Last Saturday saw more bloodshed than ever in the history of college football rankings. Seven of the fourteen teams we ranked were unceremoniously defeated. Three of our teams evaded upset only because they had Bye weeks. Only four of our ranked teams managed to win games. And, the biggest upset of all may have occurred in Tuscaloosa where Alabama was held to just 39 points. Coaches will watch that tape to see how Missouri did it.
This week we dropped Miami and Auburn, two of last week’s losers, since they aren’t ranked in either poll. In their places we’ve added Michigan and Texas since the voters now believe they are good enough to be in the top ten. Both are surprises in our poll; Michigan in a good way, and Texas not so much.
Michigan debuts at No. 5, a bit higher than the pollsters have them, while Texas comes in at No. 10, lower than the pollsters have them and lower than the Oklahoma team they’ve beaten. Once again, the voters have been blinded by good records and fail to assess how good a team actually is. Or isn’t. In our rankings, Texas is only better than Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Stanford (11 through 14), and that isn’t saying much. As another point of comparison, we have Penn State one position ahead of Texas and the polls have the Nittany Lions eleven spots lower than Texas. The RPG system knows that Texas struggled past Tulsa and Baylor and was handed victories by TCU and USC.
Texas isn’t the only team that isn’t as good as its record. Notre Dame is now No. 4 in the polls simply because they are undefeated. But, Notre Dame has played very poorly in three of its last five wins and doesn’t fool RPG. We have Notre Dame at No. 8 and not yet in the playoff picture.
Instead, we have Alabama, LSU, Clemson and Ohio State as playoff teams in that order with Michigan knocking on the door. Georgia and Oklahoma (No. 6 & No. 7) are not out of it. With only cupcakes remaining on the Notre Dame schedule, it will take many losses by higher ranked teams to get them into our playoffs.
The one A+ grade this past week belonged to LSU which thumped Georgia (we told you these aren’t last year’s Bulldogs) and that grade propelled them to No. 2 in our rankings.
Now on our watch list to be added to our rankings are UCF, Oregon and Florida. On our watch list to be dropped are Wisconsin (at Illinois this week) and Stanford (their win over Arizona State yesterday will be included in next week’s rankings).
For a complete list of ranked teams and weekend playing performance grades, visit www.nemosnumbers.com. If you want to know how the numerical grades are calculated, find a copy of Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics wherever you buy books.