College Football Rankings 2013 Week 8: Exposing Biggest BCS Pretenders
After an insane Week 7 in which several top teams were exposed as pretenders, the landscape of college football rankings experienced a major implosion.
Gone from the top of the rankings are teams like the Stanford Cardinal—after a stunning loss to an unranked Utah team. The Florida Gators fell as well but were the victims of a legitimate opponent in rival LSU.
We're a ways out from full-blown BCS talk, but seven weeks of football easily separate the contenders from pretenders.
The following teams have done an excellent job of faking it thus far.
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The time for making excuses for the Georgia Bulldogs has passed.
Yes, the team is without key players. Todd Gurley missed the major loss to Missouri last week. Star running back Keith Marshall and receiver Justin Scott-Wesley are out for the season per ESPN's David Ching. The list goes on for days.
In reality, Georgia is a major team in the SEC and overcoming the inevitable injuries is part of the deal. A defense that gives up a laughable 33.7 points per game, good for the No. 105 rank in the county, is the major reason for the Bulldogs' woes.
Offensively, quarterback Aaron Murray is playing great ball, but he does just enough to lose his team games regardless:
No. 25 Missouri upsets No. 7 Georgia 41-26! Aaron Murray passes for 454 yards but a couple of key INTs cost the Bulldogs.— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 12, 2013
Georgia has defeated legit competition such as LSU and Tennessee by just a combined six points and was blown out by Missouri last week, 41-26.
The Bulldogs are undoubtedly pretenders in 2013.
The unexpected good news for the Missouri Tigers is that Heisman candidate quarterback James Franklin will only miss a maximum of five weeks after suffering a shoulder injury in the upset over Georgia in Week 7.
Dave Matter of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch broke the news, which was revealed by head coach Gary Pinkel:
Pinkel: Franklin out 3-5 weeks— Dave Matter (@Dave_Matter) October 14, 2013
Pinkel says Nov. 16 bye week comes in a good spot for Franklin's recovery— Dave Matter (@Dave_Matter) October 14, 2013
Unfortunately the good news ends there for Missouri.
For one, Missouri has yet to play a legitimate defense. In fact, the Tigers have yet to encounter a defense ranked in the top 50 in terms of points allowed per game.
As luck would have, Franklin will miss the next two games at least, both of which are contests with serious defenses in Florida (No. 4) and South Carolina (No. 39 ).
Even worse, Missouri's pass defense is among the worst in the SEC as Bulldogs' beat writer Radi Nabulsi illustrated before the showdown with Georgia:
Missouri has two seniors at the cornerback positions, a senior & junior at the safety spots, but has the worst pass defense in #SEC. 293 ypg— Radi Nabulsi (@RadiNabulsi) October 9, 2013
How did Missouri fare against Georgia? By allowing Aaron Murray to throw for 290 yards. Hey, at least they are consistent. Just not in a good way.
The next few weeks will bring the Tigers back down to Earth.
Behind the arm of the nation's top quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, the Louisville Cardinals tout college football's No. 14 ranked passing attack at 329.2 passing yards per game.
One problem—the Cardinals have a cupcake schedule this season and defeated six teams with a combined record of 13-23 and have played one defense ranked No. 32 overall (Ohio from the MAC, which Louisville defeated 49-7); the rest have ranked 84th or worse.
Louisville needs more than Bridgewater to compete against legitimate competition. The Cardinals slipped by Rutgers last week 24-10 but leaned on the defense because Bridgewater committed two costly turnovers.
One down game from Bridgewater and Louisville's search for a BCS bid is out the window. The numbers for Louisville are great, but it's not saying much given the level of competition.
Louisville may have trouble being taken seriously in the BCS even with an undefeated record. Two teams in front of the Cardinals in the polls lost last week—and Louisville was jumped by two one-loss teams rather than moving up.
The game against Rutgers was a chance to prove the Cardinals are worthy of the BCS. Bridgewater and Co. simply didn't do enough.
Follow B/R's Chris Roling on Twitter for more news and analysis @Chris_Roling
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