As I said last week, Mississippi was rated based on a 1 point win over Florida in 08. A lot of the ranking is based on the projection of QB Jevan Snead being a top player. So far he has been much less than advertised. He has great arm strength but that does not make a great QB. It really helps if you have some idea of where the pass is going. A completion rate under 50% is not good enough. He lacks decision making skills to be a top draft choice in 2010. We will see how he develops.
The Alabama defense is better than advertised. We saw the Arkansas offense run wild on Georgia but it was totally controlled by the Bama D line. Alabama is the team to beat in the SEC West. Given the struggles of the Florida O, the SEC Championship game should be better than last year.
Penn State’s loss to Iowa was not surprising. PS has been over rated along with most of the Big 10 for several years. But their loss hurt Ohio State badly. OSU’s chance to get back into the top 2 or 3 in the rankings depended on PS going undefeated then beating them in Not so Happy Valley. Now that PS has a loss and has dropped to 13 or 15 depending on the poll, OSU will not get much bump from beating PS. The only chance the Bucks have to get to the top 5 is to win out and hope a few top teams lose.
Cal was over rated as well. They should have been able to win at Oregon but got squashed by the Ducks. Cal will not challenge USC as many thought or hoped they would. Oregon’s wins over #6 Cal and #18 Utah makes the win by Boise State look a lot better.
Miami had worked itself up to 9th with wins over #18 Florida St. and #14 Georgia Tech. They were in a position to get a lock on the Coastal division with a win over Virginia Tech. They not only lost but were blown out 31-7. VTk is a team that will blow an opponent out when it gets a hot start but get crushed if they get off to a slow one.
#14 Cincinnati and #15 TCU both struggled to win over unranked but talented teams. Cincy is good despite losing a lot of defensive talent. TCU looked good in a 30-14 win over Virginia but was just able to beat a below average Clemson team. TCU has a rough road ahead including Air Force, BYU, and Utah. Cincy should get to the Big East championship game.
South Florida lost star QB Grothe but freshman QB Daniels played really well in the win over #18 Florida St. FSU continues to consistently inconsistent.
Georgia Tech regained some credibility with a win over #22 North Carolina. GT is another team that has to get ahead early to win. When they get the blocking to get their speed runners outside, they can score in bunches. But to win consistently, QB Josh Nesbitt is going to have to prove he can pass to keep the D from stacking up against the run.
#23 Michigan had to score 15 in the 4th quarter to beat a bad Indiana team. #24 Washington got its 15 minutes of fame from the upset of USC and lost to Stanford. The let down from a single big effort was just too much to overcome. Washington is not nearly as good as they looked against USC but not as bad as they looked last week on the road. It is a very young team that will get better this year and be tough next.
That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.
Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .