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.)

Thanks for reading. Subscribe to the Sports Talk Center blog and you can receive emails when content is updated. Also, follow me on Twitter @brian22goodwin. You can also subscribe and download the Sports Talk Center Podcast, wherever you get your podcasts from: Apple iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn, Google Play, or Spotify. Just subscribe, download, listen, and enjoy.

Listen to Episode 88 right here:

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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 top-4.college-football-schedule

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.

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College Football Top 10: The BGPR (#4)

1. Alabama (8-0, previously #1)

Let’s be honest, huh? The Tide didn’t play Saturday because they got promoted to Sundays and are playing the Bears, right? Ok, not really; but Alabama is still clearly the best team in the country. Big road game next Saturday night in Death Valley against LSU.college-football-schedule

2. Clemson (8-0, previously #2)

Couple big resume-building wins over Louisville and at FSU make up for the lackluster performances early on the season against the likes of Auburn, Troy, and NC State. When the lights are bright, Clemson comes ready and can hang with anyone.

3. Louisville (7-1, previously #3)

Didn’t expect Louisville to be trailing Virginia in the final 30 seconds, but Lamar Jackson answered the bell and kept the Cardinals playoff hopes alive and well.

4. Michigan (8-0, previously #4)

An unimpressive 32-23 win over rival Michigan State won’t do much to convince those who were suspect of U-M. The Wolverines didn’t play particularly well in the second half, especially on the defensive side of the ball. Questions will remain until they go on the road and win handily (and let’s agree that we can’t count Rutgers).

5. Washington (8-0, previously #5)

The Huskies needed a punt return for a touchdown in the final four minutes to top Utah. Nevermind the blocks in the back that weren’t called. Hey — a win’s a win. And on another note, quarterback Jake Browning is gaining serious steam as a Heisman contender.

6. Ohio State (7-1, previously #6)

At the Horseshoe against Northwestern and Urban Meyer’s squad could only manage a 24-20 win? Buckeyes seem a little off. They’ll need to hurry up and find themselves before Nebraska visits the Shoe next Saturday or else any hopes of the playoff or a Big Ten title will be dashed.

7. Wisconsin (6-2, previously #9)

The eye test is a powerful thing. And the Badgers pass it. Even in losses to Michigan and Ohio State, Wisconsin was in those games right to the very end.

 8. Texas A&M (7-1, previously #8)

Routing New Mexico State a week after getting drilled by Alabama was step one in the recovery process for the Aggies. Three of their final four games are against teams that A&M should beat — but they could be tested. They still have a lot to play for, with the inside track to a New Year’s Six bid.

9. Nebraska (7-1, previously #7)

Nebraska might have proven more in their loss this past weekend at Camp Randall than they had in their previous 7 wins.

10. Florida (6-1, previously not ranked)

If it weren’t for a total meltdown defensively in the 4th quarter of the Tennessee game, we’d be talking about Florida being 7-0. Few really believe the Gators are playoff-worthy or will pose anything threat to Alabama, if the two meet in the SEC Championship Game. But for now, I’m not sure any other team deserves this spot.

 

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

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College Football Top 10: The BGPR (#2)

1. Alabama (7-0, previously #1)

There’s Alabama and then there’s everyone else. That’s not to say Alabama is unbeatable and another team Football Close Up on Fieldcouldn’t and wouldn’t beat them head-to-head, but the Crimson Tide seem like they have a whole other level they can go to when they choose to.

2. Ohio State (6-0, previously #4)

Two very good road wins in Norman and Camp Randall boost the Buckeyes to the 2 spot this week. J.T. Barrett is making himself a very worthy Heisman candidate.

3. Clemson (7-0, previously #2)

Tough (and lucky) win at home against N.C. State this weekend. First game in weeks that Clemson didn’t look like a national championship-caliber team. That happens though. When they’re on, the Tigers can play with any team in the land — the Louisville win proved as much.

4. Louisville (5-1, previously #3)

Like Clemson, Louisville was unimpressive in their win this past week. But there’s no need to worry or kill them for it — this team shows up for the big games.

5. Texas A&M (6-0, previously #5)

If A&M wants to remain in the discussion for the playoff, they have one job and they know what it is, all too well — beat Alabama. After the trip to Tuscaloosa, the schedule becomes very manageable for the Aggies. This Saturday’s game could be Texas A&M’s season.

6. Michigan (6-0, previously #7)

The Colorado win and the Wisconsin win are gifts that keep on giving — both the Buffs and the Badgers appear to be legit. That only helps the U-M resume. But in all honesty, forget the resume — beat OSU in November and the Wolverines will be in the playoff. Not much else on the schedule should hold them back.

7. Washington (6-0, previously #6)

Washington’s lone resume-building win, Stanford, doesn’t really do much now that the Cardinal sits at 4-2 after getting taken apart by Washington State and squeaking past the Irish Saturday night. But the Huskies have utterly dominated every team they’ve played, aside from an OT thriller in the desert against the Wildcats. If they keep winning like they’ve been, it’s, soon, going to be hard to keep them out of the top-4.

8. Nebraska (6-0, previously unranked)

Nebraska doesn’t have that scary, light-you-up offense that every team in college football seems to need in order to be a top-tier team. They should enjoy another week in the top-10, as the Cornhuskers prepare for Purdue — who just canned their head coach. After that, however, back-to-back trips to  Camp Randall and the Horseshoe will give us a really good idea of how good this Nebraska team is.

9. Wisconsin (4-2, previously #10)

Losses to two top-4 teams by a combined 14 points stings for Badger fans, but they can take solace in knowing they’ve got a solid top-10 team in the country.

10. West Virginia (5-0, previously unranked)

The Mountaineers haven’t really been tested, but their schedule gets real busy in the season’s last month — at Texas and home against Oklahoma and Baylor. If they manage to navigate through that stretch, the Mountaineers will have, certainly, earned playoff consideration.

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