Frank Beamer and Charlie Weis might actually have something to smile about this fall. Virginia Tech and Notre Dame return experienced offensive lines, and as Darren Everson of the Wall Street Journal notes, that usually adds up to a lot of victories.
The Hokies and Fighting Irish each have 100 combined starts by members of their offensive lines. Last season, eight of the top 10 teams in the final Associated Press poll began the season with at least 65 combined career starts by their offensive linemen.
Florida and Oklahoma, the teams that met in the Bowl Championship Series title game, were also among that group, as were surprises Utah and Mississippi.
Preseason top-10 teams Georgia, Missouri and Clemson were disappointments, but maybe that wasn't such a stunner when you consider that each entered 2008 with fewer than 40 starts.
This could add up to bad news for Oregon, West Virginia, Oklahoma or Penn State in 2009. Each of those teams return fewer than 40 starts.