Hondo announces the pre-season Spartan Nation top 25!

Hondo S. Carpenter

Pre-Season Spartan Nation College Football Top 25

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  1. OSU Yes they have loses at LB but the offense is loaded and Coach Tressel is among the best in the land. This is a very deep team. I think they will run the table and play for the national championship. Biggest test is September 9th in Austin.
  2. OU Peterson is healthy, they have 9 starters back on D and Bomar is a stud. He spent the entire off-season getting stronger and I think the Sooners will play for the national title. Biggest test will be November 4 at Bryan.
  3. LSU Les Miles begins year 2 of his reign down in the Bayou. Last year the team struggled with all the Katrina issues. Les is one of the finest young coaches in all the land and this could be a very special year in Tigerland. I am concerned about there being a QB controversy by the fans and if that happens, this team will fall fast. If the fans stick with Miles and Jamarcus Russel it will be a great season on the bayou. Biggest test is September 16 at Auburn and October 7 at Florida.
  4. WVU Coach Rodriguez is the best young coach in the nation and has 9 offensive starters back. The Mountaineers will not be a secret this year and they will be powerful. The Biggest test and I think that it will be maybe the only test is November 2nd at Louisville and that is a game they should win. Could be like Auburn or Utah a few years ago, in that they go undefeated and not get a shot.
  5. Notre Dame Led by Charlie Weis, a great coach and man, the Irish will come in as most people’s number one. Not mine and here is why. They look good everywhere but the issue is in their pass defense. I think that this is the only weakness on this team and they will face two very good passing teams, and potentially a third. MSU, USC and UM. I think that if they can come into MSU and win, then they will have a very good season. I am not saying this about MSU because my heart bleeds green; it is just that the MSU offense speaks directly to the weakness of the Irish. Biggest test is September 23, at MSU.
  6. AUB Tuberville is one of the good guys in sports. He also has a very favorable schedule. I once again think that this team could run the table they certainly have the talent. Kenny Irons is a surefire NFL RB and this team is tough. I think their biggest test is with #3 LSU and the game is at home on September 16.
  7. PSU I love JoePa and you know it. I realize that this is my biggest of long shots but the purpose of this is to give opinion. I had a lot of people laugh last year when I predicted the season that they had and I will stick with them this season. They have a lot of depth and a great class of new recruits. Biggest test is at ND on September 9, a game that they shouldn’t win.
  8. FSU I am a huge Bowden fan and this team is loaded. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them in the NC game. Last year they were very young and got decimated by the injury bug. They are deeper and better this season. September 4, they open the season at Miami. What a huge early season game, that is for sure their biggest test. If they win, they could play for the NC.
  9. UT They lost so much talent but most of all Vince Young. There are some systems (Oklahoma) whose success is not predicated on the QB. Remember when the Ravens won a Super Bowl with Dilfer not losing rather then winning it for them? UT is a QB driven system, and it should have been with the best college QB in history. Now they have to reload and although I think they are very talented, I don’t see them as a NC contender, this season. The biggest test is always their biggest test, the battle of the Red River on October 7 at the Cotton Bowl.
  10. USC Great system but they have lost so much and have endured so much. Now they go into a year with a lot of question marks. I think that even with all the talent they won a lot of close games. This isn’t USC’s season and they will be below #10 at the end of the season. Biggest test is November 25 when they host the Irish. If MSU has beaten ND, then they could win this game.
  11. IOWA One of America’s best coaches continues to lead the Hawks until JoePa retires. Ferentz is a borderline genius and a great guy to boot. Loaded with depth and returning talent, including OB Drew Tate, the Hawks will have a great season. Biggest test is September 30 when they host Ohio State.
  12. FLORIDA Another year of Urban renewal continues down in Gainesville. They are relying on a lot of incoming talent and there is a QB controversy that is a brewing in the land of the Gator. Two big reasons that I think this team is not a top 10 team. Biggest test is November 25 at FSU.
  13. UG Richt is brilliant and I will continue to remind Bull Dog fans that they need to enjoy him until Bowden at FSU retires. This team lost so much talent but is not relying on incoming youngsters. There is some depth and this team has one of the best schedules in the nation. I see the Dawgs as a 10-win team. Biggest test is going to Columbia for a big game on September 9 with the Gamecocks.
  14. CLEMSON Last year the young Bowden had a very young team. They still won 8 games and I think they will win 9 this season. This is a solid football team. Their biggest test in September 16 when they head to FSU to face Daddy.
  15. BAMA I am not sold on Shula but this team is loaded on offense. They will need a strong start but here is a surprise for the biggest test of the season: September 23 and 30. When they go to Arkansas and Florida. If they lose them both then the season could topple into the tank.
  16. LOUISVILLE I am not sold on Louisville at all. I can’t stand Benedict Petrino and although Brian Brohm is a very good QB, I don’t think that Petrino is a big time coach nor do I think he has the ability to lead a big time program. Even with Petrino they have a great schedule and they have their biggest test on November 2 when the host WVU.
  17. MIAMI Coker is a great coach but this team lost so much talent that I just can’t see them as a NC type program this season. Wright will for sure be improved at QB and this team has its biggest test on September 4 when they host FSU.
  18. OREGON Mighty Ducks? With perhaps the best O line in the nation they Ducks look good. They were left out of the hideous BCS last season but this is this season. Biggest test is hosting September 16 when they host the mighty Sooners.
  19. MSU The Spartans have been disappointing. John L. came in crying about the facilities and the players, but his only bowl game was with all of Bobby Williams guys. He is on the hot seat and both the fans and the players are looking to Smith and his staff to show them something. Led by the best QB in the nation and having plenty of good talent on both sides of the ball, if this team fails to win 8 games, then it is a time for a new coaching staff. I for one think the staff will step up and this team will win 8 games. Smith’s staff has wasted the last two seasons with arguably the best QB in MSU history and this is the year they turn the corner. Biggest test (not most difficult) is at Pittsburgh on September 16. A loss at Pitt spells huge trouble for the Spartan Nation.
  20. CAL This is a team that has played USC tough throughout USC last 4-year run. They are tough and they are talented. I think that there biggest test is September 2, at Tennessee but look for them to upset USC on November 18.
  21. MINN I am a huge fan of Mason and with an extension and work on a new stadium this team is on the rise. I look for this crew to have plenty of ability to keep running the ball and Mason will lead them to a 8-4 regular season. Their biggest test is September 30th when they host UM and that is a game I think they win.
  22. SCU The Old ball coach continues to fix thing in Columbia. They are very young and I think that they will be fine. I love the fact that every time Spurrier steps on the field his teams are already ahead with coaching. He does not have as many wins as some of the greats, but make no mistake he is the best college coach in the land. I think they will win more then the 7 they got last year. Biggest test is October 28 with Tennessee.
  23. NEB The Husker fans are skeptically looking ahead for some hope but Callahan has had to fight it all up hill. This team may reach as many as 9 wins. The Biggest test is going to be October 21 against the Horns. A game they need to win to restore this program.
  24. VIRG TECH I will not be shocked if they play in the BCS. I just can’t buy it with the loss of so much talent. They have a great schedule and Beamer is a fantastic coach. Keep your eye on the Hokies; this could be my number one surprise team. Biggest test is November 4 at Miami.
  25. UM Make no mistake that the Wolverines have once again some of the most talent in the nation. Also make no mistake that this team has done less with more talent then any school in the country. I like Lloyd Carr personally and I think that this team has to lose the lose a early game we should win mentality and take care of business. There are concerns, but lets be frank, they have the talent to be much better then this.
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