What a weekend! 4 of the AP Top 10 lost, and some in convincing fashion. I have to be honest I only wanted to do another Top 25 once we got to the end of October, but after yesterday this will be a weekly exercise. 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?
1 Utah 4-0 (last week 4)
14th OE; 28th DE; 19th SOS. Utah had a bye week. Its a good thing because the nation will be watching when undefeated California comes to town for GameDay this Saturday.
2 TCU 5-0 (last week 9)
6th OE; 42nd DE; 93rd SOS. The Horned Frogs demolished Texas yesterday, and it’s looking like the late season matchup with Baylor is going to decide the Big 12.
3 LSU 4-0 (last week 6)
11th OE; 33rd DE; 28th SOS. After extending the longest non-conference winning streak in FBS to 51 games, its time to take LSU seriously. They have all the makings for a National Championship.
4 Michigan State 5-0 (last week 3)
18th OE; 35th DE; 9th SOS. The Spartans might want to think about playing better, a win is a win. However, they have not been very impressive this season. I think the world is waiting for the Ohio State game later this season.
5 Clemson 4-0 (last week 12)
34th OE; 1st DE; 25th SOS. Clemson proved it belongs in the elite conversation with a win versus Notre Dame last night. If they can shake the Florida State ghosts from the past few years, this team can compete for the Playoff.
6 Baylor 4-0 (last week NR)
1st OE; 47th DE; 88th SOS. Beating a good Texas Tech team has helped convinced me that Baylor is legit. They are extremely explosive on offense, as evidenced by their number 1 overall ranking in that category.
7 Ohio State 5-0 (last week 8)
76th OE; 5th DE; 42nd SOS. Is it just me or does this year’s Ohio State team feel like last year’s Florida State team? They may go through the whole season winning close games.
8 Northwestern 5-0 (last week 11)
83rd OE; 2nd DE; 52nd SOS. We were higher on Northwestern than the other polls last week and that trend will continue this week. They already have 2 shutouts on the year.
9 Texas A&M 5-0 (last week 10)
15th OE; 20th DE; 10th SOS. Quietly Texas A&M may be putting a spoiler in the rest of the nation’s plans. The defense is finally close to being on par with the offense.
10 Oklahoma 4-0 (last week 17)
20th OE; 16th DE; 88th SOS. The Sooners took West Virginia out behind the woodshed yesterday. (With some sweet uni’s) Oklahoma is kinda like A&M, quietly lurking in the weeds waiting for everyone else to slip up.
11 Ole Miss 4-1 (last week 1)
5th OE; 52nd DE; 33rd SOS. Embarrassing for a top level team like this to get completely blown out, no matter the venue. Ole Miss still has the best win, however they are still a long ways away from harnessing all they can be.
12 Alabama 4-1 (last week 13)
21st OE; 4th DE; 4th SOS. It seems like it could be a crazy year like ’07 when 2 loss LSU won the whole thing. That would play into Alabama’s hands. Possibly even making them the favorites if they keep up what they did to Georgia.
13 Florida 5-0 (last week 22)
40th OE; 8th DE; 41st SOS. The Gators might be back to their old tricks with the whooping they put on Ole Miss. If they can get by the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party, they will win the SEC East.
14 Florida State 4-0 (last week 16)
26th OE; 21st DE; 40th SOS. The Seminoles may be enjoying this year more than the past 2 seasons. The national spotlight is not on them and they can just go play football. They are looking a lot more loose than a year ago. Which is scary for the rest of the ACC and country.
15 Stanford 4-1 (last week 15)
4th OE; 55th DE; 37th SOS. Are they the team that will overcome an early season loss? Then proceed to win the whole thing? Stanford is better than that Week 1 loss at Northwestern.
16 Michigan 4-1 (last week 23)
63rd OE; 3rd DE; 31st SOS. After the loss to Utah to open the season, the Wolverines have been very impressive. How far can they go?
17 Notre Dame 4-1 (last week 7)
10th OE; 43rd DE; 61st SOS. Injuries may have caught up to the Irish. Even so, Notre Dame’s offensive weapons are on par with anyone in the country. It will be interesting to see if they reach a New Year’s 6.
18 UCLA 4-1 (last week 2)
30th OE; 30th DE; 82nd SOS. Inexplicable to lose to unranked Arizona State in the Rose Bowl the way they did. On the other hand, is the freshman QB not ready for the rigors of a PAC-12 schedule?
19 USC 3-1 (last week 18)
2nd OE; 44th DE; 21st SOS. USC is not out of the running in the PAC-12 yet. They aren’t even out of the running for the Playoff. However, consistency will be the biggest challenge going forward.
20 Iowa 5-0 (last week NR)
44th OE; 15th DE; 100th SOS. From out of left field come the Hawkeyes. Like they seem to do, Iowa grinds out a couple of mediocre years then all of a sudden they reach a BCS bowl. When Iowa plays Northwestern it could be for the BIG-10 West.
21 Georgia 4-1 (last week 5)
12th OE; 24th DE; 10th SOS. Even with a bad loss at home to Alabama, Georgia can still rally and make the SEC Championship Game. Hell they can still make the Playoff if they win out.
22 California 5-0 (last week 20)
19th OE; 50th DE; 7th SOS. This is the week California either validates the season, or goes back into mediocrity. With a win versus Utah, Cal is setup to make an unexpected run at the PAC-12 Championship.
23 Oklahoma State 5-0 (last week 21)
37th OE; 46th DE; 69th SOS. The pokes find a way to win this season, so far. The real beef of their schedule is ahead and we’ll see where the Cowboys fall in the BIG-12 picture.
24 Navy 4-0 (last week NR)
9th OE; 48th DE; 119th SOS. Navy has a very tough game this weekend as they square off against Notre Dame. We will see how they stack up with one of the nations better opponents.
25 Toledo 4-0 (last week NR)
55th OE; 13th DE; 117th SOS. With a wins over Arkansas, Iowa State, & Arkansas State, Toledo jumps into the Top 25. Remember Northern Illinois? It is not hard to imagine the Rockets in a New Year’s 6 Bowl.
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/