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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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Wednesday
Oct102007

CFR's 2007-2008 Top Teams List: Week Six

As always, these are power rankings

  1. LSU (+1) - Say hello to your new, nearly-unquestioned leader.  Don't let us down Tigers.
  2. Florida (+1) - Because as of now I don't see anyone a "better" team behind them.
  3. California (+1) - This is a good team, but now they're almost accidental contenders.  Show us something.  And then do it again.
  4. Oregon (+2) - So difficult to defend.
  5. USF - Everyone says their offense is bad.  I say it's there if they need it.
  6. Oklahoma (+1) - Solid win over a much-improved Texas team.
  7. West Virginia (+1) - Now two weeks removed from USF defeat.
  8. Boston College (+1) - Kinda shaky Saturday.
  9. Ohio State (NEW) - Hangin' around, which is more than most teams can say.  That defense has been fantastic.
  10. South Carolina (NEW) - I have a love/hate thing with this South Carolina team.  They do just enough and that's not going to cut it anywhere except this wacky 2007 season.
  11. Arkansas (NEW) - Shaky Saturday against a nobody, but they're a known quantity.
  12. USC (-11) - SPLASH! Hard to drop them much farther in a power ranking, as irritating as that is.  If I did this in a different way they'd plummet.  Well maybe they'll tank against Arizona this week and do the work for me.  Every week's a season!
  13. Cincinnati (NEW) - Officially making a Big East title run.  Just ... wow.
  14. Missouri (NEW) - They've burned me before but so far so good after exploding against Nebraska Saturday.
  15. Illinois (NEW) - Defense? Check.  Run game? Check.  That tickly feeling of ascendance that makes teams outplay themselves?  Check.

- - - L u r k i n g - - -
Boise State, Auburn, Kentucky, Kansas State, Arizona State

- - - O u t - - -
Georgia, UCLA, Purdue, Wisconsin 

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Reader Comments (15)

Arkansas?????????????????????????
October 11, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterSouthernBell
When everything is going crazy you must go for what you know. We know McFadden and everything he can do. We know Felix Jones is nearly as good. We know that none of the people who transferred/left played a big part in last year's offense. We know Houston Nutt is crazy and coaching for his job, which can mean anything on the field. I can buy Arkansas there.
October 11, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterGatorDave
Under "lurking" I'm sure you meant to include 5-0 Kansas, not 4-2 Kansas State, which was soundly defeated by Kansas in Manhattan last Saturday, right?
October 11, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMike
No, I meant KSU which was narrowly defeated by Kansas.

Kansas is very much in consideration but if you flip the schedules of the two teams Kansas would own KSU's same 5-2 mark or maybe 4-1 if you think they win that game again.

Patience, if Kansas is legit a couple more weeks of good play will prove that. Head to head doesn't determine everything or rankings would completely topple upon themselves. Nobody's putting Stanford ahead of USC this week, right? Nor should they. We have bodies of work to reflect upon.
October 11, 2007 | Registered CommenterCFR
CFR, for the first time, I'm very disappointed by your "power" rankings, whatever you mean by that.

"Florida (+1) - Because as of now I don't see anyone a "better" team behind them." I can understand this #2 ranking if Fla had only 1 loss coming at LSU, and if you believe LSU is heads and shoulders above everyone else. But Fla also happened to lose to Auburn, at home. Surely, there is at least 1 team behind Fla who is better than it. At some point, actual competition on the filed must count. But please, don't let facts cloud your judgment and long-held beliefs.

And "11. Arkansas (NEW) - Shaky Saturday against a nobody, but they're a known quantity"? I guess it is "known" to Miss St and the rest of the SEC what kind of team Arkansas is. I know you're often accused by the SEC-is-best-top-to-bottom crowd as having pro-Pac10 bias, but you don't have to go out of your way to prove them wrong by placing a 0-2SEC team at #11 in your "power" ranking. Was it the North Texas victory or the Chattanooga (is that a school?) victory that impressed you? Or is this simply a cruel joke on all SEC and Razorback fans?

October 11, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterCupcakes
You certainly mailed it in this week. Great job.
October 11, 2007 | Unregistered Commentermagpie
What have I mailed in?

Harris Poll: Ohio State #3 (!!!), Boston College #4 (!!!), USC #7 (!!!), Oregon #10 (!!!).

I'm an improvement on that nonsense. Every week I get more information on the teams and carefully assemble this, the other polls seem to be stuck between re-arranging based on preseason projections, ranking teams legitimately upset behind some teams they're clearly superior to, etc.

If my Arkansas choice is wrong this week, the rest of the season will bear that out. They've had two narrow defeats early in the year but it's fairly obvious what they do and that they're successful for the most part at it. They also have the ultimate weapon in McFadden.

What I'm trying to do is assess the teams relative to each other, this is partly a week-to-week exercise like what the other polls do, but it's also an effort at relatively evaluating each team, with each week providing more information and insight about each team to help me rank them.

Things look hectic through much of the season but generally firm up late just as the other polls freak out as their own BS collapses their internal logic.
October 11, 2007 | Registered CommenterCFR
I think, perhaps, that Arkansas has taught lines how to be one-dimensional has something to do with their record against Div. 1-A teams with a pulse. UNT and Chattanooga may as well have been a squad of Fatheads on the wall and cardboard standups of Jamario Thomas on the floor. Playing the Mocs was their bought game so I won't say too much on this.

Arkansas has shown time and time again that they're a mistake prone team overly reliant on the skills of Darren McFadden and Felix Jones. Casey Dick is no good, and Marcus Monk is due back approximately one week before Tyrone Prothro suits up again for the Tide. Selecting Arkansas at 11, is, simply put, a mail-in selection.
October 11, 2007 | Unregistered Commentermagpie
Here's mine, and yes, throw those name brand biases out the window:

1 LSU
2 South Fla.
3 Ohio St.
4 Missouri
5 California
5 South Carolina
7 Illinois
8 Oregon
9 Arizona St
10 Virginia Tech
11 Cincinnati
11 Oklahoma
13 Boston College
14 Kentucky
15 Kansas

My methodology is basically the opposite of CFR's. He gives teams credit from the beginning, based on some imaginary power ranking, and then subtracts or adds subjectively to or from that power as they win or lose.

I don't give them any credit until they do something on the field, and even if they win, they could drop. Yes, it is still subjective, but it works based on a formula, and is applied to each team equally. No fantasizing involved.

Notice how I still get basically the same teams, except there is no bias against USF, or for UF and USC. And I don't even know what is going on with Arkansas. We all "know" them very well, and I don't care about what they might be capable of. Leave that to predictions.

I will give you credit, though, CFR, because you leave your ranking open to drastically change each week, which does make it more credible than what the AP or the Coaches do. The media has been doing a bit better about more greatly adjusting their poll from week to week (except for what they did with USC last week), but the Coaches continue to be stubborn and slow to change about who they rank up there. It is unfortunate.
October 12, 2007 | Unregistered Commentermmortal03
Oh, and did you see what the Master Coaches Poll did with USC last week? Unforgiveable.
October 12, 2007 | Unregistered Commentermmortal03
I can respect what you're doing mmortal03, however:

The problem I see with how you do it is that if you rank teams on what they have done, a lesser team can do everything it possibly can and simply because its schedule isn't as good/against more quality foes, they can truly only reach so far before the majority of decent good conference teams slide ahead of them if you're doing that appropriately.

I simply want to assess each team for what they're truly worth. It's a little easier for me to cut Florida some slack when I see that one loss was actually a well played second half against a team that just seems to have the right athletes and approach to play them, and then that well played game against LSU.

Horseshoes and hand grenades, but I think it counts for something as we see they're essentially a quality football team. That can change if they fall off course, but its not like they're playing like Georgia either, you know? That's a much different and better breed of football team based on what we've seen from them.

I think people have to get comfortable with the idea that a #1 or #2 team can lose to a certain handful of teams and may just have a loss or two. There's so much variety in college football (at least offensively) and because we're talking about just 20 hours of practice a week and the travel/class/home/road thing here some variance from true team quality will happen.
October 12, 2007 | Registered CommenterCFR
CFR -

I won't quibble with Cal's ranking, but your comment regarding them. Accidental contenders? Cal whipped Tennessee (who's turning out to have a pretty damn good offense themselves, see beat down of Georgia), and then "showed it again" beating your #4 team in the country at their house by holding their "so difficult to defend" offense to 24 points.

So hell, I guess I do quibble with your ranking. Cal deserves their #2 ranking because they deserve it. They've played a tougher schedule so far than any other undefeated team in the country (South Florida included, who I have at #3 in my own rankings based on on the field results). OSU hasn't still hasn't played anybody. Sorry but @UW and Purdue just doesn't stack up to Tennessee and @Oregon.

Anyways, just my 2 cents.
October 12, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterRyan
"The problem I see with how you do it is that if you rank teams on what they have done, a lesser team can do everything it possibly can and simply because its schedule isn't as good/against more quality foes, they can truly only reach so far before the majority of decent good conference teams slide ahead of them if you're doing that appropriately."

Yeah, that is something that I have considered. I have it set up so that if a team does enough on the field, they can make up for a lacking schedule with their production on the field. In my view, if a team really is good enough but stuck with not as good a schedule, then you should be able to judge that by their play against that inferior competition. They should be beating their schedule more soundly than the teams playing the harder schedule. It's all about coming up with weighting it well.

I will say that it isn't perfect, as there is nothing we can solve for on paper for what the "better" team is always going to be.

I am looking to set it up to have some margin for error, to show the average, and then have a plus or minus a certain amount of spots to the left of it, because I can weight it in different ways for different purposes, but there are some boundaries to it.
October 13, 2007 | Unregistered Commentermmortal03
LSU does not deserve to be #1. Sorry, but they lost to Kentucky... If you can take a loss like that there is no way you are the best in the nation. I do recognize it was an extremely close game, but a loss to a team such as Kentucky is unexcusable in my book.
October 18, 2007 | Unregistered Commentercaryn
ROLL TIDE!!!
February 13, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterEric Connell

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