Week 6 in College Football shaped up to be arguably the least exciting weekend of the entire 2011 season. I think it’s safe to say it lived up to the lack of hype and it shows below in my Week 7 poll. On the bright side, that means the best and most thrilling action is still to come!
The Top 14 teams stay the same and just two teams drop from the rankings. Remember these rankings are not based on the AP, USA Today, or BCS.
Predictions Results: 21-2 in Week 1, 18-2 in Week 2, 20-3 in Week 3, 17-3 in Week 4, 14-3 in Week 5 and come off an 18-3 performance in Week 6 (108-16 Overall)
My Five Worst Picks: Oklahoma State 45-3 over Kansas (70-28, OKST…must’ve forgotten OK-State can’t play defense…), Northwestern over Michigan 33-30 in an upset (42-24, MICH), Florida State 34-7 against Wake Forest (35-30, WF), South Carolina 27-14 over Kentucky (54-3, S. CAR) and Missouri in an upset over Kansas State 23-20 (24-17, KSU).
My Five Best Picks: Alabama to roll Vandy 34-7 (34-0, ALA), Stanford to trounce Colorado 35-7 (48-7, STAN), Arkansas to win with conviction against Auburn 38-24 (38-14, ARK), West Virginia over UCONN 41-13 (43-16, WVU) and Illinois to knock off Indiana 36-27 (41-20, ILL).
No. 25 Washington (Prev. Just Missed Cut): The Huskies (4-1) have posted 30 points or more in all of their first five games. Albeit style points hasn’t been in their DNA, being battle-tested has—beating Eastern Washington, Hawaii and California by eight points or less. Steve Sarkisian’s troops also gave Nebraska a run for its money and just took down Utah on the road. This is my fourth-highest rated Pac-12 team. This Week: vs. Colorado (1-4)
No. 24 Florida (Prev. 21): The Gators (4-2) took a bite of humble pie and a reality check after losing two straight games in blowout fashion at home to Alabama (10-38) and at LSU (11-41). All is not lost, however. Those two teams appear to not only be the best in the conference, but also the entire country. The next four games will decide Florida’s fate. This Week: at No. 19 Auburn (4-2)
No. 23 Kansas State (Prev. Just Missed Cut): The Wildcats (5-0) are off to their best start since the turn of the century. I take it Dan Snyder knows a little something about coaching. These kittens have to maintain a strong emphasis on taking things one game at a time with Oklahoma, OK-State, Texas A&M and Texas on tap from Oct. 29-Nov. 19. This Week: at Texas Tech (4-1)
No. 22 Georgia (Prev. 25): Remember that scorching hot seat that Mark Richt was sitting on? After allowing just 35 points in the past four games and reemerging as a strong contender in the SEC East, his coaching position condition is much more composed with the Bulldogs (4-2). There’s still little room for error, however. This Week: at Vanderbilt (3-2)
No. 21 Virginia Tech (Prev. 19): The Hokies (5-1) had to bounce back against Miami (FL) to stay in the race in the ACC. It was far from pretty, but they got the job done in shootout fashion and quarterback Logan Thomas excelled on the field. This Week: at Wake Forest (4-1)
No. 20 South Carolina (Prev. 18): It’s the end of an era in South Carolina. The Gamecocks (5-1) have a new guy under center in Sophomore Conner Shaw. He went 26-of-39 for 311 yards with four scores (Garcia’s total TD output for the year) en route to a 54-3 smashing of Kentucky. Shaw also racked up 42 yards on the ground, and more importantly, threw no interceptions (Garcia tossed nine picks before the change up at quarterback).
Update: Stephen Garcia has been arrested and dismissed from the University of South Carolina.
No. 19 Auburn (Prev. 17): The Tigers (4-2) are doing better than expected overall at the mid-way point than the general perception before the season. Auburn can certainly play spoiler extremely well and give anyone tons of fight, but it can’t hang with the best three teams in the SEC West (Alabama, Arkansas and LSU), which appear to be the three best teams in the entire conference as well. This Week: vs. No. 24 Florida (4-2)
No. 18 Georgia Tech (Prev. 23): The Yellow Jackets (6-0) were sloppy in nearly every aspect, but they found a way to win last Saturday with a great defensive effort on the road against Maryland. A dose of luck is always involved when you’re overcoming huge obstacles and whenever a team tries to run the table anyway. This Week: at Virginia (3-2)
No. 17 Illinois (Prev. 24): Leaping up seven spots from a 41-20 win over 1-5 Indiana is probably puzzling. Well, let me explain. I’m now finally starting to buy this team. Despite a seemingly easy schedule on the surface, the Fighting Illini (6-0) is pretty well battle-tested. Nonetheless, we’ll have wait until the two November home games (Michigan and Wisconsin) to find out just how legitimate this team is from Champaign, IL. This Week: vs. Ohio State (3-3)
No. 16 Notre Dame (Prev. 20): The Irish (4-2) are red-hot. Brian Kelly’s pumped up program has won its last four games by an average of 35-17 against the likes of Michigan State, Pittsburgh, Purdue and Air Force. With the way things are going, this week could potentially damage their mojo. This Week: Idle
No. 15 Arizona State (Prev. 16): Missouri, USC and Utah are all competitive teams and pretty impressive wins, but the Sun Devils (5-1), now the clear-cut class of the Pac-12 South, could use a big win to improve their résumé and grab more attention on the national scale. Oh, look, their next opponent is Oregon! And it’s on the road… That would do it, even at 10:15pm EST on Saturday night. (Side note: These teams may meet again in the first-ever Pac-12 conference championship.) This Week: at No. 10 Oregon (4-1)
No. 14 Texas A&M (Prev. 14): The Aggies (3-2) responded from back-to-back heart-wrenching second half collapses against Arkansas and Oklahoma State with a 45-40 shootout win over Texas Tech. Both of those foes were Top 10 caliber teams, so don’t A&M out from going out with a bang against the rest of its Big 12 rivals. This Week: vs. Baylor (4-1)
No. 13 Nebraska (Prev. 13): Was Wisconsin (5-0) that good or was Nebraska (5-1) that bad? Well, we know they’re both good teams, but it’s tough to gauge just how good based on the strength of schedule through the first six weeks of the season. After the Huskers’ 34-27 escape against Ohio State, it’s safe to say we’ll have to continue to wait. This Week: Idle
No. 12 Michigan (Prev. 12): Denard Robinson and the Wolverines (6-0) continue to hit on all cylinders. They were given a slight scare by Dan Persa and the ‘Cats, but they didn’t get down and found a way to win and with conviction, I might add. This Week: at Michigan State (4-1)
No. 11 West Virginia (Prev. 11): The Geno Smith-led “MountainAir” offense obliterated Connecticut’s pass defense, as expected. The Mountaineers’ (5-1) climb to the top of the Big East shouldn’t be too difficult. This Week: Idle
No. 10 Oregon (Prev. 10): Quack Attack (4-1) bounced back well and in style after losing to LSU in the opener, putting up 56 points or more in three of the last four games. Another mini-bye week (played Cal on Thursday night) and home-field advantage bodes well for the Ducks, but if LaMichael James is out for Saturday night’s game, or even less effective, the Ducks could be in a little trouble. This Week: vs. No. 15 Arizona State (5-1)
No. 9 Arkansas (Prev. 9): Tyler Wilson and the Razorbacks (5-1) posted a very impressive come-from-behind win against Texas A&M, setting a school-record 510 passing yards, which shattered the previous 409 mark set by Mallett. That was followed with a 38-14 stomping over Auburn. This team is the real deal and could challenge Alabama and LSU for the SEC West Title. This Week: Idle
No. 8 Clemson (Prev. 8): The Tigers (6-0), the ACC Atlantic front-runners, have ascended to new heights and should have smooth sailing until the last week in October on the road against the Yellow Jackets. Tajh Boyd suffered an early injury in the 36-14 rout of Boston College and might miss this week’s test. At least the Terps can’t play defense. This Week: at Maryland (2-3)
No. 7 Oklahoma State (Prev. 7): The Cowboys (5-0) don’t have much of a defense (allows 27.6 PPG), but the offense is out-of-this-world, led by arguably the best QB-WR combination in the nation in Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon, as well as a strong crop of running backs and a veteran offensive line. This Week: at Texas (4-1)
No. 6 Stanford (Prev. 6): The Cardinal (5-0) average 46.2 points per game and allow only 10.6 PPG through the first five games. The Andrew Luck sweepstakes is getting talked about more and more every week. This Week: at Washington State (3-2)
No. 5 Boise State (Prev. 5): I’ve always supported the BCS Busting Broncos (5-0). Kellen Moore is one-of-a-kind. And the front four on defense plays out of its mind. But I don’t think Boise State will make it to the biggest stage this year. I thought this program had a great chance last year. Losing Titus Young and Austin Pettis put a damper on their chances and Moore’s chances at winning the Heisman. They’re still BCS-bound, though. This Week: at Colorado State (3-2)
No. 4 Wisconsin (Prev. 4): The Badgers’ (5-0) 48-17 spanking over the ‘Huskers was the closest contest of the season for Tyler Wilson-led Wisconsin. There are a couple of teams that stand in this team’s way of making it to the biggest stage. I like their odds, however. This Week: vs. Indiana (1-5)
No. 3 Oklahoma (Prev. 3): Landry Jones and the Sooners (5-0) have an amazing team. However, they’ve only beaten one team this year with a winning record—overrated Texas, 55-17. This Week: at Kansas (2-3)
No. 2 LSU (Prev. 2): Why No. 2? The Tigers (6-0) beat the Gators at home, 41-11 without John Brantley. The Tide rolled the Gators 38-10 in the Swamp. Oregon (4-1) hasn’t really proven anything since falling in the opener and Mississippi State (3-3) doesn’t look that impressive, either. And I believe ‘Bama will win on November 5th. Nevertheless, there’s a very thin line between No. 1 and No. 2—and it’s possible they could play more than once. This Week: at Tennessee (3-2)
No. 1 Alabama (Prev. 1): The most points the Crimson Tide (6-0) has allowed in a single game this season (14) was against the high-flying Razorbacks. The second-best or top defense in the nation (LSU and ‘Bama re definitely No. 1 and 2) has already pitched two shutouts as well. This Week: at Mississippi (2-3)
Just Missed Cut: North Carolina (4-1), Michigan State (4-1), Houston (6-0), Baylor (5-1), TCU (4-2)
Dropped From Rankings: No. 15 Florida State (2-3), No. 22 Texas (4-1)
Verse Of This Piece: “People will be rewarded for what they say; they will rewarded by how they speak. What you say can mean life or death. Those who speak with care will be rewarded.” —Proverbs 18:19-20