Most college football teams have three games under their belt. In my eyes this is the minimum necessary to attempt to rate these teams realistically.
The Reality Rankings Top Ten focuses on one thing and one thing only: performance and accomplishment on the field of play this year only. Who did you play and how did you play them?
I don't care how many starters you had coming back. I don't care about what you claim your tradition is. Your media guide saying you have 98 national football championships means nothing to me. (You hear that, Alabama and USC?). Where you are in the preseason means nothing to me.
Here's what factors into my Reality Rankings.
*This is not a list of who I think could win a theoretical match up on a neutral field. Just because one team is ranked higher than another doesn't mean I would bet any money on them to win.
*How you win (or lose) is important. You can get credit for a great loss. A win over a patsy can actually be negative if you don't thoroughly dominate them.
*You get credit only for the team you beat on that day. If you beat a great team in Week 2, then that team's quarterback goes down on Week 3 and lose the rest of their games, you are still credited with a quality win at season's end. Conversely, if you beat a team that sucked in Week 2 and makes a quarterback change that leads it to win the rest of its games, you don't have a quality win.
(The Sooners have not had one of the top 10 best showings so far. No credit is given to beating a FCS team, which means only a shaky UTEP win is on the Sooner resume.)
1. Alabama – Tide have looked the most impressive so far, steamrolling everyone in their path. Bama has only allowed two touchdowns in three games.
2. LSU – Bayou Bengals have looked dominant as well. However, they have not been tested and may not be until November 3 when they host Bama.
3. Stanford – The Cardinal get the nod over Florida State by manhandling a talented, but thin, USC. I'm attributing their shaky opening win against San Jose St. to rust.
4. Florida St. – Seminoles are starting the season like they hoped to last year. Numbers are impressive, but two of their wins against Savannah St. and Murray St. really shouldn't count. The jury is still out. First test is Clemson on Saturday.
5. Notre Dame – Irish are having their best start in years. They snapped a 15-game home winning streak held by Michigan St. They'll be an interesting watch and should be 5-0 when they host Stanford.
6. Florida – Credit must be given for two solid wins against teams with crazy crowds in Texas A&M and Tennessee. The Gators get LSU at The Swamp in two weeks.
7. Georgia – Bulldogs are looking solid so far. Good win at Mizzou to welcome the Tigers to the SEC.
8. UCLA – Most optimism at Westwood in years. Took care of Nebraska at home. The Bruins can boast to rival USC about their appearance in this week's Reality Rankings Top Ten.
9. Oregon – Ducks get no credit for beating Arkansas State and Tennessee Tech. Got sloppy in the second half in their win against Fresno State.
10. Texas – Yep, the Longhorns make their first ever appearance in the Reality Rankings Top Ten. Three solid wins against unimpressive teams. First test will be against West Virginia in two weeks.