College Football Preseason Special
Posted By:Brett Haynes - Greenville, SC Tags:
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The 2010 season is just around the corner! Fans, I was going to put this up around the 20th, but I am so darned anxious for the season that I couldn't help myself and went ahead and put this on up tonight! If nothing else, it will give us more stuff to talk about as we come down the home-stretch here and back into college football. Thanks so much for being a part of Fans25.com, and I hope you will stay with us throughout the year!
DEFENDING STAT CHAMPIONS
Alabama was the team lofting the crystal football when the smoke cleared on the 2009 season, but that was just the overall team title. The NCAA also awards plaques for the teams that win the following categories. Here are the statistical champions from 2009:
Total defense: TCU, 239.7 ypg
Scoring defense: Nebraska, 10.4 ppg
Rushing defense: Texas, 72.3 ypg
Passing defense: Eastern Michigan, 150.5 ypg
Total offense: Houston, 563.4 ypg
Scoring offense: Houston/Boise St 42.1 ppg
Rushing offense: Nevada, 394.4 ypg
Passing offense: Houston, 433.7 ypg
Turnover margin: Air Force, +1.69
Time of possession: Wisconsin/Navy, 33:51
Least penalized: Navy, 26.9 ypg
And here are your individual winners from 2009, some of who are not back to defend their crown in 2010:
Rushing: Ryan Mathews, Fresno State, 150.6 ypg
Passing effiency: Tim Tebow, Florida, 164.17
Total offense: Case Keenum, Houston, 416.5 ypg
Receptions, catches: Freddie Barnes, Bowling Green, 11.9 catches per game
Receptions, yards: Danario Alexander, Missouri, 137.0 ypg
Interceptions: Rahim Moore, UCLA, 10
Kickoff returns: Ray Fisher, Indiana, 37.5 yard average
Punt returns: Greg Reid, Florida State, 18.4 yards per return
Tackles for loss: Brandon Graham, Michigan, 23
Total tackles: Carmen Messina, New Mexico, 162
Sacks: Von Miller, Texas A&M, 17
Punting: Drew Butler, Georgia, 48.03 average
Field goals: Kai Forbath, UCLA, 28 of 31 (.903 average)
Overall scoring: Toby Gerhart, Stanford, 13.23 ppg
1. SEC - Until someone can figure out how to wrestle the national title away from this league, the top spot will stay in the South. LSU, Florida and Alabama have made this hands down the best league over the past ten years. These rankings are their's for now, but they will be challenged with many very intriguing, very early out-of-conference matchups. This league is good at those games!
2. Big Ten - The Big Ten looks to be a race of four teams in 2010. Now of course any team can come out of the shadows and play better than expected, but I think Ohio state, Iowa, Wisconsin and Penn State give this league an undeniably strong presence in the top 15. With Nebraska coming in in 2011, this league could take the top spot, but with Michigan down (at least in 2009), this is where they stand for now.
3. ACC - Yes, I think the league is strong. Seven league quarterbacks are all-conference potential, and there are six teams - give or take - in most everyone's preseason top 25 polls. The ACC now must win some OOC games, or they will slip back to the fifth or sixth spot. Each ACC team in the top 25 will have a huge non-conference game early. Check back in a few weeks.
4. Big 12 - Not only is league morale down, but only three teams capture my attention this year: Texas, Nebraska and Oklahoma. Some early season out-of-conference games could change this four spot, but for now, I just don't get the vibe from the Big 12 that I have had in recent years. Still, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, Texas A&M or Kansas could emerge as a quality team and boost this ranking.
5. Pac Ten - With no Pete Carroll, USC is unpredictable. Oregon seems strong, but must break in a new quarterback. Stanford has an awesome quarterback in Andrew Luck, but is, well, Stanford. Oregon State is a respectable program I suppose, but both the Washington schools and Arizona schools are mediocre. Cal is ok, and UCLA is ok, but overall, this league has a ton of question marks.
6. MWC / Big East - Both of these leagues have good teams near the top, but fall off rather quickly. Again, just as with every conference in here, a few big out of conference wins could see either of these leagues climb up these rankings.
Let's say your favorite team received the death penalty for one year. While nothing can replace the feelings you hold for your own team, let's just say the college football Gods allowed you - just for this one black season - to have three "replacement" teams to pull for. Who would they be? Would they be teams you already liked? We all have teams we kind of like out there, anyway. Or would they be more teams that you thought would do well? You know, so you could talk trash as if that were your favorite team! Doesn't matter. I am imaging here the horrors of the death penalty, and who I would adopt if this were going down this year.
1. Notre Dame - Before anyone gets the slightest clue that I am a closet Irish fan, let me use this sentence to publicly reaffirm that I am not. However, with that said, I find the Irish secretly lurking in the back of mind this preseason. This new coach of their's, Chip Kelly, is exactly the personality the program needed, and with plenty of players to work with, and what will be a set of home games featuring record-setting decibel levels each game, I'm telling you right now ND is the team to keep your eye on 2010. In my first pick of the pick three, I am going with ND for my "I told you so" pick. Like 'em or not, guys, Notre Dame is about to be front and center for years to come.
2. Texas A&M - This school reminds me a lot of Clemson, and so A&M falls into my "I kind of liked 'em anyway" category for the second of my three picks. Up until the 1960's, CU was an A&M, as well, and still to this day, the military and agricultural traditions of the university are boasted in pride. But not only are the ideals of these two schools similar, they have similarities on the grid-iron. Both teams play to 80,000 seat home crowds regularly though neither has won a conference title in 20 years, and both teams are struggling to make the BCS for the first time ever. Even with limited success, they live and die with their football at A&M, and I like that in a school.
3. Washington - This is a pick where I'd like to see one of the all-time historically strong programs get back into the mix. The Huskies claim four national titles, but really haven't done a whole heck of a lot in a while. So I guess you could label this as my "lost tradition" pick. This year they get a shot at a huge win early as Nebraska rolls in. On top of that, the Pac Ten is littered with question marks, and UW could perhaps take a step back up the ladder. Not even mentioned yet, Washington has maybe the best looking uniforms in college football. Beautiful stuff.
THUMBS UP, THUMBS DOWN
Thumbs up....to the ACC, for moving the ACC Championship game to Charlotte, NC and 73,778 seat Bank of America Stadium.. This game has yet to live up to what conference officials had hoped for, and has been a major thumbs down up until this season. This is mainly due to the fact that the ACC put the game in the state of Florida these first five years specifically thinking Miami and Florida State would be the regular opponents. Of course the reasoning publicly was "good weather" (it has rained in three of five years). As it turns out, Miami has yet to qualify for the game, and FSU has been just once - the first version (and as expected, in that game the attendance was 72,749). But in 2007, the game drew just 27,360 as Boston College played Virginia Tech. With half-empty stadiums, the ACC finally got smart and put the game in the heart of the league geographically. Now, unless the game does pit Miami (or BC, or both), it should be played in front of a packed house.
Thumbs down...to the NCAA for tinkering with a tournament that needed no tinkering (men's hoops, added three games), but spent six months doing nothing about the fact that the football playoff (two-teams picked for whatever varying reasons) sucks. I have been hearing since I was a wee-child that the NCAA was one of the more worthless bodies of government around, and now I am seeing it myself. I just can't figure out why a college football playoff is such a crazy idea to them (I mean, they use a playoff format in their 32 other sports). What is it? Are they scared that it might make more money than anything the BCS could ever dream of? I guess the NCAA is too caught up investigating every school in the country. This is a sore spot with me. Give us a playoff, and quit feeding us stupid reasons not to.
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