Dissecting the Preseason Polls (Part 1 of 2)


Because so often, they're full of junk.

The Coaches Poll this year has several teams that HAVE to reload. Florida and Alabama lost a ton of experience defensively. Texas has to replace its best playmakers. Ohio State has to battle itself. And Virginia Tech somehow winds up in the top ten despite not winning its own division.

After the jump: brief analyses of the teams in the Top 12: What do they replace?

This is a simple list form of the teams in the Top 25 of the Coaches Poll.

1. Alabama
2. Ohio State
3. Florida
4. Texas
5. Boise State
6. Virginia Tech
7. TCU
8. Oklahoma
9. Nebraska
10. Iowa
11. Oregon
12. Wisconsin
13. Miami
14. Penn State
15. Pittsburgh
16. LSU
17. Georgia Tech
18. North Carolina
19. Arkansas
20. Florida State
21. Georgia
22. Oregon State
23. Auburn
24. Utah
25. WVU

1) Alabama = MUST replace 9 defensive starters from last season. Desipte a great offense, this team could be upset by someone who can take advantage of a completely green secondary. One of the remaining starters (Marcel Dareus) could face suspension from the NCAA. Mark Barron, an All-SEC safety, returns, as does Don'ta Hightower from an ACL injury.

2) Ohio State = MUST take advantage of a favorable home schedule. Avoiding a loss to Miami is key. If the Hurricanes win that game, they will shoot up the polls. There's no way Ohio State will go undefeated in conference play if they lose that game. (there's almost no way they'll go undefeated period. Their last win in Madison was a fluke-bomb/defensive disaster)

3) Florida = MUST replace big name starters. Major Wright, the tebow-child, Aaron Hernandez, Maurkice Pouncey, Jermaine Cunningham, Brandon Spikes, and Carlos Dunlap are all in the NFL. They could very well lose three conference games this year with all those voids to fill.

4) Texas = MUST also replace big name starters. Colt McCoy and Jordan Shipley, one of the deadliest QB-WR combos in college football history, are in the NFL. They have to replace the talented Earl Thomas, as well as Roddrick Muckelroy and Sergio Kindle. Those three players did more to bolster and overranked rushing defense, and they got shelled in the National Title game.

5) Boise State = MUST win out to take National Title. If they take on VT (which is overranked) and win, they HAVE to win their next game against Oregon State, or forever be knocked out of the title game. They have to find a replacement for Kyle Wilson, but offensively, this team has what it takes to win the WAC.

6) Virginia Tech = HIGHLY overranked. They beat the stuffing out of Tennessee in their bowl game, and all indications are that they'll have a great offense for the first time in forever, but they lost a lot on defense. Jason Worilds is a Pittsburgh Steeler. Kam Chancellor, Ed Wang, and Cody Grimm are all in the NFL. Even their punter was drafted. Beamer-ball depends on solid special teams and defense, and the Hokies could let a few games slip out of their fingers (especially the one against the Masters of Trickery, Boise State).

7) TCU = VERY solid squad. Replacements are needed for Jerry Hughes and Daryl Washington, but this squad has a good offense led by Andy Dalton. Marshall Newhouse is now a Green Bay Packer, but Dalton's offensive line performed well last season. They could go unbeaten in MWC play.

8) Oklahoma = GREAT defense, but erratic offense. If Landry Jones reduces his interception totals, Oklahoma could easily make 11 wins and possibly win the Big Twelve entirely. While three offensive players went in the first round of the NFL Draft, only one was a contributor all season (Trent Williams) and the other two were injured (Jermaine Gresham and Sam Bradford). Gerald McCoy's departure may hurt, but the defense should be able to move on from his departure.

9) Nebraska = THERE IS NO OFFENSE. Yet. Aside from Roy Helu, the offense is below average. QB issues could torpedo this team. Defensively, Jared Crick hopes to fill the hole left by All-American DT Ndamukong Suh. Assuming there isn't a WTF? worthy loss to ISU or KSU, Nebraska should walk away with the Big Twelve North. But they'll have to go through a reloading Missouri team.

10) Iowa = Four players who started for the Hawkeyes last year are gone. Tony Moeaki is a Kansas City Chief. Brian Bulaga is a Green Bay Packer. Three other players who started at OL for Iowa graduated. And Amari Spievey and Pat Angerer are now in the NFL. Hope remains on defense, where Pinball-INT extraordinaire Tyler Sash returns. Iowa's LB corps. is typically solid, but replacing Angerer could be a big challenge for whoever wins the final spot. Adrian Clayborn anchors the defensive line, and can move from DE to DT in a pinch. If Ricky Stanzi is able to avoid throwing 15 INTs this season, then Iowa should be able to remain in the top ten. But they're on the bubble, and another nonconference meltdown ala 2008 Pittsburgh will knock Iowa out of the top 15. The Hawkeyes are their own worst enemy.

11) Oregon = NATE Costa is the most likely Duck QB to win the starting job. With USC (rightfully) punished, Oregon should have run away with the preseason polls. Nope, people STILL voted for a USC team that can't even play in the postseason (blockheads) and doesn't have a good defense anyway. The Ducks D struggled at points last year, especially against Oregon State, Stanford, and Ohio State. In my opinion, LaMichael James and Nate Costa will help this Ducks team fly under the radar to a second consecutive division title.

12) Wisconsin = FINALLY! No, the Badgers have had to work VERY hard to get to this point. Culmer St. Jean, Chris Borland, and Mike Taylor are the probable starters at LB. Scott Tolzien is the first returning starting QB since John Stocco, and his ability to throw will make it impossible for opposing teams to load up the box against returning player of the year John Clay. Nick Toon and Lance Kendricks will stretch the field, but its up to the three senior wideouts (Isaac Anderson, Kyle Jefferson and David Gilreath) to prevent those two from facing double coverage. The best special teams since the 2007 squad should help Wisconsin also move under the radar. But Chris Maragos has to be replaced by another hard worker in the secondary. Louis Nzegwu and JJ Watt will help Wisconsin's defense, and Jay Valai will anchor the secondary.5ea1230e-c637-11de-ab9f-001cc4c002e0
The probable answer for any Tyler Sash problems.


So, what do you think? Part Two coming soon.

FanPosts are user-created posts from the Bucky's 5th Quarter community. They reflect the opinions and views of that particular user, not that of the staff of Bucky's 5th Quarter nor the blog community as a whole.

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