Friday, September 01, 2006

Creek's College Column (Special Alliteration Edition!)




What better way to start off the year, then with the LOCKERROOM'S own "on notice" board?! You watch yourself, Wali Lundy... We're on to you. Of course, I return this year to be LR's chief college football correspondent. I will admit to losing intrest in my columns at times last year (mostly because of Michigan), but I've been training hard all offseason in an attempt to stay focus throughout the long season. To start, let's go with my preseason top 25:

1. Auburn
Brandon Cox looks ready for a breakout season. Talent is everywhere, and the "run the ball, play good defense" formula is a proven winner.
2. Notre Dame
If there were ever a team to return the Irish to a national title, you would think this would be it. The Holy Trinity on offense will look to win many shootouts this season. That schedule is killer though...
3. USC
Reloaded. If the young guys don't falter early, Pete Carroll could be known as one of the greatest ever by seasons end.
4. Iowa
Defense is a question mark, but that offense is one of the best in the nation.
5. Ohio St.
See Iowa.
6. LSU
Probably just as talented a team as Auburn, but I feel more confident about Auburn's QB situation.
7. Texas
The offensive line is going to kill people. That said, another team where the QB situation could drag the team down.
8. Florida
Year two for Chris Leak in a system that hardly flatters him. Defense will be top notch, but how the offense will perform is anyone's guess.
9. West Virginia
Steve Slaton & Pat White could conceivably run with the ball every play behind that o-line.
10. Miami
Defense will be outstanding, but Kyle Wright needs to play better this year. Basically a poor man's Auburn.
11. Oklahoma
Bad start last season, finished strong. Adrian Peterson is enough to earn them a spot this high up.
12. Georgia
3-headed monster at RB is still there, but this is the 1st year in a while without a high-calibur QB.
13. Clemson
Team with a lot of expectations given the NFL talent on it. Tough road schedule may keep them from a BCS bowl.
14. Louisville
Lost guys on both lines, but Brian Brohm and Michael Bush make up possibly the bestQB/RB tandem in the nation.
15. FSU
Offense will be fine. Defense lost a lot of guys, and Miami and Clemson being in the 1st 3 weeks could be their downfall.
16. Cal
If they make it past Tennesse, this team could very well be unbeaten going into november.
17. Michigan
Yeesh. After last season, who knows. Hopefully Henne is better, and the defense can stop the run.
18. Tennessee
As Erik Ainge goes, so goes Tennessee.Tough opening game against Cal should set tempo for the season.
19. Arizona St.
Kerller out, Carpenter in. Even with the loss of Derek Hagan, one of the most explosive offenses in the nation. Struggled early on in opener against NAU, but still ended up with 35 points.
20. TCU
Best "small-school" team. Home against Texas Tech, and road games with Utah and Colorado St. are their biggest tests.
21. Iowa St.
Hung on to get a nice win against Toledo in tiple OT. Biggest wildcard in the top 25. Will play road games at Texas, Iowa, and Oklahoma, and if I bet they win at least one.
22. Nebraska
Great defense, competent offense. If they can upset USC early on watch out.
23. Penn St.
Then young studs will need to make even more big plays this year, with the loss of plenty of guys to the NFL.
24. Georgia Tech
FINALLY Reggie Ball's a senior. He and Calvin Johnson should hook up on plenty of big plays. Defense is solid as well.
25. Virginia Tech
Still talent all over the field. Games at BC and miami, as well as home against Clemson will decide the season.


Onto something I enjoyed highly last season, my heisman watch. The list will be trimmed to 5 a week once the season starts, but here are the top 10 going in:

1. Brady Quinn QB ND
America's golden boy. To win the heisman, he needs to get the Irish in the national title game.
2. Troy Smith QB tOSU
Showed what he can do in the Fiesta Bowl. May not put up the numbers Vince Young did, but if his team keeps on winning, he'll be near the top of everyone's list.
3. Adrian Peterson RB Ok
It may take him about 300 carries to win it... but that could actually happen.
4. John David Booty QB USC
He's more talented than Leinart, but he could falter early on. Will have good numbers by season's end no matter what happens.
5. Kenny Irons RB Aub
Workhorse for the team I'm picking to win the national title.
6. Drew Tate QB Iowa
If Iowa is as good as I think they'll be, this guy will be theupset pick to win it.
7. Marshawn Lynch RB Cal
Will put up similiar numbers to that of J.J. Arrington's senior season.
8. Brian Brohm QB Louis
Some voters would likely have a problem with giving the heisman to someone from the Big East, but everyone can agree Brohm's one of the most talented QB's in football.
9. Pat White/Steve Slaton QB & RB WVU
I'm not deciding between the two of them.
10. Mike Hart RB Mich
If he stays healthy... I'm just saying... Whatta ya mean I'm biased? Pfft, whatever.

There you have it, there it is. Any snide comments or feedback about the top 25 or the heisman watch is welcome. In fact, it's encouraged! Now on to the picks...



Michigan -25.5 Vanderbilt
Oh goodness, it's time for UM football once again. Disappointments were abound last season, but a new season brings new hope. Vandy still has Earl Bennet to catch passes, but no Jay Cutler to throw them. I doubt we get as much of a game as Northern Illinois gave us last season, and hopefully this will start Chad Henne off on the right foot. The O-line, run defense, and Steve Breaston will all be things I'll be paying extra attention to. Breaston especially, who could really be the spark plug this team needs to win Big Ten.

Mich 44 Vandy 17


Texas -41 North Texas
Colt McCoy and Jevan Sneed will be the story here, seeing how they look in their first attempt to replace Vince Young. Even if they struggle, Texas has a running game capable of bailing them out, and then some. Texas should be playing their backups by the beginning of the 2nd half.

Tx 58 UNT 12


To speed things up a bit, here are the games involving top 25 teams without lines on saturday: Iowa over Montana, Georgia over Western Kentucky, Virginia Tech over Northeastern, and Clemson over FAU. I could go the easy route and pick one of these as my lock of the week, but easy is for suckers. Moving on!


Stanford +12 Oregon
Ah, my first upset pick. Both teams have good passing attacks, and it should be a shootout. Don't really see either D making any stops, so it'll probably come down to the team that scores last.

Ore 38 Stan 33


Marshall +22 West Virginia
Marshall's going to come out fired up, and will keep it close. WVU will prevail in the end, but not by 22.

West Virginia 35 Marshall 28


Ohio St. -17 Northern Illinois
NIU hung with the Wolverines in their season opener last year, but Ohio St.'s offense is a little more capable of scoring than last years UM squad (that sentence never happened). Ohio St.'s defense has 9 new starters, but their interior lineman from last year are still in place, and that should limit Garrett Wolfe somewhat.

tOSU 34 NIU 14


Penn St. -17 Akron
Luckily for Penn St. this is a home game, otherwise I'm taking Akron. New QB Anthony Morelli will be the focal point of attention, and with the talent he has atWR and RB, he should do fine.

PSU 27 Akron 7 (does Akron have an abbriviation?)


California -1.5 Tennessee
Why am I picking a Pac10 team on the road against a top 25 SEC team? That top 25 SEC team is Tennessee. Sure, UT's got a lot of talent, but they did last year too. And their entire front seven from last year is gone. I'm not ready to bet on Erik Ainge yet either. Plus, I hear that Marshawn Lynch guy is pretty good.

Cal 24 Tenn 20


Florida -20 Southern Miss
Year two for Urban Meyer in Gainsville could be one to remember. If they get a running game going, and the offense is adjusted a bit more to fit Chris Leak, the defense is good enough to keep them in every game.

UF 31 USM 0


Oklahoma -22 UAB
Hopefully they start out a little better this season. Everyone will remember just how scary Adrian Peterson is.

Ok 28 UAB 3


Texas Tech -26.5 SMU
Mike Leech's system is a fickle mistress. It's always good enough to beat up on teams like SMU, but Tech has never been able to make it over the hump and be in the Big12 title picture. I don't see that changing this season, but it's enough to kick SMU's ass. Damn methodists...

TxTech 47 SMU 17


Auburn -14.5 Washington St.

WAZZU is a dangerous team, but I'm so high on Auburn I should be hanging out with Ramonce Taylor (take that, guy who's going to make more money in one year than I ever will!). Should be a close game at first, but Auburn's offense finds its grrove in the second half.

Aub 26 WAZZU! 10


Notre Dame -6.5 Georgia Tech
Georgia tech didn't fare so well last season against teams with good passing attacks, and Notre Dame's got a great one. Reggie Ball might need another 7 years of eligibility if he plans on beating the Irish this lifetime. However, I am excited for the return of Calvin Johnson. Hopefully after this game, people lower the hype on Jeff Samardzija, and raise the Calvin Johnson hype. But alas, out country loves white receivers. *single tear*

ND 34 GT 24


LSU -30.5 LA Lafayette
Next.

LSU a lot LA Lafayette not so much


USC -6 Arkansas
Another Pac10 team going over an SEC team on the road? Sure, what the hell, it's not like I get paid for this gig. JDB has already earned initials staus with me based on hype. McFadden might play, might not play, either way, USC shows they mean business again this year.

USC 37 Arkansas 24

TCU -7 Baylor
TCU's become the Minnesota Twins of college football. Baylor... well, Baylor's that place where that guy got killed. It's close, but I'll go with TCU (that, and because their RB duo of Merril & Hobbs is one of the best in the nation).

TCU 24 Baylor 13


**UPSET SPECIAL**: Kentucky +22.5 Louisville
Don't know why they gave a rivalry game a spread that big, especially when Kentucky kept it to within 7 points last year, and Elvis Dumervil basically won the game for the Cardinals. Louisville will win, but it'll be closer than 22.5 points.

Louis 34 UK 20


**~**$Creek's 5-Star, No Doubt, Money-Making *dramatic music, extreme closeup* LOCK OF THE WEEK**~**&: Nebraska -21.5 Louisiana Tech
Seriously, how sweet is that title? Seriously...

Neb (what the fuck is Nebraska's abbriviation?) 31 Louisiana Tech 3

4 comments:

ward said...

No love for Texas Tech? They're going be the second best team in the Big 12 South this year, and could even take Texas down.

Lex Luthor said...

As a rabid OU fan, I've got to hope they'll do better than that tonight. I think Paul Thompson will surprise a lot of people at QB. Everyone on TV seems to be acting as if Rhett Bomar was the next coming of Troy Aikman, but as Stoops pointed out, he's a 10 TD 10 INT guy.

I'll also go ahead and take Baylor to beat TCU. Baylor's actually developing a good young team.

Oh, and Texas just beat the line, so your pick there is holding up, as long as UNT doesn't score again.

Anonymous said...

is this guy in the picture actually referring to Fanball's Verbie?!?

Creek! said...

Ward-

We shall see about Tech. I thought last year was their best chance to make a run at the Big 12 title.

Lex-

OU didn't look that great, but a win's a win. Good call on Baylor by the way..hehe

Anonymous-

Yes he is. Verbie's made quite a few enemies.