The preseason polls are out, and the various prognosticators of pigskin have consulted their crystal balls, thrown salt over their respective shoulders, and come out four square behind the Crimson Tide to repeat as number one.
The word lemming comes to mind.
But in a world where others boldly follow those who go first, there are a few rugged individualists.
These are the pollsters who do things their own way. Independent spirits, they vote for who they want and how they want to.
One of these guys is Craig James.
Ol’ Craig has been consistent in dissing both Boise State and TCU, since in his opinion, they just don’t measure up. He also does not think highly of the Miami Hurricanes.
James is the only AP voter to leave the Canes out of the top twenty five.
Makes me wonder...why? Is he a bold individualist who knows his football better than the rest of the pack? Or just a guy who bucks conventional wisdom for the heck of it.
Although I do not agree with him, I can at least understand his rationale for consistently voting schools like Boise State, TCU and Houston lower than his peers do. He simply does not think that the schedules they play measure up.
Like I said, I don’t agree, but I can understand.
Miami, however, is a member of the ACC, a big six BCS conference.
The Canes have also not shied away from out of conference quality opponents either. Yes, they start with a joke game by hosting Florida A&M, but their other out of conference opponents are a top ten Ohio State, top 25 Pitt, and Big East foe South Florida.
And they have plenty of talent returning from last year’s 9-4 squad.
So why no respect from James?
Maybe it’s because the Pirate, Mike Leach, lives just south of Miami in the Keys. And we all know that Pirate Mike and the James family have a bit of …er….history.
Maybe it’s because he thinks the Canes got a bit lucky last year, and will come down to earth this year.
Maybe he got so much hate mail from Team Leach fanatics that it discombobulated his judgment.
Maybe he was just in a grumpy mood about Miami because the last time he was there, his breakfast eggs were runny, his cab was late, the doorman at his hotel was rude, or some such other minor annoyance.
It will be interesting to see, however, if Texas Tech puts together a good season where James will rate them.
And when (not if, but when) that old scalawag Leach lands a coaching job next year and turns that program around, I wonder if James will rank them in the same tier as his peers.
On the other hand, he might just decide to stick his ranking of both Tech and whatever program Leach ends up at in a dank, dark shed.
This year, however, it’s Miami that he is keeping in the dark. Hmmm…maybe it is time for him to take off his sunglasses.