Tuck’s College Football Poll Week 11
Ranking teams is no easy task. There are so many variables. A team’s record is the most simple way to look at it. Sadly, I believe that is all many of the voters do. They may take note of an important win or a loss, but they have invested no work into what makes up the rest of the record for a particular team. It’s a hoard mentality. If a certain ranking is good enough for the group, it’s good enough for me. And they move on.
I spend way too much time on this process, but hey, I do it for you. A few things stick out when you look at my rankings versus the BCS, Harris, AP, or Coaches Polls. Let me address some of that below.
Knights fans have been on my case that their team is too low. Again, I say it is so difficult to compare teams that play completely different schedules.
So what I did in this example is give you a team’s wins and those opponents combined records. I did not include any I-AA games unless a team lost to one.
As you can see, if it wasn’t already a joke that the Coaches and Harris voters have Louisville ranked ahead of UCF despite losing to them, this further discredits it. The Cards are a solid football program, but they are still living off last year’s Sugar Bowl, which was…last year. The Knights two best wins were against these teams, as you can see, haven’t done much themselves. It is just very difficult for me to rank non-power 5 teams real high unless they went out of conference and scored one or two major wins. If UCF had beaten South Carolina instead of falling behind 28-10 at home to a back-up quarterback, I know I’d feel differently about them at least concerning their ranking. They were competitive however, so at least I don’t feel odd ranking them. Schools like TCU, Utah, and Boise State were able to do score big wins, and earned their higher rankings the years they did it. The old Big East would have at least provided some extra tests, but this new glorified Conference USA is both helping the Knights and killing the Knights at the same time.
I had the Canes ranked lower than everyone a week ago, and have them unranked this week. They’ve won close games against average to below average competition.
Oklahoma State: 24-38
Michigan State: 19-41
Two one-loss teams that I think are each solid, but neither have been tested much this year. Another thing to think about comparing teams like this to teams from a conference like the AAC is noting that a team like Houston counts more than teams like Kansas State, Mississippi State, or Michigan, which obviously would be up for serious debate. Heck, UTSA is 5-5. Mississippi State counts as 3-5. Who do you think is favored on a neutral field if those two played? That’s why it’s such an uphill battle for teams that play in weaker conferences. Cause even bad or nothing wins like Mississippi State are still better than beating a team with a good record from a weaker conference often times.
Ohio State: 30-38
And finally, the two unbeatens trying to get into the BCS Title Game. Oddly, both beat a 6-2 Buffalo team that counts positive. Cal, Purdue, Kansas, and Iowa State (combined (0-17, 2-15) account for and drag down each’s tally here. Each truly only have one very good win each, besting Wisconsin and Oklahoma, and each victory was a home game. I think both teams are terrific, but at this point it’s difficult to judge if they are top-15 teams, let alone worthy of BCS conversation.
UNBEATEN COUNT: 6. Another one bites the dust. Oregon is down, but not out.
WINLESS COUNT: 5. Ranked in order of chances of going winless this year: Miami (OH), Georgia State, Hawaii, Southern Miss, UConn.
1. Alabama (9-0)
2. FSU (9-0)
3. Stanford (8-1)
4. Oregon (8-1)
5. Missouri (9-1)
6. Auburn (9-1)
7. Ohio State (9-0)
8. Baylor (8-0)
9. Clemson (8-1)
10. Texas A&M (8-2)
11. South Carolina (7-2)
12. UCLA (7-2)
13. Arizona State (7-2)
14. Oklahoma State (8-1)
15. Ole Miss (6-3)
16. LSU (7-3)
17. Wisconsin (7-2)
18. Michigan State (8-1)
19. Texas (7-2)
20. Washington (6-3)
21. Georgia (6-3)
22. Oklahoma (7-2)
23. UCF (7-1)
24. Fresno State (9-0)
25. Minnesota (8-2)
– What a mess the ACC Coastal is again. The Hokies win puts them in a 4-way tie with Miami, Duke, and Georgia Tech. The Canes beat the Jackets. The Jackets beat the Devils. The Devils beat the Hokies. And the Hokies beat the Canes and Jackets. This could go any direction the last 3 weeks. FSU may end up leaning pretty hard on that Clemson win. If Baylor wins out, I think we could have a real discussion who did more this year.
– The Gators will have to upset either South Carolina or Florida State to continue the longest bowl streak (22 straight years) in America.
– So is it possible we could have job openings at Florida, USC, Texas, Nebraska, and Michigan in the same offseason???? The buzzards are circling.
– UCLA freshman linebacker Miles Jack is very talented. So much so, he played running back to help the injury-riddled Bruins this weekend. How did he do? How about 6 carries for 120 yards including a 66-yard touchdown run on 3rd and short that made the score 31-19. He is a freak-show.
– The Tide were very impressive in their win against LSU. Sure, the turnovers may have completed turned that game in the first half, but they took advantage of a weaker Tigers defense and stuffed it down their throats in the second half.
– A peak at the upcoming schedule in November shows that we are going to get quite a bit of a shake-up in these rankings moving forward. Many of the teams play each other. Remember, I rank teams how I feel they deserved and have earned to be ranked today. Not how I think they’ll finish. I believe we are in for some changes before December.
STIFF-ARMING TROPHY RACE
No changes here. At least not major ones. Mariota made a couple mistakes, but he doesn’t play defense wasn’t reason the Ducks lost. McCarron debuts almost out of guilt. Body of work isn’t supposed to enter into the equation for the Heisman, as it is an annual award, but it’s pretty tough to ignore, even though he is more a piece of the team, not the reason they are so great. Big picture, it’s still Winston’s to lose.
1. QB Jameis Winston, FSU
2. QB Marcus Mariota, Oregon
3. QB Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M
4. QB Bryce Petty, Baylor
5. DE Michael Sam, Missouri
6. QB AJ McCarron, Alabama
7. QB Jordan Lynch, Northern Illinois
8. LB CJ Mosely, Alabama
9. QB Derek Carr, Fresno State
10. WR Mike Evans, Texas A&M