Catallarchy\'s College Football Top 25 - Week 3

For all games up to 9/17, here are the updated rankings:

Rank - Team - (Previous)
1 Texas (1)
2 USC (3)
3 Colorado (2)
4 Louisville (7)
5 LSU (12)
6 Cal (6)
7 VaTech (4)
8 Wisconsin (8)
9 WVU (5)
10 Oklahoma St. (10)
11 Georgia (11)
12 Texas Tech (13)
13 Virginia (15)
14 Purdue (18)
15 Florida State (16)
16 Auburn (24)
17 Nebraska (22)
18 Iowa (28)
19 Georgia Tech (23)
20 Michigan State (26)
21 UCLA (25)
22 Minnesota (29)
23 Alabama (27)
24 Oklahoma (20)
25 Tennessee (9)

Dropped Out:
31 U Conn (17)
32 Utah (14)
33 Northwestern (19)
35 Clemson (21)

Other Catallarchy Teams:
70 Miami (OH) (80)
91 Kentucky (85)
109 Western Michigan (116)

Commentary below, and full rankings on page 2.

Man, is midwestern football dull. A lot of people disagree with me, but even though there were interesting swings between Notre Dame and Michigan State, I was bored. The defenses seemed to just stand about and watch the play go (if they weren't in on it), and I'm a big defense fan. Other than that I can't really put my finger on it, but it's just very very dull football. Now Florida v. Tennessee, on the other hand, was great; much livelier defense and just more interesting style. Maybe I'm just a southeastern homer. I'm perplexed by my poll's turn on VT; we win and we drop, we win and we drop again. Last weeks' anti-USC rant seems a bit misplaced given the massive efficiency the showed on offense this week, and the poll serendipitously rewarded it (or at least moved them in step with subjective opinion), but I still say it only shows that USC can execute very very well, not that they're truly championship material. For all my ND bashing above and last week in the comments, I hope that Weis will continue to make ND legitimate so that when USC rolls around there will be a real test.

WVU, despite their ineptness, manages to beat an even more hapless Maryland. Argh! They buzz around my top 10 like a gadfly. I'm still worried about that game vs. VT, but less than before. UVA, despite Coach Groh's demonstrated ineptness, managed to pull out the win vs. Syracuse's last minute heroics. Now that was a fun game to watch- Hagans is a fast little guy, and UVA's defense impressed me with their tight open-field tackling (though their secondary was ripped apart in the end by Syracuse; not sure if that is a systematic flaw or if they were just running out of gas). If they get their act together, that will be a tough one for VT. Miami continues to seem very beatable to me; very bad clock management by Coker almost loses the game.

The poll mechanics seem to be getting more solid in week 3. Oklahoma's whipsaw through the poll has come to an end, with an uncharacteristic stay in the top 25 after losing (ditto for Tennessee). While I'm glad for the stability, I'm thinking that OU really shouldn't be there anymore. My improbables for this week are: Louisville, Colorado, LSU, WVU, Texas Tech, and Georgia Tech (who is underrated a bit).

Rank	Team
1	Texas
2	USC
3	Colorado
4	Louisville
5	LSU
6	Cal
7	VaTech
8	Wisconsin
9	WVU
10	Oklahoma St.
11	Georgia
12	Texas Tech
13	Virginia
14	Purdue
15	Florida State
16	Auburn
17	Nebraska
18	Iowa
19	Georgia Tech
20	Michigan State
21	UCLA
22	Minnesota
23	Alabama
24	Oklahoma
25	Tennessee
26	Az. State
27	Toledo
28	Michigan
29	Iowa State
30	Ohio State
31	U Conn
32	Utah  
33	Northwestern
34	Miami
35	Clemson
36	Texas A&M
37	Florida  
38	Cincinnati
39	Oregon
40	New Mexico
41	Washington State
42	Missouri
43	Boston College
44	Kansas  
45	Penn State
46	UTEP
47	Kansas State
48	Syracuse
49	Baylor
50	South Carolina
51	Rutgers
52	Indiana
53	NC State
54	Arkansas
55	South Florida
56	Bowling Green
57	Wyoming
58	Oregon State
59	North Texas
60	Maryland
61	Stanford
62	UAB
63	Memphis
64	Pitt
65	Illinois
66	Ole Miss
67	Northern Illinois
68	Vanderbilt
69	UNC
70	Miami (OH)
71	Fresno State
72	Boise St.
73	BYU
74	Air Force
75	Akron
76	Marshall
77	Navy
78	Nevada
79	TCU
80	Southern Miss
81	Mississippi State
82	Wake Forest
83	Troy State
84	Notre Dame
85	SMU
86	Arizona
87	Kent State
88	La Tech
89	Duke
90	Hawaii
91	Kentucky
92	Washington  
93	Tulsa
94	Ohio  
95	Middle TN State
96	Central Michigan
97	Tulane
98	Eastern Michigan
99	Colorado State
100	UNLV
101	La Lafayette
102	ECU
103	San Jose State
104	Houston
105	San Diego State
106	La Monroe
107	Arkansas State
108	New Mexico State
109	Western Michigan
110	Utah State
111	Rice
112	Ball State
113	Idaho
114	UCF
115	Army
116	Buffalo
117	Fla Intl
118	Temple
119	Fla Atlantic
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Doug- Woot! WMU is on their

Doug-

Woot! WMU is on their way to wellville. :grin:

Trent- I looked at the data

Trent-

I looked at the data and there wasn't an error for Florida (at least, no typo type error). The problem is that the SEC is as low as the ACC in SOC right now (too many conference games early, I presume, since those are always a wash) and Florida was 7-4 last year, which did in fact put them in the negative preseason territory for this year. So despite having 3 things going for them (wins over the average, losses under the average, and zero losses in particular) their conference isn't helping them and the legacy of last year's performance is dragging them down. I agree that 37 is waaaaaay too low, though. OTOH, not every ranking system gets everything right :).

Everybody Else-

Ok, I did a slight mod for ND. I made the independents equal to the average wins per team of all of D1-A, rather than the 2/4 they have right now. This fortunately has little to no effect on the rest of the important rankings (no position changes in the top 25 when I ran the test) while the 4 independents were given a boost, and ND got 20-30 places higher. Still not where they probably should be, all things considered, but the ranking poll doesn't consider all things. :twisted:

WMU beat #1!* (*OK... the

WMU beat #1!*

(*OK... the #1-ranked Div 1-AA team, Southern Illinois, but after 12 consecutive losses I'll take any win at this point)

I like the way Louisville is

I like the way Louisville is poised to take the college football world by storm, and no one is taking the time to notice. :grin:

Catallarchy College Football

Catallarchy College Football Rankings
Ohio State and Michigan are outside the top 25, even though OSU lost a close one to a Texas team that Brian rates as #1. As the season progresses, it is starting to solidify quite a bit though, and worth checking out.

Brad- You're absolutely

Brad-

You're absolutely right, its being in the "Independents" conference that is screwing ND over. Mostly because they are the only team of the 4 that have won any games... Being lumped in with the service academies and Temple is not a good neighborhood to be in. And also their bad record last year isn't helping. That's 2 big negatives against them, and now a loss to boot.

I have felt a little guilty after my initial glee at ND being hit by the bias of my poll, but I can't think of an easy fix that is systemic and not "an ad-hoc Notre Dame rule", because ND gets too many ad-hoc rules in their favor anyway. I suppose I could roll them into a conference anyway but that wouldn't exactly be right- e.g. they don't play a predominantly B10 schedule so they shouldn't get B10 conference points, right? So I'm still scratching my head to come up with a blanket rule that treats the indies better.

Joe- I've been looking at

Joe-

I've been looking at the ACC's odd lowness since the beginning and I'm thinking now my idea for adding in preseason conference rankings to the regular season SOC mix is probably a bad idea. *Last* year the ACC was pretty bad OOC, the Big East good, and that's carried over to help keep the BE up and the ACC down. Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on perspective, the poll as it stands only looks at Wins and not how you win, so Virginia's squeaks don't matter as much as Wake, Duke, & Maryland's losses OOC. UVA beating Syracuse would have helped the BE/ACC disparity if it weren't for WVU/MD cancelling it out.

Louisville is definitely helping the BE by winning its OOC games, as is WVU. Duke & Wake's losses have hurt, a lot. I'm frankly surprised by Wake, I expected more from Grobe's usually disciplined teams. Could be that he had a lot of seniors leave (I haven't taken a close look at WF).

The B10 and B12 are both rocking with 27 wins total for their teams, that's definitely keeping all of their teams up. BE has a combo of preseason bias and current good performance. The ACC is close behind legitimate doormat conference PAC-10, but still behind the SEC. Yes, another sign that the new twist isn't working is that the BE is higher than the SEC. Oy. Still, I place my hopes in the faith that truth will out in the end.

Leftwich and Pennington, true, true. Though Marshall is now CUSA...

Yes, depth is a major factor. VT found that out against Nebraska in 1996's Orange Bowl, where we played them hard and tight for 3 qtrs and then were blown out by their rotating equal-strength 1st and 2nd string O&D lines, just as you see in MAC v. B10 games. After that VT did a crash program in strength & conditioning and also started the practice of regularly rotating the D-line at least, so generally speaking now our 2 deep is roughly equivalent on D; we've never quite figured out our O-line problems, we get one good O line every 3-4 years.

Frank Solich is definitely going to make Ohio into a legitimate team; they've got toughness even now without Solich's players. If Ohio's admin & boosters believe in the future and give him time, good things are going to happen there.

Brad-

Part of being a Top 5 team is execution. Top 5 teams don't screw up as much as Michigan did v. Notre Dame. As talented as they are and may yet be, without execution you're an also-ran. They showed better against EMU but it remains to be seen if they can keep it together against tougher competition (ala my USC complaint). USC's got the high powered O, the execution, and the gamebreakers, but I don't know if their D is championship caliber and it remains to be seen if they have the character to gut out a win when the chips are down. Those 5 are the checklist of a champion team IMHO, and USC's only shown 3 out of 5 this year. Hopefully they'll prove me wrong (or lose) rather than glide into the Rose Bowl on the backs of last year's rep.

I agree about Wisconsin, after reflection. They're all O and they couldn't get it done against UNC. Its more a testament to UNC's lack of O than Wisconsin's D that UNC didn't score more.

Brian, One other question.

Brian,
One other question. How is Notre Dame all the way down in the 80s? Don't get me wrong, I absolutely can't stand ND, so I'm happy to see it, but I think you might want to look at what in your poll is causing that. They're behind a #28 Michigan and a #69 Pitt that they've beaten, and are sitting at a 2-1 record, with their one loss coming in OT.

I'm worried that you might have some sort of disproportionate effect due to conference strength, and Notre Dame is getting severely hurt by being independent. Any thoughts?

Brian, I also think this

Brian,
I also think this might be a down year for Michigan. But I don't think they're as bad as they showed against Notre Dame. And I don't think ND's defense stopped them, I think they stopped themselves. That was a winnable game.

In the B10, I think OSU will roll, Purdue (my alma mater) will be very good, and MSU will be very good. Michigan will finish probably right around a tie-for-third spot with Iowa, and Penn State, while I don't think they're good enough to finish all that strong, will play spoiler once or twice against better teams. Wisconsin is *not* a #8 team by any stretch of the imagination, and Minnesota is too one-dimensional on offense and too weak on defense to compete with the Big Ten powers. As for Northwestern, Illinois, and Indiana, they're going to be doormats.

Joe,
I completely agree about MAC depth. When you give up 2 inches and 30 pounds, on average, to your opponents starting linemen, and their second string is just as big, you run out of gas. But that's Big Ten "trenches-centric" football. Except for Purdue, where we play sissy ball :grin:

Brian, Don't forget

Brian,

Don't forget Pennington and Leftwich from the MAC. Skill players don't seem to be so much of a problem in the MAC, it's more a matter of depth, I think. A lot of MAC teams have a first unit that can hang with the first unit in the B10. But B10 schools (and BCS conferences generally) often have very little drop-off between the first and the second units, so they tend to wear down mid-majors. Ever notice how often MAC schools seem to lost to B10 schools in the final quarter? Not so much this year...

Has the ACC really done that badly in OOC play? Virginia squeaking by crummy teams can't really be helping, and Maryland, Wake and Duke are awful, but the rest of the conference isn't that bad. What's driving the numbers down?

David- Roethlisburger(sp)

David-

Roethlisburger(sp) was from Miami(OH), so I don't doubt the ability of the QBs they have there. If the MAC had some access to BCS cash I imagine they'd be able to recruit more. Of course, upsets of the B10 would do wonders for recruiting too. :)

I hope you're right re: ASU. They're underrated in my poll primarily for preseason factors and, of course, losing recently. Oddly enough the PAC-10 affiliation is not too much of a drag, as my numbers have the *ACC* as being the worst of the 6 BCS conferences.

Obviously I have some more work to do with the mechanics of my poll. :)
Anyone have suggestions for easy-to-digest MOV or SOS data that I can import?

Arizona state is very

Arizona state is very underrated nationally, and here. Maybe it's because their blowout of Northwestern was not televised. As a Wildcat fan, I respect ASU as the best chance to unseat USC.

If you think the midwest is boring, you should watch a MAC Game sometime. BG and Toledo have a history of high-powered offenses and many MAC quarterbacks would be heisman trophy contenders with Big-Ten offensive lines.

Trent- Yeah you're right.

Trent-

Yeah you're right. That doesn't seem correct, I'll have to look it over when I get back home. Florida hasn't lost this year yet, they're in the SEC (which, granted, hasn't had the best OOC so far), and they weren't THAT bad last year; I'm sure they were in the Top 50 last year at the very least, so they should have positive points for preseason ranking. There may be a bug or typo in Florida's column.

Brad-

I dunno, Weis seems to have them competent & believing in themselves. Then again, Willingham looked good the first year too and then nothing. I agree that the jury is out, but I also think Michigan is fake, too. They can execute against weenie teams but couldn't get it done against a team that was competent.

Jonathan-

I'd disagree for Wake and Maryland, but agree for the rest. UNC has no offense to go with their D. Wake used to be like that but this year have gotten blown out twice. Maryland seems inept this year again, too, as well as slow as molasses. No QB = Jabba the Coach can't get the terps' O working.

Notre Dame isn't the real

Notre Dame isn't the real deal. Sorry. Michigan would have beaten them if they hadn't beat themselves on offense. With Notre Dame's schedule, they're going to have a tough year.

Uh, Brian, wither Florida?

Uh, Brian, wither Florida? 37?! I don't think so. I know you say it takes a few weeks for the poll to get into shape, but this is ridiculous.

Why midwestern football is

Why midwestern football is boring: lack of team speed. They simply don't have the athletes like those in the SEC and ACC. It's boring trenches-centric football. Plus, I think the game venues and atmospheres in the southeast are much better.

ND looks solid, unlike in previous years when they got hyped. They hung in tough even after getting down 21. This might be the first legit ND team in over a decade. Oklahoma OTOH - what's going on?

I'm less worried about next week's GT-VT game. The current line is VT -11, which I think is discounting Reggie Ball not playing (viral meningitis apparently). WVU will be tough but I think we out-talent them too much for the home field advantage to win the game for the mounties.

Hagans didn't impress me; he's just not a very good passer, especially on the move. UVA's receivers still suck bad. I think that's the fundamental characteristic of Groh's tenure so far: shitty QB development (he inherited Schaub, so that doesn't count) and no receivers. Welsh at least had QBs and receivers.

Both Miami and FSU look beatable. Nobody fears them anymore. BC could be a tough game, but we have them at home.

The Ole Ball Coach is having a tough go in his first season at USC-East. I think he'll need to recruit his own players for a year or two or three before they get good.

Right now the key word for the ACC is parity. Every single team (except Duke) can beat pretty much any other team on any given day. It'll be team discipline, focus, and mental toughness that wins the conference. We had it last year. Leaders need to step forward this year.

Boring Big 10 you ask: It's

Boring Big 10 you ask: It's the Midwestern mentality: conservative. Perish the thought that the quarterback throws an interception. Remember, in the Big Ten, it's not whether you win or lose, it's whether you suffer a turnover that matters.