Monday, October 19, 2009

The Football Brocktoon Series (FBS) Midseason Rankings

Does anyone like ranking football teams? Absolutely! Does anyone like the BCS? Absolutely not! Therefore I present to you the initial Football Brocktoon Series Midseason Rankings, without all the computers, biased regional sportswriters, Kirk Herbstreit putting USC in the top 5 just because, etc. I know this opens me up to criticism, but when has that ever affected me? I'll slowly be adding team pictures and writeups to this post when I find the chance.

1. Florida - I know what you Tide people are thinking, he's just putting them over us because he is an Auburn fan. Au contraire, mon frere. I'm not sure if the Tide fans have noticed that Florida has been at the top of the rankings for the entire season (minus the AP poll this week only which isn't factored into the BCS standings). Tebow hurt and still winning games makes him a champion. The Florida/Alabama argument will be left to be settled on the field December 5 in the Georgia Dome.

2. Alabama - Ingram is playing like a madman lately, rushing for 240+ yards against South Carolina. If he can keep this up, I think Alabama can make a decent run at the National Championship. Unfortunately, Julio Jones hasn't lived up to the hype this year; call it a sophomore slump. Alabama probably makes the run the rest of the year and will meet an undefeated Florida in the SEC Championship Game for the second consecutive season.

3. Boise State - Perennial Cinderella team Boise State has shown this year that they are legit, showing up what turned out to be a very good Oregon team to start the season. Look for Boise to continue their run through the WAC and probably get no kudos from anyone. Boise, I'm here for you, and I also think you'd beat Texas in a head-to-head matchup. Oklahoma fans remember what happens when you overlook Boise.

4. Texas - Texas ranks lower than you'd expect since they showed this past weekend that any team with a decent defense can hang with Texas. That doesn't mean I don't think they're good, but I think they're not as good as many people think they are. Sam Bradford in the game gives OU the win.

5. USC - Despite a loss at lowly Washington, USC has demonstrated that they deserve a high ranking by putting teams down, including wins over California, Ohio State, and Notre Dame. The game against Oregon on Halloween is looking like the Pac-10 game of the year and has the winner going to the Rose Bowl.

6. Cincinnati - Tony Pike has Cincinnati running on all cylinders. Despite his injury in the last game against USF, Pike may make a recovery and play this week. Let's hope he's ready to play by the time Cincinnati faces West Virginia (Nov. 13) and Pittsburgh (Dec. 5). If Pike makes a full recovery, look for him to pass for 3000 yards this season and lead Cincinnati to at least 10 wins.

7. TCU - The Horned Frogs are looking like the team to beat in the Mountain West, and this week's game against the other team in the conference (BYU) will show just what they are made of. I've doubted TCU with their two close call wins against Clemson and Air Force, but they've also shown up in-conference team Colorado State and ACC opponent Virginia.

8. Iowa - Somehow Iowa keeps winning games. The only win by more than 11 was over in-state, out-of-conference rival Iowa State. They had close call wins over I-AA team Northern Iowa and Sun Belt's Arkansas State, but they do put up Ws, including wins over Penn State and this past weekend over Wisconsin who I thought would win the game.

9. Oregon - After losing LeGarrette Blount for the season because of his stupid actions, and the manhandling at the hands of Boise State, Oregon looked like they were done, right? Wrong. Since then they've gone 5-0 with a win over then #6 California 42-3 and wins over Utah, UCLA, and Washington State. If they beat USC in two weeks I think they go 11-1 and take a trip to the Rose Bowl in January. Now if someone could get them some decent uniforms.

10. Georgia Tech - The Ramblin' Wreck has been running through the opposition, literally. The team is averaging more than 280 rush yards per game. Anthony Allen, Jonathan Dwyer, and Josh Nesbitt have the majority of the carries and almost 1600 yards on the ground between them, and the team has 22 rushing touchdowns through 7 games. Look for this number to continue to rise since, as the old adage goes, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

11. Miami - Da U is back. Well, sort of. They did get waxed by Virginia Tech a few weeks back, but other than that blemish, they look decent. They pulled the upset over Oklahoma, beat Georgia Tech (before they were established, and also beat FSU (who hasn't). The rest of their schedule is pretty weak (they are in the ACC, of course), so look for them to finish out strong, winning at least 10 games.

12. Virginia Tech - They lost this week to a better-than-expected Georgia Tech team, and an early loss against Alabama set them back, but they have wins over Nebraska and Miami, and a soft schedule the rest of the way plays in their favor. Tech will finish in the top 10 and will play in the ACC championship game.

13. Penn State - The Nittany Lions can't score very much by their own standards, but they are also holding teams to just under 9 points per game. Their only real game left is against Ohio State, and barring their loss to Iowa a few weeks back, they stood a good chance of winning out. Daryll Clark and Evan Royster get it done week in and week out.

14. LSU - I realize their only loss was to Florida, but they could have easily lost to both Georgia and Mississippi State. The Mad Hatter has his team believing they can win, but with games left against Alabama and Arkansas, LSU doesn't have the staying power. They'll get a medium-sized bowl game, but don't expect to go to Atlanta this year.

15. Oklahoma State - The Cowboys are playing like a Jekyll and Hyde team. One week they only beat Texas A&M by 5, the next week they beat Missouri by 19. Zac Robinson has the feet and the arm to make plays. Too bad Dez Bryant is done for now or I'd have ranked them higher.

16. BYU - They still have TCU and Utah left on the schedule, but win out and BYU may be looking at a possible BCS bowl game. Max Hall is already up over 2000 yards passing on the season, and Harvey Unga is a workhorse, carrying over 100 times for nearly 600 yards. If the defense can step up, this team has a shot of playing spoiler in the postseason.

17. Houston - Case Keenum may be the most underrated player in college football. He has nearly 2500 yards passing through 6 games. This past weekend was his low yardage game at 334 yards against Tulane. He had 76 attempts against UTEP for 536 yards. Had they won against UTEP, a team they are far superior to, Houston would be in the top 10. They will win out the rest of the way, coming up with an 11-1 record and a possible BCS bid.

18. Oklahoma - This is the best 3-3 team in the nation. Keep in mind they have lost their three games by a total of 5 points. Had Sam Bradford stayed healthy I think they'd be 6-0. Landry Jones is no slouch, but he needs more time to become a better QB. The rest of their schedule looks pretty tough, but OU will win at least 4 games. Their bowl picture looks bleak, but at least they'll be in a bowl game.

19. Utah - I had forgotten that this team was good. The giant-killers from last year are back in form, and the Mountain West is a three-game race with TCU and BYU. Pretty soon that conference will have to be in straight-up consideration for BCS games instead of playing for an at-large bid.

20. West Virginia - The only blemish on their record is against an Auburn team that is now sub-par, and West Virginia had a chance to win that game. The speed on this team and its ground game are the strong points, and their passing game is decent too. They still have several tough games to go, including home games against UConn and Pitt, and away games against Cincinnati and South Florida. If this team wins out, they are in a BCS bowl game. That is a tall order, though.

21. Ohio State - Not as good as billed, but then again, are they ever? The Buckeyes won against Wisconsin despite pretty much all of their points coming on special teams, but losses to USC and Purdue (2-5) make them look like not much of a contender. With games left against Penn State and Iowa, Ohio State will be doing good to get to 8 wins.

22. Pittsburgh - The Panthers are back! Dave Wannstedt has this team believing in themselves and have converted quite a few people (including me). They end the season against West Virginia and Cincinnati, so the team has quite a road ahead of them.

23. Texas Tech - Nobody gave them a chance, then they showed up Nebraska last week, one week after beating Kansas State 66-14. Their only losses are a 1-point loss to Houston and a 10-point loss to Texas. Games against Oklahoma and Oklahoma State are left on the schedule, but the passing game is ridiculous. Taylor Potts hasn't even played every game and has 1800 passing yards.

24. Kansas - Kansas was looking good until a loss last weekend to Colorado, but their wins have been lackluster. Wins over Southern Miss (7 points) and Iowa State (5 points) could have gone the other way. Plus they have several difficult games left on the schedule. They may end up with only 7 wins once the season is over.

25. Nebraska - Their only tough loss was this past week to Texas Tech. They played Virginia Tech down to the wire. Bo Pelini has this team almost back up to where it was under Tom Osborne, but they'll have to get a little more consistent in the passing game.