So here I was this week, typing away about the Auburn Tigers and their undefeated season to date. I thought it might be time to clearly define, as opposed to merely dropping indicators in segments, the system of which I use to define which team gets ranked where. I had plenty to write about. Auburn's fiercest rivalry, one I have always inexplicably been fascinated with, their mutual hatred for the Alabama Crimson Tide, a team that was and for some still is the apple of the college football nation's eye, will culminate in two or three weeks with what maybe the biggest match up of the season. Yet to this date, Auburn gets repeatedly under-credited for a distinguished set of accomplishments this season, and Alabama seems set to be given every opportunity to win a national championship on reputation alone, as if we predetermined that Alabama should play Boise State for the title, it's the game everyone wants to see, so let's just make it happen, regardless of how their accomplishments stack up against the rest of the nation.
Boise State then, as well as TCU and Utah would deserve some mention. Boise, I have droned on about a little on this blog, but TCU and Utah play each other this weekend and by the end of it, two of these three non-BCS teams will remain undefeated, a misfortune for those wanting a clear cut champion from the current system, a gift from God for those who cry out against an imperfect system and beg for a tournament. Perhaps this subject is better left for a future week anyway.
The last comparison to be discussed would be the obvious, the Oregon Ducks, the only other undefeated BCS conference team. This seems to be the consensus team of teams to date, with the only general criticism I've heard about Oregon so far, seems to be their uniforms. Yet if you compare their schedule to Auburn, I think you would come to same conclusion I did that....and hold on...STOP THE BLOG. Delete. Delete. Delete. This popped up on our radar last night. Read it if you have the time.
Cam Newton. The Heisman to be. The best player on the best team. Cash. We've seen this before but I can't remember a time in which it came up mid-season, particularly with a player/team that is so deeply entrenched in a season, with so much already having been accomplished. What will happen from here? Who knows. It could be nothing and even if there is something to it, we could be waiting a while before anything about this ugliness gets resolved. I'm currently awaiting a similar kind of decision on a key player, Josh Selby, concerning KU's upcoming basketball season. So perhaps I can't help but to allow bias enter the arena of my "big picture" concerning the subject matter. Therefore I've decided that this week, instead of rambling on about this Auburn player and this Auburn team, let's ask you. What do you think? The poll I have come up with is on the right of this column.
I'd like to get back to this question in the future, after I've seen your response to the poll. But for now, let's just get on with my top 25:
1 Auburn (9-0)
2 Oregon (8-0)
3 LSU (7-1)
4 TCU (9-0)
5 Boise State (7-0)
6 Utah (8-0)
7 Stanford (7-1)
8 Mississippi State (7-2)
9 Nebraska (7-1)
10 Missouri (7-1)
11 Oklahoma (7-1)
12 Oklahoma State (7-1)
13 Michigan State (8-1)
14 Wisconsin (7-1)
15 Ohio State (8-1)
16 Iowa (6-2)
17 South Carolina (6-2)
18 Alabama (7-1)
19 Arkansas (6-2)
20 Arizona (7-1)
21 Illinois (5-3)
22 Penn State (5-3)
23 Florida (5-3)
24 Texas A&M (5-3)
25 Oregon State (4-3)
Most noticeable is that the conferences are all starting to take their toll on each other, thus resulting in the teams of some conferences being ranked in bunches. While it may look a bit unsightly, I don't see anything wrong with this, given that it is merely representative of how a team's performance might affect those that seek recognition based on an opponent's presence on their schedule alone.
Speaking of scheduling recognition, here are this week's newest members to my "no credit" list:
Wyoming (2-7)- As much as they've lost, one has to recognize the difficulty of the Wyoming Cowboys' schedule. Part of this is merely misfortune, as their conference schedule is about as top heavy as I've ever seen a team have to endure, relative to the conference they play in, of course. Now they get to finish with the weaker teams that their league offers, but unfortunately, the damage is done. I will say this, should Wyoming ever build a legitimate national contender with a schedule such as this, then nobody needs to even attempt to try and deny them their right to play in any bowl they want to. For now though, no bowl, and no credit for beating Wyoming.
Central Michigan (2-7) The Chippewas probably felt that they'd set their schedule up adequately enough, taking on non-conference opponents such as Virginia Tech, Northwestern and in a couple weeks, Navy. The lesson to be learned here is simply that you do actually have to win once in a while, particularly if you play in one of the weaker conferences, such as the MAC. This team has not won much, and usually hasn't come close to doing so...I'm not going to give anyone credit for beating them.
Memphis (1-7) Given their basketball successes, for a couple years there, Memphis entered the football postseason with and appearance in one bowl game or another and used these appearances to present the argument that they would be a perfect fit for the Big East Conference. Of course, now we have evidence to the contrary. Not a good season, Memphis, but best of luck against Tennessee this weekend!
UNLV (1-7) Vegas baby! Want another cliche'? OK, try this one: what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas, including beating them. This team is awful.
Western Kentucky (1-7) The Hilltoppers finally won a game!!! And came back the next week and lost again, for the seventh time this season. Baby steps. They are not good, and nobody should be recognized for beating them, but for the first time since moving to the top division, one could actually make the argument that they aren't the worst team in FBS. Congrats fellas!
Ball State (2-7) Well, a friend of mine saw them play this game. After that though, there isn't much more to say about this team, unless you want me to tell you, just like everyone else already has, that David Letterman and Jason Whitlock both went to school there. They must be doing something right, and they were actually pretty good at football a couple of years ago. But those days are long gone now.
Last week I felt awful for posting so close to the weekend, but not so much this week, given the priority that the World Series offered me. I apologize if you've been wondering about this post's tardiness, but I just had to jump on the opportunity that the Giants offered me to tell that story. And thank you all for your kind responses to that post, I really appreciate the gestures and also the fact that you read my ramblings at all in the first place. Please participate in the poll this week and have a great weekend!