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My Top Ten College Football Poll

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September 6, 2006 by Stephen

There are several polls that rank college football teams in the pre-season. Invariably they generate lots of discussion and controversy. Now that the first week of games is in the books here is my Top Ten Poll. My poll considers the following factors heavily: level of competition and where the game takes place. Performance on the field is the key here. Early in the season this will be a very fluid poll.

My Top Ten:
1. Tennessee
2. Florida State
3. Notre Dame
4. Auburn
5. Southern Cal
6. Florida
7. West Virginia
8. Texas
9. Ohio State
10. LSU

Tennessee
gets the nod for the top spot because they easily defeated many people’s dark horse national title contender Cal. In the process they put behind all the frustrations from last year. The pressure on Tennessee going into this game cannot be taken too lightly. Florida State narrowly misses out on the top spot after going to Miami and defeating the Hurricanes. It was a game dominated by the defenses and lacked aesthetic value. Nevertheless, Florida State positions themselves as early ACC and national title favorites. In the third spot is Notre Dame, a team also under the immense pressure of high (unrealistic?) expectations. All they did was go into a hostile environment, at night, on national television, against a good foe with perhaps the best WR in the country in Calvin Johnson, and WIN. The offense didn’t look great, but the defense answered some questions. Now, can they survive a visit from Penn State? In fourth is Auburn. The Tigers overcome their recent history of slow starts (three opening games losses in last four years) to defeat Washington State. WSU is not a great team, but it’s not a Division I-AA team either. And Auburn plays in the best conference in the country, the SEC. Southern Cal is next at number five. After losing lots of firepower from last year, all they did is hit the road and whip Arkansas again. The margin wasn’t as great as last year, but the cupboard at USC is definitely not bare. In the sixth spot is Florida. Florida handled Southern Miss at home with the ol’ ball coach, Steve Spurrier, in attendance. Southern Miss may not be as dangerous as in past years, but they are a formidable foe for a season opener. West Virginia comes in next at number seven. They defeated rival Marshall. In case you doubt the bitterness of the rivalry, there were four personal fouls called in the opening minutes of the game. West Virginia is another pick to go undefeated and contend for the national title. The loss of RB Michael Bush at Louisville for the rest of the year makes their run to the championship game a little easier. So does the increase in stature of the Big East (Rutgers and Pitt). WVU is loaded on offense and last year’s bowl game victory over Georgia was probably the best game outside of the USC-Texas championship game. Speaking of Texas, they come in at number eight. Texas defeated North Texas easily. Of course, some big school Texas high school teams could probably beat North Texas. UNT’s secondary made Texas QB Colt McCoy and WR Limas Sweed look like All-Americans. The real test comes next week as Ohio State comes to visit Austin. And that leads us to Ohio State at number nine. They defeated Northern Illinois, but in the process made RB Garrett Wolfe look like an All-American (285 total yards). Can they return the favor and knock off the Horns on their home field? We’ll see. Thanks to the AP leapfrogging Texas over Notre Dame in their poll, this is now a #1 vs. #2 game (USA Today Coaches Poll already had OSU #1 and Texas #2). This game also has the intrigue of player suspensions. One team’s national title dreams die Saturday night. Rounding out my poll at number ten is LSU. LSU was the feel good story of last year after surviving the aftermath of hurricane Katrina and posting a great record and bowl victory. It looks like they have another good team this year. Of course, they need to work on the defense some after allowing Louisiana-Lafayette to put points on the board (3) for the first time since 1924.
See you next week!
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