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The Juice Blog's College Football Top 25
2007-09-03 21:22
by Scott Long

I've been sitting on this Top 25 list for a couple weeks, planning on putting in detailed reasons behind my selections. I haven't found the time to do this, so here is an abbreviated version of my Top 25. A little background on how I come up with these rankings. This is not just based on power rankings, but how I actually see these teams winding up in the BCS. No sport has as big of a home field advantage as college football. Coaching is also a bigger element in the college game versus the professional ranks. Most NFL coaches know what they are doing, but there are some college head coaches where the game has passed them by. (See Bowden, Carr, Paterno, etc.)

  1. USC
  2. Oklahoma
  3. LSU
  4. West Virginia
  5. Florida
  6. Virginia Tech
  7. Ohio State
  8. UCLA
  9. Louisville
  10. TCU
  11. Texas
  12. Georgia
  13. Hawaii
  14. Wisconsin
  15. Penn State
  16. California
  17. Iowa
  18. Michigan
  19. Nebraska
  20. South Carolina
  21. Texas A&M
  22. Auburn
  23. Arkansas
  24. Georgia Tech
  25. Boise St.

Hard to see how USC will lose this year. If the Raiders would have taken OC Sarksian, this might have been enough to give them a loss, but Kiffin wasn't as big of a loss.

Oklahoma was incredibly unlucky last season and despite losing all-world runner Adrian Petersen, I think they will be undefeated going into the National Championship game.

LSU is as talented as SoCal, but their schedule and head coaching questions make me leary of putting them in the BCS championship.

West Virginia has an incredible offense, but I do think their defense is shaky enough that they are just below the Top 3.

Urban Meyer is a brilliant coach and even though they lost a lot of starters, the talent level is a case of reloading. I think Leak was underrated and I have a feeling QB Tebow will cost them one game.

Other Notes

The SEC and Pac-10 are the 2 best conferences. The best team in the Big 10 might wind up with 2 losses. There are more non BCS schools which have quality teams than any year I can remember. TCU has as good of a defense as there is in college football, while Hawaii's offense would put at least 4 TD's on any opponent there is.

I Should Mention

Some might question the validity of my list, considering I'm not putting it out until today. Understand that I always rate Michigan lower than pre-season expectations because I think Carr is the worst coach of any major university in America, with only Phil Fulmer close to as lousy. The Wolverines look to be worse than I even thought they would be, but don't be surprised if they win a 38-37 type game against Oregon this weekend.

2007-09-03 22:22:50
1.   Eric Stephen
Scott, I think you mixed up the USC/Raiders coaches. The Raiders hired Lane Kiffin, but Steve Sarkisian is still with USC.

Great job, though. I appreciate your insight on college football on The Toaster.

2007-09-03 22:31:02
2.   Scott Long
You are right. Big F-up. I will be fixing that. Thanks.
2007-09-03 23:02:16
3.   Linkmeister
Have you any idea how happy people here would be if Hawai'i actually ended up at 13th? The schedule's a little weak, with two 1-AA teams (I can't remember what the current name is except that it's too dadblamed long), so to rise that high would mean some serious blowouts of some reasonably good teams.
2007-09-03 23:07:58
4.   Scott Long
Hawaii will destroy their opponents this year and after beating Boise State by 10...or this is how I look at it.
2007-09-04 05:16:33
5.   JasonO
In 6-7 weeks, Vanderbilt will be on this list.
2007-09-04 05:29:14
6.   lentnej
So does TCU play in a Big Boy Bowl (BCS)? You've got them just ahead of Texas. Predicting an upset Saturday?
2007-09-04 07:07:55
7.   Scott Long
Ah ha, you noticed. I give TCU a 50% chance of winning. I think they will beat everyone else this season, but I did see them losing to Texas. I think Texas will lose to Oklahoma and A&M. Texas lost a couple key coaches in the off-season, which I think will hurt them. (see new coaches at Minnesota and Iowa State)
2007-09-04 08:26:44
8.   kirbyk
I notice that while you acknowledge that the Pac-10 is the #2 conference (and I'd agree), you've just got 3 Pac-10 schools in the top 25. I'd take the over on that in a heartbeat.
2007-09-04 12:43:47
9.   Vishal
ucla is 8 and cal is 16? are you sure you didn't get them mixed up?

also i think oklahoma is overrated.

2007-09-04 13:55:17
10.   Scott Long
Both Oregon and Arizona schools are in my 26-35. Both Oregon schools have very tough schedules or they would both be in the early 20's. I don't think there is a bad team in the whole conference, while the Big 10, Big 12, ACC, and Big East have enough creampuffs that their top teams will score highly.
2007-09-04 17:43:28
11.   godvls
10- When you say both Arizona schools you must mean ASU and Northern Arizona. Surely, you don't have UofA in your Top 35 after their debacle at BYU. I loved Stoops quote where he referred to Arizona's new spread offense as "foolproof". This coming after Arizona scored their lone TD in garbage time after BYI had put the game away. This week Arizona plays their big rivalry game against NAU.....should be a good one.
2007-09-04 21:52:22
12.   Jacob L
I don't think there is a bad team in the whole conference

I'm a Pac 10 guy, but, with apologies to Jon Weisman, what more do the Stanford Cardinal need to do? I'd also need some selling on UCLA as a Top 10 team. They will be good, though.

2007-09-04 23:31:33
13.   Scott Long
I think Stanford is better this year, even though their record might not show it.
In regards to Arizona, I believed they were going to be a surprise, but after the BYU showing...not so much. I'm just glad I didn't pull the trigger on them as a top 25 team, as that would have looked bad. Maybe not as bad as the 2 AP voters who picked Michigan number 1 at the beginning of the season.

By the way, Sagarin rates Appalachian State as number 38 of all college teams. While this might be a smidge high, I'm telling you, if you would saw the game you would believe this is a team that could beat half the teams in college football.

2007-09-05 05:40:48
14.   JasonO
App. St. is rated so high because this was not the typical early season upset, e.g., a 14-13 score, good defense, sloppy offense, many turnovers.

Rather AS gashed Michigan for several long gains and moved the ball easily...MI is always supposed to be a good defensive team.

2007-09-05 11:34:45
15.   illinination
Still no love for Rutgers, eh? How much more wood do they have to chop?
2007-09-05 12:18:46
16.   Scott Long
I know I'm in the minority, but I have them out of the top 25, as I suspect they will lose 3 or 4 games. They are starting to get better recruits, though, so I suspect they will be back in the top 25 if they keep Schiano for a few more years.
2007-09-05 12:30:55
17.   Vishal
no response to 9 , scott? what's your opinion on the golden bears?
2007-09-05 12:55:44
18.   Scott Long
The Bears play at Oregon, at Arizona State, and at UCLA, plus USC at home. I think they will lose 3 games. They will be the best 3 loss team in the country, but the schedule is killer. Tennessee was overrated and I think the Bears will miss Lynch more than their fans believe.

So I'm comfortable with 16. I do believe Tedford is the best candidate to be a great pro coach in the colleges and that includes Carroll, Stoops, and Ferentz.

2007-09-10 15:19:41
19.   illinination
16 I'm afraid you may be in the majority.

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