Aug 21, 2008

Preseason Blogpoll Roundtable

These are a series of questions asked by Hey Jenny Slater a Georgia blog and Blogpoll voter. This is the first of the roundtables hosted by Blogpoll voters.

So here we go...

1. In his "visiting lecturers" series posted on Every Day Should Be Saturday over the past few months, Orson Swindle asked each participant to explain which country, during which historical period, their team most resembles. Let's bring everything up to the present day and ponder: Which current sovereign nation is your team? Or to look at it another way, how does your team fit into the "world" of college football?

Iran. Notre Dame is on the down side of life right now. No one is giving the Irish any shot to actually be a big time player this year, but many are afraid of the future of Irish football. Basically, with the recruiting classes that ND has had during the past three years it looks more and more like a nuclear weapons program on the rise. We will scare the shit out of you, but it may be a year or two before we actually push the button. Plus, we have a dictator for a Head Coach and his Assistant Head Coach is a wild-eyed crazy meat eater by the name of TAH-NOO-TAH!

2. Every preseason roundup has to have some discussion of who's overrated, but let's go beyond that. Which team do you think is poised to crap the bed in the biggest way this season relative to high expectations, and which game do you think will begin their slide into ignominy?

Kansas. O.K. so nobody is picking the Jayhawks to win a national title or even the Big 12 for that matter, but they are still ranked 13th by the A.P. and have high bowl aspirations. The Jayhawks will probably get off to a hot start against NCAA powerhouses; Florida International and Louisiana Tech. Then they trot into Tampa Bay to face off against another team I figure to be a little overrated: South Florida. I see Kansas losing this game, but this isn't the start of the downward spiral. They play another tough game against Sam Houston St. but beat them soundly and then a bye week. The rest pays off as they go into Ames, Iowa and crush Iowa State.

And so ends there season. I see Kansas losing their remaining 7 games. (Colorado, @Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Kansas St., @Nebraska, Texas, and Mizzu in Kansas City). Call me crazy if you will, but make sure you play close attention as the preseason #13 slides to either 4-8 or 5-7 with only one conference win. Ouch.

Others given consideration: South Florida, Penn State, Clemson

3. On the flip side of that coin, which team do you think is going to burst out of nowhere to become 2008's biggest overachiever -- this year's version of Kansas '07, as it were -- and what's going to be the big upset that makes us all finally sit up and take notice of them?

This is a really tough answer for me to write. But I am going to have to go with Michigan State. This is not the MSU of old. Johnelle and Bobby Williams are history and the Spartans finally made a great choice for Head Coach in Mark Dantonio.

If Sparty can get the "W" at California in the season opener, they should have a shot at a 10-2 record. They have an experienced and good QB in Brian Hoyer and a very talented RB in Javon Ringer. Their biggest question mark is probably at WR, but MSU always comes up with a good wideout when they need one.

So they beat Cal, EMU, FAU, and then they play ND at home where the away team has won the last 7 games. I'll put a "L" here since I'm a big homer anyways and then they start their Big Integer season. They win the first three (@IU, Iowa, @Northwestern) and then they lose at home to Ohio State. I then could see MSU running the table @Michigan, Wisconsin(this is a toss up, but I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and make it the big "upset") , Purdue, and then @ Penn State after a bye week. I see Sparty possibly finishing at #2 in the Big Integer.

Others given consideration: Florida State, North Carolina, UConn

4. Here's an "I'll hang up and listen" question. I put Ohio State and Oklahoma #1 and #2, respectively, despite their recent high-profile BCS face-plants. Where did you rank those two teams, and did those BCS issues have anything to do with it?

I put OSU #1 and Oklahoma #2.

Ohio State was supposed to be good this year and last year was supposed to be just a stepping stone. Some stepping stone, a BCS Title berth. They have all of their main weapons back and are looking for a little taste of the glory. Their schedule will give them bonus points if they pull off the win at USC. Once again the Big Integer is going to fuck them as they end their season on November 22nd. That's a long wait until... when is the Title game- February?

Oklahoma is loaded with talent. They do however, lose their top 4 tacklers on defense but because of that talent stockpile they should fill in the holes nicely. Their offense is explosive and if they make it out of Dallas unscathed, they should run the table. They could very well slip up versus Texas Tech, but the game is in Norman and I look for the Sooners to be ready.

Where did this pic come from?

5. Last season was a statistical outlier in countless ways, not the least of which was the fact that we ended up with a two-loss team as national champion. Do you think anyone plays a strong enough schedule to get MNC consideration as a two-loss team this year? Conversely, do you see anybody managing to sail into the national-championship game undefeated?

No team with two losses is going to make it in this year. I think the only reason LSU really got that push from the voters is because of the two losses they had, both of which were in 3OT. I can see both Ohio State and Oklahoma being undefeated, but i can also see U$C going 12-0 if they can beat Ohio State. That game will be FUCKING HUGE for the national title.

6. OK, time for some Olympic fever. Which athlete from the Beijing Olympics -- any sport, any country, with the exception of USA basketball since those guys are already pros -- would you most want to add to your team's roster this season? No worries about age, eligibility, or even gender; we'll worry about that crap later.

Matthias Steiner of Germany. This guy won the Gold as a super heavyweight in weightlifting. Notre Dame is a little light and young across their defensive line. This guy will pick you up and fucking piledrive your ass on top of the QB. Word.

"I hate condoms and poodles!"