As Kyle noted recently, it's time to start thinking about blogpoll ballots and other related rankology. Whether you're a resume ranker, a conference homer, or one of the people who ranked Michigan OMG!!!!#111!!!! to start the 2007 season (hey, even the great minds of our time occassionally miss a variable, but usually get it right in the end), it's time to start thinking about the old top 25.
But first, I'm rolling out a different kind of top 25: the top 25 things I'm looking forward to in the S.E.C. this season. This morning we'll look at #25-21.
#25 Arkansas at Ole Miss, October 25th: The beedy-eyed unstoppable force meets the batcrap crazy, nearly immovable object. I may crawl out of my football bunker and buy a DVR just so I can freezeframe all the nasty signs that Lincoln Financial will desperately attempt to keep off camera.
#24 Richard Samuel: In the S.E.C. you really need three tailbacks. Yeah, you might get lucky and not have to rely on the third guy, but if so it is just that: luck. The conference schedule is a meat grinder, a meat grinder filled with large men moving very, very quickly and attempting to maim your tailbacks. The word on the street is that Samuel was very impressive in the spring and during summer workouts. What's more, he has the potenital to be the big, I-formation, Lars Tate/Tim Worley tailback that Kregg Lumpkin's injuries prevented him from being.
#23 Doubts in Tuscaloosa: Alabama fans will flood in to read this (hi folks) then talk badly about me on several of their 485 message boards (because Bama fans, like we Southern Baptists, tend to practice their faith in highly individualized ways that nevertheless look basically the same to the outside world), but I swear it's the truth. Nick Saban still has a ways to go to build a bigtime winner. The schedule is not that easy (Clemson, Georgia, LSU and Tennessee on the road, for example), and John Parker Wilson is still John Parker Wilson (only this year without D.J. Hall and Matt Caddell, his top two receivers from 2007). Alabama may be better than '07, but may well lose a couple that their fans expected to win. When that happens, we wild-eyed bloggers will start talking about Louisiana-Monroe again. I still think that in the long run Saban is building a winner in Tuscaloosa. But it won't be this year.
#22 The Jevan Snead Era at Ole Miss: Snead transfered from Texas after losing the quarterback battle with Colt McCoy. Subsequently, Ed Orgeron, deciding that there was a reason Phil Fulmer didn't cry over the loss of Brent Schaeffer looking to add a big name QB, brought Snead to Ole Miss. Snead now finds himself working with new head coach Houston Nutt, who sometimes wonders why quarterbacks still walk among us. [tip o' the cap to commenter mcboyt, who noted that I originally said Bobby Petrino was coaching at Ole Miss. I was wrong, wrong, wrong when I posted it, but I think we all know that he'll wind up coaching there eventually. And also at Siam Polytechnic and St. Gertrude's School for the Mute).
#21 Mike VI: LSU's Siberian/Bengal tiger mix. I have to admit, the tiger tradition at LSU is pretty cool when you dig into it. Perhaps it's my recent reflection on the UGA line, but I have to hand it to LSU, there's just something just plain redneck reputable about having something on the sideline that could totally freakin' eat you. Unless you happen to be named Ricky Jean Francois, in which case it might be a tossup and reason for a pay-per-view special. Mike VI debuted last year, but this will be Dawg fans' first chance to see the 400 pound, exotic rug covered eating machine cute little guy.
Let me know some of yours in the comments. I'll be back next week with #20-16. Until then . . .