Thursday, July 27, 2006

Preseason Insanity Part I

Everyone does it; we sneak to the sports section of the magazine rack at Wal-Mart this time of year to satisfy our football Jones. We’ll search through all the different titles, looking for the one that ranks our team best and buy it, abolishing the rest because apparently, the other writers are on crack. They never pan out, we all know it, yet we are drawn back each year. They entice us like sadistic sirens luring us into the jagged rocks of the college football underworld. One would think that the $9.00 we pay these preseason magazines would shed a tad more light into the upcoming season, but alas, they usually don’t. With that in mind, it’s time for TNL to tackle the preseason rankings.

The first thing to agree upon is what the preseason polls are trying to predict. For our discussion, let’s assume they are picking the final standings at the end of the year. Accepting that, the second thing to agree upon is one poll, but that would never work. Failing that, we might as well lock the polls in an airtight room, blast nonstop Michael Bolton music at 110 decibels, and give them nothing but the new Peels Pear and Lemon flavored malt beverage to drink and not let them out until they agree.

Trust me, it would be a tough choice between this and your own urine.

Fortunately, Fight On State has done just that. Basically they took a conglomerate of most of the popular preseason polls and weighed each vote just like you would in the regular season polls and tallied the results:
Consensus Poll
1. Ohio State (8 first-place votes) - 453 points
2. Texas (2) - 403 points
3. Notre Dame (4) - 402 points
4. West Virginia (1) - 400 points
5. Oklahoma (4) - 390 points
6. USC - 379 points
7. Auburn - 369 points
8. LSU - 349 points
9. Florida - 337 points
10. Florida State - 264 points
11. Louisville - 259 points
12. California - 242 points
13. Michigan - 236 points
14. Miami (Fla.) - 226 points
15. Georgia - 205 points
16. Iowa - 177 points
17. Virginia Tech - 169 points
18. Clemson - 141 points
19. Nebraska - 122 points
20. Penn State - 108 points

Standard stuff, most magazines would agree to some degree. There are a couple things that stand out. First of all, I'm a true believer in A) number of drafted players lost to the NFL and B) strong defense, as predecessors of a top ten finish. If you have 1st round NFL talent, you have something good. NFL scouts aren’t worthless hacks trying to make a buck exploiting teenagers (I’m looking in your direction Tom Lemming), these are the big boys; they are paid to recognize superior ability. Secondly, defense wins championships. USC, Texas, Ohio State, and Penn State all had robust D’s last year and finished quite well, thank you very much. With that in mind, a couple things stand out.

Ohio State is WAY overrated. THEosu lost 9 players to the NFL draft and a mind-boggling 5 in the first… that’s FIVE first round picks! That is a lot of talent to replace. Yes THEosu pundits will say they have great young talent with playing experience, which may be true, but I’m just not buying, it’s too much beef to replace. Looking at defense they lose 9 players altogether. I’ve read some reports that say the defense will be better this year then last and all I can say is, I’d like to get my hands on some of the stuff they’re smoking, it’s good shit. For those keeping score at home that’s 437.5 tackles, 36 sacks, and 6 interceptions… gone. That’s a lot of meat and cheese, MEAT ..... and cheese.

Is that a single? WE DON'T DO SINGLES!!

Florida State – where did they come from? Again, here is a team that underachieved last year and I guess that’s why they get so much respect, but a team that loses 8 players to the draft and 4 first round picks finishing in the top 10? I doubt it. Granted one of those first-rounders didn’t play for the Noles in 2005, but 3 are tough to replace. Defense- 6 of those players drafted were from the defensive side of the ball and they lost a total of 6 on offense. Too much pro talent to replace.

We can pick some nits about the rest, but overall, FSU and OSU just aren’t going to finish this high at the end of the year. The popular choice for “overrated of the year” is Notre Dame, but I’m not so sure. Notre Dame doesn’t have the superior D but at the very least they have a boat load of returning starters back on that side of the ball, and that makes me a believer.

Next up… part two: I’ll take a look at those teams I feel are underrated. Bet you can’t guess who one of them is.


JB said...

Hey man, great site!!! Keep it up!

PSUMike said...

I've seen a couple polls that have TCU ranked above us...TCU!!!! Come on!?!?!

Galen said...

The sword of truth and justice... from now on to be recognized as tsotaj...(ouch cramp)
Thank you, we try.


wait till Part II... wait for it...

Cool Hand Mike said...

The TCU kool aid has been making it's rounds the past couple of years. The only problem is they never play the games that would expose them as only the mid major, and that's all, force they are.

IrishOutsider said...

If I could give everyone a heads up, and undefeated TCU is part of a little known BCS doomsday scenario. I know it was in the old agreement and probably carried over to the new terms, but here goes. If TCU is Top 6 BCS and Notre Dame is BCS eligible (but not #1/#2), Notre Dame gets an auto at-large, matching them up with TCU...the so-called TCU rule (but would apply to (Utah, Fresno, et al)

This came up prior to the 2000 Fiasco Bowl, with TCU eventually falling out of the picture, leaving the Irish to get slaughetered.

Galen said...


Now I have something to root for this season, complete BCS meltdown! Could you imagine the aftermath of that scenario??

Anonymous said...

I'll remind you after the saeason how overrated OSU is. Our schedule is favorable at worst!! Need I remind you that there is NO way PSU wins in Columbus. How many points have you scored in Columbus since entry into the Big Ten?? Somewhere around 40 or so in six games?? Who is going to stop the offense?? Let me guess, Texas. Right....

Herringbone said...

I think that junk that you speak of is the same wacky weed that most PSU fans use prior to talking about Anthony "Brasky" Morelli (sp?). OSU is a little overrated...but when has OSU not had a stout defense in the Tressel era? Let me give you a was around the last time that PSU put together back-to-back winning seasons.

*Ducking from urine bag toss*

Galen said...

Thank you for being the first OSU fan that has admitted to your team being "a little" overrated, I tip my hat to your honesty. You're right, PSU hasn't played well in Columbus (as I've documented) and I don't see a change this year, but I'll make you a bet, I'll bet Penn State finishes ahead of their initial ranking and OSU finishes behind... winner gets to throw the "urine bag" on the loser.

Herringbone said...

Cmon Galen...

At least make a proper which team finishes higher in the polls. Or maybe which team finishes with the least amount of damage from its first ranking.

I do think that while OSU is overrated that it could still run the table, and probably has the best chance outside of WV or Louisville with a chance to do so.

With that being said, where does PSU look to improve this year...outside of the LBs, WRs (that do not have proven ball tosser), and one stud D-Lineman the outlook cannot be that good can it?

WIll Morrelli be able to run for his life this season? Even with Robinson in the backfield, the pocket pro behind the PSU line was pretty piss poor last year.

All of us OSU fans know te weaknesses of this year's team...inexperience...not a lack of talent.