Friday, August 7, 2009

Coaches Poll ANALysis

Pre-season expectations really bring out the giddy 7 year old girl in me.

By now I'm sure most of you have seen that the coaches have decided to give the ole Frogs a little love in the season opening poll, slotting us in at #17 overall, sandwiched neatly between Boise State and Utah, respectively. It's the highest preseason ranking we've had in 49 years and best since 2007 when we started at 22nd (although we're all well aware how that season ended up.) Fifth time in GPs tenure that we've been ranked in the pre-season top 25, but first time we've made it above 20. Rather than me spelling it out for you, just take a look for yourself.

1. Florida (53) - 1,466
2. Texas (4) - 1,386
3. Oklahoma (1) - 1,358
4. USC (1) - 1,321
5. Alabama - 1,134
6. Ohio State - 1,126
7. Virginia Tech - 1,020
8. Penn State - 988
9. LSU - 917
10. Mississippi - 889
11. Oklahoma State - 861
12. California - 711
13. Georgia - 707
14. Oregon - 694
15. Georgia Tech - 559
16. Boise State - 542
17. TCU - 461
18. Utah - 404
19. Florida State - 371
20. North Carolina - 293
21. Iowa - 257
22. Nebraska - 236
23. Notre Dame - 194
24. BYU - 178
25. Oregon State - 165

Noteworthy Observations:

Mid-major (for lack of a better term) Love - Say what you will about no one giving the little guys respect because, well, we've got it. We may not have gotten the system changed - and, we all know that deep down we never will, which is a bummer because now that Obama is off of that soapbox he has a lot more time to take a cleveland steamer on our healthcare system - but it looks like this year the powers that be are going to give us a fighting chance at making a stand. Now, I have no desire in doing the research, but I have to feel like the non BC esses getting four teams into the preseason top 25 is easily the best we've ever done. I believe that BYU began last season in our very same 17 hole and had the true makings of a non-BCS team ready to break the glass ceiling and wreck the BCS National Championship Game... for me to poop on on a Thursday night in Cowtown. I don't like THOSE particular parallels, but I do love where we are. It's very obvious that the pieces are in place for us to make a run at the BCS if we are to win out and, honestly, if worse comes to worse and we drop a non-conference game, I think we still have a decent chance at a major bowl, assuming we run the tables the rest of the way and Boise drops a game. With Oregon, Tulsa and Nevada on BSUs slate, their odds of a perfect season are going to be a little longer than in most years, too. Given last year was woudl've likely been our BEST chance at busting the BCS - and you can make an argument for 2003 and 2005, a year in which we would've gone under current rules - due to the OU loss looking better given the rest of their season and our 59 minute throttling of Utah, this year is absolutely up there. If we can make it through October 24th undefeated and Utah comes to town on November 14th with a full head of steam, you can have your OSU/Michigan because that would be my personal game of the decade.

And your Heisman finalists are... - Not exactly making it interesting this year, eh? With Florida, UT and OU going 1-2-3, respectively, you can all but guarantee that all 3 of those QBs will be in the top 3 at the end of the year. Also, unless Tebow goes out and circumsizes all the SEC defenses this year, you can take it to the bank that the UT/OU winner will be the man - and don't make me laugh, Taylor Mays and Eric Berry. Honestly? That seems fair. Bradford is a phenomenal QB and earned all the accolades he received last year. I'm all sorts of sick of hearing about how Tim Tebow is the second coming of Jesus, and I think you could plug a lot of top QBs into a system with all of those 5 star athletes and put together a pretty nice little season, but, the guy kills you with kindness and plays as hard as anyone in the league and you can't deny his track record. McCoy, despite playing for the team that shall not be named, seems like an alright guy and has an achingly hot girlfriend who I have to assume he's had his go at, unlike Mr. Saving Himself Tebow, so he's got that going. Seriously though, Tebow? You go to a school that has arguably the best hot to slut to dumb ratio in the country outside of the state of Arizona, and you're saving yourself? You, the Heisman winning, National Championship hoarding, All American QB? Either you're a complete moron or a fantastic bullshitter, because dude, you're completly wasting your prime. Anyway, who am I pulling for? Tebow and Bradford have won one and Colt, despite his talents, loses all sorts of respect due to his budding friendship with Bradford. How can you be a part of one of the greatest, most hated rivalries in sports, and become friends with the opposing team leader? That'd be like me working an ACORN racket for Obama. I'm definitely pulling for an outsider, and not Jahvid Best due to his school affiliation because, let's be honest, when your student body lives in trees just so you can't build a football facility, perhaps you shouldn't be mentioned among the best in the country? I'm Dalton for Heisman guy all the way.

Big East FAIL - Alright alright, I've looked at this list several times and, nope, still no Big East teams involved. Phenomenal. Absolutely phenomenal. The MWC gets in 3 teams, and the Big East, a BCS school, gets none. I'm not even going to elaborate, I just wanted to point that out. Hopefully the commish took notice.

SEC reigns supreme... again - The SEC leads all leagues with five teams in the top 25, with the Big 12, ACC and Pac 10 (!!!) all bringing in four. However, just like every year, the SEC will cannibalize itself, the ACC will pillow fight itself, UT and OU will run rampant through the Big 12 while Okie Lite flakes out under the expectations, and the Pac 10 will, well, be the Pac 10 and end up with only USC in the top 25 at the end of the season. Seriously though, USC is always going to be top ranked because of media fascination with them and the caliber of their athletes, Oregon is going to be in there as long as Nike is in business, and apparently Cal has some sort of squad this year although they lack a QB yet again. But Oregon State? Really now? Yeah, they beat USC last year, but USC is eminently beatable and will drop a game they shouldn't each year. Apparently that's what gets you in the top 25 these days. I think UT/OU sitting at 2/3, outside of all the non BCS love, is probably the most interesting development just because of said rivalry. Florida probably isn't going to lose a game between now and that game, and I know every other year UT/OU is THE BIGGEST ITS EVER BEEN!... but I truly think this year is going to be as intense as it's been in years. In recent years, more often than not it has decided who goes to the NC a few times, and it seems like all the cards are stacked in that favor again this year. If I didn't hate both fanbases so much, and if we didn't have a home game that day, I'd absolutely be in attendance.

TCUs Moving Power - This is what sticks out to me the most: the amount of wiggle room we have if we take care of business. Seriously, like I said, if we can get past that BYU game unscathed and roll into the Utah game undefeated, absolutely look out. Just on the surface, Georgia and Okie Lite play each other the first week, so one of those guys will drop out. Same with Oregon and Boise. We likely aren't going to jump those top 5 guys anytime soon, and Penn State and OSU will probably be undefeated until they play each other, but has Virginia Tech ever run the tables in the post Ookie years? Does LSU really look like a big time contender? Doesn't Houston Nutt still coach at Ole Miss? Actually, let's look deeper at this:

Florida - LSU, Georgia.
Texas - OU, Okie Lite
OU - UT, Okie Lite
USC - Oregon, Cal
Bama - Va Tech, Ole Miss, LSU
OSU - Penn State
Va Tech - Bama, GT
Penn State - OSU
LSU - Bama, Ole Miss, Florida, Georgia
Ole Miss - Bama, LSU
Okie Lite - UGA, OU, UT
Cal - USC, Oregon
UGA - Okie Lite, LSU, FLA, GT
Oregon - USC, Boise, Cal, Utah (threw them in since they are our main competition)
GT - UGA, Va Tech
Boise - Oregon

... whew! Alright... so, not counting repeats, you currently have, if my count is right, 19 different matchups this season where teams currently ranked ahead of us in the top 25 play one another. That's what you call a lot of movin' on up potential. Ole Miss seemed to have done the best, not drawing Georgia or Florida out of the SEC East, but whew, poor, poor LSU! If those guys can run that schedule, just give them the trophy. From the looks of things, and when you give USC it's one requisite loss, your final top five could end up looking something like Florida, UT, OU (loser shouldn't drop too far) OSU/PSU winner and... TCU? It could happen, and that's why we love the game. We'll begin to find out in 36 more days.


VikingFrog said...

I don't understand why Boise gets placed ahead of us after our win in the bowl game? I'm guessing it has something to do with returning starters but it just doesn't seem right to me. When does an undefeated tcu jump an undefeated Boise in the bcs computer's mind.

On a side note, notre dame has no business being in this poll and the fact that they are on espn every five minutes because they are in the top 25 makes me even more angry.

Sir Wesley Willis said...

Yeah I agree, but, like Patterson says, these things are not exactly an exact science. Boise is where they are based on reputation, pure and simple.

Ugh completely agree... fortunately they have a nice little gauntlet to open up with where they're probably guaranteed a loss - Nevada, Michigan, mich State and purdue.

Greg Bracchi said...

Pretty sure Ohio St. and USC play this year. Should help us no matter who loses.

Sir Wesley Willis said...

oh yeah, completely forgot about that one... even better!