Don't Hate the Messenger

By Amsinger - June 07, 2006


Can I just tell you how many loyal football fans hate me right now? From Fresno State slammers to Boise State bashers - my Top 35 college football poll has given so many an outlet to release their aggressions for having a mediocre football team.

My favorite story of "hatred" comes from El Paso where a sports anchor at one of the local television stations aired my poll because I have UTEP ranked #16. The anchor knew his audience would love to hear the news of their beloved Miners ranked so high. The "hatred" comes into play when Fresno State fans start emailing this anchor telling him that he used a poll that has no credibility and he should retract any statements made during his sportscast because he used such a silly set of rankings.

Fresno State fans are unhappy with me for two reasons. #1, I said the Bulldogs would lose to USC 55-10 during an episode of Crystal Ball, our weekly college football show - which I host. Obviously Fresno State made it much closer than that...but they lost 50-42. So, my general pick was correct. USC won and Fresno State's "D" gave up at least 50 points in the process. #2, I left the Bulldogs out of my Top 35. How dare I? Any program that loses four straight to end the previous season should be a lock for a Top 35 the following year. Right?

Fresno State fans aren't the only that love bashing yours truly. Football loyalists on Rocky Top aren't thrilled with my poll - why? I left the Vols out of my Top 35 as well. Big shocker. Followers of Utah, Michigan State, N.C. State, South Carolina, UCLA, Nevada, Texas A&M and Boise State are all Amsinger-Haters.

After submitting my poll, there's one thing that is clearly obvious. College football is the most heated sport to debate over in our country. From MLB to NFL to NBA - nothing comes close. Everyone has an opinion and those opinions should be respected. I respect all of yours and I can only hope you do the same.

One opinion that hasn't been respected is my UTEP pick at #16. "Some" fans believe CSTV's contract with Conference USA has something to do with my projection.

Please.

If it did, how does that explain leaving Utah out in the cold when CSTV recently signed a long-term contract to broadcast Mountain West Conference football games?

To those who believe in conspiracy theories, have you heard of QB Jordan Palmer? In case you haven't, he's the younger brother of Heisman winner Carson Palmer. What about head coach Mike Price? Here's a guy that is one scandal away from being the head coach at Alabama - as we speak. Outside linebacker Jeremy Jones will lead a defensive unit that returns all but one starter. Junior Marcus Thomas is also creating a buzz at running back, some say he could be CUSA's next DeAngelo Williams. Also, look at UTEP's schedule. With non-conference games against San Diego State, Texas Tech, New Mexico and New Mexico State - the Miners are sitting pretty. Hence my prediction the Miners will finish ranked #16 at the end of the regular season.

How many college football "experts" predicted Utah's BCS berth two years ago in the preseason?

Sure, I could have followed suit to other "respected" polls and thrown the usual suspects in my Top 35. OBVIOUSLY, there are 35 programs out there that have more talent than everyone else. You know, the same schools that annually dominate national signing day and load up on recruits on reputation alone. That's why I hate preseason polls. Just because Tennessee has more talent than UTEP doesn't mean they'll be ranked higher at the END of the season. Compare schedules, off-the-field issues and returning experience. Therefore, my list - tells you where I think the teams will be sitting at the END of the regular season - when the last poll is released before the bowl season.

This leads me to the other highly slammed portion of my Top 35. I have Ohio State ranked #1 and Notre Dame #2. Yet, in my previous blog I have the Irish beating the Buckeyes in the national championship game. AGAIN...I predict Ohio State will be ranked #1 at the end of the REGULAR SEASON because of strength of schedule. When the FIESTA BOWL is played between #1 OSU and #2 Notre Dame - the Irish will win.

Follow? Are we clear? I sure as hell hope so.

Oh yeah, Fresno State - I sure hope you guys have a wonderful season. Your offensive line is awesome, but without experience at quarterback or - for that matter - running back, things could get dicey. 8 starters back on defense should help also. But keep this in mind, before responding to this blog with hate in your eyes, you might want to ration your rants. I just purchased the brand new "Sporting News College Football Preview" and "Lindy's National College Football 2006 Preview" magazines and they have your beloved Bulldogs at #36 and #54 respectively.

So leave the sports anchor in El Paso alone. That town has the right to get excited.

1.) Ohio State

2.) Notre Dame

3.) California

4.) Auburn

5.) Oklahoma

6.) Louisville

7.) Florida

8.) Texas

9.) West Virginia

10.) USC

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 10:27 AM on June 07, 2006
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