Welcome to the Jungle: Who is the New No. 1 in College Football?

Nick VandiverCorrespondent ISeptember 30, 2008

College football has become such a big part of sports today. Everyone in the country lives within a couple hundred miles of some major college, so everyone roots for somebody.

It's not just about being a fan. Every college football fan has several reasons for why their team should be No. 1 in the country.

It just doesn't work that way though.

That's why there are virtually hundreds upon thousands of sites and blogs dedicated to sorting out the mess. This year, things seem to be even more confusing than ever. There really is no clear-cut No. 1. Everyone has a different opinion for who it should be.

Does Oklahoma deserve it because of their great offense? Does Alabama deserve it because of their hot start? Should LSU be on top because of tradition?

Yes, all of these names and more seem to be piling up, each deserving consideration.

However, there is one team that I don't think has gotten nearly enough praise.

That team would be the Missouri Tigers.

Think about it. Chase Daniel is arguably the greatest quarterback in the country. Throw all the other names in the ring, and I can tell you why Chase Daniel ousts them. His uncanny accuracy clearly offsets his height disadvantage and any other flaws you can see in his skills (though there aren't many).

Jeremy Maclin would be a top 10 pick if he went to the NFL today, and it's not like he doesn't have competition. The Tigers have an incredibly talented corps of receivers, including Tommy Saunders, Danario Alexander, and Jared Perry. It doesn't hurt to have Chase Coffman to throw to either.

Also, the Tiger ground game gets far too little credit. Derrick Washington has all of the skills to be an elite back. His quickness and vision allow him to find holes quickly, and his up-end speed always lets him take the ball those 50 extra yards down the sideline.

Their defense is very underrated. Sean Weatherspoon is making a serious case for All-America honors at linebacker, and having Ziggy Hood on the defensive line makes it even better. Hood is a football player through and through. He can take down the best running backs in the country, and he'll get a few sacks if you let him.

Van Alexander and Brock Christopher finish the linebacking crew, with Stryker Sulak and Tommy Chavis holding down the fort at defensive end. Jaron Baston has done an excellent job replacing Lorenzo Williams, who was an absolute beast. 

Their special teams unit is something to fear. Jeremy Maclin is one of the fastest players in the country, and kickers fear giving the ball to him. All I can say is, if he finds a seam, you had better hope you have Usain Bolt chasing him down or he's gonna find that end zone.

The only weakness for Mizzou seems to be their pass defense. Juice Williams of Illinois threw for over 400 yards in the season opener in St. Louis. But you have to remember that William Moore hasn't played in two of their four games this season. Carl Gettis has all of the skills to be a good cover corner.

The Missouri coaching staff will have their ways to fix whatever problems they have in the defensive backfield.

Overall, you can say what you want about the other teams: Georgia, USC, Bama, Oklahoma—I don't care. The Missouri Tigers have everything they need to contend for this year's national title, but they had better win it this year. Chase Daniel and William Moore are seniors, and Jeremy Maclin could decide to opt for the draft.

That being said, this year's Tiger team is as talented (if not more) as any other team in the country. Welcome to the Zou.