2014 College Football Top 10
by Wayne Allyn Root
1) OKLAHOMA: The Sooners and Wayne Root are talking about this team playing for the national Championship. At least their road to the title game faces few obstacles. There’s plenty of reason for confidence. The fourth-ranked Sooners capped off a strong finish to last season with a win over Alabama in the Sugar Bowl that energized the rabid fan base. OklahOhio State: Who needs Braxton Miller when you have Urban Meyer? So it’s a new era in quarterback JT Barrett at OSU. Maybe the wide receivers are there to make JT look great. The Buckeyes will likely try to get the ball in the hands of their speedsters (Dontre Wilson, Jalin Marshall and Devin Smith). Barrett is inexperienced, but the Buckeyes’ receivers should have benefited from having to practice against press coverage every day. Give Urban Meyer the benefit of the doubt that the team is loaded with blue chippers and that he can coach. A nice challenge to all. Besides, all they have to do is get past Michigan St this seasonoma now must back up the excitement it has generated, starting Saturday at home against Louisiana Tech. They start a sophomore in Trevor Knight who took down Bama last year. Last years QB, Blake Bell, has moved to tight end and Coach Stoops says to look for some razzle-dazzle plays involving him. One thing for sure is they should remain #1 after this week’s opener against Louisiana Tech, starting a new QB.
2) ALABAMA: When I think of Alabama, two things come to mind. First is their mantra, Roll Tide Roll, and then secondly, Re-Load. Coach Sabin has recruited a Florida St graduate transfer in Jacob Coker to go against fifth year senior Blake Sims at the quarterback position. Sabin will play both this week against West Virginia. He has until Sept 20th against Florida to figure things out.
3) OREGON: QB Marcus Mariota takes a lot of ribbing over his course load this semester: yoga and golf. The reality is that the quarterback for No. 3 Oregon finished his degree requirements in just three years.
His opponents should also take note that those easy A’s mean Mariota is going to be able to spend a lot more time focusing on football this season, being early in the treatment room, remaining healthy and doing recovery stuff, and along with that film work. That is the recipe for a Heisman Trophy. The Ducks open at home Saturday night against South Dakota.
4) UCLA: The worst thing about opening their season is not the west coast to east coast travel to meet Virginia but rather to have the game start at 9 am pac time. That means the Bruins will begin their day at 4:40 am with a wake up. Then it’s dress and breakfast. Arriving at the stadium by 6:30 am pacific time to prepare for the game. Their QB, Blake Hundley should be in the running for a look at the Heisman but they play in what many claim to be the toughest college conference in America and just a notch above the SEC.
5) FLORIDA STATE: The AP and the Coaches poll have the Seminoles ranked #1. They are certainly in the top 5 but not necessarily going to get thru their conference unblemished and end up #1. Jimbo Fisher is looking for an “attitude of dominance” in 2014, and the Seminoles would love nothing more than to exhibit that against an Oklahoma State roster that is rebuilding from its conference title-contending ways. Their offense is designed to run over everyone. With Winston under center behind five senior lineman, anything other than a double-digit win will raise eyebrows for the defending champs.
6) MICHIGAN STATE: What a season to be in the Big 10. With Michigan on the decline, Wisconsin not where they normally are and Ohio St’s QB Braxton Miller out for the season, it must be a great feeling knowing this could be a huge year for the Spartans. Before you hand them the Big 10 trophy, remember they finished 81st in offense last year. It was their 2nd place defense that received all of my attention. Their HUGE game of the season is against Oregon. In fact, that may be their game for the entire season….that really counts. It will be the Badgers vs the Spartans for the Title.
7) OHIO STATE: Who needs Braxton Miller when you have Urban Meyer? So it’s a new era in quarterback JT Barrett at OSU. Maybe the wide receivers are there to make JT look great. The Buckeyes will likely try to get the ball in the hands of their speedsters (Dontre Wilson, Jalin Marshall and Devin Smith). Barrett is inexperienced, but the Buckeyes’ receivers should have benefited from having to practice against press coverage every day. Give Urban Meyer the benefit of the doubt that the team is loaded with blue chippers and that he can coach. A nice challenge to all. Besides, all they have to do is get past Michigan St this season.
8) AUBURN: When your rivals are Alabama, LSU and even Arkansas, it is possible to be the #1 team in the Country named America’s Top “under-the radar” team. We all remember the “LUCK” they had winning some miracle games last year. This year they may have the best group of receivers in the Nation. It’s guaranteed that they will be show-cased this Saturday when they meet the razorbacks of Arkansas as a 3 touchdown favorite. Tigers QB, Nick Marshall, has everyone admiring his improved accuracy and combined with the WR, running backs, a great offensive line, opposing teams will have to put up 40+ to have any chance at winning.
9) BAYLOR: It’s neck and neck with the fan support. The brand new $250 Million McLane Stadium or this year’s team. Both are tremendous to the Baylor Bears football program. The Bears may be the only team to be able to match Oklahoma in Conference play. They have a lot to do to keep up with being last years Number 1 offensive team in the Country. QB Bryce Petty is still under center. Petty, who waited his turn behind Griffin III and a record-setting season by Nick Florence, threw for a Big 12-leading 4,200 yards with 32 touchdowns and only three interceptions when he finally got his chance last season. He also led the league with 14 rushing TDs. Speaking of RGIII, he’ll be attending the opener and taking part in the pre-game ceremony. On a final stadium note, It sits along side the Bravos River and many will be arriving by boat. Look for SMU to be their first victim for a trivia question 50 years from now.
10) STANFORD: This has to be my favorite team in America when everything is considered. Academics are foremost at the top. But look at their football’s past program and what they’ve had to do. While many predicted the program would fade, Stanford survived the departures of Toby Gerhart, Jim Harbaugh and Andrew Luck – and several other key contributors – by actually getting better. The Cardinal have captured back-to-back conference championships and won at least 11 games in four straight seasons, which all ended in BCS bowls. They may have a drop off this season. Stanford (11-3) will have to overcome the odds again if it wants to complete a threat-peat. The Cardinal lost 10 starters from last season and have one of the country’s most difficult road schedules. At least they’ll have one easy game; UC-Davis this Saturday