Monday, October 01, 2007

Now They Matter

It’s October 1. That means the college football rankings now matter. Everything you saw back in August and September were simply suggestions by individuals who are supposed to be more knowledgeable than you or me. These “suggestions” serve as a reference point that allow for pundits without this season’s game tape to go off of.

If you were not swayed by my arbitrary statement, let us answer the question, “Why do rankings matter now?” By now, all top-flight college football teams have gotten at least four games under their belt. That’s a third of their schedule and a conference game in most cases. Hopefully, at least one of those games has carried some inkling of significance. If not, then no one told me Bill Snyder is back in coaching.

From this week onward, we will offer a weekly ranking of our top eight teams in Division I-A (Editor’s Note: For now, PHSports refuses to call it by the ridiculous name that the NCAA insists that people call it.). However, this ranking will not be like a poll, which often drops a school’s ranking by a minimum of four spots for any loss regardless of circumstance. That’s thoughtless.

We will do our best to look at the full body of work. If you consistently win in unimpressive fashion (e.g. Virginia Tech & Wisconsin), then I’ll note it. If you demolish teams and then produce a 60-minute brain fart on the gridiron, then I might forgive it to a degree.

Why only rank the top eight teams? In a fantasy world, these top eight teams would participate in a playoff system, which would be played at seven current bowl sites. If only the university presidents bought into this just and highly lucrative manner in which to crown a national champion.

1. LSU: Dominant defense. Capable yet flawed offense. Superb special teams.
2. USC: Ugly win at Husky Stadium could’ve turned into either of last year’s losses.
3. California: Impressive so far. One question remains. Can the defense sustain a poor game from the offense?
4. Ohio State: Can run the table in a thin Big Ten, but that won’t be enough.
5. South Florida: If you blinded yourself to the jerseys indicating South Florida and just watched the product, you’d utter expletives in amazement.
6. Florida: Losing to Auburn at home is inexcusable. Remains the third-most talented team in the country.
7. Boston College: If Matt Ryan is not a serious NFL prospect, then it’s their loss. DeJuan Tribble could be the best ACC cornerback since ‘Dre Bly.
8. Oklahoma: Perfect storm of errors ruined championship dreams. Talent and depth will allow Sooners to end season with a single defeat.

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