Talking Loud, Saying Nothing

One of former SEC Commissioner Roy Kramer's biggest arguments in favor of the BCS was that it was good for college football to have people talking about it. Maybe so, but what if the people leading the discussion don't have a clue what they're talking about?

The trend for a lot of media commentators now is to say something over the top to garner maximum attention, reflecting the idea "any publicity is good publicity". You might have paid a lot of attention to the kid in your second grade class who ate paste, but that probably didn't make you think he was smart. CSTV's national college football analyst Trev Alberts probably had the big bottle of Elmer's handy when he was in elementary school.

Remember, Alberts is the guy who got himself fired at ESPN two years ago by refusing to show up for work as an analyst in a protest over the way he was being used. That demonstration of how short sighted his thinking can be may help explain why Alberts wrote last week in a column on CSTV's website "Florida is the most-overrated preseason team in the last 10 years."

So where should Florida's ranking have fallen? Trev Alberts thinks number 11 or 12 sounds good. That's right - according to Alberts Florida being ranked eight to nine spots higher than he feels they should have been is the worst screwup preseason polls have had to offer in the last decade.

To put the Alberts' argument to the test, I decided to have a look at the 2006 coaches preseason poll. After all, anyone's memory might be a little fuzzy on things from the '90s, but for him to have made that comment surely it would be clear no one was as badly overrated then as Florida in 2007. So, how's Notre Dame at number three sound to you? After all, the Fighting Irish were coming off big wins over.... well, no one really. But there was a close loss to USC and a bowl blowout loss to Ohio State. How could they not have been considered top-three material?

FSU at number ten coming off a five-loss season didn't make much sense either. Yet the coaches ranking the 2007 Gators at number three is clearly worse than either of those choices according to Trev Alberts. Go ahead, look through the last decade worth of preseason polls if you have the free time. You'll see for yourself just how silly this supposed "expert opinion" is.

You may wonder why you should care about Trev Alberts right now since CSTV is a relatively obscure sports network. But keep in mind, they were purchased by CBS in late 2005. Now Alberts is being featured as a college football analyst in videos on the CBS Sportsline website. It's far from a stretch to imagine he could become part of the network's SEC coverage team in the near future. That's not good news.

In many weeks, Alberts would have had the most puzzling opinion of the week. But over the weekend, along came the first edition of the AP college football poll and there was a new leader in the clubhouse. Jon Wilner, a voter who writes for the San Jose Mercury News, has Florida ranked 16th to start the season. Among those ahead of them include FSU at 12, Alabama at 14, and Hawaii at 15. Wilner's explanation for his bizarre vote is that these are his projections for the end of the season. As such, he feels leaving Tennessee, Ohio State and Nebraska out altogether makes perfect sense.

The AP poll isn't part of the BCS, but its mythical national championship still matters. Wilner's first vote is a farce. Hopefully as the season goes on, his college football voting will reflect what's happening in the real world as opposed to the one he's imagining. If there's another week of this kind of deep analysis for us to endure, the real games can't possibly get here soon enough.

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