Synan Says, The Real Top 25 in College Football: Air Raid Alert as the SEC is Under Attack

A lot of people in the college football world wondered how it would go for Mike Leach bringing his air raid offense to Mississippi State. After one week, the results are in, even record-setting, and the college football world is taking notice.

Transfer QB K.J. Costello threw for an SEC-record 623 yards on the road against LSU’s legendary defense. Before Costello lit up LSU, the record had been held by quarterbacks playing against lesser opponents near-guaranteed wins. But Costello was in a different situation, on the road in a stadium where LSU almost never loses.

The defending national champions looked nothing like they did last year as they were burned repeatedly by receivers and backs out of the backfield. Almost all of the LSU starters who won the title last season–19 of 22–are no longer there and it showed. Quarterback Miles Brennan played well but he was a first-time starter. Now LSU faces an uphill climb in what will again be the toughest division in college football.

A simple question: is Miami that good or is Florida State that bad? The 52-10 shellacking the Canes put on their arch-rival is as bad as it gets. Less than a year after Miami hit rock bottom, Florida State is now in a similar situation. The Seminoles are a rudderless football team with three quarterbacks who are just not good enough to compete. The offensive line is in shambles. The coach couldn’t even be at the game because of a positive COVID-19 test. The whole thing in Tallahassee is a complete mess. The only positive for the Seminoles could come on the recruiting trail where kids that sign up to play at Florida State are going to get a chance to play early, perhaps even right away.

Miami is good because their quarterback is finally good. The Canes will get a chance to prove how good they are on a national stage two weeks from now at Clemson. I don’t think Miami is that good, but the dramatic improvement continues because D’Eriq King is leading them in the right direction. Florida State doesn’t have anyone like that to turn to, and that has to be their top priority.

You’ll see many changes again in the rankings now that the SEC has taken the field. Expect additional changes when more teams are added. Remember, these rankings are only about who teams have beaten and who they’ve lost to, not how good we think the teams are.

Top 25 for the week beginning September 27

1. MISSISSIPPI STATE (1-0) Beating LSU in Death Valley is easily the best win so far this season.

2. MIAMI (3-0) Combo of wins a touch better than Clemson’s two.

3. CLEMSON (2-0) Will ACC be competitive enough to keep them in the top five?

4. ALABAMA (1-0) The Tide did exactly what they were supposed to at Missouri. Tigers scored late to make it look close,

5. FLORIDA (1-0) I was as impressed as you were with Kyle Trask and the passing game, but they gave up more than 600 yards of offense to Ole Miss.

6. UCF (2-0) Still a little shaky on the road.

7. AUBURN (1-0) Needed all four quarters to put away Kentucky.

8. NOTRE DAME (2-0) I’m not as sold as everyone else is on the Irish.

9. BYU (2-0) Waxed Navy and now waxed Troy.

10. GEORGIA (1-0) They’re going to need better QB play to keep up in the SEC.

11. NORTH CAROLINA (1-0) Already lost at UCF game to COVID-19.

12. LOUISIANA (3-0) Another escape against an inferior team but still won at Iowa State in Week 1.

13. PITTSBURGH (3-0) Beating Louisville is best win yet.

14. TENNESSEE (1-0) Survived at South Carolina by getting a late special teams turnover.

15. CINCINNATI (2-0) Plodded their way over previously unbeaten Army.

16. VIRGINIA TECH (1-0) Blasted NC State.

17. MEMPHIS (1-0) Win is over Arkansas St, who beat Kansas St, who beat Oklahoma.

18. TEXAS (2-0) What an unlikely comeback win over Texas Tech that included recovering an onside kick.

19. OKLAHOMA STATE (2-0) Not that confident in a team that barely beat Tulsa.

20. TEXAS A&M (1-0) See above comment and insert Vanderbilt.

21. MARSHALL (2-0) Here on the strength of beating Appalachian State.

22. COASTAL CAROLINA (3-0) They are here due to winning at Kansas.

23. OHIO STATE (0-0) The Buckeyes haven’t played yet but should be a title contender.

24.  WISCONSIN (0-0) No better candidate to take the Big 10 away from Ohio State.

25. PENN STATE (0-0) I’m interested to see if they are good or whether James Franklin has already peaked in Happy Valley.

 

Reach Mike Synan at mike.synan@floridadaily.com.

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