What have we learned from the preseason magazines?

 

 

Here is a fun exercise I like to do before going to ACC and SEC Media Days. I take about five preseason magazines, put all of their predictions down on paper and compare them. There is not a lot of heavy lifting involved, but it gives you a mini consensus of what other people thinking.

The five magazines I used this year are:  Athlon, Lindy’s, Phil Steele, The Sporting News, and a new one published by the folks who produce The Kickoff.

Example: Here are the pre-season Top Fives for each magazine:

Athlon: Florida, Oklahoma, Texas, USC, Ohio State

Lindy’s: Florida, Texas, Oklahoma, USC, Virginia Tech

Phil Steele: Florida, Texas, USC, Oklahoma, Penn State

Sporting News: Florida, Texas, Oklahoma, USC, Ole Miss

The Kickoff: Florida, USC, Texas, Oklahoma, Ohio State

What did we learn? That Florida, USC, Texas, and Oklahoma are in everybody’s top four in some combination. Four of the five magazines had different No. 5s: Ohio State, Virginia Tech, Penn State, and Ole Miss.

Conclusion? A lot of people are going to be surprised if the two teams in the BCS championship game don’t come from the mix of Florida, USC, Texas, and Oklahoma.

 

SEC TEAMS IN THE TOP 25

Athlon: Florida (1), Alabama (6), Ole Miss (10), Georgia (14), LSU (17)

Lindy’s: Florida (1), LSU (6), Alabama (7), Ole Miss (9), Georgia (17)

Phil Steele: Florida (1), Ole Miss (6), Alabama (8), Georgia (13), LSU (17)

Sporting News: Florida (1), Ole Miss (5), LSU (8), Alabama (13), Georgia (15)

The Kickoff: Florida (1), LSU (6), Georgia (10), Alabama (11), Ole Miss (16), Tennessee (25).

What did we learn? All five magazines had Florida, Alabama, Ole Miss, Georgia, and LSU ranked. The Kickoff added Tennessee at No. 25. Georgia is ranked between 10 and 17 with four of the magazines having the Bulldogs between 13-17. I think that’s about right.

Conclusion: Ole Miss and LSU are all over the map. Ole Miss is as low as No. 5 and as high as No. 16. LSU is as low as No. 6 and as high as No. 17.  Alabama is in the Top 10 in three magazines and are rated No. 13 and No. 11 in two others. That is why the SEC West race is going to be so interesting.

 

ACC TEAMS IN THE TOP 25

Athlon: Virginia Tech (8), Florida State (15), North Carolina (19), Georgia Tech (22)

Lindy’s: Virginia Tech (5), Georgia Tech (16), Florida State (18), North Carolina (19)

Phil Steele: Virginia Tech (11), Miami (21), Clemson (25).

Sporting News: Virginia Tech (6), Georgia Tech (11), Florida State (17), North Carolina (23)

The Kickoff: Virginia Tech (8), Georgia Tech (13), Florida State (17), North Carolina (19).

What did we learn? Everybody but Phil Steele has Virginia Tech in their Top 10, so that should get your attention if you’re an Alabama fan. Miami, which is expected to be better in Randy Shannon’s third year, only cracked one Top 25 (Phil Steele). That’s because everybody else likes Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, and North Carolina in the Coastal Division ahead of the Hurricanes.

Conclusion: Virginia Tech is a solid favorite to win the Coastal, but not without a fight. The Atlantic is wide open as four magazines like Florida State but Clemson jumped into Phil Steele’s Top 25. N.C. State, in its third season under Tom O’Brien, could be a surprise team

 

What are your thoughts? Do these guys have it about right? Tomorrow we will break down the order of finish in the ACC and on Friday we’ll do the SEC. That should be enough homework to get us ready for media days.

 

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http://twitter.com/MrCFB

 

 

220 comments Add your comment

MikeInValdosta

July 8th, 2009
9:18 am

I’m just glad the SEC Championship game is not effected by polls and computers. Pure sport, decided by on the field competition, the way God intended.

Cuz

July 8th, 2009
9:45 am

Preach on brother Mike.

m

July 8th, 2009
9:53 am

Anyone remember the score of the GA Tech/LSU Peach Bowl?

I have a very selective memory & I am only able to repeat the same 3 lines here.

m1

July 8th, 2009
9:54 am

Nothing…opinions should not matter.

We need a 16 team playoff…settle it ON THE FIELD.

Nachos

July 8th, 2009
9:56 am

What is Allbarn’s pre-season ranking?

Rational Citizen

July 8th, 2009
9:57 am

Regardless of whether you’re an SEC or ACC fan, you’ve got to be sick of seeing Big Ten teams given any credit. Have the “professionals” putting these lists together not learned anything from the beatdowns that Big Ten teams suffer every single year in BCS games? Ohio State and Penn State being given top 5 status is inexcusable.

buckblue

July 8th, 2009
10:02 am

Who was last seasons preseason number 1….??

UGA

These magazines mean nothing…thats why you play the games…..

Andre "Pulpwood" Smith

July 8th, 2009
10:03 am

Enter your comments here

m

July 8th, 2009
10:04 am

Last year ugag was #1 (funniest joke of all time).

45-42….just the beginning.

reservoirDAWG

July 8th, 2009
10:04 am

I like flying under the radar. Ole Miss at #5? That’s laughable.

reservoirDAWG

July 8th, 2009
10:05 am

and m is a moron.

Huh?

July 8th, 2009
10:12 am

Ohio State, Oklahoma, and USC could all announce that they will be playing chimpanzees at every position in the upcoming season and the morons that put these preseason polls together would still have them in the top 5. Ohio State has done absolutely NOTHING in years other than embarrass itself in big games against elite opponents. Oklahoma had one of the biggest chokejobs in BCS title game history last year in my opinion. When you’re averaging 40+ ppg and only score 14 that is a major chokejob. And USC lost a 1st round QB and a bunch of other players on defense too if I’m not mistaken, from a team that still couldn’t make it to the title game no less. Any other team would be lucky to crack the top 15 in such circumstances, but not USC.

These are all good programs, but good grief. The bias is obvious to anyone with a brain. These teams thrive off of perceived prestige, brand recognition, and media hype. Throw them in to the SEC and they’d be just another good program scratching and clawing just to survive every week. USC would compete well and win a few conference titles here and there, but they’d take their lumps too and get smacked in the mouth much more than they are accustomed to. Oklahoma would be remarkably ordinary, winning only 9 or 10 games most years. Ohio State would be going to Shreveport every other year. I have no doubt in my mind about any of this. It is the truth. Good day.

coachdawg 2000

July 8th, 2009
10:12 am

I think that consensus #1 for the gators is going to be ablatross all year. When you’re the hunted it makes things very difficult becuase there is no where to go but down. The sec is too strong from top to bottom to go unscathed. it’s been 11 years since the last sec team won the national championship undefeated. While their non-con is an absolute joke, except for fsu. nothing in the sec comes easy, so watch out gators. tebow may need to cry and give a “win one for the gipper, never again,blah,blah,…” speech.

PTC DAWG

July 8th, 2009
10:15 am

I’ve learned that they are rarely right…

Alpharetta Dawg

July 8th, 2009
10:16 am

Tony,
What would be more interesting is to compare the last few years on how the pre-season predictions compare to final polls.

PMC

July 8th, 2009
10:17 am

The majority of those teams have good solid well established QB’s.

Va Tech could win the ACC but I don’t know if I buy into Taylor yet.

USC could be starting a true freshman and they are going to have strong competition in the PAC 10 this year.

Florida is way ahead of everyone. Ole Miss has Jevan Snead. Texas has McCoy and Oklahoma is not that different than last year other than replacing some members of it’s line. Penn State has thier backfield back with a very good line in place. Ohio State is starting a sophmore QB but he’s got loads of talent and handled the stage last year very well as a freshman.

Also Ryan Mallett will have his chance to bring Petrino back to prominance in Arkansas.

I don’t buy Virginia Tech yet and I’m not quite bought into LSU with all the compeition in the SEC west this year. I need to see more of thier QB’s first.

SimpleDawg

July 8th, 2009
10:19 am

Florida vs LSU…or Ole Miss…or Bama in the SEC Championship Game. All 3 Western Division leaders will have 2 losses. Florida will have 1 loss, UGA will have 2 losses.

Va.Tech vs FSU…or BC…or possibly Clempson in the ACC Chumpionship Game. Who cares about their records.

Huh?

July 8th, 2009
10:20 am

Atlanta Gator

July 8th, 2009
10:21 am

There will never be a 16-team Division I (FBS) playoff. It would require 4 additional games on top of the current 12-game schedule, and the 12-game schedule isn’t going away. The 12-game schedule is a financial necessity for most Division I athletic programs; 6 home football games fund most of school’s athletic budgets, including all sports other than football and men’s basketball. A 16-team playoff would also eliminate the bowls, with all of the money that they provide to fund college athletics.

If you’re in favor of a Division I football playoff, please try to propose something that makes sense. Like a plus-1; or a 4-team, post-bowl playoff that incorporates the 4 major bowls (see my comments from yesterday). Any Division I playoff must be concluded by mid-January, too; otherwise it will never be approved by the Division I university presidents. Under any playoff system, you’re going to need to convince the Division I athletic directors that their programs will continue to receive as much money as they do under the present bowl system and conference television contracts. It’s their job—-otherwise, there will be no women’s basketball, no baseball, no women’s soccer, no track & field, no swimming & diving, no softball. Remember, college athletics is more than just football, but football drives the money train.

The Grinch

July 8th, 2009
10:21 am

To Nachos

I don’t know what Auburn’s preseason ranking will be, but I don’t know of anyone who thinks they will lose 21 GAMES IN ONE DAY!! BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!

Gen Neyland

July 8th, 2009
10:31 am

I’ll take Real Southern Football Conferences for $1000, Alex…The East seems to be sown up. The West will be wild according to the pundits. Hard to bet against Florida. Still, what if’s, could be’s and never know’s can happen…Personally, I’d like to see Ole Miss come out of the West but if I were laying good Confederate dollars on it, I’ll take LSU to win, Ole Miss to place and Bama to show…I just think John Bubba Parker Wilson meant that much to Alabama last season…Prove me wrong.

Atlanta Gator

July 8th, 2009
10:38 am

If I were a betting man, I would bet against Florida finishing the season undefeated.

Since 1992, only 6 SEC teams have completed the 8-game SEC schedule undefeated and won the SEC championship game (Alabama ‘92, Florida ‘95 & ‘96, Tennessee ‘98, Auburn ‘04). Of those six teams, only 5 finished their non-conference schedule undefeated, too (UA ‘92, UF ‘95, UT ‘98, AU ‘04). Three of those five were national champions, and a fourth played for the national championship and lost. Bottom line: it’s damned hard to finish the SEC schedule undefeated, and even harder if you have non-SEC rivalries, too.

On the other hand, 4 very special SEC teams have gone undefeated since 1992, and 3 of them were national champions. Could the 2009 Gators be the fourth? Maybe, but I prefer to watch my team do it one game at a time rather than brag about it before it happens.

SimpleDawg

July 8th, 2009
10:40 am

It’ll be difficult to tell the difference between USC and USC….the condom/warriors and the warrior/chickens….they’ll both be disappointments.

OSU…oh shut up ! PSU…Please shut up !

Gatorzone

July 8th, 2009
10:41 am

HUH? Good point on the USC, Oklahoma, Ohio State program comments.

Simple, who will beat UF in your opinion?

Atlanta Gator

July 8th, 2009
10:41 am

Gen Neyland—-If I were a betting man, I would not bet on the SEC West this year. Any of Alabama, LSU or Ole Miss could win it, and injuries, upsets and dumb luck could, and probably will, affect the outcome. None of the three will be a complete and dominant team in 2009, but all will very good.

DawginLex

July 8th, 2009
10:44 am

Florida
UGA
UT
KY
Vandy
SC

OleMiss
LSU
Bama
Arkiesaw
Aubie
MSU

UNC
FSU
GT
VT
MD
NCSU
Who cares after this?

Florida repeats as SEC champs. UGA loses 2 games at the most. Tech loses 3 games. Spurrier quits after losing to NCSU and UGA back to back (0-2 start) and finishing the season 4-8. Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy. UT will win 7. KY will win 7.

Texas wins the BCS by upsetting UF.

One-Liners For 7/8/09 | MrSEC.com

July 8th, 2009
10:48 am

[...] along with some preseason football prognostications.And finally, Tony Barnhart of The AJC draws some conclusions from the many preseason magazines now on the [...]

jaxdawg

July 8th, 2009
10:49 am

Why is Alabama getting all this pub?? They lost their o-line and starting QB. Gimme a break!

Atlanta Gator

July 8th, 2009
10:52 am

Gatorzone—-The obvious answer is LSU to upset Florida in Death Valley, but Arkansas, Georgia and South Carolina all have serious upset potential. And then there’s FSU—-who knows how good they will be? Oh, yeah, and the Gators have a long history of losing to teams from the State of Mississippi that they should stomp.

Assuming the Gators win the SEC East (a much safer bet than going undefeated), then they will have to play a hard game against Alabama, LSU or Ole Miss in Atlanta. Aside from the 3 gimmes (Charleston Southern, Troy & FIU), Florida’s schedule is full of potential trap games. All will depend on injuries to key personnel and how well Meyer gets the Gators ready for every game.

If the Gators go undefeated and win the SEC, they will have earned a slot in the BCS Championship, but it’s a long road to get there. Given the 3 weak OOC games, any single loss will probably cost the Gators a BCS title bid. This year, 12-1 will not cut it.

Gen Neyland

July 8th, 2009
10:55 am

DawginLex : Texas is my preseason pick, too.

Atlanta Gator : That’s why I’m using ‘good Confederate dollars’ to lay my bet…UT goes to Oxford as does Alabama, LSU, Arkansas. What I wouldn’t lay a bet on is which ones they’ll win or lose…

Atlanta Gator

July 8th, 2009
10:55 am

jaxdawg—-Alabama is getting all of this “pub” by default. The Tide has had great recruiting classes the last 3 years, but must restock their line and replace their QB. On the other hand, neither LSU nor Ole Miss looks to run away with SEC West.

Awwww Yeah

July 8th, 2009
10:55 am

I don’t think there have been too many wire to wire champions. If I’m not mistaken, Phil Steele tends to be the most consistent year after year. The important thing is to be ranked so the team is within striking distance as the season unfolds.

Tide Rising

July 8th, 2009
10:57 am

Phil Steele is easily the most accurate. And even if he’s wrong you can read his synopsis of each team and tell he clearly knows what he’s talking about. You can’t say the same about any of the other mags.

The west will be a 2 horse race between Ole Miss and Bama. Still can’t understand why people think LSU will win the west. This is a team that won only 3 conference games last year, they play Florida and Georgia(in Athens) in the east and in the west they travel to both Ole Miss and Bama. Ole Miss and Bama both get to avoid Florida and Georgia. Can someone explain again why they think LSU overcomes all this to win the west given the schedule?

I would give Ole Miss the edge over Bama in the west race. They get bama and LSU at home, they return something like 17 or 18 starters, and at the end of last season this team was hot. They weren’t just beating people their last 5 games, they were absolutely destroying teams. And oh yeah, did I mention they were the only team to beat the gators and that they did it in the swamp by stuffing Tim Tebow on 4th down.

Gen. Neyland,

we will miss our 3 departed O-line starters from last year but there won’t be any dropoff from losing Wilson. He just managed games last year. He was never asked to win games or to carry the load since we were primarily a run first, smash mouth running game type of offense. Our only real question mark will be the O-line. The talent is certainly there just not the experience.

Grinch,

Its a rerun about losing 21 games in a single day but I still laughed again.

Atlanta Gator

July 8th, 2009
10:59 am

Gen Neyland—-They may not be legal tender, but save your Confederate dollars. Thanks to conservative Confederate monetary policy since 1865, $1 Confederate is worth more than $1 U.S. to a collector.

SimpleDawg

July 8th, 2009
11:00 am

GZ, I don’t know who will beat the Gators, but as the talent continues to get spread out across the conference, it’s becomming more unlikely that anyone in the SEC will go undefeated in a 12 game regular season. When the talent becomes more balanced between teams, emotion and momentum become a force of their own. It’s difficult to be at your best every game….when your talent is overwhelming, you can win on a bad day, but I don’t think even the Gators have overwhelming talent, when compared to the other elite teams in the SEC.

It’s gonna be a mighty interestin’ season.

Atlanta Gator

July 8th, 2009
11:03 am

Tide Rising—-LSU will be in the mix. Given their games against UF and UGA, LSU is more likely to play the 5-3 spoiler in the SEC West. They are completely capable of beating either Bama or Ole Miss, but I don’t see them going 6-2 in the SEC. We shall see.

1eyedJack

July 8th, 2009
11:07 am

The shape of a football makes it bounce funny sometimes. You just cannot predict the outcome until the toe meets the leather.

DawginLex

July 8th, 2009
11:09 am

if we keep printing money General, that confederate stuff might be worth more than the current………………..

Huh?

July 8th, 2009
11:12 am

Its hard to say who will knock off the Gators, but rest assured that someone will. LSU would be the popular favorite. My Dawgs will be well rested and prepared after the off week. We’ll put up a better fight than we did last year at least. Playing at Kentucky in between Tennessee and LSU could be a letdown. South Carolina sometimes seems to give them trouble. One game that no one will mention is Mississippi State the week before Georgia. There’s something about going up against former coaches. It can be tough, plus Florida struggles in the state of Mississippi. I don’t know. Take your pick. You can’t look at individual games in a vacuum. Florida is better than everybody on its schedule by a large margin, but that rarely guarantees much.

Having said that, if anyone is equipped to go undefeated in the SEC it is 2009 Florida. I just live by the old maxim of “expect the unexpected”, but maybe an undefeated season is the unexpected.

Tide Rising

July 8th, 2009
11:14 am

jaxdawg,

Why is Bama getting all the pub? We didn’t lose our entire O-line like OU did and yet they are in everyone’s top 4. We lost 3 starters but the rest of the entire 2 and 3 deep is back. We won’t be as experienced with 3 new starters but all 3 will be upper classmen with playing experience.

Saban’s recruiting has been so good that on our O-line we will actually have 2 former 5 star rated tackles as backups and the rest of the backups were all 4 star rated lineman. That’s how much talent there is now. Everywhere else we are solid and we return 9 starters on D and all of our special teams players. Our new qb is a 4th year junior similar to Cox at UGA. We feel very comfortable with him.

Back to back no. 1 ranked recruiting classes means we are locked and loaded as far as talent goes. Last, even though we break in 3 new starters on the O-line they were able to have success during the spring game moving the ball on the ground against the nation’s #3 rated Defense from last year. You can’t ignore that. All that and a 12 win season from last year are why we are getting pub.

austindog

July 8th, 2009
11:18 am

Tony, are you trying to singlehandedly change the lexicon of the football polls? Teams are not ranked “as low as No. 5 and as high as No. 16,” they are ranked AS HIGH as #5 and AS LOW as #16.

Tide Rising

July 8th, 2009
11:20 am

Atlanta gator,

I got to respectfully disagree with you on LSU. Even if they are every bit as good a team as Ole Miss and Bama the schedule knocks them out. UF and Georgia in Athens where they have had no success is an almost sure 2 losses. Then they play on the road against both Bama and Ole Miss. They will likely drop 1 of those 2. That’s 3 likely losses right there. And that’s not even including their other conference foes like Arky, Auburn, etc.

Everyone jumped on the LSU bandwagon because of one game against Tech. People forget that they took a physical whipping from Ole Miss in the bayou, they lost 3 great D-lineman, 2 great O-lineman, and their qb had 1 decent game against Tech and that’s it. One good game does not make a season.

Otto

July 8th, 2009
11:23 am

Tide I agree with you on the west. The other thing I do not get is Arkansas finishing in 4th on many lists. Have they looked at the schedule. The early season is brutal for a team with many new players that are supposed to make an impact. Ark may have more talent but Auburn and Miss St have better chances of getting the kinks worked out.

Kid Ray

July 8th, 2009
11:23 am

Ole Miss is as low as No. 5 and as high as No. 16???
TB – you sound like my wife. Ole Miss is as HIGH as 5 and as LOW as 16.

SimpleDawg

July 8th, 2009
11:24 am

Hey G-Zone,

Oops, upon further review of Florida’s schedule, if the Dawgs or LSU don’t beat the Gators, then they may very well be undefeated heading into the SEC CG. Although ATL Gator’s thoughts about “trap games” are a real possiblity, the second tier opponents all have exceptions – FSU is in turmoil, USC is stil USC, R Can Saw will play a similar style of offense to Florida’s….I’m sure the defense has seen a lot of it before.

And…Florida is returning it’s defense intact.

RAMBLE ON!!!

July 8th, 2009
11:26 am

Didn’t most of those have UGAg number 1 last year?

hmmm

Atlanta Gator

July 8th, 2009
11:27 am

Awwww Yeah—-Only 2 football teams have been ranked number 1 in the AP Poll “wire-to-wire” in the last 35 years: Florida State in 1999 and Southern Cal in 2004 (16 consecutive weeks).

Nebraska and Southern Cal also did it in the 1971 and 1972 AP Polls (14 consecutive weeks), and neither was ranked number 1 in the preseason poll.

“Wire-to-wire” is usually taken to mean the actual polls after play has started. The preseason poll does not count. FSU was ranked 3rd in the ‘99 preseason AP Poll.

http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=pkHoKshX4W-sLo8tN8Lo1Uw

Ramblinwreck1378

July 8th, 2009
11:28 am

I think it’s ironic that earilier in the discussion, there was talk about OSU and USC being “grandfathered” into the top ten because of their history and tradition, and their struggles have been made obvious over the past few seasons. Believe me, I completely agree that Ohio State has done nothing that should even hint to the fact that they’re a top 5 team this season. The Big Ten has struggled mightly against the likes of the SEC, Big 12, and Pac-10 over the past few years. But nonetheless, I don’t think SEC fans should throw stones in a glass house. The SEC is the favorite of all of the pollsters, and yes, some of it is warranted (Florida), but let’s take a look at this. Alabama and LSU ranked as high as number 6? Yes, LSU looked impressive in the Peach Bowl last year, but come on… That was a month after they lost to Arkansas, who was a dismal 4-8 a year ago. And Tide Rising- Alabama may have a superb recruiting class, but I think people vastly underestimate the value of experience and playing time. Talent alone does not win football games.

Basically what I’m saying is that every team in the SEC automatically has a leg up on everyone else in the nation. I think it’s legitimate coming out of my mouth because I watch it happen every year, as an innocent bystander (my team is rarely in the preseason polls). So before you SEC advocates go blabbering about how OSU and USC receive far too much unwarranted press and population, look at the preseason polls, and where the SEC teams are placed. Do we really think that LSU and Alabama are better than Virginia Tech this season? We’ll find out one answer on September 5.

Tide Rising

July 8th, 2009
11:30 am

Otto,

I’ve seen a lot of people picking Arky as a darkhorse or at least as a spoiler. Its year 2 for Petrino with his guys now having a full understanding of his offense and a much better comfort level as a team.

While I don’t think they have the talent to challenge Ole Miss or Bama they return virtually all their starters and at the end of the season last year they improved a lot. They even beat this LSU team in tiger stadium that everyone seems to think is going to be so good. I’m thinking they post 7, maybe 8 wins, go to a bowl, and pull an upset or 2 over someone like Ole Miss, Bama, or Georgia. They will be the most interesting team to watch in the west IMO.

Tide Rising

July 8th, 2009
11:40 am

Ramblingwreck1378,

Your points are duly noted but talented recruiting classes stacked upon talented recruiting classes do make a difference. Its why OU lost all 5 O-line starters but still starts out in the top 4. Its also why USC lost 10 defensive starters but like OU starts out in the top 4 in every poll. If you will notice in my post on our O-line our new starters are guys who have plenty of playing experience. They will be new as full time starters but not new as far as playing experience goes.

You state somehow that you don’t think SEC teams like Bama and LSU are not quite up to task of taking on a team like Va Tech. I got to respectfully disagree. I think Georgia blew out Va Tech just a few years ago in the peach bowl and LSU pounded Va Tech to the tune of 48-7 in 2007. I think Va Tech is certainly a top 10 team this year and maybe top 5 and they are certainly to be respected. But I can guarantee that aint no SEC team in fear of a Va Tech team that the SEC has recently manhandled.