College Football Power Rankings for Week 4 (Sept. 20th, 2013)

alabama-texas-amNow three weeks into the 2013 college football season, we’ve already see some big matchups. The most notable involved the defending champion Alabama Crimson Tide taking on Mr. Heisman Johnny Manziel and the Texas A&M Aggies last weekend. Despite strong performances by Manziel, WR Mike Evans and RB Ben Malena, the Tide proved too much to handle. That said, it’s little surprise who our top team is in this week’s power rankings.

1. Alabama Crimson Tide (2-0); beat Texas A&M 49-42 – Alabama may have given up 628 yards of total offense to the Aggies, but then again, they were facing an elite team. The Tide did what they needed to do to win, and put lots of points on the board themselves.

2. Oregon Ducks (3-0); beat Tennessee 59-14 – Oregon hung the first loss on a previously unbeaten Tennessee team, and looked incredible while doing so. Marcus Mariota showed why he’s one of the top prospects heading into the 2014 NFL Draft after putting up 456 passing yards and 4 TD’s against the hapless Vols.

kenny-guiton-osu3. Ohio State Buckeyes (3-0); beat Cal 52-34 – Most teams would struggle mightily in the absence of their Heisman Trophy candidate. But the Buckeyes just inserted backup QB Kenny Guiton for Braxton Miller (sprained MCL) and scored 52 points on the Golden Bears. OSU still hasn’t been beaten since 2011.

4. Clemson Tigers (3-0); beat NC State 26-14 (Sept 19th) – You could make a case for the Tigers being as high as number two on this list. After all, they beat Georgia to open the year and polished off a tough NC State team on the road. Assuming the wins keep coming, Clemson will keep climbing.

5. LSU Tigers (3-0); beat Kent State 45-13 – The Tigers quickly put the Golden Flashes away after scoring 21 points in the first quarter. Following two easy home victories, they face their biggest test since TCU, as unbeaten Auburn comes to Baton Rouge.

6. Stanford Cardinals (2-0); beat Army 34-20 – Few people expected Army to go into the half only trailing by 7 last Saturday. But the Cardinals were able to pull away thanks to a pair of second-half Tyler Gaffney touchdowns. Stanford will try to look more impressive this week against fellow unbeaten Arizona State tomorrow.

teddy-bridgewater-draft7. Louisville Cardinals (3-0); beat Kentucky 27-13 – Nobody expects the Louisville-Kentucky rivalry game to be a cakewalk. And this was definitely the case in the first half as the Cardinals led just 10-3 at the half. Interestingly enough, Louisville relied on RB Senorise Perry (100YDS, 2TD) to carry them in the second half, rather than famed QB Teddy Bridgewater.

8. Texas A&M Aggies (2-1); lost to Alabama 49-42 – A&M is hurting after a close loss at home to the Crimson Tide. But with a ton of offensive talent and plenty more quality opponents on the schedule, the Aggies’ title hopes haven’t been dashed just yet.

9. Georgia Bulldogs (1-1); beat South Carolina 41-30 – Nobody’s going to argue with Georgia’s early strength of schedule after facing Clemson and South Carolina to open the year. The Bulldogs piled up 536 yards of offense to top the Gamecocks and avoid starting 0-2.

10. Florida State Seminoles (2-0) – Star freshman QB Jameis Winston is definitely living up to the hype after throwing six touchdowns in his first two games. And as many people have pointed out, this is more than the five incompletions he’s thrown. Assuming Winston remains poised, FSU should be undefeated when they travel to Clemson in Week 8.

With Kent State Loss, MAC likely won’t crash BCS

When it comes to mid-major college football teams crashing the BCS bowl party, Boise State is usually the focus of attention. But this time around, Kent State was looking like a serious contender to steal a BCS bowl game spot. If only they could’ve gotten past conference foe Northern Illinois….

Kent State’s hopes were dashed when they lost 44-37 in an overtime thriller to NIU. Because of this loss, you could also say that the Mid-American Conference’s hopes for $8 million were also cut down. Had the Golden Flashes won, they would’ve qualified for a BCS bowl game, thus bringing a collective $8 million to the modest conference. But as it now stands, Northern Illinois is the only shot the MAC has at the BCS, and it’s a long-shot at that.

What are Northern Illinois’ Chances?

For the Huskies to crash the BCS and bring long-awaited prestige to the MAC, they’ll definitely need some luck. We fully expect NIU to pass Michigan, Texas, Kent State and UCLA in the BCS Rankings. However, with Boise State winning against Nevada, we don’t really see a scenario where NIU leapfrogs Boise in the BCS Standings. That said, the Broncos once again represent the non-major conferences’ best shot at a big-time bowl game. But do they deserve it?

Questionable Losses

While it’s always fun to see a non-BCS conference ascend to a huge bowl game, you really have to wonder if any of the aforementioned teams are/were qualified. In Boise State’s case, they lost 17-13 in their opener to a Michigan State team that finished 6-6. The Broncos were also beaten by San Diego State, which ended up finishing 9-3. While neither of these losses came to a bad team, they aren’t going to help a mid-major’s case for getting into a BCS game.

Of course, Northern Illinois and Kent State had major blemishes too long before they met in the MAC Championship. NIU lost 18-17 to an Iowa team that finished a dismal 4-8 on the season. The Golden Flashes were blown out 47-14 by the 2-9, SEC bottom-dwelling Kentucky team. Regardless of all the high points from these two team’s schedules, the sole losses were quite ugly.

In any case, we’ll soon find out if NIU or Boise State will be playing in a major BCS bowl game. Odds are they won’t, but stranger things have happened in college football.

College Football Power Rankings for Nov. 15th, 2012

Just when it looked like nobody would tarnish Alabama’s undefeated season, they drop a stunner to Texas A&M and send our power rankings into a frenzy. Okay, so it’s not that much of a frenzy because three other top unbeatens survived another week without losing. However, it sure was interesting finding a spot for both Alabama and Texas A&M following last week’s upset.

1. Oregon (10-0) – The rest of the season is going to get tougher for Oregon because of both injuries and their schedule (Stanford, Oregon St., Pac-12 South champ). But for right now, we can firmly say that the Ducks are the best team in college football after a stomping of Cal.

Last Game: 59-17 win over California
Next Game: vs. Stanford

2. Kansas State (10-0) – After an injury scare with QB Collin Klein, the Wildcats appear to be alright since their top playmaker took the field against TCU. Seeing as how their defense keeps shutting down opponents, Kansas State is perfectly balanced on both sides of the ball.

Last Game: 23-10 win over TCU
Next Game: at Baylor

3. Notre Dame (10-0) – There’s no beauty in the way Notre Dame wins each week. But the key is that they do win each week thanks to a dominating defense. Assuming either Oregon or Kansas State loses before the end of the regular season, the Irish could be playing in the national title game.

4. Alabama (9-1) – Based on their performance through the first nine games of the year, we can’t drop the Tide too low following a single loss. But with the season nearing an end and three undefeated teams still left, Alabama may be left out of the national title picture.

Last Game: 29-24 loss to Texas A&M
Next Game: vs. Western Carolina

5. Georgia (9-1) – The Bulldogs look poised to meet Alabama in the SEC Championship game if they can get through their next two games unscathed. Depending upon how things go with the unbeatens, the SEC Championship could decide who goes to the BCS title game.

Last Game: 38-0 win over Auburn
Next Game: vs. Georgia Southern

6. Texas A&M (8-2) – Following an extremely tough road win at Bryant-Denny Stadium, some might argue that the Aggies should be ranked ahead of Alabama. However, we’re already stretching things enough by ranking A&M over two teams that beat them earlier (LSU and Florida). In any case, congratulations to the Aggies for their HUGE win!

Last game: 29-24 win over Alabama
Next game: vs. Sam Houston State

7. Ohio State Buckeyes (10-0) – Despite being undefeated at this point, many experts are putting Ohio State down as an underdog against Wisconsin this Saturday. It could all come down to how well OSU linebackers Etienne Sabino and Ryan Shazier can shut down Montee Ball and the Badgers run game.

Last game: 52-22 win over Illinois
Next Game: at Wisconsin

8. LSU (8-2) – Unfortunately for LSU, there’ll be no BCS or SEC Championship games in the near future. However, they could certainly land an at-large BCS bowl bid by winning their final two games against Ole Miss and Arkansas. Sure this is no slam dunk, but we definitely like the Tigers chances.

Last Game: 37-17 win over Mississippi State
Next Game: vs. Ole Miss

9. Oklahoma (7-2) – Earlier in the year, it looked as if the upcoming Oklahoma-West Virginia game would have national title implications. But now it’ll merely be a game between two good teams. Actually, the Sooners are a VERY good team which is why we definitely like them to win on the road.

Last Game: 42-34 win over Baylor
Next Game: at West Virginia

10. Florida State (9-1) – The Seminoles aren’t getting much respect outside of the ACC since many experts don’t even consider them a top 10 team. However, we like them better than the fellow 9-1 Florida Gators, which have looked terrible in three straight games. Back to FSU, it’s sad that they aren’t really playing for a chance at the national title with just one loss. But they can still get an at-large BCS bid and beat up on another major conference to prove their point.

College Football Power Rankings for Oct 24th, 2012

Right now the BCS Rankings are a jumbled mess where a half dozen legitimate title contenders are still undefeated. And there are plenty of other undefeated teams sprinkled throughout the AP Top 25. Of course, chances are that many of these powerhouses will fall by the wayside as we head towards season’s end, but it certainly doesn’t make our job with the power rankings any easier. We’ll give it a try anyways by offering you our take on the top teams.

Also, you can check out the real BCS Rankings below:

1. Alabama
2. Florida
3. Kansas State
4. Oregon
5. Notre Dame
6. LSU
7. Oregon State
8. Oklahoma
9. USC
10. Georgia

Week 9 College Football Power Rankings

1. Alabama (7-0) – No surprise here since the Crimson Tide have garnered 59 of a possible 60 first place votes in the AP poll and are atop the NCAA’s toughest football conference. Plus it’s difficult to overlook Alabama’s impressive 32.7-point margin of victory. However, they’ve still yet to face the most difficult part of their schedule – Mississippi State, LSU and Texas A&M – which combine for a 19-3 record. But even these three shouldn’t stop the Tide on their path towards the BCS title game.

Last Game: 44-13 win over Tennessee
Next Game: vs. Mississippi State (7-0)

2. Oregon (7-0) – Let the annual BCS controversy begin with the Ducks since they are undefeated, yet only fourth in the BCS. However, Oregon will have plenty of chances to improve this standing with future games against USC, Stanford and Oregon State.

Last Game: 43-21 win over Arizona State
Next Game: vs. Colorado (1-6)

3. Florida (7-0) – As it stands now, the computers have Florida facing Alabama in the championship game. And so far, the Gators have done what they need to do to be deserving of this spot. But everything will be put to the test this coming week as Florida squares off against one of their rivals, 10th-ranked Georgia.

Last Game: 44-11 win over South Carolina
Next Game: vs. Georgia (6-1)

4. Kansas State (7-0) – A dominating win last week over West Virginia has moved K-State further up the polls and into serious national title contention. However, things won’t get any easier this week when 9th-ranked Texas Tech comes into town. But assuming the Wildcats can survive the test, they’ll have a clear shot at the Big 12 Championship Game with their toughest games out of the way.

Last Game: 55-14 win over West Virginia
Next Game: vs. Texas Tech

5. Notre Dame (7-0) – Off to their best start in years, Notre Dame has played some excellent football this season. But there are still challenges ahead including a huge road game this week against 6th-ranked Oklahoma. The contest may all come down to how well the Irish’s defensive backs can cover Oklahoma’s speedy receivers.

Last Game: 17-14 win over BYU
Next Game: at Oklahoma (5-1)

6. Oregon State (6-0) – The argument against Oregon State being ranked higher is that they haven’t played anybody significant. However, the Beavers do own victories over some tough teams in Wisconsin and UCLA. Perhaps we will truly see what Oregon State is made of when they face the Ducks later on.

Last Game: 21-7 win over Utah
Next Game: at Washington (3-4)

7. Oklahoma (5-1) – The lone blemish on the Sooners schedule is a close 24-19 loss to Kansas State. Unfortunately in a year where so many teams are unbeaten, this tough loss puts Oklahoma a ways back in the BCS race. But they can jump back into the hunt if they can beat undefeated Notre Dame this Saturday.

Last Game: 52-7 win over Kansas
Next Game: vs. Notre Dame (7-0)

8. LSU (7-1) – Much like Oklahoma, LSU is the victim of an early season loss to a very good team in Florida. But the Tigers have stayed strong and are hoping to climb the BCS ladder. They face the ultimate test against number one-ranked Alabama in a couple of weeks. The Crimson Tide are beating teams by almost 33 points, but at least the Tigers are at home.

Last Game: 24-19 win over Texas A&M
Next Game:  vs. Alabama (Nov. 3rd)

9. Texas Tech (6-1) – The Big 12 is filled with roadblocks, and the Red Raiders hit one of them head-on against Oklahoma (41-20 loss). However, quarterback Seth Doege has been hot in recent wins over West Virginia and TCU. He will no doubt have to stay on fire since Texas Tech has the unenviable task of traveling to Manhattan, Kansas this Saturday.

Last Game: 56-53 (OT) win over TCU
Next Game: at Kansas State (7-0)

10. Ohio State (8-0) – OSU’s overtime win against Purdue wasn’t pretty since it was filled with sloppy mistakes. However, the Buckeyes pulled out the victory and remain unbeaten. Ohio State will have to be much sharper if they want to grab a win in Happy Valley against QB Matt McGloin and the Nittany Lions.

Last Game: 29-22 (OT) win over Purdue
Next Game: at Penn State (5-2)