Looking way ahead

Southeastern Conference football fans live by one Cardinal Rule: It is never, EVER too early to start looking ahead to next year. Apparently, the folks at CollegeFootballNews.com live by the same rule.

Exactly one week after the 2006 national title was settled, the guys at CFN.com already have assembled and posted their pre-pre-pre-season ratings for 2007.

Tennessee is projected as the sixth-best team in the SEC but the 16th-best team in the country. Here's what CFN.com has to say about the Big Orange:

"The Vols pulled up out of the 2004 nosedive with a nice year, but the UT fans are looking for more. The receiving corps takes a monster hit losing Robert Meachem early to the NFL along with Jayson Swain and Bret Smith, but the running game should get rolling early with three fantastic players in LaMarcus Coker, Montario Hardesty and Arian Foster."

Obviously, the "nosedive" was a reference to Tennessee's 5-6 record in 2005, not its 10-3 record in 2004. Regardless, CFN.com's early top 25 is as follows:

1.Southern Cal

2.LSU

3.Texas

4.Florida

5.Wisconsin

6.Ohio State

7.Oklahoma

8.Arkansas

9.UCLA

10.Michigan

11.West Virginia

12.Georgia

13.Virginia Tech

14.Auburn

15.Nebraska

16.Tennessee

17.Florida State

18.California

19.Boston College

20.Texas A&M

21.Rutgers

22.Georgia Tech

23.TCU

24.Penn State

25.Oregon State

In case you're wondering how the other six SEC teams fared in CFN.com's preseason projections, here is that information:

South Carolina is No. 34, Kentucky No. 38, Alabama No. 41, Vanderbilt No. 58, Mississippi State No. 59 and Ole Miss No. 63.


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