I've recently signed up to be a part of a "blog poll" for college football started by mgoblog. Basically, it's like any other top 25 poll you read in the media. Except that instead of fudging our votes to boost paper sales(AP) or help our recruiting or hurt the recruiting of others(coach's poll), we fudge our votes strictly because we're homers for our favorite teams.
Anyway, All the poll voters have periodic discussions on college football. Since I'm a little behind, I'm going to post my answers to the last 2 discussions.
Based on this compilation of the top 25 as Internet pundits and preseason rags see it, who looks flagrantly overrated? Why?
Gotta go with Texas, #2 on that compilation. The #2 rating is strictly based on last year's Rose Bowl, and resultant hype around Vince Young. VY is not the next Michael Vick. VY does not have the arm strength or pocket presence to go with the running ability. VY is also not surrounded by good talent at the other skill positions. Plus, the Longhorns are installing their second new defensive scheme in as many years.
Oklahoma and Texas Tech are also overrated, but not on Texas's level of overratedness.
Who looks underrated?
Texas A&M, with much disgust. A better overall team, the defense is almost back to Wrecking Crew form, and Reggie McNeal really looks impressive, according to those who follow the program closely. With Oklahoma in a rebuilding year and Texas's ranking standing on a house of cards, A&M could surprise everyone and take the South.
It makes me retch to say that as a Red Raider fan, but that's the case.
What team in the high teens or lower could end up in the Rose Bowl?
Gotta go with Purdue. Due to scheduling quirks, Purdue does not face Ohio State or Michigan. All of their losses last year were by less than a touchdown. If they ever figure out how to get an extra score, they could run the table.
What's THE critical game of the season on the national scene?
I would say Boise State-Georgia.
This is the biggest chance the little guys have to break up the college football power structure ever.
This isn't Marshall beating middling K-State. This isn't A&M wilting in the Salt Lake City altitude.This isn't an overrated Missouri team losing at Troy. This isn't Southern Miss giving Cal a a game and knocking them out of a BCS berth in the process.
This is Boise State, an undefeated team from last year, going "between the hedges" to face one of the best programs in the SEC.
A win by the Broncos, and the repercussions will be felt in college football for years to come. A win by Georgia, and the Force grip of the Sith Lords who run the BCS conferences tightens around the necks of the lesser programs.
What's the most critical matchup for your team?
For Texas Tech, the Texas and A&M games will always be big, but the Tech-OU matchup is bigger because the Red Raiders have never beaten OU under Mike Leach. With OU in a rebuilding year, if Leach doesn't beat the Sooners this year, he ain't never gonna.
What's your wingnut upset prediction of year?
My biggest insane upset prediction of the year: Texas Tech over Texas A&M at Jones Stadium on Saturday, November 5th. The best Texas A&M team since the old Wrecking Crew days travels to Lubbock. However, for whatever reason, maybe it's because Tech is more excited about the game than A&M, maybe it's the dust blowing in the West Texas wind, maybe it's the constant chants from the student section about an A&M male student's preference of animal companionship (allegedly), the Aggies lose to the Red Raiders at Jones Stadium.
It's insane to pick Tech this year because A&M is a lot better this year than in past years and they are my pick to win the South, but I'm picking the Raiders anyway. But only after 3 Shiners, 3 shots of Jack, and a Johnnie Walker on the rocks.
Tomorrow: Rotisserie Chicken