Bucs Ranked 26th But “Better”

July 10th, 2014

lovie smith 0511There are Super Bowl and division title prognostications for the Bucs. And then there’s the butt end of national fortunetelling.

The folks at ProFootballTalk.com, specifically Hall of Fame voter Darin Gantt, have the Bucs forecast residing in the tush of the NFL.

Gantt sees the Bucs as instantly improved based on the presence of Lovie Smith but currently stymied by their status as fourth best team in the NFC South. The Bucs’ official preseason power ranking on ProFootballTalk.com is No. 26.

In another division, the Bucs prospects would be much brighter.

But for all the changes elsewhere, they’re battling against proven programs with recent success.

If McCown is able to maintain the kind of clean play he gave the Bears last year, they have a real chance to make strides. He has a respect level among players and an underrated athleticism, so there’s a chance he could make them stable.

That might be all they need, as Smith should make the defense better by scheme alone.

Schiano was overmatched in the pro game, and his lack of any kind of interpersonal skills made it worse. You can only play the Bill Belichick tough-guy act if you win, and Schiano never did.

Smith doesn’t have an act, he’s simply a good coach. That’s enough to make the Bucs better in a hurry.

There’s much more to the preseason breakdown via the link above.

Is Tampa Bay really the seventh worst team in the league? Crap, a correct call here would leave the Bucs with the No. 7 overall pick and, likely, a four or five-win season. Joe can’t stomach that thought.

Lovie Smith was absolutely clear in January shortly after his hire. It might have been the deepest look into the head coach’s mindset Bucs fans have seen: “If you play great defense, you can win eight games. If you have great special teams, you can win 10. From there, you need offense,” Lovie said.

Joe isn’t ready to predict the Bucs’ season, but they’re better than 26th best in the NFL.

27 Responses to “Bucs Ranked 26th But “Better””

  1. ToesOnTheLine Says:

    Hate to say it but I didn’t believe the national guys last season when most predicted 5-11/6-10…they were a lot closer than I was with my 9-7/10-6 predictions. I believe the Bucs will finish better than this ranking, but I won’t completely call it BS either (still some ?’s at spots). Prove ’em wrong Bucs!

  2. Mort Says:

    Even the PFT audience is taking them to task for this dumb prediction. This is easily five spots too low and very possibly more.

  3. TopDoggie Says:

    It will come down to injuries. Here and in the rest of the division. Three key players go down on any team and their season is toast. The next man up mantra sounds good but in fact is garbage. How many years in a row did we think we had a top offensive line and they droped like flies?

  4. Tom Edrington Says:

    Hey folks, PFT is simply turning into Missouri and asking the Bucs:

    “Show me!”

    They have a lot to prove, so many question marks and question marks get you ranked in the bottom 25% preseason.

    Like golf, it’s not where you are ranked BEFORE the tournament starts, where are you when it ends?

  5. Louis Friend Says:

    Brutal start to the season. It could very well mean 5-7 wins overall. Anyone expecting them to win 10 games – please tell me how they’re going to do that? This schedule appears as tough as last year’s.

  6. Brandon Says:

    PFT has always hated the Bucs. The season we won 10 games, we were barely able to escape the 20’s and Florio picked against us almost every week. Florio is a perfect example of a guy that regurgitates other people’s news, and then suddenly is handed the title of “expert”. Legal expert, maybe, but Florio knows very little about the NFL/football despite all of his inside connections and intel.

    I couldn’t care less of what PFT or anybody thinks of the Bucs. They will be markedly improved this season, definitely not the 26th best team.

  7. BucFanForever Says:

    My snap gut reaction is that the Bucs will pick 13th. My hope is that they tank and pick 1st. My dream is that they pick 32nd. My thinking says they pick 19th.

  8. Diehard_Bob Says:

    Hey “BucFanForever” ~ Anyone who “hopes” their team tanks and picks 1st is not a fan of that team at all or of the sport. Here’s to hoping that your “dream” comes true.

  9. Buccfan37 Says:

    The Bucs will win at least half of their games, no doubt about it in my mind. The best teams in the league are’nt much better than Lovie’s Bucs. More respect will be coming for our favorite team this year.

  10. Bucsfanman Says:

    @Buccfan37- For me, that would be respectable. I think expecting much more is dangerously optimistic. Prove ’em wrong guys.

  11. Captain Morgan Says:

    Las Vegas thinks we will win 7 1/2 games. I took their analysis of our opponents over/under and keep coming up with 8-8 for us.

  12. Tom Says:

    Yeah pft doesn’t seem to be the biggest fans of Tampa, but I like that. I think flying under the radar early on can get a team focused on proving doubters wrong.

    Talk softly and carry a big wide receiver corps

  13. Eric Says:

    Who picked us to win it in 05 and 07?

  14. Bucsfanman Says:

    “Talk softly and carry a big wide receiver corps”

    ’nuff said!

  15. Kevin Says:

    Does Lovie like having his corners jamming the receivers at the line??? Is that something he does often. I ask because in the past 4-5 season, I have only watched our corners jam a receiver at the line maybe ohhhh……three times total. I want to see them getting physical and disrupting the timing, the routes. Thats how we need to beat drew Brees. That’s how teams beat Brady. Obviously a pass rush comes first…if we are playing 5-10 yards back every snap then QB’s are going to be walking onto the field knowing it’s gonna be a good day. I ask this because I have heard about Lovies defense but have not actually watched game in game out what he does. Does he let his corners off the leashes???

  16. feelthepewterpower Says:

    Buccs arguably have one of the best defenses in the league, and will be used properly. The offense won’t be as conservative, and we’re going to be able to stretch the field with Demps/Sims, Herron, and a couple of other players. The Buccs can also control the clock against good offenses with their dunking style attack with ball-control, and only need their defense to come up big in certain spots instead of the entire game. I look for at least a nine win wild card contention team if not a division contender.

  17. Cody Says:

    This Bucs defense is loaded guys…like, arguably the best defense “talent-wise” Lovie has ever coached loaded…Im 99.9% sure that barring key injuries L&L has assembled a top5, “Super Bowl” caliber defense, yes I said! Super Bowl caliber…that said, the million dollar question is….What’s the offense gonna look like?

    Well, Lovies formula states the great defense/special teams = 10 wins…add a really good offense into that equation and your probably looking at about 12 to 13 wins…add an offensive juggernaut into tha same 10 Win equation and you may not lose a freakin game…

    I’m about 90% sure that we’ll have greaLovies formula is correct and

  18. Cody Says:


  19. Tye Says:

    I have been coming to this site (and other) several times a day for years… I love the Buccaneers and Was excited when the opportunity came for me to enhance my Buccaneers fan life by getting more info. through such sites…

    I now find myself going days and weeks between site visits… With all the recent “MISTAKES” at HC and QB over the past several years it has worn on me…. I don’t see things any different having Lovie Smith and Josh McCown as HC and QB…. A step up from the last few years, YES, but not by much! Neither of them are considered top of their positions… Slightly above average at best… 6-10 this season would not surprise me.

  20. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    I don’t get all this respect for the NFC South! Rukidding me? Let’s take a look at the NFC West. Does anybody believe the Ain’ts are better than the Niners or the defending SB champ Seahawks? Are they even better than the rapidly improving Rams? And even the Cards look to be improving.

    Now do you really compare the Dixie Chicks or the Stinkin’ Panthers to the Niners or Seahawks or even the Rams.

    The NFC East will not be easy either. The Giants and ‘Boys will be very hungry and the Washington Foreskins should be improved.

    The Dixie Chicks and the Panthers are supposed to frighten us. N.O. I get but the other two teams…meh.

  21. biff barker Says:

    My gut says 8-8 too. I see us finishing the season better than we start it. Much has to come together and very quickly as well. With a slow start we could easily be 6-10.

  22. Cody Says:

    3 words…”Team of Destiny”…multiple SuperBowls will be won…believe it…so getcha popcorn ready; this should be a fun team to watch for a while…

  23. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    If Schiano were still coaching, we’d be ranked 34th. By the way, it’s getting late and I don’t have a Greg Schiano sucks article yet to comment on. Starting to get worried

  24. Pat Says:

    Joe, love the Yiddish. Thank you for finally showing us Jews some love.

  25. Reasonable Commenter Says:

    I almost spit my drink all over the computer when I read about Darin Gantt being a HoF voter. If he’s a voter, that speaks volumes about flaws in the system. Dude is a 100% verified stinkin’ panthers homer, tries WAY to hard to be witty in his PFT write-ups, and must have had his milk money stolen while visiting Tampa one time or something. Just look at any Bucs related write-ups he’s spewed out during his time with PFT.

    In regards to the topic, your preseason ranking should fall in line roughly with your previous year’s performance, so 26 is about right. It won’t be right for much longer than week 2 or 3 though…

  26. Joe Says:


    Zol es zayn dir voyl bakumen!

  27. DallasBuc Says:

    ^^that supposed to be Yiddish? Looks more like Dutch or Afrikaans! And what was Pat even referring to? Oh yeah, preseason predictions are mind-numbingly idiotic. Season can’t get here fast enough.