College Football's Top 35!

By Amsinger - May 20, 2006

I'm sick of the Top 25. Let's do away with it. College football isn't JUST the same powerhouse programs competing for the title anymore. Urban Meyer proved that at Utah and with the BCS in the picture a program like Rutgers or USF could compete for big-time college football dollars.

Therefore, I'm turning it up a notch, which reminds me of 6th grade when I introduced "pegging" (also known as "tight rolling") my jeans to my classmates. Here's to being a trend-setter.

Amsinger's College Football Preseason Top 35:

1.) Ohio State: Duh! Troy Smith can do it all. But the loss of WR Santonio Holmes could effect the Buckeyes more than we know. Expect OSU to run the ball TWICE as much this season with junior tailback Antonio Pittman and fantastic freshman Chris Wells (who finished as the #1 overall high school prospect by recruiting expert Tom Lemming). Losing all three linebackers and the entire starting secondary is the reason Ohio State will lose to Notre Dame's high power offense in the national championship game.

2.) Notre Dame: Brady Quinn is not the only reason the Irish are my #2 preseason team. He's getting all the publicity right now and he deserves it. For those of you that expect Quinn to put up Peyton Manning numbers this season - simmer down. Expect Tom Brady numbers...remember, Darius Walker is a fantastic running back. Charlie Weis will expect opponents to bring out the extra defensive backs and blitz Quinn like crazy. Walker will have the enormous numbers this season.

3.) California: The Golden Bears are the best team in the Pac-Ten. Jeff Tedford will showcase three future first-round NFL Draft picks this season. RB Marshawn Lynch has top-shelf talent and could be invited to NYC for the Heisman Trophy presentation. WR DeSean Jackson could be a Heisman candidate in '07 and Bears' opponents better get ready for a breakout season from QB Nate Longshore. He was injured last year and never displayed his enormous talent. Expect a blowout road victory over Tennessee to open the '06 campaign.

4.) Auburn: The Tigers have so much experience back from last year's 9-3 team. RB Kenny Irons is my Heisman pick (which I'm sure you read in my previous blog) and is ready for a historic season. Irons could eclipse the 2,000 yard plateau...seriously. As long as QB Brandon Cox doesn't royally screw up in crunch time of a big-time SEC game, the Tigers will come close to running the table in the SEC! (KEY WORD: "close" - Auburn loses 1 game this season)

5.) Oklahoma: Here's another one loss team. Oklahoma's schedule favors a perfect record in Big 12 play. QB Rhett Bomar should improve and like the aforementioned Brandon Cox, as long as Bomar doesn't mess up a hand-off - OU should beat Texas. Adrian Peterson will have another productive season, but it won't be as pretty as Sooner fans hope. Oklahoma will play like champions against Washington, Texas, Colorado and Texas Tech - but will lose on the road to Oregon.

6.) Louisville: The Big Least? Hardly. The Cardinals and West Virginia Mountaineers are both top ten teams. The last time the Big East had two preseason top ten's, Miami and Virginia Tech were unwillingly calling the Big East home. QB Brian Brohm could lead the nation in passing. Brohm, fresh off a season-ending injury that forced RB Michael Bush to become the team's top offensive threat, will take advantage of defenses that will try to stop the Louisville ground game first. Brohm will play up to expectations this season and Louisville will only lose one game in the regular season. Not to Miami, Kansas State or West Virginia...the Cardinals fall on the road to Rutgers!

7.) Florida: The spring game confused a lot of Gator fans. QB Chris Leak was outplayed by freshman signal-caller Tim Tebow. Leak, a four-year starter looked like the freshman...while Tebow was the one that played as if he'd been running the spread offense for years. Despite Chris Leak's imperfections in Urban Meyer's system, the talent in Gainesville is ridiculous. Freshman wideout Percy Harvin is the next Reggie Bush according to Tom Lemming and will play right away. Fellow freshman offensive tackle Carl Johnson will also play right away and could be an All-American by next season. Wideouts Andre Caldwell and Jemalle Cornellius are both two-year starters and will fill the void left by Chad Jackson who's now a New England Patriot. The Gators will lose on the road to Auburn and Florida State. Florida finishes 10-2.

8.) Texas: Defending a national championship is never easy. Ask USC. Here's the difference. The Trojans defended their title with BOTH superstars back from the previous championship. Without Vince Young, the Longhorns are going to remind us a lot of the 2005 Oklahoma Sooners offensively. A unit without a clear identity. CSTV Football Analyst Brian Jones (and former Longhorn) will argue with me up and down over this low projection, but Texas will lose to Ohio State, Oklahoma AND either Nebraska or Texas Tech (both road games). Folks in Austin should thank me for ranking them in the top ten with three losses.

9.) West Virginia: How much confidence does Rich Rodriguez's bunch have right now? Get ready for the best ground game in 2006. The Mountaineers will get off to a 7-0 start before losing on the road to Louisville. Then, Dave Wannstedt will claim his biggest win of his Pitt tenure by knocking off the Mountaineers at Heinz Field in November. Without a passing game making up deficits will not be easy. West Virginia will get a bit of a reality check this season.

10.) USC: Whoa! The Trojans barely sneak into the top ten? Are you crazy Amsinger? Yes, yes, yes I am. I am crazy enough to think all the off-field issues will mess with the Trojans on-field chemistry. I'm also crazy enough to believe WR Dwayne Jarrett will miss a couple of games because of his living arrangement with Matt Leinart - the Pac Ten investigating. Amsinger (me) is sooo crazy he thinks John David Booty and/or Mark Sanchez will not give head coach Pete Carroll the smooth transition from Leinart's greatness. Vidal Hazelton, Taylor Mays, Antwine Perez, Allen Bradford and David Ausberry will start as true freshmen and show signs of brilliance. USC loses to Nebraska, Cal and Notre Dame.

Here's 11 - 35. My reasons for these teams will be coming soon!

11.) Georgia Tech

12.) Florida State

13.) Nebraska

14.) Michigan

15.) Penn State

16.) UTEP

17.) LSU

18.) Oregon

19.) Miami

20.) Georgia

21.) Iowa

22.) Alabama

23.) Clemson

24.) Boston College

25.) Northwestern

26.) Arizona State

27.) TCU

28.) Rutgers

29.) BYU

30.) Texas Tech

31.) Tulsa

32.) Wisconsin

33.) Virginia Tech

34.) UCF

35.) Navy

Posted by Amsinger at 03:13 PM on May 20, 2006

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