Is 2010 the new 2007?

Phil Steele’s projection of Oklahoma as the preseason number one team has certainly gotten its share of virtual tongues wagging.  Here’s something from Matt Hinton’s reflection on Steele’s pick that got me to thinking:

… There are precedent for such a rebound, too. Beginning with Oklahoma’s out-of-nowhere BCS championship run in 2000, three teams in the last decade – the 2000 Sooners, Ohio State in 2002 and LSU in 2003 – have rebounded from unranked, five-loss seasons to win the BCS championship, all with expectations of far more modest improvement. Two others, Washington in 2000 and Auburn in 2004, came off five-loss seasons to finish within very plausible striking distance of a BCS title shot, and Alabama surged from 7-6 in 2007 to within half a quarter of a BCS championship bid following a 12-0 regular season in 2008.

And when you consider the glaring flaws of the Crimson Tide as the consensus No. 1 going into this fall – again, nine new starters on defense; nine – 2010 seems to scream for an outside-the-box contender to emerge from the pack. Frankly, outside of the unanimous top three (‘Bama, Boise State and Ohio State), a healthy, rejuvenated Oklahoma makes about as much sense at No. 1 as anyone else.

Take a look at Steele’s top 10.  Or make up your own, if you prefer.  Is there any team on such a list that you feel as confident about winning this year’s MNC as, say,  Texas, Florida or Alabama did last season?  I mean, Matt’s right about the consensus top three:  ‘Bama is looking at huge changes on defense and questions about its special teams; Boise State may have a clearly defined path to the title game, but it’s still got to win those games against Virginia Tech and Oregon State first; and, yeah, it’s easy to see Ohio State playing in the title game, but winning it?

You can say the same thing about the SEC.  Steele has four teams from the conference ranked between 15 and 21 – Auburn, Arkansas, Georgia and South Carolina.  We’ve hashed around their flaws and upsides plenty.  But what if it turns out that everybody’s PH™ is semi-justified and all of those programs are much improved in 2010?  That would have the makings of one wild and crazy season.

To which I say:  bring it on.  2007 is my benchmark for college football entertainment (hell, LSU’s season by itself was a benchmark – a MNC with two triple-overtime losses isn’t something you see every day).  That year defined “wide open” all the way down to the very last weekend of the regular season.  Maybe things are shaping up to give us another year for the ages.  I won’t complain if they do, that’s for sure.  Besides, it beats listening to more speculative crap about Big Ten expansion.

14 Comments

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14 responses to “Is 2010 the new 2007?

  1. JC in Powder Springs

    This may be getting off the point a bit, but I believe the Dawg’s returning talent stacks up well against any team out there. Yes, we have a new QB. But other teams ranked much higher than the Dawgs have serious flaws too. Ask yourself if you’d rather have 10 returnees on O with a new QB, or 9 newbees on D. If CMR and staff can get their act back together, it could be a very good year for the Dawgs.

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  2. hassan

    The only thing holding us back in the rankings is doubt. IF we get good production out of a young QB and IF the D gels (both of which I believe will happen), then we’ll rocket up the polls after a couple of games.

    On the other hand, if we sleepwalk through LA-La and win a sloppy nail biter at SC, then we’re not doing ourselves any favors setting the tone for the year.

    Nobody is saying that we are particularly bad at any one position. It’s just that it’s a complete mystery in a few key spots.

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  3. Bryan Evans

    Dear those who would hype OU:

    Take a look at my play last year. Remind yourself who’s coaching OU’s DBs this year.

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  4. ConnGator

    Yes, 2010 is the new 2007 with Bama in place of Florida. As I have said before, losing 9 defensive starters means no SEC championship. Just hope they can beat Michigan in the Citrus Bowl.

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  5. RC

    Why not us, indeed? I really hate to get ahead of myself and/or start throwing out unrealistic expectations, but damn…why not? Like many have said, as long as Murray manages games effectively, this team should win 10, but they can absolutely win more. New DC with a new scheme? not insurmountable by a long shot. Ask an Aubie how Al Borges’ first year turned out. The circumstances aren’t entirely different. Ask a Gator how Bob Stoops’ first year turned out.

    The X-factor in all of this is our OL. If they play to their capabilities and dominate like they should, then it takes pressure off our perceived two biggest weaknesses- rookie QB and a defense in transition.

    As the senator has posed before- TO margin can only regress to the mean, and with our kickers…

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  6. Pingback: DawgsOnline » Why not Oklahoma?

  7. As a Missouri fan, I’d just like to add that I ABSOLUTELY endorse 2010 becoming the new 2007.

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  8. Mayor of Dawgtown

    2010 the new 2007? Sure, only this time let UGA win the tiebreaker, beat the SEC West champ and then stomp a weak-assed Big Televen team to win the BCSNC.

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  9. Rum-Dawg Millionaire

    a couple of years ago we were all looking at the tentative schedule for the 2010 season and saying “2010 looks like our year.”

    My opinion hasn’t changed.

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