IT’S READY!!! I was a little hesitant going into this week about putting out rankings so soon, but after I entered last weekend’s games, the rankings *actually* look pretty good. I know that’s what y’all are here for, so let’s jump right in. If you've forgotten the methodology for creating these rankings, you can find it here.
EDIT: Here is the whole spreadsheet, with every team ranked and more.
Honestly, I think a lot of people here would agree with these (War Eagle). Up to this point, all four of these teams have done everything they possibly could to be VERY impressive. Yes, you can argue that Bama should be in the playoffs, but 1) their strength of schedule is pretty terrible, 2) you have to admit that, at least for a Saban team, Bama looks beatable this year as evidenced by Ole Miss, and 3) stop arguing for Alabama on an Auburn site. Louisville, despite having the easiest SOS so far of the top 4 teams, has averaged a knockout of about 52 minutes this year. That is crazy, considering they’ve played two conference games already. Also, Lamar Jackson is still doing Lamar Jackson things.
Ohio State and Michigan have just been mowing through opponents. If you watched any of Michigan vs Penn State this week, you saw Michigan just outclass a good program in the Big 10. They beat Colorado soundly two weeks ago despite a slow start, but that Colorado team turned around and beat Oregon. Ohio State, like Houston, pushed around Oklahoma early this year and wiped the floor with Tulsa and BGSU. Competition should pick up for these teams, but so far, nobody has posed much of a threat.
Also of note with these picks is that I guarantee you they won't be like this at the end of the year. Why? Because Ohio State gets to play Michigan and Houston gets to play Louisville in November. I’m sure it would be every TV network’s dream to have all four of these teams undefeated come the end of the year, and while that is unlikely, that would make for a heck of an end to the season.
Mark Richt is the Man
Don’t look now, but Mark Richt has Miami at #5 in this first Sterritt Score of the year. They’ve only played FAU and at App State, but they demolished both teams in impressive fashion. While FAU isn’t much of a reason to trump up Miami, that game against App State (remember, they almost beat Tennessee) was downright impressive. I think it was every fan’s dream outside of Athens that Mark Richt would make Miami better than UGA this year, and it might just happen.
Yes, this is an incredibly small sample size. No, they haven’t played a Power 5 team yet. No, I don’t *think* Miami will stay as a Top 10 team this year. It’s Week 4, just enjoy it.
The ACC is Actually Not Bad?
If you remember last year, I gave the ACC a lot of grief for being FSU, Clemson, and nobody else. This year, at least so far, I can’t say that. They have three top 10 teams (Louisville, Miami, Clemson), one more in the top 25 (Wake), and that’s not even counting FSU, who is at #58 and still reeling from the Louisville game. Again, things will likely change as the season continues, but the conference that struggled so much with depth last year has had several teams put together good starts this year.
Auburn comes in at #46 in the first Sterritt Score of the year, and I think we can agree that that sounds about right so far. I don’t know about y’all, but aside from the red zone woes, that was about as good of a game as Auburn has played since Nick Marshall left. The defense looked strong against a weak LSU offense, aside from a few early runs from Fournette and Guise. Carl Lawson picked up two sacks, including a huge one with about 20 seconds left as LSU was driving. Sean White was efficient, going 19-26 with 234 yards despite a few drops. And of course, Daniel Carlson put up six FG’s to redeem John Vaughn.
Auburn looked better than LSU all night, and they won. I will take that 10/10 times against LSU, as weird as our games have been in the past. Take a look at the rest of the schedule guys. The only games it would surprise me if Auburn won from here on out is at Ole Miss and at Alabama. That’s 8-4, and after the way we started this year, I think we’d all take that. Especially if we throw a few touchdowns in there.
There a ton of big games here in Week 5. In the top 10, #9 Stanford has to go to #6 Washington in a game which should basically decide the Pac-12 North and produce the Pac-12’s best bet for a playoff team. Louisville also plays Clemson Saturday night in a matchup of what I think are the two best quarterbacks in the NCAA right now. #2 Michigan hosts #16 Wisconsin, and after Wisconsin’s thumping of Michigan State last week, this suddenly looks like a big test for the Wolverines.
While the SEC doesn’t have any big-time marquee games this week, #15 Tennessee looks to take a big lead in the SEC East when they travel to #87 UGA. While UGA has struggled so far, they certainly aren’t the #87 team in the country. Another interesting game is for #34 Ole Miss, as they try to get revenge on #56 Memphis. Needless to say, it should be a fun weekend, and I’m glad Auburn has a light game against ULM so that we can enjoy the other big games.
That’s all I’ve got for this week. Thanks for reading, and War Eagle!