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The Power 15 – Week 7

In an odd week to say the least, the Power-15 & most NCAA rankings were thrown up in the air and allowed the teams to land where they may. After 7 weeks of college football we might not be any closer to getting a clear idea on what’s what than when we started. I think there are probably 7-8 teams who can easily make a case for being a top-5 team with their sights firmly on a potential BCS Championship run.

After that though there are probably a good 30-35 teams which can make legitimate cases for being in the top-25. From those two factors alone, it’s almost impossible to get a hold on a Power-15 brimming with confidence. This week I sort of fell bad leaving teams like Wisconsin, Missouri & even Virginia Tech out of the Power-15. I hope the weeks ahead allow for them to move back into the mix as all 3 teams deserve it.

Basically there is a lot of football left to be played. Here is a thought though because I’m a Notre Dame homer. The Irish are 4-3 & they have at least 3 more wins in them (Navy, Tulsa & Army) meaning at worst the Irish finish 7-5 (lose to Utah & USC), but if the Irish find a way to get to 9-3 with wins over Utah, USC & Pittsburgh, would it be enough for them to potentially get into a BCS Bowl game? They 3 losses would be to Stanford, Michigan St. & Michigan. The Michigan loss doesn’t look so hot right now, but Michigan St. & Stanford are legitimate top-10 teams. In fact, the losses to Michigan St. & Michigan probably shouldn’t have been losses meaning ND could be 6-1 right now headed for a potential 11-1 season in Brian Kelly’s first season on the sidelines in South Bend. Does 9-3 get it done?

Just Missing Cut (in no particular order): Virginia Tech, Miami-FL, Ohio St., Wisconsin, Arkansas, West Virginia, Missouri, Texas, South Carolina, Virginia Tech, Mississippi St., USC, North Carolina

#1 Oregon gets sort of lucky having a bye week the week when every top team in the country seems to be losing. The Ducks get a Thursday night home game against UCLA which should be a decent game depending on what Bruins team shows up. The Ducks have battered everyone they’ve played so far & I think that Stanford win still stands out as a tremendous victory on the resume, but the really tough portion of Oregon’s schedule is only now starting to begin. They are +9 in TO margin.
#2 I have Boise St. at #2 but my guess is that it’s short lived. It’s no fault of their own, but Bosie got hurt his past week with Nevada losing to Hawaii & Oregon St. taking on their 3rd loss. The resume all of a sudden looks a lot weaker. Boise St. can beat any team in the country on any given week, but I’m starting to side with the people shouting schedule. If Alabama can’t get through the SEC undefeated, you mean to tell me Boise can? The Broncos beat San Jose St., but they are the worst team in D1!
#3 Lady Luck is shining on Auburn. They are 3-0 in close games & just beat a Top-10 Arkansas team by 20 points. Frankly I probably should put Auburn at #1. They are 7-0 with the best resume of any team in college football. Cameron Newton is proving almost unstoppable & I’m still convinced that they aren’t running Gus Malzahn’s offense to 100% efficiency just yet. If they beat LSU at home this weekend they are the #1 team in the nation until they lose.
#4 Speaking of Lady Luck, Oklahoma is 4-0 in close games this year. You have to love what the Sooners are doing especially coming off a 52-0 win against Iowa St. That is the kind of game we all were waiting for. Beating Texas looks A LOT better now that the Longhorns beat Nebraska. The win over Florida St. keeps looking better as FSU climbs the polls. If Oklahoma wins at Missouri this weekend then how can you get around the Sooners, Ducks & Auburn Tigers being in the top-3?
#5 The win over Illinois was nothing short of spectacular. Beating Wisconsin looks fantastic now & the win this past weekend over Illinois is bigger than we think. It would have been easy for Sparty to let up on the gas a bit after wins against Michigan & Wisconsin. After blowing out Penn St. you knew the Illini were jacked for another big win. All MSU did was beat Illinois 26-6. Unlike Auburn & Oklahoma, Michigan St. has only been in one close game this year. They win convincingly.
#6 There is a lot to complain about with LSU. They were only beating McNeese St. this past week 16-10 at halftime! They are 4-0 in close games! Les Miles is the head coach. On the other hand, all they do is win. The Tigers have significant wins over UNC, Florida, Mississippi St., & West Virginia. They could beat on any given Saturday, but they keep winning ugly. If they beat Auburn this week will they finally get some respect? An 8-0 start should be good enough for #2 in the nation.
#7 Like Boise St., TCU took a bit of a beating this past week due to their schedule. Air Force losing didn’t help the cause. Neither did the Oregon St. loss. I keep thinking BYU is going to be better than their record, but this is an off year for the Cougars meaning the only thing TCU is going to really hang their hat on this year is a potential win over Utah. In their last 3 games, TCU has outscored their opponents 113-3. Unfortunately those 3 opponents weren’t Missouri, Wisconsin & Stanford.
#8 Like Oregon, the Cardinal had the week off which was probably a good thing given how week 7 went off in college football. Stanford’s wins are looking better & better. Notre Dame is now 4-3 & USC is now ranked in the top-25. The loss to Oregon will look good too if the Ducks keep on winning. If Oregon is #1, Stanford could theoretically be #2. The defense has to improve after giving up 87 points to Oregon & USC, but the eyeball test for me says this is a very very good football team.
#9 Alabama recovered to hammer Ole Miss after their loss to South Carolina. The loss looks much worse now that the Gamecocks lost to annual bottom feeder Kentucky, but sometimes the unexpected happens. If Alabama goes 12-1 & wins the SEC are you going to tell me they won’t be in the BCS? The defense is playing downright nasty, but the offense is lagging. Wasn’t that supposed to be the other way around? If the Tide win B2B road games against Tennessee & LSU then they’re back on track.
#10 The loss to Oregon St. looks dreadful, but I’m not willing to completely cut Arizona loose. My reasoning for the Cats being this high is that I think the Pac 10 is a bit underrated & I think the Iowa win is underrated a bit too as the Hawkeyes have seemingly slipped from the national conscious after that loss. The Defense is stout, but if QB Nick Foles is out for very long, Arizona is going to drop like a rock. They need to beat Washington this week. I might have Arizona a bit too high here.
#11 Iowa was blowing Michigan out before they let up & allowed the Wolverines to score a couple of late TDs. With their defensive front, Iowa could very well be the best team in the Big 10 but they need to start playing games at 100% for all 60 minutes. Their next two games are home dates against Wisconsin & Michigan St. The Big 10 homer in me wants Sparty to run the table b/c it would mean the Big 10 is in the BCS, but Iowa could easily win & win out to finish 11-1. Iowa is really good.
#12 If you are a “glass half full” guy then Nebraska lost a close game to an extremely talented Texas team who finally played to potential. If you are a “glass half empty” guy then Nebraska finally got exposed after playing an extremely weak opening schedule. Nebraska’s defense was spectacular but the offense was a complete mess. Taylor Martinez could be damaged after getting the hook & if Mizzou beats Oklahoma, the Huskers might be the 6th or 7th best team in the Big XII! EEK!
#13 Utah is running into the problems the other non-AQ schools are running into. They don’t even have a win over Oregon St. or Virginia Tech to at least give them some credibility. The Utes are getting mad love in the polls at 6-0, but they haven’t beaten ANYBODY! BYU sucking & Air Force losing hurts them as much as it hurts TCU. Utah does get a road game against Notre Dame though which could help should the Utes find a way to beat TCU & Air Force. This is way too high!
#14 With Oklahoma opening up #1 in the BCS Rankings, the early season loss to the Sooners doesn’t look brutal in retrospect. The Noles are 6-1 (4-0) which is good, but have they beaten anyone yet? The win over Miami-FL looks OK, but I’m not sold on THE U. They miss Virginia Tech while the Atlantic Division is pitiful. Do wins over UNC, NC State & Maryland hold that much water? Even the season finale against a 3-3 Florida team doesn’t look fantastic. FSU could wind up 12-1, but the Orange Bowl is their ceiling.
#15 You can’t help but be impressed with OSU. They lost Zac Robinson at QB which I thought was going to be a major issue, but Brandon Weeden is playing MUCH better than Robinson did last year. Justin Blackmon has stepped up huge at WR while Kendall Hunter has gotten back to his 2008 form after missing 2009 with an injury. The Cowboys are averaging 50ppg! The defense is still an issue, but a road win over Texas Tech last week is a quality victory. They could generate a lot of hype if they beat Nebraska in Stillwater this weekend.

Dropped Out

#2 Ohio St. Buckeyes: I had a hard time figuring where to put teams like Wisconsin & Ohio St. I couldn’t put the Buckeyes ahead of Wisconsin, but at this point too I thought both Michigan St. & Iowa should be ranked ahead the Badgers & Buckeyes. The egregious omission on my part is probably leaving Wisconsin out of the top-15, but if I didn’t have Wisconsin in the top-15 then there is no way I could have had Ohio St. Right now the Buckeyes have to be reeling a bit. The win over Miami-FL doesn’t look overly fantastic meaning they’ve played absolutely nobody until Wisconsin came along & Ohio St. blew it. Can they beat a good team away from Columbus?

#11 South Carolina Gamecocks: You beat Alabama then lose to Kentucky? The SEC East is turning into a big joke with a huge probability that a 5-3 SEC East team is going to draw an 8-0/7-1 SEC West team only to get sodomized in the SEC Championship game. Right now I’d say every team in the SEC West save Mississippi is better than any team in the SEC East. If Georgia can win out & SC loses to both Florida & Arkansas, the Bulldogs could still win the SEC East! South Carolina still can determine their own fate as they lead the SEC East with a 2-2 record. However, I don’t think their BCS chances are very good. Even if they win out they are only 10-2 & I don’t think they can win the SEC Championship meaning they’ll wind up 10-3. Losing on the road to Auburn I can understand, but if you are going to beat Alabama, how can you follow that up with a loss to Kentucky?

#13 Arkansas Razorbacks: The problem with Arkansas isn’t so much that they lost to Auburn, but that they gave up 60+ points in doing so. They doesn’t look too good for the overall stats. On the other hand, Arkansas has two losses against two quality opponents. They lost to Alabama when the Tide were #1 in the country. Losing to Auburn isn’t too bad as Auburn is now 7-0 & can make a legitimate case for being the #1 team in the nation. If War Eagle beats LSU this weekend, then I’d certainly make the Tigers my #1 team. Arkansas could easily be a top-10 or even possibly a top-5 team. They aren’t a great team, but not many teams are. They get easy home games against Vandy & Ole Miss to get the record to 6-2 before going on the road to play South Carolina. Dropping them is a bit harsh given who they’ve lost to, but there was really no other choice.


October 20, 2010 - Posted by | Alabama, Arizona, Auburn, Boise St., Florida St., Iowa, LSU, Michigan St., Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St., Oregon, Power 15, Stanford, TCU, Utah, Week 7

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