Week 4 AP Poll Review

Sitting outside enjoying some South Carolina beach weather while trying to forget what I saw last Saturday. The offensive side of the ball is going to dictate how this season will end up for the Gamecocks. Here’s hoping that there are at least 5 winnable games left on the schedule.

(No pic this week)

Well, we all know who the number one team in the nation is today. Did they look good to great on Saturday, yes. Did South Carolina help them out, yes. Does anyone else deserve a number 1 vote, no. I don’t see anyone challenging Georgia until the SEC Championship game right now. As long as they keep their heads down and concentrate, no one stands a chance.

Alabama seems to have shaken off the Texas game. As much as people want to hype them losing to someone in the SEC West, those teams have too many issues this year. Just like Georgia if they keep their focus, they should run the table. A&M doesn’t have an offense, Arkansas’s defense is not championship material, and everyone else doesn’t have a complete team to score them right now. Tennessee might be their hardest game…that is saying something.

Ohio State is sitting there wondering if they are any good. The Notre Dame win is getting worse by the week. They haven’t played anyone else that has a chance to beat them so far. Will they play anyone of consequence before Michigan? The B1G West is in shambles outside of Minnesota right now, and the Buckeyes don’t play them this year in the regular season. That leaves Penn State and Michigan as their only quality opponents.

Speaking of Michigan, it must be nice to play three easy games to start the year. I mean, who do you think you are…Clemson? I think I saw someone say that Michigan is better than Georgia because they have outscored their opponents by more points? All you need to know is that Vanderbilt held Hawaii to 10 points too, in Hawaii. Plus, Vanderbilt scored more points than you did. This makes Vanderbilt a better team than Michigan using that logic. I can see that.

Clemson remains number 5 for some reason. I guess that there really isn’t anyone to put higher. I know there was some emotional things around the program this last week, and seriously all prayers to the Bresee family. I just don’t think Clemson has looked like the number 5 team in the nation. All you have to look at is the Ole Miss-GT game to prove it. No one thinks Ole Miss is a top 5 team, but they played GT better than Clemson did. All I’m saying, Clemson better not sleepwalk to Winston-Salem this Saturday, or they will definitely not be a top 5 team come Monday.

Oklahoma decided to remind Nebraska fans that this is not the 1990’s anymore. Not that any Nebraska fans really thought that. Oklahoma has looked better than expected (in my opinion) so far this year. Although it is kind of hard to look worse against UTEP, Kent State, and Nebraska. Who would have thought the Kansas game would have been the tougher game versus Kansas State at the beginning of the year? Oklahoma just beat Nebraska and it looks like they will beat their former QB this week. I wonder if Martinez looked at the Kansas State schedule before he transferred?

The new look Southern Cal team stayed at number seven this week. The pride of the Pac 12 is still carrying the torch for the west coast. It is tough to get into the CFB Playoff with only 1 ranked team on your schedule. That strength of schedule is like playing in the Sun Belt Conference. Well, maybe a little worse since there are actual good teams in the Sun Belt. Missing Washington and Oregon in the regular season hurts their chances right now. Southern Cal hopes that whoever they "might" play in the Pac 12 Championship game will be ranked at the time.

I’m not sure what caused voters to flip Kentucky and Oklahoma State this week. It must be that Youngstown Sate is a lot better than Arkansas Pine-Bluff. I’m not sure betting a suspect Florida team in week 2 should carry any weight. Florida should be 0-3 right now. I guess everyone wants Georgia’s strength of schedule to be really high.

Oklahoma State had a scrimmage on Saturday. Even the coach’s son threw 2 touchdown passes. You would think that voters would appreciate that. Clemson plays like 500 coaches’ sons and look how they are ranked. Coach Gundy doesn’t get the credit he deserves for the success at Oklahoma State. Can South Carolina hire his offensive coordinator though? I know Gundy has a big hand in the offense like Spurrier did, but that guy has got to have learned something (he was hired as UNLV’s offensive coordinator before taking the same position at Oklahoma State).

Arkansas stays at number ten after coming form behind to win the Bobby Bowl. Petrino walked back into the Razorback’s stadium and decided to walk out with a win. Sam Pittman’s bunch finally woke up in the 4th quarter to save their young season. That would have been more disastrous than losing to Marshall at home like Notre Dame did. The Hogs were looking ahead to the game with Texas A&M this week in Dallas. I hope they bring their "A" game this weekend, or they will look bad for being the team that lost to the team that lost to App State who was a Hail Mary away form losing to Troy. No one wants to be that team…except for Miami.

Tennessee makes it five SEC teams in the top 11. There bye week before Florida couldn’t have come at a better time. Oh, sorry I thought that was a simulated game scrimmage against Akron. Well, no matter what it was it was not something that Tennessee worried about after the first 5 minutes of the game. Kentucky and USF game you the blueprint to beat Florida…not turn the ball over. Just remember as I said earlier, Florida could be 0-3 without a few key turnovers against Utah and USF.

NC State is up to twelve after a relatively easy win against Texas Tech. The Wolfpack are still trying to get the taste of ECU out of their system. Nothing like a good ol’ Blackout against a Big XII team to solve some problems. Another cake walk this weekend is the final tune up before Clemson. I don’t care what you do the rest of the year NC State, just beat Clemson. Heck, that could be back-to-back loses for the Tigers. Not only this year, but two in a row against NC State.

Utah is still trying to move back up into the top ten after their Florida loss in week one. I’m not really sure that Utah deserves to be in the top 10 after that, but there might not be anyone else to put ahead of them. No big test until the Southern Cal game in mid-October. Unfortunately, Utah does have to play Oregon during the regular season. That could be the game that keeps them out of the Pac 12 Championship game if they don’t beat Southern Cal.

Penn State seems to have become a great team by beating Auburn at Jordan-Hare stadium. I’m not sure that should get you moved up 8 spots, but the B1G is trying to keep up with the SEC I guess? Penn State does have a tough 3 game stretch coming up with the Michigan, Minnesota, and Ohio State games all in a row. The good news is that the last two games are at home. The voters will really be able to see who the Nittany Lions are at that point in time. Aren’t South Carolina fans glad Franklin isn’t still at Vanderbilt?

Oregon took a huge jump in the polls after beating BYU. I guess it was a good thing that the game was in Eugene and not Provo. The student section did do the school any favors with some inappropriate chanting. The schedule gets a lot easier until the last three weeks of the season. Two ranked opponents and a rivalry game await to close the regular season out. Then, it might be a Championship game against Southern Cal. That is a tough stretch of games.

Lane Kiffin and Ole Miss move up 4 spots after shutting out Georgia Tech. The most surprising thing about the game is the shutout. Who knew that Ole Miss can play some defense against bad Power 5 teams? The games against SEC East foes Kentucky and Vanderbilt will be some must see TV for Rebel fans. We all hope you guys beat Kentucky. But if you don’t then the next game against Vanderbilt will tell what kind of team you actually have for the tougher part of your schedule.

Baylor holds serve after beating Texas State. They have a shot to move up the next couple of weeks if they can beat a pesky Iowa State team along with winning against Oklahoma State. The BYU loss doesn’t hurt the Bears in the Big XII race, but it does take them out of a CFB Playoff shot if they lose another game. I just don’t see them making it into the playoffs against a 1 loss Michigan/Ohio State or a 1 loss Alabama/Georgia. Baylor has to win out and get help from everyone else in the Big XII not beating each other up too much.

The Washington Huskies jump into the polls after a good win at home against Michigan State. I’m not sure that should get you all the way to number 18, but I’m not an AP voter. Michigan State didn’t beat anyone so far this year, so no one really knows how good they actually are. I’m not sure Washington can beat anyone below them. Florida and Miami are toss up games at a neutral field. I think everyone else beats them, yes including Texas A&M.

BYU suffered its first loss of the season last Saturday at Oregon. All that means is that BYU would lose to Georgia pretty badly, kind of like South Carolina did. So, this means that a run to the CFB Playoffs are done for the Cougars this year. Still a New Year’s Six bowl is in the cards if they can win out. They have some good games against Notre Dame and Arkansas to keep them in the national spotlight. Those are tough games to win. Don’t forget about a pesky ECU team.

Florida drops two spots after a bad game against USF. Florida has not looked good this year even in their wins. I guess the good news is that they are wins. They have a tough test with Tennessee this weekend. I hope the game is a low scoring, close affair that makes both teams look bad. As much as I would like to see Tennessee have one SEC loss, I still want Florida to lose more.

Wake Forest also drops two spots after a tough test at Liberty. I sure hope this was because Wake was looking ahead to the Clemson game this week, and not because Wake is not as good as they looked earlier this year. Living in NC, I am holding onto their ABC thinking… anyone but Clemson. I know the "C" stands for something else up her in the north, but my way is the better way.

Texas is next in the poll after a sluggish start to the UTSA game. It is hard getting up for a team everyone thinks you should roll after a big game against Alabama. It is a real hangover affect. There are plenty of examples of teams playing Alabama well, and then turning around and losing the next week too. So, congrats on not doing that Texas. You still have a little way to go in the Big XII pecking order, but you have plenty of opportunity to move up.

Even after beating Miami after that embarrassing loss to App State, the Aggies still find themselves in a familiar place ranked lower than the Longhorns. Not that Miami didn’t practically hand you the game or anything. I surprised that they are still ranked to be honest. Again, got to keep the strength of schedule high for the rest of the SEC. Jimbo better hope he has a better offense against the Razorbacks this week or he will find his team at .500 after four weeks. That is not what $10M a year is supposed to get you as a A&M fan/booster.

Pitt is still treading water at the bottom of the top 25 rankings. They have 3 very winnable games coming up against Rhode Island, Georgia Tech, and Virginia Tech. Starting the year 5-1 would make a lot of fan bases very happy this year. It’s not been a strong schedule so far, but as long as you beat the teams you are supposed to then it is still a good year. Pitt still has some toss up games further down their schedule, but with Miami being the hardest game on paper they should continue to rack up the wins.

Well, Miami failed their first bug test of the Mario Cristobal era. That game looked like a new coach with his team for their first true road game. There are a lot of opportunities to get better over the next few weeks. The last two weeks are going to make Miami’s season, they play Clemson and Pitt. A trip to the ACC Championship game is still on the table for Miami, but they have to get better on offense in order to get there.

As always, Go Cocks!

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