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Every Sunday Outkick will give you our top ten based on a crazy concept — only consider the actual games that we’ve seen played. That is, I don’t reward teams based on what we expected to see from them before the season started, but based on what we’ve actually seen from them.
This means that my rankings can vary wildly at the beginning of the season. A great week one performance followed by an awful week two performance — I’m looking at you, Georgia — can send you tumbling outside my top ten. And for all you Clemson fans out there who will be emailing and Tweeting outraged over your team not being ranked in the top ten — what, exactly, have you seen that suggests your team deserves to be in the top 25 so far this season, much less the top ten?
So what do I look for the most? Road or neutral wins over big five FBS opponents. And total domination of opponents from smaller conferences.
Without further ado, here we go:
Nick Saban may have been furious with his team’s performance, but the rest of the college football coaches would kill for his first two weeks. And for his team. The Tide is now embarking on a quest for vengeance against Ole Miss.
Pray for Hugh Freeze.
Greg Ward, Jr. didn’t play, but Houston took care of Lamar with ease. Fun question, how many people reading this article right now could have played quarterback for Houston against Lamar and still seen the Cougars win? Thousands, right?
Look out for a big challenge on Thursday night at Cincinnati.
The Longhorns avoided a letdown against UTEP and are now one of only three undefeated Big 12 teams remaining — Texas, West Virginia and Baylor. Is Texas overrated? Maybe. But we’ll find out soon what the Longhorns are made of since the next three games are outside of Austin — Cal, Oklahoma State and Oklahoma.
4. Florida State
The Seminoles got a win over a depleted Charleston Southern squad.
Now get ready for a road game against the Louisville Cardinals on Saturday. I have Louisville ranked at #9 so this will be the first Outkick top ten clash of the season. If Louisville beats FSU, they’ll surge into my top three.
Wisconsin plays at Michigan State, at Michigan, Ohio State and at Iowa in four its five next games.
That’s about as brutal as it can possibly get in the Big Ten.
We’ll find out pretty soon whether the Badger win over LSU had more to do with Wisconsin playing well or LSU tanking. But for now Wisconsin deserves to be the highest ranked Big Ten team in the country.
6. Texas A&M
The Aggies have been highly ranked in the Outkick top ten each of the past two seasons. Then they’ve collapsed. Will that continue again this year? We’ll see how A&M looks next week at Auburn and the week after that against Arkansas.
The Huskies have looked like the best team in the Pac 12 so far this season.
Of course, most teams in the Pac 12 haven’t looked that good so far.
Regardless, dominating two opponents — including a Big Ten team if you’re willing to count Rutgers as a Big Ten team — gets the Hukies the top ten nod.
8. Ohio State/Michigan
We’ll find out a great deal about a young Buckeye team on the road at Oklahoma this weekend. I can’t wait.
As for Michigan, I’m putting these two teams as co-number eights right now because while both teams have crushed their opposition neither team has played a big five confernce opponent yet. So rather than reward both teams for bludgeoning inferior foes, I’m putting them together tied at the same spot.
I have Louisville ranked so highly right now because the combination of Bobby Petrino and Lamar Jackson looks unstoppable.
We’ll find out whether that’s true or not when the Seminoles come to town this Saturday.
But for now, BMFP is BMFP!
I know Arkansas wasn’t that great in week one against Louisiana Tech, but a road win against Gary Patterson and TCU is definitely something to celebrate.
As a result, the Razorbacks edged out Notre Dame — yes, even with a loss the Fighting Irish have still looked top ten worthy — for the final spot in Outkick’s top ten.