Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Jumping To Conclusions Rankings: Week 1

Ranking college football teams before the season is an exercise in folly, and trying to evaluate who is really good or not after one, two, or even three games isn't much better.  Unfortunately, I will not have enough data to compile my deadly accurate WHAM rankings until after the fourth week of the season, so I'm going to have to wing it on some rankings for the beginning of the season.  Thus, the Jumping to Conclusions Rankings (previous rank in parentheses).


111. Louisiana-Lafayette 0-1 (117): lost at Oklahoma State 61-34
While the Rajun' Cajuns did give up a devilish 666 yards of total offense to the Cowboys, they did win time of posession, 31:00 to 29:00.

112. New Mexico State 0-1 (118): lost vs. Ohio 44-24
The only team I project to go win-less this year took their first move towards that losing by 20 at home to a MAC school.  The Bobcats outrushed the Aggies 241-6.

113. Louisiana-Monroe 0-1 (100): lost at Florida State 34-0
The deepest the Warhawks advanced into  Seminole territory was a 3rd quarter drive to the Florida State 31 ended with a turnover on downs.

114. Florida Atlantic 0-1 (114): lost at Florida 41-3
Things could have been much worse for the Owls, as they actually won the turnover battle 3-0.

115. Arkon 0-1 (120): lost at Ohio State 42-0
Joe Bauserman and Braxton Miller combined to go 20-28 for 293 yards and 4 TDs while Akron quarterbacks Clayton Moore and Patrick Nicely combined for a 7/19, 55-yard, 1 -interception day.

116. UNLV 0-1 (115): lost at Wisconsin 51-19
Surprisingly, the Badgers only had out-first-downed the Rebels by one, 20-19.

117. San Jose State 0-1 (111): lost at Stanford 57-3
Andrew Luck passed for 2 touchdowns and ran for another in the first half, meeting my predicted 3 first half scores for the consensus number one overall draft pick.

118. Memphis 0-1 (116): lost vs. Mississippi State 59-14
For the second straight game, the Bulldogs beat a team by at least 38 points (52-14 over Michigan in last year's Gator Bowl).

119. Oregon State 0-1 (29): lost vs. Sacramento State 29-28 OT
This was the Ducks' first home-opening loss since they lost 38-7 to #12 UCLA in 2001.

120. Duke 0-1 (92): lost vs. Richmond 23-21
This is the second third straight win for the Spiders over the Blue Devils (2009, 24-16).

Jumping To Conclusions Heisman Watch:

5. Ray Graham, RB, Pittsburgh: 29 carries, 201 yards, 3 TD, vs. Buffalo
4. Russell Wilson, QB, Wisconsin: 10-13, 255 yards, 2 TD, 62 yards rushing, 1 rushing TD, vs. UNLV
3. Robert Woods, WR, USC: 17 catches, 177 yards, 3 TD, vs. Minnesota
2. Kellen Moore, QB, Boise State: 28-34, 261 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT, at Georgia
1. Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor: 21-27, 359 yards, 5 TD, 38 yards rushing yards, vs. TCU

TOP 25

At the top: It was difficult to decide between LSU and Boise State for the top spot.  Boise State dominated an SEC East favorite on the road, while the Tigers handled the national runner-up by corralling the most explosive offense in the country.  Since Oregon is better than Georgia, I went with the Tigers at #1, but really these two schools are 1A and 1B.
Taking care of business: Alabama, Stanford, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Florida State, Ohio State, and Florida all handily beat far inferior competition; Florida, FSU, and Ohio State are rated a little lower due to the fact that their opponents were as inferior as FBS competition can get.
Taking it on the road: South Florida, BYU, and Northwestern were all rewarded for winning non-conference games on the road at BCS (and Notre Dame) schools.
Entertaining as hell: Baylor gets props for winning a game that will be hard to top when it comes time to decide game of the year.  Also, Robert Griffin III made the TCU defense look perhaps the worst it ever has under Gary Peterson.
Winning the region: Texas A&M, Texas, South Carolina, West Virginia, California, and Michigan all handled lesser opponents within their same region, which can sometimes mean an opponent more amped up than usual.
BCS-busting: While Boise State is clearly the most likely non-BCS invite to one of the big bowls, Houston started their campaign, exacting revenge on UCLA for last year's 31-13 blowout that cost Case Keenum his season.
Getting a leg up: Maryland took an early lead in the ACC with their win over Miami, which could have been more impressive as the Terps no-huddle offense stalled six times inside the Hurricane 20-yard line.
Where's the defense?: While putting up 61 points is impressive, giving up 34 points to a Ragin' Cajun offense that averaged 22.3 points per game last season (92nd in the nation) has to concern Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy going forward.
Doing enough: Clemson and Pittsburgh appear because they are talented enough to be considered among the 25 best teams in the country and did enough against decent-enough opponents.
Where is...?: Virginia Tech and Nebraska had impressive season openers, but since they came against FCS schools, they mean almost nothing to me.  Once these two beat real opponents, they'll make it into my top 25.

25. Pittsburgh 1-0 (24): won 35-16 vs. Buffalo
24. Michigan 1-0 (59): won 34-10 vs. Western Michigan
23. California 1-0 (48): won 36-21 vs. Fresno State
22. Clemson 1-0 (27): won 43-19 vs. Troy
21. West Virginia 1-0 (22): won 34-13 vs. Marshall
20. South Carolina 1-0 (16): won 56-37 vs. East Carolina
19. Texas 1-0 (11): won 34-9 vs. Rice
18. Oklahoma State 1-0 (15): won 61-34 vs. Louisiana-Lafayette
17. Mississippi State 1-0 (44): won 59-14 at Memphis
16. Maryland 1-0 (60): won 32-24 vs. Miami (FL)
15. Florida 1-0 (21): won 41-3 vs. Florida Atlantic
14. Ohio State 1-0 (10): won 42-0 vs. Akron
13. Florida State 1-0 (8): won 34-0 vs. Louisiana-Monroe
12. Houston 1-0 (34): won 38-34 vs. UCLA
11. Texas A&M 1-0 (12): won 46-14 vs. SMU
10. Northwestern 1-0 (38): won 24-17 at Boston College
9. Baylor 1-0 (66): won 50-48 vs. TCU
8. BYU 1-0 (26): won 14-13 at Ole Miss
7. South Florida 1-0 (36): won 23-20 at Notre Dame
6. Oklahoma 1-0 (1): won 47-14 vs. Tulsa
5. Wisconsin 1-0 (20): won 51-17 vs. UNLV
4. Stanford 1-0 (5): won 57-3 vs. San Jose State
3. Alabama 1-0 (2): won vs. Kent State 48-7
2. Boise State 1-0 (3): won at Georgia 35-21
1. LSU 1-0 (7): won vs. Oregon 40-27

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