A MODEST PROPOSAL: The C&F Top 25
1 Notre Dame: Believe the hype. Awaken the shadows. Yada yada yada. Yes, I'm buying in bulk whatever Charlie Weis is selling. It doesn't hurt that he has Brady Quinn and Jeff Samardzija. The question is: As Samardzija is now a pitcher in the Cubs organization, how long before the inevitable injury? And how many times will I get the "joy" of having to spell Samardzija correctly?
2 Florida: Ugh. Don't believe the Urban myth that Meyer won't tweak his offense enough for Chris Leak to finally have THE season. Leak knows it's put up or shut up time, and as everyone in the SEC knows, he's most dangerous when the game/season/whatever is on the line. Now, if they could just get the Outback bowl refs to call the NC game ...
3 Ohio State: Yeah, yeah, I know. These are supposed to be the national champs. Did somebody forget they face Penn State and go TO Iowa AND Texas? Oh, and there's that little traditional game they play at the end of the year against a conference rival. The name escapes me.
4 West Virginia: Opponents would do well to remember to do what Georgia apparently forgot to do: Learn to contain the option. Even so, West Virginia is in the Big Least, meaning they could lose just one conference game (Louisville) without breaking a sweat. Still, they'll have a hard time convincing anyone they're a serious NC contender unless they blow everyone out of the water.
5 LSU: The talent mill continues to crank them out. But Les Miles faces a few problems: Mainly trips to Florida, Auburn and Tennessee. At least one of these teams is wildly overrated. At least one of these teams will fall to LSU. Maybe two.
6 Penn State: Yeah, JoePa will probably have another post-good season meltdown and end up going 4-7. But I'm not taking the chance.
7 Texas: Before you say this is too low, remember how many games Vince Young won single-handedly. Project over this year. Yeah.
8 Iowa: They get Ohio State at home and don't have to play Penn State. Could this actually be the year the Hawkeyes live up to the hype?
9 Louisville: I'll put them in the Top 10. They'll implode. I will be embarassed. But at least I won't be alone, as the "perpetually overrated one year, underrated the next" team tries to get it right.
10 Georgia: Losing David Shockely. Losing Leonard Pope. But not losing Mark Richt. Whatever college football's most impressive coach does, this is about as far down as his team should slip.
11 Auburn: Upsides and peril. After all, they get LSU, Florida and and Georgia at home. But they have to face LSU, Florida and Georgia. And there are sleeper teams on the schedule.
12 Clemson: No comment. I just hope I'm wrong.
13 Michigan: Lloyd Carr is on the hot seat. The only question is, will anything other than an NC suffice?
14 Southern California: We find out if Pete Carroll is brilliant or just had a couple of good QBs.
15 Miami (Fla): Larry Coker. Another man who might have to win it all to keep his job.
16 TCU: The annual, obligatory fly in the ointment. This was Arizona State's spot until Dick Koetter became Hamlet.
17 Florida State: Bobby Bowden continues his attempt to outlive JoePa.
18 Alabama: Daddy's Boy doesn't have a QB and probably doesn't have his most dangerous WR. So he'll actually have to, you know, coach this year. Better keep daddy on speed dial.
19 South Carolina: Coach 'em up. Spurrier takes USC one step closer to contention.
20 Georgia Tech: Here's hoping that Chan Gailey and Reggie Ball finally live up to expectations. Calvin Johnson should help.
21 California: The USC "dynasty" is over. Long live the USC (Pac-10) dynasty.
22 Nebraska: The West Coast offense returns Nebraska to the Top 25. Not much more.
23 Virginia Tech: So they lost el Vick dos. They still have Frank Beamer.
24 Oregon: Please, please get rid of those horrid jerseys.
25 Texas Tech: I think they've got the forward pass mastered. Now they need to learn about something called defense. Spell it with me: "D-E-F..."