Wednesday, November 11, 2009

GFB Top 25: Week 11

I'm finally getting to this later in the week than usual, but with the Weber argument plus us getting a podcast up earlier than normal, well the Top 25 goes up today. I know, you were getting impatient.

After the weekend, it's become very obvious that it's the top 3 and everybody else. If you gamble on NCAA football (just for fun of course), good luck to you, as I'm not sure how you can figure anybody out past the top 3 and then TCU, Boise and Cincinnati (all of whom should win out).

Before we get to our Top 25, here's the BCS rankings and the Sagarin Rankings.

GFB Top 25 Week 11

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

Dropped Out: 16. California (6-3) 18. Oklahoma (4-4) 22. Notre Dame (6-3)

TIER I: 1-3
I still like them in this order, as all have great defenses, but I feel Bama is the most complete team of the three (offensively they can run on anybody and Julio Jones is a difference maker that gives them a passing threat- even if I'm not sold on QB Greg McElroy). Florida's struggles throwing the ball, as well as their suddenly susceptible pass defense, make me wonder if they shouldn't be third here, but I'm not ready to doubt Urban Meyer in big games until he gives me a reason to. Texas has been third best or worst of this group for most of the season, but have really come on the past few weeks. Their D might be the best of the three, and Colt McCoy is regaining form. Having 34 year old Jordan Shipley at wideout (ok, he's not that old but he IS a 6th year senior. Seriously. He's six or seven years older than some of the kids he's playing against, so I would hope he's having the monster season he is) helps too, but we'll see if Texas can run the ball on a real defense (we probably won't find out until the Big 12 title game IF Nebraska is in it). At gun point I'd pick an Alabama/Texas BCS title game with the Tide winning, but any of these three could win it. And barring absolute disaster, we'll see Texas against one of the other two for the title.

TIER II: National Title Hopefuls with No Hope of a National Title (4-8)
Assuming TCU takes care of business against Utah and Cincy finishes up strong against Pitt and WVU, I see these two teams plus Boise winning out. On a neutral field it'd be tough to not take TCU, but I'm not sure I'd want to doubt Brian Kelly and that Cincy offense with a month to prepare for a game, especially considering they had to replace their starting quarterback and haven't missed a beat. Georgia Tech belongs above Boise because I think they're better than the Broncos and have played a much, much tougher schedule. Still, the Broncos moved up for me yet again as I gain more respect for coach Chris Petersen and the program he has there. But with that schedule...sorry, coach, barring anybody in this tier losing, this is as high as you'll go.

Without Ricky Stanzi I'm not sure Iowa even belongs in the top 20, let alone the top 10. Once they get blown out by Ohio State this weekend, they'll drop accordingly.

TIER III: The first group of Two's (9-12)
LSU sits atop this group because while they haven't played a great schedule, their only two losses were close L's to two of the top three teams in the country. Anybody else in the country not named not named Texas would have suffered the same fate had they had to play Florida and Alabama. And I think they're as good or better than the other three in this group.

Oregon is ahead of USC because of their thrashing of the Trojans who are ahead of Ohio State because of their road victory over the Buckeyes. I think all three teams are pretty even, and would love to see an Ohio State/Oregon Rose Bowl so we can get a definitive answer who is the best of the three. And I think we'll get it.

TIER IV: (13-20)
Honestly, just flip a coin or play rock-paper-scissors with to determine the best of this next group. I can't figure them out, but I only know they don't belong in TIER III, but would beat anybody in TIER V and below. Miami isn't peaking at the right time but are still tough, and Wisconsin just keeps truckin' along on the road to 10 wins. The Badgers are not in the same league with the teams above them (as evidenced by losses to Ohio State- when they still had no offense, and Iowa who- well yeah ok they had no offense either). Still, they could beat anybody outside of the top 12.

Va Tech might be the best of this group, but that weird loss to North Carolina, plus just squeaking by ECU last Thursday, makes me wonder. If only Frank Beamer could get an offense to rival his special teams and defense. Pittsburgh could be good, but they just haven't played anybody yet (and they lost to NC State? Yikes!) That changes in a HUGE way, as they close the season with Notre Dame (in primetime no less), West Virginia and Cincinnati. Win two of those three and they'll move up accordingly, but I have my doubts considering Dave Wannstedt is still coaching there.

Clemson, Oregon State and Stanford are all fiesty three loss teams with some good wins and quality losses on their resumes (well except for Clemson and Stanford each have a bad one to an ACC foe-the Tigers lost to Maryland and The Tree to Wake Forest) but they all seem to peaking at just the right time. Good enough for me.

TIER V: The Best of the Lousy, The Lousiest of the Best (21-25)
These next five go here because they haven't beaten anyone of substance- even BYU (Oklahoma has been decimated by injuries- really to a ridiculous level at this point- but that win no longer looks so great). Honestly, tell me one good team who any of these five have beaten?Anyone? Anyone at all?

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