USC is still No. 1. Iowa is no longer No. 2. And surprise, the conference winners are the SEC and Big 12, each with five teams.
Get your tickets now for the release of the official preseason Top 25 next month.
|Top 25 compilation|
|Combined rankings of preseason magazines: CBS SportsLine.com, Lindy's, Blue Ribbon, Street & Smith, Athlon, Sporting News, Phil Steele.|
|7. Ohio State|
|8. Virginia Tech|
|12. Florida State|
|17. Texas A&M|
|18. Boston College|
|20. Boise State|
|21. Arizona State|
|23. (tie) Texas Tech|
|23. (tie) Fresno State|
1. Southern California: Three starters lost since the spring but still the most potent amateur offense on the planet. Suddenly looking vulnerable, though -- vulnerable defined as maybe losing a game this year. Biggest game: Nov. 12, at Cal.
2. Tennessee: We were tempted to call this a four-way tie for second with the Buckeyes, 'Horns and Hawkeyes. Each team has its weaknesses. Tennessee's (again) is players doing bad things off the field. Doesn't seem to matter in Knoxville. Just bring on football. Biggest game: Sept. 17, at Florida.
3. Ohio State: Why are people suddenly concerned about the Penn State game Oct. 8? Sure Joe has a good defense, but Ohio State has a good team. Biggest game: Sept. 10, vs. Texas.
4. Texas: Concerns persist about running back, kicking and Vince Young's throwing ability. Why is Texas ranked so high? It is the best team in the Big 12, which, at 9-2 or 11-0, will get it in the top five. Biggest game: Oct. 8, vs. Oklahoma.
5. Iowa: Calm down, Hawkeyes. Your offseason was made by CBSSportsLine.com ranking your team No. 2. The fact is, there is no discernible way to separate Michigan, Ohio State and Iowa in the Big Ten. Ohio State gets the nod for No. 2 right now because Iowa has to go to Columbus. Biggest game: Sept. 24, at Ohio State.
6. Virginia Tech: Frank Beamer is quietly building the next ACC powerhouse. Florida State is flaming out. Miami is at a crossroads. Why not a Hokie High? Biggest game: Sept. 4, at North Carolina State. Win that one and the Hokies should be undefeated before facing Miami Nov. 5.
7. Oklahoma: Sooners AD Joe Castiglione now competing with the NFL when he goes to review Bob Stoops' contract. Biggest game: Oct. 8, vs. Texas.
8. Florida: Urban Meyer is appearing at a mall near you. Check local listings. Biggest game: Sept. 17, vs. Tennessee.
9. LSU: Everything else is in place. If Les Miles can figure the quarterback thing, the Tigers will compete for more than the SEC title. Biggest game: Sept. 24, vs. Tennessee.
10. Michigan: As we said, interchangeable with Iowa and Ohio State. It all comes down to The Big Game which also happens to be the biggest game: Nov. 19, vs. Ohio State.
11. Louisville: Might as well book the Orange Bowl (or the Sugar). The Big East has its new moneymaker. Biggest game: Nov. 3, vs. Pittsburgh.
|Forget talk about Vince Young's arm; Texas is the best there is in the Big 12 this year. (Getty Images)|
13. Georgia: A lot of teams wish they had Mark Richt's "problems." OK, so D.J. Shockley is an uneven thrower and the receivers are gone. We're pretty sure Shockley can throw screens. We know he can run. Biggest game: Oct. 29, vs. Florida.
14. Fresno State: The Bulldogs are back on the rise. They are the class of the WAC and have Boise State at home. Their chances at a BCS bowl hinge on the Biggest game: Nov. 19 at USC.
15. Texas A&M: Third place in the Big 12 South translates to top 15 in the nation. Be sure to catch Reggie McNeal. He's a sleeper for the Heisman. Biggest game: Nov. 12, at Oklahoma.
16. Purdue: Eleven starters back on defense. Considering that Kyle Orton was less effective as time went on, Brandon Kirsch isn't exactly a huge step down at quarterback. Biggest game: Oct. 8, vs. Iowa.
17. Boston College: Quinton Porter is basically a returning starter at quarterback. Unstoppable DE Mathias Kiwanuka is a future pro. No Miami on the schedule, Florida State at home. Biggest game: Oct. 27, at Virginia Tech.
18. Florida State: Shirtless in Tallahassee: Ernie Sims and Wyatt Sexton. Much doubt about the future of Bobby Bowden's best defender and starting quarterback. A drop of only four spots from the post-spring ranking is charitable. Biggest game: Sept. 5, vs. Miami.
19. Arizona State: You're going to love Sam Keller at quarterback. The season hinges on a defense that must prove it can stop someone in order to finish second in the Pac-10. Biggest game: Oct. 1, vs. USC.
20. Pittsburgh: Dave Wannstedt will take Walt Harris' handiwork and do great things in his first season. Wanny arrives just in time to command what could be Pittsburgh's best team since the '76 championship. Biggest game: Sept. 3, vs. Notre Dame.
21. Boise State: Dan Hawkins will continue to be the hottest coach alive. The schedule, though, is too daunting for the Broncos to challenge for a BCS bowl. The season opens at Georgia and Oregon State. Biggest game: Nov. 12, at Fresno State
22. Auburn: The Comedown Year. Still competitive, still talented but too much is gone from '04. If you cashed in DE Stanley McClover's gold teeth you'd be rich. McClover will get by on his talent, which could get him to the NFL after this season. Biggest game: Nov. 19, vs. Alabama.
23. Colorado: We believe. Joel Klatt could become Colorado's all-time leading passer. TE Joe Klopfenstein has a pro future. CU wins at least a share of the Big 12 North for the fourth time in five years. Biggest game: Nov. 12, at Iowa State.
24. Texas Tech: Mike Leach isn't going anywhere, which means the Red Raiders can attempt to outscore teams, finish 7-5 and go to a bowl every year. Biggest game: Oct. 8, at Nebraska.
25. Bowling Green: The Urban Meyer legacy lives on. He recruited quarterback Omar Jacobs, who threw a nation-leading 41 touchdown passes last year. Biggest game: Sept. 21, at Boise State.
Ten others to watch: Alabama, Cal, Georgia Tech, Memphis, Minnesota, Oklahoma State, Southern Miss, Utah, UTEP, Virginia.
Non-BCS top 10: 1. Fresno State; 2. Boise State; 3. Bowling Green; 4. UTEP; 5. Utah; 6. Southern Miss; 7. Memphis; 8. New Mexico; 9. Wyoming; 10. North Texas.