Last year I had the pleasure of serving as the state’s official voter in Associated Press Top 25 poll. My man Kent Taylor from WAVE-TV in Louisville is representing the Bluegrass this year, but I had so much fun with it last fall that I’ve decided to post my own unofficial top 25.
Here it goes:
1-USC-They probably sat at home this weekend thinking they’re going to make “Beanie Weenies” out of the Buckeyes.
2-Oklahoma-My preseason No. 1 pick, but they’ll need to be ready to play on the road next week against what should be an emotional Washington team.
3-Georgia-The Bulldogs don’t need to even worry about rankings. If they run the table with this schedule, they’ll be in the national title game.
4-Florida-The offense isn’t humming yet, but the Gator defense looks vastly improved.
5-LSU-One of three SEC teams using a two-quarterback system, joining Auburn (Chris Todd/Kodi Burns) and Kentucky (Mike Hartline/Randall Cobb).
6-Ohio State-Forget about USC. Do you really think the Buckeyes would beat Georgia, Florida or LSU right now?
7-Missouri-Best offense in the country at this point of the season.
8-Auburn-The Tigers are still trying to master Tony Franklin’s offense, but the defense is scary.
9-Texas-Don’t really know what to make of Texas, and might not know anything until the Oklahoma game on Oct. 11.
10-East Carolina-Why not this high? The Pirates have the most impressive two-game resume’ in the country, and it’s not even close. The bad news is that now the big boys will be coming after Skip Holtz.
11-Arizona State-Nobody’s talking about the Sun Devils, but they’ll be primed, ready and 3-0 when Georgia visits on Sept. 20.
12-Kansas-We’ll find out about the Jayhawks when they travel to South Florida on Friday.
13-Penn State-Oregon State’s not that good, but a performance like that with all the distractions is still pretty impressive.
14-Alabama-Still not convinced that the Crimson Tide are as good as they looked against Clemson, but they’ve earned their ranking.
14-Wisconsin-P.J. Hill is a darkhorse Heisman candidate
15-Oregon-I know Utah State’s a tomato can, but piling up 688 yards on anybody deserves a little love.
16-South Florida-Struggled with UCF more than I expected.
17-Texas Tech-Their trip to Nevada didn’t produce the offensive fireworks that most thought it would.
18-West Virginia-Somewhere in Ann Arbor, Rich Rodriguez is smiling.
19-Wake Forest-The Demon Deacons look like the early class of the ACC but still needed a late field goal to beat a second-tier SEC team in Ole Miss.
20-Fresno State-Watch out, Wisconsin. The Bulldogs have had a week’s rest after whipping up on Rutgers.
21-Utah-Figures to fight with BYU all season to become a potential BCS-buster.
22-Illinois-Will be on cruise control until a Sept. 27 trip to Penn State
23-California-Either the Bears are better than I thought, or Washington State is just plain awful.
24-BYU-Theme song should be Kool & the Gang’s ‘Celebration’
25-Vanderbilt-Don’t laugh. They went on the road and spanked perhaps the best team in the MAC (Miami), and were clearly better than South Carolina.
THE NEXT BEST FIVE
26.Tennessee-I still believe the Vols are good, but why start the season on the West Coast when you’re in the SEC?
27. Clemson-The Tigers are better than this, but they’ve got to earn their way back in after laying that egg against ‘Bama.
28. Oklahoma State-Mike Gundy has his offense rolling.
29. UCLA-Can the Bruins make it two upsets in a row at BYU next week?
30-Boise State-I’ve got to see more of the Broncos. A Sept. 20 trip to Oregon should tell me something.
Kentucky-I know my mailbox will be flooded with inquiries from Wildcat fans wondering why they’re not in my Top 25. I don’t think the Cats are there just yet, but win the next two, and they should be ranked going down to Alabama on Sept. 27.
Louisville-This sounds a little silly considering how they looked against UK, but the way the Big East is looking, the Cards have to feel like they at least have a shot at a conference crown and BCS bid.
Indiana-I’m looking at the Hoosiers’ schedule and can see the potential for eight wins.
One final note: Notre Dame still stinks.