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2007 CFN Preseason Rankings National Title Contenders - No. 1 to No. 10

Discussion in 'All Other Sports' started by BoltsFanUK, Aug 7, 2007.

  1. BoltsFanUK
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    National Title Contenders - No. 1 to No. 10

    Fine, so you could've guessed that John David Booty's loaded USC team would be number one going into the season, but there are a few surprises among the ten best teams in America. There are far more talented teams this year from top to bottom in what should be a fascinating national title chase.

    10. Georgia Tech
    - Georgia Tech | Offense Preview | Defense | Depth Chart
    Why Georgia Tech should be No. 1: Had Calvin Johnson foolishly decided to come back for his senior year, Georgia Tech probably would've been our sleeper choice to play USC for the national title. There might not be a better set of lines in the country, and everything will revolve around them. RB Tashard Choice is an elite runner who'll have plenty of room to run, while QB Taylor Bennett will be an upgrade over Reggie Ball. Just about everyone returns to a stellar defense, led by LB Philip Wheeler, and a top-notch safety tandem of Jamal Lewis and Djay Jones.
    Why Georgia Tech isn't No. 1: James Johnson might be a nice receiver, but he's not Calvin Johnson. Losing CJ will hurt the most, but losing offensive coordinator Patrick Nix to Miami will also sting. The depth is thin at linebacker and the corners aren't necessarily special. Tech's biggest problem has always been game-in-and-game-out consistency, and this year won't be any different. You know the total clunker is coming, you just don't know when (possibly at Maryland).
    Relative Strengths: Offensive Line, Defensive Line
    Relative Weaknesses: Wide Receiver, Secondary

    9. Ohio State
    - Ohio State Preview | Offense | Defense | Depth Chart
    Why Ohio State should be No. 1: You don't think this team is motivated to come out roaring after what happened in Glendale? Last year the offense was loaded and the question mark was the defense. This year, the defense should be national title-level good and the O is the concern. Buckeye fans won't have to worry too much with RB Chris Wells working behind a rock of a line. The defense is loaded with too many good players to get on the field at once (remember the name Dexter Larimore), while the special teams will be among the best in the Big Ten.
    Why Ohio State isn't No. 1: Last year's team might have been overrated, and this year's team might be underrated, but there are still just enough issues to keep the Buckeyes from being considered one of the favorites to go to New Orleans. Losing a Heisman-winning quarterback and two first round draft pick receivers doesn't help, and while this is Ohio State and it reloads, there will be a learning curve before the offense starts to sing again.
    Relative Strengths: Offensive Line, Linebacker
    Relative Weaknesses: Quarterback, Wide Receiver

    8. Louisville
    - Louisville Preview | Offense | Defense | Depth Chart
    Why Louisville should be No. 1: Keep your Big East biases to yourself; Louisville is the real deal. Last year's team was a field goal away from playing Ohio State for the national title, and this year's team is better. QB Brian Brohm should be in the Cleveland Browns training camp instead of returning to lead one of the nation's most potent offenses, and he has a receiving corps worthy of making him look terrific. The duo of Anthony Allen and George Stripling will make the running game explode behind a great line. The defense is fast, athletic, and forces a ton of mistakes.
    Why Louisville isn't No. 1: While the Cardinals are better than you think, the defensive back seven is as average as you probably think it is. LB Malik Jackson is a playmaker, but the secondary will give up plenty of big plays and has big issues at cornerback. New head coach Steve Kragthorpe is a rising superstar, but can he be as good as Bobby Petrino? His performance could be the X factor in the national title chase.
    Relative Strengths: Quarterback, Wide Receiver
    Relative Weaknesses: Secondary, Linebacker

    7. Virginia Tech
    - Virginia Tech | Offense Preview | Defense | Depth Chart
    Why Virginia Tech should be No. 1: Defense, defense, defense, and more defense. The nation's best D for each of the last two years should make it a trifecta with eight starters returning led by LB Vince Hall and CB Brandon Flowers, two All-Americans who'll be just a part of the show. The line is loaded with talented veterans, and there are so many good players all over the player that there will be no one for offensive coordinators to exploit.
    Why Virginia Tech isn't No. 1: The offense will go absolutely nowhere if anything happens to RB Branden Ore. The line isn't anything special, the receiving corps has been an underwhelming disappointment over the past few years, and QB Sean Glennon, while appearing to be improved, isn't going to scare anyone. Forgive us for putting a tragedy into a football equation, but the pressure might eventually be too much to bear. Ever since April, everyone has been talking about how good the football team is supposed to be and how the entire community will rally around it. That's a lot to ask for considering everyone will get up to play the ACC favorites.
    Relative Strengths: Linebacker, Secondary
    Relative Weaknesses: Quarterback, Offensive Line

    6. Michigan
    - Michigan Preview | Offense | Defense | Depth Chart
    Why Michigan should be No. 1: Who's going to stop this offense? QB Chad Henne, RB Mike Hart, and WR Mario Manningham might form the great trio of skill players in the history of Michigan football, and they'll have a great line to work behind thanks to the return of tackle Jake Long. Much will be made about the holes to fill on defense, but the speed and raw talent are there to be ultra-productive and extremely disruptive. The D doesn't have to be the best in the nation with this offense putting up points in bunches.
    Why Michigan isn't No. 1: Mike Hart has a history of getting banged up. He made it through last year, but if he gets hit with the nagging injuries that kept him out from time to time in the past, the offense could bog down; he's that valuable. The secondary could be more than just a problem, it could be a screaming, glaring weakness early on if there isn't a big pass rush to help out the cause. Talk about pressure, Henne, Hart and Long have had to hear several times a day for the last few years that they haven't beaten Ohio State or won a bowl game. Don't be shocked if there's a lack of focus from time to time as the team looks ahead to the make-or-break games at the end of the season that'll define some great careers.
    Relative Strengths: Running Back, Quarterback
    Relative Weaknesses: Secondary, Special Teams

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