We have reached the official halfway point of the college football season. So far it’s proceeded exactly like everyone thought it would; which is the problem. There has been a serious lack of upsets. Only two teams, Florida and South Carolina, that started the year in the top ten are no longer in it. It’s not like both of those teams have fallen completely off the map. Each of them lost to very good, highly ranked teams and each is still in the top 20.
There is really only one thing to blame for the lack of upsets, thus the lack of interesting football over the course of the first six weeks: Scheduling. Georgia and Alabama are the only two teams ranked in the top 10 to have played multiple teams currently ranked in the top 25. The Bulldogs deserve a medal for their schedule. Teams like Ohio State, Louisville, LSU and Texas A&M would have three losses by now if they played the games Georgia has. Poor scheduling hides a lot of warts, just ask the Ohio State defense.
If Georgia deserves a medal for their schedule, Oregon deserves a swift kick to the nuts. Oregon and Florida State are the only two teams in the top 10 that have not played a team currently ranked in the top 25. There is nothing in the country more wretched than Oregon’s schedule to date. Honestly, it wouldn’t be so bad if they weren’t getting hailed as the second coming of Christ. We’ve seen this movie before with Oregon; we all know how it ends. Sadly, the national sports media seems to get Alzheimer’s this time of year with the Ducks. Thankfully Oregon plays some real competition over the next few weeks starting this week with Washington.
The rest of the top 10 doesn’t have a lot to be proud of in regards to scheduling. Ohio State’s out-of-conference schedule is enough to make Oregon blush. Clemson gets some brownie points for opening with Georgia, but their schedule has really dropped off since then. Clemson only has two games that would give their fans pause for concern unless of course you count their late fall classic against the Citadel. I’ll tell my broker to cool his jets on Clemson stock until after I see how they do against Florida State.
Speaking of the Noles; remember what I said about Oregon’s schedule? I take it back. I found a school with an out-of-conference schedule more God awful than the Ducks: Florida State. Talk about a “Who’s Who” of dog shit. Unlike Clemson, I am buying stock in Florida State, although not at the rate I would be if the Noles played even one genuine top 25 team. No, Maryland doesn’t count since they had no business in the top 25 in the first place. Florida State does have a few real tests down the road. I certainly think they could manage to handle the Hurricanes and Gators if they survive the Clemson game October 19th, but you never know.
Since the teams in the top 10 refuse to schedule real games, so we can get an honest look at each of them, I have no choice but to come to my own conclusions. Below is my updated top 10. I realize a few things might seem out of whack, but it’s probably the closest thing to a legitimate top 10 you’re going to get. My logic was simple and will help explain why some teams fell as far as they did.
1) What has their schedule been to date? Have they played anyone currently ranked in the top 25 and if so what were the results?
2) Can they beat the teams in front of them? If I slotted one team in front of another, it’s because I feel the team ranked lower cannot beat the teams in front of them.
Like I said; simple logic. Try this top 10 on for size…
4) Florida State
6) Miami (FL)
8) Texas A&M
10) Ohio State
That is what the top 10 should look like. It’s a top 10 based off of a team’s body of work to date and the likelihood they can beat the teams in front of them. Note Ohio State’s fall from grace. While there is a lot to like about the Buckeyes (namely their offense), they also have serious issues on defense. Their defensive coaching is a disgrace to college football. Their unaggressive, unoriginal, unphysical brand of defense makes me throw-up in my mouth every time I watch it. Ohio State only made the top 10 because their offense can score them out of any situation. I am certain the Buckeyes could not beat a single team I ranked in front of them. I’m not even sure if they could beat the teams right behind them in the polls.
The addition of the Canes and Bruins is a no brainer. Both teams pass the eyeball test and both teams have victories against teams currently ranked in the top 25. Those two schools can’t get into the media top 10 because the schools in front of them are getting fat off of a diet of garbage teams. The Bruins and the Canes should be in the top 10 while Louisville has no business being there. The Cardinals clearly got lost on their way to the bottom of the top 25, which is exactly where they will be next year when they enter ACC play.
Notice Oregon at five. Not only could Oregon not beat a single team in front of them, they would also fail to score more than 20 points against every one of them. I keep shoveling dirt on Stanford and they keep right on coming. The Tree did get their one and only quality win on Saturday against Washington, and they’ll have their chance to prove my point about Oregon on November 7th.
Up until this week I was rolling with my preseason top 10. I made wholesale changes at the top of college football now that I have a large enough body of work from each school. This is the top 10 I am rolling with for the rest of the year. If the season ended today Alabama and Georgia are heads and shoulders above the rest and should play each other for the national title. Of course they’ll get their chance in the SEC title game, which is really the de facto national title game anyway. Take that SEC haters!