Monthly Archives: September 2009

NFL Cheerleaders 2009 – Pt 1

I too often forget our more mature women in the world of football.  No, I’m not talking MILFs or cougars.  I’m referring to the NFL Cheerleader.  Now I do prefer the female college football fan when it comes to partying and overall hotness, but when it comes to cheerleaders the NFL has a slight edge.  Enjoy!

Dolphins234

ramgirls2

TBcheer

TitansCheerleaders

Carolinagallery_600

eagles2009

redskins_clicks

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College Football Hotties 2009 Vol 2

The top teams keep taking a tumble.  Who’s next?  Florida?  Alabama?  I guess we’ll find out.  In the meantime, let’s enjoy some college football hotties.

ole-miss222

16-10?  OK, I know playing in Brice Stadium isn’t easy but really guys.  You are letting these hotties down.  That should keep you up at night because they certainly won’t with play like that.

usc_main7

USC coeds should be all smiles again after this week.  And in the ‘end’ (terrible I know) it won’t matter that they lost to the Huskies because they’ll be playing on New Year’s Day.

clemson

Clemson has another tough game this week against #15 TCU.  I’m not too sure they are going to come out of this one on top but at least they have girls like her waiting back at the dorms.

PennState3

Penn State?

iowa_girls_06

or Iowa?  Tough call but in PSU’s house I’ll go with the Nittany Lion.

houston4

Hats, and tops, off to the Cougars.  Grrrrrr!

miami-girls

Football is looking good again at ‘The U’.  Looking very good.

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College Football Hotties 2009 Vol 1

College football is back and it looks to be an exciting season. I must have watched 12 hours of football that first weekend. So glad it’s back. But, better that watching it on TV is making the trip to a campus and taking it all in. It is more than just the game. It is the pre-game. It is the BBQ, beer and playing catch before the game. It is the after parties and the bar hopping. It is also about the beautiful college girls getting out there and rooting for their team. Enjoy Vol 1 of what hopes to be a several volume tribute to the hotties of college football.

NEBhotty

Things are looking good in Nebraska this year!

Oregongirls11

The Ducks might have the worst uniforms in football but the cheerleaders are near the top of the list.

p1000578

You can’t have a college post without including reps from the #1 team in the land.  Well, it doesn’t hurt that they have one of the hottest fan bases too.

Michtalent

How did those Wolverines pull it off against Notre Dame?  Was it the refs?  Was it all Forcier?  Or, was it these two talented split ends…ooops, I mean cheerleaders?

georgia-girl-12

There is plenty to cheer about Dawg fans!  You beat South Carolina to get back on the winning track.  Oh, and you also have HOT fans like her.

USFshelf

To round out Vol 1 you have to conclude with Jenn Sterger.  She has been out of school a couple of years now AND has changed her allegiance from FSU to USF but she is hot.  What else do you need?

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AFC 2009 Predictions

AFC East
1 Patriots – With Brady healthy and the addition of RB Fred Taylor the Pats are back. The offense should return to the high scoring machine it was 2 years ago. The defense is a different matter. They are certainly not as strong as they were 2 years ago, especially with the departure of Richard Seymour. They should be good enough to help New England win another division title.
2 Dolphins – The Phins will challenge the Pats for the division. Miami has an exciting offense behind a rejuvinated Chad Pennington. The RB duo of Brown and Williams should be great and I can’t wait to see the Wildcat with Pat White. I look for WR Ted Ginn to have a break out year. The defense should be solid once again with a revamped secondary.
3 Jets – It will take time for QB Mark Sanchez to make an impact in this league but I like what I see so far. Currently he lacks big play WRs but does have good RBs in T.Jones and L. Washington. There will be some growing pains on that side of the ball. The defense, led by LB Bart Scott should actually be pretty good and will keep the Jets competitive in the AFC East.
4 Bills – The T.O. show has arrived and I think it will cause more problems than it solves. QB Trent Edwards has potential but when you look at the RB situation and the offensive coordinator’s firing you can’t help but think this offense is going to be a mess. The defense is decent but they are less decent against the run. They need to improve up front.

AFC South
1 Titans – Tennessee is the class of the division. It all starts with the best RB duo in football in Chris Johnson and LenDale White. It also helps the offense is run by one of the better game managers in football in Kerry Collins. Rookie WR Kenny Britt could become one of Kerry’s favorite targets. Despite the loss of Albert Haynesworth the D-Line remains solid. The defense is quick and dynamic. They should be a Top 5 defensive unit.
2 Texans – This is the year Houston breaks the .500 mark and challenges for that final wildcard spot. QB Matt Schaub will have to stay healthy for that to happen but I think his line is a little better this season. They have a balanced ground attack and one of the best WR in the league in Andre Johnson. This should be a good offense. Now the defense lost a lot of games for them last season. It is a decent unit but they are going to have to improve in the secondary if they are going to leap frog Indy.
3 Colts – This is going to be one long year for Peyton Manning. He hasn’t had a season like this one is going to be. They have a new coach, issues on the O-Line and RB and a lack of overall depth. Manning will still hook up with Clark and Wayne but it will be less frequent this season. The Colt defense is going to be inconsistent and they have injuries and that doesn’t help. Sub .500? Maybe.
4 Jaguars – The good news is Mo Jones Drew is going to have a monster year. The bad news is he is the offenses only real weapon. David Garrard is a good QB but he has very few WRs to work with. He is also injury prone and there is nothing behind him. The defense used to be the team’s strength and now it is a weakness. They can’t stop the run and they don’t get turnovers.

AFC North
1 Steelers – Pittsburgh is the team to beat in this division. They have retained virtually their whole squad from last season and got a couple of players healthy they needed to get healthy. Big Ben should do well again and the offense could even be better if they can get Parker and Mendenhall to stay healthy. The defense led by Troy Palamalu should be the best in the NFL. They are one of the quickest, most aggressive units in football.
2 Bengals – This is my surprise pick of the year. I don’t think Cincy will get the last wildcard spot but a 9 win season is certainly possible. We’ve seen how good this offense can be if Palmer is healthy and they can run. I think Cedric will be good for this team and Palmer should be comeback player of the year. Defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer should make the D better but he might lack playmakers. Keeping LB Keith Rivers healthy is key.
3 Ravens – Baltimore could challenge and get up for a final wildcard spot but I think they regress under the .500 mark this season. QB Joe Flacco is good but I see his numbers coming down a bit do to the lack of playmakers. The RB situation is unsettled and the sooner they commit to Ray Rice the better this team will be. The defense has gone through some changes and not for the better. They will miss D Coordinator Ryan and Bart Scott.
4 Browns – New head coach, same stinky result. The Browns are doomed for last place in this division. While the win total should be low they do have a bright outlook. QB Brady Quinn should develop into a Top 10 QB if Coach ManGENIUS gives him the time and weapons. RB Jamal Lewis is long in the tooth but will be depended upon to move the offense. WR Braylon Edwards needs to step up or step aside. The defense wasn’t very good last year and looks like a mess in 2009. The coach brought a bunch of defenders from the NY Jets but not too many of the good ones.

AFC West
1 Chargers – San Diego should thrive in the worst division in football. Rivers should connect with all of his usual suspects and RB Tomlinson is happy and healthy. Back up RB and special teamer Darren Sproles is one of the more exciting players in the league. The defense has a healthy Shawne Merriman and that is really all you have to say.
2 Broncos – Normally 2nd place would be OK in the AFC West. It used to mean an automatic wildcard birth. Not this year. Denver isn’t very good. They had a ton of off-season issues, largely the Cutler saga and contract problems with WR Brandon Marshall. New coach Josh McDaniels and QB Kyle Orton have a lot of work to do to earn the trust of the passionate Broncos fans. The defense was terrible last year and should only be moderately better this season. It looks like a sub .500 year for the Broncos.
3 Chiefs – KC is improving and could leap frog Denver for the first time since…dare I say the mid 90s? QB Matt Cassell is a key. He could be a one-year wonder like Derek Anderson or Rick Mirer. We will have to see. I still like QB Tyler Thigpen long-term. Coach Todd Haley is a very good coach and has now taken over the offensive play calling. That should help. The defense is a work in progress but it is young and hungry. There should be improvement on that side of the ball this season. DE Dorsey’s development is going to be key. A healthy Mike Brown will also make this defense much better.
4 Raiders – I am not an Oakland fan by any stretch but to see this classic franchise struggle for so long is just sad. QB JaMarcus Russell isn’t an NFL starting QB. He looks lost at times and despite his physical gifts he doesn’t seem to have the mental part of the game down. But it isn’t all his fault either. There has been turnover in the coaching staff and the owner has lost his mind. He also has very few weapons on the offense to help him out. The defense is certainly better than the offense but not by much. Acquiring DT Richard Seymour makes this teams D-Line better but they had to give up a 1st Round draft pick (should be a Top 10) and Seymour hasn’t shown up.

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NFC 2009 Predictions

NFC East
1 Eagles – Eagles and G-Men should run neck-and-neck. McNabb has plenty of weapons and the defense has been revamped. Maclin could end up being rookie of the year. They death of defensive genius Jimmy Johnson shouldn’t effect this veteran unit too much, but it could.
2 Giants – NY is still a very tough team. Eli will struggle at times because he lacks a big play receiver. He’ll need rookie WR Hakeem Nicks to step up. Look for Brandon Jacobs to carry the load. The defense is very good but it is a little banged up right now.
3 Redskins – I am not in love with J Campbell but he doesn’t have to be a fantasy stud for this team to do well. He just need to manage the games and let Portis do his thing. The defense should be one of the league’s best.
4 Cowboys – Last place in the East isn’t a terrible thing but it probably means the end to Wade Phillips. Romo’s only legitimate target is TE Jason Witten. The running game is very vanilla. They will need to get Felix more time in the backfield. The defense is also very average and the defensive backfield a little suspect.

NFC North
1 Bears – Da Bears have a franchise QB, one of the league’s best young RBs and a dynamic duo at the TE position. The offensive line looks solid after an off-season overhaul. They may need a big play WR but Hester and Bennett show some promise. The defense is the only question mark. We will see what magic Marinelli can work with the D-Line.
2 Vikings – The Vikings will be right on the Bears tail. A.P. is awesome and now he has a pro-bowl caliber passer on his side. Granted he is almost 40 but he still has one season left in him. Look for Percy Harvin to be an immediate contributor. The defense is solid once again. The only weak spot might be the defensive backfield but the front seven should make up for that.
3 Packers – Green Bay could surprise and take the division but they have a couple of big questions to answer. RB Ryan Grant has to show he can stay healthy for this team to have a chance. The passing game should be entertaining with Rodgers & Co. The defense is the other question mark. They are switching schemes and have some new personnel. There could be some growing pains.
4 Lions – Why even make a comment here. They are bad but there is hope now that there is yet another new coach in town. The development, or impending slaughter, of QB Matt Stafford should be interesting to watch.

NFC South
1 Panthers – The Panthers should do well again this year. Delhomme isn’t a great QB but he is one of the better game managers in the league. It also doesn’t hurt that Steve Smith is catching his passes. RBs DeAngelo Williams and Jon Stewart are a great tandem. The defense was a question mark in the off-season but getting Peppers back in the fold and Beason healthy were keys and they’re both back.
2 Falcons – Atlanta’s defense took a hit in the off-season and teams shouldn’t have any problems scoring on them. However QB Matt Ryan, RB Michael Turner, WR Roddy White and newly acquired TE Tony Gonzalez should make for a high powered offense. Good enough to stay in the wildcard hunt but not good enough to over take Carolina.
3 Saints – New Orleans has Drew Brees and that is enough to give any team hope. However he has no run help at all. The often injured Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas will be average at best. WRs Brees has, RB support he doesn’t. Look for lots of scoring, by both teams. The Saints are in the middle of a defensive revamp but they’re still a year or two away from being a good unit.
4 Bucs – This team isn’t going to be very good. I think coach Raheem Morris will be a good one but he doesn’t have the horses yet. RB Cadillac Williams will try to stay healthy and could contribute but it looks like a committee with Ward and Graham. Leftwich is the QB and you can’t help but root for him but he’ll get injured and their is a young, inexperienced guy behind him. Yikes! The defensive line is pretty good but the rest of the D is still a work in progress.

NFC West
1 Seahawks – Seattle is back. QB Matt Hasselback is finally healthy and he has TJ and John Carlson to throw the ball to. They also have a balanced running attack with Jones, James and Forsett. The defense should be improved this season with the additions of Kerney at DE and rookie linebacker Aaron Curry.
2 Cardinals – Last year must have seemed like a dream to Cards fans and I think 2009 is the wake up. They aren’t a bad team but they are a truly mediocre bunch. Warner is a good QB but time will eventually catch up to him. One thing the Cards have is a tremendous group of WRs in Fitzgerald, Boldin and Breaston. However I don’t see the running game being all that effective. If teams blitz Arizona a lot and hurt Warner this season will be over. Defensively the team is OK but not great. Their depth at key positions should be a concern.
3 49ers – If Singletary keeps his pants on it will be an improvement over last season. San Fran has RB Frank Gore and he will keep the offense moving, at least a bit. The Niners are still unsettled at the QB position and their #1 WR is still unsigned. The defense will be decent but I anticipate they will be on the field a lot.
4 Rams – This could be the worst team in football. Bulger and Jackson will have to run for their lives. The system has changed with new coach Steve Spagnola and it will be a few years before he gets the right people in place. The defense, more specifically the pass defense will be brutal. It would surprise me if they gave up an average of 30 points per game.

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2009 College Football Preview

1 – Florida
Tim Tebow still guides the offense and they return all 11 defensive starters. Once again the Gators are going to be tough to beat. The only question mark might be receiver with the loss of Harvin and Murphy. WRs Riley Cooper and Deonte Thomas are the replacements and should do very well. Florida’s toughest games will be on the road against LSU and on Halloween in Jacksonville against the Georgia Bulldogs.

2 – Texas
A late Crabtree TD was the only thing standing between the Horns and a battle with Florida for the National Title. This year they may just get their wish. QB Colt McCoy is one of the best QBs in the country and should compete for the Heisman Trophy. One of the college footballs best hook up should be McCoy to Jordan Shipley. Shipley is one of the more gifted receivers in the country. They are weak at running back but look for 240 pound freshman Chris Whaley to effectively pound the ball between the tackles. The Texas defense is young but extremely fast and talented. Growing pains are possible after losing Orakpo and Miller but the D should be solid. The Longhorn’s toughest games will be against Oklahoma and two weeks later in Stillwater against Oklahoma State.

3 – Oklahoma
Some players are a hit or miss and let me assure you QB Sam Bradford is a hit. He should push both Tebow and McCoy for the Heisman Trophy. When many of the NFL ready Sooners heard Bradford was coming back they did too. Most important of all would be LT Trent Williams and TE Jermaine Gresham. The Sooners are absolutely loaded in the backfield and at WR. This offensive unit should be one of the best. Defensively is a question mark however. They have plenty of talent like Granger (DT), Lewis (LB) and Franks (CB) but not much depth. Health on the defensive side of the ball is a key to this team’s success. Oklahoma also has one of the tougher schedules in the country and they could trip up once, or twice on their way to a New Year’s Day game. Oklahoma’s big games are v. BYU, @ Miami FL, v. Texas, @ Kansas, @ Nebraska, @ Texas Tech and the finale against Oklahoma State.

4 – USC
Simply put if Sanchez had stayed put I would have had USC #2 and playing the Gators for the title. Instead they will go with a QB by committee with Corp, Barkley and possibly Mustaine. Look for Coach Pete Carroll to hand the keys to the kingdom over to Freshman Matt Barkley. No matter whom the QB is they will have one of the nation’s best runners behind them in Joe McKnight. He will also have two great junior receivers in Johnson and Williams. The offensive line, as always, is solid and deep. The front seven on defense looks to be completely different as 5 of those members from last season went early in the NFL draft. They have depth and speed so the only thing lacking is game experience. The secondary should be dynamite led by future NFL 1st round pick Taylor Mays. USC’s big games are Ohio State, California, Notre Dame and Oregon all on the road.

5 – Ohio State
Ohio State should have one of the more entertaining offenses in the Big 10 with the Daunte Culpepper (the good one we remember) like Terrelle Pryor and a backfield nicknamed “Boom and Zoom”. They have a lot of big play targets in the receiver corps but the guy that might stand out is the possession stud Dane Sanzenbacher. He’ll catch just about anything thrown at him. The defense lost some big contributors in the secondary and linebacking corps. To offset the inexperience will be Gibson, Heyward, Williams, Thomas and Larimore. No, this isn’t a law firm but it is a group of dominant defensive linemen. They will be counted on to press the opposing QBs and contain the run. The defensive group will be led by senior middle linebacker Austin Spitler. Ohio State’s big games come against USC, Illinois and @ Penn State.

6 – Oklahoma State
The Cowboys have an awesome team led by QB Zac Robinson. He is entering his 3rd season as starting QB. He has great agility and has improved his downfield passing and accuracy. He is often overlooked due to McCoy, Tebow and Bradford. OSU has a very talented trio of runners. The trio, Hunter, Toston and Johnson will be used in a variety of formations to get at least two if not three of them on the field at the same time. Despite the Cowboys losing stud TE Brandon Pettigrew they do bring back stud WR Dez Bryant. He had 19 of the teams 25 receiving TDs last season. And to help these playmakers do their thing is one of the toughest groups of offensive linemen in the country. On defense the front 7 are awesome. The D-line is much improved and all three linebackers are seniors back from last year’s team. The only weak spot might be inexperience in the defensive backfield. That could be a crucial weakness against pass happy teams in their conference. OSU’s big games come against Georgia, Texas, Texas Tech and @ Oklahoma.

7 – Virginia Tech
The Hokies are led by junior QB Tyrod Taylor. His career thus far has been about potential and inconsistency. He has the potential to be a fine college QB and the talent around him should help. The offensive line is good but needs to protect Taylor better. The young, talented skill position players have plenty of speed and talent but need experience. Sophomore RB Darren Evans could have a big year as long as Beamer is patient. The Hokie offense rated 99th in the country last year and if they are to compete for a national title they’ll have to do better. The defense is very talented but young. The front seven are very inexperienced but have amazing upside. LB Barquell Rivers and DL John Graves should stand out. The defensive backfield is perhaps the best part of the defense. CB Stephan Virgil should be the leader of this talented group. VT’s big games come against Alabama in the opener, Nebraska and @ Georgia Tech.

8 – Ole Miss
Mississippi will go as far as QB Jevan Snead takes them. He is smart and accurate. He has the ability to put a team on his shoulders. He has the intangibles NFL teams love. Converted WR McCluster should be fine at RB. He was the star of the Cotton Bowl with unlimited potential in 2009. WR Pat Patterson will replace the departed Mike Wallace. RB McCluster should also continue to be a receiving target for Snead. Coach Nutt’s offensive line is big and nasty. He also pried freshman OT Bobbie Massie away from Alabama. The defense should also be a solid despite the absence of DT Peria Jerry. If healthy, DE Greg Hardy should be a stud and anchor a solid line. LB Patrick Trahan is another very talented player that should exceed expectations. The only weakness this team has is with their inexperienced defensive backfield. The talented front seven should help this young group and give them the time they’ll need to mature. The Rebel’s big games come against Alabama, @ Auburn and LSU.

9 – Alabama
Alabama is expected to have one of the toughest defenses in the country next season. Junior LB Rolando McClain and DT Terrance Cody lead this aggressive, talented group. The front seven look to be fast and furious but the defensive backfield may struggle just a bit after the departure of S Rashad Johnson. Offensively they remain talented but they lose 3-year starting QB John Parker Wilson. Look for RB Mark Ingram and WR Julio Jones to be the stars on this offense. Junior QB Greg McElroy is a bit of a question mark but early indicators say he will be an effective game manager as Bama’ moves the ball on the ground. Alabama’s big games come against VT in the opener, @ Kentucky and Ole Miss back-to-back and versus LSU in November.

10 – Boise State
The Broncos are loaded with speed and talent. Sophomore QB Kellen Moore is a stud and has a wide array of targets to choose from. RBs Avery and Harper should be a dynamic one-two punch. They also have some NFL quality tight ends and a pretty good offensive line. This offense should score a lot of points. The defense should be outstanding this season. The group only allowed a little over 12 points per game last season. The only potential weak spot is at linebacker and they have switched to a nickel style of D as their base package. In the pass happy WAC they should do just fine. The opener at Oregon proves to be their toughest test. After that the only challenging games appear to be on the road against Tulsa and Fresno State.

11 – Penn State
The Nittany Lions are a talented but thin group. Led by the vastly underrated double-threat QB Darryl Clark. While he is exciting he may be running for his life a little because of new personnel on the line. Clark will have some help on offense if RB Evan Royster can remain healthy. The receiving corps is a huge question mark so someone like WR Derek Moye or Brett Brackett will have to step up. The offensive line also lost some top players from 2008. A sophomore will be covering Darryl’s blind side. The reason I even have Penn State sniffing at the Top 10 is because of their solid defense. The D-line is led by Latimore, Hayes and Crawford. All of them are very talented but inexperienced. Hayes also needs to remain healthy. Linebacker Sean Lee is the leader. He is a smart kid with a lot of upside. The DBs are also inexperienced but extremely quick and athletic. They had better be after getting torched by USC in the Rose Bowl. Another reason Penn State is around the Top 10 is because of their easy schedule. Akron, Temple, Eastern Illinois and Syracuse aren’t exactly tough games. The games at Illinois and at home against Ohio State are probably their toughest.

12 – California
The Cal Bears, led by RB Javhid Best have a realistic shot at a BCS bid. QB Kevin Riley had his issues last season but looks to improve this season behind a very talented, young offensive line. The receiving corps is a bit of a question mark but it was a very inexperienced group last season that should improve. The defense returns 8 starters and should be very good. Seniors Tyson Alualu and junior Cameron Jordan are an awesome defensive end combo. They are very aggressive and quick. Both players will be in the pros in the very near future. They return their entire defensive backfield and it should be one of the best in the country. The only weak spot should be at the linebacker position. There is some inexperience there but plenty of talent, especially in Mike Mohammed. Cal’s schedule isn’t particularly difficult which is good. They play @ Oregon and home against USC back-to-back. That could be there BCS game right there. The only other game that should be challenging is at home against Oregon State a few of weeks later.

13 – Georgia Tech
The Yellow Jackets return 16 guys from a 9 win team a year ago. QB Josh Nesbitt and RB Jonathan Dwyer return to lead one of the more explosive offenses in the ACC. GTech is all run and very little pass. Despite the lack of a passing attack they do have some pretty big play receivers. Now that Nesbitt is comfortable with the new offense, look for GTech to open things up through the air a little more. The defense should be solid all the way around but the strength is the defensive backfield. The front seven are talented but they have had injury issues and they lack depth. If they can remain healthy they will be one of the better units in the ACC. The schedule is too difficult but they do have a few tough games like @ Miami and versus North Carolina back-to-back. They also play Virginia Tech and @ Florida State. They finish the season with the rival Georgia Bulldogs.

14 – LSU
The Tigers had a rough season in 2008 but should rebound and be better in 2009. Untested Sophomore QB Jordan Jefferies guides the offense with his arm and his legs. He should be an exciting player to watch. He’ll have help with outstanding players like RB Charles Scott, WR Brandon LaFell and LT Ciron Black. There should be enough talent to stick with the top teams and beat up on the lesser ones. The defense is a different story. This group is under new coaching. They struggled mightily in 2008. This current group lacks experience but not talent. DE Rahim Alem and S Chad Jones should be the leaders. The schedule doesn’t look too bad for LSU but they will have to play Alabama and Ole Miss on the road near the end of the season.

15 – Notre Dame
The Fighting Irish of Notre Dame have a lot of things working for them this season. The first thing working for them is Charlie Weis taking over the play calling. He is an offensive genius and belongs in the box calling plays. ND has an experienced offense led by junior quarterback Jimmy Clausen and a set of big-play receivers in Golden Tate and Maurice Floyd. The running game should also be solid with the double threat of Armando Allen and Robert Hughes. The defense should also be good but the D-line is a huge question mark. They are young and inexperienced and the Irish will be counting on young stud Ethan Johnson. The linebackers and defensive backs are stellar for the Irish. The schedule also works in ND’s favor with no Top 25 team in the first 5 games. They host USC and Boston College after that but then finish with 5 more non-ranked teams.

16 – UNC
Something old, something new and something blue for the UNC Tar Heels. Nothing borrowed from what I can tell. The offense has new coordinators and a lot of new faces. Returning on offense is talented QB TJ Yates. He is a double threat and will need to have an outstanding season for UNC to do well. The running game is a huge question mark and many of last year’s WRs are now in the NFL. WRs Rashad Mason and Greg Little are short on experience but long on talent. The defense is a different story where most of the members are returning and planning on wreaking havoc on the teams of the ACC. DT Cam Thomas and DE EJ Wilson look to be the studs on a solid D-line. The linebackers are a fast group and the D-backs are experienced and talented. However, it will be important for this group to produce more turnovers in 2009. The schedule is favorable if you look at non-conference opponents. However, in the ACC they have to play @ Georgia Tech early in the season, they host Florida State then go to Virginia Tech in the middle and then finish up at home against Miami and at Boston College.

17 – Georgia
Last year’s preseason #1 team did nothing but disappoint. They also lost players like QB Matt Stafford and RB Knowshon Moreno. Replacing them are Senior QB Joe Cox and RB Caleb King. The offense will be largely RB by committee with King getting most of the carries. The offensive star in 2009 should be WR A J Green. He showed flashes of brilliance last season and should break out this year. On a positive note these new skill players will be playing behind a very skilled offensive line which should help. The strength of these Dawgs is the defense. The line is led by stud D-lineman Jeff Owens. The back 7 are led by LB Rennie Curran, LB Marcus Washington and S Reshed Jones. This group is talented and quick and should more than make up for any growing pains on the offensive side of the ball. The schedule is not kind as the Dawgs visit the OSU Cowboys right out of the gate. They also play @LSU, @ Tennessee and host Florida. They wrap up the season against an improved Kentucky team and @ Georgia Tech.

18 – Illinois
This might be a surprise pick to some but I think Illinois has the talent to be the 3rd best team in the Big 10. The Illini are led by exciting Junior QB Juice Williams who has the talent to be a Top 10 passer in college football. Helping him achieve that goal is stud WR Arrelious Benn and Florida transfer Jarred Fayson. One thing that hurt the team in 2009 was the lack of a running game. This continues to be a big question mark for the Illini but Sophomore Jason Ford could turn out to be a pleasant surprise. Defensively Illinois is solid. The only question mark is the D-line but Corey Liuget and Doug Pilcher should do very well. The back 7 are very talented, led by LB Martez Wilson who is looking to have a monster comeback season. The schedule isn’t too bad but it is very unbalanced. At the front part of the schedule they have @ Ohio State and then host Penn State and Michigan State back to back to back. The final 7 games are against unranked opponents.

19 – Kansas
Simply put the Jayhawks will go as far as Todd Reesing’s arm and Jake Sharp’s legs take them. They also have two of the better WRs in the conference in Briscoe and Meier. The KU offense should be dynamite. Unfortunately I don’t have too many nice words for the defense. It was terrible against the pass last year and they’ll struggle again this season. They do have more speed but lack the depth and talent to compete against the conferences top teams. A weak non-conference schedule should get the Jayhawks off to a quick start. However the middle to late part of the schedule includes Oklahoma, @ Texas Tech, Nebraska and @ Texas.

20 – Oregon
The Ducks have a new coach in Chip Kelly but expect similar results. This team certainly lacks leadership as most of the linemen are gone on both sides of the ball. However, where they lack in leadership they thrive in talent and speed. Leading that charge is 2nd year QB Jeremiah Masoli. Masoli may struggle as the Ducks are thin at RB but he has Holland, Cantu and Tuinei to throw to. The success of the very young and inexperience offensive line will be the difference between double digit wins and struggling to make a decent bowl game. On defense there is good and not so good. Good are the bookends Reed and Tukuafu on the line. Both should provide plenty of pressure on opposing QBs. DT Casey Matthews is a future star and should be one of the PAC 10’s top run stuffers. The not so good part is the rest of the defense. The linebacking corps is very thin and the defensive backfield lost Chung and Byrd to the NFL. Too make matters worse is the very challenging schedule ahead. They play @ Boise State, v. Utah, v. California, @ UCLA and v. USC.

21 – Oregon State
Coach Mike Riley churns out competitive teams that win bowl games but this season could be a bit of a challenge. They already have a question mark at QB with Lyle Moevao having off-season shoulder surgery. He isn’t what you would call a stud QB but he is efficient and knows the offense. The OSU offense will depend heavily on young RB Jacquizz Rodgers. He had a phenomenal year last year and there is no reason he can’t improve upon his impressive numbers. The Beavers lost to Senior WRs from last years team and will lean heavily on talented WR James Rodgers. The rest of that group is very thin. On defense there is also a lot of transition. The D-Line and defensive backfield have a lot of new faces. They have plenty of speed but very little experience. Linebackers Kristick, Pankey and Pa’aluhi are the strength of this year’s defense. They will be counted on to hold teams down while the other young defenders gain experience. The Beavers have a light early part of the schedule with a home game against Cincinnati being their toughest match up. The middle and end of the schedule is much more difficult with games at USC, California and Oregon.

22 – Michigan State
The Spartans and Illini should be neck and neck for 3rd best in the conference. A huge question mark is at QB where two sophomores, Cousins and Nichol, will compete for the starting job. Hopefully for the Spartans this QB competition will be over before the Big 10 schedule kicks in. The RB situation is also up in the air with 4 freshman and sophomores battling it out. Dell, Martin and White aren’t a law firm. They are a deadly trio of receivers the QBs will have to choose from. Look for the Spartans to open it up once they settle on a QB. The defense should be very good, led by DE Trevor Anderson and LB Greg Jones. The unit is fast and aggressive. CBs Ross Weaver and Chris Rucker will give opposing team’s WRs a very difficult time. The Spartans schedule looks to have several road blocks @ Notre Dame, @ Illinois and the last game at home against Penn State. They don’t have to play Ohio State this season but games at Wisconsin and Minnesota could prove tough.

23 – Florida State
The Seminoles aren’t quite the national powerhouse they used to be but if everything goes right they could crash the Top 20. One thing FSU has going for it is QB Chris Ponder and the returning offensive line. Ponder is a smart QB and a bit of a double threat. He should make the offense exciting. The running game is an important part of the Bowden offense and either Jermaine Thomas or Ty Jones is going to have to step up. The receiving corps is extremely thin after graduations and dismissals. They will depend heavily on an inexperienced incoming class to carry the load. Keep your eye on WR Cameron Wade. The defense has gone through a lot of changes and may be inconsistent. One thing consistent will be the play of senior LB Dekoda Watson who may be one of the best linebackers in college football. The defensive line appears to be small and inconsistent. Lineman Kendrick Stewart will have to have a huge year. The defensive backfield is a little thin and lacks consistency. CB Patrick Robinson could be in for a good season but he needs to stay healthy. FSU has one final issue and that is the schedule. It is tough. They start off against Miami (FL), @BYU, v. Georgia Tech, @ North Carolina and @ Florida to finish the regular season. Not too mention all of the other tough conference games.

24 – TCU
TCU should once again be in the running for a Mountain West title. QB Andy Dalton is a three year starter and is flanked by talented RBs Ryan Christian and Joseph Turner. This team will run it down your throat and pass only when they have to. That being said Andy doesn’t have too many options through the air. The defense is solid. It was one of the best units in the country last year and should be good again. DE Jerry Hughes and LB Darryl Washington will lead a group that is only bringing back 4 starters. The only thing keeping TCU from the Top 20 and a possible BCS date is the schedule. TCU is at Virginia and Clemson to start the season. This is good BCS strategy, unless they fall to one or both of them. They play a tough game at BYU in the middle of the season and at home against Utah at the end.

25 – Nebraska
The Cornhuskers have a very nice team and could be better if the QB situation works out. QB Patrick Witt transferred leaving Zac Lee as the heir apparent. Zac is a double threat but will need time and patience from the coaching staff. While Zac is learning RB Roy Helu Jr. will be counted on heavily to move this offense. He put on weight in the off-season and should be a real force between he tackles. The best receiver on the team is probably the TE Mike McNeill. He is big, quick and has the ability to stretch the field. One luxury all of them have is playing behind the always steady Nebraska offensive line. The defensive line, led by Ndamukong Suh, should be very good. They have plenty of talent and speed. LBs Koehler and Dillard are also excellent players. The front 7, sometimes 6, should be a very good group. The D-backs are also a strength with several coming back from last year’s team. Eric Hagg and Prince Amukamara should be the stars of that group. The schedule should prove to be a bit of a challenge. The Huskers travel to Virginia Tech in the 3rd week. The other tough games will be Texas Tech, Oklahoma and @ Kansas.

On the outside looking in: Iowa, Utah, Texas Tech, UCLA, West Virginia, Cincinnati, Miami (FL), BYU, Minnesota, East Carolina, Houston and Arkansas.

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