The release of the first BCS standings has predictably rehashed the arguments we hear every year from all parties involved.
Here are my two cents on the contenders:
Ohio State is No. 1 in the country because they were the top ranked team in the preseason polls who have yet to lose a game.
They have played the weaker half of their schedule, and with games against Wisconsin, Penn State, and Michigan down the stretch, they can prove to the country they deserve to make the title game. These are three tough games, no matter how weak the Big Ten may be this season.
However, Ohio State is not the best team in the country.
South Florida is a fantastic story. They are also a great team, with a great defense and a very good quarterback. They are well-coached and know how to win both at home and on the road. Their win over Auburn should silence the SEC critics, and the win over West Virginia stands tall.
South Florida wouldn't go undefeated in the SEC schedule, but they proved they can win on the road in the conference. They are not to be taken lightly, and if they go undefeated with wins over Rutgers, Louisville, and Cincinnati upcoming, they must make the title game.
Boston College has been up and down this season. Everyone says their best win is against Georgia Tech, but really it was against Wake Forest to open the season.
Matt Ryan is easily one of the top QBs in the country, and he will lead the Eagles down the stretch against Virginia Tech, Clemson, and the other ACC opponents. This team can win all those games and are better than most people think.
Yes, it's difficult to go undefeated in the SEC, but it's hard to go undefeated in every conference in college football. You need look no further than USC, California, Oklahoma, and West Virginia to see on any given day you can lose in your conference.
Why should the SEC get an advantage over every other BCS conference in that respect? You want to tell me a one-loss LSU team is more deserving than a one-loss West Virginia team? I will accept the argument because both teams have lost, but for right now they need to accept they lost a game and other teams have not.
I don't want to hear the SEC is so much harder. The SEC is considered the best BCS conference, and has a great deal of exposure. They get the best recruits in the country year-in, year-out. If the advantages the SEC provides to its member schools isn't good enough, I encourage said school to start playing in the Sun Belt. The team can go undefeated, then argue its case.
Little Old Wake Forest
I know I am biased as a graduate, but it astounds me how little publicity Wake Forest gets. The team won the ACC last year, regardless of the strength of the conference. They had a fourth-quarter lead over Louisville in the Orange Bowl before losing a close game.
The team started 0-2 this season, with losses at Boston College and a home loss against Nebraska, a loss that looks worse every week, but a loss that occurred with Wake's starting quarterback out with injury.
Since then, Wake has won four straight, including conference victories over Maryland and Florida State, two teams still receiving more votes in the polls than the Deacs. With a manageable schedule down the stretch, the Deacs can win 9-10 games again this season.
After Rutgers had a great season last year, people knew Greg Schiano would have them on the national stage for a while. College football fans should get used to the fact that the Demon Deacons aren't going anywhere. Last season was not a one-shot deal.
Wake is one of a number of cases where the name on the front of the jersey and the logo on the helmet precedes the play on the field.
-Let me be the next in the long line of people praising Mike Hart. This guy has done everything a team could ask of a player. He has been a leader on and off the field, and is the reason Michigan has won five straight games and controls their own destiny in the Big Ten.
-I'm not sure which one yet, but either Arizona State or Kansas is going to explode over the last half of the season. Both have a lot of talent and have been flying under the radar. Arizona State is a little better, but certainly has the harder schedule. Kansas can take advantage of a weaker Big 12 and doesn't have Texas or Oklahoma on the regular season schedule.
-There are still a handful of ACC teams that can win the conference. While BC is the top dog, Virginia Tech is slowly marching along, although they need need to improve offensively and are battling injuries. Virginia has yet to lose in conference play. Miami, Wake Forest, Maryland, and Clemson all have the ability to turn it on and will be ready to pounce if the division leaders start losing.
-In case you were too busy watching the NFL or MLB, the Boise State-Nevada game Sunday night was unbelievable. Two teams trading punches and fighting through four overtimes. If this were a BCS conference game, the media wouldn't stop talking about it for years.
-Colorado State coach Sunny Lubick might retire at the end of the season. The Rams have started 0-6 and have lost 13 straight. If he does go, it is a big loss for both the Rams and college football as a whole. He has been a good coach and a good man, and has earned the respect of the fans of rival Colorado.
-Something tells me I'm not the only one who thinks the situation in Lincoln is going to get a lot worse before it gets better. The train is completely off the tracks at Nebraska and Bill Callahan won't get a chance to get it back on.