As we get closer to the official kickoff of the college football season, it's time to take on the experts with my 2010 Preseason Top 25 Rankings before they are officially released in August.
These lists are known to draw controversy, disagreements, and possibly pure hatred. Although these picks may not be agreeable by everyone, it is always worth a shot to challenge the experts.
Note that this list is where teams should be ranked preseason, and are not predictions for the end of 2010.
2009 Record: 10-4
Second year head coach Ken Niumatalolo led the Midshipmen to a 10 win season in 2009 for just the third time in school history. Navy ended up sweeping service academy rivals Air Force and Army, not to mention beating Notre Dame twice out the last three meetings. Navy ended their season with a 35-13 beating on Missouri in the 2009 Texas Bowl.
Quarterback Ricky Dobbs is a perfect fit for Navy's triple-option offense. Dobbs ran for 1,192 yards for 27 touchdowns in 2009, setting a NCAA single-season record for a quarterback.
The Midshipmen are returning eight offensive and five defensive players in their search for back-to-back 10 win seasons.
2009 Record: 8-5, 6-3
Oregon State narrowly missed out on playing in their first Rose Bowl since 1964, losing to rival Oregon in the Civil War game. Instead, the Beavers faced BYU in the MAACO Bowl, getting crushed by 24 points.
Oregon State could very well be contenders for the Pac-10 crown in 2010 under coach Mike Riley. The Rodgers brothers, receiver James and tailback Jacquizz, will be return the air and running attacks for the Beavers.
Ryan Katz is expected to take over for the departed quarterback Sean Canfield. Katz saw very limited playing time in 2009, but coach Riley feels confident in the sophomore.
Oregon State will play TCU and Boise State in non-conference games, a true test for all three teams.
2009 Record: 9-4, 5-2
The Mountaineers return all but a handful of starters to the 2010 roster with seven offense and nine defense. Quarterback Jarrett Brown is gone, and is likely to be replaced by Gino Smith, who is by no means a superstar quarterback, but seems capable to get the job done.
Star tailback Noel Devine will be returning to the Mountaineer offense, dominating the running game. West Virginia might not have as much talent as Pitt in the Big East, but they do have the tools to put up a good fight.
2009 Record: 8-5, 6-3
Jim Harbaugh turned the Stanford Cardinal program around in 2009. One of their main feats was upsetting Oregon and USC in consecutive weeks, but ending their season on a sour note, losing to Oklahoma 31-27 in the Sun Bowl.
Stanford loses Heisman Trophy finalist Toby Gerhart, but brings back a total of eight starting offensive players, including quarterback Andrew Luck, who is gaining attention as a possible Heisman candidate. Seven starters will remain on the defense, which looks to move past the departures of linebacker Will Powers, cornerback Richard Sherman, and safety Bo McNally.
With the Pac-10 wide open for the taking in 2010, expect Jim Harbaugh and company to be contending for a trip to the Rose Bowl. This Cardinal team has more talent than it's had in a decade.
2009 Record: 12-1, 7-0
Quarterback Tony Pike is gone as well as receiver Mardy Gilyard. And head coach Brian Kelly. Add a 51-24 loss to Florida in the 2009 Sugar Bowl. While this sounds bad, don't count out the Bearcats just yet.
New head coach Butch Jones had great success when he was at Michigan State. His offensive scheme should fit in nicely for quarterback Zach Collaros, who showed some greatness in 2009 when Pike sustained an injury.
The defense will need some work, seeing only five starters are returning. While Cincy may not be back to attempt another undefeated regular season, they do have the talent to lead the Big East once again.
2009 Record: 9-4, 5-4
USC ended their domination in the Pac-10 last season under former coach Pete Carrol after being expected to be one of the most successful teams. Ending their season with a win over Boston College in the Emerald Bowl was far from what Trojan fans wanted.
NCAA sanctions aside, the Trojans look to redeem themselves in 2010. Starting quarterback Matt Barkley started the 2009 season strong, gaining a win over Ohio State in the 'Shoe. Though, his season slowly declined from there. Without tailback Joe McKnight and receiver Damian Williams, Barkley must improve drastically if the Trojans are to be successful.
The struggling Trojan defense will return six starters, but will likely miss the departures of safety Taylor Mays and defensive end Everson Griffen.
Lane Kiffin is out to prove himself as a worthy head coach in Troy and despite the fact they cannot participate in the post-season, the Trojans are going to come out strong to send a message to the rest of the country.
2009 Record: 8-5, 4-4
The Bulldogs had a down season in 2009, but managed to salvage it a little by beating rival Georgia Tech and a 44-20 beat down on Texas A&M in the Independence Bowl.
The 'Dawgs lose starting quarterback Joe Cox, but return all of their offensive threats to the roster. Tailbacks Waushaun Easly and Caleb King will dominate Georgia's running game while one of the best receivers in the country, A.J. Green, is every quarterback's dream target. Every starter on the offensive line will also be returning.
The big question is the Bulldog defense, which has been less than effective the past two seasons, and newly appointed defensive coordinator Todd Grantham has the task of improving their defensive unit, which allowed 30 points or more in five games last season.
2009 Record: 9-4, 5-3
Dark clouds are gathering over Baton Rouge, namely over Les Miles. Three years ago LSU wont the National Championship, followed by 8-5 and 9-4 seasons, enough to put Mr. Miles on the hot seat. Miles' time-management has been questioned, along with a mediocre overall offensive scheme and a loss to Penn State in the 2009 Capitol One Bowl.
The Tigers lose four starters on offense and six on defense. Quarterback Jordan Jefferson has not displayed a high level of confidence on the field, resulting in being wildly inconsistent.
2009 Record: 8-5, 3-5
Let's face it, the Razorbacks haven't been contenders in the SEC since Darren McFadden left, but things are looking up for Arkansas. Coach Bobby Petrino is in the process of rebuilding the team and picking up a win over East Carolina in the 2009 Liberty Bowl.
The return of starting quarterback Ryan Mallett and all of his favorite offensive weapons will quite possibly make them the sleeper team of the SEC in 2010.
Although the Razorbacks lose four starters on defense, they look to continue improving their secondary against the long-balls in
2009 Record: 11-2, 6-2
Head coach Joe Paterno and the Nittany Lions are riding off a close win over LSU and finishing with back-to-back 11 win seasons.
Nittany Lion star quarterback Daryll Clark is gone, and sophomore Kevin Newsome seems to be the favorite to take his place. They shoot to have one of the best rushing attacks in the country by utilizing senior Evan Royster, who ran for 1,169 yards last season. Add the return of their top receivers, Graham Zug and Derek Moye, and their offense could be lethal granted the quarterback position works in their favor.
Joe Pa's defense will take a hit after the departure of six key defensive starters, including replacing all three starters at the linebacker position. It will be interesting to see how he will fill the voids on defense.
2009 Record: 10-3, 5-2
In 2009, head coach Dave Wannstedt led the Panthers to their first 10 win season since 1981 and a victory over North Carolina in the Meineke Car Care Bowl.
Pitt returns two of the best offensive players in country, receiver Jonathan Baldwin and tailback Dion Lewis who had a 1,799 yard season in 2009. Wannstedt has to replace quarterback Bill Stull and three offensive lineman. Not to mention replacing All-Big East defensive tackle Mick Williams and several other defensive starters.
With Cincinnati losing some key players, as well as their coach, 2010 could be Pittsburgh's year in the Big East.
2009 Record: 8-5, 5-3
2009 was a disappointing season for the Sooners, as they were expected to be national title contenders, that is, until injuries riddled their roster. The Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford was injured early in the season, leaving then freshman Landry Jones taking over the reigns.
A win over Stanford in the 2009 Sun Bowl was like shooting par on the golf course, but the 2010 season looks to be a little less painful for Bob Stoops and company. Landry Jones now has experience under-center and should be more comfortable. Another plus for the Sooners is running back DeMarco Murray decided not to enter the NFL draft, keeping the running game solid and totaling a number of seven returning offensive starters
The Sooner defense is taking a hit with the loss of tackle Gerald McCoy, cornerback Dominique Franks and four other starters.
2009 Record: 9-4, 5-3
Things started out great for The U in 2009. With early wins over Florida State, Georgia Tech, and Oklahoma. It all seemed to slow down for the 'Canes, and ended with being upset by Wisconsin in the Camps Sports Bowl. They showed signs of the glory days at The U, but proved to not quite be at that level, not yet at least. One thing is true, Randy Shannon is doing good things down in Miami.
Jacory Harris is returning at the quarterback position and has the potential to bring great things to Miami if he eliminates mistakes. In fact, he has to play better after the departure of key tackles Jason Fox and Matt Pipho.
Seven starters will be returning on the defense, which was up and down most of the 2009 season. The 'Canes did lose some talent with the departures of linebacker Darryl Sharpton, cornerback Sam Shields, and safety Randy Phillips.
2009 Record: 11-3, 7-1
The Yellow Jackets cruised through the ACC with coach Paul Johnson's triple-option spread attack in 2009. That is, until they got shut down by the Iowa Hawkeyes in the Orange Bowl. The past two seasons have been great for Georgia Tech, followed by poor performances in their post season bowls, and they are looking to change that.
The Jackets lost their star running back Jonathan Dwyer to the NFL among others, to return a total of six starters in 2010. The defense has nine starters returning, and looking to improve their often porous defense under newly appointed defensive coordinator Al Groh.
To win a second consecutive ACC title, quarterback Josh Nesbitt must work on his passing skills to truly fit in with the triple-option attack, along with defensive improvements.
2009 Record: 10-3, 6-2
The Hokies capped off the 2010 season with a beat down on Tennessee 37-14 in the Chik-Fil-A Bowl, and are hoping to ride this success into 2010.
Quarterback Tyrod Taylor is returning to the roster and although he has improvement to be done, he will not be alone on offense with one of the country's best running back stables. Tailback Ryan Williams was among the elite freshman class in 2009 and could very well be a potential Heisman Candidate. Running back Darren Evans will be returning after missing the entire 2009 season due to a knee injury.
The Hokies have to replace seven starters on defense, including linebacker Cody Grimm, end Jason Worilds, and safeties Dorian Porch and Kam Chancellor. This is nothing that defensive coordinator Bud Foster cannot handle.
The Hokies first major challenge of 2010 comes on Labor Day against a BCS determined Boise State squad.
2009 Record: 10-3, 8-1
The Ducks are coming off a heartbreaking loss in the Rose Bowl to Ohio State.
Oregon's star quarterback Jeremiah Masoli is gone for good after being released from the team. Even thought this was a big hit to the program, the Ducks have promising talent in QB's Nate Costa and Darron Thomas. Bottom line is, the Ducks can win without Masoli.
Running back LaMichael James will be sitting out the first game of the season due to suspension, but once he's back, look for the star sophomore to lead the Duck's running game once again.
Tight end Ed Dickson is the only offensive starter, besides Masoli, that needs replacement. The defense only lost two starters in tackle Blake Ferras and end Will Tukuafu.
Assuming coach Chip Kelly can keep his team under control and out of the police-beat headlines, the Ducks have a shot at repeating their Pac-10 title.
2009 Record: 10-3, 5-3
Head coach Bret Bielema has gotten the Badgers back on track after a few mediocre seasons, going 10-3 and upsetting the Miami Hurricanes in the 2009 Champs Sports Bowl.
The Badgers return all but one starters on offense, with the departure of tight end Garrett Graham. Quarterback Scott Tolzien proved himself towards the end of 2009, but the offense will revolve around the 2009 Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year, tailback John Clay.
The defensive line lost three starters, along with safety Chris Maragos and linebacker Jaevery McFadden. One plus for the Badgers in 2010? They get Ohio State at home.
2009 Record: 11-2, 6-2
Iowa returns most of their starters from a very underrated 2009 squad, who beat Georgia Tech in last year's Orange Bowl 24-14.
Quarterback Ricky Stanzi returns to lead the Hawkeye offense along with talented young tailbacks Brandon Wehger and Adam Robinson. The offensive line must be rebuilt after the loss of center Rafael Eubanks, right guard Dace Richardson, left tackle Bryan Bulaga, and right tackle Kyle Calloway.
Defensive end Adrian Clayborn, who almost single handedly shut down Georgia Tech in the Orange Bowl, will set the tone for an even nastier defense in 2010.
Iowa's first 2010 test will be against the Arizona Wildcats in Tucson, AZ, a rising team with some proving to be done after a loss to the Hawkeyes last season.
2009 Record: 13-1, 8-0
Florida narrowly missed playing for their third 2010 BCS Championship in four years after a loss to Alabama in the SEC title game, but gained a huge 51-24 win over the then undefeated Cincinnati Bearcats team in the Sugar Bowl.
Tim Tebow is gone. So is linebacker Brandon Spikes, cornerback Joe Hadan, receivers Riley Cooper and David Nelson, and just about everyone else who mattered to Florida in the past two years. But the thing is, there is never a lack of talent down in Gainesville.
Quarterback John Brantley will be taking on the task of replacing Tim Tebow, an almost impossible task in the eyes of Gator fans. Considering the success that Tebow had in his collegiate career, this guy's got some big shoes to fill down in The Swamp.
2009 Record: 10-4, 6-2
After the Cornhuskers blew out Arizona 33-0 in the 2009 Holiday Bowl, head coach Bo Pelini announced "Nebraska's back and we're here to stay." It looks like this could very well be true.
The Blackshirt defense is back. Of course, Ndamakung Suh will greatly missed along with four other defensive starters, but the blackshirts will look to dominate the field in 2010.
Quarterback Zac Lee and tailback Roy Helu are returning to push the offense into Big 12 title contention. The offense is seemingly unchanged, losing only one starter, center Jacob Hickman.
The Huskers will be a force to reckon with in their last season in the Big 12 Conference. They've got a new motivation to obtain the Big 12 title after coming within one second (literally) of winning the championship game against Texas in 2009.
2009 Record: 13-1, 8-0
The Colt McCoy era is over, but Garrett Gilbert is more than ready to take the reins of the Longhorn offense. Gilbert was baptized in last year's National Championship Game against Alabama with his first real playing time, starting slow, but gained his composure later in the game. He is no Colt Mecoy, but look for him to put up great performances in 2010.
Four starters, including receiver Jordan Shipley, have left the offense, leaving some holes to fill. Among the four leaving defensive starters are end Sergio Kindle, tackle Lamarr Houston, and All-American safety Earl Thomas.
2009 Record: 12-1, 8-0
The loss to Boise State in the Fiesta Bowl prevented the Horned Frogs from finishing the season undefeated, and was quite possibly their worst performance of 2009.
TCU is only losing two offensive starters: left tackle Marshall Newhouse and tailback Joseph Turner. The defense will take a hit with the loss of linebacker Daryl Washington, defensive end Jerry Hughes, and cornerbacks Nick Sanders and Rafael Priest. Among the defensive loss, the Horned Frogs still return seven starters to the 2010 roster.
The rising "BCS Busters" should be in position for another BCS run in 2010 as head coach Garry Patterson and quarterback Andy Dalton will be looking to make up for the poor performance in Glendale, AZ and to further prove themselves as legitimate BCS candidates.
2009 Record: 11-2, 7-1
The Buckeyes have returned to the BCS spotlight after a huge win over the Oregon Ducks in the 2010 Rose Bowl.
Terrelle Pryor seems to be finally coming into his own, turning into the quarterback that everyone expected him to be. Add to the fact that they are only losing two offensive starters, and that could spell disaster for opponent's defense as they look to repeat their Big 10 crown.
Their first test will be against the Miami Hurricanes on September 11th in the Shoe, a team they must not underestimate.
2009 Record: 14-0, 8-0
Boise State is riding off it's second undefeated season and winning their second BCS bowl game in four years after beating TCU 17-10 in the 2010 Fiesta Bowl.
The Broncos will be returning 21 of 22 starters from the 2009 team that ran the table. Of the 21 returning is quarterback Kellen Moore, a possible 2010 Heisman Trophy candidate.
Although Boise St. has gotten a lot of buzz about having an extremely weak schedule, they have proven to be BCS contenders and will have a chance to further their proving grounds against Virginia Tech on September 6 and Oregon State on September 25.
2009 Record: 14-0, 8-0
The 2010 National Champion Crimson Tide will be looking for a repeat in 2010. Quarterback Greg McElroy, Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram, and receiver Julio Jones will continue to dominate the offense.
While most of Alabama's offensive firepower is returning in 2010, the same cannot be said for the defense. Nick Saban looks to replace the lost talent in nose tackle Terrance Cody, linebacker Rolando McClain, and cornerbacks Javier Arenas and Kareem Jackson.
2010 will be somewhat of a rebuilding year for Saban's defense, but nothing he can't handle improving in the off-season.
Here is a quick recap of the proposed top 25:
2. Boise State
3. Ohio State
11. Virginia Tech
12. Georgia Tech
16. Penn State
23. West Virginia
24. Oregon State