Quote Originally Posted by Snoop65 View Post
From ESPN' s way to early top 25 list today.

2014 record:*10-3, 6-2 ACC

Returning starters:*7 offense, 3 defense, 1 special teams

Key personnel losses:*DE*Vic Beasley, DT*DeShawn Williams, DT*Grady Jarrett, OT*Kalon Davis, G*David Beasley, LBStephone Anthony, S*Robert Smith, LB*Tony Steward

The skinny:*After losing three starters on the offensive line and its entire defensive front, Clemson's biggest priority in recruiting was rebuilding both of its lines. The Tigers filled those needs in a big, big way. The Tigers were able to land three of the country's top 11 offensive tackles (Mitch Hyatt,*Jake Fruhmorgen*and*Noah Green) and two of the top 15 defensive tackles (Christian Wilkins*and*Sterling Johnson). They also landed two highly coveted skill players in receiver*Deon Cain*and tight end*Garrett Williams. A lot of eyes will be on Clemson's offense this spring, as it begins to move on without former offensive coordinator Chad Morris, who is now SMU's head coach. QuarterbackDeshaun Watson, who underwent surgery in mid-December to repair a torn ACL, isn't expected to participate in spring practice.

As we have discussed over the years here, preseason polls mean squat. Still, in the dead of Winter they are fun.
Many different sports services will come out with them. There will be some now, then some after Spring Practice, then some during Fall practice and finally the official ones (which also mean squat).

As snoop posted above, the pre-preseason ESPN Poll is out.


1- Ohio State
2 - TCU
3 - USC (the real one)
4 - Alabama
5 - Baylor
6 - Oregon
7 - Michigan state
8 - Georgia
9 - UCLA
10 - C L E M S O N
11 - Notre Dame
12 - Auburn
13 - Arizona
14 - Ole Miss
15 - Florida State
16 - LSU
17 - Wisconsin
18 - Arizona State
19 - Georgia tech
20 - Tenn
21 - Bosie
22 - Arkansas
23 - Texas
24 - Missouri
25 - Louisville

What do yall think about it?
Come on, play with us.

First off, CLEMSON is not #10. Well, they may be #!, but just looking at them on paper, maybe #25. All those new recruits snoop mentioned will not be on the field until 2016. The nation's #1 Defense has graduated and off to the NFL. There is still no proven running back (maybe a freshman?) I think ESPN is seeing the injured teen QB Watson as a super hero. He may indeed be that, but he will get busted up again if the "O" line can't improve. My expectations for the 2015 Tigers is very high, but I am a Homer. On paper they don't look like much. Unlike the ESPN guys who have to look at 125 teams, I know every guy and have watched them develop. These guys have character and play as a team. Clemson don't do super stars, they just appear on game day and all others days are students. With a little "jell time" and a little luck, the 2015 Tigers could go 12-0. I know that rarley happens for a team, but believe me, the cupboard is not bare. No one on this team is saying "wait until next year". Why should they? On paper they look like maybe 7-6. 2016 will be a big step up, but you can win some $$ in Vegas by taking the TIGERS also in 2015 to at least go 10-2. These boys are chomping at the bit to show they should have started last year. Win or loose, Clemson puts a "team" on the field.

Florida State is not #15. Crablegs Winston has gone on the the pros, but Florida State has talent stacked like Alabama now. This is a top 5 team. Like many teams, they will have a new QB but that does not mean it will be a bad one. After a few years as just a top ten team, Florida State is back for a long run. Thugs are lining up to play there as none will be prosecuted for crimes.

TCU and Baylor are on the rise, but do they have a second year's run in them? These are not historical power houses, but damned they look good now. Of the two, I believe Baylor is the one to watch over the next few seasons.

USC at #3 is part of the historical mind set pollsters exibit each year. Some schools get a pass due to history. MAYBE USC is back, but until they show somthing, this is too high. To be #3 means they have to roll over the Pac 12. Maybe they will, but maybe they won't. There are a lot of good teams there now. This is too high until they show us something.

Georgia at #8 is OK. Another team with a new QB. If they were #3, that would suit me better.

There is no meirt in having Notre Dame over the next several teams other than they are Notre Dame. That ain't worked for them in a decade, but every year they get put near the top, and then get embarrassed. They got most everybody coming back, but "everybody" did not do squat last year.

Auburn at #12 below many teams ahead is a joke. Nobody pays more for good players than Auburn, althought Ole Miss is bidding very high the last couple years. Auburn is putting in a $14mil scoreboard that is 200ft wide. I would like to see that bad boy. Here is the real preseason deal, anytime Alabama, Auburn, and LSU are not ranked top 5, politics are at play.

Tenn and Ark are top 25? On paper they certainly are. Historically they are also. How long can TN be held down? Hell, I would just go ahead and throw Florida back in the top 25 and maybe put Michigan at #26. These schools spare no expense, have a great fan base and "bleed" to win. Will this be the year the upstarts like Clemson, Baylor, TCU, and the Arizona teams get pushed to the rear?

Texas is in their because they are "TEXAS", don't think they will hang.

..... and the sleeper is (ESPN got this right) --> Louisville. They went out and hired a coach no one would touch as he has a shady history of ?? On the other hand, he is one of the top 5 coaches in the USA. Keeping to form, recruited a local SC kid and one day before signing day told the kid they had no room. The kid had turned down other scholarships and now is left with maybe no scholarship. His name is now mudd in SC, but his name was already that. The guy will do anything to win and he knows how to do that. Louisville decided it wants to play with the big boys, and they got the right guy. #25 is too low for this team. Evey week they will field a team that comes to win and not just in spirit, but preparation. Clemson would have lost to them last year, but "GOD" was on our side.

This pre-pre poll from ESPN is important as they are the big dog in the house. Other sportwiters will come out with one but will be afraid to drift too far from this so as to appear "knowledgable". All with throw in a couple wild card things to appear like they have a damn "clue".

Here on YardCrap you get the real "clue" from a fan who has sacrificed his liver while studing the game as a spectator for decades:

Pre-pre polls are just for fun.
Pre polls are not just for fun but just as silly.
$$ counts, as does the funny way the ball can bounce (should a football be round? - NO!)
Historical powers like Texas, Michigan, Florida, USC will bounce back. Upstarts like Clemson will have a year here and there.

Talent is nearly eveything. Recruiting is nearly everything. The schools with $$ get the best, have in the past and will in the future. In the ACC it is UNC, Florida State, and Miami. Lately schools like Duke, Clemson and Ga tech have been giving them a fit. VT is not normal, who the fuck knows what Beemer is about other than winning?
Clemson got one 5star recruit this year, I think Alabama got like 19 and the rest went to schools mentioned above. For the top coaches, $$ is no object and still a deal if they win. The Clemson coach is getting peanuts,middle of the pack even in the ACC. I vote to give him $20 mil a year. Alabam's Saban is the highest paid coach. What he or many coaches really make is not known. Saban is a damned bargain for them. He has covevered his salary 50 times over, maybe more.

Auburn is putting up a $14 mil scoreboard and most teams will not make that much this year. Clemson is building a $62 mil faciliaty for all campus athletes (paid for by football). This is not tax money, student money, or academic money. Academics benefit, students benefit, the college benefits. It is no wonder schools like Louisville and Baylor are stepping up to the plate (trough) in a big way.

Fuck the historical powers and all their $$ and 5star players. New colleges are joining the game in a big way and have no respect for 5star recruits or history - just play the game.

Lots of talent out there now, and it takes guys like Dabo to judge who is a fit. Dabo was just a walk on player, tends to look at things other than star ratings.

Look back two years when I posted about a kid 10 miles from campus who got a scholorship to play linebacker. He was too small, but had a blue collar attitude and shows up to compete every practice. He just packs his lunch box like blue collar guys do and shows up to work hard. He got a couple offers, but had been a Tiger all his life. Dabo said come on over here boy. He rode the bench a year and kept working. In the bowl game against Oklahoma this year he was moved to starter for the first half only as the all star starter was unfairly called for a foul in a game. . Ben Boulware did not play the entire game as the starter came back on in the 2nd half but .. . had a team-tying-high six tackles, 0.5 tackles for loss, a recovered fumble and a 47-yard interception return for a touchdown against No. 24 Oklahoma in the Russell Athletic Bowl on Dec. 29. He was named co-defensive player of the bowl game on a team that was ranked #1 in the nation.
This year the guy who lacks real talent will be working for the starting job - any bets? He has impressed Dabo by making honor roll every term.

I reference this as I am distressing from a visit to my doctor today and drinking beer as I enjoy my porch and my life. I have time and no one has to read this.

The point on this preseason pols thread is that these are paper predictions as we don't know who will be kicking ass once the gun goes off. For every Winston or Marriota, there is a Ben Boulware no one has heard of - yet! Ben don't care how many stars you have, if you run his way this "too small" guy is hitting you like a ton of lunch pail.

Clemson has other guys like that as does Baylor, TCU, VT, Ga Tech, and many other teams. I don't mean to understate talent. I am just saying, talent is hard to judge, and sometimes a 5star who goes off track is less than a 3 start that is in an enviroment to bring out his best.

Leonard Fournette at LSU is the fun guy to watch this year. He is super human. Chubb at Georgia is a beer barrel that amazes. Lets get up a poll of who will be the best running back this year. I belive the day of running back may be dead in the NFL, but is supreme in college football.
That should count more in preseason polls.

That is why we never should place Alabama as less than #1 preseason unless we are just being cute. A five star line to open up for 5star running backs is a killer. The QB at Alabama is new and who?, but like I said, new at many schools (like Clemson).
Here in my back yard, Alabama is #1 preseason. On paper they only lack a proven QB as do many. Bear Bryant used to lock in a couple hundred guys to scholarship just so the competition could not get them. Now the limit is 85, not unlimited. On top of that social media is spreading the talent out more. Even Notre Dame is not the juggernault of the past.

College Football is the best spectator sport, 2nd is drinking beer and being an expert.