Too bad the Horns lost, but hey, they're already almost #1 in the latest new College Football Top 10!
from the NY Times' college sports blog, The Quad:
1. Alabama – As the defending national champion, the Tide should be a near-unanimous pick for this spot. It returns Mark Ingram, Greg McElroy and a host of talented players on defense.
2. Boise State — The Broncos return 21 of 22 players, plus the talented punter/kicker/fake punt executer Kyle Brotzman. Boise is 26-1 the past two seasons and has marquee games against Virginia Tech and Oregon State as proving grounds.
3. Texas — Despite losing the national title, the Longhorns have gone 25-2 the past two years. The highly touted Garrett Gilbert will take over at quarterback after showing some of what he could do against Alabama and Earl Thomas could be the nation’s best safety.
4. Oregon — Jeremiah Masoli returns, but Chip Kelly can seemingly win with a piñata at quarterback. The Ducks appear to have, at least temporarily, supplanted U.S.C. as the best team in the Pac-10.
5. Texas Christian — The Horned Frogs lose only six starters from a team whose defense was No. 1 in total defense and No. 4 in scoring offense. Andy Dalton will be among the country’s top quarterbacks.
6. Florida — While the coaching situation remains in flux, the talent is still flush in Gainesville. The John Brantley era begins, which means more passing. The receiver position will go from a liability to a strength.
7. Ohio State — Terrelle Pryor will be atop most Heisman lists after he capped an uneven season with a dazzling Rose Bowl performance. Ohio State hosts Miami in the second week in one of the season’s showcase games.
8. Iowa — The Hawkeyes return 70 percent of their starters, which mean they’ll start the season high. They return starting quarterback Ricky Stanzi, a budding star in receiver Marvin McNutt and their entire defensive front.
9. Virginia Tech — Tyrod Taylor returns for his senior year with momentum from a bowl win and tons of experience. Tailback Ryan Williams is among the country’s top young runners. Bud Foster’s defenses are always stout.
10. U.S.C. — While the Trojans had a down year, the talent level in this program is still high. It will be interesting to see if Pete Carroll shakes up his coaching staff. Matt Barkley will be a poster boy for college football in 2010. But who will be throw to?