College Football Power Rankings: Stop with Michigan

If you listen to my podcast, you are aware that I’m not buying the Michigan stock despite their win at East Lansing over the weekend and their good fortune of Ohio State losing at Purdue, putting the Wolverines in sole possession of first place in the Big Ten’s East Division. My eyes, however, tell me all I need to know. And what I know is that U-M is far from a top 4 team in the country.

  1. Alabama: This is an easy one. Did you think it was going to be anyone else. Oh, and give Tua the Heisman already.
  2. Clemson: The Tigers haven’t looked great in every game, but that’s ok. They’re still clearly the second best team in the land.
  3. LSU: The “other” Tigers have been very impressive this season, and Coach O’s boys have the most dominant win of the year when they rolled up last year’s National runner up, Georgia, 36-16.
  4. Georgia: Aside from the LSU loss, the Bulldogs are not worse than any team below them on this list.
  5. Texas: After LSU’s thumping of Georgia, it’s Texas’s win in the Red River Shootout over OU that is the win of the year to this point.
  6. Oklahoma: Lincoln Riley’s team hasn’t looked as unbeatable as they did in the first few weeks of the season, and then the shine really came off after the loss against rival Texas. But this offense can still do plenty of damage, and I wouldn’t bet against them in any of their remaining games.
  7. Florida: The Gators only blemish is a loss to a much-improved Kentucky team. That’s a game you need to win, though, if you plan on making the final four. But they’ll have many opportunities to make up for it, starting this weekend against UGA.
  8. Ohio State: The Buckeyes always do this it seems: a midseason night game on the road against a much lesser opponent that the Bucks lose. Embarrassing and unacceptable, but not a season killer.
  9. Notre Dame: The Irish beat Michigan and Stanford, and over the remaining weeks they’ll play a host of not-very-good schools. There’s a completely realistic road map that has Notre Dame going undefeated. And they’ll get rewarded with a trip to a National Semifinal — and that’s an example of voters just not watching the games.
  10. Michigan: I’ve said all there is to say about U-M. I’m not going to re-hash it. While I think their defense is top 3 in the nation, the team overall has a lot of improvements to make, starting with the inefficient offense. The good thing for the Wolverines is that they sit in the catbird seat and will be in the Playoff if they win the Big Ten — no matter what I say. They’re in a great spot as it stands, and if the offense starts clicking and they start imposing their will over opponents, then I’ll be eating my words. (Check out the link below to the Sports Talk Center podcast, where I give you more about why I feel this way about Michigan.)

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Listen to Episode 88 right here:


College Football Rankings: The BGPR (#6)

1. Alabama (10-0, previously #1)

Freshman quarterback Jaylen Hurts gives head coach Nick Saban another indefensible dynamic that he doesn’t need — and the fact he has Hurts seems quite unfair to the rest of college football. Not even a loss in the Iron Bowl should drop the Tide from the

2.Ohio State (9-1, previously #6)

After back-to-back 62-3 blowout wins over Big Ten foes Nebraska and Maryland, the Buckeyes have that look to them again. But all that means little when November 26 rolls around. If the Bucks take care of business (no matter the scores), they’ll find their way in the playoff on New Year’s Eve.

3. Clemson (9-1, previously #2)

It had the makings once it got going of a nip-and-tuck, tit-for-tat scoring onslaught from both Pittsburgh and the Tigers. DeShaun Watson threw for nearly 600 yards — and despite the 3 interceptions, it appeared with 3 minutes or so remaining that Clemson was going to be able to run out the clock with one more first down and hold on to win the nail biter. Not the case, however. But Clemson’s loss didn’t sting for but a few hours — losses from Washington and Michigan help to keep the Tigers in playoff position.

4. Louisville (9-1, previously #3)

This was about as unimpressive as a 44-12 win can be, especially in the first half — and when people start comparing a handful of 1-loss teams to see who’s most worthy of a spot in the top-4, this win will not do the Cardinals any favors.

5. Michigan (9-1, previously #4)

The first true road test of the season did not go the way Jim Harbaugh would have liked. But in the end, it still comes down to the game at Columbus in 2 weeks. But this was not a good look for Michigan on national  television in primetime. They have to fix their run game before heading into the November 26; and they better figure out how to shut down offensive playmakers or else it might turn out to be another forgettable game against their rival.

6. Washington (9-1, previously #5)

Tough loss for the Huskies to a fast-improving USC club. Washington isn’t totally out of it just yet — thanks to some losses and subpar play from other top teams this past weekend. But their road just became a lot bumpier.

7. Wisconsin (8-2, previously #7)

Wisconsin is the best of any team in the land who is considered third in their conference. It would require some very unusual circumstances for the Badgers to navigate their way into the playoff. But stranger things have happened. Wisconsin just needs to hang around until the Big Ten Championship game.

8. Penn State (8-2, previously not ranked)

After a slow start to the season and injuries that had the Nitany Lions looking more like a lower tier MAC team, Penn State is playing very well and is right in the thick of the Big Ten race — in fact they are in a prime position to win the Big Ten east division. Amazingly enough, all Penn State needs to do is take care of Rutgers and Michigan State and hope for a Buckeyes win over U-M — and they’re going to Indy. Who would have thought?

9. Oklahoma (8-2, previously not ranked)

The Sooners don’t have any big, memorable wins on their resume this year — instead, most people are only able to remember the rough opening weekend loss to Houston and then the primetime drubbing at home against Ohio State. But those two losses aren’t that bad, and Oklahoma is still unbeaten in conference play.

10. LSU (6-3, previously #10)

A week after their defense held Alabama to just 10 points, LSU ran roughshod over Arkansas. The Tigers are not getting the respect in the polls or the playoff rankings. LSU’s 3 loss all have come against top-ranked ‘Bama, weekly top-10 Wisconsin, and Auburn, who’s loss this weekend will barely bump them from the top-10.

Feedback is always welcome through the website in the comments box or on my Twitter feed — @brian22goodwin.