Like last week, I’ll start by mentioning a couple of other blogs and then get to the rankings.
I’ve updated by Auburn Rivalry blog. Not too much to say about this game, although it was the highest-scoring of the 50 games of the series.
Here are the previous ranking blogs:
Out of rankings: (23) Missouri, (24) Temple
Last week, I talked about LSU in one blog and about the prominent national teams in another; but for the moment, I feel like that’s the same conversation.
I was concerned that Mississippi St. was allowed to get within two and had a chance to win at the end in Week 2 (the Tigers’ first game), so I thought LSU didn’t deserve to be a top 10 team. But if that were true now, almost no one deserves to be a top 10 team, so I’ve significantly re-evaluated this position.
I’ll give a brief summary of the rest of my new top 12 for comparison of such games.
Ohio St. just won a home game against a MAC opponent by only a touchdown. The Buckeyes only managed 13 offensive points before a defensive score late in the third quarter and did not score in the fourth.
Michigan St. only led Western Michigan by 10 points for part of the fourth quarter in Week 1 before kicking a field goal with 8 minutes left. Still, the margin was less than two possessions (37-24). Western Michigan was blown out by Georgia Southern.
Midway through the fourth quarter yesterday, TCU only led SMU by five points.
Baylor has only played SMU and Lamar, so no close games yet, but allowing a combined 52 points in those two games has to be concerning.
UCLA only beat BYU by a single point yesterday after taking the lead with just over 4 minutes remaining.
Clemson beat Louisville by a field goal after the Cardinals lost a neutral-site game to Auburn and also lost to Houston at home.
Florida St. only managed one offensive touchdown against Boston College and led only 7-0 going into the fourth quarter. The defense scored in the fourth quarter, but the offense only scored on its first drive.
Notre Dame trailed Virginia in the final two minutes in Week 2.
There are three SEC teams not mentioned above. Alabama lost to Ole Miss (and for that reason I’m moving the Rebels up to #2 and moving Alabama down 6 spots).
There is also Texas A&M. I’m still a little skeptical about the Aggies, who have yet to go on the road (although technically Houston was a neutral site), and perhaps they just got a little lucky in Week 1 when they pulled away from Arizona St. late. Really though, if Arizona St. is anywhere close to how good they’re supposed to be, A&M should be in the top 5 if we only looked at what’s happened on the field so far.
Going back to LSU, of course it also didn’t hurt to have such a dominating conference win. The Fighting Tigers were lackluster at a couple of points in the second half, but it was a 24-point lead at the half, and LSU won by 24.
The rest of the top 25…
Oregon is the #2 team with a loss now, so I don’t think 13th is too bad even though it’s worse than last week. I’m concerned about their defense though.
Georgia, the Oklahomas, and Wisconsin just moved ahead of teams that lost or that I moved down.
I moved Northwestern up on the strength of Stanford’s win at USC, then I go to some teams with “good” losses.
Kansas St. needed three overtimes to beat Louisiana Tech, so they moved down, but I put them ahead of Georgia Tech, which lost to Notre Dame.
BYU was only 22nd last week, but I still kept them in because going to the Rose Bowl and losing by a point doesn’t tell me they’re not a top-25 team.
Finally, I put U. Miami in because they had a close win over Nebraska too, but they’re ahead of BYU because they haven’t lost.
Missouri and Temple were removed for barely beating basketball schools UConn and UMass.
Starting next week, however, I will no longer consider margin of victory. It gets too tricky to keep track of who almost beat whom or should have scored more points and the circumstances, but you have to do that early to separate otherwise similar teams.