Meaningful games make the picture a little less murky. The AP poll finally looks at body of work and places LSU at the top. Clemson claims a spot in the top 10 with a solid performance over reeling Florida St. Only LSU looked more impressive Saturday. The Bayou Bengals look unstoppable.
The Sooners didn't look like a championship team at the start, but finally asserted their will. They simply must improve if they hope to be worthy of the crystal ball. Granted, OU didn't have its second and third receivers, but the attitude at the beginning was surprisingly listless. Credit the Sooners for coming back, but starting slow against an elite team will get the Sooners smacked. Let's hope they learn from this and start bringing the attitude we're seeing from the SEC.
Here's this week's rankings based on the reality of what has happened on the field (last week's ranking in parentheses):
1. Louisiana State (1) – The Tigers definitely have the best resume thus far, but don't let all the drooling from the national pundits fool you. West Virginia and Mississippi State are looking to be overrated. Still, winning in front of a hostile Morgantown crowd deserves some kudos. LSU's defense is crazy fast.
2. Oklahoma (2) – Lethargic win over Missouri. Still, it's a win over a good team on the rise. The Florida State win may end up not being a quality win by the end of the season. However, I'll give FSU the benefit of the doubt for not playing without E.J. Manuel and Greg Reid and playing Clemson close in Death Valley.
3. Alabama (3) – Crimson Tide looking great and taking care of business at home against Arkansas. However, the Razorbacks are just an average team with no quality wins whatsover. Will get a much tougher test next at the Swamp against Florida.
4. Oklahoma State (6) – Gets the nod over Boise State based on more wins against higher-quality teams. Showed some toughness coming back on the road against Texas A&M. Justin Blackmon is the most dominant receiver in college football.
5. Boise State (5) – Broncos have looked beautiful in every game. Kellen Moore is a surgeon with alligator blood. Kid just doesn't get phased. It's a damn shame that we can't see them show their stuff against more BCS conference teams. The nation is missing out on some quality football.
6. Stanford (4) – Cardinal fall due to bye week and lack of quality teams played. May not face a great team until mid-October against Oregon.
7. Clemson (-) – The Tigers debut in the Reality Rankings. Positions 7-14 are pretty much a tossup. Teams will start to separate themselves in the coming weeks. Clemson has handled its business at home against Auburn and Florida St. Now the Tigers will face their first solid test away when they go to Virginia Tech.
8. Florida (7) – The Gators have beaten better teams than the teams below and have looked impressive in all wins. The mega-gauntlet awaits: Alabama and LSU.
9. Wisconsin (8) – The Badgers have played nobody but have done what they had to do – crush the competition. Will finally play a non-patsy when Nebraska comes to town.
10. South Florida (10) – The Bulls cling to a top 10 spot by riding their win at South Bend. Have looked solid in all wins. Unfortunately they will continue to be overlooked playing their weak Big East schedule.
Dropped From Rankings: Florida State (9).
(I welcome some debate and questioning. Shoot me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org.)