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In the spirit of total conjecture and very little to base an opinion on, brought to you by whoever decided it was a good idea to put freaking Fritos on pizza at Papa John’s … you are given a Way Too Early Top 10, because … why not?
The following is not to be taken all that seriously if at all, and is for fun, even though it’s sort of what I think without having much tangible to go on, since there’s not anything going on. But hey, conjecture and football is better than no football at all!
1. Ohio State: Look, if you don’t have the Buckeyes No. 1 going in at this point, they probably need to institute some sort of random drug testing at your place of employment.
2. Oregon: I know the Mariota fellow is going to be tough to replace, but it’s not like Oregon lacks other weapons (remember, it played the playoff title game down its top two receivers). While someone will need to take a leadership role, I think you give the Ducks the benefit of the doubt. This is the last semi-serious analysis I will have on here.
3. Notre Dame: Lost in the shuffle about the Irish is the fact that they were banged up badly last year and young and… honestly: I kinda like what I saw out of Malik Zaire. There’s not really a point of weakness on this team other than its salty scheduling, which is what Notre Dame does.
4. LSU: I pretty much love everything about LSU other than the quarterback situation, and if the Tigers get a signal caller that’s somewhere above mediocre, they’ll be stout. If it’s more of the same, it’ll be Mich Ultra. See what I did there?
5. Clemson*: I’m throwing an asterisk on this team because its situation is contingent on Deshaun Watson staying healthy. I know, if ifs and buts were candy and nuts, every day would be Christmas. Whatever. You treat every day you wake up like it’s a holiday — I suppose you can trick your mind enough. Honestly, I just sort of have a feeling about Clemson this year.
6. Arizona: This Rich Rod fellow seems to be okay at the coaching football stuff. How come no one’s ever heard of him?
7. TCU: The Big 12 makes an appearance. Like the funny guy everyone loves that stumbles in with a 6-pack to share at 1 a.m. and is gone about an hour later. (Really though, looking at that conference, it could go to anyone).
8. Alabama: There are real issues to subvert on offense, with over 60 percent of the Tide’s TD receptions gone, over two-thirds of their receiving yards gone, and their returning wide receiver having 15 catches last season, plus an open competition at quarterback. But it’s Alabama, and that’s pretty much the reason I have the Tide here. Nick Saban.
9. Southern Cal: Cody Kessler is back; young receivers are back; a full allotment of scholarships means more depth; if USC is a stock, get to buying it. Actually, I prefer you’d have bought it after Pete Carroll left and it dropped like a rock. Buy low, sell high. But for those stragglers, here’s another shot.
10. Missouri: My obnoxious over-rating of Mizzou refuses to take an off-season break. Maty Mauk is back. Lots of offensive linemen are back. You know somehow, the Tigers will rush the passer. It’s also the SEC East, where you can pile up wins in a hurry. Everyone says I’m nuts every year when I go with Mizzou to win the SEC East. I may be nuts, but the Tigers do keep winning it.