The first NCAA football ranking is out for the upcoming season. As expected, Alabama is considered the best team in the nation as we begin the 2010 season. The Tide will simply have to win out in order to secure a berth in the National Title game.
Most of the usual suspects appear in the top ten but there are two new faces in there as well. Boise State is ranked number five and TCU is ranked seventh to start the year. This puts both teams in a very tough spot entering 2010.
Boise is fresh off a Tositos Fiesta Bowl win, even if it was against TCU, and has a strong corps returning. They also have an adequate non-conference schedule as they open with Virginia Tech and host Oregon State. This is the highest Boise has ever ascended in the national spotlight, I fear that they won’t handle it well. Both times they have made runs to BCS bowls it has been a come-from-behind sort of effort. We haven’t seen them start with a strong ranking and finish the same way. Starting with number six, Virginia Tech, doesn’t help their chances either.
As for TCU, they have a slightly stronger conference (Mountain West) but don’t have too many tough non-conference games, aside from their season opener against Oregon State. This will help them to remain unbeaten, but I don’t know if it means they are deserving of the ranking they have, or will have come bowl season. I feel like TCU is set up to bust the BCS this year just because they have a schedule that sets them up to go undefeated and sneak into a BCS bowl. Hopefully the pollsters know this and they will work TCU out of the top-12 by year’s end, or Utah will knock them off and solve everyone’s problems.
Most of the top-25 makes sense. I’m interested to see how high teams like Pitt, North Carolina and Utah can climb. Utah faces off with Pitt to start the year and then the Utes see TCU and Notre Dame in back-to-back weeks late in the year. If they navigate through this schedule properly they will receive a prominent bowl bid.
As for Arkansas, Iowa, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Penn State and Wisconsin; they are all strong teams that play in strong conferences. Surely one of these teams will find a way to go undefeated. However, facing the nation’s top teams (particularly in the case of Iowa, Wisc., PSU and Arkansas) will likely derail any National Title hopes for these teams.
My biggest beef comes way up at number two. It pains me to think that Ohio State will likely be playing for a National Title. The Buckeyes play in the Big Ten (12) and probably won’t see too much trouble from their cream puff schedule. I’m pretty sure they will handle Miami(FL) on September 11 and I don’t think they will fall to anyone during the rest of the season. It is embarrassing to me that these guys play Marshall, Eastern Michigan and Ohio and are considered a National Title contender. Not to mention, Terelle Pryor is about as overrated as Gigli was.
The outlook right now is an Alabama/OSU National Title game. I don’t think Florida makes it to the SEC title game and I don’t see Boise sneaking into the number two spot because of OSU’s weak schedule. Texas might not even make it through the Big 12 with the new faces on their offense.
The college football season is full of ups and downs, so I’m sure this top 25 will be a distant memory from the one we look at in the middle of October, let alone December. However, I’m really pulling for an upset over OSU at some point, they don’t deserve to be ranked as high as they are, I guess it is a thin year talent-wise in the NCAA.