From today’s College Football News comes a piece rating the conferences for the upcoming season:
6. ACC – Call this a prove-it year for the ACC after a disastrous 2006. Miami and Florida State still aren’t quite up to past snuff making the league look a little more down than it actually is. Georgia Tech, Boston College, Clemson, Maryland, and yes, Wake Forest, are going to be fantastic, while Virginia Tech should be good enough to be in the mix for the national title. If Virginia and North Carolina can improve, the league will move up the overall conference rankings. So why is the league sixth? The others got better, too.
The best team should be … Virginia Tech
5. Big Ten – After one of the league’s worst years in a long, long time, with Ohio State, Michigan, Wisconsin, Penn State, and a bunch of garbage, things should bounce back. Wisconsin is loaded with one of its best teams since the Rose Bowl years, Michigan’s offense will be unstoppable, and Ohio State’s defense should be phenomenal. Penn State will be in the mix for the Big Ten title if all the holes can be filled and if QB Anthony Morelli can improve. Just about everyone else should be improved with Iowa certain to bounce back, Purdue, Michigan State and Minnesota good enough to go to bowls, and the projected also-rans, Illinois, Indiana and Northwestern, all appearing to be far, far better.
The best team should be … Wisconsin
4. Pac 10 – It’s not just USC and a bunch of other teams. While the Trojans will likely be the preseason No. 1, Cal has its best team yet under Jeff Tedford, UCLA is loaded and has the potential to be a top-ten team, Oregon should be more consistent, Oregon State has its best team since the Fiesta Bowl winner of 2000, Arizona State should be better under Dennis Erickson, and the rest of the league is full of improving, pesky teams, most notably Arizona.
The best team should be … USC
3. Big East – While the Big East might not be the best conference in the country, it’s loaded with more good teams than ever. West Virginia, Louisville and Rutgers will all be in the national title chase, Pitt, after a few years of great recruiting, should finally be the team Dave Wannstedt wants, South Florida is good enough to shock the top teams and win the conference title, Cincinnati will be more than fine with Brian Kelly at the helm, Connecticut is older and better, and Syracuse, well, Syracuse should be a little better. This should be a fascinating race.
The best team should be … West Virginia
2. Big 12 – Yes, the conference is back as long as the North holds up its end of the bargain. Kansas State, Kansas and Iowa State should be better, and Colorado can’t be any worse, but the real stars will be Missouri and Nebraska with the Huskers possibly in the national title chase. The South should be a killer with Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and Texas A&M each standing a puncher’s chance of knocking off Texas or Oklahoma for the title.
The best team should be … Texas
1. SEC – And it’s not even close. You could flip around the other five BCS conferences in any way and it’d be hard to argue against the order, but there’s no way anyone but the SEC can be named on top. [Emphasis added.] Florida, LSU, Tennessee, Georgia, Arkansas and Auburn would be among the favorites to win any other conference in the country, while South Carolina isn’t far behind. Kentucky is good enough to go back to a bowl, while Vanderbilt has the experience to finally get back to the post-season. Alabama will be a nasty out with Nick Saban coaching. You could do a lot worse than Ole Miss and Mississippi State for the bottom feeders.
The best team should be … LSU
Obviously, CFN didn’t get the letter.