LSU: With all the talk about Urban Meyer going to Florida and the “ballcoach” at South Carolina, 918kiss not many folks are talking about Les Miles coming over from Oklahoma State replacing Nick Saban at LSU. Throw in the fact that unheralded Bo Pelini is running the defense there now, this team could sneak up on some people even though they are the best in the SEC West.
LSU did lose a few talented players on defense, but they still have great depth. Assuming JeMarcus Russell wins the QB battle, he should be a lot better this seaon and the team returns most of their weapons from last season. Add to the fact that Tennessee and Florida both have to come to Baton Rouge this year, an undefeated season isn’t a far-fetched goal.
USC: They’re still head and shoulders above the rest of the Pac-10, but they do have to travel to Oregon early in the season, and to California in Novenmber. Add to the fact that everyone gets up for USC, it could be a bumpier road than many expect for the Trojans in 2005.
Penn State: Still not buying in to the talk of Penn State and Paterno’s “rebirth” this season. They have some nice young players who can play major roles this year, but the Big 10 is just too tough and no way are they at the level to compete with the Michigan’s, Iowa’s and Ohio State’s of the conference. I wish Paterno would have retired a few years ago. They could be 5-0 going into the Ohio State game, but the 2nd half of the schedule is brutal. They’ll lose 4 of their last 6.
Pittsburgh has one of the top QB’s in the nation with Tyler Palko. I’m not sure how new coach Dave Wannstedt will react to having a top signal-caller, he never got to coach one in Chicago or Miami. We’ll find out in the first game of the season, when they welcome Notre Dame and new coach Charlie Weiss to town. I’ll be interested to see how ND QB Brady Quinn has progressed under the tuteledge of Weiss. Could be a shootout.