Spring Top 25: Gators No. 1, Tech 13, Dawgs 14



We did our RE (Ridiculously Early) Top 25 back in January, just hours after Florida had won the BCS national championship. Now we’re done with spring practice and June will be here before we know it. So let’s do our Spring Top 25, which should give us enough to argue about between now and two-a-days in August.

Last season’s record and the previously rank in our RE Top 25 are in parentheses. So who did I leave out that belongs on this list?

Have a good weekend. See you Monday.


1—Florida (13-1, 1): Tim Tebow is back. The entire defense is back. There are no apparent weaknesses on this team. The only real concern is an Oct. 10 trip to LSU.

2—Texas (12-1, 2): Colt McCoy and the Longhorns will be motivated after coming up one-point short of a shot at the national championship last season.  They meet Oklahoma in Dallas On Oct. 17 and travel to Oklahoma State on Oct. 31.

3—Oklahoma (12-2, 5): QB Sam Bradford, the Heisman Trophy winner, came back to school for another shot at the national championship.

4—Alabama (12-2, 4): Crimson Tide has to rebuild OL but defense should carry this team a long way.

5—Southern California (12-1, 3): QB Mark Sanchez left early and nine starters are gone on defense. So what? Trojans reload and win the Pac-10 again.

6—Virginia Tech (10-4, 8): The defending ACC champions came out of spring feeling good about defense, QB Tyrod Taylor.

7—Oklahoma State (9-4, 7): Georgia fans need to remember: QB Zac Robinson, RB Kendall Hunter, WR Dez Bryant. The Cowboys are very good.

8—Ohio State (10-3, 9):  RB Beanie Wells left but QB Terrelle Pryor returns with eight starters on defense.

9—LSU (8-5, 6): Tigers bounce back with John Chavis as new defensive coordinator and Jordan Jefferson at QB.

10—Ole Miss (9-4, 16): Not sure if I’m totally on the Ole Miss bandwagon yet because LT Michael Oher and DT Peria Jerry are gone. Rebels do have a very good QB in Jevan Snead and a good schedule.

11—Oregon (10-3, 18): Mike Bellotti stepped down as head coach but Chip Kelly was the genius behind that offense. Will challenge Southern Cal in Pac-10.

12—Penn State (11-2, 21): People are telling me that Joe Pa might win the Big Ten despite losing 14 starters. We’ll see.

13—Georgia Tech (9-4, 13): There are some big holes to fill on the defensive line, but Paul Johnson’s offense will be even better in year two.

14—Georgia (10-3, 15): Still concerned about the defense and the running back position. The Sept. 5 trip to Oklahoma State is scary.

15—Florida State (9-4, 12): If the Seminoles can find a couple of receivers they will win the ACC Atlantic.

16—North Carolina (8-5, 14): Tar Heels also need some wide receivers but the defense (19 INT last season) will be very good.

17—TCU (11-2, 17): The Horned Frogs lost seven starters from the nation’s No. 2 defense but these guys are always good under Gary Patterson.

18—Boise State (12-1, 24): Broncos return QB Kellen Moore but have a tough opener with Oregon.

19—Utah (13-0, 19): QB Brian Johnson is gone but nine starters on defense return.

20—Texas Tech (11-2, 20): QB Graham Harrell is gone but Mike Leach always finds another quarterback to plug into his offense.

21—Cincinnati (11-3, NR): Only one starter returns on defense but QB Tony Pike is back on offense. Bearcats are still good enough to repeat as Big East champs.

22—East Carolina (9-5, NR): Sixteen starters, including QB Patrick Pinkney, return from the C-USA champs.

23—California (9-4, 22): RB Jahvid Best is the nation’s leading returning rusher. Seven starters are back on defense.

24—Notre Dame (7-6, NR): I’m not convinced the Irish are that good but the schedule, other than Southern Cal on Oct. 17, is very manageable.

25—Kansas (8-5, NR): With quarterback Todd Reesing coming back, the Jayhawks will challenge Nebraska for the Big 12 North.



473 comments Add your comment


May 15th, 2009
5:50 pm

No way UGA will finish in the top 25. They have no heart, and by mid-season, half their starters will be in jail or suspended. Warden Richt will try, but how do you mold a bunch of illiterate thugs and goons into a team?


May 15th, 2009
6:00 pm

Oh Sanford, so cold and so true. Both of one of my college buddies sons had to enroll at Auburn, then transfer to UGA. It is more of an epidemic than the Pig Flu.


May 15th, 2009
6:14 pm

Way off with Bama Mr CFB. Many analysts like yourself tend to rank teams based on numbers coming back in relation to last seasons finish. It’s never been the most exact formula. What your creating is your version of the top 25 poll Sept 1st.

When you talk about your Dogs you lament the OL problems & chemistry needed. But with Bama having to almost start over with 70% of it’s OL you have a different formula. Barney you need to be more consistent with your analogies.

Truth Hurts

May 15th, 2009
6:18 pm

Tech will lose five games this year….and the excuses will start and the finger pointing will be at evereyone except themselves. Georgia will absolutely hammer them at Grant field this year with over 60% of those in attendance wearing the red and black. Lets face it when you have to advertise in the AJC to sell tickets to your home games what does that tell you about Tech’s program….not even their great alumni come to their games….thier 45,000 seat stadium is always half full…pitiful. It amazes me that a three point win over a injury laden Dawg team has gotten the Tech fans as giddy as they are…..you can sure tell they don’t know how to act because it so rarely happens….they have and will always have a major inferiority complex about Georgia.

Tide rising

May 15th, 2009
6:27 pm


Your various Alabama recruiting scandals are all based upon rumors as you very plainly state. These are rumors began and exist on a world of their own on some Auburn forums and Tennessee forums. On Tennessee’s main forum its Tennstud, who has been saying stuff like this for years and years. Let’s examine each of these.

Hoovergate. Has absolutely nothing to do with Alabama. This is a high school deal and Hoover athletes have attended UT, Florida I think, Bama and maybe Auburn. The teachers where helping out students with grading so that they could get into any college not specifically Alabama. There is no Bama connection and if there was a letter would have been sent 2 years ago when this happened. This is old news and the NCAA looked into Hoover already.

Mobilegate and Gadsdengate. Both are figments of the imagination which is why you state no facts as to what happened. Once again some rival fans on other forums started rumors that Burton Scott of Mobile, Julio Jones of Mobile, Jerrell Harris of Gadsden, that all of these players had been bought Hummers and other cars. Who in their right mind believes that boosters can just flat out buy players Hummers and not think anyone is going to notice? Its an absolute absurdity and the fact of the matter is that none of these players own these cars. Burton Scott had an old tricked out Cutlass which got stolen in B’ham and he now doesn’t have a car. If they do own these cars then its news to them.

Bump-rule violations. In Saban’s first year at Bama he was accused by the Miami media of talking to a Miami area recruit for 5 minutes which is a 2ndary violation of the bump rule which states a cursory hello and goodbye is the only acceptable communication and should span a minute or less. Big freaking deal. The NCAA looked at it and said there is nothing there. This was 2 years ago. If there was something more serious a letter would already have been sent.

Last of all the bookgate. The university did a poor job of managing textbook distribution and several athletes across numerous sports were getting extra books to help out friends, girlfriends, etc. The athletes themselves did not benefit monetarily and thus no competitive advantage was gained. The school discovered this itself, immediately self reported, took immediate corrective action including suspending the players for several games so that no competitive advantage was gained, and punished the athletes in the other sports as well.

You have no idea what penalties, if any, will result from the textbook matter. As you yourself state this is all rumors to your knowledge. Even if we get hit with 2 schollies lost over 2 years that’s a very small slap on the wrist and is something we can live with. The bottom line is that this wasn’t institutionalized cheating or anything like that, the school found out the problem, reported it, and corrected it.

Last, you should stop and think about this nonsense. I realize a lot of people hate Saban but what you absolutely cannot deny is that as his years as a head coach at Kent State, Mich.St, and LSU there were no recruiting violations to my knowledge. None of those programs got into any trouble at all when Saban was there and obviously there was no resulting probation. What on earth makes you think he would all of a sudden need to start cheating at Bama. The Bama brand name and tradition speaks for itself. He doesn’t have to cheat. The idea that he ran clean programs everywhere else but all of a sudden is running a dirty program at a big name program like Alabama is absolutely ludicrous. When you can come up with something more credible than internet rumors started on Auburn forums and by Tennstud on the Tennessee forum please let me know.

Dorsey Hill

May 15th, 2009
6:30 pm


If Georgia had Tech’s schedule would you still rank Tech higher? Doubtful. Pre-season rankings should be about which teams are the best on paper. The SEC has 5 top-ten teams, on paper, period. There are 5 teams in the SEC that would finish no lower than second in any conference in America save the Big 12, and then its no lower than 3rd. They should be ranked accordingly. If UGA’s, or any of these other 5 top SEC teams had a schedule where they played the Top two teams from every other BCS conference, it would, at the end of the day, be an easier schedule than the 8 SEC teams that each will play.

Tide rising

May 15th, 2009
6:35 pm


Actually I was wrong. Julio Jones does own a car. If I remember correctly it was a 5 or 6 year old Ford explorer or some older model suv and was bought by his family and he owned it long before he ever committed to Bama. I’ve yet to see or here of this imaginary Hummer that other people seem to think that Julio owns. It doesn’t exist except on Auburn and Tennessee message boards.

BS Patrol

May 15th, 2009
6:35 pm

Uh Bulldawg,
Here’s another easy way to beat Tech. Score more points than Tech. You’ll win almost 95% of the time! Duh!

bob hughes

May 15th, 2009
6:49 pm

barnhart is just another nerd loving , atl biased AJC employee

bob hughes

May 15th, 2009
6:50 pm

nerd lover, nerd lover, nerd lover


May 15th, 2009
6:52 pm

Truth Hurts, Cuz and all you other idiot Dawg fans…Let’s use some facts when we argue our points. Name calling does nothing but make you look like a redneck. If UGA is better than GT or UF, say why instead of “your wife wears my wife-beater” or we beat you 7 in a row. Well geuss what, 2009 is a new year. UGA has a ton of talent returning from injuries, yet we’ve lost 3 of our offensive stars to the NFL. Lost some secondary. I think the defense will be greatly improved and I think the offense will take a step back. On the other hand, the trade school has lost folks on the defensive line and their o-line is thin. Otherwise they are just a year older. I think the Saturday after Thanksgiving will be a great game.

bob hughes

May 15th, 2009
6:55 pm

barnhart, you are such a nerd. We need to worry about Ok state, about like we need to worry about the rest of the Kandy ass teams from the west that we beat every year by 30 points. Just like you and your tech loving coworkers said we needed to worry about Boise state, arizona state, ok state and that powerhouse from hawaii that we destroyed. When are you nerd lovers ever going to figure it out?


May 15th, 2009
6:57 pm

UGA_4_Ever – Finally a bulldog fan that is not ranting & raving (of course there are enough GT fans that do it to). I liked your analysis. GT’s secondary should be tough. Linebackers improved, running game should be crazy. The o-line needs to get a lot better and the new guys on the d-line need to fill the gap. Our QB needs to be a little more accurate when he actually gets the chance to pass the ball.

Is it September yet?


May 15th, 2009
6:59 pm

Obama needs whoever writes the headlines for the AJC articles as his communication director.


May 15th, 2009
7:00 pm

I’m beginning to think the ‘Bob Hughes’ doesn’t like Tony! Did Tony hurt your feeling Bob?


May 15th, 2009
7:00 pm

Gators will rule 2009…only if they don’t get a case of attention deficit and lose a game. If they drop one game with the weak non-conference schedule (due to a better team backing out, UCF I believe) and the relatively weak SEC-W schedule (due to the SECs whacko scheduling) they may win the SEC, but they will not get to the BCS game against undefeated or one loss teams with stronger schedules.

Sphincter of the House Pelousi is a senile lying witch! Is water-boarding really so horrendous compared to the islamic terrorist incinerating thousands of non-combatants at the WTC or beheading non-combatants? We utilized water-boarding in Vietnem (of course the VC liked to beat, break bones, and soak catured Americans in pools of feces, etc.)and I understand it’s been used since WWII. Our Sphincter of the House could use a good water-boarding to bring back her memory.

bob hughes

May 15th, 2009
7:02 pm

Barnhart, you are such a tech loving nerd. When will you ever figure out, every time we play one of these alleged powerhouses from the west, you and all your tech biased collegues think they are going to beat us. And everytime, we prove that you are nothing but, one more time, a tech loving NERD! We beat these CANDY A.. teams silly. Let’s list them: OK State, Arizona State, Boise State, and who could forget, HAWAII. Bet you picked those NERDS too. You are such a NERD!!!!!!!

bob hughes

May 15th, 2009
7:02 pm

Crazyfor GT, youa re a NERD!


May 15th, 2009
7:03 pm

Bob isn’t Barnhart a UGA grad?


May 15th, 2009
7:04 pm

I wish gatorman770 would open up and tell us how he really feels about the liar, uh I mean Pelosi…

Tide rising

May 15th, 2009
7:13 pm


Sphincter of the house. That is too funny. Thanks. Can’t wait to use that from now on when I discuss the liar, uh I meant Pelosi also.

I don’t think UF is out of it if they lose one game though. As long as they win the seccg they will be in the title game even if they drop one somewhere along the way. That’s assuming there won’t be at least 2 other bcs teams to go unbeaten of course. Starting out no. 1 if they lose they will not fall very far and would have plenty of time to climb right back to the top 2. They certainly won’t lose more than one regular season game so to me the only potential stumbling block even if they lose 1 game would be the seccg.

BS Patrol

May 15th, 2009
7:20 pm

News Flash Bob! Barnhart is a ga alumnus! Give him credit for admitting Tech is better.

Saint Nick

May 15th, 2009
7:26 pm

Bama wins the west Fla wins the east!!!! Bama goes 1-1 in the dome and goes to the Sgar AGAIN, BUT THIS TIME I FEEL SORRY FOR WHOEVER THEY PLAY!!!!!!

The Ole Ball Coach

May 15th, 2009
7:53 pm

Dawgs want win a game and CMR is fired ……. you read it here first folks!


May 15th, 2009
8:04 pm

Uga4ever, I am a redneck. I thought you knew. Just checked my collar, yep, redneck.


May 15th, 2009
8:11 pm

I think the mat drills are outlawed by the Geneva Convention. When was the Speaker notified by our coaching staff?

Can you imagine Gitmo detainees doing mat drills. Okay, I will tell you anything you want. Please get me out of this cage and stop that coach from yelling at me. Merciful Allah let me out.


May 15th, 2009
8:21 pm

TB is older than me and he should know that the defense has more to say about your record than the offense and Tech lost their WHOLE defensive line and how in the HELL does he have them ranked so high?He has covered college football forever and still hasn’t learned!!

Chuck Uga

May 15th, 2009
9:18 pm

Ramble On, GREAT comment on Pelosi being a BIG LIAR!

As far as Top 25, who cares at this point. Most of this poll is reasonable except Alabama who will not end up in the Top 10 (LSU will beat them like a drum). Florid and LSU will likely play in the SEC Championship as a rematch unless UGA pulls a miracle 9or maybe South Carolina? Nah.) UGA will finish 9-3 or 10-2 in all likelihood. I do think they will edge Tech in Atlanta. I see an upset loss to Auburn though.


May 15th, 2009
9:32 pm

Georgia Baseball….going, going, gone! Another number 1 bites the big one.


May 15th, 2009
9:54 pm

i ranked the dogs no.11 tech no.15


May 15th, 2009
11:06 pm

If Virginia Tech played in the SEC they would get thumped about three times a year. There is no reason anyone who has watched this team play over the last three years could have them ranked in the top 10. The hokies have replaced Notre Dame as the most consistently overanked team in college football. Oh yeah, ACC football has been a joke for about five years now. I think The Jackets will own it soon enough.


May 16th, 2009
12:17 am

If UNC-Chapel Hill is #18 and E Carolina is #22, then NC State should be ranked in the top 18. They will be the best team in the ACC Atlantic and were already the best team in the state of N Carolina in 2008.


May 16th, 2009
12:58 am

UGA is a top 5 team talent wise, but a top 25 team coaching wise. I believe Mark Richt will continue to make poor decisions as he has in the past. Here’s a list of his poor decisions:

1)He didn’t replace Martinez after losing to West Virginia in the 2006 Sugar Bowl.

2)He red shirted his best rb(Moreno).

3)He let Stafford change the play at the line of scrimmage 95% of the time to impress the NFL scouts.

I believe Mark Richt will not put the best qb on the field when the season began. If Aaron Murry is not the starting qb to open the season, Mark Richt will once again prove that I am right about his poor judgement. Mark my word, at some point Aaron Murray will be the starting qb sometime this season if Mark Richt doesn’t red shirt him.

Jimmy in Gainesville

May 16th, 2009
1:05 am

As a loyal Georgia fan but a realistic Georgia fan, I don’t look forward to this season with Willie heading the D. I think it will be exremely tough against OS in the first game and he’ll never have a defense to stop anyone … especially Fla and GT. To tell you the truth, I’m dreading this year. I hope I’m wrong but we could easily lose five games if Willie’s D don’t turn it around. I still think Willie should have walked. O well, we still haven’t lost a game in 09 … we’re still undefeated.


May 16th, 2009
1:52 am


May 16th, 2009
2:21 am

UGA_4_Ever, thank you for your reasonable post…. sadly, there aren’t many of them out there regardless the team. Fla. will be the team to beat in the NC. LSU is set to have a great year (But you’re kidding yourself IF you think THEY figured out Tech’s offense…it was a game full of bad decisions and HORRIBLE special team play! They beat us down, make no mistake about it, but they didn’t ‘figure’ anything out). I believe that UGA is going to have a good ‘off’ season with eight or so victories. In short, I’m cool with the ‘poll’. However, I still contend that each team will have to prove themselves each and EVERY week! GO TECH!

armour all

May 16th, 2009
2:49 am

TONY, when are you going to break that bama probation story that all the bama radio stations want to give you credit for ?


May 16th, 2009
6:26 am

mister t…historically one does not put much faith in spring game outcomes as the offense in particular is usually very bland.

dawgs have a history of having fairly good defenses and that will return this year.
georgia lost a many as 25 players last season and most of those veteran players did not play in the spring game.

i would not count my chickens before they hatch. dawgs usually have their better years when expectations are not very high!


May 16th, 2009
6:28 am

I have no problems with your top 25 as stated. I will say that Bama seems a little high based on their losses of QB and OL, etc…UF is the team to beat for sure….sometimes that doesn’t work out so well.

I DO have a problem with the GT fans who think UGA shouldn’t be in the top 25. IF you can give me tangible evidence that Richt’s team doesn’t deserve to be there, let’s hear it. Frankly, you are a disgrace to college football if you think that way..he averages over 10 wins a year..some of you folks need to get out more often.


May 16th, 2009
7:08 am

Miami will finish the season 11-1.


May 16th, 2009
8:19 am

4-9 tony , i don’t agree with. My sister could have picked your top 3. It’s amazing the love shown for the Tide. One good year and suddenly saban’s head turns into the bear. Please don’t underestimate what john parker wilson and the mammoth offensive line did for them until the bowl game. Both are gone in 2009. Inconsistency will be the killer for bama and lsu . Ole miss will be solid. If auburn can find a Qb from one of local high schools they will make some noise. Arkansas will be much improved. The west is wide open.


May 16th, 2009
8:26 am

Tech will surprise some people in 2009, i predict 6-6. I don’t care who is coming back.

Football expert in waiting

May 16th, 2009
8:28 am

14 of 25 of the minor league(college football) picks from the South. Same thing every year. At least it sells a lot of papers and magazines.


May 16th, 2009
8:33 am


Man that was a question to someone in the know at Bama and I got thrown under a bus….WTF! Listen whether its rumor /or someone say like Finebaum talking about it as he did today on the radio (early show I think in B’ham..can’t remember show name) the fact is that something is up with the NCAA.

By the way I lived in Baton Rouge, working down there out of school, when Saban was coaching the corn dogs. Less we forget the grade scandal, that rocked LSU – Teacher gets fired for turning in the true story about grade fixing…now do I think that Saban had something to do with that – NO clue. But it was on his regime…..makes me say hmmmmm.

Enough of the rumor stuff – what I think is funny is the way you say the BAMA name will sell the school. What your not remembering is that Bama, until last year, was irrelevant (sp?). I mean we’re talking a middle of the pack team – now one good year and their National Power again. I don’t buy it – you’ve recruited very well, now we’ll see if you can do it 3-4 years in a row not 1.

I stand by my first opinion that Bama loses 2-3, LSU loses 2, Ole Mrs. loses 3 or so, Auburn loses 3….LSU wins tie breakers in a crazy Wild West season. Plays UF and loses in the SEC Championship…still goes on to Sugar.


May 16th, 2009
8:52 am

Where is Auburn ranked? hahahahahaahhahaahhahaha


May 16th, 2009
9:03 am

Looks like a long year for Auburn and Tennessee.

Gator Mike

May 16th, 2009
9:26 am

I am a Gator who lives in Charleston, SC. I agree with everyone that UF playing Charleston Southern is a total joke, and I am embarrassed. We would be better off having a scrimmage to warm up for UT and lame kiffin than playing Chas. Southern. Fl, GA, AL, TN ,et. all have high school stadiums larger than Charleston Southern’s. I understand that we got stuck with Chas. Southern because wimpy George “Lier” O’Leary pulled his UCF team out of the committment they had to play the Gators for an opener this year. I heard that Foley could not get anyone but Chas. Southern, and I do not believe it. I commend UGA for going on the road to play OK St. and UT going to UCLA last year. BAMA, AU, LSU and ARK have done it. My Gators need to start going on the road like that. Playing Chas. Southern and Fl Intl. is an embarrassing joke.
Go Gators!

Jack Schitt

May 16th, 2009
9:51 am

Hi, most of you redneck UGA fans seem not to know me. My name is Jack Schitt and I want to say this…UGA SUX. You will be the new SEC East doormat since Stafford and NoShow are gone. Vandy will kick your azz to make if official. Welcome to the cellar boys!!! Now you can say you know Jack Schitt.

johnny reb

May 16th, 2009
10:06 am

The Rebels only issue is left tackle on offense. It may workout fine, but will know for sure after a few games. The defensive line will be stout again and the secondary will be much improved over last year.

LSU? Give me one reason why they are top 10? Green qb? All new dl? The Hat is the headcoach not Lombardi!


May 16th, 2009
10:08 am

Notre Dame must prove it on the field before I can say top 25. Fla St will be good but not top 25. They have nobody to throw the ball to whatsoever. It will be load up and stop the run-time.