College football is in full swing, taking up a lot of my time, and probably yours as well. It is one of those things in life where you could argue for 40 days and 40 nights with someone else and still be very firm in your beliefs by the end of it. There is no single opinion that can make everyone happy, which is one of the reasons why CFB is so great, but we still debate, argue, and get into shouting matches with Paul Finebaum about it.
Let's rank some Power 5 conferences, without any controversy.
1) BIG 10
I wouldn't have believed it myself had you told me this before the season started. However, at this moment, the BIG 10 East has two teams in the top 10, with Ohio State and Michigan. Then you still have Michigan State, Penn State among the quality (more than capable of making a bowl this season) with the former slapping the Fighting Irish silly, in Southbend just a couple weeks ago. The conference as a whole has dominated it's out of conference schedule. Showcased by Ohio State's absolute dismantling of Oklahoma in Norman. Michigan has so many play makers, and Jabrill Peppers, which is enough to get you a top 10 ranking, in my opinion.
Now let's take a look at the other division in the Big 10.
- Wisconsin is ranked 8th and has wins against LSU (RIP LES MILES) and is coming off a drubbing of Michigan State in East Lansing.
- Nebraska had a come from behind win against Oregon
- Yes Iowa lost to NDSU earlier this year (but I mean everyone loses to NDSU), but they also cremated the remains of Iowa State just a week prior.
- Also Minnesota delivered one of the hardest hits of the season against Colorado State, en route to being 3-0 on the season.
While yes, it is still technically "Big 10 Football" which can be very hard to watch at times, the conference has shown so far, that it can produce several contenders for the conference title this year, as well as take down big teams from other conferences. Again, this is just through the first four weeks of the season, so the Big 10 might not be here come weeks 14 or 15.
The SEC West is still the best division in college football, although you could make an argument that the BIG 10 East is...but the reason why the SEC is number 2 and not number 1 is due to some "title contenders" turning out to be "pretenders", the firing of one of my all time favorite coaches, and the continued existence of the Vanderbilt football program (Anchor down). Let's look at the SEC West first:
- When all else fails, don't bet against Bama. The Tide rolled over USC in the season opener. Then proceeded to mount a comeback of elephantiasis-like proportions against Ole Miss IN THE GROVE. Then our lord and emperor, Nick Saban romped all over his alma mater, Kent State this weekend. Oh and he is doing so with a freshman at quarterback...something that he has never done before. HAIL SABAN.
- Ole Miss annihilated Georgia, and was so afraid to blow another 21 point lead, that they more than doubled it before the Dawgs could score any points. Now I know they lost to Bama and Florida State in hilariously tragic fashion, but this week we saw what the Ole Miss offense is really capable of when it is firing on all cylinders for four quarters, instead of just two.
- Auburn lost to LSU on the literal last second of the game, and then...they didn't. As a result, it cost Les Miles his job. By all means I think the Tigers are exceeding expectations this year, they should make a bowl game with their defense showing signs of being much better than last year.
- LSU fired the Mad Hatter on Sunday...........man college football is now a sadder place than it was on Saturday. LSU had been under achieving this year, by all means. With a one dimensional offense, yet said offense wasn't feeding the all Olympus running back, Leonard Fournette, with less than 20 carries on Saturday against Auburn, the purple and yellow faithful had a right to be frustrated with the head coach and the OC. However, the downfall of LSU for the past several year has been subpar QB play...and the AD had had enough.
- Texas A&M, the forever national championship team of September, showed that this year, the defense is nothing to mess with. Their defensive ends are GROWN men among boys, and make things easier for the entire roster. I'm not ready to hop on the Aggie wagon just yet, but they were able to beat UCLA at home, beat Auburn in the O'Hare, and break away from Arkansas late in the game this weekend.
- Arkansas. Well...you beat my favorite team in Texas, so that counts for something. But it's September still...so you're time will come in November.
- Mississippi State, had to rally this week to get past the Minute men of the mighty UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS. Also, they lost to University of Southern Alabama, the worst rated team in NCAA 14 I might add...well good luck with conference play.
The SEC East wrap up is so much easier:
- Tennessee finally beat Florida, but still has not looked dominant or impressive against anyone like the polls thought they would. It's early in the season so hopefully they'll get going soon with that matchup against Alabama looming large.
- Florida, lost to the Vols, ending the 11 year streak. They are still a very good team on defense, but I still don't know how good the Gators really are until they play Florida State at the end of the year.
- Georgia...you done messed up this week Kirby. The Dawgs also haven't looked great against anyone, but at least they are winning games...and that's all that matters right?
- Now allow me to sum up South Carolina, Kentucky, Mizzou, and Vanderbilt together. *ahem* YOU ARE NOT GOOD. There that was pretty easy. A majority of these teams do not have competent offenses, but are still hilarious to watch when they try to pass the ball.
3) Pac 12
I always put the Pac 12 at the middle spot, because I can never tell if the conference as a whole is good or bad...so this is where they end up. No team is unbeatable in this conference, and they tend to cannibalize one another come season's end. So they have depth, but I don't think their best teams can beat the best teams from the two conferences above.
- Stanford is still a very good team, and has Christian McCaffery.
- UCLA has played A&M very close, and almost pulled off the upset against the Cardinal.
- The Washington hype train is full speed ahead, and they still haven't really beaten anyone impressive. They did just survive Arizona on the road, and have to play Stanford this weekend...so this could be the deciding game in who represents the Pac 12 north in the title game.
- USC got wrecked by Bama in the opener. Then looked pathetic against the Cardinal. Then blew the game against Utah by allowing a 92 yard game winning drive in the final seconds of the game...They'll probably be hiring their third coach in three years come the end of the season.
- ASU beat Texas Tech with all of the points, and is undefeated.
- Cal beat THE ALMIGHTY TEXAS WHO IS BACK BECAUSE THEY BEAT NOTRE DAME...wait what's this...Notre Dame lost to Duke last week....oh my.
- Utah is also ranked
- Colorado is peaking this year and it's looking like the Buffs are going to make a bowl game, after beating Oregon and almost upending the Wolverines in the Big House 2 weeks ago.
Now, the ACC has two/three really really good teams. However, two teams does a conference do not make.
- Louisville is so much fun to watch, behind September Heisman winner, Lamar Jackson. (PS: He good). They have just about annihilated everyone they have played, including the Seminoles.
- Clemson still has DeShaun Watson... so they are still really good. Oh and they host the Louisville flaming Cardinals this next week. Should be a top ten game of the season.
- Florida State is a really good team, after the embarrassment that happened in the hometown of Muhammad Ali, they rolled over USF, and we can't ignore the talent on that roster, oh and they came back in a thriller against the second best team in the SEC to start the season.
- Pitt is good, and went 1-1 in tough out of conference games, so that is commendable. That's all I really have to say about pitt.
- Boston College is still very bad.
5) Big 12
Hello darkness my old friend.
I'm sorry everyone that is a Big 12 homer like me. I let you all down. The Big 12 is having a bad year so far. Not just bad, but nightmare level scenario. This isn't a call for the Big 12 to disband, because we all know that the conference can produce one, or some years two, playoff caliber teams. However, the only undefeated teams in the conference are Baylor, who is still in the NCAA's dog house, and West Virginia.
- Oklahoma State had their chances against Baylor, but how can anyone forget the tragedy that was the Central Michigan game. Yes it shouldn't have counted, but they should not have been in that position to begin with.
- Oklahoma...OOOOOOOOOOOOOOklahoma. You love to disappoint the conference on the biggest stage, but watch the Sooners ruin everyone else's season and playoff hopes. Boomer flippin' Sooner. They'll probably lose two more games and Bob's seat is going to get a tiddly bit hot.
- Texas, you were the darling of week one, and then you drop the ball (well actually Cal dropped the ball before the end zone) against Cal. That is why we play the games though. Texas is better than last year, and should make a bowl, but haven't played anyone in the conference, so jury is still out.
- Kansas is Kansas.
- Iowa State got their first win of the season this weekend.
- Kansas State lost its one big out of conference game to stout Stanford.
- Texas Tech lost in a points battle to ASU.
- TCU doesn't know how to play in the first half, and the favorite to win the conference not named Oklahoma lost in week 2 in heartbreaking fashion, didn't look great against Iowa State, and only really played one half against SMU. The Frogs have a lot of work to do, and so does the conference if they hope to make it to the CFB playoffs.
Alright, on that depressing note for us Big 12 people, let me know your thoughts on where each conference should be ranked. Feel free to give me a shout out/cursing/pat on the back in the comments. And just remember everyone... the season is long and full of terrors.
Playoff teams through week 4:
2) Ohio State