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ESPN Writer Gives His College Football Top 25 for 2004

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ESPN Writer Gives His College Football Top 25 for 2004

Old 03-11-04, 05:04 PM
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ESPN Writer Gives His College Football Top 25 for 2004


1. USC
Losing Mike Williams is big, but hearing before spring practice will help sophomore wideouts Steve Smith and Whitney Lewis adjust. The Trojans also signed one of the best recruiting classes in years. Given Pete Carroll's philosophy about playing freshmen, they should help bolster what is already a very talented team.

2. LSU
Matt Mauck's departure will affect the offense, but the Tigers won with defense. The defense still looks powerful.

3. Georgia
The Bulldogs lost safety Sean Jones to the NFL draft, but the decision by defensive end and spiritual leader David Pollack to return for his senior season means a great deal to what is still a young team.

4. Oklahoma
The Sooners remain loaded on defense, and once more have issues with their running game. That has been their m.o. during the Stoops era, so expect the same level of success.

5. Miami
Huge losses on defense, with the early NFL departures of safety Sean Taylor and tackle Vince Wilfork, but the 'Canes depth should make the difference.

6. Texas
Yes, the Longhorns woo all of us every spring, then disappear at crucial moments in the fall. But Mack Brown gets four stars for hiring veteran defensive minds Greg Robinson and Dick Tomey to overhaul the defense. They will make a difference.

7. Florida State
The Seminoles are younger on defense than I first realized, but man, what an offense.

8. Michigan
Wolverine fans celebrated when none of the celebrated juniors left early, but the decisions by wideout Braylon Edwards, defensive back Marlin Jackson and offensive lineman David Baas came as no surprise. They will form the backbone of another formidable Michigan team.

9. Maryland
In Ralph We Trust.

10. Utah
A lot of readers disagreed with my decision to rank the Utes 14th in my January poll. I think they missed an important component of polling. The champions of the Mountain West and Mid-American Conferences, if they are one-loss teams, will rise this high in the polls. Utah is good enough to be 10-1 this year.

11. California
12. West Virginia
13. Ohio State
14. Tennessee
15. Iowa
16. Auburn
17. Missouri
18. Clemson
19. Florida
20. Virginia
21. Purdue
22. Kansas State
23. Minnesota
24. Oregon State
25. Toledo
Old 03-11-04, 05:20 PM
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Seems pretty decent to me.

I'm a little surprised at how high both Maryland and WVU are.

I'd put them both around 15. A lot of UMD's success will depend on how the new QB does. WVU has to fill some gaps on Defense, but only lost 4 significant players last year (RB Wilson, Consensus 1st all-american LB Wiley, and DB's King and Frazier) so they should be very good and don't have Miami or Wisconsin on the schedule next year.
Old 03-11-04, 05:56 PM
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without studying it closely, it seems pretty accurate to me

for the maryland fans.. what does the 2004 schedule look like? just curious if the new teams will make the schedule much tougher to keep a seeding that high
Old 03-12-04, 10:08 AM
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Doesn't MD have to play FSU(can't ever beat them), Miami and VT this year? If so that's a hell of a schedule with at least 2 losses and probably 3 just right there.
Old 03-12-04, 10:17 AM
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I stand corrected. THey just play FSU and VA Tech.
Old 03-12-04, 12:24 PM
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Maryland's Schedule:

Northern Illiinois
@West Virginia
Georgia Tech
NC State
Florida State
@Virginia Tech
Wake Forest

So a fairly easy schedule for a BCS conference team, they could definitely end up at the top ten if whoever the new QB is plays well quickly.
Old 03-12-04, 04:54 PM
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I really wish Pollack had left, but even so, seeing UGA at #3 always warms my heart. I'll enjoy watching them blow another season with a roster packed with talent.

Old 03-12-04, 10:47 PM
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Re: ESPN Writer Gives His College Football Top 25 for 2004

Originally posted by Bill Geiger
11. California

Nice to see the Bears getting some respect. I don't think we're really *THIS* good but I think we'll be the best challenge for U$C in the Pac-10. Especially since we were the only ones to beat them last season...

PS I can't believe I'm actually looking forward to college football season now that Cal basketball is over...

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