I've seen a lot of college football in the past few weeks, and I've seen a lot of big teams. I've haven't had the chance to really evaluate TCU, Boise State, Cincinnati or Iowa.
But I've really seen Oklahoma, Texas, Florida, Alabama and USC.
That said, after this past weekend of college football, I came to a realization.
In my opinion, USC is the best team in college football right now.
I have to be honest with myself, I live in Texas, I like Mack Brown and Colt McCoy, but Texas should not have won that game. They got extremely lucky with Sam Bradford getting knocked out.
A 16-13 win over Oklahoma when they don't have their Heisman-winning quarterback under center is no victory. It is pathetic.
It is as if some of the players feel the championship is going to be given to them because of what happened last year. As much as that would make a lot of people in my neighborhood happy, it ain't going to happen.
They may finish the season undefeated, but Texas's schedule (after Oklahoma State in two weeks) is like putting a sumo wrestler against a dachshund in a wrestling match. The only real challenge is Texas A&M, and that's only because A&M hates Texas' guts, not because of talent.
The Longhorns may make it to the National Championship, but they need to act as if they want to win/earn it or they will lose it to whoever they are playing. And I won't feel sorry for them.
Next on the list is Alabama. Alabama is a great team defensively and at running back.
However, Greg McElroy has to improve if this team wants to win it all. The junior has time to win a championship next year, but why not now?
I think he has a chance to be a great quarterback. He is learning, but at a pace that can keep Alabama winning and have him ready to take on Florida in the SEC Championship game, should it happen.
No quarterback should hope for a great team to lose in order for him to win. He needs to be ready as if he's playing the best in the end.
Until McElroy improves, he is a liability to that team. He has to be, at least, a consistent, decent passer in order for Alabama to have success with the run game or the team is one-dimensional.
I like Alabama, so I hope McElroy does improve, but it is up to him to shape Alabama football history.
When I look at the Big Ten, I think they are all equal.
Ohio State has a bad quarterback when it comes to big games. Michigan is getting better, but the Big House is not the Big Dog this year. Penn State looked like it was getting better, but they got upset by Iowa.
Iowa is a tricky question to me. They are undefeated at 7-0 and many are wondering if a new ruler has emerged in the Big Ten. I haven't seen them play much, but from what I have seen, I think they are the Big Ten's big champ right now.
The question is, are they one of the top college football teams in not just the Big Ten, but in the country?
They beat Penn State, a very good team by the polls, so they have to be better, right?
That's one theory. I have another.
How about the fact that Joe Paterno has been at Penn State so long that some kids have grandparents from his early days that maybe, just maybe, now know all of the magician's tricks?
Penn State has never strayed away from being Linebacker U and having good running backs. Teams had to have figured out how to beat that within the last two decades.
Isn't it possible that because it is Joe Paterno, because his team looks pretty good, that the voters may be overrating his teams in the polls?
Lastly, I look at Florida.
The Gators impressed me until last Saturday. I hate to say it, Gator fans, but you got some bogus penalty calls for your team, and that Arkansas kicker just sucked.
He may be just a kid, but he's supposed to make 38- and 40-yard field goals. .
Yes, the Gators won, but it definitely made me think twice about Florida as the best team in college football. I definitely don't think they are.
So, who is No. 1?
USC has been playing fabulously lately. They kept Notre Dame from completing a fierce comeback and they beat Ohio State on the road in one of the toughest visiting environments.
Matt Barkeley, a freshman, has proven himself as the best choice at quarterback. He may be a bit too cocky, but he's doing his job.
They did lose to Washington, but who was under center? Aaron Corp, who's mistakes cost USC the football game.
Matt Barkeley is the true quarterback for USC. I cannot say that USC would have lost to Washington with him in charge.
They have great receivers, a great defense, a great running game and a Hall of Fame coach in Pete Carroll who knows how to win.
Now, there could be arguments for Boise State. I could be underestimating Iowa. Florida, Texas and Alabama may pull it together.
But right now, USC is the most balanced, complete team I have seen and is the best in college football in my eyes.
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