Monday, July 30, 2007

ETS Top 25 - No. 15-11

No need for too much explanation - here's how ETS sees No. 15-11 heading into this season with a little help from our friends at YouTube.

No. 15 - Auburn

Most of the offseason buzz from Iron Bowl participants has been going to team in Tuscoloosa, not the team in Auburn. It'd be easy to say Auburn struggled in big games last year (having lost to Georgia and Arkansas), but this is a team that defeated the eventual national champions by 10 points and **only lost to LSU by a score of 7-3. Nick Saban may have the attention in Alabama, but Auburn has five consecutive Iron Bowls. Which would you prefer?

**EDITOR'S NOTE: Auburn defeated LSU 7-3. Poor research on my part.

While Mizzou fans were drinking themselves numb after a loss to Texas A&M last year, Auburn was busy swarming Urban Meyer and the Florida offense.

No. 14 - Oklahoma

It was extremely tempting to put OU higher and proclaim them the Big 12 favorites, but with so much uncertainty at QB, I just can't do it. Oklahoma will be, well, Oklahoma. Allen Patrick and young phenom DeMarco Murray will run all over Big 12 defenses, but OU will really take off if Joey Halzle, Sam Bradford or Keith Nichol can find a way to keep defenses honest. WRs Malcolm Kelly and Juaquin Iglesias and TE Joe Jon Finley are a fine set of pass catchers, but the point is moot without anyone distributing the football.

As for Kelly's other passion? Check the clip and weigh in on whether or not he should keep his day job.

No. 13 - Georgia

Growing up in North Texas, I was able to follow the career of Matthew Stafford during his days at Highland Park, including an epic shootout between he and Ennis' Graham Harrell (now of Texas Tech) in a playoff game at Texas Stadium. Stafford has an absolute cannon for an arm, and word around Athens is that Mark Richt may let him fire it this year. His receivers were an immense disappointment last season, but if they are able to hold on to passes this year, Georgia could give Florida one hell of a run for the SEC East. Georgia struggled early last season, but a 31-24 win over Virginia Tech in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl has the program pointed up in a hurry.

If Stafford can come close to even sniffing the success he had in Texas' Class 4A, the Top 10 may be seeing red sooner rather than later.

No. 12 - Ohio State

The Buckeye offense may have been gutted of most of its talent, including burner Ted Ginn and Heisman winner Troy Smith, but one key cog will remain: RB Chris Wells. The sophomore lit up the high school level and the Army All-American game two years ago, and announced his arrival on the national scene with a 52-yard touchdown run in "The Game" against Michigan last season.

No. 11 - Arkansas

Darren McFadden, known as "humanity advanced" by our friends at Every Day Should Be Saturday, may be the most amazing athlete I've seen in my life. Whether he was in the backfield, under center in the Wildcat formation, or split out wide, D-Mac was the most electric, dynamic player in college football last year. While it can be argued that QB Casey Dick sucks (bad reference here), McFadden and Felix Jones go 1-2 in the backfield and return as No. 1-2 in SEC rushing from last season.

Highlight videos from McFadden's 2006 season have been known to cause seizures among SEC defensive coordinators.


TB said...

Auburn defeated LSU 7-3, not the other way around.

RT said...

You're absolutely right - poor editing on my part.

Thanks for the heads up.