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Final Pre-Season BlogPoll

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So the season starts tonight and I have submitted my final pre-season BlogPoll. I followed my own guidance in the pre-season BlogPoll Roundtable last week and made only three conscious moves.

I moved Nebraska up:

Who is Underrated:

Nebraska: - I went back and looked at this team and while it is easy to shots at Bill Callahan I think he slowly but surely bringing the Huskers back. He has some issues on defense but the offense looks improved and they have pretty solid line. Maurice Purify is going through some times with the recent death of his older brother and some other off the field issues but he is still a pretty potent weapon.

I think Sam Keller may have a new spring in his step after going through all that crap at AZ St. Keller has some new life and while he had some great numbers at ASU he did it without the talent he has now. I think Nebraska has a chance to not only go to the Big XII Title game but they have a good chance to win it. The defense will be the question here but I can see no reason why they won't put up some big numbers this season. The game to watch, outside of their game against us, will be the one against Texas, in Austin. I sense a real barnburner coming on, as they almost had the `Horns last year except for that fumble late. I think they will be fun to watch!

I moved LSU down one spot and ucla down 4 spots.

Who is Overrated:

UCLA: - I could go in two directions here and both are easy. My initial thought was LSU for all of the obvious reasons, most important is that I think Les Miles has put his team under a tremendous amount of pressure with his comments about the Pac 10, then only to see him back track and then appear to start setting up excuses if they don't perform. I also think that while VA Tech will have a tough time going into Baton Rouge the Hokies are on a mission as they carry the memories of 31 fellow Hokies to honor, so to me anything is possible with them. LSU needs to be careful with this team and not get caught looking ahead.

Now, I had to put ucla somewhere in my poll and I thought #17 was about right, but then I started thinking about it. They may have 20 returning starters, they may have beaten SC 13-9 but as I have said before their season defined by that win, it was all they could hang their hat on. They couldn't say we won the Pac 10, they couldn't say we won the Rose Bowl all they could say was that we beat SC. But to me this one is easy; the most vocal part of their fan base is on a mission to get rid of their coach. That's fine, as he has obviously shown that he is incapable of running their program. But there is bit more to it than that. There are pages and pages of reasons as to why there is no faith in their coach and there are way too many to list but one comment stands out to me:

As was the case with the major upsets...

during lavin's tenure, I think last year's sc game was won by the players DESPITE the coaching. Dorrell didn't win that game, the players did. You could see how badly they wanted.

This year, as always, I remain optimistic. However, that doesn't mean I have to leave my common sense at the door and unfortunately, I expect a lot more ND type losses this season.

by UCngLA on Fri Aug 17, 2007 at 08:45:40 PM EDT
[ Parent ]

So the question begs what about those six losses? Is that a shot across the bow at their own players? Is the commenter saying that they couldn't get up for those 6 games? You mean the only game they could get fired up for was the SC game because it was a rivalry game? That only reinforces my point about that win defining their whole season. They have 20 returning starters coming back, we know Dorrell is crummy coach and we know they can win when they put their mind to it so which is it?

There is more from the original post but you get the point. They may be very good this season, pat Forde from ESPN thinks they will be 11-0 when they come to The Coliseum 3 months from Saturday, but until they break out of the malaise that is the coaching of Karl Dorrell they are good for a couple weird losses.