Reflecting On The AP Top Six

This is a tough time for the polls. They can only change so much from what they look like in the preseason, and it is almost impossible to drop a team that has yet to lose, so the polls in the first few weeks don’t always accurately represent how teams are playing (You could argue that they never do, but that’s an entirely different debate). Given that, I thought I would take a look at the top six teams right now. There are questions with all of those teams, and it’s hard to know what any of them have to offer.

1. Florida – The Gators haven’t done anything to drop down, so I can’t argue with their placement. I don’t believe that they are the strongest team in the country right now, though, TimTebow has yet to look particularly comfortable with the new pieces in his offense, and the team wasn’t nearly as dominant against Tennessee, their first real opponent, as a team with their reputation and expectations should have been. I would not at all be surprised to see this team lose an SEC game.

2. Texas – I also can’t argue with Texas being here because they haven’t lost, but I am similarly skeptical about them. Colt McCoy apparently has the flu as an excuse for his dull play against Texas Tech, but unless it was one heck of a case of the flu that doesn’t explain why he was similarly lackluster in his first two games. Texas could easily run the Big 12 slate, but they could also lose twice. Nothing would surprise me about them at this point.

3. Alabama – As much as I hate to admit it, I think Alabama and Nick Saban should be atop the polls right now. They have the best win of the top tier of teams in Virginia Tech, they play stout defense, and their offense is solid. Their game against Arkansas on Saturday will tell us a lot – can they stop a potent offense? The shouldn’t have any trouble scoring against the lousy Razorbacks defense. An impressive win their and I would call them the class of the country at this point.

4. Ole Miss – This one is almost a joke in my eyes. I understand that this team should be much improved from last year, and that pro scouts really like Jevan Snead, but shouldn’t a team have to show that they are worthy of attention before they receive it? They have played just two games, and neither have been against meaningful opponents. I’ll remain skeptical until they prove something.

5. Penn State – This is the hardest possible kind of team to evaluate. They have looked very good so far this year, and there is reason to believe that they will continue looking that way on both sides of the ball. The problem, though, is that their schedule is soft, and it will be hard to assess what they really have to offer for a while. They should cruise to 7-0 without much problem if they are as legitimate as they seem. A trip to Michigan in week eight could be a problem if the Wolverines continue their upward trajectory, but the Lions will likely havean edge there. That leaves a week ten game against Ohio State as the biggest, and likely last, challenege on the schedule. This team could very easily get to 12-0 without us having a sense at all whether they are a real team. That could mean a real BCS handicapping headache.

6. Cal – Here continues the parade of overrated teams. I like Minnesota, and they have one of the top receivers in the country, but they should not be hanging close with a supposedly elite team as they did on Saturday. Cal has some very nice pieces, but I don’t think they are nearly wellrounded enough to be a national championship contender. Oregon this weekend looms as a trap game, and then I doubt their ability to get past USC.

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  1. I appreciate your assessment, and agree with the Ole Miss ranking. They had a good season last year, and beat Texas Tech in a bowl game. I too believe they still have much to prove. I don’t think they are better than Alabama. I am not sure they are even better than LSU. But luckily, those games will play themselves out unlike the possible Big Ten winner who always goes undefeated or one defeated and them gets knocked around in a big bowl. Good assessment, I enjoyed reading your thoughts.

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