With Week 1 games just around the corner, it's time for the last of the preseason polls. Exclusive to EDSBS, we commissioned former *NSYNC member J.C. Chasez to give us his ranking of the top 25 college football teams entering the year.
1. Ohio State. It's so funny to hear people worried about J.T. Barrett and Cardale Jones battling for that starting job. Take it from me - you CAN have two supremely talented individuals work together to take a team to staggeringly great heights! I'm excited to see what this team does for an encore.
2. Alabama. Isn't it interesting how Nick Saban and Kirby Smart stick together? I mean, sure, people speculate that Kirby can't be contributing that much or he'd have a head coaching job somewhere, but I think when you have chemistry like Saban and Smart have, you don't break that up. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
3. TCU. Look, it's not that I'm not happy for Justin. I am. But who knows what the group could have done if we'd kept at it! Our sound was evolving, the numbers were still through the roof. And we were all getting along, overall. Sure, Joey was starting to grind on us, a bit. We could have just cut him loose.
4. Michigan State. Ugh, I'm sorry. Really doing my best to not focus on the past like that; my therapist says it's not productive. That goes for Michigan State as well. 24-3 is a heck of a record for the Spartans to rack up over the past two season, but they need to be careful not to rest on their laurels. If Connor Cook continues to improve? This team could be going places.
5. Baylor. Shit, it's not as though we were some bullshit B minus group like 98 Degrees.
6. Oregon. Anyways. The Ducks have to replace what may be the greatest player in program history, but you don't get any sense of panic or concern from Eugene. Sure, most of this roster loves Marcus Mariota. They just refuse to let his departure define their legacy.
7. Auburn. And, not to brag, I've done just fine for myself. Some movie roles, a solo album, a long and celebrated career as a judge on America's Best Dance Crew. Were the *NSYNC years great? Sure. Do I think that's the peak for me? Absolutely not.
8. Georgia. One of my earliest memories is New Year's Day, 1981. I was four years old at the time, and we were watching the Sugar Bowl. At the time, there wasn't a sports team I was really into, but I can still remember Herschel Walker running over and around people and thinking "I'm going to be the Georgia Bulldogs of singing."
9. USC. Sark's a good friend. He was at every show we played back in the day, even the Ottawa gig in November. He's unofficially the group's sixth member.
10. Notre Dame. Sometimes it feels like Brian Kelly's so unappreciated. He worked hard to climb the ladder, snagged one of the top spots in the game, brought Notre Dame back into the spotlight - and it's still not enough. I hope that changes soon. That feeling is the worst.
11. Florida State. Chris called me the other day. He wanted to know when we were going to get back to work after this "long break." We just never had the heart to tell him the truth, the poor dude. We may never be able to.
12. Arizona State. Because that's the thing about musical groups: sometimes they get back together. There's a chance - a slim chance, admittedly - that we pull an Eagles and mount a comeback that makes people remember what made us special. I dream of that reunion more often than I care to admit.
13. Clemson. It isn't happening unless Justin proposes it first, though. I won't go crawling on my knees to make it happen. And he damn well better admit that I'm the Glenn Frey.
14. Georgia Tech. Fuck. I just realized it's been fourteen years since we released an album together. I need to go for a walk and think about things.