The Plot Thickens

The current top 25 poll in NCAA football is drastically different from preseason.

By John Griffin

I’m starting to think that the preseason Top 25 is basically the equivalent of a crapshoot disguised as expertise and pseudo-analysis based on uneducated guesswork. How wrong was the press?

USC was #1 – This was the most wrong thing since the conception of Lane Kiffin. The Trojans currently sit at #11.

Alabama was #2 – Nick Saban is the honey badger of coaching. He don’t care. He just goes out and destroys his opponents until everyone looks stupid for suggesting someone was better than him, like the tiny, powerful football gnome-wizard he is. Bama has outscored their opponents 201 to 35.

Georgia was #6 – UGA is probably the most perennially overrated team in America, and their weaknesses were finally exposed after South Carolina ran the Bulldogs out of the stadium, winning 35-7. Aaron Murray is not a Hesiman candidate, and the Georgia defense is made out of wet toilet paper. However, their 2 freshmen running backs, Keith Marshall and Todd Gurley, are among the best in the game. Georgia now sits at #14, which I believe is about exactly where they should be.

Florida State was #7 – I knew it! As soon as I give praise to the Seminoles, they turn around and lose to NC State, who I’m pretty sure has a giraffe playing quarterback. I expect now-#12 FSU to regroup and win their next 5 games against unranked teams until they meet Florida in their season finale. Unless they beat the Gators (which looks tougher than ever to do at this point), Florida State’s national championship hopes are done. Speaking of the Gators…

Florida was #24 – After a shaky start to the season, Florida has played some of the best football in the country. Since the initial polls, Florida has ascended to #4 in the latest ranking after beating then-#3 LSU 14-6.

Oregon State was unranked – Wait- Oregon State is #10? The Oregon State Beavers?! WTF has never seemed like a more perfect acronym, but OSU is 4-0, and they’ve upended a pair of top 25 teams along the way.

Players of the Week

Penn State QB Matt McGloin led the Nittany Lions to their 4th straight win, coming from behind to take down #24 Northwestern, 39-22. McGloin threw for 282 yards and 2 touchdowns and rushed for the go-ahead score with 2 minutes left in the game. The Nittany Lions trailed 28-17 at the end of the 3rd,  and then scored 22 unanswered points to end the game. McGloin’s toughness and resiliency is indicative of an incredibly tough and loyal Penn State team. All of the players there now had an option to jump ship, even as the NCAA’s punishments will drastically hurt the program and these players. I think everyone can admire the toughness McGloin and his teammates have shown, on and off the field, in such a difficult time. Additionally, hats off to PSU coach Bill O’Brien. His team, after an incredibly tough 0-2 start, is playing harder than anyone in football.

South Carolina RB Marcus Lattimore was…well, himself. For all the talk of Georgia’s freshman duo of Marshall and Gurley, it was Lattimore who reminded the world why he was the SEC’s premiere back. There was nothing too flashy from Lattimore, just plain grinding through the Georgia defense. He gained 109 yards on 24 carries and notched a touchdown in South Carolia’s 35-7 rout of the Bulldogs. After the win, the Gamecocks are #3 and firmly in the national championship hunt, and Lattimore will be one of the key factors as to whether South Carolina makes it.

Play of the Week

This punt return by South Carolina WR Ace Sanders was so good I had to include it. Sanders may be the most elusive player in the entire country. LOOK AT THIS.

The Week Ahead

#3 South Carolina goes to Baton Rogue to battle the #9 LSU Tigers

#15 Texas and #13 Oklahoma meet in Dallas. This game has BCS implications as both teams struggle to overcome their only losses.