The BCS is now a thing of the past and good riddance. It was just not inclusive (I usually detest that word) enough and one had the feeling that there was just something smarmy (hate to say rigged) about the whole process. Certainly not sure if the new system is going to be much better to be honest but it is the system we have in "big time" college ball and we will have to make due.
The Bartender Cabbie System however is based on half baked analysis of the college game, but has in the past proven to be just about as accurate as all these "professional" analysts. How does one get a paying gig doing that? Let me know.......
The 2014 Preseason Top 25
1. Florida State: May well be a repeat performance. There may (or may not) be some scumbaggery present in Tallahassee with some alleging that the administration and local constabulary covered up some unseemly behavior on the part of the young QB, but that has not been proven. Allegations they are and allegations is all they will ever be. Bank it. That aside, this team looks like a top notch SEC squad instead of ACC and when combined with a rather easy (as such things go) ACC schedule, well, the 'Noles should have a very good shot of appearing in the big game at the end.
2. Alabama: Nick will have another great product on the field. The fluke loss to Auburn deflated the kids likely and all the pep talks in the world probably didn't do much to overcome their disappointment of not again being the top team in the nation. They would be ranked number one in the Bartender Cabbie System had they not inexplicably hired one Lane Kiffin as OC. That is crazy.
3. Auburn: Perhaps Auburn should not have gone all the way to the big game season last. The fluke win over the Tide inflated them as much as it deflated the Alabama players. That being said, this team is led by one heck of a coaching staff, has top notch SEC talent, and could be right there at the end.
4. Oklahoma: The Sooners have a shot and no mistake. Kieth Ford Jr. may eventually prove to be one of the top backs in the country. The Big Twelve is not the SEC although it is arguably the second toughest conference and Oklahoma has an excellent shot of winning the conference but will find themselves beaten by one or more conference foes. It is what they do.
5. Oregon: The young gun is back and if he stays healthy he will win some games pretty much on his own. There are some up and coming dangerous teams in the mix in the PAC Twelve but the Ducks should be the best of the bunch.
6. Baylor: A possible Heisman contender at QB and an excellent coaching staff will have them competing for top spot in the Big Twelve.
7. Ohio State: This team should have been right there season last and should be right there upcoming. They won't. Something slightly off in Columbus. The coaching staff would be my guess. The Buckeyes perhaps will win the Big Ten but won't reach the national title game.
8. Michigan State: The team was under rated last year and was perhaps the second or third best team in the country when all was said and done. It would be a struggle perhaps to do just as well this season but I would not count them out.
9. Stanford: Will, as usual, be a force in the PAC 12 and the team has a very good shot of winning the conference.
10. South Carolina: This is not the easiest place to win but the "old ball coach" has had some what might be considered phenomenal success here. They will be a contender in the SEC.
11. LSU: Coach Miles is back again and will be loaded with talent and that talent will just not quite be enough to win the conference. As usual. They will snatch defeat from the jaws of victory on more than one occasion.
12. UCLA: UCLA? Yes. Well coached and up and coming. Could be a dark horse to take it all in the PAC 12.
13. Clemson: A lot of talent lost they say. Will just be a step above the rest of the ACC pack the talk is. Perhaps. Perhaps not. The team is well coached and we will just have to wait and see. They won't knock FSU off their perch but they should be a force in conference play.
14. USC: You bet. The Kiffinless Trojans began to play some ball right after the departure of that well below par coach. They won't likely challenge the top three in the PAC 12 but could prove be a very dangerous team none the less.
15. Mississippi: The Rebs should have just enough in the tank for a top 20 finish. They will suffer some as any upper middle of the pack SEC team always does, but they are well coached and could surprise a few folk.
16. Miami: Could this be a break out year for the Canes? We will see. It has been a long time since Miami was a challenger for the top spot in the world of big time college ball and won't be this year but they should be a force in the ACC.
17. Missouri: The Tigers will be out the prove that last year wasn't some kind of fluke. They have lost some talent to be sure but the kids and staff have a taste of doing well in the big time.
18. Washington: Peterson comes to save the day. He may or may not wish he would have stayed in Idaho before all is said and done. A great coach no doubt but the bloom was beginning to fall off the rose his last couple of years in Boise. He jumped to "bigger and better" while his stock was still high.
19. Nebraska: They better do something. It is likely anything less than a top ten finish will save Pelini's job. They will win some games and should certainly be a top 25 club but breaking into the upper ten will not happen. Just won't.
20. Wisconsin: No matter who is at the helm you can bet Alvarez is still the man in charge. Their smash mouth type of play will win some games and perhaps challenge in the Big Ten but a top ten finish is unlikely.
21. Notre Dame: Coach has character issues and the Irish faithful will have to sit and watch another good squad languish in the lower ranks of the top 25.
22. Texas A&M: Sumlin is used to having a stellar QB taking his teams further than they should probably go both with the Aggies and his prior job in Houston. Don't see that on the horizon for him this season. We will see....
23. KSU: No one is picking the Wildcats for the top 25 but perhaps they should. Snyder's teams usually seem to do a lot with a little. The dual QB "controversy" of last year may or may not be a thing of the past as Sams has moved to another position. I would not be real surprised though to see him back behind center at some point of the season.
24. Duke: Another magical year in store for the Blue Devils? Maybe. A top 25 finish would be a major victory and the kids will be out to prove they are not perennial push overs in the ACC (and pretty much everyone else). Duke is a well coached club and may surprise some folks. Could just as easily go back to business as usual though.
25. Georgia: Mark better win this year or he is history. Like Pelini at Nebraska, the fans in Athens see nothing less than top 10 as a wasted season. Honestly those folks think nothing less than a SEC championship is junk. The Bulldogs will accomplish neither and the coaching staff will be pounding the pavement. Such is the way of big time college ball.
On the brink and in no particular order:
1. Arizona State: Needs some defense they say.
2. Texas: A lot of unanswered question in Austin.
3. Louisiana: The Cajuns will be the best of the Sun Belt and are well coached.
4. Rice: Opens with Notre Dame and is a sure loss they say. Hold up a minute on that I say. Will be a contender in the newfangled (and marginally weaker) CUSA and could roll into the top 25 if things go right.
5. Florida: Will have a good shot of reaching the top 25 but will not compete for the conference title. The coaching staff will be gone.
6. Houston: Will make a lot of noise noise in their weird new conference. As usual has a very good QB behind center and the coaching staff appears to be quite good.
7. Marshall: Either the Herd or the Owls will win CUSA and one of those might be a ranked squad.
8. North Carolina: OK. So they say.
9. Arkansas State: Again there is another head coach. The fifth in as many years I believe. The Red Wolves have had some good teams in the last few seasons but sooner or later this lack on continuity will trip them up. One thing is certain though. They are going to be the best team in the state.
10. Boise State: They are Petersonless for the first time in many years. They were down a bit last year but should still be considered the favorite to win the MWC. A top 25 finish not out of the question.
11. Louisville: Petrino is an ass and there is no dispute. He does know how to win though and that can't be disputed either.
12.Any number of MAC teams: There always seems to be a MAC squad flirting with the top 25. A couple years ago Northern Illinois actually broke into a big time bowl (for which they weren't really ready) and while it is highly unlikely that any squad from this conference will do that this season, it does not negate the fact that there are some pretty darn good and dangerous teams here. I would look for Northern Illinois, Ohio, Buffalo, Bowling Green, and Toledo to all have a shot. Might even throw Ball State or Akron into the mix.
13. UCF: Can they repeat the performance from last year? They might be a top 20 team before all is said and done.
14. Northwestern: They just seem to find a way to play above their talent level. Some years anyway.
A few teams were left out in the cold here, Cincinnati, Nevada, Utah State, Vanderbilt, Oklahoma State, Mississippi State, Michigan and Virginia Tech come to mind, and any of them may well have a shot at the top 25. There always seems to be an unlikely addition to the upper ranks. Who would have thought that Duke (or Mizzou for that matter) would have had the success they did last season.
I hope you are looking forward to another good season of college ball as I am.