published Sunday, August 25th, 2013

2013 College Blitz - Color coding the nation

  • photo
    Braxton Miller and the Buckeyes are off probation and eyeing another run at an unbeaten season.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Color scheme (Best uniforms)

There are a slew of great options — the Maze and Blue of Michigan; the Scarlet and Grey of Ohio State; the impeccable helmets at FSU; the originality of UCLA’s color scheme. In the SEC, the traditional colors at Auburn and Alabama are both top-shelf. Still, when pressed, the classic blend of the Trojans at USC is the best old-school look and the ever-changing color clashing that is the Oregon Ducks can offer the occasional look that is second-to-none. (Of course the Ducks can look like the Fighting Highliters on occasion, too.)

Seeing green (Best NFL prospects not in the SEC)

Since the SEC has dominated college football to the tune of seven straight national titles and 12 NFL first-round picks last April, let’s look for the best prospects outside of college football’s best league. You can start with Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, who ranks as the top pro-style QB in this class and seems like a sure-fire top-five pick. A match-up that could feature two top-10 picks will happen when Michigan tackle Taylor Lewan faces Notre Dame defensive end Stephen Tuitt.

War paint (Best rivalry)

Until recently, the answer seemed to be Alabama-and-Auburn, but the Tide’s dominance has allowed that to be world-class intensity mixed with merciless poundings. Let’s say this year’s big rivalry game is the Big Game — the Michigan-Ohio State showdown. It likely could be the only game this year that quarterback Braxton Miller and the Buckeyes are not a double-digit favorite.

Neon lights (Biggest game of the year)

Sure the revenge game between Alabama and Texas A&M is being viewed as one of the biggest regular-season games in roughly 25 years. But if that’s potentially one early-season national semifinal, the other is the Oregon-Stanford game on Nov. 7. And while the nation would surely be paying attention to the Ducks and The Cardinal since each starts the season ranked in the top five, this showdown is on a Thursday, meaning Oregon at Stanford could be the biggest regular-season game on a weeknight in college football history.

Preseason all-American team

Offense

QB Johnny Manziel Texas A&M

RB T.J. Yeldon Alabama

RB Ka’Deem Carey Arizona

WR Marqise Lee USC

WR Sammie Watkins Clemson

TE A. Seferain-Jenkins Washington

OT Taylor Lewan Michigan

OT Jake Matthews Texas A&M

OG David Yankey Stanford

OG Cyril Richardson Baylor

C Gabe Ikard Oklahoma

PK Cairo Santos Tulane

AP De’Anthony Thomas Oregon

Defense

DE Jadeveon Clowney S. Carolina

DE Stephon Tuitt Notre Dame

DT Will Sutton Arizona State

LB C.J. Mosley Alabama

LB Anthony Barr UCLA

LB Kyle Van Noy BYU

LB Ryan Shazier Ohio State

CB Jason Verrett TCU

CB Bradley Roby Ohio State

S HaHa Clinton-Dix Alabama

S Ed Reynolds Stanford

P Kyle Christy Florida

RS Marcus Murphy Missouri

AP preseason top 25

• 1. Alabama (58)

• 2. Ohio State (1)

• 3. Oregon

• 4. Stanford

• 5. Georgia (1)

• 6. South Carolina

• 7. Texas A&M

• 8. Clemson

• 9. Louisville

• 10. Florida

• 11. Florida State

• 12. LSU

• 13. Oklahoma State

• 14. Notre Dame

• 15. Texas

• 16. Oklahoma

• 17. Michigan

• 18. Nebraska

• 19. Boise State

• 20. TCU

• 21. UCLA

• 22. Northwestern

• 23. Wisconsin

• 24. Southern California

• 25. Oregon State

Others receiving votes: Michigan State 95, Baylor 92, Virginia Tech 86, Miami (Fla.) 85, Arizona State 53, Kansas State 43, Fresno State 36, Vanderbilt 19, Washington 17, Northern Illinois 16, Ole Miss 11, Utah State 8, Georgia Tech 6, Cincinnati 3, Arizona 3, North Carolina 3, Penn State 2, Brigham Young 1.

Camouflaged contender

(Someone picked outside the top four who has a chance to win the league if things go right)

The top four vote receivers at media days were Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and Texas A&M, leaving LSU, Florida, Ole Miss and Vanderbilt next in line. The uncertainty of Florida’s offense is a concern, so the pick will be LSU despite its brutal conference schedule.

about Jay Greeson...

Jay was named the Sports Editor of the Times Free Press in 2003 and started with the newspaper in May 2002 as the Deputy Sports Editor. He was born and raised in Smyrna, Ga., and graduated from Auburn University before starting his newspaper career in 1997 with the Newnan (Ga.) Times Herald. Stops in Clayton and Henry counties in Georgia and two years as the Sports Editor of the Marietta (Ga.) Daily Journal preceded Jay’s ...

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