Wednesday, October 19, 2011


We are midway through the college football season and you know what that means?

The Bowl Championship Series rankings are finally here!

Now while for the most part, I like some of the placing of most of these teams on the original copy, there are some things I do beg to differ on.

Here is my list on how the top 10 should have gone…

     1)      LSU (7-0): It is only right that the LSU Tigers are the No. 1 in the BCS polls. Looking at their body of work you can see why. Beating Oregon, Mississippi St. and West Virginia away from Baton Rouge is no easy task and seeing that the Ducks and Mountaineers are still doing well, it adds on to the Tigers’ case. With an efficient offense and even better defense LSU has set itself up nicely for the epic showdown against Alabama on Nov. 5—as long as they do not overlook Auburn this week. THIS WEEK: vs. Auburn. RANKINGS: 1 (BCS), 1 (AP), 2 (Coaches), 1 (Harris), 3 (Computers).

     2)      ALABAMA (7-0): With all due respect, the Alabama Crimson Tide is a close No. 2 on my poll. Alabama impresses everyone thanks to its running game and stifling defense. Junior running back Trent Richardson already has 15 rushing touchdowns this season while the defense has only allowed seven points a game—best in the nation. Like the Tigers, the overall strength of schedule is strong with the Tide beating Penn State and Florida on the road, and Arkansas at home. The Tennessee Volunteers are next and Alabama will be looking to beat them by more than 31 (like LSU did). THIS WEEK: vs. Tennessee. RANKINGS: 2 (BCS), 2 (AP), 3 (Coaches), 2 (Harris), 2 (Computers).

     3)      OKLAHOMA (6-0): Almost as impressive as LSU and Alabama have played, the same can be said about the Oklahoma Sooners. The preseason No. 1 team has a lot of talent on the field and it continues to show. The Sooners boast the nation’s sixth-best scoring offense thanks to junior quarterback Landry Jones spreading the ball around. Oklahoma might have started sluggishly against Kansas, but the second half was where the team took care of business. With games against Kansas State and Texas A&M looming in the horizon, the Sooners must take care of business against Texas Tech first this week. THIS WEEK: vs. Texas Tech. RANKINGS: 3 (BCS), 3 (AP), 1 (Coaches), 3 (Harris), 4 (Computers).

     4)      OKLAHOMA ST. (6-0): Oklahoma State is finally living up to being a true dark horse candidate as the team comes in at No. 4 on my list. The Cowboys have not blown away ranked teams like LSU, Alabama or Oklahoma, but they do have the wins to show for it and a lofty No. 1 computer ranking. One of those wins came against Texas A&M, where Oklahoma St. trailed by 17 before taking the game in the second half with a 30-29 victory. With one of the best QB-to-WR tandems in Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon, the Cowboys look to keep the wins coming this week at Missouri. THIS WEEK: at Missouri. RANKINGS: 4 (BCS), 6 (AP), 6 (Coaches), 6 (Harris), 1 (Computers).

     5)      WISCONSIN (6-0): Wisconsin seems to have taken a page out of defending national champion Auburn’s playbook this year—have a talented quarterback for one year to guide the program to a championship. Auburn did it last year with Cam Newton and this year the Badgers landed North Carolina State transfer Russell Wilson to rejuvenate their offense. As a result, they are the highest-scoring team in the nation while Wilson is currently a Heisman candidate. However, the debate is who have they played? A soft non-conference schedule gives them no love from the computers and they have not played a true road game this season (Sept. 17’s game against Northern Illinois is designated as a neutral-site game). All of this will change as Wisconsin travels to East Lansing to take on Michigan St. this week. THIS WEEK: at Michigan State. RANKINGS: 6 (BCS), 4 (AP), 4 (Coaches), 4 (Harris), 11 (Computers).

     6)      BOISE ST. (6-0): For now, I have Wisconsin just ahead of Boise, based on who all Boise has played this season. The Broncos best opponent was a Georgia team that might be in the middle of the pack in the SEC but is improving, yet no one else on is really a team to lose sleep over. However, Boise St. helps out its case with back-to-back 50-point blowouts against Fresno State and Colorado State. Senior quarterback Kellen Moore is still running the offense and is still accurate with his passes despite breaking in some new receivers as main targets. The rest of the season might be one where Boise needs style points—and a lot of them—for a shot at the title, but for now, they appear to be BCS bound. THIS WEEK: vs. Air Force. RANKINGS: 5 (BCS), 5 (AP), 7 (Coaches), 5 (Harris), 6 (Computers).

     7)      CLEMSON (7-0): Clemson nearly reverted back to its old self last week against Maryland, yet the team found a way to win once again. Last week’s game against the Terps marked the fourth time that Clemson trailed or was tied at halftime only preserve its perfect 7-0 start thus far. It has not been pretty, but the Tigers’ stretch of wins against Auburn, Florida State and Virginia Tech while each team was ranked is a good reason why they are at this spot. Anything is possible in the unpredictable ACC, but Clemson must play more consistently at the beginning of games if they want to stay undefeated. THIS WEEK: vs. North Carolina. RANKINGS: 7 (BCS), 8 (AP), 8 (Coaches), 8 (Harris), 5 (Computers).

     8)      STANFORD (6-0): Another team that no one is really talking about as a whole is Stanford. Sure, they have Heisman hopeful and possible No. 1 pick Andrew Luck quarterbacking them, but not many people know much about them. Quietly, the team is 6-0, but like Wisconsin they get little to no love from the computers (Kenneth Massey has the Cardinal ranked No. 20 in his ratings). Part of this is that Stanford has yet to face a team that is above .500 at this point, but the second half will be much tougher. Games against Washington, USC, Oregon and Notre Dame will determine if this team is indeed a title contender. THIS WEEK: vs. Washington. RANKINGS: 8 (BCS), 7 (AP), 5 (Coaches), 7 (Harris), 8 (tie) (Computers).

     9)      OREGON (5-1): There are two great one-loss teams in college football so far, but in my opinion the Oregon Ducks narrowly take the cake here at No. 9. The Ducks have shaken off their season-opening loss to LSU in Cowboys Stadium quite well, by scoring many points with the quickness. Only one computer ranking has Oregon in the top 10—Richard Billingsley has the team at No. 7—but it did not stop the team from beating then-No. 18 Arizona State without Heisman candidate LaMichael James and Darron Thomas for most of the second half. The Ducks should have no trouble against Colorado and Washington State if both players decide to nurse their injuries, but if all’s not well for back-to-back road games at Washington and Stanford, they could be in trouble. THIS WEEK: at Colorado. RANKINGS: 10 (BCS), 9 (AP), 8 (Coaches), 9 (Harris), 12 (Computers).

     10)   ARKANSAS (5-1): The Arkansas Razorbacks have not missed a beat without Ryan Mallett, but they will come in at No. 10 in my poll. Like Oregon, Arkansas lost to a top team for its only loss, but games against Troy and Texas A&M show that this team can be vulnerable at times. The Razorbacks do have a pair of road game coming up against Ole Miss and Vanderbilt, so all they must do is take care of business and everything will follow. THIS WEEK: at Ole Miss. RANKINGS: 9 (BCS), 10 (AP), 10 (Coaches), 10 (Harris), 8 (tie) (Computers).

\    NEXT FIVE UP: Kansas State (6-0), Virginia Tech (6-1), Nebraska (5-1), South Carolina (6-1), Texas A&M (4-2)

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