The College Football Universe rankings are now composite rankings that are compiled from various websites and Facebook groups. Points are listed next to the team's record. Number one is awarded 25 points, second is 24 points, and so on for each top 25 submitted by voters. Some voters only ranked the top 10. Links to participants are listed after the rankings.
1. LSU(2) 4-0 982. Alabama(1) 4-0, 96
3. Oklahoma(1) 3-0, 94
4. Boise State 3-0, 88
5. Oklahoma State 4-0, 81
6. Stanford 3-0, 79
7. Wisconsin 4-0, 78
8. Virginia Tech 4-0, 64
9. South Carolina 4-0, 63
10. Florida 4-0, 56
11. Nebraska 4-0, 53
12. Oregon 3-1, 52
13. South Florida 4-0, 39
14. Clemson 4-0, 3215. Baylor 3-0, 30
16. West Virginia 3-1, 24
17. Michigan 4-0, 23
18. Georgia Tech 4-0, 22
19t. Arkansas 3-1, 18
19t. Texas A&M 2-1, 18
21. Illinois 4-0, 16
22. Texas 3-0, 15
23. TCU 3-1, 13
24. Florida State 2-2, 8
25. Michigan State 3-1, 6
Others receiving votes: Temple 5, Arizona State 2, Iowa State 1, Houston 1
Participants from the following Facebook groups and websites voted in the College Football Universe Top 25 Poll:
Joshua Guiher of www.CollegiateStadiums.com
Winston Sims of College Football Group
Danielle Skelton of SEC Football Smack
Justin Burnette of College Football Gameday
Facebook Group (also administrator of www.CollegeFootballUniverse.com
Projected AP Top Four beginning Week Five:1. LSU
4. Boise State
It will be a very close call between LSU
for the top spot in the AP poll. Despite having 23 less top votes, LSU was 47 points away from number one in the week four rankings (OU- 1,471 & LSU-1,424). Many media pundits are now jumping on the Baton Rouge bandwagon and that may be enough to edge them to number one, but the amount of top votes will be very close between Oklahoma and LSU. Kirk Herbstreit said on tonight’s game LSU vs. West Virginia that “no reason they shouldn’t be ranked number one” in regards to LSU and their season’s accomplishments. If LSU is not voted number one beginning week five, then they will trail Oklahoma by an even narrower margin than in week four and Alabama would have taken enough votes from LSU to keep the Sooners in the top slot. Alabama
and Boise State
should both hold at three and four. Other Projections and Notes for Week Five AP Top 25:
will make one of the biggest jumps in the polls this weekend after their win over Florida State and the media recognition of two solid opponents in a row. They should be in the top 17 or higher when the polls come out. AP voter Steve Phillips of WBIR-TV tweeted, “Toughest non-#SEC schedule I've seen is Clemson's 3 game stretch: Auburn, Florida State, Virginia Tech. They're 2-0 so far.” Kansas State
should get some votes for the top 25, but I’m unsure if they will make it in the top 25 since they didn’t get any votes last week. Chris Fowler of ESPN which is also an AP voter noticed their tight win against the Hurricanes and tweeted earlier, “Kudos to K-State, stoning UM on the goal line and thank God for replay, reversing an awful TD call. Big XII making September statements.”
Three teams being Wisconsin
, Oklahoma State
, and Stanford
are vying for the fifth spot which Stanford held coming into week four, but they were idle this week.
We’ll see tomorrow if LSU is really the new number one, but it will be close.
Will the Razorbacks make it to Hog Heaven? The last time Arkansas won a college football national championship was in 1964
. Since then the only major sport to win a national championship for Arkansas was the basketball program in 1994.
Many Hog fans hope that the resurgent Razorback football program led by Head Coach Bobby Petrino may be the next to make it to the holy land of college athletics. This Saturday will be a true test for the Razorbacks when they travel to Tuscaloosa to face the Crimson Tide. After last week’s unimpressive performance versus Troy, some Hog hopefuls now doubt their chances for the crystal football.
The Razorbacks statistically rank very well this season averaging 47.0 points per game (8th overall) and only allowing 12.7 points per game (17th overall), but against very limited competition. The Hogs had no problem against Missouri State and New Mexico, but had trouble putting away Troy last weekend. Troy also gave Clemson a challenge this season until the Tigers pulled away in the second half of that game.
Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson has looked out of sorts at times, but he still has the natural ability and an arsenal of playmakers to carry him. Wilson reportedly had concussion like symptoms earlier this season.
He has 822 yards with five touchdowns and two interceptions this year, but he threw a pick-six versus Troy including some bobbled snaps. Joe Adams has been one of the most explosive playmakers for the Razorbacks along with Cobi Hamilton and a stable of others. They have had up to 11 different players catch a pass in one game. The running game started slow as expected with the departure of Knile Davis due to injury, but has progressed well since the season began with Ronnie Wingo Jr. tallying 109 rushing yards and three total touchdowns against Troy. The defense started the season strong, but was also lacking last Saturday and they need to force more turnovers. The turnover margin will need to be in their favor against Alabama. It would definitely help the Hog’s defense if defensive end Jake Bequette makes it back from his hamstring injury.
Alabama has started the season very well as expected. Their toughest game so far was a road trip to Happy Valley to play Penn State which ended in a 27-11 victory. The Tide’s defense has been exceptional this season allowing only 6.0 points per game (2nd overall) and the Razorbacks will have to find a way to crack their rock solid defense to have a chance. They are loaded with talent on defense including players like Dre Kirkpatrick and Courtney Upshaw that are already on Mel Kiper’s Big Board
The Crimson Tide had shaky quarterback play early this season, but AJ McCarron has seemed to settle in recently with zero interceptions in his last two games after throwing two in the first game versus Kent State. He needs to continue stable play in their SEC opener for the Tide to be successful. Senior wide receiver Marquis Maze is a nice consistent target for McCarron with 186 receiving yards this season. Alabama does have an excellent running game to support their quarterback. Trent Richardson has 315 yards with eight touchdowns behind an experienced offensive line that averages approximately 307 lbs. per starter. Eddie Lacy is also racking up rushing yards with 304 so far on an astounding 10.9 yards per carry. The Arkansas defense will have to contain the running game if they want to beat Alabama. The USA Today Coaches Poll
has Arkansas ranked at 12 and Alabama much higher at second while also receiving 4 first place votes. If the Razorbacks want to make it to Hog Heaven, first they have to perform a bettor’s miracle this weekend since Alabama is currently a 12 point favorite on Bodog.
Being the rabid Razorback fan that I am, I believe they can still do it. It will come down to the ability of Arkansas’playmakers to penetrate the Alabama defense as well as the play of both the offensive and defensive lines; the turnover margin will also be a key to the game. In college football, we all know anything can happen and last season the Hogs only lost 24 to 20. Having lost five out of the last six games including four in a row to Alabama, Razorback football and fans should no longer accept being a door mat to Alabama. The Hogs will have to make it through the Tide if they want to make it to the promise land.
Below are highlights from games played by Arkansas and Alabama this season plus last year's matchup between the Razorbacks and Crimson Tide:
4. Boise State
5. Oklahoma State
10. South Carolina
11. Texas A&M
13. Virginia Tech
15. West Virginia
16. Florida State
18. South Florida
25. Iowa State
Just Outside Top 25: Michigan State, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Arizona State, Missouri, Auburn, Miami-FL, Vanderbilt, Houston, Utah, Texas Tech, FIU, and California.
Teams dropped from the Top 25: Michigan State (14), Auburn (15), Ohio State (18), Arizona State (23), and UCF (25).
Auburn’s 17 game winning streak came to an end today against the Clemson Tigers in Death Valley. Auburn’s offense looked sharp early, but their defense was lousy once again and it caught to up to them today. The Auburn defense yielded 624 yards to the Clemson offense. Final Score: Clemson 38 Auburn 24.
Penn State at Temple was one of the closest matchups of the day so far. Temple controlled most of the game, but fourth quarter interceptions by Mike Gerardi put the Nittany Lions back in it and Penn State broke through with a one yard rushing touchdown by Michael Zordich to go up in the fourth quarter. Final Score: Penn State 14 Temple 10.
Pitt at Iowa was another close matchup early today. The Hawkeyes came back after being down most of the game. James Vandenberg completed a pass to Kevonte Martin-Manley for a 22 yard touchdown to go up with 2:51 left in the game. Vandenberg passed for 399 yards and three touchdowns. Final Score: Iowa 31 Pitt 27.
West Virginia dominated both sides of the ball early, but Maryland was resilient to bring the score close. Danny O’Brien ended the Terrapins hope of a comeback by throwing a late game interception. Quarterback Geno Smith led the day for the Mountaineers with 388 passing yards. Final Score: West Virginia 37 Maryland 31.
Other Early Scores:
Michigan 31 Eastern Michigan 3
Wyoming 28 Bowling Green 27
Purdue 59 SE Missouri State 0
Western Michigan 44 Central Michigan 14
Vanderbilt 30 Ole Miss 0 in the 4th quarter
Georgia Tech 59 Kansas 17 in the 4th quarter
Georgia 52 Coastal Carolina 0 in the 3rd quarter.
Colorado 14 Colorado State 7 at the half.
TCU 21 Louisiana Monroe 17 in the 2nd quarter.
The UCF defense led by Coach George O’Leary may be one of the best in the country and may lead them to another successful season. Early this season, they have a stingy defense and a strong running game. The Knights have allowed the fewest points per game so far with just 1.5 points per game while being second in total yards allowed per game and are top five in defense for opponent passer rating; they are also 13th in rushing yards allowed. Dating back to last season’s Liberty Bowl game against Georgia, UCF has won two games against BCS opponents in three wins while only allowing 3 points per game. Central Florida’s rushing game which is 12th in the nation powers the offensive game for the Knights.
UCF’s defense dominated Boston College Saturday holding them to only 7 first downs, 141 total yards, and only 3 points. However, Coach George O Leary has been a part of some controversies during his coaching career including the Erek Plancher death in 2008 and the falsifying of his resume when he was hired by Notre Dame in 2001. It will be interesting to see if UCF continues their trend of success.
Here is a link to highlights of the win over Boston College last Saturday:
4. Boise State
5. Oklahoma State
7. Florida State
9. South Carolina
12. Texas A&M
14. Michigan State
16. Virginia Tech
18. Ohio State
19. West Virginia
21. South Florida
23. Arizona State
Just Outside Top 25: Michigan, TCU, Mississippi State
Teams dropped from the Top 25: Mississippi State (13), Missouri (19), Penn State (23)
How would the Boise State Broncos do in the SEC? Boise State would be even better in the SEC. The Broncos showed this weekend that they could win against an SEC team with massive size. More importantly, the boost they would receive from recruiting and conference respect as well as having the best coach in the country would leave no doubt to their validity as a top notch college football program. Of course because of geography and other reasons, this move will never happen, but we still speculate.
Just this past weekend Boise State went into SEC country and stomped the Georgia Bulldogs. Because of last season’s follies for the Bulldogs, many detractors of the Broncos would argue that Georgia is not a quality team. Despite Coach Mark Richt having his first losing season (6-7) with the Bulldogs last year, he did compile a record of 96-34 with Georgia before Saturday. They also brought back some key starters and hauled in a top recruiting class. They had six players named to the SEC Coaches Preseason All SEC Team and three to the first team offense including quarterback Aaron Murray. Also according to Rivals.com, Georgia recruited the fifth ranked class in 2011. All of these factors gave them a preseason top 25 ranking and many experts were hyping them as a rejuvenated team full of talent. Now Boise State doubters are denouncing their victory over UGA when many of the same people were hyping the Bulldogs as a superior team before the game. Georgia did gain close to the same amount of yards as Boise State in their game Saturday, but they lacked the veteran leadership of a sharpshooter quarterback like Kellen Moore and the execution that the Broncos had to put the ball in the end zone.
Boise State proves size doesn’t matter; it’s the motion of the offense that counts. The Broncos’ critics think just because they have a smaller offensive line than many big conference teams that they are a spread “air it out” style offense. Boise State is not a typical spread style or gimmick air raid offense; they use multiple formations, move players around, and run the ball effectively. Their offensive line does average less weight per starter than a starter from the SEC, but the difference in size is not as drastic as often portrayed and they overcome what they lack in size with talent. They played the largest offensive line in the SEC this past weekend with an average of 335.8 lbs. per starting lineman, but the SEC average is 310.6 lbs. per starting offensive lineman which is more comparative to Boise State’s 289.4 lbs. per starting lineman. On the other hand, their defense is not undersized and the average weight of their defensive lineman is near the same as that of an SEC defensive lineman. The average weight of a starting defensive lineman for the Broncos is 281.25 lbs. and the average weight of an SEC starter is 277.24 lbs. Georgia’s defensive line is exceptionally large even for the SEC with an average of 321.7 lbs. per starter. (Projected starters and weights from Sporting News College Football 2011 Preview magazine were used to calculate average weights.)
An excellent coach like Petersen in a power conference like the SEC would be a recipe for a national championship. Boise State’s Coach Chris Petersen could arguably be the best coach in the country. In his five years with the Broncos, he has compiled a record of 61-5 with five consecutive 10 win seasons and two of them undefeated ending with Fiesta Bowl wins. He is the only coach since 1900 to win 13 games in his first season with an FBS team and he is the only coach ever to win two Paul “Bear” Bryant National Coach of the Year Awards. 11 of the 25 winners have won either a BCS, AP, or USA Today national championship with a much higher percentage of dual winners over the past 11 years. Six of the last nine Bear Bryant award winners not including Petersen have went on to win a national championship.
The Broncos' recruiting would only get better if they moved to a power conference like the SEC. There were four SEC teams ranked in the Rival Recruiting top 10, eight in the top 20, and 10 out of the 12 SEC teams were ranked in the Rivals Top 50 Recruiting Team Rankings for 2011. In 2010, an astounding 11 out of 12 teams in the SEC were ranked in the Rivals Top 50 Recruiting. According to Rivals Recruiting Team Rankings, from 2002-2011 Boise State has never been ranked in the final top 50. It is evident that they have overachieved based on recruit rankings. Inclusion into a power conference would only boost their recruiting due to higher notoriety, more publicity, and introduction into new markets. The Broncos have just moved to the Mountain West Conference and may achieve their first top 50 Rivals rankings if they can maintain their spot at 40 currently for the class of 2012. Their success thus far exemplifies the capability of their coaches to find hidden talent and develop players.
Boise State would be a better team, but would not have the same amount of wins in a power conference. It would be inevitable that the Broncos would eventually have issues with playing on the road and in different climates even though they have an excellent road record as of late. On the other hand, I believe their home record would be similar to what it has been. They are 64-2 at home since 1999 and have beat teams like Oregon on the Blue. I think they would still garner many wins each season just less road wins. Boise State would still have more talent if they were in a power conference and their coach is capable enough to gain notoriety in a BCS conference to finally achieve a slot in the national championship game. They just proved they could handle a larger team. The SEC would only make them a better team.
Here are highlights from last week's game between Boise State and Georgia:
4. Boise State
5. Oklahoma State
7. Florida State
9. South Carolina
12. Texas A&M
13. Mississippi State
15. Michigan State
16. Virginia Tech
18. Ohio State
21. West Virginia
23. Penn State
Just Outside the Top 25: BYU, South Florida, and UCF.
Teams dropped from the Top 25: TCU (11), Notre Dame (17), and Georgia (25).
The College Gameday game of the week was Oregon vs LSU. The first half was competitive, but the Ducks were falling apart by the third quarter. They had multiple fumbles and the Bayou Bengal defense took advantage of them. The Oregon offense garnered less than 100 yards rushing in a pivotal first game. Final Score: LSU 40 Oregon 27
Boise State vs. Georgia was another highly anticipated match up of the weekend. The first half was close with the Broncos leading 14-7 at the break. Kellen Moore of Boise State was in rhythm by the third quarter and started throwing darts down field. A balanced attack by the Broncos was too much for the Bulldogs to handle. Final Score: Boise State 35 Georgia 21.
Yet another SEC team played a strong out of conference opponent in BYU at Ole Miss. It was a low scoring game and Ole Miss only led 3-0 at the half. Ole Miss went up 13-0 and their defense was smothering until BYU made a sudden comeback in the fourth quarter. Todd Heap threw a touchdown pass to Ross Apo at the 9:52 mark in the fourth and later Kyle Van Noy recovered a fumble for a three yard touchdown to put the Cougars up 14-13. Final Score: BYU 14 Ole Miss 13.
USC played in a very tight game with Minnesota. They held on to win 19-17 behind Robert Wood’s school record 17 catches for 177 yards and three touchdowns. Final Score: USC 19 Minnesota 17.
South Florida also beat Notre Dame in a game that was delayed twice. Notre Dame started play very sloppy and they could never recover. Final Score: South Florida 23 Notre Dame 20.
Brady Hoke was successful in his coaching debut for Michigan in a game that was delayed and called final early due to weather. Final Score: Michigan 34 Western Michigan 10.
Arkansas defeated Missouri State in an expected blow out. 11 different players caught a pass for the Razorbacks and Joe Adams returned two punts for touchdowns. Final score: Arkansas 51 Missouri State 7.
I just gave a quick recap of the games I watched. Leave a comment about any of the games played today. I also blogged about some of the early games and scores on my last post. Here’s a link to the ESPN scoreboard for the rest of the night’s final scores and ongoing games:http://scores.espn.go.com/ncf/scoreboard?confId=80&seasonYear=2011&seasonType=2&weekNumber=1