Aug 12

The Next Five

Posted By:Brett Haynes - Greenville, SC  Tags:

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My teams ranked # 26-30 could make a run at # 1-5....Tuesday morning I was very fortunate to be a guest on a radio program out of Tennessee. And while everything went just as well as I possibly could have hoped for, the hosts' questions got me to thinking even deeper into the top 25 that I came up with just days before the interview. I still like the preseason top 25 I discussed on air, and I stand behind it. But in this article, I will look at the five teams that were oh-so-close to making my top 25. You see, one of the radio hosts was a UNC fan, and he had some very good questions for me as to why they weren't included. Here I discuss the Tar Heels, and four other teams that very well could make a run at some big-time hardware in 2010...

26. Pittsburgh - The Panthers have been ranked as high as top ten in some preseason polls I have seen. They have also been left out of a few polls. Coach Dave Wannstedt will have them fundamentally sound, and if ever the Big East was ready to be taken, it is now. I count six truly tough games on the schedule, including Notre Dame and Utah away early. We will know so much more about Pitt by week five.

27. North Carolina - If you read respected college football analyst Phil Steele's college football guide for preseason 2010, he lists UNC as having the very best dude in the nation at four defensive positions. Yes, Robert Quinn at defensive end, Marvin Austin at defensive tackle, Quan Sturdivant at inside linebacker, and Bruce Carter at outside linebacker are all rated as the very best at their postions by that long-time succesful publictaion. Defense is the name of the game, and UNC may be a force. This reminds me of the Juilus Peppers Days. Offensively, there are some question marks.

28. Oregon State - Jacquizz Rodgers is a true Heisman candidate at running back, and in a down Pac Ten, this team should be in every game. On top of that, they will be extra motivated to shut the Ducks the hell up after hearing more than they probably cared to hear about their in-state rival in 2009. A huge early season game with TCU will define the season. But win or lose in that game, a bye week comes at a great time (week two) to regroup.

29. Oklahoma State - A year ago, the Big Twelve South was the division in college football because of OSU, Texas, TTU and Oklahoma. This year the luster is a bit gone, but still Oklahoma State has a ton of great athletes, as do their division mates. The Cowboys' shedule sets up for a decent year as the toughest road game is Texas away in week ten. Don't be surprsied if OSU is top 25 early after three easy games to start the year.

30. Arkansas - The Razorbacks tend to get lost in the SEC West struggle because of big names Alabama, Auburn and LSU. But make no mistake about it, Arkansas is as big-time an SEC program as there is. This year Ryan Mallet is back and looks to put Arkansas into the big-time. The schedule is fierce, but it's like that for so many teams. Arkansas could be real, real good

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