Monday, October 19, 2009

GFB Top 25: Week 8

Well the first edition of the BCS Standings were released this week, and the computers and the humans have one thing in common: they hate Iowa. While normally I'd be all for this hatred, this one time, I have to stand up for the Hawkeyes. Not because I no longer hate them (quite the opposite remains to be true), but because after their impressive comeback win over Wisconsin and Ohio State's shocking loss to Purdue, Iowa is now carrying the torch as the Best Team in the Big Ten. And how the Best Team in the Big Ten is viewed nationally is a reflection on our fine conference.

Well, despite beating Penn State and Wisconsin on the road, and Michigan and Arizona at home (who right now are the third best team in the Pac 10. No really, they are), Iowa is ranked sixth behind Boise State and Cincinnati. The Broncos beat an Oregon team who on that night were awful and looked woefully unprepared, who now might be the best team in the Pac 10. Their other quality wins over top 25, 30, 40, or 50 competition? They don't have one. And likely won't the rest of the year. I don't care if that's not their fault because of the conference they play in, but it's an absolute joke that the Broncos get rewarded for beating the one good team on an otherwise ridiculously easy schedule. It's far behind ridiculous that they're ranked ahead of Iowa considering 1) the schedule they've played and 2) the conference they play in.

Cincinnati has a slightly stronger case than Boise, but only slightly. Their most quality win to date was Thursday night over South Florida, a team who was undefeated and ranked last week, but has now dropped out of both polls and is not ranked in the BCS top 25. Their only other "quality" win? Beating Oregon State on the road, who is also not ranked in the BCS top 25, got give measley votes in the AP poll this week and did not garner a single vote in the coaches' polls. I know Cincinnati is a nice story and Brian Kelly is a great coach and Tony Pike leads a nice offense- but based on what they have done in 2009 they are NOT better than Iowa. You can't rationally look at the resumes of those two schools and say the Bearcats is more impressive. Yet somehow they're one spot ahead of Iowa in the BCS, two in the AP and three in the Coaches' poll. It defies explanation.

So as a stand of solidarity and unity for the Big Ten, I'm bumping Iowa up to fourth in this here blog's top 25. It'll be as high as they get until the three ahead of them lose, but it's still where they deserve to be.

This raises the larger issue though of national disrespect for the Big Ten. I can just see national pundits, fans, and media types gleefully dropping Ohio State in their polls, finally getting justification for what they've believed for years: that they KNEW Ohio State, and the Big Ten, were crap. And now, with the Buckeyes loss to Purdue, it's finally been proven out. They're burning the Big Ten at the stake and are dancing around it like a bonfire.

It makes me mad just thinking about it. What the hell? Seriously, what the hell? Yes, Ohio State stunk last Saturday, as Terrelle Pryor had the worst game of his career, and the Buckeyes deserved to lose to Purdue. A couple of things here though: this is the same Purdue team who almost beat Oregon and Notre Dame but shot themselves in the foot in both games. If those bounces go differently, the Boilermakers have a drastically different view nationally. Purdue has had a pretty good offense this year, but they just kept killing themselves with turnovers. Saturday, they finally stopped giving the ball away more than they took it back, took advantage of the turnover battle, and won a huge game at home. Purdue is not a bad team. The other thing is: USC does this EVERY YEAR. They lose a game they shouldn't in conference every year, yet they don't get dinged much at all in the standings. Florida has lost a game to an SEC West opponent every year of the Urban Meyer Era. Yet these two programs skate by in the national perception as blips on the radar screen, whereas Ohio State is being cast as frauds. The Buckeyes two losses are to USC by three and by a touchdown to a Purdue team when they couldn't have played worse. The Buckeyes season is far from over, and could very well run the table the rest of the way, claiming a share of yet another Big Ten title, but it's going to be tainted in the eyes of the voters and fans because of this loss because it just proves to them what they've always believeed, which is just how bad and overrated the Big Ten is.

Really? Look at the other BCS conferences and tell me who is so much better? No really, tell me, please, I'd LOVE to know.

ACC: A pretty good threesome at the top of Virginia Tech who beat Miami who beat Georgia Tech who beat...Virginia Tech. Tough to distinguish the best of the bunch, but not hard to distinguish how truly mediocre this conference is after those three.

Big 12: By far the most disappointing conference in the country. Their two best teams just played to a 16-13 ugly Texas win. Nebraska and Kansas both got thumped.

Big East: Cincy is legit, but Pittsburgh? I refuse to believe in a Dave Wannstead coached team until they prove it. West Virginia might be good, and South Florida probably tumbles out of the conference race like they've done in years past. The worst of the six BCS conferences. Again.

Pac 10: USC and Oregon look legit, but who's #3? Arizona? Arizona State? Oregon State? Stanford? Really, REALLY mediocre league this year.

SEC: Bama and Florida are unquestionably the two top teams in the country right now, but after that? LSU weren't up to the one challenge they've faced all year, Ole Miss are frauds, Auburn just lost to Kentucky and both Georgia and Tenneesee have three losses already. Is South Carolina the third best team? If they are that's not exactly a ringing endorsement of the SEC, as they've lost their only two big contests to Georgia and Alabama.

The Big Ten might not have a Bama, Florida or Texas at the top, but their top five of Iowa, Penn State, Ohio State, Wisconsin, and Michigan State are as good or better than anyone. Still, try convincing the pollsters, computers, media and fans of that.

GFB Top 25 Week 8

1. Alabama (7-0)
2. Florida (6-0)
3. Texas (6-0)
4. Iowa (7-0)
5. USC (5-1)
6. Cincinnati (6-0)
7. Miami (5-1)
8. LSU (5-1)
9. TCU (6-0)
10. Oregon (6-1)
11. Georgia Tech (6-1)
12. BYU (6-1)
13. Boise State (6-0)
14. Virginia Tech (5-2)
15. Ohio State (5-2)
16. Houston (5-1)
17. Oklahoma State (5-1)
18. Kansas (5-1)
19. Penn State (6-1) 20. South Carolina (5-2)
21. Utah (5-1)
22. West Virginia (5-1)
23. Wisconsin (5-2)
24. Texas Tech (4-2)
25. Oklahoma (3-2)

Dropped Out: 16. Nebraska (4-2) 20. South Florida (5-1) 23. Auburn (5-2)


chocochuck said...

So, tO$U loses to the worst USC team in a decade and to a awful Purdue team in the worst offensive showing in the Big 10 since, well, Ohio State the week before. And they're still #15 in the nation to you? 4 spots ahead of one loss Penn State? They don't score anywhere near 20 points against Minnesota, and I seriously doubt they hold Decker to one catch, or the gophers to 0 points. So, how's that work?

Jeff said...

How does that work? Are you serious? Please tell me who Penn State has played exactly? Iowa is the only good team they've faced, and they lost convincingly. Minnesota and Temple are the only other teams with winning records, and I wouldn't exactly call them good. Syracuse, Akron and Illinois have four wins COMBINED, and Eastern Illinois is 1-AA. What, was the Pennsylvania School for the Blind not available? Maybe you can add them to the schedule next year. When Penn State plays some real competition and wins, let me know.

chocochuck said...

Right, or something.
Florida - Charleston Southern, Troy, Florida International, Florida State.
Alabama - Virginia Tech, Florida International, North Texas, Chattanooga.
Texas - Louisiana-Monroe, Wyoming, UTEP, UCF.
Basically every top program has a joke for an OOC. The only strong games(non-VT) any of those teams have played have been in conference. If your problem is that the Big Ten sucks, then don't write a glowing article about how strong they are. Otherwise, get it out of your system this year, Alabama is on the slate in 2010-11, with Miami close behind.

Jeff said...


I said nothing about the Big Ten sucking. What I DID say was that Penn State's non-conference schedule this year is pathetic, especially when compared to Ohio State's. You honestly believe your Joe Pa's would have beaten USC? You might think it's the worst team Pete Carroll has had in a decade...except they're 7th in the BCS standings, so they can't be that bad, can they? Ohio State has played a tougher schedule thus far whereas Penn State has played a bunch of patsies and one good team- Iowa- which they lost to. Penn State starts hitting the meat of its schedule this week, and if they beat Michigan, they'll move up.