Topic: Is there a "best" team in college football? Doesn't look it.
Replies: 31   Last Post: Nov 10, 2014 5:05 PM by: epifunny
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Is there a "best" team in college football? Doesn't look it.

Posted: Nov 9, 2014 11:17 AM

Just some random Sunday-morning musings...and BTW, this is a long post. As ever, if that's a problem, check out the condensed version on twitter, under hashtags #zeroattentionspan #nincompoop and #learning-to-read-is-empowering. You're welcome. ;)

Random thought #1, concerning #1: Anybody who thinks Mississippi State is legit needs to check their OOC schedule. It's past embarrassing. Southern Miss, UAB, South Alabama, and now UT Martin? The Bulldogs did get impressive-looking (at the time) wins against Auburn, LSU, and Texas A&M, but they struggled to put away Kentucky...and sorry, how good are Auburn, LSU, and Texas A&M? Auburn's defense, clearly, has Issues. A&M's defense has worse Issues, and they're starting a true frosh at QB after "Kenny Trill" prematurely trademarked himself (dude, not for nothin', but ya might want to wait longer than one college start before trademarking yourself) after shelling the Gamecocks, and then, predictably, fizzled. And LSU's offense is nothing short of horrific. But they play in the (drum roll) SEC, SEC, SEC...which seems to be good for 10 spots in the polls, minimum, these days, regardless of the steaming pile of elephant excrement the team might actually resemble on the field.

Sorry, Mississippi State is not the #1 team in football, and anybody ranking them so needs a new eye doctor.

But then, who is?

Random thought #2, about #2. FSU is a couple of arrests away from going winless to close the season. The Seminoles looked listless again against UVA...Winston remains a durn impressive QB on the field, though sometimes he looks almost bored out there. Rashaad Green is maybe the best WR in college football. RB Karlos Williams is all they've got at RB now than Delvin Cook is out hurt so you can understand why the Tally PD has been disinclined to arrest him for allegedly beating his girlfriend, or for his alleged role in a drug-deal robbery earlier in the year. Other than those three, though, FSU looks very mediocre. Their defense is erratic, their OL cannot run-block, and Winston is getting hit much more than last season. (Which is pleasing. Watching Jameis Winston get hit is one of those things, I suspect, that will never get old.) The 'Noles are good for a loss, or several, somewhere...one just wonders when it finally happens. Karma being the vindictive harpy that she is, you know there's a bad end awaiting this FSU team, you just wonder how it's going to unravel for them.

Can't figure out what to make of Alabama. There are times that new Lane Kiffin offense looks a lot like Southern Cal's used to. Other times it can't get out of its own way, and I'm sitting there, popcorn in hand, awaiting the inevitable moment where Nick Saban reaches over and rips Kiffin's trachea out. (He's been close, several times, you can tell...and it's for durn sure coming.) The Tide do play some nasty defense....but....LSU is not legit. Their passing game is past the point of wretched and it looks like, for whatever reason, Les Miles is not God's favorite child this year...he just isn't Forest Gump'ing his way to wins like he used to.

Random Thought #4, about #4: Oregon looks so much like Clemson (at least when Deshaun Watson is playing QB for Clemson) that it's scary. Actually they look like Clemson with a better RB and a worse defense, and with an insane Nike uniform designer. But it's the same team, just a different coast. Same offense. Same plays. Same tempo. Same...everything. And like Clemson, they churn out huge plays in chunks, lean way too much on their QB, and can look...clunky, when things are not going well. Their starting center went down, for instance, and their redshirt freshman C replacement immediately started spraying shotgun snaps in seemingly random locations for Marcus Mariota to fetch...credit to Mariota (who IMHO is the clear-cut Heisman favorite this year) he actually got ahold of most of them, but it sure did look interesting (and comical) for awhile...and oh, yeah, Oregon still scored 55 points. Against a very good Utah defense in a hostile building that was as frenetic as a hornet's nest.

TCU looked good, exposing K-State yet again...but then, how many years in a row does K-State and their JUCO All-Stars have to get exposed before people realize that always start surprisingly well, but are Definitively Not For Real? And it's hard to forget that TCU dropped one game to Oklahoma - where Bob Stoops just manuevered his way into yet another long-term contract, and then promptly rewarded the university by getting the Sooners blasted off their home field in embarrassing fashion by Baylor. TCU also needed a couple miracles to beat West Virginia last week. The same West Virginia that just got curb-stomped by the weakest Texas team in recent memory, which now has, I believe, just 24 guys remaining on scholarship whom Charlie Strong has not kicked off the team yet.

Oh, and speaking of karma being a vindictive harpy, how sweet was it to watch Auburn discover that fate has suddenly turned on them, and that they no longer will get every fortuitous bounce of the football? Watching Auburn fumble that Texas A&M game - and their national title hopes - away is a priceless joy I will remember forever. All together now: "SEC! SEC! SEC!"

Speaking of karma being a vindictive harpy, Part III: how sweet was it to watch what the Football Gods did to Notre Dame out in the desert? For years we've had to endure watching the Notre Dame leprechaun pull horseshoe after horseshoe out of his butt, parlaying lucky win after lucky win into bowl games - sometimes even national title games - that the Irish in no way belonged in (before their unworthiness was invariably exposed for all the world to see), but what happened in Arizona yesterday was nothing short of...beautiful. First the Irish went down 34-3. Then they clawed their way all the way back to 34-31...before the leprechaun finally ran out of horseshoes and A-State exploded for another 21 points, and Notre Dame was, at long last, revealed as the pretender it's always been.

And lastly: Herbie. I understand you love Ohio State. And you've been kind to the Clemson nation, most of the time. But it was not becoming to listen to you so shamelessly plead Ohio State's playoff worthiness after they dispatched a Michigan State team with the slowest secondary I've seen since Lou Holtz's "doughnut defense" of 2003. Watching Spartan CB's catch fire and explode put to mind another, earlier outing, when they went out to Oregon earlier in the year...and something similar happened to them then. Which they managed to make everybody forget when they resumed pummeling hapless Big 10 opponents. Hint: the Big 10 is bad, folks. Real bad.

Phew. I could keep going, it was that kinda day. Was that or was that not the most loaded day of college football, like, ever?

Great read!

Posted: Nov 9, 2014 11:28 AM

You should do this for a living.

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Re: Great read!

Posted: Nov 9, 2014 11:43 AM

I, too, enjoyed the read but he will never work for ESPN because he tells it like it is. No fantasy here.

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Re: Great read!

Posted: Nov 9, 2014 4:11 PM

Appreciate the kudos from all. Worked hard on that post, and I'm insecure enough - but secure enough in my insecurity! - to admit I like seeing 20+ thumbs-up on occasion.

To respond to a couple of things:

1) I'm trying to write for a living. Been fighting the Good Fight with publishers and agents for awhile now. I

2) As far as rankings, I think they're increasingly pointless. As several posters pointed out underneath me, there's really no "best" team in college football anymore, just a pool of flawed teams that can beat one another based on the rock-paper-scissors matchup and who's playing who where, and when. Clemson had a front-loaded schedule, got UGA on the road at Athens, and against FSU in Tally, in Weeks 1 and Week 3. Give Clemson even one more week to prep for those matchups and we might have won.

3) I agree wholeheartedly with the notion that the playoff system needs to be between actual conference winners. I personally think it's ridiculous that we're contemplating scenarios where 2 SEC teams - one of whom by definition will not win the SEC - will get into the playoffs while as many as two conference winners could be left out. Four playoff teams is a good start...but we need 8. Right now everybody is promoting their favs and trying to vote everyone else off the island. The winners of the "Big 5" conferences all need to be guaranteed playoff spots. After that, you find the top 3 "at large" teams in the country, and that's where I could stand the politicking...(and there's always going to be politicking.)

Alternately, I've got a much more radical idea, one that probably will never fly in America. Abolish all conferences and divide the nation into four regions - West, Central, Southeast, Northeast. Have four 12-team conferences that play 11 games apiece, and allow 1 "exhibition" game that does not count for or against things to preserve rivalry games. That way you've preserved, say, South Carolina/Clemson, and Auburn/Alabama, if those games don't happen in the regular season.

Then just play the four regional winners against one another. Boom. Legit national champ is produced, every year.

But how would you set these 12-team regional conferences, you ask? That's the radical idea, the one that will never fly. Divide each "region" into pools of all available teams, and set as many tiers as it takes...in the south, for instance, it'd be Southeast 1, Southeast 2, Southeast 3, etc...

Every year, the top two teams from Southeast 2 play the bottom two teams from Southeast 1...and if they win, they get "promoted" up to Southeast 1, and the loser gets "relegated" to Southeast 2. Soccer-style promotion/relegation.

Imagine, if you would, a conference schedule consisting of (just as an example)...

1. Alabama
2. Auburn
3. Clemson
4. Georgia
5. South Carolina
6. Florida
7. LSU
8. Florida State
9. Ole Miss
10. Mississippi State
11. Tennesseee
12. Miami

While just below, there's the "Southeast 2" Conference composed of, say...
1. NC State
2. Wake Forest
3. Duke
4. Vanderbilt
5. Louisville
6. West Virginia
7. UCF
8. USF
9. Arkansas
10. UNC
11. UVA
12. Virginia Tech

...and below even that, there's a "Southeast 3" Conference composed of the likes of Marshall, East Carolina, etc...all trying to move up.

At the end of the year, the bottom 2 teams from each tier play the top 2 from the next tier. The winner plays up in the higher tier, the loser goes down. So deserving teams have a shot at moving up to higher conferences...and perennial loser teams get knocked down to tiers where they can legitimately compete.

That's how I'd do it. If you still want bowl games, schedule them between Tier 1 teams from different regions who don't qualify for the playoffs and have at it.

Can you imagine the slate of games this would produce? Every week you get Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, etc...as far as gameday atmospheres go, it'd be insane - and they'd all be against local opponents you could actually drive to. And if your team tanks in a given year...well, there's a very real risk you drop down to Tier 2.

It'll never happen. But it's fun to think about.

Re: Great read!

Posted: Nov 9, 2014 7:34 PM

I have also thought through a similar scenario. But I don't see conferences going away.

Look at college basketball. 351 teams and the committee chooses 64 for the playoff. That's almost 20%. Most feel the committee chooses the right slice of the pie to make the competition fair. There are 128 (I think) D1 FBS college football teams. They should take at least 16 of those teams and conference winners should get an automatic in. All conferences should be included and get a chance to play for it all.

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Re: Is there a "best" team in college football? Doesn't look it.

Posted: Nov 9, 2014 11:42 AM

A couple arrests away line is great. Nice post


I've got a crazy, radical idea.

Posted: Nov 9, 2014 11:52 AM

Good post, by the way.

I think there will almost always be debate about who is really the best team in college football; at least there will always be the potential for it. Therefore, lets put that debate on the back-burner, and instead of everybody trying to figure out who's best, let's have a playoff consisting of conference champions, and crown a Natoional Champion, shifting the focus from the beauty contest that is the polls (and lessening or eliminating their relevance), to a cut-and-dried system based on nothing but winning. Football teams should be able to focus on acheiving a clear set of objectives which would lead to the ultimate goal of being The Champion, instead of hoping they can be perceived by other people as being good enough.

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"Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard."
- H. L. Mencken

That make TOO much sense!***

Posted: Nov 9, 2014 12:50 PM

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Re: I've got a crazy, radical idea.

Posted: Nov 9, 2014 1:18 PM

Excellent, and I agree 110%.

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Re: Agreed however

Posted: Nov 9, 2014 1:39 PM

You must really hate the trickle down bowl system.



Nice....but how about you giving us your top 20

Posted: Nov 9, 2014 11:52 AM

After your analysis let's see if you can get it right since The Committee and eSECpn can't get it right.


Well...Wells Hungus, you better Not steal my old-folks scooter!

Posted: Nov 9, 2014 12:06 PM

OH...Kudos Sir Q, for You are one sharp, astute & award-winning sports guru that tells iT like it is..while making the read fantastically humorous while taking in the X & O's. Please write more often!!!!

GoTiGERS..keep winning!

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To All CLEMSON TiGERS..Sending you Bright Light from the Carolina Coast and hoping you get to witness a huge Orange sunset tonight. Go Tigers!

Re: Is there a "best" team in college football? Doesn't look it.

Posted: Nov 9, 2014 12:00 PM

Random thoughts:

#1. OOC schedule be dammed.They are undefeated in conference play.
Who else can you say that about except FSU.
#2. The key word is arrest,and we all know Jameis ain't about to get arrested
on anything short of murder.
#3. Had we taken care of business against UGA,and FSU,I might be open to discussion,
but we didn't,so we are not really in the mix about the "best" teams.
Right now the so called 4 best teams are about as good as it gets.

Re: Is there a "best" team in college football? Doesn't look it.

Posted: Nov 9, 2014 12:58 PM

Thanks for the input Coot!!

Since YOUR team sucks this year....You trade your Coot car flag in for an "SEC" one yet????

Go Tigers!!!!


Re: Is there a "best" team in college football? Doesn't look it.

Posted: Nov 9, 2014 1:08 PM

OSU's loss to Va Tech is the sole reason they should be left out of the playoff... that was embarrassing. They were dismantled at home by a team that is at the basement of the very weak ACC coastal.
Additionally, probably SEC east champion (Mizzou) has a home loss to Indiana... explain that one for me.

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TCU lost to Baylor not Okie…. which means they likely won't

Posted: Nov 9, 2014 1:55 PM

make the playoff. Baylor only has to get by Kansas St., whom they play at home, to win the Big 12. Baylor's got the head-to-head versus TCU and they're both 1-loss teams probably at the end of the season. Remember, there's no Big 12 CG.

FSU hasn't lost yet - in 2 years even. Don't know why anyone would say they're good for a loss or two. Sure, they haven't been as dominant as last year, but then again, you don't outpoint the Champ. You have to put him on the canvas to get the belt.

Overall I think the issue is not that there aren't quality teams in the SEC, it's just that there isn't a "complete" team in college this year. In other words, everyone's got issues.

So this year, it's all about match ups - much like the NFL - and where the game is being played (i.e. Ole Miss beats Bama at home but probably not in Tuscaloosa).

Of all the teams involved in the discussion, no one has a definitive away-from-home win unless you include:

FSU versus Okie State (mediocre)
Auburn versus Kansas St. (quality, just not playoff-bound)
Ohio St. (as you note the Big 10 is and always has been horse manure)
Auburn at Ole Miss (quality just not playoff bound - again for AU)

If FSU gets upset before the playoff, then there'll be a 2-loss team from the SEC in the playoff, likely Auburn, if they can beat Bama and win the SECCG, or Miss St, if they can beat Bama but lose to Ole Miss and then win the SECCG, or possibly Ohio State gets in based purely on "historical bias".

Oregon's in because of the Phil Knight factor (i.e. flashy uniforms), not because of quality opponents.

Baylor's in because the win they argument with TCU.

And the winner of the SECCG is in.

TCU shouldn't be penalized for losing by 3 pts on the road.

Posted: Nov 9, 2014 2:03 PM

If that game is @TCU they win. Hopefully the committee will be open-minded about this issue, because it's something that bothers me a lot. Head to head is not the end all be all when determining which team is better. Lord knows VT isn't better than Ohio State right now.

I love it when people rewrite history a la '1984'...

Posted: Nov 10, 2014 5:05 PM

and then act like they're making sense.


"If I say it, it's real….."


Baylor has a much weaker ooc schedule than TCU...

Posted: Nov 9, 2014 3:00 PM

So that vaults TCU ahead of Baylor for the moment.


You are right, which is exactly why Miss St has a chance.

Posted: Nov 9, 2014 2:01 PM

FSU is a shell of their 2013 team. Oregon has O-line and defensive issues, but Mariota is the best player in CFB and will probably win the Heisman. TCU is dynamic on offense and Patterson is actually a defensive guy so if they get into the playoff and he has time to prepare i think they could be very dangerous, but they've had their struggles too. Bama looks like the best team in the country at times, but at other times they can barely move the ball. The Big Ten is all a joke i think, though Meyer is a great coach (and sleaze ball) so if they actually get in i guess they could be dangerous.

So yeah, Miss St might not look like a prototypical #1 team, but nobody else does either. They have their hands full trying to win @Bama and @Ole Miss though, so just getting into the playoff is far from certain at this point.

Bama looks like a mediocre team that is dodging bullets...

Posted: Nov 9, 2014 3:01 PM

because they are playing in a conference that is on the verge of becoming below average.


Re: Great post***

Posted: Nov 9, 2014 5:31 PM

Does Pigskin Prophet live next door?

Posted: Nov 9, 2014 8:21 PM

I can see where he gets some inspiration....though does not write as eloquently. ;} Great write up...keep it coming.

Re: Is there a "best" team in college football? Doesn't look it.

Posted: Nov 9, 2014 9:14 PM

Alabama is clearly the best team right now.

Clearly? What are you watching?

Posted: Nov 9, 2014 10:03 PM

If LSU could complete a forward pass they would have scorched Bama.

Bama is capable of playing well, but they don't do it consistently. Esp on the road.

The SEC West is being unrightfully hailed as the greatest div in the history of everything, but there is only one really good qb in there, and that makes a huge difference.

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Re: Clearly? What are you watching?

Posted: Nov 9, 2014 10:05 PM

I do not think the West is that great, but Bama finally has an offense capable of putting up points when they need them.

It was quite the page-turner...

Posted: Nov 9, 2014 10:10 PM

...and I couldn't put it down. Good post though. Thanks.

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Excellent post. Need more of these.***

Posted: Nov 9, 2014 11:13 PM


Re: Excellent post. Need more of these.***

Posted: Nov 10, 2014 12:42 AM

Quozzell you need to put Scar in Southeast 3 ....they stinkus maximus.
Other than that , nice thoughts and great points.

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Re: Is there a "best" team in college football? Doesn't look it.

Posted: Nov 10, 2014 12:51 PM

Agreed. But there are very good teams in all 5 major conferences. And how would they stack up playing one another? Dunno, and neither does anyone else. Ironically, this makes selecting teams for the playoff this year simple for all but the dimmest. Champions - and only champions - of the 5 major conferences are in. Only problem is which champion to leave out. Nasty little problem, but with all the supposed brainpower on the committee, they'll come up with some unsatisfactory explanation to justify it.


Posted: Nov 10, 2014 2:45 PM

what was the question?

Re: Is there a "best" team in college football? Doesn't look it.

Posted: Nov 10, 2014 3:20 PM

The best teams change each week.

From last weekend's action the best teams were Minnesota, Ohio State, UCLA and TCU.

But the above is only one weekend. The most solid team I have seen this year has two losses (UCLA) so how can it be that they may be the "best"? They probably aren't.


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