1) That the state of Florida’s second-best program is the one in ... Tampa? When last week’s Power Rankings came out, I received an instant message from a Miami-loving friend that read: "Dude ... South Florida? Seriously?" I’ve been receiving similar e-mails from both ‘Canes and FSU fans since the day I first dubbed USF a Top 25 team nearly eight months ago. Their bewilderment is understandable. After all, Miami won the first of its five national titles back in 1983. FSU first became a top-five fixture a few years later. Meanwhile, USF’s program didn’t even exist until 1997. Of the three, however, only Jim Leavitt’s Bulls will be among the ranked this week after they walked into Jordan-Hare Stadium -- the same venue where national champion Florida suffered its only defeat last year – and came away with a 26-23 overtime victory (despite missing four field goals). It was USF’s third victory over a ranked foe in the past three years.
Top to bottom, the ‘Noles and ‘Canes still have the more talented rosters than the Bulls, but they’re still missing at least one key ingredient: a quality quarterback, which USF has in sophomore Matt Grothe. The two traditional powers obviously have some deeper problems than that, however. FSU -- as has become its custom in recent years -- fell behind 17-3 early before eventually beating UAB (3-9 last year) 34-24, while Miami suffered its most lopsided defeat (51-13 to Oklahoma) in nine years. At least the ‘Noles showed some progress offensively, piling up 520 yards on the Blazers. It’s going to be another long year for the ‘Canes’ offense, however, so long as Kyle Wright and Kirby Freeman are the only options under center. Meanwhile, for all the hype out FSU’s showdown with Alabama in Jacksonville on Sept. 28, there’s suddenly a much bigger game taking place in the state the night before: West Virginia at USF.
2) That USC now has a tougher road to New Orleans than LSU. Seriously. Though Les Miles’ bizarre preseason rant about the Trojans’ schedule certainly made for good column fodder, the truth is, the preseason rankings bore out his argument. That might not be the case much longer thanks to some impressive early-season victories by USC’s opponents. The new AP poll had not yet been released at the time of this post, but if it mirrors the ballot I submitted Saturday night, USC now has five ranked opponents on its schedule -- No. 8 Cal (which beat Tennessee last week), No. 11 Nebraska (won at Wake Forest), No. 12 UCLA (staved off BYU), No. 17 Oregon (laid the smack down at Michigan) and No. 24 Washington (ended Boise State’s 14-game winning streak).
LSU, meanwhile, has four (No. 4 Florida, No. 16 Arkansas, No. 18 South Carolina and No. 23 Virginia Tech, which, admittedly, is only that low because the Tigers themselves whooped them). And while LSU has the benefit of playing all four of those foes in Baton Rouge (same with previously ranked Auburn), USC will be hitting the road to play all but UCLA. Autzen Stadium is a hostile enough environment without having to face Dennis Dixon and Jonathan Stewart.
3) That the ACC is simply hideous. A year after going 6-16 against BCS-conference foes, the nation’s preeminent basketball-conference-masquerading-as-a-football-league is off to another impressive start: 1-4 against BCS-conference opponents (the one is actually Georgia Tech’s win over independent Notre Dame) and, even more embarrassing, 6-7 against Division I-A opponents, (including Virginia’s loss at Wyoming, NC State’s loss to UCF and UNC’s loss to East Carolina). Perhaps most humbling of all, the league’s two highest-profile Big East imports, Miami and Virginia Tech, lost to two top-10 opponents Saturday (Oklahoma and LSU) by a combined score of 99-20. Adding insult to injury: The Big East itself has started off 9-2 against its I-A opposition, including five wins against 2006 bowl teams.
Is Appalachian State available for membership, by any chance?
4) That the clock has already struck 11:59 for Cinderella. In the course of one day, nearly every popular pick for this year’s BCS party-crasher -- TCU, Boise State, BYU and Southern Miss -- went down, and Hawaii came within a bizarre strategic decision by Louisiana Tech (which, playing on its own home field, went for two at the end of its first overtime and lost 45-44) of joining them. Meanwhile, next week brings huge challenges for some of the few remaining unbeaten "mid-majors" (Wyoming hosts Boise State, UCF hosts Texas, Air Force hosts TCU and Ohio visits Virginia Tech).
History says that a non-BCS team’s best bet of reaching one of the big bowls is to knock off a major-conference opponent and, if you’re going to lose, be sure it’s not to one of your own conference’s teams. The Warriors may be the last remaining hope (their showcase opportunity will come at the end of the season against Washington), though Saturday’s game confirmed once again that Hawaii isn’t nearly as intimidating when it plays on the Mainland. Its next game is at UNLV, which unexpectedly took Wisconsin to the wire Saturday night before falling 20-13.
Is Appalachian State eligible for consideration, by any chance?
5) That Oct. 6 can’t come soon enough. We already knew that day’s Florida-LSU matchup could potentially pit two undefeated, top-five opponents, which became a step closer to reality with the Tigers’ rout of Virginia Tech. The biggest remaining hurdle for either team will likely be the Gators’ date next week with Tennessee in what will be the first SEC start for QB Tim Tebow and a whole bunch of UF defenders. But following Oklahoma’s eye-opening performance against Miami and Texas’ runaway 34-13 win over a top-20 TCU foe Saturday, you’ve got to think that same day’s Red River Shootout in Dallas could have similar implications. Oklahoma jumped to No. 3 on my ballot, Texas to No. 6, and both teams will be heavily favored in all their remaining games until then (though the ‘Horns do need to tread carefully next week at UCF, which will be using the occasion to unveil its new on-campus stadium). I just hope CBS and ABC don’t end up showing the two games at the same exact time.
Update: Somehow, USF did NOT join the realm of the "ranked" this week, coming in 26th in the AP poll. Apparently, Texas A&M's triple-overtime home victory over Fresno State was more impressive.
It's a bit premature to list Washington & Oregon as challenges for USC. Michigan is in total disarray and the victory by Oregon lacks meaning, similar to pointing to victories over Notre Dame as noteworthy. Boise St typically ranks 65th in recruitment and almost always plays schools ranked even lower. USC has a tough schedule without any hype.
You've been a big ACC vs. Big East guy for a while (the bias is obvious, so I don't need to state which side you're on); but what does one upset against an 18th ranked Auburn team prove about the entire league? BC looks like a solid team. Clemson looks like a solid team. GTech looks like a solid team...all 3 teams have played decent competition already. None were ranked preseason - all 3 are ranked now.
WVU, Rutgers and Lousville have played Western Michigan, Marshall, Buffalo, Navy, Murray State and Middle Tennessee. By the way, the Louisville defense allowed 42 points against Middle Tennesee - what happens when they play a real offense? They don't for a while...as they did last year, the real Big East conference games are late in the season...any of them with big OCC games like the one VTech scheduled?...NOPE! Let's see WVU, Louisville, Rutgers or USF play LSU during the second week.
The USF victory is the only credible thing that the Big East has accomplished besides their lofty preseason rankings. Perhaps we should see how Clemson, Gtech and BC end up this season before we start our pro-big east rants...Rutgers was far from ranked at this point last season, let's give the ACC teams the same chance to move up the polls...as eager as you are to denounce them.
USF gets no respect becase they only beat an SEC team.... oh wait, the SEC rules all things college football. How does unranked USF go into 17th ranked Auburn and win and yet the coaches still ave more votes to Auburn than USF? The polls are tainted with so much bias it's ridiculous.
A general comment on the LSU/VTech games last night... I think LSU looked good, but obviously VTech's #9 ranking was just a bit high. Their offense was inept in the first game and heir "stout" defense. ECU outgained them on the ground 14442 to 33 and had nearly the same amount of yards. Year after year, VTech is overhyped and it was nice to see them come back to earth.
Pac 10 Football! Okay, it's early in the season and teams (from all conferences) will tumble from the Top 25 rankings. That said, the Pac 10 at this point in time is stronger based on rankings. Also, every team in the Pac-10 (minus Stanford) has a chance of beating another conference team due to big offense and the nature of college football. Along with USC, Cal, UCLA, ASU - Oregon and Washington are real. Arizona, WSU and OSU aren't chumps either.
Again we see that pre-season rankings really mean nothing...#9 VTech, #11 Georgia, #5 Michigan, and #17 Auburn have all lost to lower ranked teams. All of these teams were overrated. College football needs to to find another way to rank teams. Maybe waiting until half way thru the season. Without a doubt I believe #2 LSU could stomp #1 USC right now. And why does USC deserve a #1 pre-season ranking? Have they proven anything this year? I don't think we can go on last year's team for this year's rankings. College football needs to rework the rankings.
The silver lining of Michigan losing is it makes next weeks game against the Irish far more interesting. Can you imagine either of those coaches 0-3? Everyone expected the Irish to be bad but are the Wolverines worse.
The ACC is in terrible shape, yes it is. But, look around the other conferences as well. A lot of the traditional Goliath's of college football are getting stones thrown accurately at their foreheads. Michigan, Wisconsin (they are #5?), Auburn (#17??), Nebraska (#16??), Texas A&M (#23?-what a fiasco that game was by the way), Louisville (#8???), West Virginia (#3???), Georgia (#11???-if I see any more dump offs in the backfield, it'll be too soon), etc. Just because the popular teams have not been living up to expectations does not mean a conference is doomed. Georgia Tech, Clemson, and Boston College look like they are solid. Florida State, we'll see when they play Bama. Wake Forest is on their way up. Miami is turning into a Tulane (ok maybe not that bad). Virginia and Virginia Tech are on their way down. Duke is Duke. Maryland has returned to the era of Maryland football. UNC has been down in the dumps for a long while, and NC State has seen better days.
Unlike basketball, in which teams are rewarded for difficult schedules, in football it is the opposite. USC plays in a solid conference, but still added Arkansas, Nebraska, and Notre Dame to the burden. They lost two close games. In comparison, Michigan played Notre Dame, and OSU played Texas, which had an off year. We came close to seeing OSU vs Michigan in the title game when it probably should have been USC vs Florida. Florida's schedule, against Alabama, Auburn, LSU and Georgia in successive games, wore it down as their schedule did for USC. Boise St was rewarded with a BCS bid without beating a Top 25 team when they played. Since strength of schedule has been down graded we are left to hype. We hype how bad Michigan is and hype the great victories of Oregon and Ap St, but logically you can't have it both ways. If Michigan really is that bad, and it seems they are, then beating them cannot be so great.
I don't think that there can be any doubt about the top two rankings, USC and LSU. One might argue the order in which they are ranked, but not whether or not they deserve to be 1-2. USF going into Auburn, and winning? They should be ranked between 23 and 25. Then there's TAMU, bless their lil' ole' maroon Aggie hearts. Despite having the reincarnation of Mike Alstott in the backfield, A&M has such a weak schedule this year that they shouldn't be ranked until they soundly beat a quality opponent. Frankly, ranking A&M over USF is a travesty of justice. That Auburn received more votes than did USF is an absolute miscarriage of justice. The voters who made the above mistakes on their ballots, should be so ashamed of themselves that they turn in their pens. Hrmph.
sakes, you say that Stewart has been biased against the ACC and in favor of the Big East for a while. But is there an underlying reason or is it because the ACC hasn't done anything against the Big East when it comes to success? Louisville beat Miami and Wake Forest last year, West Virginia beat Maryland and Georgia Tech last year, Rutgers beat NC last year, Pittsburgh beat Virginia last year, and USF beat North Carolina. In fact, Big East was 7-2 vs. the ACC, with Wake having beat the two non-bowl teams of UConn and Syracuse. This is a new year, sure, but BC hasn't played out of conference yet (so they should have the two wins they have), and G-Tech played Samford while Clemson played UL-Monroe...decent competition? I'm not saying Big East is playing better competition, but don't try to dog all the higher-ranked squads for their schedules either.
Yeah, it's not anyone else's fault V-Tech wasn't ready for that Bayou Bengal smacking, especially not the Big East teams for not scheduling them.
1) USF is being screwed, especially in the Coaches poll where it still received fewer votes than Auburn.
2) SAKES, I don't understand why you're vilifying Mandel. It's not like he's the only AP voter. And both polls have the lowest ranked Big East team (Rutgers) ranked higher than the highest-ranked ACC team (Georgia Tech). You seem to feel that the ACC teams have faced tougher competition. I'll need you to explain that one further to me. Georgia Tech beat Notre Dame (who is winless), Clemson had a tough time against Florida State (who in turn had to rally to beat UAB) and Virginia Tech struggled against Eastern Carolina. Thus far Boston College seems to be the only ACC team that is taking care of business.
3) CHARLES, just my opinion but I don't think that it is too premature to list Oregon at least as a challenge for USC. Autzen is always a tough environment. And yes, Michigan has proven to not be a great team this season but Oregon still did go to the Big House and completely dismantle the Wolverines in front of 100,000 fans. Plus (and I know this is crazy to say) but USC hasn't been challenged yet either. Do we really know how good they are this season?
Also, basketball teams are rewarded for having difficult schedules and generally winning. Plus, since college basketball has a tournament and allows teams to settle it on the court, it's really an apples and oranges comparison.
P.S. Stewart, thanks for continuing to call it the Red River Shootout. I don't care what all these corporate labeling, politically correct obsessed drones insist upon; sometimes you just don't mess with tradition.
I think that USF is far more superior than USC. USF plays in a conference with many quality oppenents (WVA, Rutgers, Louisville,) and has already beaten a quality team in 17th ranked Auburn. I thin that USC is far overrated and USF could beat them anyday of the year. Please feel free to argue.:)
I agree that USF deserves more recognition for the victory at Auburn, but the fact that emotions can overcome superior talent should not be ignored either. Look at TCU vs Texas. For TCU it is the game of the year with national recognition on the line. Texas has three or four bigger games yet to play. Auburn had nothing to gain from the game and could only get a black eye, which it did. We often see inferior schools, such as TCU rise to the occasion of beating OK one year and Texas Tech the next. But in each case TCU lost the following week to weak teams. Fresno St played USC strong two years ago and collapsed the next month. USF will get its recognition over time, if it wins. I am sure voters are considering the 'nothing to lose, everything to gain' factor.
Dont forget about the SEC championship for LSU, which will, in all likelihood, be against a ranked team. Auburn very well could be a top 25 team again by the time they play. That makes 5 maybe 6 more ranked games for LSU.
sakes spoke about bias of the Big East over the ACC but I am still trying to figure out why WVU won by 28 points over a IA school and fell back from 3 to 4 in the AP? Talk about Bias! But I was pretty sure it would happen after I heard the ESPN guy propose to move Oklahoma into 1st or 3rd place this Morning. That's usually all it takes!
CHARLES, fair enough. But rankings shouldn't be based on what might happen in the future. They should be based on what has happened thus far. Changes should be made as the season progresses.
AKYLE4, it seems that you're making contradictory points. Ok, West Virginia won by 25 (not 28) points over a D1 opponent. Well, Oklahoma won by 38 points over a D1 opponent (from a "BCS conference") who has actually won a game.
OMAGUS, you're a genius. took the words right out of my mouth (on more than one ocassion).
WVU is a good team, but, without a defense, they'll never be great. Ditto to Louisville, whose defense should be better than it is. Oklahoma was a much more impressive and "complete" team against a higher quality opponent. Based on their win, they deserve to be mentioned in almost the same breath as LSU and USC.
USF didn't get the respect they deserved in the polls, and that's all fine and dandy for them. Better watch out next week (UNC) because they have something to fight for, and then there is the WVU game - at home this year - directly after that. Grothe is an amazingly talented quarterback who can make things happen anytime he touches the ball (a la Pat White). What Grothe has that White won't is a good defense to back him up each game. Advantage: USF. They showed last year that they can hang with WVU and with the Mountaineers coming to Tampa this year, things could get ugly for the 'neers.
Lots of contenders this year in the BigEAST with Cinci showing a great offense and a great D. Good things to come. Upset special against RU again? It could happen, but RU is just too good at home recently to let their big hopes slip away. And, the revenge factor gives them the killer instinct.
Mandel is using the one upset against Auburn, and VTech/Miami's rout against top 5 teams as the basis for his point.
Rocky - the ACC hasn't done anything against the Big East in terms of success? Last year, yes. It was a down year for the ACC. But you said "ever", so I assume that I'm allowed to refer you to the season before that. Just look at the ACC's record against the Big East the year before last. So you should really be asking "what has the ACC ever done against the Big East last year", because that is a valid point. 1 year of success against the ACC. However, it was a single down year. We are in week #2 and because VTech, Miami and FSU have had difficult starts against hard teams (again, against top non-conference teams which is something that only USF can claim to have early in the season *this doesn't apply to FSU as they lost to a #15 Clemson team), teams that have looked very good like BC, Clemson and GTech are ignored by Mandel. Wake Forest lost to BC and almost upset Nebraska, so they could be another good team in the ACC. I have to give USF respect, but WVU, Louisville and Rutgers simply do not play anyone this year and they can pile up wins while going up the rankings before they actually have to play each other. Vtech could have done that and stayed in the top 10, but they played LSU. FSU played a big conference game right off the bat against a very good Clemson team. Wake took on Nebraska (and almost won), Miami took on #5 Oklahoma; what are the top Big East teams doing? They are starting the first part of the season by playing Middle Tenn, Norfolk St, Navy, Buff, Kentucky.
Unfortunately, this appears to be an effective way to slowly stay around the top-15 until the end of the season.
Question - Is it a coincidence that the WVU, Louisville and Rutgers games are all scheduled in November (Rutgers/Louisville is actually Oct. 27th, but same idea). It's sad that SOS means so little and teams like Wake, VTech and Miami that take a OOC risks and play top teams early are so harshly punished in the polls.
Alright everyone, time to put it on the line. I'm going to make some predictions about conference champions and let's see if I get proven right or stupid.
Big East: Rutgers all the way. Louisville's defense is a joke and WVU will go into the Rutgers game overconfident, while Rutgers still feels it has something to prove. Result: WVU gets creamed.
ACC: This is the hardest one because no one is really standing out. I'm going with VT simply on the strength of their coaching and defense. They're not going to lose it after LSU.
Big 10: Can anyone argue, at this point, that Penn State and Wisconsin are the class of this conference? I'm picking Penn State because of the "something to prove" factor. They get little respect, being a "second-tier" (I want it noted that I do not concur with this assessment) Big 10 team, so they want it more .
Big 12: While I wholeheartedly believe that Texas will have a good year, I have to say that I think Oklahoma is going to chew them up and spit them out a la LSU-VT. Not a Sooners fan, but they are the real deal this year and they're hungry as can be after losing to Boise State in the Fiesta Bowl.
PAC-10: I'm a bit less definitive on this one because I haven't seen USC against a real team yet. If they handle Nebraska, then I'm picking them for sure. If they struggle against Big Red, then it's Cal all the way. Sleepers have a real shot in college, and the Golden Bears have some major playmakers all over the place.
SEC: Well, anyone that was on the fan comments for the Florida-Troy State game knows that I'm a huge SEC fan with a major love for the Gators. That takes care of disclosure. I'm predicting that the SEC Championship will be played twice this year: first at LSU on October 6 and then again in Atlanta. I think that the Tigers and Gators are going to split these games, so I'm sort of hoping that the Gators will lose on the sixth (not really, I want them to blow them out both times, but I have to predict events in the real world, not my dreams). That being said, I won't say which team will take the SEC, but I'm certain that the SEC champ will be in the BCS Championship. playing against Oklahoma.
I think one problem with the rankings is that there is just too much inertia in the early season polls.
Later in the season, a team's current ranking tells you something about the quality of the team. Early on, however, it's a signal of a team's potential. If a team doesn't live up to those expectations, they can and should drop, even if they do win. If they barely win over a bottom tier school, they should drop a good deal.
Instead, pollsters have a tendency to look at their rankings, drop down the teams that lose, and move the rest up correspondingly, or, at worst, to drop them 1 or 2 places as penalty.
When trying to rank football teams in 2007, look at their performance in 2007, not at your memories of how they performed in the past and how good they look on paper.
Changes in reputation take time. USF has been building steam, to the point where it was common to read that they would beat Auburn. If USF keeps winning there will come a point where voters make up for previous omissions. If they finish high in the Big East they should have a great bowl game. I think LSU will beat Florida as it usually does at home, and that one other SEC will beat Florida. SC and Kentucky should give Florida stronger games than last year and there's still TN and GA. Neither LSU nor Florida should finish undefeated. I will stick with Texas until OK proves me wrong although Texas is showing signs of vulnerability. I doubt either goes undefeated. I think WV has the best chance of going undefeated with its schedule, and believe it will be USC vs WV in the title game. LSU with one defeat should be chosen over any other undefeated team except USC, but that is not the way voters will go. I think Florida showed us last year how a rigorous schedule can cloud perceptions of a team, but that will be forgotten.
WVU will not lsoe this season as long as Pat White is healthy. He is the best player in the country and he wills his team to a victory every week... anyone can say what they want but they r fooling themselves if they think otherwise.
More proof of SEC bias: two of the three teams with losses in the top 25 are SEC, while UCF is undefeated (including a road win at an SEC school), Missouri is undefeated (two road wins, at Illinois and Ole Miss). Just because Peyton played at Tennessee and Georgia, well, what has Georgia actually done (?) doesn't mean that these teams should be ranked.
At least V-tech scheduled LSU...However, they forgot they had to show up and compete. What an embarrassing display which only validates the statement the ACC or Athletically Challenged Conference maybe should stick to basketball. LSU beat the acc conferences best team back to the Stone Age. Yes, the Big East is vastly superior to the ACC.
One thing really tends to stick out.....Each conference has about 3-4 really good teams with the rest being bottom feeding chum gobblers that hang on to the coat-tails of the conference' top dawgs. No..wait a second. Vtech was one of those pre-season national champions that is not ranked..I guess the acc does not have 3-4 good teams. Maybe next year? Time for an objective way to fairly rank the teams. 'cause it ain't going on now. Congress??Computers only. I think we all would get better odds than we are getting now with the alums out there voting in their sports editorials.
Lifelong Buckeye fan. I am not worried about how Michigan is doing, but the lack of offense with the OSU squad. If we play next week at Washington the way we played the first two games everyone will be writing about our embarassing loss and rightly so. Right now it appears that only USC and LSU fans can be self-righteous. Go Bucks!
What a lot of yall fail to realize bout the strength of schedule when talking about the Big East is that these schedule have been put together years ago for the most part. In the case of USF an Rutgers, they schedule were set in stone way before they came strong on the national scene. Rutgers came out of nowhere last year and although USF has been making a name for themselves ever since pulling off the upset in 2001 at Pitt. So when you look at their schedules, they were put together base on just trying to grow as a program. USF's AD Doug Woodlard has been doing a good job setting up games in the years to come to match the talent USF is putting on the field. They got 5 games lined up with Miami starting in 2009 and they got a home and home series with UF in 2010 and 2015 on top of games against Kansas, Indian, North Carolina and Michigan State. Granted they are the dominant teams in college football for the most part, the fact that he's adding teams shows that they are trying to strengthen their schedule.
I'm a Bull season ticket holder so I am bias, but truth be told, they are one of the fast growing program in terms of where they were and where they're are going. Yeah now it sounds cliche but its true. I remember the first game when they put up 80 in 97. 10 years later, here they are going into Auburn and holding their own....if they don't get respect for that from the polls, its a travesty. Its hard to agree with the coaches putting Auburn ahead of USF. Id like to know who put them ahead of USF cause if it was mostly SEC teams, then it purely on bias. Especially when outside of New Mexico State, the dont play no other non-conference games. It appears the only way USF will get the respect that they deserve is if they run the table against WVU, UL, and Rutgers and win the Orange Bowl. Maybe if they do that, they might be able to crack the Top 25.
Woah woah woah -- let's not be too hasty about proclaiming Boston College a good team. The win over Wake Forest was solid, yeah. But their game against NC State was terrible. Matt Ryan didn't even look like a 7th round draft pick, much less a first rounder. NC State had 7, yes, SEVEN turnovers, and they were still in the game in the 4th quarter. Boston College ought to win 8 or 9 games because the ACC is terrible, but I can see them getting smashed by a good team in their bowl game if they don't show serious improvement.
(And yes, I am an ACC fan....at least the conference is fantastic in basketball)
What does USF have to do get respect in the minds of the arbitrary "powers that be?" Established, “Named” programs rely on their historic past to stay in the top 25 while deserving neophytes like USF get left out again, despite another win over a top 25 team again, on the road. When will the voters stop relying on the reputations of historic programs and open their eyes and respect programs that are proving it on the field, not to mention on the road!
If you play schools like Buffalo, Akron, Toledo, and MTSU and you won't get any heat and your conference will be considered good because the media forgets that FSU beat the stuffing out of UCLA last year in a bowl game that they were supposed to lose or that a ranked team Nebraska got lucky to beat a Wake Forest team. GT, BC, Clemson and FSU will have solid season and will win their bowl games this year. Miami, UNC, and Maryland will all be around average (meaning they could beat Michigan) and will still won't get any respect.
-Nobody is standout good, which is what the ACC wanted when it brought in Miami and VT. Unfortunately those programs could be hitting unprecedented lows.
-The top teams in the conference won't be given national consideration until later in the year. (Note: If GT can beat BC this week, they will undoubtedly move to near the top 10 in the polls. BC will be given similar consideration if they win, and Clemson will also move skyward if they can win their next 3 games which include 2 road games @ NCst. & GT)
-It is probably one of the most even conferences (talent-wise) in the BCS. Any games involving VT, Miami, FSU, GT, BC, Clemson, Wake Forest, and maybe even NC State...are all up for grabs.
-There are many other standouts in other conferences such as the SEC and Pac-10. LSU and USC are the obvious National Championship contenders, and barring any upsets all attention will be paid to these two all year.
...all in all, the ACC should just change their nickname to the "Alright Coast Conference," instead of the "Awesome Championship Conference" the league commish would have wanted/expected a few years back.
USF fans are failing to understand the situation. For the win over Auburn to have any meaning the team must win more big games. If they do voters will jump them in the polls as they have in similar past situations. If USF does not win most of the big games the Auburn win begins to look like a blip on the radar. Celebrate the victory and gear up for the future. With little to go on voters are giving the matter their best shot. Last week the Ap St victory over Michigan looked huge while now it looks like they eked out a victory against a BCS bottom feeder. And you watch, the winner of the ND/Michigan game will claim it a great victory for the program.
The answer to USF getting no respect is easy. The voters would have to admit that they do not the slightest clue as to who is any good in the preseason. they would also have to stop being homers. My proof is simple V tech is still in the top 25, they got hammered by a good team and barely beat a average team. Also last week Michgan was still getting votes, they lose at home to a 1-AA team, Army beat there 1-AA team. Finally, I am a Big East homer and as of today USF is the most impressive club, with WVU right behind.
Way to go coaches....you really blew it with the rankings this week by handing Auburn some very undeserved votes to put them ahead of USF. I mean going into a hostile environment against the SEC school with the best overall record over the last four years and beating them, even though it looked like the only nonfootball player...ie the kicker...tried to hand the game over to Auburn, should at least get you more votes then the team you beat. Obviously there are problems with the polls...almost all of us can agree to that..I think the voters need to be more open to having fluid polls at the beginning of the season so a team that is ranked highly and loses can fall out of the poll while teams that are not ranked but beat a ranked team should be able to get into the poll. Oh by the way when I left the USF/Auburn game last night most of the people were convinced that USF deserved to be ranked in the top 25
Maybe it's time to drop the Appalachian St. references already. It's been done to death. Michigan is an embarrassment who'd probably get a game from an Ohio State farm team like Cleveland Glenville. By the way, after week 2 the Big Ten is 17-4 in games outside the conference, while the SEC is 15-3. I'm sorry, but I fail to see the massive distinction in performance and depth of talent. Yes, we all know that Florida handed it to Ohio State last year, but what about the fact that Arkansas and Tennessee lost to Wisconsin and Penn State? And why should USF get any respect? That's a lot to ask for a school that's never done anything respectful in regard to, you know, football. So they beat Auburn? In case you haven't noticed, Auburn isn't very good. Are they still milking a reputation from Jason Campbell's senior year? Sad.
The SEC crowds will all hoop and holler about LSU but they beat an overrated Va. Tech at home. Big deal! LSU will be another victim of the Trojan football machine in NO, if LSU can get by Fla. Frankly, I see a rematch with Okie U.
The Dude-- You said that the Trojans would go 7-5 in the SEC? Yeah right, they would run rampant in that conference...just ask Arkansas the last 2 seasons, who happened to be in the SEC chanpionship game last year. Those weren't close victories either. USC would be have a field day in the SEC, kind of like FSU when they first entered the ACC.
After last year, I'm glad you are not throwing any hype to Clemson this year. Although I am a Clemson fan, I do believe that Tommy and his crew lose focus... every year(look at their ground game and defense this past game). Making a tackle for loss on one play then letting them run or throw for a first down the next doesn't help the team in any way. They haven't done anything as of yet. When they win a ring or trophy (ACC title would be nice), then they should celebrate. Until then, they should focus on their opponents every single down and not their egos.
Seldom if ever do the rankings at the end of the season look like the Week 3 rankings, so it's probably premature to draw any conclusions yet. But Adam who rationalizes that LSU has a tougher schedule than USC need not worry. USC won't be in the running at the end of the season because I don't think any team can go undefeated facing 5 (or possibly 6 with ASU) ranked opponents ON THE ROAD. If anyone has done it, I'd like to hear about it. UCLA is closer to the Coliseum than the Rose Bowl, so although USC is not on the road for that one, they have no home field advantage.
Looking at the talent coming in, I have to agree the SEC is the toughest conference. So why do SEC teams schedule most of their non-conference games against the patsies of non-BCS conferences?
For years I thought the Big East was undeserving of full BCS consideration. But in the past two years they have stepped up and now play on a par with most of the others. I think leaving USF out this week is more indicative of the voters' ignorance than a bias.
Personally I don't think that schools should even be ranked until about week 6. You want a playoff, then there it is, six weeks to prove that you are at the top. You wouldn't have #5 losing to a 1AA school. As for the Big East, it is a good #3 Conference, behind the SEC and Pac-10. The ACC, Big 10 and Big 12 are overated, due to past success. As i said rank the schools later and give all conferences a chance to prove they belong.
If you watched any of the Hawaii-Louisiana Tech game, I think you would feel better about Hawaii as a potential BCS-buster. While I agree that they traditionally play with less intensity off the islands, this week they came to play. However, an up-and-coming Bulldog program was ready for the challenge. I do not forsee another home team mounting a similar challenge to the Rainbow.. Louisiana Tech was just that ready to play. I think Louisiana Tech would have beaten the vast majority of BCS teams on their home field Saturday night. Lots of credit should go to both teams for playing with such intensity.
As an Auburn alum, I just want to tip my har to USF. They played very well in a tough environment. Their fans were class acts. These guys will probably beat UF in a few years.
That said, the Big East has some serious talent. They have proven that they deserve their BCS conference status over the last two seasons, and I feel that their talent level is on par with the SEC, Big 12 and Pac-10.
U$C need not think that they would have a field day in the SEC. Even the unranked teams in that conference can beat the ranked teams in the SEC and many other conferences. The top of the SEC is as good as they come.
This will be a rebuilding year for Auburn and, to some extent, Florida. Both teams will have solid seasons, but I think this will be the year we get that USC-LSU matchup (for the ultimate in classless fans).
Eric Ohio is still in denial about OSU and Florida. Go beyond the numbers. Pn St & Wis barely won while Mi and OSU were stomped on. How did this happen when so many wanted an MI/OSU rematch? Mandel, like so many, voted Fla over MI, but said it was like leading a lamb to a slaughter. Looking back MI's claim to fame was beating Notre Dame and OSU beat a Texas team having an off year. Neither faced a rigorous schedule like Fla or USC. Fla faced an early marathon of Alabama, LSU, Auburn & Geo, then barely won most games afterward. USC scheduled Nebraska, Arkansas and Notre Dame and also struggled, losing two close games. Yet rested USC & Fla clobbered the elite of the Big Ten. No Big East teams has measured itself or is doing so against a rigorous schedule. All are saying wait until the games against each other at season's end. Without a rigorous schedule we will be no more certain about onew of them than we were MI or OSU last season.
Okay..ain't this what makes America and college football great? It's like a drug. When the season's over I'm in despair and have the shakes until September rolls around (or at least very mild depression, but baseball will do that to you) I get my fixes playing NCAA football on my Game Cube so at least I can hear the roar of the crowd and a snap count!
All that being said,
The PAC 10: USC still hasn't been tested and judging from just Oregon's and Cal's performances and demonstrated speed and talent I think it's more than likely that USC will lose one if not both. Pete Carroll is a great coach and does extremely well with whatever he has but probability and having a younger team is against him. (The Nebraska game will give us a clue)(Go big 12!)
The Big 10:Wisconsin and OSU; Personally I would like to see Wisconsin win it but they struggled with UNLV and OSU really looked sluggish against the Akron Zips. This conference is really a toss up . Adapt or Die Michigan! Very sad...
The Big 12? Texas/Oklahoma in the south vs Nebraska or Mizzou in the North. The likely spoilers? Texas A&M and Texas Tech and maybe OSU (never underestimate the power of hate)(I am thinking about seeing if we can get Boise State to take over a slot in the North, Maybe Kansas or Iowa State's slot) They're much better competition. Stewart, see what you can do about that, okay?
The ACC: BC,GT and WF - Boston College is as good as they get although I have been impressed by WF's progress in the last 5 years. There's some good building being done there.(By the way has anybody noticed that their Helmets look almost exactly the same as Wichita Falls (TX) High School's?
The Big East? Some impressive Ball play lately by Cincinatti over Oregon St. and USF should get more respect than it does but if they continue to win big they should show up. People will notice. Louisville, same song (how many years have they been playing?) All offense..no Defense..nuff said. Rutgers and WV are playing the best ball out of all and so it boils down to those two.
SEC? LSU and Florida look really strong. I think it's LSU's year though. Everyone else is good to middlin and will end up in a Minor bowl. Auburn is a usual favorite and the only reason they are still in the polls. They should have been dropped like a dirty shirt.
The MAC? Marshal, Marshall Marshall!
Mountain West - Maybe it's Wyoming's year?
WAC? Boise State as usual
Sun Belt? Middle Tenn. St. for piling on the points against an over-rated Louiville
Independents? Go Navy! (I am a self professed ND slanderer, in the military and a Sooner Fan)
At the End of the year The top Ten will look like this:
1. LSU 2. West Virginia 3. Florida 4. Oklahoma 5. Oregon 6. Cal 7. USC 8. Texas 9. Wisconsin 10. Rutgers
As for who's got the best conference? SEC and PAC-10 right now tied. they are playing the best ball OVERALL.
Of course...I could be wrong...:-) and I am sure someone will tell me so! :-)
Wait until after Lance Ball and Keon Lattimore run for a combined 250 yards against WVU on Thursday to say the Big East is better than the ACC. Heyward Bey can't be covered by WVU hideous secondary either. It's upset time in College Park. Be ready.
OU is overrated. They looked impressive against North Texas the first week but even SMU looked impressive against UNT this weekend. The same SMU that killed by Texas Tech the first week. In addition, although their win against Miami was impressive, Miami is going to be lucky to make a bowl this season, so it really wasn't all that great. The defense was horrible and can't decide who is their QB>
BlazenGatorGirl - VT didn't lose to an unranked opponent. Last I checked, LSU was the #1 team in the land.
Chet - How'd that "football machine" fair last year vs. UCLA and two years ago against Texas? VT was rated too high, but USC may be the most over-hyped, over-talked about, over-everything program in the country.
I agree with thefan's opinion. They should not rank teams in the preseason, anything can happen on any given Saturday. So they should wait until mid-season and then rank these teams. Then while ranking these teams they should take into consideration; record, strength of schedule, and consistency. As for doing a playoff you jut can't do it, after all they are still students, and education does come first
Can we get a playoff already!!! I played football in Div II and it was great, because everyone would talk trash all year long, and in the end, a lot of people had to swallow that trash. It was great for both fans and players. As a team, we always had a chance to prove ourselves in the playoffs, it was incredible.
I think the fans are the only ones that can get this done...can anyone say "boycott the bowls?" It would be great if we could do that and shake things up a bit.
I watched the USF/Auburn game. Auburn was simply a horrible football team and USF won mainly because it played slightly less horribly than Auburn. Obviously, the polls are stinking with bias, not the least of which is the relentless bootlicking of the SEC, which lards its schedule with creampuffs and almost never plays quality non-conference teams on the road. But what I saw on the field at Auburn was just bad, bad football.
To the guy above who was bagging on BC's Matt Ryan you wouldn't look so hot either if you had s**t toboggans like Kevin Challenger dropping passes like they were made out of toxic waste every game. I was glad Ryan at least screamed at his receiver corps after what seemed like their 17th drop. I think the Eagle defense has looked pretty stout this year against the reigning ACC champs and their former coach. Eight interceptions against conference foes is STILL eight interceptions. Maybe their defense would get more respect if they gave up 48 points?
PS, who's printing up the T-shirts for this weekend's ND/Michigan game? The slogan "Well, SOMEBODY'S Gotta Win would move some units.
Didn't Maryland just squeeze by a Florida International team in the 4th quarter that has lost 14 straight games? I will be in College Park along with thousands of other WVU fans and there is not a chance that Maryland will beat WVU on Thursday. There is also no chance to run for over 250 yards against our defense because they will be passing the entire time to try to come back from the huge defecit that we will put them in. As for all of the WVU bashers... West Virginia is not getting complete respect now because of its supposed lack of defense but there are several logical reasons as to why are defense hasn't put up great numbers.
1. Teams must pass against us because they are usually playing from behind, therefore people post good passing numbers against WVU.
2. Since Rodriquez has been hired, the defense has struggled until the players have been in the odd 3-3-5 system for a while. It is very tough to come in as a young player and start in WVU's defense and to be a successful player. Once players settle in this year, the veteran secondary will be able to be much more successful.
The defense will come around this year and step up, and WVU will win the Big East Championship. Also to those bashing our schedule it is not as weak as people make it out to be. Western Michigan was at least a favorite to win the MAC as opposed to a D2 team or weaker out of conference opponent. Top MAC teams are comprable to mid level teams in BCS conferences and we absolutely throttled WMU. As for the Marshall game is was the largest home defeat they have ever had since opening their stadium in I believe 1991. Also in the coming years WVU's out of conference schedule will improve with Auburn series beginning next year and Florida State and Michigan State coming up in the following years. Thursday night in College Park is going to be a rape party for WVU.
Wow, some ACC folks can never just let it go. The Big East is better right now (except for Syracuse).
As impressive as UMASS (they have football?), Bowling Green, and Army are on BC's schedule; or Clemson's lineup of Lousiana-Monroe and Furman (AA)? (Don't forget to wrap up the non-conference with Central Michigan!); the flag bearers of the ACC are not exactly running touch OOC schedules either.
Props to Georgia-Tech, it's not their fault Notre Dame sucks...at least they tried. As for Maryland, well we'll see Thursday night.
So actually beat a Big East team this year, win a couple of bowl games, then get back to us in 2008.
i agree usf deserves to be a top 25 team but what about georgia's loss to south carolina who still has starters out on suspension and all they could score were 4 field goals, georgia should have fallen from the top 25. losing to an unranked opponent at home should drop a team out of the rankings. as for texas a&m's 3ot game with fresno state. i can understand dropping the aggies if they barely beat ul-monroe next week but drop them after they beat the ultimate giant killing non-bcs program in the country. that is not just an insult to texas a&m but an insult to fresno state and what pat hill has down with that program. wasn't it just 2 years ago that fresno went into usc and lost by only 8 points to the defending champs at that time? and in 2004 blew out a #13 ranked kansas state team in manhattan. not only that but i do believe they travel up to that hostile environment and play oregon next week. if they are not to worn out from that awesome southeast texas heat they will give oregon issues as well. pat hill's team was down last year but they won't stay down to long. anybody, anytime, anywhere. don't beat down on a&m for winning a tough game against a good young team but georgia for losing at home to an unranked conference rival........
MARK- I love how you consider the Tiger fans classless. We played the VT fight song before the game on Saturday, thoughts go out to all those lost. I'm sure you weren't ever invited to share a beer or some jambalaya at any Auburn/LSU game in Death Valley. I'm sure your fans never flip off other teams when they visit. I'm sure your team never stomped on the Eye of the Tiger before we stomped your team. I'm sure your coach and players never smoked cigars after a victory over LSU. I will have no problem shaking your hand after we dissect your War Eagles, or Plainsmen, or Tigers. Whatever your mascot is.
I agree USF isn't getting the credit it deserves, and unfortunately it takes years to build it up. And, it seems once you have it, years to take it down. ND has been riding on it's reputation for years--didn't belong in BCS games past 2 years, but they're ND. Michigan, OSU, Alabama, Penn St, etc. are all given the benifit of the doubt because they've had years of success--not saying it's right, just how it is. If Alabama beats Auburn as USF did, they're in the top 25 (yeah, I know it's a rivalry) because they're Alabama.
On the Big East/ACC thing, the Big East has proven over the last two years they're top teams deserve to be there. They're now getting some depth with Rutgers, Cinn, USF and hopefully Pitt. The ACC's fallen on hard times with there marquee FSU and Miami programs stumbling--VaTech hasn't been much better. While BC and GT may be good, because of the bias I mentioned before, with the ACC marquee teams down, the leauge seems down. They don't have any big wins that I can think of recently to challenge that perception--right or wrong as it may be. All that said, as others have mentioned, would love to see a real playoff to forgo the regional biasis--see who can go 4-0 against best teams in the country in back to back weeks.
The Big East in general gets no respect. The ACC has done what lately? Let me think, nothing! We saw the best they had to offer at LSU the other night. That was a killing to say the least. GT got beaten by what a Big East team in the Gator Bowl. Wake Forest lost to a Big East team in the BCS. I almost forgot about Cincy spanking a mighty PAC 10 team. The fact of the matter is this. One league is on the rise and the other is falling like a rock! Care to guess which league is on the rise?
I agree, the ACC is currently weaker than the Big East. But for big wins, Boston College beat Boise State on their smurf turf in the MPC Bowl before they were so cool and trendy. In fact, I think they were the last team to beat them before Washington did on Saturday.
Ok, first off USF is in fact underrated, and yes the pools are really flat out dumb. I dont understand how everyone is claiming that the Big East is overrated, WVU beat Marshall by 25, yes i agree they were looking bad in the first half, but then in the second they only allowed 10 points, first thing you have to understand is that Marshall was pointing at this game forever, first time they get WVU at home #3 in the country ect. WVU defense needs work sure, but the adjustments made by WVU in the 2nd half seemed to work. Also spare me this crap about teams scheduling weak opponents, know that before this season started WVU had FSU on the schedule before FSU backed down, also these things take to time get agreements, next year WVU has CU and auburn, and would have maryland were it not for the governor of West Virginia making WVU play Marshall. They dont get into these agreements before the season, they take time and make arrangements strength will of course favor the long time established teams such as OU and USC, they can get those games, but it was not untill recently WVU became a powerhouse football team, and they are doing what they can to get better teams. The same can be said for LU and Rutgers, no one even knew these teams until they came into the Big East, give it time the Big East will get as much respect as other conferences. For right now all they can do is play how they play, and keep winning bowl games, yes thats right the Big East was 5-0 in bowl games last year, including a BCS game...as i said before this is just crap that people are talking about the Big east like they are full of undeserving teams, they obviously deserved all there bowl games last year and this year wont be any different. I am not saying that they are better than the SEC or the Pac 10 because i dont know that, only time will tell. ...bring on playoffs!
Why is the ACC in the dumps. Coaching, it's all coaching. The Duke coach never wins but is treated as if he does; the Virginia coach can only beat Duke; the Miami coach was part of a coaching group that lost its coach because the coaching staff stunk and now he become head coach, go figure. Florida State is coached by an old guy who is more confused than aware. NC State's coach is all right but has a history of losing the big ones. His claim to fame is his bowl wins but he won but BC was always much better than the teams they played because they always ended up in loser bowls.
You think LSU would be good with Al Groh; or Florida with Ted Roof. As soon as the ACC gets some good coaches it will bounce back. The SEC and PAC 10 figured that out a while ago; perhaps the ACC will do the same.
Louisville could run the table and then would be in the bcs final. They improve a little on defense They are going to get 50-60 on anybody. But if usf or wv win out they deserve a shot. especially usf who would have to beat Louisville at Louisville. If Kentucky would happen to beat Louisville this Sat. they could cause some havoc in the sec maybe will win or lose. Ky. underated
Coach Shannon should just play Marve and let him take his bruises. You cannot get any worse at quarterback, than our current undynamic duo. We made this mistake in the past by letting Brock Berlin, man a loaded team and he was a colossal failure and at the same time it stunted the maturation of Kyle Wright. Let us play Marve because he is going to win the battle next year anyway, him or Jacory Harris. Kirby Freeman is tough and all of that, but he just does not have it. For the sake of keeping this current stellar recruiting class, let us play Marve and show that we are not afraid to take chances. If this were Pete Carrol, he would play the better player ego and class be damned, and at present, there is no conceivable way that either Wright, or Freeman are better than anyone in the country. If Urban Meyer could platoon a seasoned, (and much better quarterback than either Freeman or Wright) Chris Leak with Tim Tebow, then Randy Shannon can hand over the reigns to Robert Marve, who just so happened to break all of Tebows Florida state records. The poor guy hurt his non throwing hand, tape him up and give him the ball. Our Quarterback situation is an abomination and it could never get any worse!
The polls are not and never have been a measure of you would be best next Saturday. They are based on a body of work and as the season progresses less and less on what happened last season. Voters also put a school like Hawaii in the top 25 even though most Top 25 teams have beaten more Top 25 teams in one season than Hawaii has beaten in the last ??? years. It is common for a USF to upset an Auburn, but still be ranked lower. Look at how USF did the previous week and I am not sure they are of Top 25 caliber.
To Craig, I was at the Elon game; they only ran 7 offensive plays out of their playbook and they didnt allow that td till just over 2 minutes left in the 4th...Why is it that if teams dont put up 80 points in their first week, its that they struggle. They played good ball, Selvie was a monster(leads the nation in sacks and tackles for lost), Ford had a great game coming from someone who hadnt play ball since 05.
Truth is, They went in to Jordan-Hare, came out a winner, and only negative that I can see is they should of put more points on the board, via the 5 turnovers. Nate Allen is 3rd in ints, and Jerome Murphy ranks 5th in kick off returns. Thats 3 big stats in top 5 in the nation. Grothe has become Mr. Clutch when it comes to going into hostile environments. The coaches and the media needs to step up to the plate and do the right thing. The right thing isnt throwing courtesy votes to Applachian State for what they did the week before. In hindsight, Michigan just isnt a good team so how big a upset is that now? Like defensive coordinator Wally Burnham said yestreday,
"I didn't think [it was an upset]. To me, it's just like West Virginia was last year. How many of these things do we have to win?"
More and more internet columnist picked the Bulls leading up to this game and some of these guys vote in the AP....it makes no sense.