I posted the coaches top 10… and i’ve been following the yahoo/rivals.com top 10, and they are similar and different at the same time. I’d like to go through the yahoo/rivals top 10 and talk a little bit more in depth about my thoughts on their top top, and how I think the season could play out. They haven’t released #1-2 yet, but i’ll just go ahead and assume it will be like what everyone else is predicting.
2. Ohio St.
3. Boise St.
9. Virginia Tech
Let me start out by saying that I love seeing Oregon and Nebraska at #4-5. I totally had Oregon in my top 5 before the whole Massoli mess, and it seems like they have faith that the new QB/QB’s will step up in his place. I’d love to see Oregon back in the Rose Bowl or in the national championship game. They travel to Tennessee early, which will be a test, and have USC and rival Oregon St. on the road, but have a decent schedule. By the time they play USC, they should have most of their QB issues taken care of and we’ll see if their D steps up. They only lost 1 player from their D from last year, but it was an average D. If they can step it up I feel like they will make a run for the Pac 10 title again and possibly more. Nebraska, as i’ve said in previous posts, has a very favorable schedule as well. Their toughest games are at home against Texas and Missouri. They play on the road at Washington early, but that team in the NW still has a lot of questions. I feel like Nebraska has the tools to make a run at an undefeated regular season going into the Big 12 championship game, where I assume they will play Oklahoma, or have a re-match with Texas.
Let me bring up another team from Oregon that could surprise some people this year, Oregon St. The Beavers, according to yahoo/rivals are ranked around #22 and have one of the toughest schedules in the nation. They play 4 of their first 6 games on the road. 2 of them against non-con top 10 teams in Boise St. and TCU, and the other two against unpredictable Arizona and Washington. If Oregon St. has a 4 loss season, I don’t think people would look poorly upon them. They also have to play USC and Oregon, but get both of those games at home. Here is my question for you all… if Oregon St. happens to beat #3 Boise St. and #10 TCU and starts out the season 3-0 with 2 wins over top 10 teams before conference play, do they jump up into the top 10 in the rankings? If they start 3-0, with 2 wins over 2 top 10 teams before conference play, do they get bumped up as the favorite in the Pac-10? If they start out 3-0 with wins over 2 top 10 teams, do they get their name put up with the Alabama’s, Ohio St’s, Florida’s, Nebraska’s, Texas’s and even cross state rival Oregon’s as a national title contender? Here’s what I think:
If Oregon St. can pull off beating Boise St and TCU on the road, 2 teams that some, if not most, believe will go undefeated, the Beavers will jump into the top 10. There’s no denying them a spot that they deserve, and that would be a top 10 team.
Do they deserve to be bumped as the favorite in the Pac-10 under that scenario? I don’t think so. Not yet at least. Oregon is still the defending Pac 10 champs and deserves their turn as “favorite” for once. Despite the controversy, USC will still field a good team. With Stanford, UCLA, Arizona, and Washington all improving over the last few seasons and making the middle of the pack look better and pushing the top tier teams, it won’t be an easy conference to get through. Get through the non-con to gain national respect, then beat your conference to gain conference respect.
If they go 3-0 in non-con play, do they deserve some national championship contender hype? I think at that point, they would deserve to be in that conversation. It is very early in the season, but if you can beat 2 teams that are in top 10 on the road early, you deserve to be in national title contention talks. As stated earlier in this blog, it is a long season and the Pac-10 is not a push over conference by any means. But if the Beavers are undefeated with 2 marquee victories, they would deserve some national chatter, and I believe they would get the national media attention they deserve along with the ranking.
Now just to throw a little spin at the end of this blog here, let’s say Boise St. and TCU go undefeated… do they deserve a shot at the national championship? I am still undecided on this one, and I would have to see how the season plays out. I think if they are the only 2 undefeated teams at the end of the season, then they should absolutely play each other for the national championship game. However, if Alabama and Ohio St go undefeated, or if Oregon and Nebraska go undefeated or if Virginia Tech and Iowa go undefeated, I think any of those teams would be in the national championship game. And that comes down to schedule. Boise St has a better schedule this year, so if they go undefeated, I think they would still have a legit shot at making the national championship, much more likely if Alabama and Ohio St. lose at some point since they start the season ranked ahead of them, but it is possible. Boise St. plays Virginia Tech early, a top 10 team. As stated earlier, the Broncos play Oregon St, a top 25 team early. They are getting smarter and playing teams that matter early. But I still think going through the Big 12, Pac 10, SEC, or Big 10 and playing good teams more consistently wins out in the end.
I know there will be crazy twists and turns, and I would love to see some more controversy at the end of the season and see more playoff talk come up. I know there will be great games. I know there are many fun Saturdays ahead. And I can’t wait!