John Roberts College Football

Friday, August 19, 2005

Preseason 2005: Ranking the teams and a few sleepers

Here are my preseason rankings of all 119 teams. Keep in mind that these rankings are predictions of where they will end up, not how good they are right now.

1. USC
2. LSU
3. Virginia Tech
4. Miami, FL
5. Michigan
6. Oklahoma
7. Iowa
8. Tennessee
9. Ohio State
10. Texas
11. Florida
12. Louisville
13. UCLA
14. Boston College
15. Georgia
16. Arizona State
17. Florida State
18. Texas A&M
19. Georgia Tech
20. UTEP
21. Texas Tech
22. Alabama
23. Boise State
24. Penn State
25. Iowa State

26. Minnesota
27. Bowling Green
28. Fresno State
29. Arkansas
30. Oklahoma State
31. Auburn
32. Purdue
33. North Carolina State
34. California
35. Memphis
36. Missouri
37. Oregon State
38. Colorado
39. Oregon
40. Toledo
41. Clemson
42. UAB
43. West Virginia
44. Northern Illinois
45. Notre Dame
46. Utah
47. Pittsburgh
48. Stanford
49. Wisconsin
50. Virginia

51. Nebraska
52. Connecticut
53. Miami, OH
54. Kansas State
55. Wyoming
56. Washington State
57. BYU
58. South Carolina
59. Wake Forest
60. Rutgers
61. Maryland
62. Tulane
63. Houston
64. Nevada
65. Southern Miss
66. Mississippi
67. Syracuse
68. Michigan State
69. New Mexico
70. Arizona
71. Kansas
72. Indiana
73. North Carolina
74. Middle Tennessee
75. Northwestern

76. Marshall
77. Colorado State
78. Navy
79. Air Force
80. Louisiana Tech
81. North Texas
82. Vanderbilt
83. Washington
84. San Diego State
85. Mississippi State
86. Hawaii
87. TCU
88. Illinois
89. Ohio
90. Baylor
91. Kentucky
92. Eastern Michigan
93. South Florida
94. Western Michigan
95. Duke
96. Ball State
97. Cincinnati
98. Tulsa
99. UNLV
100. Louisiana-Monroe

101. East Carolina
102. Louisiana-Lafayette
103. Buffalo
104. Akron
105. Troy
106. San Jose State
107. SMU
108. Army
109. New Mexico State
110. Rice
111. Idaho
112. Kent
113. Florida Atlantic
114. Central Michigan
115. Florida International
116. Arkansas State
117. Utah State
118. Temple
119. UCF


It seems that each year I vastly underrate some team in the preseason. So, this year, I am making a list of the teams that I think I may have vastly underrated. This way, I can at least say at the end of the year that I knew that I could be off right from the beginning.

Purdue- The Boilermakers return a ton of starters, but haven't proven they can win close games or pick themselves up off the mat after a tough loss. They have a chance to run into the Top Five, but also a chance to fall flat on their face. I've fallen for Purdue several times before and always wound up with egg on my face. This year, the egg could wind up there again if they run to the Top Five.

Clemson- Call me crazy, but I'm really starting to think that Clemson could be really good. They have a lot of the same talent that was here last year when they were supposed to make a run at the title. This year, they are a year more experienced, and they get Texas A&M, Florida State, Miami, and Boston College all at home, whereas last year they had to play three of those four teams on the road. I really think Whitehurst could have a breakout season making up for last year's disappointment, much like Campbell did at Auburn a year ago.

Auburn- Surely there is no way the can do THAT again, right? Maybe, maybe not. They have a lot of talent, but they lost a lot as well. The Tigers probably will not make another run this year. But the Tigers might be good enough to finish much higher than I have them ranked.

California- The Bears lost a lot as well, but Tedford is a master at pulling together talent. Plus, their schedule is a walk in the park at the beginning. The Bears have a chance to mesh before mid-October when the season really gets rolling.

Kansas- I love this Jayhawks team. I think they have a very real shot at winning the division. How can that be since I said they would go 1-7 in conference play? Easy. They play in the North and can win a bunch of those toss up games that were left when I picked their schedule. Don't be shocked if this team goes far.

Pittsburgh- Yes, Syracuse may be underrated as well, but the Panthers have a chance to be very very good this year. Good enough to to even beat Louisville. Of course, the new coaching staff could be like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole right now. I'm not sure if the staff has the people necessary to make their schemes work. If they do though, look out!

Oregon- The more I hear people talk about Oregon, the more I become convinced that they really are a solid bunch. I think they probably are the fifth best team in the conference, but if they beat USC early in the year I wouldn't be shocked, in which case they suddenly have a real shot to win the Pac Ten. Is this the year the Ducks return to their past glory?


At 1:08 PM, Blogger Frank said...

No C-USA sleeper! outrageous.

Tulane is catagorically not better now, or ever this year, than Southern Miss.

At 3:46 PM, Blogger John Roberts said...

I'm not at high as you are (and as most people seem to be) on Southern Miss. They only went 7-5 last year and are only moderately improved (if at all) this year. I did a lot of my rankings based on my predicted records for each team, thus making it how a pollster would be likely to vote them. I tried to even things out a little here and there with how good I thought they would be. Southern Miss I have projected at 6-5, and Tulane I have projected at 7-4 (despite a loss to Southern Miss). Therefore, Tulane earns the higher ranking. That being said, if you asked me who I thought the better team was, I would said Southern Miss, but by only 5-10 points. That game ought to be real treat!

At the end of last year you predicted a 7 or 8 win season this year for Tulane according to your blog. What happened in the last few months to change your mind?

At 8:56 AM, Blogger John Roberts said...

Also, thanks for the comment. I will give sleepers from non-BCS conferences sometime before the season starts.


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