Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Second opinions on the nonconference schedules
By ESPN.com staff
Yesterday, I ranked each team's strength of schedule outside of the conference, but today, we'll take a look at where the opponents ranked by the other bloggers who know their conferences best.
- Non-AQ blogger Graham Watson ranks TCU No. 2 in her power rankings. "Similar to Boise State, the Horned Frogs didn’t have many holes to fill and should be in good position in fall camp," she writes.
- Big Ten blogger Adam Rittenberg says Iowa is the second-best team in the Big Ten. "Like Ohio State, Iowa has veterans who can handle the high expectations this fall," he writes.
- Watson ranks Utah third of the non-AQ teams. "The Utes found some unexpected surprises at quarterback, wide receiver and defensive line," she writes.
- ACC blogger Heather Dinich slots Georgia Tech at No. 5 in the conference after the spring. "There were positive reviews about the addition and style of coordinator Al Groh, and if the Jackets can replace three starters on the offensive line, they’ve got the skill players to defend their title," she writes.
- Miller ranks UCLA No. 8 in the Pac-10. "Questions about the offensive line remain, and it's fair to believe that line will be the reason the Bruins either climb into the conference's top half or remain in the bottom five," he writes.
- Rittenberg ranks Illinois 10th among Big Ten teams. "The Illini still have a long way to go, but players responded well to new coordinators Paul Petrino and Vic Koenning this spring," he writes.
- Dinich says Florida State is No. 2 in the ACC. "What separates the Seminoles right now is the fact they only have to replace one starter on offense, and veteran quarterback Christian Ponder will be protected by one of the best lines in the country," she writes.
- Watson ranks Air Force sixth among non-AQ teams. "The Falcons also will have a young offensive line and they had some issues with injuries at linebacker," she writes.
- Big East blogger Brian Bennett says Cincinnati is the second-best team in the conference. "The two-time defending champs probably deserve the top spot until someone knocks them out of it," he writes. "Still, I have lingering concerns about that defense, though the offense has a chance to be devastatingly good."
- Miller says Washington State is the Pac-10's worst team after the spring. "Coach Paul Wulff called it the Cougars' best spring since he arrived," he writes. "Every account notes that the Cougars will be physically superior to the teams that won just three games over the previous two seasons."
- Miller ranks UCLA No. 8 in the Pac-10. "The new revolver offense, a knockoff of Nevada's "pistol," got mixed reviews, but the rebuilding defense probably looked better than expected," he writes.