Tuesday, April 28, 2009

LEE'S 2009 PRESEASON COLLEGE FOOTBALL TOP 25


The spring college football season has come to a close. So naturally — with four months to go before they strap the pads back on — we will start talking polls.

Sure, it's a bit early, but listed below is my Preseason Top 25 college football poll (which I'm sure will be changed 150 more times before the August kickoff):

1. Florida
The national champs return 19 of 22 starters, including quarterback Tim Tebow. There's really no argument about the Gators beginning the season No. 1.

2. Texas
Longhorns' quarterback, Colt McCoy, returns for his senior season. He didn't pass up a possible No. 1 spot in the NFL Draft to play in another Fiesta Bowl, that's for sure. The Horns lose some talent like DE Brian Orakpo and WR Quan Cosby, but there is still plenty of talent left in Austin to make a title run in '09.

3. Oklahoma
Heisman Trophy winning quarterback, Sam Bradford, returns to Norman, hoping to help the Sooners book a trip to Pasadena, site of this year's BCS Title Game. October 17 against Texas will decide if that ticket gets punched or not.

4. USC
Mark Sanchez, Rey Maualuga, Brian Cushing, Clay Matthews, Kaluka Maiava and Kevin Ellison are all gone. But nobody reloads like the Pete Carroll-led Trojans. September 12 in Columbus will be the litmus test.

5. Ohio State
The tremendous growth of quarterback Terrelle Pryor as a passer this spring has the entire college football world buzzing. The Buckeyes lost a ton of talent to the NFL. But, the unrivaled ability of Pryor, and another fairly weak schedule, will keep the Buckeyes in the hunt for Pasadena all season long.

The rest of the Top 25
6. LSU
7. Alabama
8. Mississippi
9. Oklahoma State
10. Virginia Tech
11. Georgia Tech
12. Oregon
13. Penn State
14. California
15. Boise State
16. Utah
17. Georgia
18. Iowa
19. Florida State
20. Notre Dame
21. North Carolina
22. Kansas
23. Miami (Fla.)
24. Pittsburgh
25. Texas Christian