BCI College Preseason Top 10 #10 & #9

With August 28th, the date of the Cincinnati Bearcat's season opener, still a blip on the horizon, we'll put together a post-spring, pre-preseason top 25 for the 2008-2009 college football season. The Year of the Upset is behind us, but what will this year be remembered for?


We start with our picks at nine and ten and will add two more every couple of days after.


Dave’s Pick #9


LSU Tigers


Yes I know, Glenn Dorsey is gone and the Tigers need to find a quarterback.  But the Tigers have done some great recruiting and have a stock-pile of talent ready to blossom.  The defensive line is loaded as is the offensive line.  And as we have learned, the Tigers get their fair share of skill talent that knows how to score.


Bottom Line:  It won’t take long to see why Miles stayed away from Michigan as he’s got the Tigers right where he wants them to be.  Miles took over a program that Nick Saban built for the long haul.  Having won as many games as USC (34 games), Miles will find his team the underdog in a couple of games and use it to bring them to the top.


Sam’s Pick #9


Auburn University Tigers


New offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Tony Franklin isn’t completely sold on Kodi Burns running his spread offense, though Burns did make strides with the new system during the spring.  Running the ball shouldn’t be a problem for the Tigers though, as top backs Brad Lester, Ben Tate and Mario Fannin will be running behind five returning starting offensive linemen.  Sophomore wide receiver Terrell Zachary could emerge as a big playmaker for the Tigers after spending most of last season ineligible.  Six of the back seven returns for the Auburn defense, which will need to reload on the D-line around Sen’Derrick Marks.


Bottom Line: Tommy Tuberville’s Tigers get to face LSU, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Georgia all in the comfort of their own Jordan-Hare Stadium.  Their really only road tests will come at the end of the year at rival Alabama, and an October 23 out of conference tilt with West Virginia in Morgantown.  The Tigers should finish the season atop the SEC West alone, a feat they have missed out on since their undefeated season of 2004.



Dave's Pick #10


Clemson Tigers


The ACC is weak and the Tigers are ready to take advantage of it and win their first ACC championship since 1991.  The biggest question for the Tigers comes from its offensive line, but the team is loaded with offensive talent as seven starters will return to the squad including quarterback Cullen Harper.  The defense brings back eight players and is poised to have Tommy Bowden at the top of the conference.


Bottom Line: It’s time for Tommy Bowden to get the job done at Clemson.  All the pieces are in place for a top season and the biggest question is if his recruiting efforts have given him some offensive line talent.  If not this could be the year Bowden will be looking for a new home.



Sam’s Pick #10


West Virginia University Mountaineers


Reigning Fiesta Bowl Champions, the Mountaineers will miss Steve Slaton, who departed early for the NFL.  However, Noel Devine will be the new number one man in the backfield alongside quarterback Pat White, so Morgantown fans shouldn’t be too worried.  White and Devine will also be working behind an offensive line that returns all five starters, providing for plenty of protection.  The defense returns just four starters, but should field a dangerous core of linebackers led by Reed Williams.


Bottom Line: In his first year as a head coach, Bill Stewart will need his young defense and brand new receiving core to play their hearts out if the Mountaineers are to finish on top in the Big East again.



Bearcat Insider Top Stories