I have always wanted to “publish” a Top 25 poll and with the help of the interwebs, I am finally able to do it. As an avid college football fan, I try to watch as many games throughout the week to get a good picture of how each team is performing. With this information, I will put together a complete top 25 poll with my justification for placing each team where they fall. Without further ado, here it is:
1. USC – To me USC just looks like the most complete team in college football right now. Even though USC has only played 2 games so far this year, they have looked dominate in both. I am aware that the win against OSU is not looking like as big a win as USC might have hoped, but it doesn’t take away from the overall skill of the team.
2. Oklahoma – Oklahoma is a team that has been untested so far this year, but with the outstanding play from Sophomore Sam Bradford, Oklahoma has been dominating teams all year. It wouldn’t surprise me if Sam Bradford made a run at the Heisman before his days are done at OU.
3. Georgia – With arguably the toughest schedule in college football this season, Georgia has, in my opinion, looked relatively unimpressive and undeserving of a higher ranking. On Saturday, they beat Arizona State, a team that had just come off a tough OT loss to UNLV, thus lessening the game from a marquee matchup, to a game against an average team. The week before they needed a 4th quarter comeback against South Carolina and were helped my 2 goal line mistakes to win that game. I still feel that if Georgia goes undefeated in the SEC, they deserve to play in the National Championship.
4. LSU – LSU got a big road win against an Auburn team that was looking for redemption at home, after a heartbreaking, last second loss, to LSU last year. LSU made a good second half comeback and came up with a big stop against Auburn on its last drive to seal the game. I am a little hesitant putting LSU at #4 because Auburn may have an off year this year.
5. Missouri – With an early season win against Illinois, and big offensive numbers, Missouri is my #5 team (would have been #4 had they not fumbled the ball so much against Buffalo). Missouri has the best QB/WR combo in the country and I expect it to create havoc all season. As of right now, the Heisman is Chase Daniels to lose.
6. Florida – Florida had a big win at Tennessee on Saturday, but Tennessee is looking worse and worse each week. The win 2 weeks ago against Miami (Yes, that Miami), could be a much bigger win than Florida anticipated, with Miami looking good in the early going. Florida will have a good chance of getting back to the National Championship game this year if they can beat LSU on 10/11.
7. Wisconsin – A relative surprise as Wisconsin and Penn State look to be at the top of the Big 10 this year. Wisconsin had a very tough road win against Fresno State in week 3 and look to beat Michigan on the road for the first time in 14 years on Saturday.
8. Texas – Texas has looked very dominant in the early going, outscoring opponents 146-33, but without a quality opponent, I am still waiting to move them higher than #8.
9. Penn State – Penn State has looked equally impressive and is also untested. I think that the game on Saturday against Illinois will truly determine how good this team is and how effective the Spread HD is.
10. BYU – In my opinion, the most impressive non-BCS team in the country. With back to back shut-outs in dominating fashion, BYU shouldn’t be tested until they go to TCU on 10/16. If BYU goes undefeated, and teams ahead of them start to falter, I don’t see why BYU shouldn’t play for the National Championship.
11. Alabama – Alabama has looked good thus far with a win over ranked Clemson on a neutral field. They are still a young team and I expect them to have a tough going once the meat of their SEC schedule comes up.
12. Texas Tech – Another high octane offense from the Big 12. Texas Tech is averaging close to 600 ypg in total offense this year and beating teams by an average of 30 points, Texas Tech will be very tough to stop.
13. South Florida – With a quality non-conference win against Kansas, South Florida is my pick for lucky #13. Although most of the wins have looked unimpressive, they are still wins. With West Virginia and Rutgers having a down year, look for South Florida and Connecticut to compete for the Big East title.
14. Boise State – The Cinderella team from 2 years ago is looking to become another Cinderella story this year. On Saturday, Boise got its first road win against a BCS conference opponent and did so in impressive fashion. Boise dominated for most of the game and already had the game in hand before Oregon made its 4th quarter push.
15. Wake Forest – Wake Forest is in the same boat as South Florida, ugly wins. But like I said before a win is a win and going into a hostile environment and beating Florida State, helps their resume, even though they didn’t score a touchdown.
16. Utah – Most people were hesitant to put Utah in the Top 25 to start the season because they had to go to Ann Arbor and beat Michigan. Now that they have done that, and beat Air Force on the road, there are only 3 more obstacles between Utah and a BCS bowl, TCU, BYU and hoping Boise drops in the polls.
17. Kansas – Kansas had a tough last second loss to South Florida early in the season but bounced back nicely against Sam Houston State on Saturday. We will see how well this team holds up once conference play starts for them in 2 weeks.
18. TCU – Another surprise team out of the Mountain West Conference. This could be a short lived stint in the Top 25 with a game at Oklahoma on Saturday, but with a victory there, TCU could make a very good push for a BCS bowl.
19. Ohio State – Underwhelming I think is the best word to describe Ohio State this year. With many of its star junior players coming back for their senior season, I expected much more from Ohio State. With a 4th quarter comeback to beat Ohio and a 4 point lead going into the 4th quarter against Troy, sandwiching a spanking by USC, OSU has underwhelmed most fans thus far this season. They have a chance to turn things around this Saturday when they face undefeated (?!?!?) Minnesota.
20. Illinois – Juice Williams looked good in week 1 and 2, but very average against UL-L. I’m not entirely sold on Illinois yet, but Juice should give them a shot to win a lot of games.
21. Auburn – Auburn is another team that I am not completely sold on yet. With a 3-2 win over Mississippi State, who then got waxed by 31 to Georgia Tech, I’m not sure how good a team Auburn really is. They did play well against LSU for 3 quarters, so this ranking is really based off of ¾ of 1 football game.
22. Connecticut – Brown has looked very well this year and if it weren’t for UConn playing in the Big East, he would be getting a little more Heisman talk, in my opinion. Connecticut will contend for the Big East crown with South Florida and will be mostly untested the whole season up until that point.
23. Clemson – The preseason favorite to win the ACC. I still believe that Clemson will win the ACC and get into a BCS bowl that has eluded Tommy Bowden for so long. Clemson has outscored its opponents 126-26 since its opening season disaster against Alabama.
24. ECU – A heartbreaking loss against NC State for no longer BCS buster ECU. ECU has had a real hard time moving the ball on the ground so far this year and they will need to have a better balanced attack if they want to beat Houston on Saturday.
25. Michigan State – Michigan State is my Big Ten sleeper and may start to get more national attention as Javon Ringer continues to run over teams. Michigan State has bounced back well after an opening season loss to California and doesn’t seem to be the “Little Brother” of old. They prevented a 4th quarter comeback/collapse against the whale and emu and if Ringer can stay healthy I think MSU can pull a couple of big upsets this year.