Top dogs LSU and California were upset over the weekend so now there are only 6 undefeated teams left: Ohio State, South Florida, Boston College, Arizona State, Kansas and Hawaii.
Three weeks ago there were 23 undefeated teams, now 17 of them have come up sucking pond water on their way to a national championship. It is possible that several of those teams with only one loss could win the national championship when it is all said and done.
Trust me when I say that 5 of the 6 teams left undefeated are in rarified air, only Ohio State is used to being in the hunt for the national championship. The Buckeyes hosted and dispatched a weak Kent State team 48-3 on Saturday. Keep in mind that Ohio State's 7-0 mark comes playing the 72nd weakest schedule among Division I teams. They do have a defense, but they have not played the best competition.
South Florida extended its record to 6-0 by easily beating Central Florida 64-12. At least the Bulls have played the 31st most difficult schedule among all 242 Division 1-A and 1-AA teams.
Boston College went 7-0 by downing a pathetic 1-6 Notre Dame Fighting Irish squad 27-14. The Eagles may look and sound like a big deal, but given the fact that they have the 79th toughest schedule they probably are not. At least Notre Dame has played some competition; its strength of schedule is currently No. 2 nationally. Arizona State was trailing Washington 17-13 at the half, but the Huskies collapsed again in the 3rd quarter giving the Sun Devils 21 points as Arizona State went on to win 44-20.
Arizona State has played the 54th toughest schedule; the Huskies (now 2-4) have played the toughest schedule in the country for the past 4 weeks. Nonetheless, first year Coach Dennis Erickson stretches his record to 7-0. Kansas took care of the woefully weak Baylor Bears 58-10, but the Jayhawks 6-0 mark has come from playing the 126th toughest schedule. Remember that there are only 119 Division 1-A teams.
That leaves Hawaii as the last undefeated team at 7-0. The Warriors beat San Jose State 42-35 in overtime. Hawaii's strength of schedule is 149th among 119 Division 1-A schools. San Jose State's schedule strength is 52nd nationally which might explain why the Warriors were probably lucky to win in OT.
I believe that South Florida (31st toughest schedule) and Arizona State (54th toughest) have the best chance of continuing undefeated. When Boston College, Kansas and Hawaii start playing someone worth talking about, they are going to have their hands full. Boston College plays only 1 of the current AP Top 25 teams in its last 5 games. Kansas plays only 1 (Missouri) and Hawaii plays none. Hawaii's toughest competition appears to be 5-1 Boise State.
The Cowboys nipped (and I do mean nipped) Nevada 69-67 Sunday night in what I would not even consider a football game. Sure, it was exciting, but get serious, this is WAC (as in wacky) football at its best, all offense and no defense. Both defenses on the field were all but irrelevant. The combined 136 points in this Western Athletic Conference game tied the all-time NCAA record for the most points scored in a game. Call it WAC pride.
So who upset LSU? Kentucky won 43-37 in the 3rd overtime playing at home. Up till now, LSU appeared to have one of the best defenses in the country. The Cal Bears lost at home to Oregon State, 31-28.
The AP Top 25 Poll late Sunday showed Ohio State No. 1, South Florida No. 2, Boston College No. 3, Arizona State No. 12, Kansas No. 15 and Hawaii No. 17.
So who is rising in the AP Poll? Ohio State, South Florida, Boston College, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Oregon, Kentucky, Virginia Tech, Arizona State, Kansas, Auburn, Texas, Tennessee, Georgia, Texas Tech, Michigan and Kansas State. Many of the teams that are back on the rise now were there earlier and dropped lower in the poll or out of the poll. This reflects parity and the overall weakness of the teams involved.
So who is dropping? LSU, West Virginia, California, USC, Florida, Missouri, Hawaii and Cincinnati. The top 5 teams that I believe are not overrated are Ohio State, South Florida, South Carolina, Oregon and Arizona State. I am not as impressed with the rest despite their record, and where they are ranked.
Copyright © 2007 Ed Bagley
Ed Bagley's Blog Publishes Original Articles with Analysis and Commentary on 5 Subjects: Sports, Movie Reviews, Lessons in Life, Jobs and Careers, and Internet Marketing. My intention is to inform, educate, delight and motivate you the reader.
Read my articles on “How to Predict When Teams Are Overrated and Due for an Unexpected Loss", “The Sagarin Ratings: What They Are, How to Read Them and What to Do With Them" and my 14 consecutive weekly wrap-up articles on the 2007 College Football Season.
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