Hope everybody is having a great spring. Good to be back and talking about college football. Here we go...
Are these recent rankings based on where you think teams will finish or where they will start, or kind of both?
Kind of both. Impossible to know what will transpire this summer (i.e. Ohio State's low ranking and South Carolina dropping), plus what freshmen or guys like Cam Newton will do. I think it's where they'll start. Obviously, winner of early OU-FSU game takes the lead in BCS race.
This time next year ________________ will be the OSU coach.
Urban Meyer? I'm guessing it won't be Tressel. If he comes back in 2011, I'm betting it's his last season at OSU.
If the Ohio State player suspensions for next year are held at 5, which would be better for the Buckeyes when they play Nebraska in game 6: start the suspended players or keep going with the players who had played up to that game?
Tough call. Probably depends on how the replacements play. But you're talking about OSU's best players: Pryor, Herron, Posey. Risk screwing up chemistry after five games.
What are Tennessee's chances of climbing back into the top 25 this year? Could be a 6 win season, but could also be a 9-10 win season.
I still think Dooley is a year or two away. I think he'll get it done. But I think 70-80 percent of this year's roster is going to be freshmen or sophomores. Too young.
Is FSU a legitimate title contender going into 2011 if they beat OU? Or will FSU be looking toward 2012 for their run???
I think the FSU people are pointing at 2012 as the really big year, but I like the Noles chances this year because of schedule.
What are the chances Ohio State doesn't go 5-0 in their first five games?
Really depends on how Bauserman and the other replacements play. OSU will be favored in all five games, in all likelihood.
Mark, is BYU on your ranking radar? I think they've got a chance to turn some heads this year.
I like the way the Cougars played down the stretch. Heaps played much better in second half of season. First four games are pretty tough, though.
You know public backlash will be brutal unless ND suspends Floyd for 4 or 5 games, but what you do you think is warranted? I'd say 1 or 2 at most.
I think 2-3 games is suitable, but it's not my call. He's lucky he's still in school. Hopefully, he gets his life turned around. He's an incredible talent.
How good will Notre dame be this year? How many games will they win? Will they make a BCS game in Brain Kelly second year?
I was in South Bend a few weeks ago and Kelly really likes this team. If Floyd comes back, they're going to be pretty good on offense. Probably going to play two quarterbacks. Defense will be the difference, though. Should be much better on that side of the ball.
How many years before Florida wins the SEC?
I think Muschamp will have Florida back in the SEC hunt in 2012. I think this year is going to be a bit of a transition because of lack of depth on both lines and new systems. But Meyer recruited really, really well the last few years. Too much talent not to get it turned around quickly.
Do you have a hunch on where former wolfpack QB Russell Wilson will end up?
No, trying to acquire some info as I type. I've heard Auburn, South Carolina, South Florida, etc., but it's all speculation at this point. He's going to make some team a lot better. He's a great talent.
How is Texas ranked 20?
I think last year was a perfect storm for disaster. I think it was a one-year hiccup. UT recruits too well to be down. I really liked the coordinator hires.
What is the time table for the rest of the NCAA's investigation into Ohio State and when do you see Tressel being fired?
Don't know if he's going to be fired. OSU has stood behind him to this point. I believe OSU is scheduled to appear before NCAA infractions committee in August, then it takes a few months to get a ruling.
Is the FSU hype deserved?
In my opinion, yes, it is deserved. Manuel is going to be fine at QB. The defense should be a lot better after the last two recruiting classes. Schedule sets up well for them.
If Isaiah Crowell is as good as advertised do you see Georgia winning the east and maybe even the confrence?
UGA is hoping he's as good as advertised. But the last time they signed a RB at Columbus who was this hyped, he wasn't as good as advertised. Time will tell.
Since you have OU ranked at #1 do you think this is the year someone finally gets past the SEC in the National Championship?
I think Alabama and LSU are talented enough to get to BCS title game. Oklahoma is No. 1 based on who they have coming back and its schedule. SEC team will probably have some say in which teams wins BCS title, but maybe not.
Wow!I went to the West Virginia spring game Friday night.there offense looked explosive.Is the reason for you moving West Virginia up so many spots in your preseason top 25?
Yes, I probably overlooked the 'Eers in the first poll. Geno Smith is going to have a big year under Holgorsen. A lot of nice pieces around him, defense should be pretty good. A lot will be determined by staff chemistry.
With Ohio St appearing to crumble, how much bigger is the pressure already on Brady Hoke to get Michigan back on top, not just for their sake, but the Big Ten's?
I was up in Ann Arbor a few weeks ago, and I think Hoke is going to get Michigan turned around pretty quickly. He's won everywhere he's coached. He's really embracing Michigan's tradition. If OSU gets hammered by NCAA, which I don't know is going to happen, then it would obviously be a big benefit to Michigan.
Why in the world is West Virginia ranked above Virginia Tech?
Virginia Tech has new QB and new RB (I know Wilson is explosive). Questions on DL. We'll see. Beamer finds a way to put a winning team on the field almost every year.
How far do you think the Nebraska cornhuskers go in Big 10 ?
I don't have them ranked as high as others do. We'll see. New offensive system should help. Have to rebuild T-Mart's confidence and keep him healthy.
Why the big drop for TCU? You previously had them at 9 and now they fall all the way to the back of the top 25. Dalton will be tough to replace but they have some good players coming back and a solid defence.
I have all the respect in the world for Gary Patterson and TCU's program. It's kind of like Auburn, though. Replacing QB, OL, WRs, DBs. It's tough to replace that many seniors.
Mark, fair to say that the Pac-12 had the best spring? That TV contract is NICE!!!
Big month for Larry Scott, no question.
Do you think the NCAA will come down hard on Ohio State for what looks to be some major violations?
I think Tressel might get really hammered, and deservedly so. Most of the allegations were pointed toward the coach and not the school. We'll see.
Why would Tressel start Bauserman over Miller? The fans will surely want Miller and Tressel has played freshman quarterbacks in the past.
There's going to be a lot of pressure on OSU to play Miller right away after his spring. Bauserman is the safer choice with Herron and Posey also being suspended.
Syracuse took some big steps last year. What do you think of Marrone and what is your outlook on 'Cuse this year? Thanks!
I think Marrone is a very good coach. He's done a nice job in recruiting, having to recruit nationally. His teams are sound. There's obviously a chance to move up quickly in the Big East.
Hey Mark, Can Michigan State have more then Rose Bowl talk with a few breaks of luck in the season?
I have them rated highest among Big Ten teams, but you could really throw Ohio State, Michigan State, Nebraska and Wisconsin in a hat and choose one. Each one has talent coming back, but also has questions. At least we won't have a three-way tie this year, right?
How do you think Penn State does this year? Any chance they can contend with Alambama in happy valley and possibly make a run at the Big 10 title
Others are higher on Penn State than I am. I'd put the Nittany Lions a notch below the Big Ten teams I just talked about, but I wouldn't be surprised to see PSU finish with 8 or 9 wins.
Let's say that your favorite team has a terrible 2011 season and fires the head coach next December... If you had your choice, who would you want to replace him? Urban? Chris Peterson? Saban?
I'd take any of the three, but Saban and Petersen aren't leaving their current schools.
Even with all the issues at Ohio State, can you point to a game where they would be the underdog in this season?
At Nebraska? Depends on how both teams play before the trip to Lincoln, I guess.
the team no one sees coming that makes it into the top ten next season is_____?
Arizona State? There are high expectations in the desert. We'll see if they're legit.
How do you think UCF will do this year? The bad news is the amount of players they lost on defense but they do have sophmore qb returning who put up some good numbers last year as a freshman.
On the verge of the top 25, maybe. Big bowl win. Good young QB.
Buffs over the buckeyes in week 4 without their star players? any chance you see this happening
No. Buckeyes won't lose at home.
Can FSU rebound from getting manhandled in Norman and be able to handle Oklahoma in Tallahassee?
A lot of motivation for the Noles. A lot of humidity for the Sooners.
How many Pac-12 teams will be ranked at years end?
Oregon? Stanford? Arizona State? USC? Utah? Three or four....
Michigan appears to have a lot of returning talent this year for Brady Hoke. With all the question marks in the Big 10 (OSU suspensions, Wisc and Iowa replacing QBs) could Brady Hoke have as good a first season as Jimbo Fisher did at FSU?
With all due respect, Jimbo did it in the ACC. Hoke has to do it against Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan State, Ohio State. A little tougher, IMO.
I have no issue with Auburn not being in your top 25 but do you have UF (24) and MSU (25) ranked higher because they are better teams or they have an easier schedule? I find it hard today to make the argument that Florida (changes) and MSU (talent) are better teams than Auburn.
Schedule and returning talent. Auburn lost Cam Newton and Nick Fairley, the two most dominant players in the SEC last season. And they lost four senior OL, which might have been the biggest reason (other than Newton)that Auburn won the title. Schedule flips, too, at South Carolina, at Arkansas, at Georgia, at LSU.
Should the NCAA go back to the Sugar Bowl and at least symbolicly make tOSU 0fer against the SEC in bowls again? After reinstating the players, now Tressel letting them play knowing they were ineligible?
I'd be surprised if OSU doesn't have to vacate Sugar Bowl win (and more games) from last season. Players shouldn't have been eligible.
Do you think Newton will show out in the NFL?
I think it's a risk based on his lack of experience, but he could end up being one of the best QBs in NFL history. He could also flop because of system. We'll see. He's an exceptional athlete, no question about it.
Where's BYU? 19 starters back and a possible undefeated season i know we play ole miss, texas, utah and UCFbut all of these games are winnable
If BYU wins its first four games, it will be top 10 in week five.
So much hate on Tressel and OSU, Do you think Cam Newton should've been eligible?
The NCAA found no evidence he was aware of his father's pay-for-play scheme. NCAA ruled him eligible. End of story in the NCAA's eyes.
Why no Barkley preseason hype. Matt is going to have a monster year and push Luck for best QB, or am I off?
I think he'll have a big year. Expected a little more from him last season, but he's a big-time talent.
Why is Bama higher than LSU int he preseason rankings?
LSU plays in Tuscaloosa for starters. I like Alabama's defense a little more, too. LSU also plays Oregon and West Virginia.
If you were the Panthers, would you have traded out of the no. 1 pick? Or would you have picked Newton like they did?
I would have taken Dareus or Fairley. Both can be dominant defensive linemen.
What are your predictions for South Carolina this year?
If Garcia comes back and stays out of trouble(or if Russell Wilson transfers there), the Gamecocks have to be favorites in the SEC East. I dropped them because Garcia is suspended right now.
Other than Florida's Quarterback situation, what do you think will be their biggest obstacle next season?
Muschamp told me it's depth on both lines. D-line is going to be young, but might be very good. Also have to have some young WRs step up and make plays. But Brantley's ability to bounce back is probably biggest factor.
Who has a bigger season? The Notre Dame starter, or Matt Barkley?
Probably Barkley. Notre Dame might play 2 QBs.
Who do you think will end up being the best WR next year and Belitnakoff (however you spell it) winner?
Guessing you want me to say Alshon Jeffery. I'd put him up there with Justin Blackmon, Ryan Broyles, Michael Floyd and Greg Childs
Pac-12... better, or worse with the addition of Colorado and Utah?
Better. Utah is a top-25 program most years and Colorado might get it turned around. 12 teams means championship game and a lot more revenue.
Who is are your 'favorites' to win the SEC title and the ACC title?
I'd go with Alabama or LSU in SEC West and South Carolina in SEC East (if Garcia comes back; if not then Georgia). FSU and Virginia Tech in ACC.
Do impending NCAA sanctions mark the end of OSU's decade of complete dominance in the Big Ten? Which Big Ten programs do you feel are most poised to contend for the next few years? Nebraska? Wisconsin? PSU?
Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan State. Pretty balanced. Penn State would be there, too.
How do you see the U doing this year? Can Golden's coaching match his recruiting?
He was a great recruiter at Virginia, especially in the Northeast. Guy is really, really sharp.
What kind of season do you see UNC having? It will be tough to replace Yates at QB, but the defense should be outstanding yet again.
It's amazing UNC went 8-5 last year with so many distractions. Butch Davis can obviously coach. He's recruited well. I'd think 7-9 wins again.
Do you forsee any Freshmen coming in next season and having a major impact for there team?
There are going to be more than a few that make an immediate impact. Like Dyer at Auburn and Lattimore at South Carolina last year. Kiehl Frazier might get a chance to play QB at Auburn. Isaiah Crowell at Georgia. Jadeveon Clowney at South Carolina. George Farmer at USC. De'Anthony Thomas at Oregon.
Do you think Jadaveon Clowney will be able to get even close to the caliber player his hype has everyone believing?
I'd be stunned if any player lives up to that kind of hype right off the bat. He's going to be really, really good. But he's not going to be a savior in year one.
In your mind, who's character is more in question, Michael Floyd or Terrelle Pryor's? Who deserves more of a punishment?
Floyd was actually arrested....
Hypothetically, Wilson goes to South Carolina AND Garcia comes back. Two headed QB situation or what?
Spurrier probably plays 3 QBs. He loves Shaw, too.
How well do you see Boise State rebounding after losing seniors like Pettis, etc.?
Kellen Moore and Doug Martin are coming back. They'll have some young WRs step up. They're a top-10 team again.
So Georgia is the best team in the East? Your blatant homerism is so adorable.
I said South Carolina is the favorite if Garcia comes back, right? UT and UF have more issues than UGA. UGA also has an easier schedule.
So if Floyd was arrested and his character is obviously more in question, how can you possibly think he deserves less of a punishment than Terrelle Pryor?
I never said he did. Pryor was an NCAA punishment. I thought 2-3 games was probably what Floyd is going to get. It might be more.
Chances UCF to Big East, and w/ all these major conference tv deals now any chance for super conferences still?
Super conferences are out for a long time. Conferences making too much money off TV deals.
Folks, gotta run. Enjoy the offseason. My thoughts and prayers go out to the folks in Tuscaloosa. We got hit pretty hard here in Madison, Georgia, but nothing like T-Town. Stay strong, Bama.