Longtime CBS play-by-play guy, and now SEC Network host, Tim Brando tweeted his college football preseason top 10 this morning. It looked a little something like this:
5. South Carolina
4. Michigan State
2. Florida State
There are a couple of surprises in there for me. I will start at number nine. Wisconsin opens the season against his number 10 LSU squad in Houston, which will look like Tiger Stadium west come game time. Even if the Badgers lose that one, they have a great chance to go 11-1. Their only tough road test is at Iowa on November 22 (sorry Rutgers, you don’t count, at least not yet). Their other tough games are at home in November (15th vs Nebraska and 29th vs Minnesota).
The growth of QB Joel Stave and RB Melvin Gordon will have a huge impact on what the Badgers are able to do this year, but they have a favorable schedule in the re-organized Big Ten.
Baylor at number six is also a surprise. Bryce Petty will be back under center, but the question is can Shock Linwood take over where Lache Seastrunk left off at running back? Baylor’s defense is improved, but I still have questions about whether they can stop the high-powered offenses of the Big 12(10).
I have no issue with any of the SEC teams in there. I am actually kind of impressed that as an SEC employee he only took three teams in the top ten and none in the top five. When was the last time an SEC team finished outside of the top five? How about 2005, when LSU finished sixth, but was fifth in the USA Today poll. If anything, you can say that Brando is underestimating the SEC.
Also, I have serious doubts that the Gamecocks win the SEC without Jadeveon Clowney.
Oklahoma at number three is a bit generous. We have good depth at running back and wide receiver, but are a bit thin on both lines, and still don’t know who will start at quarterback. Will it be incumbent Trevor Knight or super-frosh Justice Hansen? Those are enough reasons to keep the Sooners out of my preseason top five, and maybe even the top ten.
As for Florida State, well, we all know what they are capable of. The only question I have with them is when, not if, the antics of QB Jameis Winston become a distraction.
UCLA at number one is a bold prediction for a team that finished 16th last year. I guess the bright side is that they didn’t lose anyone; and the meat of their schedule is all at home (Oregon, USC, and Stanford).
Preseason polls are never an exact science, and I can see the reasoning behind all of his choices. Which ones do you agree/disagree with?