Monday, August 27, 2007

College Football Preseason Top 25:
Your National Champ: Virginia Tech

UPDATE! This week's edition of my Deadspin CFB guest-post is up.

Let's get right to it. Here's my preseason Top 25, with an emphasis on which team I think will win the national title.

1. Virginia Tech (BlogPoll: 8)
2. Florida (BP: 7)
3. West Virginia (BP: 5)
4. USC (BP: 1)
5. LSU (BP: 2)
6. Rutgers (BP: 21)
7. Michigan (BP: 3)
8. Texas (BP: 4)
9. Arkansas (BP: 20)
10. Louisville (BP: 10)
11. Wisconsin (BP: 9)
12. TCU (BP: 26)
13. Boise St (BP: 27)
14. Cal (BP: 12)
15. Penn St (BP: 13)
16. BC (BP: 33)
17. Tennessee (BP: 17)
18. Auburn (BP: 15)
19. Ohio St (BP: 11)
20. Oklahoma (BP: 6)
21. Hawaii (BP: 23)
22. Alabama (BP: 29)
23. Missouri (BP: 28)
24. Virginia (BP: 45)
25. Oregon (BP: 24)

BlogPoll Top 25 teams I had unranked:
Georgia (14)
UCLA (16)
Florida State (18)
Nebraska (19)
South Carolina (22)
Texas A&M (25)


(1) This is how I predict the teams will finish the season, with my emphasis being on the Top 10 contenders. (20-25 was my guess at Top 25 sleepers.) As soon as there is actual 2007 performance on the field to account for, I'm sure this listing will change radically, particularly after Week 1.

(2) Yes, I am picking Virginia Tech to win the national title. Yes, that's driven in large part by the "it HAS to be the Hokies, this of all seasons" effect.

And, yes, this implies that I think that VA Tech will go down to Baton Rouge and upset LSU on 9/8, then -- using that as the springboard -- go unbeaten, with that win at LSU arguably the single-best win that any of the contenders will be able to point to.

And, in a CFB season likely to be defined by explosive offense, I love the Hokies' stifling D (not to mention returning experience on BOTH sides of the ball).

(3) I also think that it will be a moot point: VA Tech will be the only BCS team to go unbeaten. Of the rest of the contenders, I think Florida will take one loss at LSU, then beat LSU in the SEC title game on a neutral field. I think West Virginia will lose at Rutgers. I think crowd-consensus No. 1 pick USC will lose TWICE, at Oregon then at Cal. I think Rutgers will lose at Louisville. I think Michigan will beat Ohio State, but lose at Wisconsin. I think Texas will lose at Texas A&M, but not before they lose in a Week 3 shocker to TCU. (Of non-BCS teams, I think TCU and Boise State will BOTH go unbeaten, but only TCU will get to a BCS bowl game, on the strength of that win at Texas.)

(4) Yes, I recognize that I'm VERY down on Georgia, UCLA, Florida State and Nebraska. Probably too down.

(5) Here you go: Which team do YOU think will win the national title? Will they go unbeaten? Who will they be playing? If you foresee a messy ending, who will be involved and why will it be messy?

-- D.S.

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