2011 Inaugural Bourbon Meyer Top 25

So long summer. Welcome back love of my life. Did this past weekend fly by for anyone else? I spent all day both days outside, soaking in the sun, getting yard work done, playing with my kids and saying goodbye. For the next four months, I won’t see much of any of that on the weekends. And if you are reading this, neither will you.

I won’t make this another trite college football is back, I love the fall column. There are plenty of hacks in the media who will fill out that quota. The reason – it is easy. They can crank out the same column every year with only minor updates.

Instead, utilize this column as a primer for some of the overlooked points of preparation for the college football season. At the end, I’ll unveil the inaugural Bourbon Meyer Top 25 poll. As always the poll is an amalgam of various BM contributors’ opinions run through our super computer (our trusty Commodore 64, Atari 2600 and new this year, KITT from the 80s hit show Knight Rider). The result is the finest poll this side of Cafe Risque.

Bourbon Meyer's Super Computer, manned by Mr. Two Bits (the photo is black and white or you'd see the trademark yellow shirt and blue/orange tie

As you prepare for 2011’s first weekend bender – I mean seriously, does anyone expect to be sober at any point between Thursday and Monday nights – try to remember there is more to fall than booze and ball:

1. Gambling

Substantially trickier this year after the events of Black Friday back in April. Of course those sites were poker sites and no sports betting sites were whacked. For now, it appears the big boys of the online world have been savvy enough with their URLs and payment options to avoid the ire of the Feds. But most casual squares like me and you are worried. Of course, not many of us live next to Teddy Dupay so a local bookie is not an option. That means you’ll have to take your chances. Stick to the big names, don’t chase sites that pop up and offer crazy incentives and you should be alright. It should go without saying that you should never have more in your account than you can afford to lose so if the sites do go down, it is just another painful reminder of how hypocritical many of the laws in this country are. Happy betting!

2. Fantasy Football

Not just for pros anymore. The world of college fantasy football has really grown over the last few years. Bourbon Meyer has a team competing in our good friends’ GatorsFirst league this year. It may seem quite daunting at first but there are so many ways to customize a league that you could conceivably get one going with 4 people drafting only within the SEC and enjoy yourself. As far as I’m concerned, you cannot have enough ways to win lose money during the football season.

3. Gator Pick ‘Em

I don’t know Oz and John. I don’t really remember how I got started in their pick ’em pool. But I do know that these guys have been running a hell of college football pick ’em league via email for at least three years. They send weekly emails – I know, who uses email still, just trust me, it is worth checking once a week for this – with a handful of SEC and top 25 games with spreads to pick. They keep updated standings for each week and for the entire season and wrap it all up with a bowl session. There are no prizes, no rewards, just the complete satisfaction of seeing your name in lights near the top one week or God forbid for the whole season. Not that I’ve ever been close. Get a few of your friends to join you and make it interesting among your group.

4. Pick Your Cats

A few of the older dudes here at Bourbon Meyer have been doing this since our days in Gainesville back in the early 1990s. The basic premise is you select one player each year that is your Cat. This is the guy you root for above all other guys. When he makes a play in a game, everyone knows it was YOU who made the play. Your friends must call out your name at the conclusion of the play. If you aren’t with them, they must text you with props. This might not sound like a lot of fun but believe me, there is nothing better than finding a diamond in the rough and riding that player to three years of accolades. Sonny Beam’s selection of Ahmad Black back in 2007 was legendary. I had a nice run with Guss Scott a decade ago. Of course, you live with the duds as well. I’m still scarred from my selection of Hot Tamale, Terrance Holmes. You get one offensive and one defensive guy each year and you are married to the Cat until he graduates or is booted off the team.

5. Shirt Selection

Arguably more important than any scheme Will Muschamp or Charlie Weis has installed or all the offseason time in Mickey Marotti’s weight room, your choice of what to wear this season will determine what bowl game Florida plays in.

It doesn't matter how much Shariff Floyd can bench if you aren't properly attired

Everyone knows how important it is to find the right shirt or jersey that will produce the proper mojo and lead the Gators to victory. After last season’s debacle, I trust you have burned your 2010 clothes. The rules to the shirt selection vary from person to person. Some will never wear the same shirt twice, meaning a new shirt every year regardless of the previous season’s results. Of course after the first loss of the season, the new shirt must be abandoned in favor of an old reliable or another new shirt. Others mix and match shirts throughout the year. Ride a hot streak or pull out a shirt that has had success against certain schools. The choice is yours, no one can make it for you, just know that all of our happiness rests on the decision.

And now that your prepped for some of the important sides to the main dish, let’s all get ready to feast in five days.

Here’s this year’s preseason BM top 25.

  1. Alabama
  2. Boise State
  3. Oklahoma
  4. Oregon
  5. Stanford
  6. Wisconsin
  7. South Carolina
  8. Oklahoma State
  9. Florida State
  10. Texas A&M
  11. Nebraska
  12. Arkansas
  13. LSU
  14. Virginia Tech
  15. TCU
  16. Notre Dame
  17. Michigan State
  18. Mississippi State
  19. Georgia
  20. Missouri
  21. Ohio State
  22. USC
  23. Arizona State
  24. Texas
  25. Florida
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