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May 8, 2008

Dienhart looks at early preseason top 10

Inside look at the contenders | Rivals Radio: Tom Dienhart joins Bill King

Tom Dienhart, who had been at The Sporting News, is Rivals.com's newest college football writer. His first piece for Rivals is a look at his early preseason top 10:

Tom Dienhart's Preseason Top 10:
1. Georgia
The Bulldogs felt they were stiffed on a trip to the BCS title game last season. They'll find an invitation stuffed in their mailbox this season, thanks to a veteran defense and dynamic offense led by QB Matthew Stafford and RB Knowshon Moreno. Woof, woof.
2. Ohio State
The team you love to say isn't worthy of BCS title-game appearances will be knocking on the door for a third year in a row, buoyed by one of the nation's best defenses paced by LB James Laurinaitis. RB Chris Wells for the Heisman?
3. USC
Stop me if you've heard this before the Trojans are the most talented team in the nation. Yeah, there's a new quarterback (Mark Sanchez), but the offense won't skip a beat and the defense will be as good as ever.
4. Oklahoma
With QB Sam Bradford and TB DeMarco Murray, the Sooners have the talent and motivation after losing their past four BCS bowls to get to their third BCS title game in six seasons.
5. Florida
The Gators have the offensive weapons (see QB Tim Tebow and WR Percy Harvin) to be the class of the SEC and the nation. But the defense must be better and a threat is needed at running back.
6. Missouri
Is Chase Daniel the best quarterback in the nation? Of course. Is WR Jeremy Maclin the nation's deadliest weapon? You bet. The defense? It's the best in these parts since the 1960s.
7. Texas
Remember 2005? Bevo does. That's when the Longhorns last won the national title and the last time they had a great defense. The arrival of coordinator Will Muschamp means Texas again will have a terrific defense and a shot at greatness.
8. Clemson
No program has a deadly backfield trio like the Tigers with QB Cullen Harper and RBs C.J. Spiller and James Davis. Yeah, Tommy Bowden finally may get his day in the sun.
9. Auburn
When is America going to realize Tommy Tuberville's greatness? It could happen this season with a veteran roster. But there is one problem: A quarterback has to emerge in new coordinator Tony Franklin's spread attack.
10. West Virginia
Lost among the he said/she said Rich Rodriguez divorce headlines is that the Mountaineers still have QB Pat White and RB Noel Devine. And that makes WVU the class of the Big East.

Inside look at the contenders | Rivals Radio: Tom Dienhart joins Bill King

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