RankTeamDelta1Southern Cal 25 2Ohio State 24 3Auburn 23 4Louisiana State 22 5Texas 21 6Notre Dame 20 7Cal 19 8Michigan 18 9Florida State 17 10Iowa 16 11Louisville 15 12Florida 14 13Oklahoma 13 14Georgia 12 15Clemson 11 16Miami (Florida) 10 17West Virginia 9 18Nebraska 8 19Virginia Tech 7 20Tennessee 6 21Oregon 5 22Penn State 4 23Arizona State 3 24Arkansas 2 25Boston College 1
-- It's safe to say that I respect Pete Carroll's recruiting. USC returns a total of ten starters--just four on offense. I expect those four--Steve Smith, Dwayne Jarrett, and two All-American caliber OL--to make the offense a potent one despite the inexperience being plugged in around them.
-- I was down on FSU prior to last season because they were replacing a lot of starters. They'll have a lot of new faces again this season, but I've learned my lesson. The Noles have the skill position talent to take a large leap in offensive production, Jeff Bowden be damned. Greg Carr is a monster.
-- Clemson looks great to me on paper. Lots of starters back, including the entire offensive line and one of the best placekickers in the nation. The Tigers didn't make a lot of mistakes last season (they were among the least penalized teams in the nation and had an excellent turnover margin), and if they can carry at least some of that into 2006, they'll put themselves on solid footing for a breakout year.
-- West Virginia is one of those teams that's gonna have to prove it to me.
-- Can Arizona State figure out how to stop anybody? They have the scoring points thing down.
-- BC's Matt Ryan is probably the best quarterback in the ACC, though the Eagles lost all of their starting receivers from a year ago. LV Whitworth and Andre Callender combined for 1500+ rushing yards in 2005, and they both return.