Should there be a new number one in college football?
Since week 1, I have had LSU at the top, in large measure because their win over Texas was so impressive. Since then, Texas has lost two more times, including Saturday’s inexplicable defeat at TCU where quarterback Sam Ehlinger threw four interceptions. The Texas win simply does not look the same as it did in Week 1.
At the same time as the Longhorns were losing their shot at the Big 12 Championship game, Ohio State was mauling one of the best defenses in the whole country. The Buckeye started somewhat slowly against Wisconsin but, by the second half, Ohio State was a steamroller. Sometimes a final score may not be that indicative of what happened on the field, but in this case, Ohio State looked every bit the part as dominant as the 38-7 score indicated. Ohio State closes the season with Penn State and Michigan before the Big 12 Championship game so they will have also faced a great schedule.
Let’s compare the LSU team with the Ohio State team to see who should be number one. Ohio State’s best wins are Wisconsin, Cincinnati and Michigan State, all at home. Compare that to LSU who has beaten Florida and Auburn at home and Texas on the road. Each of LSU’s top three wins is better than Ohio State’s. The one argument that can be made for the Buckeyes is that no one has taken them to the fourth quarter yet.
All this being the case, LSU stays number one and the Buckeyes may not get a chance to overtake them. If both teams win out, LSU will have beaten Alabama and Texas A&M. Ohio State will counter with Penn State and Michigan. Still an overall edge to the Tigers.
Did Willie Taggart save his job Saturday by thumping Syracuse? Hardly.
The Seminoles are back on track at 4-4, and the schedule does ease up with Alabama State and Boston College left but FSU faces a season making or breaking game on Saturday against Miami. If the Noles lose this one to an arch-rival going through a down season, the calls for Taggart’s head will be louder than ever. How many people will be there to see this must-win game? Attendance in Tallahassee has not been good but a 3:30 kickoff encourages good attendance. We will know much more about where both programs are at by sundown on Saturday.
I will be openly pulling for undefeated SMU this weekend when they face off against Memphis, who only has one loss, in the highly entertaining American Athletic Conference. The reason is simple. I’d love to see undefeated SMU against a one-loss–at Ohio State–Cincinnati in the AAC Championship game with a berth in the Cotton Bowl on the line. You could also consider an undefeated Appalachian State for this game (they would have wins over North Carolina and South Carolina) but it would really be difficult not to pick the AAC Champ if both teams stay on their current track. How fun would it be for the Mustangs to have a chance to play in their hometown against a school like Michigan, Notre Dame, or Georgia?
Top 25 for the week beginning October 27th
1. LSU (8-0) Next up is an open week and then an SEC showdown for all the marbles versus Alabama.
2. Ohio State (8-0) No one has even competed with them yet.
3. Penn State (8-0) Wins over Iowa and Michigan (both 6-2) better than any win Bama or Clemson has.
4. Alabama (8-0) Looked good with Mac Jones at QB. I don’t think they can beat LSU with him.
5. Clemson (8-0) Most impressive performance yet from Tigers in a romp over Boston College.
6. Baylor (7-0) Best win was last time out against Oklahoma State and the Kansas State win looks better this week.
7. Florida (6-1) World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party versus Georgia should be the best game of the weekend.
8. Oregon (7-1) See what I meant last week about the Ducks being in the playoff chase?
9. Minnesota (8-0) Another rout but that schedule is so bad. They host Penn State in two weeks.
10. SMU (8-0) Squeaked by Houston but that’s better than losing at home to South Carolina.
11. Oklahoma (7-1) Loss at Kansas State better than UGA’s loss.
12. Georgia (6-1) Rested and ready to get back in the title hunt.
13. Utah (7-1) Won a 35-0 shellacking of fading Cal.
14. Appalachian State (7-0) They still get to play at South Carolina to earn their ranking.
15. Auburn (6-2) Hung tough with LSU and Florida in losses, beat Oregon and Texas A&M.
16. Cincinnati (6-1) Best win is over UCF, only loss at Ohio State.
17. Wake Forest (6-1) Three of last four are on the road. The Deacons might not be ranked by the end of the season.
18. Michigan (6-2) You can still bury the Wolverines but that was a great win over Notre Dame.
19. Boise State (6-1) At FSU is still their best win, which ain’t saying much.
20. Kansas State (6-2) Beat Oklahoma, TCU and won at Mississippi State.
21. Wisconsin (6-2) Nation’s best defense got punished in the second half at Ohio State.
22. Iowa (6-2) At Iowa State is their best win and it’s better than any Notre Dame has.
23. Notre Dame (5-2) Southern Cal and UVA, both at home, are their best wins.
24. Memphis (7-1) AAC West division on the line this week against SMU.
25. UCF (6-2) Scored 63 points at Temple, a team that beat Memphis and Maryland.
Reach Mike Synan at email@example.com.