I’ll just start by mentioning a couple of other blogs and then get to the rankings.
New Top 25
Out of rankings
I don’t think I’m the only person surprised by some of the results and final scores from over the weekend, but mostly I feel like I made some good choices in the early rankings.
I did have Arkansas ranked, but I didn’t have them in the top 20 like the major polls did.
I also had Auburn ranked (at 17th last week), but they were picked by voters to win the SEC. They were also picked #3 in preseason by ESPN the magazine. I think I’ve been rightly skeptical about both teams.
I’m glad I picked Michigan St. above Oregon, but I was right to only put them a few spots apart in the preseason.
I know their quarterback got hurt (and the other one from last year is now at Florida St.), so I don’t want to be too harsh, but I’m also glad I didn’t put Notre Dame in the top 10.
Georgia is another team I’m glad for the moment I kept out of the top 10. They didn’t even look like a top-25 team against Vanderbilt.
I also made the right call to rank Oklahoma but not Tennessee in preseason.
Obviously a lot can change throughout the season. Like I tried to explain in preseason, however, the idea is mostly to rank how the teams start out rather than the projected finish, so overall I think I did a pretty good job based on what I’ve seen.
I kept Missouri in and not Auburn because they weren’t playing an FCS team and they won in regulation. Also unlike Auburn, they were on the road and they took the lead for good in the third quarter.
Arkansas and Boise St. had losses to unranked teams, so the decisions to remove them were easy. I decided to rank BYU, who also won at Nebraska. They had the Hail Mary to win, but they were only down by one point before that. Tell me what other team has a combination of two defeated opponents that looks better right now.
I did not decide to rank Toledo, partly because Arkansas was their opening game, so there is nothing else on which to judge. I think it’s much more likely that Arkansas isn’t deserving than that Toledo is really good.
Another team with a respectable combination of wins is Temple. They beat Penn St. and won at Cincinnati. You might laugh at them as a ranked team, but if they were named Alabama or Michigan or something of that nature, they would almost certainly be ranked. They may not last, but it’s still a pretty respectable start.
I also decided to go ahead and rank Northwestern given their win over Stanford. They played Eastern Illinois, an FCS team this week; but I don’t think many other teams could play Stanford and Eastern Illinois and give up fewer than 7 points combined. Northwestern beat the Panthers by 41, whereas last year Minnesota only beat them by 22 and Ohio U. only beat them by 15. Eastern Illinois went .500 against other FCS teams last season.
A few interesting games next week, including Ole Miss going to Tuscaloosa. It will be interesting to see if Ole Miss dictates the tempo, not that that would guarantee a Rebel victory anyway. It could be like the 49-42 Alabama win over Texas A&M exactly two years ago.
Two big games in Los Angeles (although the home teams should win) as Stanford goes to the Coliseum and BYU visits the Rose Bowl.
A few other games of potential interest:
(12)Florida St. @ Boston College
(13) Georgia Tech @ (16) Notre Dame
South Carolina @ (15) Georgia
(25) Northwestern @ Duke
I don’t expect Northern Illinois @ (1) Ohio St. to be too interesting; but the Buckeyes were only up 17 after three quarters against Hawaii, so the early going could be close.
Every other game should be boring, although it’s possible Louisville can finally play a good game when (8) Clemson comes to town.