People like to rank stuff. More importantly, people like to argue about those rankings. We like ranking stuff, and arguing. So, naturally, we decided to compile our own top ten for college football. The catch: the preseason poll and team brands should be as removed as possible from consideration. Our voters were asked to use the eye test and stats on the field to rank teams. Obviously, this isn’t perfect. But, the preseason rankings unfairly anchor some really bad teams and keep them ranked somehow after bad losses (looking at you Auburn). Keep in mind that many of these teams still have to play each other so this is all very in flux until later in the season.
Onward to the ranking:
1. Michigan State
Dantonio’s squad looks very together on both sides of the ball. They went up against an incredibly athletic and talented Oregon team and came out on top. They look to be the class of the B1G this year. Not unanimous as number 1, but pretty close.
2. Ole Miss
Ole Miss scored more points for a visitor in Bryant-Denny than I’ve seen in a long time. Alabama played poorly and had to turn the ball over 5 times to lose, but the fact that Ole Miss could hang with a team as athletic and stacked as Alabama is impressive. The fact that they won, even more impressive.
No player has looked more dominant than Leonard Fournette this season. LSU has crushed both Mississippi State and Auburn, who each had touted “Heisman hopeful” quarterbacks. After LSU came to town, it doesn’t look like either of those players will get their wish.
It took a decade or so, but Georgia finally hung half a hundred on Spurrier. They set records on an admittedly bad Carolina team. But they looked unstoppable. The execution was there. It’ll be interesting if Georgia can show out like that as they face stiffer competition, but they showed that there is a large gap between them and the other East teams.
5. Ohio State
I got outvoted. In my opinion, OSU has not looked like a top 5 team. Top 10? Sure. Not top 5. The Buckeyes have managed to win all their games, which is good. But they’ve looked increasingly inept at doing so. Lucky for OSU that their schedule is easy, but no version of this year’s team will beat Sparty.
6. Notre Dame
The Irish made a GT squad that had statistically been cruising look silly. The defense is the real deal and the offense is firing on all cylinders. With their injuries, I think ND eventually loses, maybe to Clemson. Still, until then, they look like they belong.
The Bruins edged a very good BYU team. They’ve also whooped the teams they were supposed to beat. Of course as I’m writing this, I just saw they lost their all-American linebacker for the year. So, there’s that. They may trickle out as they get deeper into PAC play.
8. Texas A&M
Sumlin’s put together a juggernaut in Texas. They are currently under the radar because of how Mississippi and LSU are playing. I’m inclined to take A&M to win the west, quite honestly.
The Ducks fell just short of beating Michigan State on opening weekend. If they had, we’d be having a much different conversation. Oregon plays in a tough conference and has zero margin for error heading into the rest of the season. The offseason acquisition of Adams has helped the Ducks avoid Mariota hangover. The team is clicking and definitely for real.
Yes, they have a loss. I don’t buy into the logic that a team that gets beat by another good team automatically needs to plummet. But, Bama had to turn the ball over 5 times and give up an Immaculate Reception-caliber fluke touchdown to lose this game by six. And Bama has a lot of things they CAN fix going forward. Still, definitely a top ten team.
That’s the top ten. Next week I hope to have more votes and a pretty table.