Sunday, September 9

James' Week 2 Rankings

While Chris has developed a formula for predicting how the AP's rankings will change from one week to the next, the actual ranking of college football teams is not an exact science - surprisingly. This week though is more of a problem than usual.

The way I see it, there's three teams who are clearly playing better football than the rest and who don't have any trouble areas on their rosters. Then there's four teams who have an outside shot at running the table, followed by three teams who have their problems but pretty clearly top off the top ten.

And then it's a giant mess. Ranked teams who should have won lost (see Georgia, Auburn). Ranked teams who should have lost got utterly annihilated (see Va Tech, Miami). Unranked teams who should have won destroyed decent opposition (see Cincinnati). Unranked teams who should have lost won (see South Carolina, South Florida). Tack on Washington's victory over Boise State, Oregon's blowout win over Michigan, UCLA's lackluster performance against BYU, A&M nearly blowing a 19-0 lead on Fresno State... yikes. Even the top teams saw their share of problems, as Louisville, Texas, West Virginia, Ohio State, Wisconsin, and Cal all got involved in strange games in week 2.

At this point, I'm throwing shit at the wall and hoping it sticks:


1. LSU (week 1 #1, +0 change)
LSU is averaging 46.5 ppg, which works out to just over 23 points a half. I'm taking bets on whether they give up 23 points in their five September games combined. That means Middle Tennessee, South Carolina, and Tulane have to score 16 on em.

2. USC (2, +0)
Rest does a dinged-up receiving corps good.

3. Oklahoma (5, +2)
The numbers this offense is putting up are scary. The defense is locking everything down. A third title contender has arrived.

4. Florida (4, +0)
Though they're playing very well, it's hard to shake the idea of having nine defensive starters. (2006 Ohio State?) I'm hesitant about this team, but they are playing top 5 football.

5. Louisville (3, -2)
This may be the best offense in the country, and it might not even be close.

6. Texas (6, +0)
Every half should be played like the second half of week 2. The defense did play well for the entire game.

7. West Virginia (7, +0)
The addition of Devine gives West Virginia, not Michigan or Texas, the scariest offensive trio in college football.

8. Ohio State (8, +0)
Some things never change - Ohio State can still hang their hat on their defense.

9. California (10, +1)
Despite suffering an obvious hangover week, the Bears have established a powerful running game and a passable defense.

10. Wisconsin (9, -1)
QB Tyler Donovan came back down to earth and the Badgers got into a highly competitive game with UNLV. Pat Hill is still the kind of back I want carrying my team, and the defense has had two solid but not great performances.

11. Arkansas (11, +0)
The best runningback duo in college football can show what they're made of against Alabama.

12. Penn State (14, +2)
The defense is good, no doubt. Week 1's offensive outburst may have been a fluke.

13. Rutgers (15, +2)
I'm getting mixed signals about this team.

14. UCLA (18, +4)
I'm getting mixed signals about this team, part deux.

15. Nebraska (12, -3)
I'm getting mixed signals about this team III.

16. Georgia Tech (unranked)
Choice and the offense make this team tops in the ACC.

17. Oregon (unranked)
The offense is just plain scary. I want to see this team in three or four weks, though.

18. South Carolina (unranked)
Somewhere out there, Phil Steele is thinking "I told you so."

19. Clemson (unranked)
Harper may have found his groove.

20. Tennessee (21, +1)
Definitely a second half team.

21. Cincinnati (unranked)
Flying below everybody's radar, they're going to knock somebody off this year I can feel it.

22. Missouri (23, +1)
Strong offense but serious questions about defense and their ability to play a 60 minute game.

23. Washington (unranked)
Boise State was overrated and the offense did nothing in the second half. Still, nice defense + mobile QB.

24. Hawaii (19, -5)
Bad showing this week, even Brennan made numerous mistakes.

25. South Florida (unranked)
Gutsy performance by Groethe but for the love of g-d find a kicker.

On the Cusp:

Chance for Saban's team to prove their mettle against Arkansas.

Auburn (24)
The offense needs to wake up, but they did actually move the ball against USF. Turnovers killed them.

Boston College (unranked)
Powerful offense, but Ryan is still mistake-prone.

Georgia (17)
Spurrier has always had Georgia's number and the defense did play well in both games so far.

Miami FL (20)
After a loss like they I can't possibly rank them now. Things can only get better for the Canes.

Michigan (16)
Nothing, I mean nothing, they've done on the field so far indicates that they deserve a ranking. The talent is there, at least on offense, and should they decide to flip that switch I don't think it would be too tough for them to climb back into the top 25, particularly with the state of the Big Ten.

Texas A&M (22)
I don't really know why they're even on the cusp list, other than the fact that they were ranked last week and did wind up getting a W this week.

Texas Tech
If anybody in the country isn't out of a game after giving up 21 first quarter points, it's TTU and the Air Raid offense.

Virginia Tech (13)
After a loss like that and struggling to beat ECU, they don't deserve a spot in the top 25. Watch out for Taylor to take over the starting QB spot and give this team an option offense. If they happens they could wind up ranked... even ranked in the top 15.