With looming NFL and NBA lock outs it may well be that the only sport to follow this Fall will be college football. Preseason/first week rankings are a silly silly excercise but a little crystal ball viewing of potential contenders to the Mythical Championship game well that's just the kind of stupidity I can embrace:
At this point right or wrong the SEC with it's structural advantages (cheating cough cough) basically has a lock on one of the two spots in the championship game. Which brings us to link Saban and Saban's ex-squad. Both have good defenses that return just about everyone. Both have questions at QB. Can LSU's Jefferson become more consistent? Can the hyped AJ McCarron replace the departing senior McElroy? That said the SEC East is weak so that leaves LSU/Alabama to claim the South's automatic bid.
Both Oregon and Oklahoma have been frankly awful in big bowl games. Yes OU snapped it's 5 game losing streak by beating UConn but does that really count? Oregon now has a 2 game losing streak in big bowls. Both though return all of their key offensive players, should be highly ranked and frankly don't have more than 2 tough games.
It's odd to think that these two programs are so linked that you almost can't say one without the other. This is the last year we can do that as TCU moves on to the Big East next year. However for one year the perennial super powered non-BCS will face each other in the regular season. Boise also has it's BIG NON-Conference Game. This time against Georgia.
Odds and Ends
Stanford loses it's coach and a ton of offensive lineman but Andrew Luck should keep them in the spotlight. FSU loses Christian Ponder but Jimbo Fisher seems to have them pointed in the right direction. With the ACC and Florida on the fritz FSU could use the moment of weakness to leap back into the national contender spotlight.
You'll note I didn't include any Big 10 team. Looking like a down year for the Big 10 overall. I'll spotlight the Big 10 next week....