John Adams: LSU leads another SEC charge to the top

John Adams
Gerald Herbert/Associated Press
LSU head coach Les Miles cheers his team during the second half of a game against Alabama in Baton Rouge, La., last November.

Photo by Gerald Herbert

Gerald Herbert/Associated Press LSU head coach Les Miles cheers his team during the second half of a game against Alabama in Baton Rouge, La., last November.

A look at the top 25 teams in college football.

1. LSU

Coach Les Miles might get klutzy in the clutch, but his team invariably rallies to his defense. And he balances those last-minute gaffes with trick plays like the one Alabama never saw coming last fall.

2. Oklahoma

With Landry Jones throwing and Ryan Broyles catching, an 80-point game isn't out of the question. The Sooners won't slow down till they hit the SEC.

3. Alabama

The Tide should add "pancake runs" to its statistical package to properly account for the damage caused by Trent Richardson.

4. South Carolina

The Gamecocks are capable of knocking the best of the West out of the national championship game.

5. Virginia Tech

The Hokies' toughest road games are East Carolina and Virginia. What does that tell you?

6. Arkansas

The Razorbacks are so loaded on offense, they will put up big numbers despite losing star running back Knile Davis.

7. Oregon

The Ducks have had an entire offseason to get ready for an SEC rematch (against LSU this time). That's not long enough.

8. Wisconsin

The Badgers moved to the top of the Big Ten when they out-recruited Auburn for N.C. State quarterback Russell Wilson.

9. Texas A&M

The SEC wannabes return 18 starters from a nine-win team that surged in the second half of the season to beat Oklahoma, Nebraska and Texas.

10. Stanford

The Cardinal have talent and Luck.

11. Florida State

The Seminoles' talent buildup threatens Florida as well as the ACC.

12. Nebraska

The Big Ten will wear itself out trying to budge the Cornhuskers' defense.

13. Oklahoma State

The Cowboys give the Big 12 three teams capable of posting basketball-size scores.

14. Boise State

As good as quarterback Kellen Moore is, the offense will miss big-play wide receivers Austin Pettis and Titus Young.

15. TCU

The Horned Frogs have to wait another year to dismantle the Big East.

16, Ohio State

Although the Buckeyes lost coach Jim Tressel and quarterback Terrelle Pryor, they still have a sousaphone player to dot the "I" and enough talent to beat Michigan.

17. Notre Dame

Sixteen returning starters from an eight-win team have put the Irish in the top 10 of some preseason polls. That's not the first time Notre Dame has been overrated.

18. Michigan State

The way the Spartans pitch and catch, they should move to the Big 12.

19. West Virginia

Someone has to win the Big East.

20. Georgia

The Bulldogs hope running back Isaiah Crowell is the next Marcus Lattimore, not the next Caleb King/Waushan Ealey.

21. Southern California

Lane Kiffin has his dream job and a nightmarish defense.

22. Missouri

Life was easier for the Tigers when they had the Big 12 North to prop them up.

23. Iowa

The Hawkeyes might not pack their usual punch, but no one should relish getting in the way of Marcus Coker, who rushed for more than 200 yards in the Insight Bowl.

24. N.C. State

A cushy early-season schedule should help the Wolfpack gain confidence and momentum.

25. Mississippi State

The Bulldogs have sufficient talent, experience and cowbells to crack the top 25 in back-to-back seasons for the first time in 11 years.

John Adams is a senior columnist. He may be reached at 865-342-6284 or adamsj@knoxnews.com. Follow him at http://twitter.com/johnadamskns.

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Comments » 10

mercuryvol writes:

Absolutely the worst sportswriter I have read in my 6 decades.

DannyVol writes:

No mention of LSU's recent debacle, but this sad sack will pound on the home team at every opportunity. No other readership in the SEC would possibly put up with this. At Arkansas, they fired a sportswriter for wearing the wrong hat; here they not only allow the lead columnist to ridicule the program every week, but also to save super-negative stories for gamedays when important recruits and their families are in town.

kcbigorngX writes:

Good grief, John.

You manage to love up on your Bayou Back-kickers and smooch Spurrier's patooty all in the same article.

It's funny that you want to write just like Climer, but then you've got a little Biddle in you, too.

Huttdawg100 writes:

I think it's a little too much to have LSU regarded so highly. This team is clearly distracted with NCAA issues, suspensions from NCAA issues, bar fights, suspensions from the bar fight, and an Offensive Coordinator/ QB coach stepping down because of health issues. This team reminds me of the 2005 Tennessee team that was absolutely loaded with talent, but offseason arrests and distractions led to a losing season. Unfortunately for the LSU guy misplaced in Knoxville, the Mad Hatter has run out of magic. They lose at least 4 games.

Kelly8 writes:

I also agree that LSU shouldn't be #1, but I don't think Adams put them there because he's an alum. I mean most people have them #3, so is it really that big of a stretch to move them up two spots? It's not like the rest of the world has them unranked.

That being said, I hate LSU and their corndog-smelling fans. Miles is a luckbox, and the entire state is a cesspool. I normally root for the SEC in out-of-conference games but...GO DUCKS.

gortrtt writes:

Must be drinking again ... rating USC #4!?

orangecountyvols writes:

Vols,

John kinda' has a bit of an obvious stance when it comes to talking about LSU. He must know something the football world doesn't.

The biggest joke was putting him on the sideline as a 'coach' in the 2010 O & W game..........to stop his complaining about the media not being allowed to be at the practices........that was to pacify him.

Probably the most unpopular writer the KNS ever had.

CrankE writes:

in response to gortrtt:

Must be drinking again ... rating USC #4!?

If Steve Spurrier was the coach of UTEP, Adams would rank them high just to poke at Tennessee.

DenverVol writes:

Thanks for the laugh John. You're a funny guy.

DalTexVol writes:

OMG! Where are the mighty Gators?!!! (smirk)

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