The waters are still a bit muddy, but we have seen a bit more of these teams (except Boise) to take a look and try to decipher the 3 polls.. I have picked what I believe to be the strongest team for each ranking since the AP, Coaches, and CBSSports polls are so different. Feel free to argue any points you disagree with. I am open to that – deciphering the 2 polls, plus CBSSports’ picks wasn’t easy.
#1 - Bama appears to be the real-deal, straight up...so far. Definitely deserving of their #1 ranking.
#2 - The question about tOSU is this: "Is Miami really as good as their previous ranking would imply" - (#12 by both polls) If so, then tOSU deserves where they are ranked this week (#2) - if not, well, we will discuss that next week.
#3 - Now to Boise St. Does Boise St's win over Virginia Tech lose its importance with VT's loss to James Madison this week? It's hard to tell this early, but I believe it might be the fly in the ointment regarding just how good Boise St is (or isn't).
#4 - TCU is ranked here by AP and CBSSports, but the coaches have them tanked at #5, with UT ranked #4. TCU's schedule is the big question here, however, their players and past performances tell more of the story. TCU is chocked full of talent and is coached quite well. They play as well against their tough opponents as they do their 'iffy' ones - and they win. Their only loss in 2009 came in the Fiesta bowl - a 17-10 loss to Boise St. This week TCU plays Baylor, who is not ranked in the top 25, but is ranked #45 by AP and #68 by CBSSports. Baylor is somewhat stronger this season, but just how strong won't be clear until after the TCU game. I am comfortable with them ranked ahead of UT in the top 10 but probably would be more comfortable if they were ranked #7 or #8, at least until they've played 4 or 5 games.
#5 - Oregon is ranked here by AP and CBSSports and Coaches have them ranked at #6. This is probably just about the right spot for Oregon. Their true strength will be revealed starting with the AZ St, Stanford games and then USC, Cal and Or St. Time will tell...
#6 – OU is ranked here by CBSSports, AP has TX here, and the Coaches have Oregon here. Being comfortable with Oregon at #5, leaves me a choice of OU or TX. I choose to go with OU because I believe OU is stronger than TX and rightfully belongs here. While OU underestimated Utah St, they managed the win. There were a few reasons laid out for their misjudgment, but that still leaves an understandable question mark; however, their strong performance against an otherwise strong FSU team shows just what they are capable of. The question is, will OU perform consistently at this level. I want to believe so, but again - only time will tell.
#7 – TX - AP has OU here, Coaches have FL here and CBSSports has Iowa here. This is where I believe TX belongs. Their SOS so far this season is weak. They have beaten Wyoming and Rice thus far by 34 pts on each outing, and giving up 24 pts total. Not bad, but not rea; impressive in my opinion. I know TX is a talented team with potential, but we haven’t seen it yet. Again – only time will tell. After the T-Tech, UCLE, OU and Nebraska game we should see just what TX is made of – as well as T-Tech, OU and Nebraska.
#8 - NU – Nebraska is ranked here by AP and Coaches, and Iowa is ranked here by CBSSports. I believe this is a good placement of the Cornhuskers. Their schedule is weak until the TX game, although they have Washington and K-St before then. They face Ok St after TX. Will know more after the dust settles for NU.
#9 – IU – AP has Iowa here, Coaches have OU here, and CBSSports has Wisconsin here. I am not overly impressed with Iowa; however, their play has been good since last season, winning tight matches by small margins, but winning, nonetheless. Not sure how to sum this one up, but “it is what it is”.
#10 – UF – AP and CBSSports have Florida here. Coaches have Iowa. While not as strong as the last 3 seasons (my opinion), they have talent and Urban Meyer. Their schedule does not get tough until Alabama and LSU. Their destiny is in their own hands. I believe they have the capability to stay in the top ten most of the season. Only time will tell…
By mid-season, I think the top 10 will be Al, Or, tOSU, OU, FL, NU, Boise St., IU, TCU, TX - not that I necessarily agree with that, but if those teams play to their potential - they are in. However, TX has OU and Neb back to back in Oct, so that could vault or destroy each of the 3 teams; FL has Alabama. That could shake things up, of course. We will see...
So, that’s it folks. Chime in and let us start discussing this. I am about as confused as anyone out there is.