You know the old saying “They say if you love something let it go?” Well that was me this past weekend.
Stuck at a wedding, and stuck without football for the first time on a fall Saturday in years, I honestly had no idea what to do with myself. Checking my phone wasn’t enough. Texting with friends didn’t get the job done. Even trying to drink my sorrows away didn’t do the trick. Nope, none of it would do. To say I was “frazzled,” without football would be an understatement. I was more confused, upset and anxious than Texas A&M in the fourth quarter against a ranked team.
But still, I’d never let that stop me from doing my OnsideKick.com Top 25 poll.
Now granted, I’ll be the first to admit that it was tough to fill out my ballot, and a bit strange trying to rank these teams without having watched them play. But given that I’ve seen all these teams for five weeks beforehand, and given that a lot of the bigger games went as expected, I am going to continue on.
Here is my Top 25 below. As always, I encourage commenting and disagreements, especially this week. If I missed something, or misrepresented someone, I need to know. Put me in my place if I deserve it.
And also, as always, if you’re looking for some type of explanation as to why I ranked some of the teams where I did, check the comments section below.
1. Alabama Crimson Tide (6-0, 3-0)
2. LSU Tigers (6-0, 3-0)
3. Oklahoma Sooners (5-0, 2-0)
4. Wisconsin Badgers (5-0, 1-0)
5. Boise State Broncos (5-0, 0-0)
6. Oklahoma State Cowboys (5-0, 2-0)
7. Clemson Tigers (6-0, 3-0)
8. Stanford Cardinal (5-0, 3-0)
9. Oregon Ducks (4-1, 2-0)
10. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (6-0, 3-0)
11. Michigan Wolverines (6-0, 2-0)
12. Arkansas Razorbacks (5-1, 1-1)
13. Kansas State Wildcats (5-0, 2-0)
14. South Carolina Gamecocks (5-1, 3-1)
15. Nebraska Cornhuskers (5-1, 1-1)
16. West Virginia Mountaineers (5-1, 1-0)
17. Illinois Fighting Illini (6-0, 2-0)
18. Baylor Bears (4-1, 1-1)
19. Arizona State Sun Devils (5-1, 3-0)
20. Virginia Tech Hokies (5-1, 1-1)
21. Georgia Bulldogs (4-2, 3-1)
22. Texas Longhorns (4-1, 1-1)
23. Michigan State Spartans (4-1, 1-0)
24. Houston Cougars (6-0, 2-0)
25. Florida Gators (4-2, 1-2)
– As you may have noticed, the top nine teams are unchanged, with one exception: I moved Clemson ahead of Stanford from No. 8 to No. 7.
Why? To put it as simply as I can, umm, have you seen Stanford’s schedule? It’s softer than Charlie Weis’ midsection. Now granted, I know you can’t blame Stanford entirely for that (more so the Pac-12 schedule makers), but still. Who is the best team they’ve played exactly? Duke? UCLA? Given that Clemson has beaten three teams that were ranked at the time, I had to vault the Tigers up a spot.
– Moving up as well were some intriguing undefeated teams in Georgia Tech, Michigan and Kansas State, who to their credit, are all not only exceeding my expectations, but absolutely crushing them.
Starting with Georgia Tech, they are flat-out better than I ever imagined, and earned some brownie points with me for beating Randy Edsall’s Maryland team this past week. Michigan, is going to fall at some point (likely this weekend), but the 6-0 start is nothing if not impressive.
And speaking of impressive, how about Kansas State’s Bill Synder? At this point of the season, he has to be the National Coach of the Year right? To come out of retirement at his age, and do what he’s doing isn’t only a phenomenal story, it’s enough to make a Disney movie out of. At the very least, I expect at least two sappy, tear-jerking College Gameday pieces narrated by Tom Rinaldi by the middle of November.
– Illinois comes in at No. 17 this week, and I’ve got a confession to make: I’m just not sure I’m ready to live in a world where a Ron Zook coached team is 6-0 at this point in the season. What’s next? Is Bill Stewart going to come out of retirement and win a National Championship? I don’t like this one bit.
– Meanwhile, I also gave the South Carolina Gamecocks a pretty big bump up to No. 14 from No. 21. That bump didn’t have as much to do with the win itself, as it did that I just think they’re a better team, and more capable of reaching their potential with Connor Shaw at quarterback rather than Stephen Garcia.
– Speaking of “movin’ on up,” how about MY Georgia Bulldogs?
And if you’re wondering, why I’m calling them “MY” Georgia Bulldogs, it’s because, well, I’m pretty sure I’m the only person in America who had them ranked in the Top 25 last week, and fully expected them to make me look stupid by losing on Rocky Top. Instead they came out with a surprising win, despite losing Cornelius Washington, their best pass rusher to suspension. I know Tyler Bray got hurt, but it wasn’t until the end of the game, and from what I hear Georgia was the dominant team up until that point.
I firmly believe that Georgia is the best team in college football no one is talking about.
– Those poor Texas Longhorns fell from No. 11 all the way down to No. 22, thanks to the crushing they took at the Cotton Bowl against Oklahoma.
Honestly, I don’t believe Texas is that bad, and if anything, I really didn’t want to drop them as low as I did. But given that their best win is against, umm, Iowa State, it was hard to put them ahead of other one loss teams like Baylor, Arizona State and Virginia Tech, who have all beaten at least one or two competent teams.
– Houston is the only new team in the poll this week, replacing the Florida State Seminoles.
– Finally, coming in at No. 25 is the University of Florida.
Now, let me quickly go ahead and explain this ranking. I’ll be the first to admit that on today, October 11, 2011, I do not think they’re one of the 25 best teams in the country. Especially without John Brantley.
At the same time, how can Texas A&M and Auburn both be ranked, and not Florida? Both of those teams each have two losses, which is the same as Florida, except in the Gators case, their two came against the top two teams in the country. In back-to-back weeks, none the less.
Nope, so for now Florida will stay in the Top 25. Do I expect them to be there in a week? Probably not. At the same time, right now, they are deserving.
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