Time to Speculate

The season is less than 22 days away. And if you're a college football fan who's worth a damn, you're about as excited at a little boy on Christmas Eve. If you're a major sports news outlet, you're cramming speculation and meaningless pre-season rankings down your reader's throats. ESPN alone has a "Power Rankings", "Bottom 10", a "Best Helmet Clash", and not to mention more conference previews than you can swing a dead cat at.

But the reality is, we eat it up. We love it. And can't get enough of it. Right now, ESPN has an article discussing which team the BCS would rather fall in love with; an 11-1 tOSU Big Ten champ who's only loss would be at USC, or an 11-2 SEC champ. Which team would get a nod in the BCS title game, assuming there were only one, or no undefeated teams? I mean, talk about stretching for content!

But reality is, there actually is a huge amount of content out there. Now, more than ever, college football is becoming the second most popular sport in America. You could make the augment that is might just be #1, aside from television ad revenue...where the NFL is king.

So in keeping up with the Jones', we here at MBN have devised up our own little "rankings" system. Every week we will decide on the top-10 teams that will be considered "Teams of the Week" (I know, clever name!). This list will be, essentially, just a list of 10 teams that I consider the best teams in college football based on a few factors:

1. Record
2. Strength of Schedule
3. Impressive Wins
4. Humiliating Losses
5. Actual Chance of Playing for the BCS Title Game
6. How Good You Are Now, Not Last Season, and not Hype
7. How Much I like You

And of course a couple other non-disclosed reasons that will change from week-to-week based on how I'm feeling. So for our pre-season rankings, I am going by how good I think a team will be for this season, based solely on what I know right now, and how well that team finished last year...like a typical pre-season ranking.

1. USC
2. Missouri
3. Florida
4. OU
5. LSU
6. Georgia
7. tOSU
8. Clemson
9. WVU
10. Auburn

First of all, USC is a no-brainer. They're the BCS darlings and perennial legitimate title contenders. I think USC sucks in every way, but you can't argue their talent and consistency. Missouri is a real contender this year. Couple that with a real down year for the Big 12, relatively speaking, and a lot of talent coming back.

The rest is kind of a crap shoot. Pre-season rankings are tough...almost meaningless. I don't believe in Georgia or tOSU yet. They could both be great, and possibly meet for the title game in January...but in August, we'll just wait and see.

Just as a side note, if I had to pre-rank Michigan this year (thank God I don't), they'd be somewhere in the 25-35 rank range. I'm a fan, but you can't argue all the changes going on and the total loss of skill players from the offense.

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