5. Georgia–The Bulldogs are number 1 in the AP poll finishing the 2007 season as the nation’s hottest team. The Dawgs routed Hawaii in the Sugar Bowl to finish the year. Georgia struggled early before realizing that Knowshon Moreno was the answer at RB, and the defense rose to dominate once again. Georgia returns QB Matt Stafford of Dallas’ Highland Park and Moreno at RB along with the core of their defense. While the Bulldogs return some high profile players such as Stafford and Moreno, they have some holes to fill particularly on the offensive line. To make matters worse, LT Trinton Sturdivant went down in a preseason scrimmage, and he is out for the season. The Dawgs also need to find players at WR. Nevertheless, Coach Mark Richt is one of the best, and the Revival of the Dawgs has been hard to ignore.
4. Florida–The Gators return All World WR Percy Harvin and All-Around-Great-Guy Tim Tebow, and with an improved running game by an actual RB, their offense may be even more explosive. The defense was very young in 2007, but if they gained valuable experience they might become much improved by the end of the year.
3. Oklahoma–The Sooners return all of the players needed to make a run at the National Title. Sam Bradford has proven himself a good QB, and the defense is usually stout. Oklahoma will have to overcome the disappointment of their Fiesta Bowl loss to West Virginia, but should be rolling by the Red River Rivalry in Dallas.
2. USC–Same song, second verse. That’s how you could describe USC’s preview every year. The Trojans will have a new QB, but the objectives will be the same. Win the Pac 10, and have a shot at the National Title. Mark Sanchez suffered an injury in preseason practice, but he plans on being back. Few have a better group at Linebacker that USC. And, Joe McKnight is just beginning his big-play era.
1. Ohio State–Last year the Buckeyes snuck up on everyone, this year the Ohio State University will be watched closely. They return their starting QB and RB, and their offensive line is experienced. The linebacker unit is one of the best in the country led by James Laurinaitis. They have one of the top 2 or 3 secondaries, and everything has come together for the Buckeyes to make their way back to a third BCS National Title Game. Even though they lost the first two, the third time might be a charm. Look for Ohio State to give QB Todd Boeckman more responsibilities in the passing game, and he should reward the coaches by cutting down on the mistakes. And then, there is the Terrelle Pryor factor. The coaches may use him like Florida did Tim Tebow his freshman year. Pryor may become the ultimate change up for the Buckeye offense.
Summary: CFTT Preseason Top Ten
- Ohio State
- South Florida