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Rivals: 2008 Preseason Top 25 (Guess where USF is)

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1. USC (11-2)

USC remains Rivals.com's preseason No. 1, losing only guard Chilo Rachal early to the draft. The Trojans' defense gets a big boost with linebackers Rey Maualuga and Brian Cushing returning for their senior seasons.

2. Georgia (11-2)

A young team from 2007 returns eight starters on each side of the ball. And only four of the 16 returning starters are seniors. Quarterback Matthew Stafford and running back Knowshon Moreno will lead the offense.

3. Ohio State (11-2)

No team dodged the early entry deadline more than the Buckeyes. Ohio State lost defensive end Vernon Gholston, but linebacker James Laurinaitis, cornerback Malcolm Jenkins and offensive tackle Alex Boone elected to return for their senior seasons.

4. Missouri (12-2)

The Tigers may have passed Oklahoma as the preseason favorite in the Big 12. Missouri still has offensive weapons despite losing senior tight end Martin Rucker, tailback Tony Temple and wide receiver Will Franklin.

5. Florida Sucks (9-4)

Defensive end Derrick Harvey left early for the NFL, but tight end Cornelius Ingram removed his name from the draft and returned to school. The Gators offense adds a top-notch running back in USC transfer Emmanuel Moody.

6. LSU (12-2)

The Tigers lost their senior defensive stars - defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey, linebacker Ali Highsmith and safety Craig Steltz - and have had to replace defensive coordinator Bo Pelini.

7. West Virginia (11-2)

The time is now for rising sophomore Noel Devine, who will have to shoulder more of the load without tailback Steve Slaton. Bill Stewart inherits a talented squad from Rich Rodriguez.

8. Oklahoma (11-3)

The Sooners still can make a run at the Big 12 title – and possibly the national title – but they lost three of their best players early to the NFL: wide receiver Malcolm Kelly, linebacker Curtis Lofton and cornerback Reggie Smith.

9. Auburn (9-4)

Defensive tackle Pat Sims was something of surprise departure. On the coaching front, the Tigers go into 2008 with two new coordinators - Tony Franklin on offense and Paul Rhoads on defense.

10. Clemson (9-4)

Defensive end Phillip Merling opted for the draft. So did running back James Davis - for a while, anyway. The Tigers kept their talented backfield intact when Davis changed his mind and returned to Clemson.

11. Virginia Tech (11-3)

The Hokies lost junior cornerback Brandon Flowers, but cornerback Victor Harris opted to stay in Blacksburg. Virginia Tech got a big boost when running back Branden Ore pulled his name out of the draft.

12. BYU (11-2)

The Cougars must replace much of their defense, but BYU has the offense for a run at a Bowl Championship Series game. QB Max Hall, WR Austin Collie and TE Dennis Pitta should make for a potent passing attack.

13. Wisconsin (9-4)

Maybe cornerback Jack Ikegwuonu, who tore his ACL while preparing for the draft, wishes he stayed in school. The Badgers still return nine starters on defense.

14. Kansas (12-1)

Cornerback Aqib Talib and offensive tackle Anthony Collins were early departures. Defensive coordinator Bill Young's move to Miami could be just as significant.

15. Texas (10-3)

Even without two early entries - tailback Jamaal Charles and tight end Jermichael Finley - Texas should still have enough firepower on offense. Adding rising star defensive coordinator Will Muschamp is a boost to the coaching staff.

16. Texas Tech (9-4)

The Red Raiders return 10 offensive starters and nine on defense. Maybe it will be enough to push Texas Tech from eight- and nine-win territory into the Big 12 title game.

17. Arizona State (10-3)

Is this good news or bad news? The Sun Devils, who allowed more sacks than all but two teams in the country, lost both offensive tackles and its top lineman, center Mike Pollak.

18. Penn State (9-4)

The Nittany Lions' defense took a hit by losing senior linebacker Dan Connor and junior cornerback Justin King. Returning linebacker Sean Lee should be Penn State's next premier player at the position.

19. Illinois (9-4)

Quarterback Juice Williams will have to work harder without the safety net of tailback Rashard Mendenhall, who ran for 1,681 yards as a junior before turning pro.

20. Tennessee (10-4)

The Vols have overhauled the offensive coaching staff and there will be a new starting quarterback. But tailback Arian Foster opted to stay for his senior season.

usf_statslogo.gif21. South Florida (9-4)

The Bulls didn't lose any underclassmen, but they will have to re-tool their defense without linebacker Ben Moffitt and cornerbacks Mike Jenkins and Trae Williams.

22. Oregon (9-4)

Tailback Jonathan Stewart surprised few by jumping to the NFL. The defense will be glad strong safety Patrick Chung returned; he declared for the draft but changed his mind and will be back next season.

23. Wake Forest (9-4)

Coach Jim Grobe again resisted overtures from other programs. The Demon Deacons are poised to start five seniors on the defense but must replace three starting defensive linemen.

24. South Carolina (6-6)

The Gamecocks are poised to return to the postseason with the return of 10 defensive starters and a new defensive coordinator. That number does not include linebacker Jasper Brinkley, who played only four games last year because of a knee injury.

25. Fresno State (9-4)

The Bulldogs enter the top 25 thanks to 17 returning starters on a team that won nine games, including a victory over Georgia Tech in the Humanitarian Bowl. The Bulldogs will be tested at UCLA, at Kansas State and against Wisconsin.


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Anywhere in the top25 is fine by me. We will have plenty of shots to get into the Top10 curing the season, im not worried at all. Just hope the players don't let it get to their heads like last year.

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