Which preseason college football magazine is your favorite?
Well Brian over at MGoBlog is not alone. I don't really read preseason CFB magazines any more. I don't feel the need to. There is so much great information online these days that we can easily form informed takes on CFB without having to buy magazines with glossy pics, nice grids, but boilerplate takes on teams from different conferences. One reason I still maintain subscriptions for Rivals and Scout websites is that the team sites from those servers are good sources of info. when it comes to reading their depth charts and other detailed info. And then you have prolific bloggers like SMQ and sites like CFN who are providing detailed takes on every team. But if I had to recommend a specific pre season preview magazine, I would recommend checking out Blue Ribbon's college football yearbook. They nailed their predictions on UCLA last year (more on that below) and they were also on the money in their college basketball yearbook.
Lastly on this topic I can tell you that I am certainly planning to read Playboy?s list of All Americans. Why? Because my barber keeps every issue of Playboy at his Salon (Tony?s at 21st and Penn, near George Washington campus in DC). It?s awesome. So yeah when it comes to reading pre-season rags on college football, I will definitely take a peak at that one. Ok moving on.
What team is being supremely overrated in the preseason rankings?
Well the easy pick is ND. But for us the pick is USC. USC is being ranked in the top-3/5 by most preseason rags. And I don't see how. Take a look at their depth chart. They lost the heart of their offense last season. Their backfield, despite what SC Pundits will tell you, is a kind of a mess. Hershel Dennis, their tailback with most experience is out for the season. Sure they miraculously got Chauncey Washington to become eligible for next season, but he really doesn't have a lot of experience. Speaking of miracles, looks like Mr. Free Rent aka DeWayne Jarrett will be back in the starting lineup but not a lot of experienced receivers besides Jarrett and Lewis. And their defense doesn't scare me given how Fresno State was able to shred it without having an all world superstar such as Vince Young. Having to replace experienced starters like Bing with Ting will have an impact.
Plus, going back to offense, SC will be led by this guy:
The Macho Man (HT to M Zone)
Yeah Ok. That should intimidate us (or anyone else in college football). Tell me again why we should be all that impressed (guess we should ask SC coeds the same question too)? Again right now Cal is my pick to win the Pac-10. SC is perhaps a top-10 team, but I will not be surprised if they are shooting for the Holiday Bowl by the end of the season. So if Dorrell cannot beat these clowns this year at home, he will never get it done.
Turn the tables. Who is underrated?
Well duh. For us, the answer is obvious. Once again pre-season prognosticators from across the country are underrating us. Remember last season almost every pre-season prognosticator (except for Blue Ribbon) had UCLA finishing somewhere in the middle of the Pac-10, even though we kept insisting UCLA had enough talent to at least win 9 games.
We are going through the same routine this year. Perhaps we can't blame the national prognosticators because when they think of UCLA from last year they think of this:
But the facts are despite's Dorrell's luke warm recruiting effort, UCLA is still at least the 3rd most talented team in the Pac-10 behind USC and Cal. We have lost MJD, Lewis, and DO on offense. But IMHO South Paw Jesus is an upgrade over DO, and the tandem of Markey/Bell may not have MJD's game breaking speed, but they should be fine. And we are stacked with superb athletes at flanker and split end and TE, and our OL should be more experienced. We should have an explosive offense again and our defense can only get better.
USC has the Macho Man, UCLA has the Southpaw Jesus (photo- Daily News)
So it is more than reasonable to expect UCLA to win 9 games and beat SC. Thus, we should be ranked somewhere in top-15/20 going into next season.
Which conference will be the best in 2006?
Meh. I don't really care about getting into this debate. Pac-10 is a damn good, tough football conference. It is one of the 4 or 5 best in the country. Are we the best? No, I don't really think so. This is not worth my time to do post after post on.
Which "non-BCS" conference will be the best in 2006?
I dunno. I don't really pay attention to non-BCS conferences. I keep track of certain teams (as I note in my response to next question), but I don't really have enough knowledge on a Conference USA, or MWC (or is it still Big West?) to make a determination on which should be the best. I do think the Big East should be downgraded to a Non-BCS conference. They shouldn't have an automatic BCS slot. That's a joke.
Which non-BCS conference team will have the best season?
There are a few non-BCS conference teams I pay attention to close year because of their superb coaching staffs. I will keeping my eyes on Fresno State, Boise State, Utah, Marshall, and Bowling Green this upcoming season.
I am really interested to see what happens in the Marshall v. West Virginia game. I think despite being in-state rivals they have only played twice, and I believe West Virginia has already been busted for spying on Marshall's practices this off-season. The Mountaineers are going to be the obvious heavy favorites. But I wouldn't be so shocked if Marshall pulls off a surprise. Those guys from Huntington may be fired up. And college football is a lot about emotion and good coaching schemes (factors missing from Dorrell's team).
Ok I haven't answer the question yet. I will go with our West Coast team - Fresno. Pat Hill always puts together good seasons. He will again this year too.
Let's get your first read on this one...who will win the H*i*m*n? Oh, by the way, players whose last names begin with the letter "Q" are ineligible.
Another topic I don't obsess about this time of the year. It's not really all that important. However, I will keep my eyes on Adrian Peterson (OU) and Troy Smith (OSU), provided they can stay eligible through the season.
As always, if you disagree or want to refine my answers, please fire away in the comment section.