AP's Preseason Poll Vs. My Postseason Prediction

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AP's Preseason Poll Vs. My Postseason Prediction
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The 2010 Preseason AP Poll has just been released and upon first glance I do not see any real surprises, based on earlier collective assessments of the ranked teams. Of course, the real eye-catcher is Boise State at No. 3. I will get to them shortly. This article will briefly address each team followed by my postseason prediction.

Alabama starts out in 2010 where they left off last season, at No. 1. There is no doubt that they have the talent to repeat, however, a fair amount of that talent will be inexperienced on the defensive side, especially in the secondary. The offense appears poised for another very productive season. There will be a line of able SEC opponents looking to upset the Tide applecart and put a dent in their repeat hopes. Postseason Prediction: Drop (No. 5)

No. 2 Ohio State seems to always be up there in the NC hunt and this year will be no different as they look to extend the fun they had in Pasadena last January. Terrelle Pryor is primed to make a Heisman run as he leads a potent offense and the defense will again be Buckeye-like. Postseason Prediction: Rise (No. 1)

Boise State has been a football team on fire and a program begging to get their due. There should be no complaining from Idaho this year as they start out at No. 3. They obviously have talent and they have proven they are not just bowl-game wonders by handling a heavy load against Oregon to start last year’s season. Perhaps an even stiffer test awaits them this year as they open on the East Coast against a hefty Virginia Tech team. Postseason Prediction: Drop (No. 6)

Florida opens at No. 4 as the Gators figure out a way to move on without arguably the greatest Gator ever, Tim Tebow. Junior John Brantley is no Tim Tebow, however he showed during fill-in appearances last year that he is more than capable of being a very good field general in Gainesville. The Gators will once again field a potent and balanced team, although depth may be a problem. Postseason Prediction: Rise (No. 3)

Who can imagine a more daunting introduction to big-time college football than the one that, then Texas freshman, Garrett Gibert received as he was thrown into the BCS Championship Game to fill in for an injured Colt McCoy. After shaking off understandable jitters all he did was lead Texas to within 3 points of leading Alabama in the 4th quarter with 2 touchdowns. No. 5 Texas will hope to ease the pressure on Gibert this year with a productive running game and a very stout defense. Postseason Prediction: Rise (No. 2)

No. 6 TCU made quite a bit of noise last year and look to continue with that revelry as they open with Oregon State in Dallas. TCU also hopes to keep pace with Boise State as one of the prime BCS Buster teams. Postseason Prediction: Drop (No. 7)

No. 7 Oklahoma is hoping for better karma to start this season than they experienced last when QB Sam Bradford went down. They rebounded with Landry Jones who appears to have the tools to keep the Boomer Schooner rolling. Postseason Prediction: Drop (No. 9)

No. 8 Nebraska is attempting to climb the ladder back up to their perch of the past, somewhere in the top 5, and will try to do so with some uncertainty at quarterback. If that is settled Coach Pelini is hoping that next year’s shift to the Big 10 will not be a distraction. Postseason Prediction: Drop (No. 15)

No. 9 Iowa should challenge Ohio State in the Big 10, as they are very experienced at quarterback and have a well seasoned and physical defense. The primary challenge will be for the O-line to keep QB Ricky Stanzi vertical and not running for his life. Postseason Prediction: Rise (No. 8)

No. 10 Virginia Tech appears to be set at the skill positions, especially with Tyrod Taylor returning. The running back and wide receiver positions should be formidable. A few nicks on both lines need to be resolved but the Hokies should be primed for success. Postseason Prediction: Rise (No. 4)

No. 11 Oregon will make due without Jeremiah Masoli as the talented and speedy Ducks will make hay in the Pac 10. Postseason Prediction: Unchanged (No. 11)

No. 12 Wisconsin return many players from a 2009 team. The Badgers should have their wheels in high gear with bruiser John Clay at tailback. Postseason Prediction: Drop (No. 14)

No. 13 Miami is more mature with greater depth. With Jacory Harris at the helm success should be a common event this fall. Postseason Prediction: Rise (No.12)

No. 14 USC has Lane Kiffin at head coach now that Pete Carroll has bailed for the NFL. The Trojans still have talent and don’t be surprised if Kiffin gets the most out of them. Postseason Prediction: Rise (No. 13)

No. 15 Pittsburgh will try to meet high expectations despite it’s youth. Having tailback Dion Lewis totting the rock will definitely help. Postseason Prediction: Drop (No. 16)

No. 16 Georgia Tech has talent at the skill positions and should be able to absorb the loss of Jonathan Dwyer, but I believe they may underachieve a bit. Postseason Prediction: Drop (No. 21)

No. 17 Arkansas should light up the score board with Bobby Petrino on the sideline and Ryan Mallett under center, but will the defense contribute to the cause. Postseason Prediction: Remain (No. 17)

No. 18 North Carolina will boast a formidable and speedy defense hoping to keep the score down because the Tar Heels will be somewhat offensively challenged. Postseason Prediction: Fall (No. 20)

No. 19 Penn State will have a number of big shoes to fill at a number of positions, however Joe Pa has been down this road before and will keep the Nittany Lions competitive. Postseason Prediction: Remain (No. 19)

No. 20 Florida State begins a new era with talent onboard. The question is will Jimbo Fisher be able recapture the magic once held by predecessor Bobby Bowden. Postseason Prediction: Drop (No. 23)

No. 21 LSU has talent galore spilling out of it’s cupboards, as evident by repeated top 5 recruiting classes. Les Miles will finally once again exploit that talent. Postseason Prediction: Rise (No. 10)

No. 22 Auburn will be improved as talent is in abundant supply on the Plains. The Tigers will struggle at times in 2010 but they will hand No. 1 Alabama their first regular season loss in three years. Postseason Prediction: Rise (No. 18)

No. 23 Georgia will have the unenviable task of starting a red-shirt freshman at quarterback and re-gearing their defense. Talent alone will keep them competitive. Postseason Prediction: Rise (No. 22)

No. 24 Oregon State will be hinging their hopes on the Rodgers brothers to provide rushing and receiving production as they break in a sophomore quarterback. Postseason Prediction: Remain (No. 24)

No. 25 West Virginia is hoping a quicksilver Noel Devine and a solid defense will keep them competitive as the Mountaineers try to bring an unproven QB along. Postseason Prediction: Remain (No. 25)

 

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