teams are the teams with the most storylines this year, so commenting on each team and not their rankings is acceptable
The second of four parts (yes I added another part)
Part 1: 15-25
Part 2: 14-10
Part 3: 9-5
Part 4: 4-1
14. Penn State
Two Pennsylvania schools ended up next to each other in the rankings. I personally do not see Penn State being that good this year. The schedule is not too daunting, but they have a new quarterback and still need help on the O-Line. I hope they go into Tuscaloosa and beat the Tide, but I don’t see how that happens. (Also, if ‘Bama beats the snot of them, I really hope we don’t have to hear about how great the SEC is when it’s best team beat the Big Ten’s 4th or 5th best team). Joe Pa will be going to win 400 this year (394 currently) and the team should make it fairly easily. I am sure we will hear a lot about Joe Pa and this being his final year. I actually say he’s got one more run in him. I believe he will be the head coach for the first season of the Big Ten at 12 teams and then go off into the sunset.
Miami is Stewart Mandel’s “Sleeper” National Champion pick. I do think Miami will take a big step forward this year and could even win the ACC. I don’t see them winning the National Title because I don’t see them going into Columbus and beating Ohio State in the first meeting of these two teams since they played for the 2003 title. They do have a good out of conference playing some member of their old conference the Big East with games at Pittsburgh and home against USF. I see this team as having a good year, but is still one year away from player for a national title.
On Wisconsin! Wisconsin will finish the year as one of, if not the best, rushing team in the nation. They return a stacked O-Line that will be moving people for RB Clay. The Defense should be sound as this team looks to build off their bowl victory over Miami last season. I see this team competing for the Big Ten Title, but ultimately falling short to Ohio State and Iowa. I heard an interesting comment about Wisconsin RB’s in one of Stewart Mandel’s recent Mailbags. QBs are often cited to be system QBs (think Hawai’i and Texas Tech), but why not Running Backs. Wisconsin runs the ball more than almost any team in the nation year in and year out which gets their Running Backs lots of stats. Have any of these Running Backs amounted to anything in the NFL? Dayne? Bennett? Not really, Clay might have a similar fate.
Oregon would have been rated much higher had their QB Masoli not got kicked off the team. Chip Kelly will have to find a new QB to run his high octane offense if he wants to keep Oregon’s national title hopes alive. Oregon is looking to become the dominant team in the Pac-10 with Southern Cal suffering from NCAA sanctions. The game vs Southern Cal and in-state rival Oregon State should both be good ones with the latter potential determining the conference champion for the second straight year. I think Oregon will play well, but will ultimately fall short to Oregon State.
Iowa is getting a lot of pre-season hype, and I for one am worried. Iowa returns almost their entire defense included Orange Bowl MVP, and potential Heisman dark horse, Adrian Clayborn. Clayborn will have a great year because teams can’t always double team him. SI had 3 of Iowa’s 4 defensive linemen as All-Big Ten choices. Tyler Sash is expected to have a repeat of last season, but I don’t see him getting as many turnovers. I think he will have a good year, but it won’t be as good as last year where he lucked into a couple of INTs. Teams will have problems scoring on the Hawkeyes, but I’m concerned about their O-Line. Only one member of the group has any experience heading into the season. Yes, Kirk Ferentz is a seems to specialize in O-Lineman, but replacing four guys could detrimental to Ricky Stanzi. This Iowa team reminds me a lot of last year’s Penn State team, albeit a better version. I see this team winning all but two games, which is actually a good season, but might not live up to the type of year Hawkeye fans had in mind.