Looking at the rankings, only a keen eye will tell you which teams in college football deserve true recognition. It is easy to lose oneself in what the numbers and statistics say and miss out on the truth hidden beneath. Only by analyzing the rankings closely will you understand why Auburn enjoys such favorable odds amongst college football predictions.
The best teams are the ones that keep improving, and Auburn has continued to improve consistently, this while the likes of Georgia and Stanford have regressed. In truth, the top-ranked teams are not nearly as stable as they might like you to believe.
There is a lot to glean in the data and the rankings for the keen eyed. There was genuine surprise when Urban Meyer’s Ohio State lost to Penn State, and that particular result was imputed to a late-game breakdown of fundamentals in special teams.
But, looking back at 2008 when Ole Miss blocked an extra point with 3:28 play and somehow defeated Florida, clearly such an upset is nothing new. A more interesting point of the conversation is whether or not Urban Meyer’s team can recover from their surprise defeat.
Speaking of surprises, Alabama didn’t merely win seven of their eight games but they outscored opposing teams 100-23 in the 3rd quarter. Winning by at least 19 points in each case, close analysis of the figures suggests that most other Top-25 teams facing Alabama’s first eight opponents had almost no chance of going undefeated throughout that run.
That says a lot about Alabama, especially when contrasted with a team like Texas whose defense is so terrible they broke a few records for the new season with regards to the number of points they gave up to Oklahoma.
Permitting 30 first downs on average in every game, Oregon might have an even worse defense than Texas; speaking of weak defenses, one cannot help but wonder how Boise state (7-0) and Toledo (6-1) are garnering so many victories despite creating so few takeaways.
The Big 12 do not really have much to offer when it comes to a defense, which works out well for Baylor and West Virginia, two unbeaten teams (the last unbeaten teams the conference has), though they are still trailing the front runners when it comes to the playoff race.
The Big 12’s best teams do not have the juice you expect, not even with their unbeaten records.
For Colorado Senior Quarterback Sefo Liufau, the chemistry between players on the field was critical to their ability to reach their first super bowl since 2007. Stanford must appreciate the elation that drove Colorado players to celebrate enthusiastically, considering the failures of the past. From winning just ten games in total in the first three seasons, they have made so many great strides.
With Tim DeRuyter, the issue has been achieving so many impressive victories with his predecessor’s talent, only for Fresno State to begin sliding once the old talent moved on and Tim’s own recruits came in. With such a showing, no one was shocked when Tim was fired on Sunday.
Those that have been following Chad Morris since he left Clemson know that he has struggled to survive under the Shadow of Tom Herman at Houston. Certainly, his offensive brains were never in doubt, but SMU’s victories have come largely because of their defense.
Chad has ways to go before making his mark, but he has the trust of his superiors, and SMU has made encouraging strides forward.