TAC College Football Poll: Week 7

We’re not at 2007 levels of chaos yet. True, Louisiana Tech did beat Idaho and that’s shocking. There even was some trouble in Lincoln and Madison, and the Vandals loss strikes at the core of our understanding of the college football world.

But we’re a long way from the “#1 is the spot of death” reality we had in 2007. However, it is weird. Oklahoma is #1 in the BCS, and not many believe in them (though their resume isn’t bad). Not many undefeated teams have believers other than Oregon and maybe team Cam Newton. Plenty have doubters (LSU-the hat is crazy Boise & TCU need to join a conference, and Missouri is really undefeated?). We now have a class of one-loss teams with serious title considerations (bama & Ohio St. leading the pack).

How it shakes out is anybody’s guess, but with two matchups of undefeated (LSU v. Auburn; Oklahoma v. Missouri) we hope to learn a lot this week.

What seems like a foregone conclusion though is that Boise St. & TCU may be left out. Although the trouble at the top gave more teams losses, the losses by Nevada, Oregon St., and Air Force will hurt them more than the losses by Nebraska & Ohio St. help. Good wins are precious and decide who gets to go to the title game, especially in the BCS computers.

Everyone ranked this week, so let’s get to it! 

  1. Oregon (4) (6-0)-It’s nice to move into the top spot during a bye week (MJ). Last Week: 2
  2. Boise St. (2) (6-0)-I don’t believe Boise will get past Nevada (DH) Last Week: 3
  3. TCU (7-0)-Looking forward to seeing how college football fans contort themselves to explain how unbeaten TCU being deprived of a national championship shot is somehow not as bad as the supposed inequity of Major League Baseball.(PZ) Last Week: 5
  4. Oklahoma (6-0)-Considering the weak Big 12 Conference, Oklahoma is also in the driver’s seat (DH) Last Week: 6
  5. Auburn (7-0) – The irrestible offense force meets the immovable defense, but… (MD) Last Week: 9
  6. LSU (7-eaux) – The immovable offense meets the frictionless defense.  I think LSU’s offense, as bad as it is, can do enough against their offense to get LSU the win. Call me a homer, but our D is scary good and running QBs don’t scare me. We’ll see if I eat crow next week. (MD) Last Week: 10
  7. Alabama (6-1)– If they run the table, they’re in the title game.  It’s as simple as that. (PZ) Last Week: 7
  8. Utah (6-0) – Utah is hoping and praying that TCU stays undefeated until Nov. 6 (MJ) Last Week: 8
  9. Michigan St.(7-0) -Iowa is the only real challenge left on the schedule. The Spartans, however, should not look past a dangerous Northwestern team (MJ) Last Week: 11
  10. Wisconsin (6-1)-Those who thought Wisconsin was overrated [including me] were silenced Saturday (MJ). Last Week: 18
  11. Ohio St. (6-1)-The Buckeyes offense had some question marks, but what happened to the defense? (DH) Last Week: 1
  12. Stanford (TIE w/ Ohio St.) (5-1) – wondering when the upset wheel will strike down Oregon and give them a chance (MD). Last Week: 13
  13. Iowa (5-1)– Iowa will not get past Ohio State (DH) Last Week: 15
  14. Oklahoma St. (6-0)– The OSU passing game is a lot of fun to watch…if you’re not the defensive coordinator for the opposition (MJ) Last Week: 16
  15. Arizona (5-1)– A QB injury puts their run in jeopardy. (MD) Last Week: 19
  16. Nebraska (5-1)-The Cornhuskers failed their only true test so far (MJ) Last Week: 4
  17. Missouri (TIE w/ Nebraska) (6-0)– The next four weeks will show us what the Tigers are really made of (MJ) Last Week: 21
  18. Florida St. (6-1)– The ACC Wheel of Destiny currently turns up FSU; can they avoid the pitfalls that have befallen every other ACC team this year? (MD) Last Week: 17
  19. West Virginia (5-1)– People ignore this team, but forget that LSU beat them. Every win for them helps LSU’s chances of topping an non-AQ. Go Mountaineers! (MD) Last Week: NR
  20. South Carolina (4-2)– Kentucky is dangerous after a big win. Believe me, we know. (MD) Last Week: 12
  21. Arkansas  (4-2) – 2 losses already make this is a disappointing season, but with Miss. St. looking better and Mallet banged up, you wonder if the wheels could fall off. (MD). Last Week: 14
  22. Texas (4-2) – The Longhorns have shown that while they are capable of beating anyone, they are incapable of beating everyone (MJ) Last Week: NR
  23. Virginia Tech (5-2) – Welcome back Hokies. With all their troubles, still undefeated in the ACC (MD)Last Week: NR
  24. Nevada (6-1) -Nevada looked ahead of the Rainbow Warriors and got stung, but they will regroup and defeat Boise State (DH) Last Week: 20
  25. Mississippi St. (5-2)– Their only losses are to the #4 & #6 teams of the BCS, and they’ve driven stakes into the hearts of Gator & Georgia fans. Kind of fun to watch (MD). Last Week: NR

Others receiving votes: Kansas St., Miami (FL), USC, San Diego St., Air Force, Hawaii, and Georgia Tech.

Dropping Out: Florida, Oregon St., Michigan, Air Force.

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29 Responses to TAC College Football Poll: Week 7

  1. Jay Anderson says:

    Between (1) the StRangers blowing a 5-0 lead to the Yankees in Game 1 (redeemed only somewhat by their win in Game 2), (2) Ohio State’s one-and-done at #1 exacerbated by special teams woes finally biting them in the ass when it really mattered (just like I predicted after the 2 kick returns for touchdowns in the Miami game), and (3) the Cowboys ending their season 11 games early, just an all-around crappy weekend for me.

  2. Tito Edwards says:

    I’m sorry, what was that comment about me ranking Ohio State so low last week?

  3. Tito Edwards says:

    West Virginia had two very close losses. When I was looking to fill out the bottom seven I, gulp, looked into the Big East and examined the Mountaineers schedule.

    These guys are for real!

  4. Paul Zummo says:

    I’m sorry, what was that comment about me ranking Ohio State so low last week?

    Heh. After losing a game I couldn’t in good conscience rank them ahead of any of the unbeatens, and frankly many of the one-loss teams just look stronger.

  5. Tito Edwards says:

    Just messin’ with you.

    I still think Alabama will make a run.

    The Pac-10 is too tough for Oregon to go undefeated, expect them to lose to either Oregon State in their annual battle, ie, the Civil War, or to Arizona. Both games are the last two of the season for them.

    Oklahoma looks more like a default champion, but if they finish unbeaten and beat UT in the last Big-12 title game, they deserve a shot.

    So does Boise State and the winner between Utah & TCU. (if they finish unbeaten).

    But it looks like the BCS rankings is working against the non-AQ’s this year, oh well.

    Who wants another mythical national title anyway.

    😉

  6. Tito Edwards says:

    Hawaii got three votes!

    Woo hoo!

    Utu mai ‘Bows!

  7. Jay Anderson says:

    I think the point, Tito, was where you had them ranked in comparison to other teams. I believe, for example, that this past weekend proves you’ve had Nebraska ranked far too high all season long. And I believe Wisconsin to be a top-10 team. Texas is not.

  8. Jay Anderson says:

    My only prediction at this point is that Alabama will be playing in the “National Championship” game. I believed that last week even after their loss to South Carolina.

    If Alabama beats both LSU and Auburn, which I believe they will, and then wins the SEC Championship game, which I believe they will, they will leapfrog over whoever is in front of them.

    I’m not convinced Oregon will run the table in the Pac-10, and I don’t think Michigan State will go through the Big Ten undefeated. Oklahoma is a pretender. And TCU and Boise State are what they are. Assuming they remain undefeated, I just don’t believe any of them will get the nod over Alabama should the Crimson Tide win out.

  9. Jay Anderson says:

    “Oklahoma looks more like a default champion, but if they finish unbeaten and beat UT in the last Big-12 title game, they deserve a shot.”

    Oklahoma is in the same division as Texas, so they can’t meet up in the Big 12 title game. They’ll have to play Nebraska, who I still think is a better match-up against Oklahoma, even though they lost to Texas.

  10. Tito Edwards says:

    Oklahoma is in the same division as Texas

    My bad.

  11. They’ll have to play Nebraska, who I still think is a better match-up against Oklahoma, even though they lost to Texas.

    I can’t imagine Nebraska dropping that game to the Sooners. Then again, I was surprised that they lost to Texas, but bye weeks work wonders sometimes.

    I believe, for example, that this past weekend proves you’ve had Nebraska ranked far too high all season long.

    And Nevada. And Idaho.

    West Virginia had two very close losses.

    They only lost once-at LSU. No great wins, but they’ll move up if they can keep going through the Big East.

    I really have no idea who goes to the title game. I assume the SEC gets one in unless everyone has two losses (or the SEC West winner loses to South Carolina in the title game). With Auburn beating Arkansas, that’s not as likely. I’m probably going to rank whoever wins the Auburn/LSU showdown as #1 in the country. Still don’t know if Oregon will lose; I don’t think they’ll go undefeated but have a hard time saying which game they’ll lose. Not sure if Sparty can get past Iowa; not sure if Iowa deserves more consideration as a one-loss team (but if they go undefeated in the Big 10, probably so).

    It’s just a mess right now. Two or three more weeks of conference play will give us a better lay of the land.

  12. Tito Edwards says:

    Michael,

    East Coast Bias.

    Don’t be a hater.

  13. Jay Anderson says:

    What will really screw it up for the Big Ten is if Iowa beats Sparty but loses to Ohio State. If all three teams win their other games (meaning Iowa hands Wisconisn its second Big Ten loss), you have a 3-way tie for the Big Ten lead, with no team having the advantage over the others for the championship.

    Who goes to the Rose Bowl (or, possibly, an outside chance at the BCS “Championship” game) will depend on which team has the higher BCS ranking, which, by that time, would probably be the much-maligned Buckeyes.

  14. I don’t live on the East Coast. Whatever Louisiana is, it’s not East Coast. I have no preference to the Big 10, ACC, or Big East.

    However, I do recognize that God came down and instituted the Southeastern Conference.

  15. Jay Anderson says:

    I’m not sure the Big Ten qualifies as “East Coast”. “North Coast”, maybe, but NOT “East Coast”.

    Besides, the alleged “East Coast bias” is just another excuse we hear from the Pac-10 and Big 12 that bears no resemblance to reality. The notion that there’s some “bias” from east coast sportswriters and coaches that … what … deprives USC, Texas, Oklahoma, and Nebraska from a place of prominence?

    The same “East Coast bias”, I assume, that 20 years ago awarded Colorado the most undeserved “National Championship” in college football history?

  16. Phillip says:

    Its all tea leaves to me. Okay not all tea leaves, but still a lot of guessing and opinion.

  17. Phillip says:

    But I’ll go out now and say Boise over Nevada 35 – 24.

  18. Jay:
    I’m not sure the Big Ten qualifies as “East Coast”. “North Coast”, maybe, but NOT “East Coast”.

    I think it matters only since most of the college sportswriters of the Northeast are alumni/fans of those schools.

    Paul:
    Looking forward to seeing how college football fans contort themselves to explain how unbeaten TCU being deprived of a national championship shot is somehow not as bad as the supposed inequity of Major League Baseball

    I promised you this discussion, and I will not disappoint.

    MLB, like all pro sports leagues, are based around the title. If your team can’t win the title, it’s boring-particularly when the schedule is a 164 games long and your team is out by May. Unlike the NFL, which succeeds in making ever game interesting by enforcing parity via the salary cap (at least before they move to 18 games-dumb decision), MLB fails to do that. Instead, we get playoffs that largely stay the same (though the Rangers are looking like they may make things more interesting than usual).

    College football’s interest however it not driven by the national title. ESPN tries to make it so, but it’s not. College football is driven by affiliation with one’s schools and rivalries. Even if Michigan hasn’t won a game, they still have the goal of beating Ohio St. the last week of the year. It’s the conference games that matter. The national title is as we say, lagniappe (extra).

    So TCU is allowed to have a successful program with interesting games whereas say the Kansas City Royals do not.

  19. Paul Zummo says:

    If your team can’t win the title, it’s boring-particularly when the schedule is a 164 games long and your team is out by May.

    At the All-Star break this year (considerably later than May), roughly 8 teams were out of meaningful playoff contention. Even as late as Labor Day roughly half of all MLB teams still had some shot at the playoffs.

    There are roughly 121 Division 1-A football programs. About ten of them had a meaningful prayer to even participate in the national championship game. While college football may not emphasize winning the national championship, why even bother with the charade when a majority of teams know that even an undefeated season won’t end in a title game?

    Unlike the NFL, which succeeds in making ever game interesting by enforcing parity via the salary cap (at least before they move to 18 games-dumb decision), MLB fails to do that. Instead, we get playoffs that largely stay the same (though the Rangers are looking like they may make things more interesting than usual).

    Five of the eight playoff teams were not in the post-season last year. In some seasons as many as seven of eight teams did not make the playoffs in back-to-back years, and rarely does the number exceed four teams repeating into the post-season. Those are numbers comparable to, if not superior to the NFL. Unless you don’t think Chargers, Colts, Patriots, Steelers getting in year after year is “stale.” Furthermore, more different teams have won the World Series than the Super Bowl over the past 10 years, and that’s true even if you extend it out to 30.

    So TCU is allowed to have a successful program with interesting games whereas say the Kansas City Royals do not.

    Kansas City has not had a successful baseball team because they have been run by a bunch of imbecilic GMs over the past two decades. Teams with similar resources, such as Tampa Bay, do fine with limited resources. Granted these teams may not be able to have as much staying power as the Yankees, but KC’s issues are only partly money related. On the other hand, a majority of division 1-A schools are all but told up front that they really don’t count. If it doesn’t matter, as you say, again, why even bother with the charade?

  20. why even bother with the charade when a majority of teams know that even an undefeated season won’t end in a title game?

    B/c having a title is more fun than not having one. It’s a simple as that; it’s an extra thing that makes discussions across conferences and the bowl games at the end a little more entertaining.

    Unless you don’t think Chargers, Colts, Patriots, Steelers getting in year after year is “stale.”

    Steelers didn’t make the playoffs last year. Chargers probably won’t make it this year.

    Maybe it’s just an impression thing, but baseball seems to give us the same storylines year after year year. Oh look, the Yankees are going to the playoffs with their newest 100 mil free agent acquisition. Again. Oh look, the Phillies are going to win the pennant. Again. Although baseball can produce drama at times, in the end the same ole lines just make it boring. If you’re not a fan of those teams blessed in a rich market or a team with a 2-3 year upkick, baseball gives you no reason to watch.

    Teams with similar resources, such as Tampa Bay, do fine with limited resources.

    For a while. But eventually, the talent moves on to greener pastures and you have to have an amazing farm system to replenish it. The Yankees don’t have that problem. College football on the other hand, forces teams to change every year via recruiting, graduation, and the NFL making it easier to construct a program and than sustain it with less resources.

  21. Jay Anderson says:

    Michael,

    I agree with you 100% on why a playoff would add absolutely nothing to Division 1-A college football, while robbing the sport of too much of what makes it the greatest game on earth.

    Tradition and rivalries and games that matter each and every week of the season. That’s what makes college football awesome. Crowning a definitve “National Champion” is, at most, of tertiary importance.

    I’m certainly not glad Ohio State lost this past weekend, but I am glad, in a way, that they don’t have the burden of the #1 ranking hanging over them. I’d honestly rather see them coming back from the loss and winning the Big Ten and playing in the Rose Bowl again than playing for a “National Championship”.

  22. Paul Zummo says:

    Maybe it’s just an impression thing,

    I think it largely is, because the numbers just don’t back up the notion that baseball is as static as suggested. The Yanks may make the post-season every year, but so did the Braves for 14 years and that had little to do with finances, and the Yanks are two games away from being bounced without a championship for the 7th time in 8 appearances over 9 years. They’ve basically become the Colts.

    Then there are teams like Minnesota that have been repeatedly successful. Even Tampa should be good next year with the loss of guys like Crawford.

    That’s not to say I think the system is perfect, I just don’t think the end results are as inequitable as believed. Just ask me, I’m a Mets fan. If money was everything, I’d be a lot happier baseball fan.

    As for college, even taking out the national title talk, do we really see that much variation in whose on top? You’ll get Wisconsin winning the Big 10 every few years, otherwise it’s always Ohio St and Michigan (until recently). Other conferences are also similarly dominated by just a few teams.

  23. Just ask me, I’m a Mets fan. If money was everything, I’d be a lot happier baseball fan.

    You’re, money doesn’t necessarily mean success. However, it sure helps.

    As for college, even taking out the national title talk, do we really see that much variation in whose on top? You’ll get Wisconsin winning the Big 10 every few years, otherwise it’s always Ohio St and Michigan (until recently). Other conferences are also similarly dominated by just a few teams.

    We’re only had two repeat winners of the BCS (LSU & Florida) and one of those was after four years (2003 & 2007 for the Tigers). The SEC hasn’t had a repeat winner in a while. As for the conferences, sure, there are 3 teams that usually are perennial conference favorites. However, 3 out of 12 teams is a lot better than 3 out of a 32 team league. In college football, your team is an upset or two away from getting to the top; in MLB the climb is much steeper.

  24. Paul Zummo says:

    There are not repeats, but it’s basically the same group of teams year in and year out.

    However, 3 out of 12 teams is a lot better than 3 out of a 32 team league.

    As I’ve pointed out, your premise is faulty. If either the Giants or Rangers win the World Series, that would mark nine different world champions in a ten year period. In the same time period only 7 different teams won the Super Bowl, and 5 different NBA teams won the championship. If you go back further in time there are still more unique champions in baseball than in football.

    In fact if any of the pro leagues is truly inequitable it’s the NBA, and they have a salary cap – though it is a soft cap. As the season starts, does anyone outside of the Lakers, Heat, Celtics and Magic have even a hint of a prayer of winning the title?

    Again, money undeniably helps, but it only goes so far.

  25. As I’ve pointed out, your premise is faulty. If either the Giants or Rangers win the World Series, that would mark nine different world champions in a ten year period. In the same time period only 7 different teams won the Super Bowl, and 5 different NBA teams won the championship. If you go back further in time there are still more unique champions in baseball than in football.

    I won’t defend the NBA; they need a hard cap too.

    I’m not sure my premise is faulty. Over the last 15 years, the Yankees won 5 titles (1 out of 3), the Sox 2, and the Marlins two to account for 9 of the 15. You has 1-timers from White Sox, Cards, Phillies, Braves, Angels and D-backs. So 9 separate winners.

    In the NFL, We have the 49ers (1), Packers (1), Broncos (2), Patriots (3), Steelers (2), Cowboys (1), Rams (1), Ravens (1), Colts (1), Giants (1), and Saints. 11 teams out of 15. In the BCS, which has a smaller sample size going back to 99, we have Tennessee (1), FSU (1), Miami (1), Ohio St. (1), Oklahoma (1) LSU (2), USC (1), Texas (1), Florida (2), and Alabama (1). That’s 10 teams out of 12 years, the highest percentage in the sports we’ve looked at.

    I think what may be adding to the perception is the lack of geographic diversity in the MLB. In the NFL, you have two western team (Niners & Broncos-3), 5 central area team (Cowboys, Saints, rams, Colts, Packers-5) and then 4 East teams (Pats, Steelers, Ravens and Giants-7). In contrast, the titles in baseball are heavily in the east. You have 8 in the Northeast (Yanks, Red Sox, and Phillies), another 3 in the Southeast (Marlins and Braves), 2 in the West Coast (Angels & D-backs), and only 2 in the central (White Sox & Cards). Baseball is heavily becoming a east coast sport, as the rest of the country hasn’t had much of an opportunity. If you’re in the central time zone, there hasn’t been as much reason to care.

    Although the BCS hasn’t been geographically diversity due SEC dominance, b/c each geographic area has its own conference with their own titles, there’s plenty of interest to be had-including the regional rivalries that take place.

  26. Paul Zummo says:

    I think we may both be taking liberties with our sample sizes 🙂

    Interesting point about geographical diversity that I hadn’t considered, and that’s certainly fair. Now two of those Super Bowl winning cities in the midwest – New Orleans and Indy – don’t even have a baseball team, and there is a heavy distribution of teams on the west and east coasts – perhaps moreso than the other sports.

  27. I think we may both be taking liberties with our sample sizes

    Well, I got my sample size from Wikipedia, so I win. 😉

    Of course, it does matter a lot whether you count the Yankees run in the late 90s so your point is quite true.

    Now two of those Super Bowl winning cities in the midwest – New Orleans and Indy – don’t even have a baseball team, and there is a heavy distribution of teams on the west and east coasts – perhaps moreso than the other sports.

    This is true. It’s understandable in so far as baseball requires a larger population to sustain attendance for 82 games. However, the central has been really dominated by St. Louis whereas Big market teams in Houston, Dallas, and Chicago haven’t had as much success (save the White Sox title-but over the span I think you can say that the teams from those markets generally stink). I think a salary cap could help the central teams that need to catch up do so, so that they can build up a fanbase that comes out even in losing years by being able to keep franchise-type players for longer.

    However, ideally, MLB could use a plan that makes it more profitable in smaller cities. As the Florida experiment comes to an end and the Rays & Marlins both consider getting out of the terrible situations they’re in, it will be interesting to see where MLB sends them and if MLB can make smaller markets sustain teams like they can in the NFL. After all, New Orleans and Green Bay easily sustain football teams.

  28. Jay Anderson says:

    “You’ll get Wisconsin winning the Big 10 every few years, otherwise it’s always Ohio St and Michigan (until recently).”

    Here’s a list of the schools who have either won outright or shared the Big Ten title over the past 15 years:

    Ohio State (8 times)
    Michigan (5 times)
    Northwestern (3 times)
    Iowa (2 times)
    Penn State (2 times)
    Wisconsin (2 times)
    Illinois (1 time)
    Purdue (1 time)

    So, yes, Ohio State and Michigan tend to have more championships, but they are, traditionally, the more dominant teams. But you still have Northwestern – NORTHWESTERN!!! – with the next highest total at 3 championships, followed by Iowa, Penn State, and Wisconsin all with 2 championships each. The only Big Ten teams who don’t have a championship over that period of time are Indiana, Michigan State, and Minnesota. Michigan State has won several Big Ten championships prior to the 1990s, and will likely at least share in the Big Ten title this year.

  29. Paul Zummo says:

    Jay:

    I stand corrected on the Big Ten. I am guilty of going off of perception in that case. Has Northwestern really won three times? Wow.

    Michael:

    Well Florida is staying put with a new stadium. I think they are an interesting case study as they are considered a “small market” team in baseball, yet the Miami Heat stand poised to run dominant for years because of the free agent signings they have made. So in one sport Miami is a small market, and in another they are one of the premier markets. It’s really kind of odd.

    Tampa is another case, and it sounds like it’s just a bad situation with a stadium that is hard to reach in an area of town that is pretty brutal.

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