College Football Rankings Week 11: Which Teams Got Absolutely Screwed?
Fresh off a Week 10 slate that gave us dominant performances by Florida State and Michigan State, the Week 11 rankings (AP and Coaches) are out, and it's time to get a look at where things stand heading into the home stretch.
As is always the case, some teams seem too high, and others far too low. Do we take into account injuries sustained, as is the case with Georgia? What about teams that may not have great resumes but are playing quality football, like Texas?
Either way, you can't please everybody, and before everything else, yes, the debate between Oregon and Florida State for the No. 2 spot will rage on.
Now, however, it's time to take a look at five teams who got absolutely screwed in this week's polls.
All stats via ESPN
When a team is unfairly ranked, you can usually find some sort of justification, even if doesn't sit well with everyone.
That said, there is no way that UCF should be ranked No. 21 in the USA Today Sports Coaches Poll.
This is a team that has a great quarterback in Blake Bortles and a sparkling resume that boasts road wins over both Penn State and Louisville. The Cardinals, oh by the way, are No. 16 in the Coaches Poll, a full five spots ahead of the Knights.
How does that work out?
The only loss suffered by George O'Leary's team came against South Carolina by a score of 28-25.
With powerhouses like Houston, Temple and Rutgers coming up on the schedule, it's unlikely that you'll see Central Florida make any real noise in the rankings. But this team is extremely underrated, and the fact that it sits below Louisville in the Coaches Poll is a crime.
Arizona State Sun Devils
What do you look for in determining where a team should be ranked? How it's currently playing? What the resume looks like? Perhaps how it looks in relation to other teams in the Top 25?
Using those factors, Arizona State is underrated when it comes to the Week 11 polls.
The Sun Devils are 23rd in the AP and 24th in the Coaches, but multiple factors point to this squad being Top-20 material.
Both losses on the schedule came versus teams currently in the Top 25 (Notre Dame and Stanford). Todd Graham's team also has quality wins over Wisconsin, Washington and USC. Say what you want about the Trojans, but their defense is above average, and the Sun Devils scorched it for 62 points.
Taylor Kelly and Marion Grice lead the explosive offense, while the defense has allowed minus-three yards rushing in the last two games combined.
Getting blown out by Stanford back in September hurt this team, and the loss to the Fighting Irish set it back even further, but this is a squad playing quality football right now.
Oklahoma State Cowboys
In the Coaches Poll, Oklahoma State is ranked 11th, which seems about right for a team with a couple of nice wins and one bad loss to West Virginia.
In the AP, however, the Cowboys are 15th, which doesn't make much sense.
For starters, that puts Mike Gundy's team behind three teams (LSU, South Carolina and Texas A&M) that have two losses. That also puts the Cowboys behind a one-loss Miami team that got exposed against Florida State on Saturday.
As mentioned, this team should be in the Top 10, or at least close to it. And remember, it'll have plenty of opportunities to climb in the polls with games against Texas, Baylor and Oklahoma still on the schedule.
But because of some of the teams ahead of the Cowboys in the AP poll, they were unfairly treated in the Week 11 rankings.
Michigan State Spartans
Raise your hand if you'd like to face Michigan State right now. Anyone? Anyone at all?
Aside from perhaps the Top Five teams in the country, this is a Spartans team that can play with, and beat, anybody.
The defense is as good as you'll find in the country, which is evidenced by the negative-48 rushing yards it held the rival Michigan Wolverines to on Saturday.
In fact, the unit has allowed more than 20 points on just one occasion, a 42-28 victory over Indiana.
With Connor Cook at quarterback, the offense has started to find a rhythm, and while nobody will confuse Sparty with Baylor or Oregon, solid scoring outputs have this team in prime position to capture the Legends Division title.
Oh, right. We almost forgot about the polls, where the Coaches have the Spartans at No. 19 and the AP at No. 18. But give me Mark Dantonio's squad over a Top-15 team like Miami or Missouri any day.
Any time you bring up a well-known team like the Texas Longhorns, you're bound to divide the discussion between those who think they stink and those who think they are underrated.
We're in the latter group, and the unranked Longhorns were screwed in this week's polls. Why should a team that loses badly to Ole Miss and BYU ever be ranked again?
Because Mack Brown's squad is playing good football right now and has several impressive wins to prove it.
The Longhorns beat Oklahoma, a Top-10 team in the Coaches Poll, by 16 points. They pasted TCU by 23.
The offense is starting to hum again, and the defense is playing spirited football for coordinator Greg Robinson.
By no means does Texas deserve a Top-20 spot until it puts together a couple more impressive performances, but it should have squeaked into the Week 11 polls.