It’s time for the bowls.
But first, let’s say goodbye to the BCS.
While we often castigated and ridiculed the BCS, the end results were almost uniformly positive. Aside from Auburn in 2004, there are very few teams with legitimate gripes about being left behind by the system.
It was far from perfect, but he BCS was a necessary middle ground en route to a playoff.
I’m glad to see the BCS go, but I will miss the idea that the best teams in college football can be reduced to quartiles based on computer rankings.
Now on to Outkick’s top ten, where we determine the best teams based on one thing, the most reliable measurement tool on earth — the Clay Travis eye test.
With four BCS top 25 wins, two of which were in the top ten, there’s no doubt that Auburn has the most impressive resume of any team in the top 25.
The Tigers opened a full touchdown underdog against Florida State.
Now we have a month to debate whether FSU can stop Malzahn’s rush attack.
This game should be fun.
According to Vegas the Crimson Tide would be favored by every team in college football.
But on that special Saturday on the Plains Auburn pulled off the memorable upset.
Now the best the Tide can do is put a whipping on someone in the Sugar Bowl.
Even still, is there any doubt that Alabama wins seven out of ten games against Auburn, even in Jordan-Hare?
3. Florida State
The Seminoles are good, but they play in the fifth best conference in America and all season long have one top 25 BCS win, over Clemson, a team that hasn’t proven itself to be worthy of that ranking. Until you play someone of consequence, this is as high as I can have you ranked.
Baylor would be my final team to suggest for the playoff if I was on this year’s selection committee.
My four would be: 1. Auburn 2. Alabama 3. Florida State 4. Baylor
So I’d have Auburn playing Baylor and Alabama playing Florida State in the national semi-finals.
Why do I pick Baylor as my fourth team?
The Bears went 11-1 in the Big 12, the nation’s third best conference, and won the conference outright. Sure, a bit of the shine is off the Bears after the road loss at Oklahoma State, but which other one loss team has a better resume than Baylor?
The only other teams I’d even consider would be Stanford and Michigan State, and I’m picking Baylor by virtue of the strength of the Big 12 as compared to the strength of the Big Ten. Stanford vs. Baylor is a tougher call, but I’m giving it to the Bears by a slim margin.
5. South Carolina
The Gamecocks beat three different top 16 ranked teams, Missouri, Clemson, and Central Florida. No other team in college football did that this year. Plus, they played in the toughest conference in college football. Absent a road loss at Tennessee, the Gamecocks would have been playing Auburn last night for a trip to the BCS title game.
Their resume is worthy of a top five national ranking.
The Cardinal would be my number five team if I were picking playoff teams. (For playoff purposes, I’d put them above South Carolina due to the conference title). Yes, Stanford lost to two unranked teams on the road — Utah and USC — but the Cardinal also beat Arizona State twice, trampled Oregon, took down UCLA, and were the unquestioned best team in the nation’s second best college football conference.
They’d be just outside the playoff.
7. Michigan State
On Saturday night, we were all Spartans.
Congrats to Michigan State for eliminating all BCS uncertainty with a double digit win over Ohio State.
I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen in the Rose Bowl game against Stanford.
That’s going to be a war.
The Tigers posted an 11-2 mark in their second year in the SEC. They also won the SEC east, something many said would never happen.
But last night Mizzou ran into the Auburn rushing attack buzz saw.
And the results weren’t pretty.
The Ducks faded down the stretch, but for most of the season they were a clear top five team.
Next year will be big for Mark Helfrich to prove there won’t be a drop off after Chip Kelly.
He’s got Marcus Mariota back for another run and all the Ducks have to do to play for the title is be in the nation’s top four. I like Oregon’s chances to be there.
10. Ohio State
Last night Ohio State played its first AP top ten team outside of a bowl game since 2009.
A double digit loss and Urban Meyer eating cold pizza on a golf cart. That’s the saddest man eating pizza pic I’ve ever seen.
The Buckeyes still don’t have an AP top ten win against a team outside of a bowl game since 2006.
So here you have it, Outkick’s final top ten before the bowl season begins.
Thanks so much to you guys for reading our Outkick top ten every Sunday morning all season long.
It’s been lots of fun sharing another season with y’all.
Now it’s time to get ready for Auburn — Florida State.