Week Seven - Top Twenty Five

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Week Seven - Top Twenty Five

Let's just start from scratch this week.
Toss out all the old rankings up to this point.
Notes affecting placement under team/rank.
For teams with loss(es), to whom they lost + location moved up and down
Tie-breaker = favorite method (i.e., if the teams played, who'd likely be favored)

#1, LSU
-beat Virginia Tech, South Carolina, Florida
-stifling defense (though somewhat exposed by great Florida offense)
-played the best of any team in the country thus far
-have the most "quality" wins of any team thus far

#2, California
-beat Tennessee, won at Oregon
-great offensive team; defense could still use work
-few tough games remaining (ASU & USC)

#3, Ohio State
-beat Purdue and Washington on road
-solid defense
-offense (namely QB) still in "growth" mode
-still have yet to hit "gauntlet" of schedule (@ PSU, Wisconsin, Illinois, @ Michigan)

#4, Boston College
-6 wins, 5 against semi-decent (but not great) opponents
-Matt Ryan playing better than ever
-also yet to hit gauntlet (@ Notre Dame, @ VT, FSU, @ Maryland, @ Clemson, Miami)

#5, Oklahoma
-lost to Colorado
-won @ Tulsa and against Texas
-other 4 games = blow outs
-OL play great, QB play great minus loss
-complex, swarming defensive game plan(s)

#6, South Florida
-beat WVU at home
-turnover prone (messy wins over Florida Atlantic & UNC)
-still to face Rutgers, Cincy, Louisville
-stout defense (though tests versus Florida Atlantic)

#7, Oregon
-won handily at Michigan
-only loss to current #2 California on last play (at home)
-obviously talented on offensive side of ball
-to host USC and ASU at home (consecutively)

#8, South Carolina
-lost at #1 LSU
-won at Georgia, beat Mississippi State and Kentucky at home
-stout defense
-new QB seems to click better in offense
-yet to play @ Tennessee and Florida

#9, Missouri
-absolutely destroyed Nebraska
-offense continues to steamroll; defense beginning to click
-play @ Oklahoma this weekend

#10, West Virginia
-lost at South Florida
-mostly steamrolled competition (though weak)
-unimpressive in first half against Marshall & Maryland
-performed well without QB Pat White against Syracuse
-yet to play @ Rutgers, Louisville, @ Cincy

#11, USC
-struggled against Washington
-lost at home to Stanford
-"biggest" win @ Nebraska
-must play @ Notre Dame, @ California, @ Oregon, and @ ASU
-powerful running game, mediocre QB play

#12, Kentucky

-lost at South Carolina
-wins over Arkansas and Louisville
-QB Andre' Woodson gives team major spark
-currently in midst of schedule "gauntlet" (hosting LSU and Florida)

#13, Arizona State
-survived against Washington State
-well balanced in all facets thus far
-yet to play any of other Pac 10 trio (Cal, @ Oregon, and USC)

#14, Illinois

-wins over ranked Penn State and Wisconsin at home
-Juice Williams developing as threatening QB
-opportunistic special teams and defense
-only loss at Missouri (on last play)

#15, Wisconsin

-barely survived at UNLV, against Iowa, and MSU
-only loss at fast rising Illinois team
-PJ Hill = serious threat to opposing defenses
-Donovan showing signs of improvement at QB

#16, Florida
-lost at home to Auburn, at #1 LSU
-needs more offensive threats (other than Tebow & Harvin)
-"young" defense playing extremely well
-still in SEC East race

#17, Cincinnati

-won at Rutgers
-defense continues stellar play
-yet to play Louisville, @ South Florida, WVU

#18, Kansas
-big win at Kansas State
-absolutely dismantled four previous opponents
-no overly tough games on schedule (sans regular season finale v. Mizzou)

#19, Virginia Tech

-lost at #1 LSU
-offense continues to underperform (another sub 225 yard game v. Clemson)
-stellar special teams play
-great defensive play since LSU debacle
-upcoming schedule could be tricky (BC, FSU, Miami (FL))

#20, Florida State

-loss at Clemson
-wins at Colorado and over Alabama
-offense looks better under QB Xavier Lee
-stout defense

#21, Hawai'i
-no major wins; but handling schedule given to them
-only major games for year are versus Boise State and Washington
-QB Colt Brennan continues to perform as usual against under-manned teams

#22, Auburn
-wins over Kansas State and at Florida
-losses to Mississippi State and South Florida
-scrappy defense
-offense needs consistency under QB Brandon Cox

#23 - #25. (please select three of the following, your choice)
-Tennessee (gave up too many points in losses to Cal and Florida)
-Georgia (owned at Tennessee, lost at home to South Carolina)
-Texas (struggled most of year, lost to Kansas State and Oklahoma)
-Purdue (only one loss, against #3 Ohio State)
-Indiana (5-1, only loss to Illinois)
-Colorado (losses to undefeated Arizona State and 4-1 Florida State)

And I thought making a ranking for last week was bad. I am still not happy with these rankings, but they'll do for now. Truth is, we don't know how good anyone outside of LSU (and maybe Florida) is because of the lack of big games they've played. I felt I couldIcon place some teams higher (Oklahoma, Oregon, Missouri) - but on what grounds? Has Oregon really played anyone other than Cal? Michigan is unimpressive to me considering their performance as a whole. Then you have USC. How far do they drop, after squeaking by Washington, then losing to Stanford, at home. Their biggest win of the year, at Nebraska, certainly doesn't look impressive in hindsight. The week after, Ball State put 610 yards on Nebraska, they were a drive away from giving up 500 to Iowa State, and then got absolutely thrashed at Missouri. How far does two-loss Florida drop? They hung tough with the indisputable #1 team in the land for 59 or so minutes at a thunderous Death Valley. Then again, they have lost twice now, and can't remain too high or they'll hold other more deserving one-loss and yet undefeated teams out of this year's BCS and title race.

Point is, I've decided you could almost do without rankings this year. Just appoint LSU #1, and let everyone else fight it out. With the shocking losses (and near losses), the comparative theory isn't quite working this year.

Examples:

Auburn lost to Mississippi State and South Florida at home, yet won at Florida - who was this|close to besting godly LSU in front of a thunderous nearly 93,000. Mind you, South Florida had its hands full with Florida Atlantic, quite the powerhouse huh? And, Mississippi State didn't put away UAB until the final four or so minutes.

USC lost to Stanford, at home. Stanford, who beat USC without its starting QB, was beaten thoroughly the week before by Arizona State, 3 - 41. Arizona State clung on by the skin of its teeth against Washington State, whom USC beat rather badly if my memory serves me correct (47-14). Stanford also lost 17-45 to UCLA, who lost at home to Notre Dame of all teams. 

This is the one I love best. Florida beat Tennessee 59 - 20; and Tennessee owned Georgia (especially in the first half) and wound up winning 35 - 14. What does that mean Florida will do to Georgia between the hedges? I seriously doubt either team wins by more than a 7 or 8 points... but then again... I'd only need Georgia to dominate Florida oh, lets say 42 - 17 (NOT) or so to finish that circle of "non-comparativeness".  

You can do that with about any combination of teams this year, and it'll never work out for the better, so why waste time. I hope these don't anger some people to the point they send me a bitter email (haha...) or try to say why their team(s) should be higher. Why? Because I bet I can think of 17 reasons (minimum) of why they shouldn't. Unless, you go for LSU of course. Then again, that's why they're the undisputed #1.

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