College Football’s Conference Power Rankings (Week #4)

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#5 – Big Ten (5, ↓):

This conference gets worse by the week.  The only people drinking the Kool-Aid are the producers for ESPN’s Gameday as they are scheduled to be at the Ohio State at Michigan State affair on Saturday (probably because there is no other ranked game being played).

The supposed top teams of the conference look more vulnerable as each week’s games are played.  Wisconsin looks like they have no offensive line.  When was the last time Wisconsin didn’t have offensive linemen that were beasts of a human being pushing guys off the ball?  Well, it looks like this is the year for it to happen.  Ohio State had to put on a late charge to beat…wait for it…0-2 UAB.  The Blazers had a chance to pull off the upset at the Horseshoe but Braxton Miller finally took over.  Where is Michigan, supposedly a team on the cusp of being national contenders, oh yea, that’s right, getting beat once again by a team that turned them into a one-dimensional force.  Denard Robinson throwing the ball is not how the Wolverines draw up a victory.  Finally, Michigan State had to play 4 quarters to beat Eastern Michigan.

For the Big Ten’s sake, the conference needs the second-tier teams like Purdue, Nebraska, Penn State, and Northwestern to continue to play well.  This will at least give the conference some much-needed depth.  If not, the bowl season is going to be slim pickings for this conference (minus the ineligible teams – Penn State and Ohio State).  At this point can anyone envision the winner of the Big Ten beating the winner of the Pac-12 in the Rose Bowl?  No way!!!  Let’s get it together Big Ten.  The only reason you stay at #5 is because the Big East is even worse than you are.

Penn State got a victory over the Big East’s Temple Owls.  No conference games have been played.  Northwestern, Minnesota, and Ohio State are the only undefeated teams.

#4 – ACC [Atlantic Coast Conference] (4, — ):

One of the best games of the weekend was Florida Sate coming back to outlast Clemson.  It was a good football game featuring many of the skill players that both teams have.  Its really too bad that these two teams are in the same division as they are probably the best two teams in the entire conference right now.

While Clemson at Florida State was the big game, most of the conference’s teams that you would expect to win did so while those that you would expect to lose did so.  Teams like VA Tech, Wake Forest, North Carolina all took care of their foes while Virginia, and Maryland lost.  Perhaps the conference’s biggest surprise was the Hurricanes of Miami (FL) beating Georgia Tech in a slugfest 42-36 in OT.  With the win, Miami has vaulted to the lead of the Coastal Division with a 2-0 mark.  Florida State leads the Atlantic with an identical 2-0 mark, and they are the only undefeated member.

#3 – Pac-12 (3, –):

Pac-12 action started in full force this past weekend with only Stanford and Washington having the week off.  This weekend was conference separation week for me.  We got a chance to see some teams separate themselves from one another.  Oregon State knocked the wind out of the UCLA Bruins sails and Arizona State was able to defeat Utah.  Southern California responded well by soundly beating the Cal Golden Bears.  Even the Colorado Buffaloes got a big win coming back to beat the Washington Sate Cougars.

The biggest Pac-12 game of the weekend was Arizona at Oregon.  While most assumed the offenses would be stratospheric, many did not expect the defenses to even show up.  Well, Oregon brought theirs to the party as they shut out RichRod’s Arizona Wildcats.

While not every team is going to contend for the division title or the conference title, this conference is filled with quite a few teams that will be tough to defeat come bowl season.  The depth of the conference remains very high, and they are solidly in 3rd spot this week.

#2 – Big 12 (2, ↑):

Another of the week’s spotlight games was Kansas State at Oklahoma.  The Wildcats were able to waltz into Norman and spring the upset.  Solid play by Collin Klein and the Kansas State defense were able to hold Landry Jones and Co. down while putting up enough points to win the game.  This was a big win for Kansas State that vaulted them into the top-10 of the rankings and altered the landscape of the conference.

Week in and week out, good teams are going to get knocked around in this league.  Teams like West Virginia and TCU are going to see what a tough conference can do to you as the season progresses.  I will not be surprised if the winner of this conference has at least 1 loss.  The league is that good.  Overall, 7 of the 10 teams remains unbeaten.  TCU and Kansas State have the only league wins so they sit atop for now.

#1 – SEC [Southeastern Conference] (1, ↑):

For the fourth consecutive week, the SEC sits atop the power rankings.  Alabama flexed its muscle over an over-matched FAU squad and LSU had all it could handle before beating Auburn.  Teams like Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee showed that they have the ability to put up points with the best of them.  To add to things, 4 of the top 6 schools are from the SEC.  I am not one to put much stock into rankings this early in the year, but it can be used as empirical data to suggest that many others agree that the SEC has some of the best teams in the country.

I will say this though.  If the SEC does slip a bit, the Big 12 is playing some solid football and could be able to overtake them!

Until next time folks, enjoy the games of week #5!  I would love to hear your comments on my rankings, but as always, please keep your comments clean and civil.