University of Alabama nose tackle, Jessie Williams, bench-pressed 600 pounds earlier this summer. 600 pounds. That means he bench-pressed the equivalent of two very large interior offensive linemen. This, along with his surprising quickness, bodes extremely well for Williams’s prospects of occupying more than one offensive lineman (thus leaving at least one of our linebackers unblocked) per snap.

Why does this excite me? Because I am a sinner. I am a sinner’s sinner.  Allow me to explain. When autumn approaches, I go against all theological rationale and wrap myself in the identity that was given to me at birth… that of an Alabama football fan. As a boy, I won when the Tide won. I lost when the Tide lost. I knew LSU was in town when the aroma of corn dogs wafted. When I began to hear incessant whining and tractor noises, I knew Auburn could not be far away. When the faint hint of “Dueling Banjoes” permeated the cooling air, it was clear that Tennessee week was at hand. It was the best of times and it was the worst of times.

Lately, my identity has been doing quite well, thank you. Winning two out of the last three national championships is always a boon to one’s self-esteem. Never mind that I contributed nothing to the effort and Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban doesn’t know me from Adam’s housecat. That makes no difference whatsoever. Recently acquired anthropological insight has placed me, in this regard, firmly with the Pharisee in Luke 18: “God, I thank you that I am not like other people: war chickens, corn dogs, hillbillies, or even that Gator over there (who looks like he would make for a mighty nice pair of shoes). I make fun of losers and we have won 14 national championships and 22 SEC championships over our illustrious history.” And, herein, lies the sinner in me. Or, at least, the one I wish to vouchsafe publicly.

And, so, for all of you other sinners out there who either revel with me in the Crimson Tide’s success or (rudely and cravenly, I might add) desperately want to knock Mighty Alabama off of its perch, here is the official preseason Mockingbird Power Poll (this will only be top ten because who cares about the others?):

  1. Alabama – The Tide will have three potential All-Americans on the offensive line alone.  Junior quarterback A.J. McCarron led the team to the national championship last season and Nick Saban’s defenses always stifle its girly-man opponents.  “Domination” is the word of the season.
  2. Southern Cal – There has been a lot of big talk from the bleach-blonde hippies out on the left coast but second place is just first loser.
  3. LSU – The battle royale that will take place in Baton Rouge on November 3 between LSU and Alabama will be epic, epic, epic.  The Tiger defense will not lose much from a dominating unit in 2011, despite the offseason loss of Tyrann Mathieu.  The quarterback position will improve also.  This does not change the fact that, in Alabama, LSU will meet their daddy.
  4. Florida State – This team has recruited well and they are well-coached.  They are one year away from second place… the highest they will ever get.
  5. Oklahoma – Great quarterback.  Who in the Big 12 will beat them?  Do they even play football out there anymore?
  6. Oregon – The Ducks will be flying high until the Men of Troy take them down.  This is apropos because they run a sissy offense.
  7. Georgia – South Carolina will actually beat Georgia because the Cocks are better.  But the Dawgs don’t play a SEC West team worth mentioning.  What a crock.  They will be annihilated by Alabama in the SEC Championship game.
  8. South Carolina – South Carolina should be pretty good this year but they have a brutal schedule.  Just like last year, the best team in the SEC East won’t be in Atlanta.  A pity.  The Tide would really love some revenge for the 2010 anomaly.  Marcus Lattimore is my pick for the Heisman Trophy should he remain upright.
  9. Michigan – The Wolverines won’t be in the Top 10 for long after this weekend’s game in Dallas during which their manhood will be taken away.  This does not mean they are a bad team.  They will probably win their conference but winning the Big 10 is a lot like kissing your sister.
  10. West Virginia – The Mountaineers should have a pretty good team this year.  But who cares?
For the national championship: Alabama 24 Southern Cal 13

I hope you have enjoyed this totally unbiased coverage of the upcoming college football season.  Now back to the regularly-scheduled coverage of the Presidential election.