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Top Teams 2008

After Week Seven

  1. Alabama
  2. Penn State
  3. Texas
  4. Oklahoma
  5. Florida
  6. USC
  7. Georgia
  8. LSU
  9. BYU
  10. Missouri
  11. Ohio State
  12. Oklahoma State
  13. Texas Tech
  14. Utah
  15. Kansas
  16. USF
  17. North Carolina
  18. Miami
  19. Boise State
  20. Georgia Tech
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CFR's 2007-2008 Top Teams List: Week Five

As always, these are power rankings

  1. USC - Thoroughly dominant when not committing penalties and turnovers in the rain
  2. LSU - Have yet to face a legitimate quarterback but aside from modest blemishes doing what an elite team should do
  3. Florida - Slim pickings after one and two here.  Six offensive snaps in the first quarter, three overall possessions in the first half.  Auburn was playing keepaway.  That's how you play Brazil to a draw during international soccer matches.  But then you gotta remember Brazil is Brazil for a reason, namely that they're an elite soccer club.  So, too, are the Gators an elite football team (for now, let's see the why's and how's of the LSU game this weekend).
  4. California (+2) - Like Cal fan and Counting Crows frontman Adam Duritz, the Bears are hanging around.  Beat a solid Oregon team on the road last weekend.  The defensive line is a little suspect for a top five team, but in the absence of some of the former elite returning to form, here they are!
  5. USF (+6) - Teams that haven't been there before tend to wilt after a big win like against Auburn.  Why focus on the game at hand when you can bask in your own glory?  Oops.  That's two solid wins now for the Bulls.  The offense went in the tank a bit against West Virginia, but I've seen them play a few times this year, they definitely can score more than they have.  The challenge at this point is consistency and focus in attempting to win the Big East.  This is uncharted territory but for now this looks like a very solid football team with a great defense, a mobile quarterback, a fairly innovative offense if they want to actually use it, and playmakers at tailback and receiver.  Lots to love.
  6. Oregon (+2) - Offense came alive in that fourth quarter against California before being done in by turnovers.  The Ducks remain incredibly explosive and are a very solid football team.
  7. Oklahoma (-3) - Colorado was able to wear then down with the run game which was surprising.  The Sooners should return to form, they're solid everywhere and may have been caught sleeping a bit but are no longer the mighty force we thought just a week ago.
  8. West Virginia (-3) - Met their match against USF.  Steve Slaton's big-game fumbling issues are worrisome but this team can clearly move the ball and actually had a solid defensive outing against USF.  Like Oklahoma, the shine is now off this fancy car but the engine's still working and can get them where they want to go.
  9. Boston College - Solid on defense, can run and pass equally well, NFL quarterback.  Somewhat sloppy the last two weeks but overall a motivated squad.  Hard to tell how good coach Jags is, but at worst he has that Larry Coker feel of taking over a good team from the previous coach and having exactly the right energy and style to put it over the top.
  10. Kentucky - I'm still suspicious of their defense and that schedule gets some meat on it in the coming weeks.  Like Boston College this team has a savvy, veteran, physically talented first-round quarterback doing everything right leading the way.  Coach Rich Brooks has overcome the "turnovers = turnaround" curse this year and is a proven winner.  So far, so good, although borderline top 10 may be the ceiling for this team.

- - - L u r k i n g - - -
It's almost impossible to rank anyone after the top 10.  Maybe next week?  In no particular order:

Ohio State, Georgia, Arkansas, UCLA, Cincinnati, Arizona State, Generic Big 12 North (Nebraska/Kansas State/Missouri), Generic Big Ten (Illinois, Wisconsin, Purdue)

- - - O u t - - -
Penn State, Hawaii, Michigan, Alabama, Rutgers 

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Reader Comments (10)

I agree with most of the rankings, though I'm still hesitant about UK.
October 3, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterStephen Kim
I think we all are.
October 3, 2007 | Registered CommenterCFR
Florida-Brazil comparison? Seriously? I wish I could say that was just lazy, but I think it's worse than that. http://www.everydayshouldbesaturday.com/?p=3928
That says what I think you REALLY should be saying. And does it say nothing about a team when its defense can't get its offense on the field? They've played one good defense, they got stifled. As much as you guys promote the concept of thinking over the blind love for the SEC, maybe you should back up, take a second to gather your thoughts, and open your eyes to what Urban Meyer is really putting on the field.
October 3, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterCody
"And does it say nothing about a team when its defense can't get its offense on the field?"

Happens to the best of 'em. This was THAT game for Florida. And it happened against THAT team again.

Auburn did some bastard things, which is basically an admission of Florida's superiority. They basically said we can't play you straight up so here's what we're gonna do, try and beat it. It's a tactical change and admission that if you had played your way, your opponent would just plain beat you and is superior to you.

If you're a good not great team you don't play straight up against Brazil, right? You only do that if you think you can beat them straight up. Auburn's play was an admission they couldn't beat Florida "as is" and went to a keepaway offense and mixing things up on defense outside of their normal looks. Florida came in anticipating Auburn would play straight up and didn't adjust for a while. That's football. But the analogy holds. This wasn't like, we have five new plays we're running that you haven't seen before. This was we're completely scrapping our normal M-O and will make you flail around for a few quarters until you get it right then hang on for dear life as you roar back.

Florida had a decent answer in the second half but by then they'd lost thirty minutes and surrendered 14 points and were in just enough of a hole to let Auburn get that victory. Even with the tactical change, that was a 17-6 game in the second half including an 89-yard touchdown drive for Florida. Its obvious who the better team was but they got trumped just long enough to get beat.

Imagine the beatdown if Auburn had played it straight?
October 3, 2007 | Registered CommenterCFR
It's hard to say that this is unexpected for Florida's coaching staff. Auburn used the same tactics last year against South Carolina, a team they surely were not conceding superiority to.

That aside, nobody was making excuses for Ole Miss when they only got 53 plays against Florida's 75+. I don't recall anybody saying how good their offense was and how they'd have won had Florida not played keep-ball. They scored more against a supposedly superior team as well (24-17). I'm not saying that it's really relevant, but if you're going to be lazy, I will be too.

You say to imagine the beat down if Auburn "played it straight." Ole Miss played it straight. Is Auburn worse than Ole Miss? (This question serves two purposes. First, if you say no, then it at least somewhat proves me right. Second, if you say yes, then I get to read the words, "Auburn is worse than Ole Miss." It's win-win)

The frustrating thing about this to me most of all is that it seems that given the impossible situation of figuring out who is actually good, which I admit is not something you can do at this stage of this season, you have opted to rely on a predetermined notion you had about Florida. I have always appreciated the objectivity here, and I feel like you are really losing that with this decision.

All that said, they'll probably go win in Baton Rouge just to make me look like a jackass.
October 4, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterCody
Auburn doesn't have a team that is good enough to go toe-to-toe @ Fla and win. I agree with CFR that they had to change things up and hope that it would work. When you do things like that you either get killed or you pull off a miracle, which Aub did.

If Aub played "straight up" I would have guessed a 20 pt Fla win. Because of this, Aub had nothing to lose by throwing in a few monkey wrenches.

I believe CFR is a firm believer in offenses that are able to mix things up for 60 mins as being teams of high quality (his rankings almost always slant towards dynamic offenses). Aub did this for about 35-40 mins of gameplay and managed to hang on. Considering what they've done this year on offense, that's 35-40 mins more than they usually do.
October 4, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterStephen Kim
This is about this biggest bunch of goobbly goop I've ever read, i.e. "Auburn doesn't have a team that is good enough to go toe-to-toe @ Fla and win." and "Auburn did some bastard things, which is basically an admission of Florida's superiority."

I take that back, it's not goobbly goop, it's 100% BULLSHIT!

Auburn went toe-to-toe with Florida and Auburn's defense won. Every team schemes for their opponent. Why would a team play to another team's strengths? That would be almost as stupid as this blog.

Florida while talented is suspect on defense. Tebow will get hurt before season's over because, Florida doesn't have a decent running back. I said it before and I'll say it again, I think they will lose 2-3 games.

October 5, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterDawgy

Because in coaching you ride the horse that brung ya. It's not in the DNA of coaches to change up their fundamentals.

On that rare occasion that a team does, it tends to be a shock (see Auburn/Florida) but often enough doesn't work out to where coaches just don't do that very often.

Look at Michigan. They could probably cook up enough looks and practice them over to time to combat against spread teams but they simply won't do it. They feel their best chance it to stick to their fundamentals for the majority of their games and "come what may" whenever they play those spread-y teams. They simply won't pull an Auburn and change things up for a game because doing so would be to admit that what they coach and how they do things on both sides of the ball doesn't work 100% of the time.
October 5, 2007 | Registered CommenterCFR
You would think that Dawgy has never watched an SEC game.
October 5, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterStephen Kim
Not sure I get the Michigan comparison. They stuck to their fundamentals, and had two embarrassing losses to spread teams.

And I missed Auburn's two touchdowns; what did they do that was so unusual? Other than showing a pulse on offense, of course.
October 5, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterRickdog

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