I decided to delay my response to “30 for 30: Trojan Horse” until the end of the week, because I won’t have much to talk about then.
There isn’t enough with Western Kentucky worth talking about for a full blog. The Hilltoppers played close games at Vanderbilt (which they won) and at Indiana (the only team to beat them). LSU’s secondary may be stretched again as WKU has a good passing game with two wide receivers who have at least 25 receptions AND average over 18 yards per reception as well as a number of other targets. The rushing game has been spotty, but it has improved in the last couple of weeks with the introduction of Anthony Wales, who gained over 300 yards combined in the two games.
On the other hand, the defense should allow LSU to keep up the offensive output from yesterday. Although there were a few games with low scores by opponents, Louisiana Tech and Indiana each scored 38 against the Hilltoppers last month. In the last two games, Middle Tennessee and North Texas each scored 28.
I updated my two LSU-Florida blogs, the one I did last week that focuses on the last 15 years and the full rivalry blog that covers the entirety of the series. Apart from “SEC Wednesday”, that’s all I have specifically about LSU this week unless something unusual happens.
Before I get to the top 25 list, here is the 100% objective full list of 128 teams.
I guess there is one more thing. I have moved my Tigers to #1. Florida exposed some weaknesses and LSU was in some ways fortunate to win; but that’s true of anyone who has played another ranked team this season, except that a number of them had more trouble with lesser teams.
Baylor hasn’t played any close games, so they’re the popular pick right now, but give me a break. Their best win is over Texas Tech, who is well into the “others receiving votes” category in both polls. The Red Raiders’ best win is over Arkansas, who has also lost to undefeated Toledo and a couple of otherwise-defeated SEC opponents. So if beating the team that beat Arkansas makes an undefeated team #2, why doesn’t beating Arkansas directly make Toledo #1?
I’m not saying it’s impossible that Baylor easily beats everyone all the way until mid-January, but I just don’t think they’ve proven much yet. If they’re undefeated after playing Oklahoma, @TCU, and @Oklahoma St. within 13 days in November, then I think it’s a very different conversation.
I mentioned last week that it was possible that I would follow the computer ratings top 25 exactly, but I’ve made only two switches. I switched LSU with Utah for #1, and I switched Florida St. with Memphis for #10. I just think #10 is too big of a jump at this point. Memphis has a couple of weeks coming up where they will earn only a few points (assuming wins), so it is likely that they will not stay in the top 10 anyway. However, this is the last adjustment apart from the top spot that I will make.
Starting after the games of the first week of November, I will also not alter the #1 spot. It’s possible that LSU will be #1 in the computer next week; but even if they do, I would expect them to fall after the bye week at the end of October. At that time, LSU will have only had 7 weeks of play and would likely be competing with other undefeated teams who will have had 8 or 9 weeks of play. The Tigers are of course slightly disadvantaged by having had to cancel the opener against McNeese St.
Anyway, I don’t like to have a carousel of #1 teams, that’s why I held onto Ohio St. this long. I just think it’s time to limit myself to the top few teams based on my objective standards. Moving Ohio St. from #5 in the computer to #1 here would go too far, in my opinion. The way the Buckeyes played in earlier games didn’t help their cause too much either.
The scary thing is Utah could be an even more convincing computer #1 at this point. Michigan could have held onto the win yesterday, and Oregon could be better than 4-3. Still, I consider the Utes a little suspect being that they will not play Stanford, who is (at this point) apparently the best team of the North, the better of the two Pac-12 divisions.
Of course, LSU just beat Florida, who is apparently the best team of the SEC East, the weaker of the two SEC divisions. That being said, if Utah or Iowa or whoever is #1 in a few weeks, they will also be #1 here. Last year at this time, Ole Miss was #1 in the computers; and I was glad I waited before making them #1 here.
Alabama jumped 11 spots with the win @Texas A&M. It wasn’t just the strength of the win. There were very low-point weeks by some teams in between such as Toledo (beat 1-win EMU), UC-Berkeley (bye), Temple (beat winless Central Florida). Michigan of course fell with the last-second loss to Michigan St.
Some other teams moved up with less impressive victories than Alabama’s. Notre Dame moved up five spots after beating USC, and Baylor moved up five spots after beating West Virginia.
Stanford went up just a few spots with the win over UCLA, and BYU and Pittsburgh joined the top 25 after wins over Cincinnati and Georgia Tech, respectively. Both new teams were helped by losses by Penn St., Ole Miss, UCLA, and Kentucky.
Out of rankings (with last week’s rank):
Here are the previous rankings blogs: