Most teams have 4 games under their belts now. One third of the way through the season there have been some teams that have very good resumes. I am not basing anything on preseason rankings and just looking at what has happened on the field as well as some metrics-offensive efficiency (OE) and defensive efficiency (DE) and strength of schedule (SOS). I am going to steal a line from Mr. Scott Van Pelt of ESPN and add another eyeball test metric: How good is your good? As we get into these rankings keep that in mind before you raise nine kinds of hell based on last season.
1 Ole Miss 4-0
4th OE; 33rd DE; 33rd SOS. Ole Miss has the best win (At Alabama) and they ace the how good is your good test better than anyone else in the country so far this season.
2 UCLA 4-0
20th OE; 18th DE; 82nd SOS. UCLA went and hammered Arizona last night, we will see how well this freshman QB plays for the remainder of the season.
3 Michigan State 4-0
22nd OE; 26th DE; 9th SOS. Michigan State is a veteran group with an experienced QB and they have all the confidence in the world. They are not flashy, however they are probably the most solid team in the country.
4 Utah 4-0
15th OE; 29th DE; 19th SOS. No one goes into Autzen Stadium and hangs 62 on the Ducks, well Utah just did that. Getting some key players to return will only strengthen this groups chances at a PAC-12 Championship.
5 Georgia 4-0
2nd OE; 24th DE; 10th SOS. A legit Heisman contender at RB, a QB with 2 incompletions in 2 games. Georgia has a huge test with Alabama coming to Athens next weekend.
6 LSU 3-0
6th OE; 23rd DE; 28th SOS. A legit Heisman contender at RB, LSU has a real opportunity with continued good play from the QB position to be a threat at the College Football Playoff.
7 Notre Dame 4-0
10th OE; 51st DE; 61st SOS. So far losing the starting QB has not been a factor for the Irish. Big games are all over the schedule including Clemson and USC.
8 Ohio State 4-0
68th OE; 4th DE; 42nd SOS. Its been really lackluster for the Buckeyes this season. A real QB conundrum has kept this team from reaching its full potential and blowing everyone out as per the preseason expectations.
9 TCU 4-0
9th OE; 47th DE; 93rd SOS. A real scare in Lubbock has caused some apprehension for me on the Horned Frogs. I predicted a national championship but the defense has lost so many starters that it may be insurmountable.
10 Texas A&M 4-0
21st OE; 22nd DE; 10th SOS. The Aggies have not left the State of Texas for a game yet. The jury is still out, however their good on the how good is your good scale is scary high on the offensive side of the football.
11 Northwestern 4-0
96th OE; 2nd DE; 52nd SOS. Northwestern is a very good football team. They may not have the flash and sizzle but they play as fundamentally sound as anyone in the country.
12 Clemson 3-0
34th OE; 1st DE; 25th SOS. Clemson’s defense is ranked 1st in the country for good reason. Should be a very good game with Notre Dame this weekend.
13 Alabama 3-1
19th OE; 12th DE; 4th SOS. The Tide pitched another shutout this weekend. If they can get consistent QB play, they will be a factor down the stretch in the SEC.
14 West Virginia 3-0
17th OE; 10th DE; 29th SOS. Quietly the Mountaineers may have something brewing in Morgantown. As the get into conference play it will be interesting to see how they affect the Big 12 race.
15 Stanford 3-1
8th OE; 61st DE; 37th SOS. Solid year after year, Stanford will have a lot to say about who represents the PAC-12 in the College Football Playoff.
16 Florida State 3-0
46th OE; 6th DE; 40th SOS. The Seminoles have another very good defense. How far they go this season will depend on Golson not turning the football over as he did last season for the Irish.
17 Oklahoma 3-0
24th OE; 30th DE; 88th SOS. I believe the jury is still out on the Sooners. They have as much talent as anyone, they have the right coach as well. However for some reason this team has underperformed for years.
18 USC 3-1
3rd OE; 54th DE; 21st SOS. USC is another example of a team as talented as anyone, yet underperforming. Perhaps going on the road and demolishing Arizona State last night will jump start them to greatness.
19 North Carolina State 4-0
13th OE; 37th DE; 61st SOS. I am rewarding NC State here because I had no idea they were going to be the 10th overall most efficient football team 4 games into the season. Talk about off the radar.
20 California 4-0
11th OE; 40th DE; 7th SOS. California may have the number 1 overall pick in next years NFL draft in QB Jared Goff. Can they keep up being the 13th most efficient football team in the nation? Time will tell.
21 Oklahoma State 4-0
52nd OE; 17th DE; 69th SOS. Oklahoma State escaped as Texas found yet another way to lose a football game. This may come back to bite the Cowboys later in the season.
22 Florida 4-0
59th OE; 16th DE; 41st SOS. The Gators benefited from Tennessee not knowing how to close out games just yet. Playing a lot of young guys will help their confidence as we go through the season. Sometimes being lucky will lead to being good.
23 Michigan 3-1
47th OE; 9th DE; 31st SOS. Harbaugh already has the Wolverines heading in the right direction. It is only a matter of time before the Michigan-Ohio State game is back to being one of the games of the year.
24 Miami (FL) 4-0
31st OE; 58th DE; 3rd SOS. Miami boasts the 4th most efficient Special Teams in the country as well. Credit to the Hurricanes for going out and having a tough schedule. Is this the year they return to glory?
25 Texas Tech 3-1
1st OE; 106th DE; 26th SOS. Yesterday Texas Tech had the most impressive loss on the season. If TCU’s RB had not have drug his foot, Tech would be 4-0 heading into a showdown with Baylor.
Until Baylor decides to play some real non-conference competition, I will not consider them to be an elite football team worth being ranked. This is subject to change with a win over Texas Tech this weekend.
All efficiency rankings are from: http://espn.go.com/college-football/statistics/teamratings/_/tab/efficiency
All strength of schedule rankings are from: http://www.fbschedules.com/2015/03/2015-college-football-strength-of-schedule-ncaa-method/