Well one week down, plenty more to go, but that was sure exciting. Remind me why we do preseason rankings again? What utter nonsense. Let’s look at this week and see what we can expect from the weeks to come.
First and foremost, what an absolutely awful, soul crushing week for the SEC. I love it. LSU goes down. Ole Miss collapses like never before. Mississippi State loses at home to a SUN BELT team. Tennessee needs all 60 minutes and then some to pull out a win over another Sun Belt team. Wow. And even Alabama looked like they didn’t know how to play football for the first quarter and a half. Texas A&M tried to give their game away, but UCLA couldn’t capitalize (more on the Pac-12 later).
What does this mean? Alabama is going undefeated. For sure. No one on their schedule is going to put up a fight. Between Florida, Tennessee and Georgia, someone will win the East and be sacrificed to the Tide. Doesn’t really matter who. But that’s it. Just summed up the whole conference for you.
The Pac-12 didn’t fare much better. Arizona lost on the final play. USC got stomped (but did some stomping of their own if you know what I mean). UCLA proved preseason rankings are worthless. Washington State lost yet another opener to an FCS team. Silver lining? Colorado looked much better than expected.
What can we expect from the Pac-12? A 1-loss Stanford champion, that’s what. It’s a strong conference, but only Stanford is an elite team. No one can challenge them. But they’ll drop a game like they always do. The difference is they will drop only one this year and get into the playoff.
The Big 12 lost most of their playoff hopes in week 1. Those hopes rested on Oklahoma. Now the Big 12 has to pray Oklahoma bombs this season and loses out. That way the win doesn’t bolster Houston at all. Because at the end of the season if they are faced with one spot left in the playoff and it is Oklahoma vs. Houston, then Houston gets in. They will own the tie-breaker. Bad news for the Big 12.
Good news though, Texas might not be laughable anymore. But TCU might be after giving up what seemed like a billion points to an FCS team. This will be an interesting conference because they all play each other. But Baylor and TCU look to take a step down this year. Oklahoma State should be about the same. Texas took a step up. And Oklahoma we’re not sure about yet? Between those five schools someone will win the conference…and very likely get left out of the playoff. Remember, Oklahoma still gets to play Ohio State which means they could spoil things for the Big Ten as well.
This will be very interesting to watch because for the first time in a long time we may have a season in which several league champions will have played each other. I suppose USC could somehow win the Pac-12. Alabama will win the SEC. Ohio State and Oklahoma and Houston can all win their conferences. That would make life easier for the committee. Head to head matters they say. Guess we’ll see how it plays out.
The Big Ten I think made the strongest statement of the weekend. Northwestern lost unexpectedly, but that was about the only thing that went wrong for the conference. From top to bottom this looks like the strongest conference right now, but we’ll give that time to know for sure.
The ACC looks interesting. They share a problem with the Big Ten. They’ve got Michigan, Ohio State and Michigan State all in the same division. ACC has Clemson, Florida State and Louisville all in the same division. My guess is all of them are going to beat each other up pretty good. Florida State will probably come out on the bottom of all that though. Great teams can win big comebacks. Elite teams don’t have to. I think they drop to both teams but we’ll see.
Right now if I had to submit rankings, I would only do a top 10 because a top 25 seems pretty pointless.
1. Ohio State
9. Michigan State
10. Florida State
That’s just based on one week, largely dependent upon opponent as well.