Predicting the Big 6 in the BCS College Football Poll
BCS Football Poll
Every year college football does it's very best to excite and anger fans, as they put out the BCS college football poll. The poll comes out after Week 7 of the football season, and is some devilish mish mash of human polls, computer algorithms, and voodoo magic.
This year, the field is pretty stacked as far as undefeated teams, which is not that unusual, but also the resume's that these teams bring and the paths they took to get to this point are quite varied. It makes for some terrific debate as to which teams deserve to be where.
Before we talk about the 6 teams I think should make up the top of the first BCS poll of the 2012 college football season, I want to talk a little about 2 teams that didn't quite make the cut, are creating a lot of talk, but certainly could be there at the end of the season.
First are the Kansas State Wildcats. They, like the rest of these teams are undefeated, and they do have a win over a ranked team. If I'd have extended this poll to 7, that's exactly where they'd be. They run the ball well, are opportunistic with the passing game, and play disciplined defense. They have an opportunity to move up by their own efforts as the season goes on. I just wonder if they can hang with some of the high powered passing games in the country.
The next team are the Oregon State Beavers. I have only gotten to see them play once so far this season, but without a doubt they are an impressive football team. But I just don't see them as among that elite group. If they can keep winning until November, a road game against the Stanford Cardinal and a home game against the Oregon Ducks will tell us if they are contenders or pretenders. I tend to lean pretenders.
But enough about them. This is about the big 6. These are the 6 teams that are high in all the polls, the ones the computers love for their schedules, and are easily the best 6 teams I've seen play this year. They all win different ways, but the fact is they just keep on winning. Where is your favorite team? Let's find out.
It's good for college football when the Notre Dame Fighting Irish are good. You don't have to be a fan to appreciate that fact. When head coach Brian Kelly took over, you knew there would be a transition as implementing that unique offense meant getting his kind of players. It appears they finally have those pieces, especially the quarterback, and it doesn't hurt that they have what might be the best all around defensive player in the country in linebacker Manti Te'o. I am not going to say I am a Notre Dame fan, because I'm not, but I respect what they mean to college football, and I'll be rooting for them the rest of the season, except when they play my beloved Oklahoma Sooners.
5-University of West Virginia
It seems like every year there is that one team who comes out of the game and generates offense on a level that is light years ahead of the rest. This year it's the West Virginia Mountaineers. They are being led by quarterback Geno Smith, who's all but locked up the Heisman Trophy and the No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 NFL draft, but this having watched them play all season, I'm not sure they can win a BCS title with a defense as porous as this one. They have to tighten up a little if they want to take that next step. But let me say this. If you get half a hundred hung on you, even in a win, you don't deserve to play for a championship.
4-University of South Carolina
If there is s shock in this poll for me, it's the inclusion of the South Carolina Gamecocks. There were questions at the start of the season at quarterback and running back, but as we enter week 7, those questions have been answered. The old adage that you win in the trenches is how head coach Steve Spurrier is living. The Gamecocks offensive and defensive lines have dominated their opponents this year, especially on defense being led by defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, who is as unblockable as any player in the country. You mix in the best all around running back in the country in Marcus Lattimore, and you can see why this team is so hard to beat. This is another team that just needs to keep winning and let the rest sort itself out.
3-University of Florida
I think it was Hannibal Lecter or maybe Hannibal from the A-Team who used to say, "I love it when a plan comes together." This should be the motto of the University of Florida Gators and head coach Will Muschamp. They grind the football on offense, and play strong, physical defense. That's what Muschamp wanted when he came to Florida, and it appears he finally has what he needs. Power running game, solid quarterback, and an aggressive and talented defense. They remind me an awful lot of last year's Alabama team. We've seen in recent years, that having an elite quarterback in college football isn't a must have for a national title, but being well coached, well schemed and playing inspired football is, and the Gators come out every week with those requisites filled.
2-University of Oregon
There is a misconception in college football when it comes to the Oregon Ducks.Most people assume the all that high powered offense, they must be winning a bunch of shootouts, sort of like what West Virginia is doing. However that isn't the case. The Ducks are running up video game-like numbers on offense, but after an opening weekend gaff against Arkansas State where they gave up 34 points, the defense has really tightened up and just mowed over opponents. They are led by a threesome at quarterback, running back, and wide receiver that are the fastest and most explosive trio in the nation, and are a matchup nightmare for even the best defenses. There's no reason not to believe if they win out, and they can win out, they shouldn't be playing for the BCS title.
1-University of Alabama
It seems in the past week, everyone has turned on the Alabama Crimson Tide. I have seen BCS projections that have put them as low as 3 and 4. I understand that the computers look at strength of schedule in their initial calculations and Bama hasn't played a tough schedule to this point, but watching them play, is there really any reason, even if you might doubt they aren't the best team in the country, to move them down at this point? They are led by the strongest defense in the nation, and the best game day football coach I've ever seen. Let them get into November, and if they lose late, it'll be season suicide, so until it happens, with all this talent, they stay at number 1 for me.