If so, then all SEC, Pac-10, and Big 12 teams will top our list. ACC and Big East schools are right behind, with Conference USA a distant third.
Is it your quality wins?
If quality wins are the sole indicator, then at this point in the season we have to remove quite a few "power" teams, including Oklahoma, Boston College, and definitely Ohio State.
When you're No. 3 in the land and your laundry list of cupcake opponents includes Youngstown State, Akron, Northwestern, Minnesota, and Purdue, you can hardly call yourself a powerhouse.
As a writer, I've gotten quite a bit of flak for putting Oregon so high on my list.
Admittedly, I went there and love the school, but I'm not delusional. Three ESPN analysts have Oregon in the top five, and they're one of the top rushing schools in the nation.
If quality wins are the primary determinant, the rankings need to be shaken up.
Is it your margin of victory?
I don't buy it.
Take Florida, for example. They barely beat Ole Miss in Oxford, but destroyed Tennessee 59-20. Then they lost to Auburn on a field goal, yet nearly beat the consensus No. 1 team a week later.
So please don't give me the whole "but they barely beat so-and-so" argument.
Big deal—they got the victory. End of story.
With all this in mind, I've come up with the "real" POWER rankings as of today, October 10, 2007.
I'll most likely be criticized and ridiculed—but if my thinking is correct, this is the true order.
Quality wins over Florida, South Carolina, and Virgina Tech. There's no doubt about it—these guys are the best. When you're undefeated and have three wins over top-12 teams in the first half of the season, you deserve No. 1.
No argument there.
Beat Tennessee 45-31 and went into Autzen to win a very close game. Got lucky in the end because Nate Longshore was hurt—if that game goes to OT, Oregon wins.
Also went into Colorado State and won. Very little argument that Cal deserves to be No. 2.
3. University of South Florida
If you don't think they're third-best in the nation, something's wrong with you.
We see West Virginia, whom USF beat, in the Top 10. Injuries and conditions be darned, USF won the game. End of story.
Auburn took down Florida, and USF took down Auburn. Oh, Auburn is a different team!
In three weeks? Gimme a break.
USF took the week off against FAU—wouldn't you? This team has two very quality wins on their resume. They're undefeated.
More controversy, but they haven't lost.
They went into Illinois and Oxford and won—convincingly in the latter case. And we all know Nebraska sucks and Bill Callahan is the Norv Turner of college football, but Mizzou's 41-6 win was a rout of epic proportions.
The Tigers look awesome, and I think they beat OU in Norman Saturday. If they do, they're a legit top-five team this season.
They blitzkrieged Houston, Michigan, Fresno, and Stanford (who beat No. 1 USC), and should have defeated No. 2 Cal.
This is a powerful team—a high-flying offense and a pretty good defense. The Ducks are the best one-loss team in the country. Their running attack is mighty, and Dennis Dixon is passing well.
In their victories, it's not close. They're destroying opponents.
Not even in the Top Five discussion...
Ohio State: Best quality win is Purdue...sad.
Boston College: Best win is Georgia Tech (unranked and overmatched team).
Oklahoma: Dominated cupcakes and lost to unranked Colorado
Florida: Two losses...all SEC teams play SEC teams...no excuses.
Close but no cigar...
South Carolina: The win over Georgia looks less impressive now, but they took down Kentucky. A win in Knoxville in two weeks will bump them up.
This is how I see it as of today. We're talking power on power.
Would Florida really lose to USF?
Could Missouri beat Ohio State or BC?
It would be a heck of a game.
In any event, results are all that matter at this point.