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Westsider Rider

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Blogpoll Roundtable #2

This week's Roundtable is brought to you by The Ciskie Blog:

1. What team best met your overall expectations of them in their opener?

According to my expectations, that team would have to be the Florida State Seminoles. I had them at #6 in my preseason poll because I felt they would have an outside chance of getting to Glendale, AZ but they were still a notch below the top 5. That's exactly what their game against the Miami Hurricanes showed me. The defense is sick while their offense is what you expect from a Jeff Bowden coached offense. Buster Davis and co. will keep the Seminoles in every single game and give them a chance to win and their playmakers on offense Lorenzo Booker and Greg Carr will make some plays that will get them some W's as well. They have an NC caliber defense, just not sure of the offense.

2. What team jumped off the map and surprised you the most? (Bonus points to anyone who can make an argument for someone besides Tennessee.)

I'm going to go with the UCLA Bruins here as I thought they would struggle with Utah but still pull out the win. Instead Ben Olson came out on fire in his debut as a Bruin and the defense held Utah to 10 points and more impressively 0 for 11 on 3rd downs. UCLA caught a lot of breaks last season to finish with 10 wins and with the losses of Maurice Drew, Marcedes Lewis on offense and Spencer Havner and Justin London on the D I thought the Bruins would be a borderline top-25 team throughout the year going in and out of the polls, however with performances like last week this could be a darkhorse to win the Pac-10, although it will be tough having to travel to Oregon and California as well as that team from across town.

3. What team best moved themselves into a position to surprisingly contend for a national title?

I've already mentioned Florida State earlier but I believe that they have a great shot of running the table as their schedule sets up very nicely now that they have defeated Miami. In two weeks there is the Bowden Bowl but after that there is not much on the schedule to challenge them until the final game of the year against Florida.

In addition, I may be overreacting to one game over a bad opponent but Oregon could be in the running as well. They travel to Fresno State this weekend but after watching part of the Bulldogs game against Nevada I don't think this team is as good as the one last year. Also Oklahoma struggled to get by last week as well so minus the trip to Los Angeles against the Trojans I don't see any other team beating Oregon, maybe Cal if they find a QB and if Jeff Tedford would give Marshawn Lynch more than 12 carries.


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