Before we get started with this week’s rankings, I’ve had some questions on the process. Actually, they were more like threats from rabid SEC fans. Look, I get it. SEC rules the roost: ‘Bama, Johnny Heisman, Clowney, 100 straight championships, etc. I read you loud and clear. These rankings evaluate conferences from top to bottom (from ‘Bama to Mizzou, if you will). The rankings are fluid; a week-to-week barometric reading. Think of them as rankings Bob Stoops could be proud of. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way …
It’s only the third week of the season and conferences are still sifting out their power structures. Some key out-of-conference matchups have given us a look at early contenders and pretenders. Let’s see how everyone faired.
Last Week’s Rankings
- Big Ten
This Week’s Rankings
The Pac-12’s only loss this past weekend came from Southern California, which seems fitting. Even then, it was at the hands of a conference foe in Wazzu. Everyone else handled their business, and only Cal was tested. Oregon traveled to Virginia and beat the holy hell out of UVA. Stanford looked solid in its debut.
2) Big Ten
Fellow Gamedayr Ben Cornfield requests that we start referring to Wisconsin as Juggernaut or Sir. I’m not there yet (probably will never be), but they are impressive, outscoring opponents 93-0 in the first two weeks. MSU’s defense has been stout, but Sparty has no O. Northwestern and Michigan served notice to ACC newbs Syracuse and Notre Dame. The only negative is Indiana losing to Navy. No major conference school should lose to a military academy. Even if you’re a basketball school. This isn’t the 1930’s.
Two weeks stuck at #3. Cue the Stealers Wheel. I’m not going to sit here and pretend that the SEC would’ve been higher had UF beaten UM. The Gators looked awful. Just plain awful. They may have moved the ball, but they made too many mistakes and were undisciplined. Beyond UF, Arkansas was down to Samford going into the 4th quarter. Even John L. Smith is shaking his head at that performance. UGA and South Carolina both looked good, but each have defensive issues. The SEC will round into shape, but right now they look kinda blah.
4) Big 12
The also-rans looked solid this past week. But Oklahoma and Texas? Has the Red River Shootout (it’s Shootout, not Rivalry; stop being so PC!) ever looked less appealing. Mack Brown is following the late-career arc of Bobby Bowden and it’s sad. One ugly game and coordinators get axed. So much for continuity. OU squeaking by West Virginia was ugly. Now they’re banged up. The Big 12 relies on its big guns to carry the load, and they look soft. Right now TCU and Baylor may be the conference’s best two teams.
Let’s get the positives out of the way: Nearly 10 years after being recruited to the ACC, Miami is finally showing some punch. Clemson scores a lot of points. Other than that, ouch. Head-to-head routes by the Big Ten and Pac-12 don’t help the cause. NC State needed a late field goal to beat Richmond. Things are already shaping up for a typical ACC season. Clemson will Clemson against Maryland or GA Tech, Miami will lose to UNC or FSU, and VT will backend its way into the ACC Championship Game. On the bright side, basketball season is closing in.