BCS Rankings 2011: Most Overrated and Underrated Teams in the New BCS Rankings
With tonight's initial release of the first BCS rankings of the year, it gives us a chance to look a little more closely at some of these teams.
Quite frankly, some aren't as good as their rankings would suggest they are, while some are even better than their rankings would suggest.
Having said that, let's look at five teams that are overrated and five that are underrated in the first release of the BCS standings.
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Perhaps overrated may be too strong of a word to associate with a Stanford team that I do like a lot. I just don't know about the Cardinal though. They haven't beaten a quality team to date.
Their six opponents have a combined 14-24 record on the season, so Stanford really hasn't shown anything worthy of being ranked No. 8 at the moment.
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The Razorbacks are coming off back-to back wins against Texas A&M and Auburn, and despite having suffered a loss to Alabama, they remain one of the top teams in the country playing in the best conference in the nation.
Even though there are some unbeaten teams ahead of them right now, I doubt there are eight better teams in the nation than the Razorbacks.
Overrated: South Carolina
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This is based only on injury, but without Marcus Lattimore and with inconsistent play at quarterback, the Gamecocks likely aren't as good as their No. 14 ranking would suggest.
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While South Carolina will likely be hampered by injuries, the Ducks have shown the talent and the depth to thrive under adverse situations.
Oregon could be the classic case of how losing early doesn't kill you in the end.
The Ducks begin at No. 10 in the rankings, but they are one of the best teams in the nation.
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Michigan is a team that has made great strides from the Rich Rodriguez era but still isn't as good as its 6-1 record and No. 18 ranking would suggest.
Michigan is good but has really only faced one good team on the season in Michigan State, and things didn't go very well for the Wolverines.
Underrated: Michigan State
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Speaking of the Spartans, they are likely a little underrated at No.16.
That's simply because of their defense, which can keep them in the game against anyone.
The Spartans rank fourth in the nation in points allowed per game (10.8), second in total yards allowed per game (186.2), first against the pass (119.2) and third against the rush (67.0).
Add that up and that's one very good defense that can keep Michigan State winning.
Overrated: Boise State
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No one would like to make the claim that Boise State belongs among the top teams in the nation more than me, but I can't do that this season.
There is no doubt that the Broncos are an excellent football team, but would they be ranked No. 5 if they played in the SEC or Big 12? Truthfully, we will never know, but it's doubtful.
There are just too many quality teams ranked No. 6-10 that you can make the case the Broncos wouldn't beat.
While I'm always the fan of the underdog, this really isn't the year for Cinderella.
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I keep waiting for Clemson to fall, but it just keeps on rolling.
Considering that the Tigers weren't ranked when the season began, sitting at No. 7 in the BCS standings today is quite impressive. Yet they could likely be a couple spots higher.
Clemson's résumé is a little more impressive than both Wisconsin and Boise State's at the moment. Beating three ranked teams at the time in succession is slightly more impressive than Wisconsin's one win over Nebraska and Boise State's one win over Georgia.
Overrated: Kansas State
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I'm a fan of what Kansas State has done to this point, but I haven't exactly bought in to the fact that it should be sitting at No. 11 at this point.
It's a great story, and the Wildcats keep winning, but we will see where they sit in a few weeks when they have to deal with Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M and Texas in four straight weeks.
Underrated: Texas A&M
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I may catch some flak for saying a team with two losses is underrated, but the Aggies are two quarters of football away from likely being ranked fifth or sixth.
At No. 17, there aren't 16 teams in the nation better than Texas A&M.
The Aggies schedule has been tough as well, with five of their six opponents this season having played in bowl games a season ago.
I won't make the case that a 4-2 team should be in the Top 10 today, but they do have Top 10 talent and still have a legitimate chance to finish the season ranked there.