College Football Rankings: Will Smith's Top 15 Teams (After Week 3)
Week 3 was a little shaky with some upsets and just the general way some teams played.
Nevertheless, I'm feeling rather confident with my picks and rankings.
Right now I am 77-55 against the spread (58%) and unlike the AP and Coaches' Polls, I give reasoning for my rankings.
Feel free to leave comments on what your Top 15 would be, or just suggesting what teams you feel are out of place.
1. Alabama Crimson Tide
Well, I was hoping for a good game from Duke.
Obviously I wasn’t expecting it to be really close or even for them to win by any margin.
But I at least wanted them to make it a little fun and not run around like a chicken without its head.
But enough about Duke, after all this ranking is about Alabama.
(Though seriously, props to Duke for scheduling Alabama. I really like the direction Duke football is going).
Which is actually why it is very surprising that the spread for Alabama is only -7 against Arkansas.
But hands down, the Crimson Tide has given no reason for anyone to believe they aren’t number one.
2. Boise State Broncos
The victory over Virginia Tech was the win of the season for Boise State…until the Hokies lost to FCS powerhouse James Madison.
So naturally what would any team do in this situation?
Focus all their built up frustrations into one epic beat-down of their next opponent.
Unfortunately for Wyoming, they were that next opponent.
To be honest, I gave Wyoming the confidence of keeping the score between within the spread.
However, I am not saying I thought they’d win.
Therefore, thank you Boise State for proving me wrong and convincing me you are to remain in the number 2 spot.
Hello BCS National Championship.
3. Ohio State Buckeyes
The chance of Ohio beating Ohio State was about the same as every person in the world named Jim spontaneously combusting and then their souls forming an acapella group that sung about their high school sweethearts.
Easily the most exciting part of the game is when Rufus Bobcat started a fight with Brutus.
But ultimately, Rufus’ fate was the same of his team’s, getting embarrassed on television and then being figuratively spanked.
Bring it on Eastern Michigan.
4. Oregon Ducks
It’s time for Oregon to start conference play.
Let’s face it; Portland State and New Mexico were appetizers.
Tennessee is a collapsing program. And Arizona State isn’t much of a team either.
However, it is still more important than the Ducks’ first three games because it is the first step towards a conference title.
Interestingly though, Arizona State surprised Wisconsin with a very narrow victory.
And realistically, if Arizona State had just finished their drives strongly, they probably would have won.
Does that mean Arizona State could beat Oregon?
Perhaps, but Chip Kelly should be prepared for what the Sun Devils have to offer.
5. Nebraska Cornhuskers
I’m a bit lost for words on this one.
Nebraska, the king of all slow offenses; the ruler of field goals, the master of playing like death with the ball, scored 56 point on Washington! How did that happen?
Either Tom Cruise used his witchcraft to save Nebraska’s skills at scoring, or somehow Pelini found a way to make the offense click.
They didn’t even score that much on Western Kentucky!
So here is my ruling, this was not a fluke.
This is the future of Nebraska. Perhaps they won’t play that way every game, but that is the direction the program is going.
Something tells me it won’t take Bo Pelini as long to get a National Championship as long as it did for Tom Osborne.
6. Florida Gators
Here is my dilemma; this year’s top 10 is relatively weak so far.
Personally, I do not feel that Florida is a number 6 team.
In an ideal year they would probably be closer to 10, however there is no one else to place in the top 10 and therefore Florida becomes the number 6 team in the nation.
That being said, Florida has some fantastic players in Jeffrey Demps, Jenoris Jenkins, etc.
In fact, the defense is as stingy as it gets; the offense is what is slowing this team down.
Florida has consistently had trouble finding consistency and rhythm in the offense (and it doesn’t help that Mike Pouncey keeps causing fumbles).
Furthermore, Florida has been terrible offensively in the first half, not even having a score in the first quarter.
Nevertheless, I think Florida will beat Kentucky and really take it away in the second half.
7. Oklahoma Sooners
Landry Jones and Demarco Murray combine to make a dangerous threat.
Oklahoma’s offense went rampant against FSU; a team many people thought would upset Oklahoma.
However, Oklahoma has lost 5 of the last 7 road games, which could cause major problems in the future for Oklahoma’s title hopes.
One thing that looks like it needs fixing is the run defense.
Air Force ran 351 yards on the Sooners, and if this is indicative of how the defense will play against running teams, more talented teams like Texas or Texas A&M will cause some problems.
Coach Stoops just needs to work on it more in practice and Oklahoma could go far this year.
8. Arkansas Razorback
Ryan Mallet has proven he can dominate the air and was able to throw over 400 yards against ULM and led Arkansas to a victory over SEC opponent, Georgia.
Naturally, the SEC West looks like it could be exciting this year thanks to teams like Arkansas and players like Mallet.
This week they take on Alabama at home, and have a legitimate chance to pull off the upset.
If Arkansas can play great defense and prevent the Crimson Tide’s offense from jumpstarting, (as opposed to how it played against Georgia in the 4th quarter) Arkansas will win and bring a new era to the SEC West.
9. TCU Horned Frogs
In my humble opinion, I think TCU should schedule harder games.
And frankly, I don’t see why they don’t. They are confident, and very balanced on offense.
Senior QB Andy Dalton is completing 74.6% of his passes and RB Ed Wesley is averaged a huge 8.2 yards per carry.
In addition, the defense is averaging 12.7 points allowed per game.
When it comes down to it, they could give any team a run for their money.
10. Wisconsin Badgers
A very disappointing win against Arizona State has made Wisconsin drop a few spots.
The fact the defense could hold on long enough to prevent Arizona State to score on their drives should be subject to praise, however, Arizona State should never have really been in that position in the first place.
If Wisconsin had not blocked the extra point in the 4th quarter, Arizona State probably would have won.
So there is definitely good and bad that should be taken out of the victory.
Unfortunately for the Badgers, I see it more likely that Iowa wins the Big 10 over Wisconsin now.
11. Texas Longhorns
Texas won’t be in the national title hunt this year for one big reason: Quarterback.
Garret Gilbert has shown potential, but he simply lacks enough experience to make Texas a team that could compete for a BCS game.
The good news for Texas is that their schedule continues to benefit them in a very manageable way, with non-conference games against Rice, Wyoming, and FAU.
However, they still have to face Nebraska and Oklahoma, two games I see Texas losing.
Nevertheless, if Gilbert develops rapidly Texas could surprise everyone and win the Big 12.
12. Iowa Hawkeyes
The Hawkeyes showed that they have the potential to come back in games where they are down by large deficits in the Arizona game.
Their lack of offense in the first half, however, also showed that that Iowa does not have the offense that they were previously speculated to have.
Ricky Stanzi is still an excellent quarterback, but he simply does not have enough talent surrounding him to help his team shine.
Despite this, do not count Iowa out of the Big 10 title yet; expect them to be ready for Big 10 play.
13. Utah Utes
For another year, Utah schedules respectable non-conference foes to prove to the nation that non-BCS teams should at the very least be considered for BCS bowl games.
And let’s not forget, Utah was responsible for defeated a 12-1 Alabama team a couple of years ago.
They have already beaten a top 25 Pittsburgh team and they go to South Bend later in the year to take on the Irish.
The most interesting game that is coming up for Utah, however, is their clash against TCU.
If Utah was to win that match-up, they would likely take control of the MWC and steal TCU’s BCS bid.
All-in-all, Utah is just a dark horse team like it is every year.
14. South Carolina Gamecocks
I don’t think anyone saw this one coming.
Though most people would agree South Carolina holds top 20 players in most positions, quarterback was most definitely not one of them.
Hence, the question is: is Stephen Garcia finally ready to lead this team?
Personally, I’m not ready to accept he has gotten better, just like I’m not ready to accept T.J Yates at UNC is a good quarterback.
Perhaps I am just stubborn or I hold standards too high, but it takes multiple games to show a player’s true colors.
Other than that, South Carolina will just be another team that makes the SEC more interesting.
15. Miami Hurricanes
They may be a 1-1 team, but they showed more than what people give them credit for.
Against OSU, QB Jacory Harris really can’t be blamed for 3 out of his 4 INT; as it seemed like luck was simply against him that day.
And even with all the mistakes the Canes made, they were still in the game.
This week against Pittsburgh, Miami will have its chance to show that they are better than their gigantic mistake of a game against the Buckeyes (they also have next year to play OSU in Land Shark Stadium).
I wouldn’t be surprised if Miami goes undefeated the rest of the season and finally takes the much anticipated ACC crown.