Projected 2005 POST-Season Top 25
Everyone loves Preseason Top 25s, Sports Illustrated, ESPN the Magazine, Sporting News, Street & Smith's, Playboy, Penthouse, Maxim, Stuff, FHM, Razor, Loaded. You could or in my case may have spent two full days on a toilet just reading preseason Top 25's. They all follow the same formula. Rank the powerhouse teams 1-4 your USC, Miami, Oklahoma, Texas then when you start to get bored they throw that trendy team at No. 5. A team that while not regularly among the elite in college football has many starters coming back and finished strong last season. The problem is publications that make preseason Top 25's never really look at a team's schedule to see if their expectations are realistic. So what you get is a Top 25 that is a funny read if you find it under your bed on January 5 because maybe half the teams are in the Top 25 at the end of the season.
So, I have decided to do something different, I have read up on each of the 119 Division 1-A football teams, looked at the amount of experienced players they have playing this year. Looked at their schedules and assigned a SW (Should Win) or an SL (Should Lose) next to each of their games. From that information I have assigned them a likely Top 25 position going into their bowl, projected the results, then made what you will read: The Pizza Parlor's Projected Post-Season Top 25.
25. UTEP 2004: 8-4, Returning Starters: 11, Should Wins 11, Should Losses 1, Projected Bowl Result: Lose to Utah in Liberty Bowl- Mike Price takes his Miners into Conference USA (apparently Memphis has better strip clubs than Boise) to help fortify a conference without Louisville, Cincinnati, or South Florida. Price's program is on the way up, Conference USA is on the way down.
24. Boston College 2004: 9-3, RS: 15, SW 9, SL 2, Projected Bowl Result: Lose to Syracuse in Meineke Car Care Bowl- BC has bolted the Big East to feud with obvious natural rivals Clemson, N.C. State, and Florida State (same colors). While I can't promise a "Clemson Sucks, Whitehurst Swallows" T-Shirt will ever make it to print, The Eagles should fare well in their new conference making yet another bowl.
23. Georgia 2004: 10-2, RS: 15, SW 9, SL 2, Projected Bowl Result: Lose to Iowa in Outback Bowl- With David Greene gone, Mark Richt's quarterback sounds like he should be performing at the Apollo Theater before he performs between the hedges. D.J. Shockley has the benefit of garbage time experience and an adoring public in Samford.
22. Fresno State 2004: 9-3, RS: 17, SW 9, SL 2, Projected Bowl Result: Beat UAB in Hawai'i Bowl- The reason Fresno State hasn't joined the Pac-10 is because they are a menace to any Pac-10 team that schedules them. It will be tough for Fresno to duplicate a trend of Pac-10 upsets this year as they travel to Los Angeles to take on USC.
21. Iowa State 2004: 7-5, RS: 20, SW 9, SL 2, Projected Bowl Result: Beat Oregon in Holiday Bowl- Yeah, that's right Iowa State will earn the right to get crushed by Texas in the Big XII Championship Game. This program is on the rise but don't expect a New Year's Day bowl this year.
20. Wyoming 2004: 7-5, RS: 19, SW 10, SL 1, Projected Bowl Result: Beat Arizona State in Emerald Bowl- Sorry I have nothing to say here. The state is shaped like a square, but they're supposed to be good.
19. Boise State 2004: 11-1, RS: 17, SW 9, SL 2, Projected Bowl Result: Beat Georgia Tech in MPC Computers Bowl- If the Broncos beat Georgia on Sept. 3 and not make the BCS, I am making it my life's mission to bring down the institution forever. Do yourself a favor and watch one game on their famous blue turf, you won't be able to imagine college football any other way.
18. Texas Tech 2004: 8-4, RS: 16, SW 9, SL 2, Projected Bowl Result: Beat Penn State in Alamo Bowl- Supposedly, Mike Leach has a defense this year. I'll believe it when i see it.
17. Toledo 2004: 9-4, RS: 16, SW 11, SL 1, Projected Bowl Result: Beat Tulsa in Motor City BowlAre Toledo head coach Tom Amstutz and Kansas head coach Mark Mangino related? Google both of them, then you tell me.
16. Tennessee 2004: 10-3, RS: 16, SW 9, SL 2 Projected Bowl Result: Lose to The Ohio State in Capital One Bowl-This is lower than a lot of polls but I rank perpetual underachievers lower than most. Phillip Fulmer had a turbulent offseason and the 1999 Fiesta Bowl is becoming more of a memory with every year. Still Steve Spurrier's reinsertion into the conference should keep Fulmer focused and the way this team finished last season has all of Knoxville excited.
15. Oklahoma 2004: 12-1, RS: 17, SW 10, SL 1 Projected Bowl Result: Lose to Auburn in Cotton Bowl-While chronic academic underachievers, Bob Stoops squad actually underachieved grossly on the field in the Orange Bowl last year. Adrian Peterson returns but not much else. That said, Oklahoma should make Texas earn the Red River Shootout and contend for the Big XII South title.
14. LSU 2004: 9-3, RS: 18, SW 11, SL 1 Projected Bowl Result: Lose to Michigan in Fiesta Bowl- I have to write this in cajun so here geauxs. Nick Saban has left and Les Miles comes from Eauxklahoma State. Running Backs Justin Vincent, Jeauxseph Addai, and Shyrone Carey will lead a predominantely running Eauxffense. SU coaching candidate Beaux Pellini will take on a leauxded defense.
13. Auburn 2004: 13-0, RS: 13, SW 9, SW 2 Projected Bowl Result: Beat Oklahoma in Cotton Bowl- Replacing a Quarterback and two Running Backs is tough but this team has a chip on their shoulder and Tommy Tuberville will not let them forget what happened to them last year. If my prediction rings true and they do draw Oklahoma in a bowl game, watch out.
12. Florida State 2004: 9-3, RS: 11, SW 9, SW 2 Projected Bowl Result: Beat South Carolina in Peach Bowl- Bobby Bowden was going to have a hard enough time replacing 11 starters, and then his starting quarterback jumped on a hood of a car calling himself "God". The jokes should flow swimmingly but wins over Miami and Virginia Tech will be harder to come by. Still FSU is Talent U and the freshman class this year is the best in the country.
11. Iowa 2004: 10-2, RS: 13, SW 9, SW 2 Projected Bowl Result: Beat Georgia in Outback Bowl- This is Kirk Ferentz's last year at Iowa. The Bill Belichick protege will almost certainly find himself in the NFL next year. The potential for an explosive offensive is there and in the Big Ten explosive means 21 points per game. The defense is a little shaky and keeps this team from joining the nations elite.
10. The Ohio State 2004: 8-4, RS: 18, SW 10, SL 1 Projected Bowl Result: Beat Tennessee in Capital One Bowl- I really wish the Buckeyes would ask to be called The Ohio State when referred to on television. If your gonna make parents and boosters write checks to "The Ohio State University" you should give your football team the extra intimidation of being called The Ohio State. Like 'The Undertaker' or 'The Big Unit' people are more intimidated by anything that starts with The. Whether or not Michigan will be intimidated by The Ohio State coming up to Ann Arbor is another story. Tressel avoids probation, wins bowl games, and beats Michigan better than any other coach in OSU history, this year two out of three ain't bad.
9. Purdue 2004: 7-5, RS: 20, SW 11, SL 0 Projected Bowl Result: Lose to Louisville in Sugar Bowl-TRENDY PICK ALERT! Three reasons 1)20 starters, including the entire defense return 2) Neither The Ohio State or Michigan are on the schedule and 3) The Big Ten needs a round-robin schedule and Purdue taking their BCS spot through the back door may be what it takes to get it. If Joe Tiller can't win the Big Ten this year, he may be on the hot seat for next.
8. Miami 2004: 9-3, RS: 14, SW 10, SL 1 Projected Bowl Result: Beat Pittsburgh in Gator Bowl- Three losses is an outrage in Coral Gables and there were some murmurs about what Larry Coker had or hadn't accomplished with a team outside of the one he inherited his first season. Donna Shalala signed him to a five year extension so the seat should be cool for Coker. Devin Hester is remote control stopper whenever the Canes' opponents are punting. I can't believe I'm saying this but DON'T SLEEP ON MIAMI!
7. Utah 2004: 12-0, RS: 12, SW 11, SL 0 Projected Bowl Result: Beat UTEP in Liberty Bowl- It will be hard to duplicate last year's dream season, especially with Urban Meyer and Alex Smith out of the mix, but the schedule is favorable for another undefeated season. Don't expect the outcry for a BCS bowl again this year as their only BCS conference opponent is lowly Arizona.
6. Texas 2004: 11-1, RS: 17, SW 11, SL 1 Projected Bowl Result: Lose to Florida in Orange Bowl- The Eagles made the Super Bowl, the Red Sox beat the Yankees, certainly the next shoe should drop this year and Mack Brown can finally beat Oklahoma. Unfortunately, he picked the wrong year to visit The Shoe. An early loss to The Ohio State may trip up National Championship hopes, but a dream season can still be salvaged in Austin. Hopefully the 'Horns season will be more exciting than Real World: Austin's season.
5. Florida 2004: 7-5, RS: 13, SW 11, SL 1 Projected Bowl Result: Beat Texas in Orange Bowl- I feel like I've been reading about Chris Leak all my life. If he can get his head around himself and Urban Meyer's offense, the sky is the limit for this talented crew. You think Urban Meyer can score more UF girls than Billy Donovan? You think either have tried?
4. Louisvlle 2004: 11-1, RS: 15, SW 11, SL 0 Projected Bowl Result: Beat Purdue in Sugar Bowl- I just know we're in for a whole year of "Louisville should be in Rose Bowl","No, they shouldn't","They're undefeated in a BCS conference","The Big East should not be allowed to exist!" Brian Brohm is an upgrade over Stefan Lefors and let the controversy ring all year long, dragging the Big East's good name through the mud the whole way through.
3. Virginia Tech 2004: 10-4, RS: 14, SW 12, SL 0 Projected Bowl Result: Lose to USC in Rose Bowl- I want to pick the Hokies so bad, I want you to walk away with a surprise at the end of this blog, I really do. I see Va Tech winning the toughest conference in football and earning a spot in the Rose Bowl. But with Marcus Mexico behind center (and he's still the black sheep) and Frank "Lollipop, Lollipop, OH OH OH LOLLIPOP!" coaching against Matt Leinart, Reggie Bush and the rest of the 2004 National Champions. I can't pick them, sorry.
2. Michigan 2004: 9-3, RS: 16, SW 10, SL 1 Projected Bowl Result: Beat LSU in Fiesta Bowl- Chad Henne isn't a freshman anymore. Jamesville-DeWitt's Mikey Hart isn't either and isn't in the Carrier Dome. They host THE Ohio State. The Big Ten is a tough conference and getting past Iowa in Iowa City maybe too much to ask, but this team is loaded and will be for a while. Sorry, Daren.
1. USC 2004: 13-0, RS: 15, SW 11, SL 0 Projected Bowl Result: Beat Virginia Tech in Rose Bowl- Yeah, that's right you read this whole thing just to see me pick who everybody else picks. I'm sorry, but I'm going with the house. Plus we'll get weeks of Paul's Annotated Pizza Parlor just calling me an idiot.
Now, let's see how I do. Enjoy the Pageantry!!!
Labels: The Ohio State