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    Sportsline and SI Pre Season Top 25 teams

    Sportsline
    Post-spring Top 25: Still thinking Fiesta in Columbus
    April 28, 2006
    By Dennis Dodd
    CBS SportsLine.com Senior Writer
    Tell Dennis your opinion!





    Updated April 28

    Alert the chat rooms. Fire up the message boards. It's here, the post-spring top 25.

    We've taken the spring developments, thrown them in a Cuisinart and come up with this concoction.

    1. Ohio State: News flash -- Psst, I've seen Chris Wells in his underwear and I'm proud of it. Built like a brick spit house.
    Pre-spring: No. 1. The Buckeyes are going to be fine at linebacker. The spring proved they have seven able bodies for three available spots. The curse of Iowa (see: Dodd, spring '05) is upon them.


    Relax Rich, it's Marshall we're talking about. (Getty Images)
    2. West Virginia: Biggest spring development was Spygate. Question: When did Marshall become good enough to be worthy of being spied on by a Big East team?
    Pre-spring: No. 3. Rich Rodriguez disavowed all knowledge of the student who worked in the athletic offices, drove an athletic department car and took notes at a Marshall spring practice. Right.

    3. Auburn: Still looking for a fullback, which is more than a small problem in the SEC. The line must be shored up in the fall with loss of Marcus McNeill and Troy Reddick.
    Pre-spring: No. 4. One of about four SEC teams that could end up in the BCS title game.

    4. LSU: Too many injuries to get a solid read coming out the spring. Running backs Justin Vincent and Alley Broussard and quarterback JaMarcus Russell missed spring because of nagging injuries.
    Pre-spring: No. 2. Dropped because momentary Final Four fever took over Baton Rouge. Focus will be back in the fall.

    5. Oklahoma: The Miracle Mile is more than a tag for the number of yards Adrian Peterson will run for this year. It's the nickname for the strip of auto dealers in Norman where A.P. got an allegedly sweet car deal. Peterson and mom say it was on the up-and-up.
    Pre-spring: No. 6. Peterson will be the Reggie Bush of 2007, in a good way.

    6. Texas: Mack Brown says he might play both true freshman Jevan Snead and redshirt freshman Colt McCoy in the fall at quarterback. Major Applewhite is disappointed (again) he's not the mix.
    Pre-spring: No. 7.

    7. Notre Dame: Land of the Side Projects. Tom Zbikowski is boxing. Jeff Samardzija is pitching. Brady Quinn is playing with the Stones on their next studio album.
    Pre-spring: No. 5. Record crowd of 41,000 at the spring game.

    8. USC: Now we know why Pete Carroll read the riot act to agents and NFL scouts when they gathered recently to work out the Trojans draft picks. Stay away from my players, he said. Michael Michaels apparently didn't get the message.
    Pre-spring: No. 8. It will be hard to prove USC had knowledge of the Reggie Bush situation. Won't it?

    9. Florida: Dueling controversies in Gainesville -- one at quarterback, one at running back. The difference is that both Chris Leak and Tim Tebow can play. So far, the inconsistent collection of runners can't.
    Pre-spring: No. 9. That's right, I said Tim Tebow can play.

    10. Georgia: Pretty much nothing was decided at quarterback. Joe Tereshinski, Matthew Stafford and Joe Cox were underwhelming in the spring game.
    Pre-spring: No. 10.


    11. Louisville: Bobby Petrino turned down a $20 million offer from the Raiders. Cardinals fans should be relieved. That means he'll stay until at least July.
    Pre-spring: No. 15. Brian Brohm (knee) is making a miraculous recovery.

    Advertisement


    12. Oregon: Power Doppler has yet to pick up this BCS bowl contender.
    Pre-spring: No. 11. You know the Ducks will score. Watch junior DT David Faaeteete, who most likely takes over for Haloti Ngata.

    13. Virginia Tech: What's wrong with being a pocket passer? Sean Glennon isn't embarrassing himself or the program, so the Hokies automatically get better at quarterback with Marcus Vick gone. Really.
    Pre-spring: No. 12. Rising star watch: CB Victor "Macho" Harris. If he lives up to his nickname, the rest of us are all girlie men.

    14. Iowa: Postcard to Michigan: The ranking is wonderful. Wish you were here.
    Pre-spring: No. 13.

    15. Clemson: Get past those games at Boston College, at Florida State and at Virginia Tech and you can envision Clemson winning the Atlantic. Can't you?
    Pre-spring: No. 17.

    16. Boston College: Six bowl wins in a row. If you don't put the Eagles in the preseason top 20, you're nuts.
    Pre-spring: No. 14. The Eagles are going to upset someone in the ACC to get to this lofty ranking. The question is, who?

    17. Cal: New offensive coordinator Mike Dunbar spent the spring installing spread option elements. QB Joe Ayoob -- who lost his job last year -- flourished.
    Pre-spring: No. 16. This is Jeff Tedford's best team since the 2004 squad went 10-2.

    18. TCU: The biggest hope for the non-BCS to get to the BCS bowl. We're guessing that will be decided in the first month when the Frogs play Baylor, Texas Tech, BYU and Utah. Two-and-two looks likely.
    Pre-spring: No. 18.

    19. Nebraska: What kind of parallel universe is this? Nebraska finished last in Big 12 rushing last season. There's hope, though, because of the spring game that featured 182 yards split between tailbacks Cody Glenn and Marlon Lucky.
    Pre-spring: No. 22. If Zac Taylor can stay upright (the line allowed more than 30 sacks), the Huskers should be the favorite in the Big 12 North.

    20. Miami: The defense could be the best ever, which is saying a lot at Miami. It held Kirby Freeman and Kyle Wright to 77 total passing yards in the spring game. But with new offensive coordinator Rich Olson and no breakaway tailback, there is work to be done on offense.
    Pre-spring: No. 21.

    21. Michigan: Not much buzz at all about the Wolverines. They're here mostly on reputation.
    Pre-spring: No. 20. Lloyd Carr is trying to rebuild after the program's worst season since 1984. There won't be much sympathy in places like Columbus (Nov. 18) and South Bend (Sept. 16).

    22. Florida State: How do the Seminoles get better? They were projected to lose four defenders in the first round of the draft. The running game was horrid (109th). Drew Weatherford still needs to prove himself.
    Pre-spring: No. 23. Watch for junior linebacker Lawrence Timmons. He's the next great one for Mickey Andrews.

    23. Penn State: Tony Hunt and Austin Scott are going to come through big time in order ease quarterback Anthony Morelli into his new, awesome responsibility.
    Pre-spring: No. 19. Too many Big Ten teams want big-time revenge for last year.

    24. Arizona State: Best quarterback situation in the country. Sam Keller and Rudy Carpenter could -- no, should -- combine for 4,000 yards and 40 touchdowns. Easily.
    Pre-spring: NR

    25. Georgia Tech:Trying to build on upset of Miami. The whole program must become more consistent, starting with quarterback Reggie Ball.
    Pre-spring: No. 24.

    SPORTS ILLUSTRATED
    Buck starts here
    Ohio State No. 1 after spring, but field is wide open
    Posted: Tuesday April 25, 2006 10:43AM; Updated: Tuesday April 25, 2006 6:22PM


    Brady Quinn and the Irish should improve in Year 2 under head coach Charlie Weis.
    Heinz Kluetmeier/SI
    Trying to pick an early No. 1 team for 2006 is a lot like trying to find a decent lunch at the food court in your local mall: None of the choices are particularly appetizing, so you might as well just pick something and go with it.

    Do you go with one of last year's standbys, Texas and USC, even though both must replace franchise players? Do you take a chance on offensive juggernaut Ohio State despite all those unfamiliar faces on defense? Are you willing to overlook that Fiesta Bowl meltdown amidst all the tempting star power of Notre Dame? Was that West Virginia Sugar Bowl show a fluke or a sign of things to come? And, oh yeah, what about Oklahoma, which has a healthy Adrian Peterson?

    After much debate, I decided to go with the Buckeyes -- for now. Perhaps I drank too much of the Kool-Aid during my recent trip to Columbus, but no one there seems particularly worried about the young defense, particularly with stud freshman running back Chris Wells joining an already loaded offense. We'll find out plenty about OSU quickly enough: The Buckeyes are at Texas on Sept. 9.

    NCAA Football Power Rankings
    Rank LW School
    1 -- Ohio State Buckeyes (10-2)
    Key returnees: QB Troy Smith, WR Ted Ginn Jr., RB Antonio Pittman, DT Quinn Pitcock

    Spring star: LB Ross Homan. The true freshman turned heads, drawing comparisons to a young A.J. Hawk.

    Lowdown: The offense, which in addition to Smith, Ginn and Pittman welcomed top-rated high school RB Chris Wells during the spring, should be nothing short of powerful. The question is how quickly the Buckeyes' nine new defensive starters -- most of them highly touted, but untested -- jell.
    2 -- Texas Longhorns (13-0)
    Key returnees: RB Jamaal Charles, T Justin Blalock, DT Frank Okam, S Michael Griffin

    Spring star: TE Jermichael Finley. The pass-catching redshirt freshman could be a more athletic version of departed star David Thomas.

    Lowdown: Replacing QB Vince Young with a pair of freshmen, Colt McCoy and Jevan Snead, might seem like a recipe for disaster, but the 'Horns are so loaded at the skill positions and on defense that it's been apparent they'll still be able to win without the quarterbacks running for 200 yards.
    3 -- Notre Dame Fighting Irish (9-3)
    Key returnees: QB Brady Quinn, WR Jeff Samardzija, RB Darius Waker, S Tom Zbikowski

    Spring star: QB Jimmy Clausen (H.S. junior). The prep star's much-anticipated announcement on Saturday that he was committing to the Irish upstaged ND's spring game.

    Lowdown: With four veteran starters on the line to go with Quinn and the skill guys, coach Charlie Weis' offense, 10th in the country last season, figures to be even more potent. Nine starters return on defense, but the key will be developing a better pass rush and more consistent cornerbacks.
    4 -- West Virginia Mountaineers (11-1)
    Key returnees: QB Pat White, RB Steve Slaton, C Dan Mozes, LB Kevin McClee

    Spring star: DB Quinton Andrews. The hard-hitting redshirt freshman is pushing for a starting spot in WVU's 3-3-5 stack.

    Lowdown: The Mountaineers spent the spring cultivating a more productive passing game to go with the already powerful running combo of Slaton and White. The defense, which played a valuable but unsung role last season, will need several youngsters to step up in the secondary.
    5 -- LSU Tigers (11-2)
    Key returnees: QB JaMarcus Russell, WR Dwayne Bowe, FS LaRon Landry, LB Ali Highsmith

    Spring star: DT Glenn Dorsey. LSU coach Les Miles says Dorsey is just as talented as departed stars Kyle Williams and Claude Wroten.

    Lowdown: With Russell sitting out spring, backups Matt Flynn and Ryan Perrilloux made their push for playing time. The Tigers shouldn't have a problem reloading on defense, but running back (Alley Broussard and Justin Vincent are both coming off torn ACLs) and offensive line remain question marks.
    6 -- Oklahoma Sooners (8-4)
    Key returnees: RB Adrian Peterson, LB Rufus Alexander, DE Carl Thibodeaux, DE C.J. Ah You

    Spring star: CB Reggie Smith. The heralded sophomore, who moved from safety to corner, has the looks of a big-time playmaker.

    Lowdown: With eight returning starters, the Sooners will likely trot out their best defense in several years, and a healthy Peterson is obviously a major luxury. The season will turn on how well the young offensive line can protect QB Rhett Bomar, who himself needs to develop.
    7 -- USC Trojans (12-1)
    Key returnees: WR Dwayne Jarrett, WR Steve Smith, C Ryan Kalil, DE Lawrence Jackson

    Spring star: FB Ryan Powdrell. Pressed into tailback duties because of injuries, the 260-pounder showed surprising running ability.

    Lowdown: The offense will remain a mystery until the fall, when QB John David Booty returns from back surgery and several freshmen arrive to replenish the depleted backfield. The Trojans' front seven should be strong, particularly at linebacker, but the secondary could be a weakness again.
    8 -- California Golden Bears (8-4)
    Key returnees: RB Marshawn Lynch, RB Justin Forsett, WR DeSean Jackson, CB Daymeion Hughes

    Spring star: LB Worrell Williams. The athletic sophomore was a standout in practices and will likely earn a starting spot.

    Lowdown: New offensive coordinator Mike Dunbar installed components of the spread offense, a scary thought considering Cal's plethora of weapons. The only question is which quarterback, Nate Longshore or Joe Ayoob, will run it. The defense, extremely young last year, should be improved.
    9 -- Michigan Wolverines (7-5)
    Key returnees: QB Chad Henne, WR Mario Manningham, RB Mike Hart, LB LaMarr Woodley

    Spring star: LB Shawn Crable. With an impressive spring, the junior is on his way to bumping one of UM's returning starters.

    Lowdown: With new coordinators on both offense (Mike DeBord, coordinator for the 1997 title team) and defense (Ron English), the Wolverines figure to be less predictable than past seasons. Much of the O-line and backfield have slimmed down in hopes of becoming a quicker running team.
    10 -- Auburn Tigers (9-3)
    Key returnees: RB Kenny Irons, QB Brandon Cox, DE Marquies Gunn, LB Will Herring

    Spring star: LB Tray Blackmon. The hard-hitting redshirt freshman won the starting weakside linebacker job.

    Lowdown: New defensive coordinator Will Muschamp (Nick Saban's former aide) spent much of spring tinkering with his personnel, including moving productive safety Herring to linebacker. Irons gives the Tigers a powerful runner, but some new receivers will need to emerge.

    NCAA Football Power Rankings, Pt. II
    Rank LW School
    11 -- Florida Gators (9-3)
    Key returnees: QB Chris Leak, WR Dallas Baker, LB Brandon Siler, DT Marcus Thomas

    Spring star: WR Cornelius Ingram. The converted quarterback emerged as one of the Gators' top playmakers.

    Lowdown: Leak, who will be a senior, looks more comfortable in Urban Meyer's offense, though heralded frosh Tim Tebow outplayed him in the spring game. The defense figures to be solid yet again. Last year's weaknesses -- the tailbacks and offensive line (which loses four starters) -- remain major question marks.
    12 -- Florida St. Seminoles (8-5)
    Key returnees: QB Drew Weatherford, RB Lorenzo Booker, WR Greg Carr, LB Buster Davis

    Spring star: LB Lawrence Timmons. Ernie Sims' hard-hitting successor was named most dominant defender of the spring.

    Lowdown: Weatherford, who will be a second-year starter, made major strides this spring, throwing just one interception in scrimmages, and the defense, despite losing seven starters, looks solid again. The question is whether the offensive line will improve enough to bolster FSU's sagging running game.
    13 -- Georgia Bulldogs (10-3)
    Key returnees: RB Thomas Brown, T Daniel Inman, DE Quentin Moses, S Tra Battle

    Spring star: DE Charles Jonnson. Coaches say the junior has emerged as a dominant force opposite Moses.

    Lowdown: The Dawgs will likely rely on their dominant defense and deep backfield (Brown, Danny Ware and Kregg Lumpkin) early on as they break in a new quarterback. Senior Joe Tereshinski remained No. 1 after spring, but heralded freshman Matthew Stafford will be a factor.
    14 -- Clemson Tigers (8-4)
    Key returnees: RB James Davis, WR Chansi Stuckey, DE Gaines Adams, LB Anthony Waters

    Spring star: WR/RB Rendrick Taylor. The electrifying sophomore caught four passes for 174 yards in the spring game.

    Lowdown: QB Will Proctor, taking over full-time for departed Charlie Whitehurst, steps into what could be a loaded and balanced offense. The Tigers also return seven starters from a defense that ranked in the top 25 last season, though they'll miss DBs Tye Hill and Jamaal Fudge.
    15 -- Louisville Cardinals (9-3)
    Key returnees: QB Brian Brohm, RB Michael Bush, WR Mario Urrutia, WR Harry Douglas

    Spring star: LB Lamar Myles. The sophomore may bump top returning tackler Nate Harris as the starting middle linebacker.

    Lowdown: Brohm, recovering from a torn ACL, didn't participate in spring scrimmages, yet the offense was its usual, dominant self, with Urruita and Douglas taking their games to another level. The defense, which loses sack master Elvis Dumervil, struggled to sustain a pass rush.
    16 -- Nebraska Cornhuskers (8-4)
    Key returnees: QB Zac Taylor, WR Nate Swift, LB Corey McKeon, DE Adam Carriker

    Spring star: RBs Marlon Lucky and Cody Glenn. The sleek sophomores combined for 182 yards in the spring game.

    Lowdown: Taylor began showing command of coach Bill Callahan's West Coast offense late last season; the key now is developing a solid running game with Lucky and Glenn. The defense has the potential to be spectacular, particularly the front seven. Some new safeties need to emerge.
    17 -- Oregon Ducks (10-2)
    Key returnees: QB Dennis Dixon, RB Jonathan Stewart, WR James Finley, S Patrick Chung

    Spring star: WR Derrick Jones. The former USC signee could be Oregon's top receiver -- if the NCAA clears him to play.

    Lowdown: The Ducks' defense, despite losing DT Haloti Ngata and three veteran defensive backs, has been impressive in scrimmages. The offense, however, which must replace weapons Terrence Whitehead, Demetrius Williams and Tim Day needs to develop more consistency.
    18 -- Iowa Hawkeyes (7-5)
    Key returnees: QB Drew Tate, RB Albert Young, DE Ken Iwebema, LB Edmond Miles

    Spring star: C Rafael Eubanks. The redshirt freshman soared up the depth chart and might start come fall.

    Lowdown: Tate and Young are All-Big Ten studs, but it's unclear who will step up in place of departed receivers Ed Hinkel and Clinton Solomon. A strong D-line, and safeties Miguel Merrick and Marcus Paschal, will anchor a defense that lost star LBs Chad Greenway and Abdul Hodge.
    19 -- Penn State Nittany Lions (11-1)
    Key returnees: RB Tony Hunt, T Levi Brown, LB Paul Posluszny, DT Jay Alford

    Spring star: QB Anthony Morelli. The junior looked sharp in his first spring game as a starter, completing 13-of-16 passes for 191 yards.

    Lowdown: The Nittany Lions must replace 13 starters, including four-fifths of the O-line, three-fourths of the D-line and the entire secondary. Morelli, a better passer than predecessor Michael Robinson, will be called on to produce big plays with PSU's talented young receivers.
    20 -- Miami (Fla.) Hurricanes (9-3)
    Key returnees: QB Kyle Wright, TE Greg Olsen, S Brandon Merriweather, LB Jon Beason

    Spring star: T Reggie Youngblood. The sophomore looks capable of filling Eric Winston's shoes at left tackle.

    Lowdown: Despite an influx of six new assistants, not much has changed in Coral Gables if the spring game is any indication -- the defense remains dominant, while the offense is a work in progress. Wright and Kirby Freeman managed just 77 passing yards in the scrimmage.
    NCAA Football Power Rankings, Pt. III
    Rank LW School
    21 -- TCU Horned Frogs (11-1)
    Key returnees: QB Jeff Ballard, RB Robert Merrill, RB Aaron Brown, DE Chase Ortiz

    Spring star: DT Lorenzo Jones. A heralded signee in 2005, the sophomore will likely play a big role this fall.

    Lowdown: The Frogs return one of the nation's deepest backfields with Merrill, Brown and Lonta Hobbs, but their success will depend on how well four new O-line starters develop. A new playmaker needs to step in for the departed Cory Rodgers. Ortiz and DE Tommy Blake anchor a strong front seven.
    22 -- Alabama Crimson Tide (10-1)
    Key returnees: RB Kenneth Darby, WR D.J. Hall, T Kyle Tatum, LB Juwan Simpson

    Spring star: QB John Parker Wilson. Brodie Croyle's successor made big plays, but also big mistakes throughout spring.

    Lowdown: It's a year of transition for the Tide, which must replace nearly every key cog (LBs DeMeco Ryans and Fredie Roach, S Roman Harper, et al.) from last year's dominant defense. Four returning starters from the O-line, which allowed 37 sacks in 2005, have shown improvement.
    23 -- Arizona St. Sun Devils (7-5)
    Key returnees: QBs Sam Keller and Rudy Carpenter, WR Terry Richardson, TE Zach Miller

    Spring star: LB Mike Nixon. The 22-year-old walk-on and former Triple-A catcher has made a push for major playing time.

    Lowdown: There's little question the offense will be explosive regardless of which QB starts. As for ASU's oft-maligned defense, transfers Michael Marquardt (BYU) and Loren Howard (Northwestern) figure to beef up the line, while speedy WR Rudy Burgess is also playing cornerback.
    24 -- Virginia Tech Hokies (11-2)
    Key returnees: DE Chris Ellis, LB Vince Hall, LB Xavier Adibi, K Brandon Pace

    Spring star: CB Victor Harris. After spending part of spring at tailback, the athletic sophomore leapt to first-string corner.

    Lowdown: The Hokies should field one of the nation's stingiest defenses yet again. The offense, however, is in a state of flux, with sophomore Sean Glennon claiming a tenuous hold on the QB job, while graduation (Mike Imoh, Cedric Humes) and injuries (Branden Ore) have depleted the backfield.
    25 -- Utah Utes (7-5)
    Key returnees: QB Brett Ratliff, WR Brian Hernandez, CB Eric Weddle, S Casey Evans

    Spring star: RB Daryl Poston. The oft-injured USC transfer has finally ascended to No. 1 tailback.

    Lowdown: The Utes' offense took off at the end of last season after Ratliff took over for the injured Brian Johnson. He'll have the benefit of a deep receiving corps and veteran O-line. Eight starters return from an already solid defense, though DT Steve Fifita and LB Spencer Toone are big losses.


    On the cusp: Fresno State, Texas Tech, Tulsa, Boise State, Boston College



    Can't really complain about Iowa

    RamsFan16

  2. #2
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    Re: Sportsline and SI Pre Season Top 25 teams

    It is good to see my Louisville Cardinals in the top 15. This should be Brian Brohm's year.
    Then again, I do have his jersey, so I am kinda biased.

  3. #3
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    Re: Sportsline and SI Pre Season Top 25 teams

    Lots of love for my Mountaineers after an amazing season. Hope they can repeat the success in 2006.
    ClanRam ModCast: Episode Four
    Rams Discussion Right at Your Fingertips!



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    Re: Sportsline and SI Pre Season Top 25 teams

    Come on WOLVERINES!!!!
    Come on BULLDOGS!!!!
    Come on MOUNTAINEERS!!!!

    Hey Nick..... That was a great SugarBowl Game last season!

  5. #5
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    Re: Sportsline and SI Pre Season Top 25 teams

    I like where the Longhorns are lurking. This wasn't just VY and a cast of 21 others.

  6. #6
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    Re: Sportsline and SI Pre Season Top 25 teams

    texas will be alright, but don't look to make it a streak of beating the Sooners....... It won't happen!
    I stopped going to the dentist.......I got tired of the cavity searches!

  7. #7
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    Re: Sportsline and SI Pre Season Top 25 teams

    O-H-I-O!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!this is the year!!!!

  8. #8
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    Re: Sportsline and SI Pre Season Top 25 teams

    i dont think OSU will do good next season cuz they lost great players in the draft... Ohio State lost like their whole starting D-fence in the draft

  9. #9
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    Re: Sportsline and SI Pre Season Top 25 teams

    The SEC looks like it will be tougher than ever this year. LSU should be great, Auburn is really good and If GA can find a QB, they should be strong.

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    Re: Sportsline and SI Pre Season Top 25 teams

    Yea UGA needs a new QB ive seen their backup play and he aint good

  11. #11
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    Re: Sportsline and SI Pre Season Top 25 teams

    And LSU should be set at QB.

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    Re: Sportsline and SI Pre Season Top 25 teams

    Quote Originally Posted by RamsFan4ever
    i dont think OSU will do good next season cuz they lost great players in the draft... Ohio State lost like their whole starting D-fence in the draft

    OSU isn't getting recognized for their D this year it's the O.

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    Re: Sportsline and SI Pre Season Top 25 teams

    Oh yea your QB is back right? he didnt get drafted?

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    Re: Sportsline and SI Pre Season Top 25 teams

    Quote Originally Posted by RamsFan4ever
    Oh yea your QB is back right? he didnt get drafted?
    Yeah Troy Smith is back and we have the explosive Teddy Ginn Jr. who by some was considered better than Santonio Holmes.

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    Re: Sportsline and SI Pre Season Top 25 teams

    OSU has to come to Austin this year. THAT won't be easy, as Texas has just reloaded.

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