Tuck’s College Football Top 25 Poll Week 7

By Mike Tuck
Host, Tuck & O'Neill

Now is when ranking teams becomes a little tricky.  It’s difficult to evaluate teams for a number of reasons.  First, head-2-head is becoming more of a factor, but when a team that won has more losses than the team it beat, what to do?  All the games count, and therefore I usually count losses in that case, but if the result was a blowout it may negate the difference.  How teams win and lose matters.  Where they do either matters.  Overall record matters, but can matter less because of scheduling differences.  How a team is playing now factors in some, improvement should be acknowledged, and drop-off should be as well.  Injuries begin to play a role.  Georgia is a great example of that, because they aren’t the team they were at the beginning of the season anymore.  I won’t necessarily punish them, but I must recognize that reality and adjust.

Some weeks it feels (like this one) I could put another 5-6 teams in the top 25.  Some weeks you reach 20, 21, 22 and you don’t know who else to include.

I do understand this practice is strictly for entertainment.  The only thing that matters (BIG PICTURE) are the top 2 teams.  Next year, it would be the top 4.  Obviously it would still be important to share who is 5-10 as those could be teams who think they should be in the top 4.  But that is next year.  We’ll worry about that when it arrives.  For now, the top 25.

UNBEATEN COUNT: 14. The upsets finally arrived!

WINLESS COUNT: 8.

1. Alabama (6-0)

2. Oregon (6-0)

3. Ohio State (6-0)

4. Clemson (6-0)

5. Missouri (6-0)

6. UCLA (5-0)

7. Miami (5-0)

8. FSU (5-0)

9. Baylor (5-0)

10. LSU (6-1)

11. Texas Tech (6-0)

12. Louisville (6-0)

13. Texas A&M (5-1)

14. Virginia Tech (6-1)

15. South Carolina (5-1)

16. Stanford (5-1)

17. Nebraska (5-1)

18. Fresno State (5-0)

19. Oregon State (5-1)

20. Auburn (5-1)

21. Georgia (4-2)

22. Arizona State (4-2)

23. Washington (4-2)

24. Wisconsin (4-2)

25. Michigan (5-1)

 

- It will be fascinating to see how the Big 10 and Big XII teams are treated by pollsters.  The SEC and Pac-12 look to be the deepest and best conferences, and it probably isn’t close.  The ACC might be sitting third right now, but it’s largely on the shoulders of it’s 3 unbeaten teams with the Hokies starting to gain steam.  The Big 10 feels like Ohio State and then a deeper, but not as top-heavy conference.  For what it’s worth, I’d probably say the same thing about the “down” Big XII.  It looks like Baylor, and then a group of pretty good, not great teams.

- LSU is in the best position of all the one-loss teams to get to the BCS title game because they will have to go through Texas A&M, Alabama, and the SEC title game to do it.  South Carolina and Stanford would be next up of all the one-loss teams today.  What would be compelling is the view of a one-loss team from either the SEC or Pac-12 versus an unbeaten Ohio State, Baylor, or Texas Tech.  Schedule-wise, and perhaps talent-wise, I’d go with the former over the latter right now.

- The two AAC undefeateds, Fresno State, and Northern Illinois are simply playing for BCS bowls, nothing more.

- UCF at Louisville.  It is the biggest game in Knights history this Friday.  Not only would it put them in the drivers seat for a BCS bowl game, it may give them a chance at a future outside the American.  UCF is a great school, that may have been better positioned in all this realignment had they won the “big” games like Utah and TCU did.  Last chance.  No promises.

- FSU at Clemson.  The Noles will still have to clear the Miami hurdle.  The Tigers would still have South Carolina.  And of course the winner of the division could get Miami or Virginia Tech in the ACC Title game.  So, winner is promised nothing.  But FSU would be favored the rest of the season.

- Florida at Mizzou.  The Tigers are very good, much better than a year ago.  Last year, it was 14-7 in the Swamp.  I’d expect a similar score, especially with the news that QB James Franklin is out for the Tigers.  Gators can take full control of their SEC East destiny with a win.

-Miami at North Carolina.  Will this be the week the Canes stumble?

-STIFF-ARMING TROPHY RACE

Ahh, not quite yet.  There isn’t a better player or more valuable one than the reigning trophy winner, Johnny Manziel, but there are still 20+ guys with a shot of winning it this year still.  Stay tuned.

 

 

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