Blog Entry

Breaking down the coaches' top 25

Posted on: August 4, 2011 1:16 pm
Edited on: August 5, 2011 9:59 am
A drive-by reaction to the preseason coaches poll released Thursday. If nothing else, it is another sign that we are closer to actual football.

 Oklahoma is No. 1 in a preseason poll for only the second time in the BCS era (2003 was the other). The Sooners got 42 first-place votes. Alabama is a distant second with 13 first-place votes but is only 40 points away from No. 1 (1,454-1,414). That 1-2 slotting probably will last at least to Game 2. In Week 1, Alabama hosts Kent State. Tulsa goes to Oklahoma.

That also means the winner of No. 3 Oregon and No. 4 LSU in the Jerry Dome isn't likely to jump into the top two.

 Speaking of which, still researching the last time two top five teams met on a neutral field in a season opener. Your input is welcome.

 At least seven of the 25 teams are on probation or are being investigated by the NCAA for major violations: Ohio State, Florida State, Alabama, Oregon, LSU, Boise State, Auburn.

 Of the 11 teams to win championships in the BCS era, eight are in the preseason poll: Auburn, Alabama, Florida, LSU, Texas, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Florida State. Missing: Tennessee, Miami, USC (not eligible).

 You want an early opinion on the season? Ask Tulsa's rookie head coach. Bill Blankenship. His Hurricane play three teams in the top eight in the first month -- No. 1 Oklahoma, No. 7 Boise State and No. 8 Oklahoma State.

 Four of the top five teams play each other in the first three weeks. (LSU-Oregon, FSU-Oklahoma).

 Boise State is the only school in the top eight not playing another school in that group. If the Broncos get into championship contention again, you can already hear the haters.

 The SEC has eight teams in the top 25. That's up from six to end last season. What are the odds that the Strength Everywhere Conference will claim a sixth consecutive national championship? Answer: Good. Very good.

 The SEC (eight), Big 12 and Big Ten (five each) account for 18 of the 25 teams.

 To the surprise of no one, 20 of the 25 teams who ended ranked in 2010 are ranked to begin 2011. Missing: Maryland, Utah, North Carolina State, Central Florida, Nevada.

 The dividing line comes at Arizona State. Penn State is No. 25, three points ahead of the Sun Devils, the first of "others receiving votes."

 The Big East was shut out of the top 25. The highest-ranked BE school is West Virginia at No. 27.

 Defending champion Auburn (No. 19) is by far the lowest-ranked defending champion in the preseason coaches poll in at least nine years. LSU was previously the lowest at No. 6 in 2008 during that period. Others: Alabama, 2010 (No. 1), Florida, 2009 (1), Florida, 2007 (3), Texas, 2006 (2), USC, 2004-2005 (1), Ohio State, 2003 (2), Miami, 2002 (1).

 Fifty teams, 42 percent of FBS, received votes.

Since: Sep 17, 2009
Posted on: August 9, 2011 9:38 am

Breaking down the coaches' top 25

Good call Arizona Tiger, alomost.  I too looked at the Kickoff Classic, but in the 1984 Classic Auburn was pre-season #1 while Miami was #10, not #3. 

The inaugural Classic in 1983 had Pre-season #1 Nebraska facing defending National Champion and 5th ranked Penn State.  Nebraska won that game 44-6.  The Cornhuskers went on to steamroll practically everyone on their schedule until dropping the well known Orange Bowl contest 31-30 to Miami by not converting on a two-point attempt with less than a minute left in the game.

Nebraska played in the Classic again in 1994 as the pre-season #4 team and defeated 24th ranked West Virginia 31-0.  The Mountaineers and Cornhuskers had finished the regular season the prio year (1993) both 11-0.  Nebraska lost a close one 18-16 to Florida Stae in the Orange Bowl, while West Virginia was embarassed by Florida in the Sugar Bowl 41-7. In 1994, Nebraska won the first of two straight National Championships, finishing at 13-0.  Penn State finished 12-0 and 2nd.

Nebraska as the pre-season #2 team faced 10th ranked Texas A&M in the 1988 Kickoff Classic.  The Cornhuskers won that contest 23-14.  Nebraska finished that season ranked 10th, having lost to UCLA in week three and then to Miami 23-3 in the Orange Bowl.

The Kickoff Classic had two other contests in which both teams were in the top ten of the pre-season poll, 1986 in which #5 Alabama defeated #9 Ohio State 16-10 and 1991 in which #7 Penn state beat #8 Georgia Tech 34-22.

Nebraska is the only team that was 3-0 in Kickoff Classic appearances in the 20 year run of the pre-season classic.  Penn state made the most appearances with four, but finished at 2-2.  Miami, Florida State and Notre Dame all three were 2-0 in this game, while Iowa, Texas A&M and Boston College each share in the distinction of being the only teams with multiple appearances, but no wins as all three went 0-2.  Texas A&M lost both appearances 23-14, the 1988 game against Nebraska and ten years later in the 1998 game against Florida State.

Since: May 6, 2010
Posted on: August 9, 2011 6:29 am

Breaking down the coaches' top 25

 Boise State is the only school in the top eight not playing another school in that group. If the Broncos get into championship contention again, you can already hear the haters.

You media members like to call us "haters" but I like to think of myself as a realist.  Oregon took less money to travel to Texas and open the season against LSU this year.  And last year they took less money to travel to Tennessee @ Tennessee (when they scheduled it Tennessee was a 2-loss program).  Boise St. doesn't do this.  They demand an equal share of the money or a home game in Boise in exchange for scheduling the tough southern teams.  Both are new on the national scene of relevance, and Oregon is making strides to prove themselves while Boise St. stays up in their little cow town whining about no one respecting them.  And Oregon, it can be argued, doesn't need to go out of it's way to schedule SEC teams anymore with the Pac-12 being a legitimate conference.

Boise St.'s toughest 2-game stretch this season is TCU-San Diego St..  If When they run the table, the media will talk about how good Kellen Moore is and how Boise St. is so so disrespected... but us "haters" will have to remind you that there is a reason we "hate".  Boise plays no one and avoids playing anyone of national relevance.

It's true that SEC and ACC teams (Florida St. and LSU) have "turned down" Boise St... but only because Boise St. demanded a home-and-home.  And I hear the response already that it's "unfair" to make Boise St. travel to the south without the teams they play going back up to the north.  If you're a realist like me however, you'll know that these southern teams don't NEED to travel to have a legitimate schedule.  And that's what it's all about, need.  Boise St. needs to play tough out of conference teams in order to gain respect.  Florida St. doesn't.  LSU doesn't.  And I'd argue Oregon doesn't anymore either.  They all have tough enough in-conference schedules to be legitimate contenders without traveling to Idaho.

I hope they lose to Georgia in week 1.  Just so we don't have to hear the media blabber on and on about the supposed underdog story of a team who plays 1 or 2 legitimate games and then a bunch of cupcakes all season long.  But they we'll hear all about TCU (who plays an even weaker schedule than Boise St.). 

Since: Dec 2, 2007
Posted on: August 9, 2011 3:39 am

Breaking down the coaches' top 25

What part of the Bama-Auburn game was better than the Oregon-Auburn game?  The way Bama completely destroyed Auburn in the first half or the way they laid down and died for Auburn after the halftime call from Slive?  Please....that was not championship game anymore than half of the media arranged farces that have led to the SEC winning 5 mythical national championships:  LSU in 07-farce, FLA in 08-sham, Bama in 09-legit, but too bad McCoy's injury robbed the world of a great game, AUB-disgrace, still waiting for the NCAA to do their job and vacate the win for their professional QB.   What a joke all the supposed SEC dominance is. 

Since: Sep 16, 2008
Posted on: August 8, 2011 11:41 pm

Breaking down the coaches' top 25

Last year, the Alabama-Auburn game was the National Championship!  What game topped that last year?  Auburn-Oregon was good, but the game on the day after Thanksgving in Tuscaloosa was better. 

Since: Sep 16, 2008
Posted on: August 8, 2011 11:30 pm

Breaking down the coaches' top 25

I hear you. Brother.

Since: Jan 17, 2007
Posted on: August 8, 2011 11:02 pm

Breaking down the coaches' top 25

The SEC is the most dominant conference. PERIOD. National championships every year and no other conference can match the SEC's size, speed, or depth. The only reason it isn't a two SEC team national championship is because the SEC championship game ensures two SEC teams won't go undefeated. It should have been Alabama vs Auburn in last years championship game. LSU will destroy Oregon to start the SEC dominance in non- conference games.

Since: Jan 17, 2007
Posted on: August 8, 2011 10:57 pm

Breaking down the coaches' top 25

He is writing what is fact. The SEC kicks the crap out of every conference. The only way any other conference team sneaks in the national championship game is because it is impossible for two SEC teams to make it. Last year Alabama and Auburn were the two best teams. No conference in America can compete with the speed, size, and depth of a SEC roster. When is the last time a non SEC team has won a national championship?

Since: Sep 16, 2008
Posted on: August 8, 2011 9:56 pm

Breaking down the coaches' top 25

Back in late August 1984, Preseason #1 Auburn played #3 Miami In the now defunct Kick-off Classic in the Meadowlands, NJ.  Miami won the game 20-18 with rookie Hurricane coach Jimmy Johnson and the strong play of QB Bernie Kosar squeaking out a win over Auburn coach Pat Dye and the legendary Auburn RB Bo Jackson.  Even though the game was technically a pre-season game, Miami was ranked #1 the following week in the AP poll.

Since: Mar 20, 2007
Posted on: August 8, 2011 5:42 pm

Breaking down the coaches' top 25

Actually, LSU is NOT being investigated for any major infractions.  They just concluded and it was a model of self-reporting and internal compliance about an issue the NCAA wasn't even aware of until LSU told them.

Since: Nov 13, 2008
Posted on: August 8, 2011 5:41 pm

Breaking down the coaches' top 25

I don't remember exactly, but I think the Boise State and Virginia Tech matchup last year was a showdown between two top 5 teams on a neutral site.  Tech may have been number 6 or 7.  Anyone else remember?  Looking forward to a great season....this year is wide open for a lot of teams.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or