Teams going into 2005 with an honest shot at the national title

Discussion in 'The Tiger's Den' started by tirk, Jan 18, 2005.

  1. tirk

    tirk im the lyrical jessie james

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    For now, these rankings are based on how good the teams look following the 2004 season, and not necessarily where they'll end up. Don't forget that a great team can look lousy when playing a nasty schedule, while an average team might be overrated after playing a bunch of cream-puffs.

    There are five categories: 1) The teams that can go into the season honestly thinking about playing for the national title, 2) the teams that have an honest shot at getting to a BCS game (in other words, which teams should be in the hunt even if they don't win the conference title), 3) serious contenders for the Top 25 and 4) the probable also-rans, and 5) the bottom 19. Remember, there are 119 D-I teams this year with the addition of Florida Atlantic and Florida International.

    Also, the teams are in three categories: 1) Should have a better team (but not necessarily have a better record) than last year, 2) should be about as good as last year, 3) should have a worse team than last year


    3. Iowa 2004 Record: 10-2 Big Ten
    Iowa?! Yup. The program has had a little-engine-that-could feel, but this is a powerhouse with 31 wins and three January bowls over the last three years. The defense has to prove it can be just as stingy without Matt Roth and Jonathan Babineaux up front, so All-America caliber linebackers Chad Greenway and Abdul Hodge have to be even better. The offense was solid last year despite having the worst rushing attack in America, but there’s no way the plague of running back injuries will hit again. Gutty QB Drew Tate was the Big Ten’s most valuable player, and then he became a legend with the win over LSU. Now he’ll look to finally give Iowa an outright Big Ten title under Ferentz.
    Biggest offensive loss: TE Tony Jackson Biggest defensive loss: DE Matt Roth & DT Jonathan Babineaux

    8. LSU 2004 Record: 9-3 SEC
    Nick Saban can only dream of having this much talent in Miami. Les Miles will have to worry a bit at cornerback and a pass rusher has to replace Marcus Spears, but the tackle combination of Claude Wroten and Kyle Williams will be a brick wall while the rest of the back seven has speed, speed and more speed. If you count QB JaMarcus Russell as a first-teamer and forget about the injury to center Ben Wilkerson, every offensive starter returns from the 2005 Capital One Bowl. The Tigers might have the fastest receiving corps in college football history.
    Biggest offensive loss: C Ben Wilkerson Biggest defensive loss: DE Marcus Spears


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  2. tirk

    tirk im the lyrical jessie james

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    The Probable Also-Rans


    60. Ole Miss 2004 Record: 4-7 SEC
    New head coach Ed Orgeron has a more experienced team than the one that underachieved and didn’t build on the bowl season of 2003. The offense has to be more consistent and could stand to settle on a quarterback. The defense should be better with several good young stars led by sophomore LB Patrick Willis
    Biggest offensive loss: C Chris Spencer Biggest defensive loss: FS Eric Oliver

    66. Mississippi State 2004 Record: 3-8 SEC
    Sylvester Croom’s second season should be significantly more interesting with just about everyone coming back. The offense will revolve around RB Jerious Norwood while the defense should only be better with plenty of experience returning. The SEC will be nasty as always, but a finish in the West basement isn’t a given.
    Biggest offensive loss: OT David Stewart Biggest defensive loss: DT Ronald Fields

    71. Vanderbilt 2004 Record: 2-9 SEC
    The tragic death of RB Kwane Doster will cast a shadow over the season, but on the field this should be Bobby Johnson’s best team yet. Then again, last year was supposed to be strong as well. The smart move by QB Jay Cutler to return for his senior year should make the offense shine. The defense welcomes back just about everyone including most of the top eight tacklers led by LB Moses Osemegie.
    Biggest offensive loss: RB Norval McKenzie Biggest defensive loss: DE Jovan Haye

    73. Tulane 2004 Record: 5-6 Conference USA
    The Green Wave should be one of Conference USA’s most interesting teams as the young skill players of last year should be even better with Jovon Jackson and Matt Forte in the backfield and QBs Lester Ricard and Richard Irvin providing some big-time talent to work with top deep threat Chris Bush. The defense has to replace the safeties, but gets just about everyone else back.
    Biggest offensive loss: WR Roydell Williams Biggest defensive loss: FS Joey Dawson

    81. Kentucky 2004 Record: 2-9 SEC
    The Rich Brooks era had better take a serious turn north or things will be very different next year at this time. The team that struggled so much in 2004 should be vastly better in 2005 if experience counts for anything. However, there has to be some semblance of a passing game and more fight from the defense.
    Biggest offensive loss: QB Shane Boyd Biggest defensive loss: CB Earven Flowers
     
  3. PGTiger

    PGTiger Founding Member

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    That's pretty bad... :dis:
     
  4. tirk

    tirk im the lyrical jessie james

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    agreed. not to mention USL, La Tech and ULM in the bottom 20.
     
  5. Mr. Peabody

    Mr. Peabody Founding Member

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    Texas won't make it. VY can only throw short to medium sidearm passes. If Michigan would have watched games tapes of the OU/TX game the past two years, they would have known how to defend him. They rushed him and tried to tackle him behind the line of scrimmage like you would a runningback. Fools!

    You just contain him and don't give him any holes. Force him to beat you with his arm because he can't. If you try to defend him like Michigan and he makes the guy miss or breaks a tackle, then he's gone for big yardage and maybe a score.
     
  6. tirk

    tirk im the lyrical jessie james

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    you all shoulda spent your time scouting leinart instead.
     
  7. Mr. Peabody

    Mr. Peabody Founding Member

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    You would think! :confused: :dis: :cuss: :nope: :cry:
     
  8. tirk

    tirk im the lyrical jessie james

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    was just a little jab. :thumb: :thumb:
     
  9. bayareatiger

    bayareatiger If it's too loud YOU'RE TOO OLD

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    ...that hit pretty close to home... :crystal:

    Sorry P-bo didn't mean to break out the crystal.... :cool:
     
  10. cajdav1

    cajdav1 Soldiers are real hero's

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    I kept waiting for OU to rush guys to the outside on Leinart's left to prevent him from rolling out that way. I'm still waiting.
     

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