Friday, July 23, 2010

Leading The Charge

With college football looming upon us, it is time to start making some predictions. This year is a rebuilding year for some power house teams. The door is open for other teams. We will see if those other teams can take advantage of the opportunity to become the leader of the pack. The wait is over. Here is my preseason Top 5.

5. Nebraska Cornhuskers: With senior quarterback Zac Lee and senior running back Roy Helu, the Huskers offense looks to improve. Even though Endamukong Suh is gone the huskers still have one of the strongest defense in the country. Right defensive end Jared Crick enters his junior season as the center piece for this defense. With 31 tackles, and 42 assisted tackles in 2009 he is a lock for me as a preseason all-american. In the secondary senior cornerback Prince Amakumara looks to reek havoc against a younger set of Big 12 quarterbacks. With 5 picks last year he will be looking to improve his NFL draft stock this year. The experience at defense will have the Huskers flying high in 2010.

4.Virginia Tech Hokies: This one may surprise. But the Hokies are one of those teams its just tough to say no to. Its a gut pick. With a recharged offense and the premiere backfield in the country, these Hokies a Top 5 team for me. Sophomore Ryan Williams was a heisman candidate as a freshman. He broke the ACC freshman record for most yards rushed set by his counterpart Junior Darren Evans. This backfield is a highlight waiting to happen. We all know Tyrod Taylor has struggled. Now with the backfield stronger Tyrod’s load has shrunk sufficiently. I think now we will see the big play potential Taylor brings to Virginia Tech. The defense is not as strong as it has been in past years. That being said, Bud Foster is back and he always brings out the best in his players. Senior Corner Rashad Carmichael will be the difference. With 6 int’s last year he is the leader of The Hokies D. We will see how VA Tech fares september 6th against Boise State.

3. Boise State: Thats right. Boise State is looking to flex there mid-major muscle once again. But there hungry for more then just a BCS appearance. They want the whole enchilada. Junior quarterback Kellen Moore will start off his 2010 heisman campaign against the previously mentioned Virginia Tech Hokies. With an outstanding 3,536 passing yards last year Kelllen Moore looks to attack this weaker secondary. His 2 favorite targets are both seniors. Austin Pettis and Titus Young. Titus Young lead the team in receiving yards with 1041. Running back Jeremy Avery is also a senior. He was a big part of the offense with 1151 yards on the ground. The Broncos also feature a stacked defense of all upperclassmen. Senior Safety Jeron Johnson leads this Boise defense. In 09 he had 91 tackles and 3 interceptions. This Broncos team is offensively and defensively savvy. There a lock to win the WAC, and most likely BCS bowl bound. But even though I have them at number 3, they are not a championship team. The Hokies will be there downfall.

2. Ohio State Buckeys: Terrelle Pryor has definitely added some consistency to his game. Passing for 2,094 yards last year the dual threat is learning to manage both being a pocket passer, and running like he does so well. Prior rushed for 779 yards last year. With his favorite target DeVier Posey who had 828 receiving yards last year at his side. Prior looks to make this offense work. It should be very entertaining to watch Prior flourish in the spread offense this year. The defense should be great. It looks like 7 seniors will start this year. This defense is lead by right end Cameron Heyward. He is a preseason all-american candidate. He had 6.5 sacks last year. And his sacks combines for a loss of 43 yards total. Outside linebacker Ross Homan lead the team in int’s with 5. If the Buckeys can get past Miami in the second week of the season. They are home free. With the exception of Wisconsin. The only team i could see giving them major problems in conference.

1. Alabama Crimson Tide: Yes, the tide are back and looking to repeat. Junior running back Mark Ingram is looking for another heisman. Quarterback Greg McElroy looks to have a a great senior year. And junior wide out Hulio Jones who has great big play ability, gives McElroy a massive target to throw to. Hulio Jones had what most considered to be a bad year for him. 596 yards, and 4 touchdowns. He has not lived up to his potential. But I think he will have a great year in 2010. The offensive line is strong, not as strong. The Tide may feature 3 starting sophomores in the first week of the season. And 2 more sophomore tight ends. This defense is once again stacked. Up front they have Marcell Dareus. He is a junior, and is most likely leaving next year for the NFL. He played every game last season and had 6.5 sacks, with losses totaling 44 yards. But he is in some hot water for reportedly going to an agents party in South Beach. Our Ranny Kennon will have a story about that coming within the next few days. Back to the rest of the defense. Junior linebacker Dont’a Hightower is back from his knee injury. He accumulated 65 tackles as a freshman. He had had 16 last year due to the fact he only played 4 games. Then there is standout junior safety Mark baron. He lead the team in tackles and interceptions in 09. This big playmaker was overshadowed by corner Javier Arenas last year. With 7 int’s and 76 tackles, Mark Baron will be the best player on the field most of the time. Now the Crimson Tide have a ridiculous schedule. With a very tough six game stint that include away games at Arkansas, South Carolina, Tennessee, and LSU. Not to mention 2 home games against Florida and Ole Miss. Alabama will lose at least 1 game. This schedule is just to tough, and in the toughest conference in the country being king pin is not very beneficial. Regardless Alabama coming into this year is the best team in the country. They will just have to deal with having the target being on there forehead in 2011. -Josh Neighbors

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