TAC College Football Rankings: Week 1

Idaho Vandals QB & NFL Prospect Nathan Enderle

So we’re trying a new feature here at TAC. Since we noticed we have a lot of college football fans, we thought it might be fun to start our own rankings system. This way, we have an excuse to talk college football every week in a Catholic setting. B/c we thought of it this week, this ranking is coming out on Thursday but the others should be coming out on Mondays.

Here’s how it’ll work. People will send in their rankings and I’ll assign points to them (25 for 1st, 24 for 2nd, etc.) and then average out the points and rank the teams according to that. Then I will take that score along with the computer models and…just kidding. No computer models.

My hope is that it’ll build and we’ll get more people involved (and if you want to submit rankings, let me know-you don’t have to write for TAC). At the end of the year, we may even do a special bowl pick-em thing if it seems popular enough.

Rankings follow after the jump ?

There were four writers this week due to deadlines; next week we hope to have at least 5. The writers were myself, Tito, Jay Anderson, and Paul Zummo. This is what we came up with. Jay added in comments, so the comments are either from him (J) or me (M) and there’s one from Tito.

  1. Alabama (2) – “Until someone knocks off the defending champs, they’re still #1.”(J)
  2. Boise State (1) - “They have the best win of the young season. Until other teams prove themselves, they should be #1″ (m)
  3. Ohio State – “if Ohio State stays healthy they may have the team to beat at the end of the year.” (J)
  4. TCU – “TCU might have had the best performance over a quality opponent in Week 1″ (M)
  5. Oregon – “72-0 (and shutting it down after the 3rd quarter or else they might have put up 100) is impressive regardless of whom one is playing.”(j)
  6. Nebraska (1) – “The Huskers are back on top.  After destroying Arizona in the Holiday Bowl and many starters coming back, they stomped all over Western Kentucky and are now ready to face the vastly underrated Idaho Vandal” (Tito)
  7. Texas – Not amazing in Week 1, but the way Oklahoma looked it’s hard to imagine many teams from the Big 12 beating Texas. (M)
  8. Oklahoma – This ranking is achieved by recruiting success and reputation only. I’m just not impressed overall with the Sooners. They are the REAL perennial underachievers every year in both the regular season and their BCS appearances. For all the crap the Buckeyes take for their BCS bowl record (which is a solid 5-3, including a National Championship), it is the Sooners who have to be embarassed by their paltry 2-5 showing in BCS bowl games, including losing 4 straight (one of them to Boise State).(J)
  9. Iowa – The Hawkeyes, if Stanzi stays healthy (a HUGE “if” after seeing him go down again on Saturday), are the biggest impediment between Ohio State and another run to the BCS Championship game.(J)
  10. Florida – Fans have to be worried; Miami Ohio shouldn’t be threatening in the 4th quarter in the Swamp. If the problems aren’t fixed fast, Florida might not win the East and the SEC as a whole will be decided in the West. (m)
  11. Miami (FL) (actually tied w/ Florida for 10) – Miami’s been threatening for a few years to return to prominence. An out-of conference game against the Buckeyes this week (In the “Game of the Year” of the Week this week) provides a starting point, but the real test comes in not dropping headscratching ACC games. (m)
  12. Virginia Tech – Tech is not going to fall very far in my rankings after narrowly losing to my number 2 team, who had to score a last-minute touchdown to overcome the Hokies. After starting out excruciatingly slow on Monday night and falling behind 17-0, the boys from Blacksburg made an impressive and valiant recovery to take the lead against Boise State and hold it until late in the game. If they run the table the rest of the season (not unheard of), and if enough teams ahead of them lose (again, not unheard of), we could very well see a BCS championship rematch of the game we watched on Monday.(J)
  13. Wisconsin – The Badgers never seem to get any of the hype, but they’re always in the thick of things at the end of the year. An impressive bowl victory over Miami has given them momentum going into this season. (J)
  14. LSU – Yeah, they pulled out a squeaker against UNC’s second-string defense. But that second-string is a lot better than the first string of the cupcakes most teams faced this season. Until Miles started resting players, both the offense and defense looked improved from last year’s 9-4 squad that lost all close games. A challenging but not too rough start to the season gives LSU a chance to refine themselves before facing the big boys of the SEC. (M)
  15. Utah – For some reason, everyone forget they beat Pittsburgh last Thursday by the time Saturday came around. Utah’s risen to the occasion almost every time they’ve faced a non-conference foe. (M)
  16. Georgia Tech – Another underappreciated team that always seems to the last one standing among the wreckage that is the ACC over the last several years.(j)
  17. BYU – Program is improving, but nothing to yet suggest they can contend with TCU in the MWC (m)
  18. USC – Cheater, cheater, pumpkin eater. Same dirty tactics, different theater. Lane Kiffin returns to the place where he learned how to cheat at the feet of the master, and where the student athletes major in creating new and inventive ways to cheat that no one else ever thought of before.(J)
  19. Arkansas – Their offense is great, but defense is the key in the SEC. With two cupcakes the first two weeks, it’ll be a while before we see if the Razorbacks can make a run in a crowded SEC West.
  20. Florida State (TIE w/Arkansas) – Jimbo Fisher has the Seminoles back on track. Unfortunately, in the coming years, we might have to get used to seeing 3 Florida teams sitting near the top of the rankings.(J)
  21. Penn State – Joe Pa just keeps going and going. An impressive first game from his new freshman quarterback turns what looked like a question mark going into the season into an exclamation point going into this weekend’s game against the top-ranked Crimson Tide.(J)
  22. Idaho (TIE w/Penn St). – Um…Tito ranked Idaho 8th. No one else ranked them. Talk to Tito.
  23. Arizona – Tito loves him some PAC-10. Again, Tito ranked them 9th and no one else ranked them.
  24. Georgia – With Florida appearing to stumble, the Bulldogs may have an opportunity to reclaim the East. However, AJ Green’s suspension is worrisome (M).
  25. Fresno State (TIE w. Georgia) Tito ranked them 10th. Sure, beating Cincy after Brian Kelly spit on them is a good win…I guess. (m)

Others receiving votes: Auburn, Stanford, California, Arizona State, Texas A&M, West Virginia, Michigan, Air Force, Notre Dame, Nevada, Wyoming, UNC, and Pittsburgh. (And yes, Cal, Ariz St, Texas A&M, Air Force, Nevada, & Wyoming were voted for solely by Tito).

What we learned: Tito is a West coast homer. But it’s week 1, and there’s not much information to go on anyway so it’s all arbitrary. It’ll be interesting to see where we go with another week of action coming up tonight.

Debate in the combox!

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/09/us/09barbie.html?_r=2&pagewanted=1&src=twr

37 Responses to TAC College Football Rankings: Week 1

  • Thanks for ranking them Michael!

    BEAR DOWN!

  • Ok, Tito. Why on earth is Idaho #8? Why do you have them so high?

  • Idaho has a four year starter in NFL prospect QB Nathan Enderle returning and putting in a fantastic performance against FCS power North Dakota.

    1,000-yard rusher Deonte Jackson is back for his senior season.

    2 starting WR’s return as well.

    7 of the top 8 DL’s return in a loaded WAC with Boise State, Fresno State, and Nevada.

    The entire LB corps returns to make the Defense one of the most feared in college football (and their back-ups return as well).

    Ditto the Secondary.

    We’ll see what happens in Lincoln this weekend when they face #6 Nebraska.

  • I agree with your take on VA Tech. Boise State was shrewd in scheduling the Hokies for their first game. VA Tech lost a disproportionate number of starters, especially on defense, whereas Boise State returned almost all their starters. VA Tech is likely to improve more than Boise State through the season.

  • You know I was kind of tempted to get a little ridiculous in my rankings – like putting the entire Big East in top 25 or something. After seeing Tito’s rankings, I kind of wish I had.

  • Mike:

    Yeah, the first game is always really tough to judge b/c some teams need it more than others i.e. need to work out the kinks & sloppiness. Both Boise & VT had their moments in that game. I still think VT will contend for the ACC crown.

    Paul:

    Please don’t. You are going to hurt my soul.

    Tito:

    Not a bad case, though 8 is really high. We’ll see what happens when you #8 meets your #1 this weekend. Maybe you’ll have me eating crow.

  • Paul,

    There’s always next week, but by then the Big-East will reveal themselves to be the usual charlatans that they are.

  • Okay, MAYBE Tito has a good argument for Idaho’s inclusion in the top 25. But at #8?

  • Very interesting Michael, you put some serious work into this project. For what it is worth, I might have to throw my prognosticating helmet into the ring. While Tito may have a West Coast bias, I have a Midwestern bias, skewing toward the Big Ten and MAC. Though I believe Jay has some loyalties to the Big 12 and ACC, he might be sympathetic to the Midwest.

    As for the poll, it looks pretty sound though I would put Ohio State over Boise St. You might want to check out the Central Michigan vs Temple game tonight, the winner could be a sleeper in the Top 25. I would also put Notre Dame in the Also Receiving Votes. I think they will manhandle Michigan this week. Though, I don’t like recent developments at Our Lady’s campus, they still have a more orthodox minded student body than any of the other major Catholic campuses. In addition, there probably hasn’t been a more faith filled Catholic coach than Gerry Faust, even if things didn’t go his way. He promptly went to the Grotto every day, as he promised Our Lady, if he got the job.

    BTW, what in the world is wrong with Joe Montana bad mouthing Rudy during the Dan Patrick Show? Let the guy have some glory. How embarrassing for Joe that some former teammates had to politely scold him for his comments.

    Finally, Tito I think the Idaho Vandals should employ you as their marketing director, that’s some pretty astute commentary on your part!

  • Dave:

    Well if Paul’s got a Big East bias and I’ve got my SEC bias, we’ll have everyone except the MWC represented!

    Also, Notre Dame did receive votes. Notre Dame was in Jay, Mine, and Paul’s top 25 but not Tito’s (or maybe very low on Tito, not sure). Since Notre Dame was pretty low on all our ballots, it fell out.

    What happened with the Joe Montana deal? I hadn’t heard about that.

  • Jay, Michael, Paul, et al.,

    And just a reminder, in our Catholic Writer’s College Football Poll Idaho is ranked #22.

    ;)

  • Actually, they’re 21st since they’re tied with Penn State.

    :_(

  • Michael, Jay, & Dave,

    I had Notre Dame in at #25.

    I penalize their faculty and administration for being worldly, but you’re right about the student body.

    From what I’m aware of they are one of the most deeply devote campuses in the country outside of Thomas Aquinas College and Franciscan University-Steubenville.

    For the record, Idaho was #9 on my ballot, not #8.

  • Dave is correct that my loyalties do lie in the Midwest – I prefer Big 10 football (and have from childhood) even over my alma mater conferences, the SWC (now the Big 12 minus 2) and the ACC.

    In addition, I will give Idaho props for their awesome mascot name.

    Jay
    Van High School (Van, TX)
    Fighting Van Vandals
    1982-1986

  • Jay,

    The very same Vandals that terrorized Christian North Africa?

    ;)

  • The very same Vandals that kicked @$$ and took names throughout East Texas, baby.

    ;-)

  • Yeaaah!

    It’s FOOTBALL season baby!

    That’s what I’m talkin’ about!

  • Michael, the Joe Montana thing rubbed me the wrong way. Perhaps it was because Rudy was nice enough to be interviewed for my book twice (along with other Notre Dame connected personalities like Lou Holtz, Dick Vitale and Gerry Faust.) He didn’t know me from Adam and yet he helped me out. He has been on the road for years giving hope to people and making a nice living for his family. (A great combination by the way, someone who is an idealist and a Capitalist all at the same time.)

    Why Joe Montana tries to ruin it for the guy is beyond me. As I stated fortunately after the Dan Patrick interview, a couple members of the 1975 squad defended Rudy and scolded Joe saying 95% of the movie was correct. Montana was only a freshman on the team, let Rudy have his fun and allow him to inspire people. Joe could take some lessons from Rudy’s exhuberance, because as a commentator Joe was terrible. Sorry if I got off topic everyone, thanks for allowing me to vent.

  • Just another reason for me to hate Joe Montana (the so-called “The Catch”, of course, taking the highest position of prominence in my hierarchy of hatred).”

  • Awww, Jay, don’t tell me you’re a cowgirls fan?

  • Dave:

    No problem. I wasn’t familiar with what Joe had said about Rudy, but I take he indicated that the movie was not accurate?

    Tito:

    No, you had Idaho at 8. I double-checked. Next week, I hope to actually figure out how to do a screenshot of the excel sheet and post it to so we can see where everyone was.

    And Jay is a cowgirls fan, which is sad, since God has clearly designated his team in New Orleans and Jay refused to believe (which reminds me-anyone up for a Pro football rankings next week?)

  • Michael,

    I double-checked and you’re right.

    In my WORD document where I made my picks I must have updated it after I sent it.

    Now I know how John Kerry feels, like a complete idiot.

  • I’m not into pro football power rankings, so I’ll just stick with the college game.

    Tito,
    I grew up in northeast Texas in the days of God’s (and His blessed mother’s) quarterback, Roger Staubach. Anyone NOT a Cowboys fan under those circumstances has no soul.

  • Jay,

    Those were there good ole days of Tex Schram.

    Luis Zendejas said in a motivational seminar where I used to work at Wal-Mart that the difference between playing for then-new head coach Jimmy Johnson and Tom Landry (he played for both) was that you would take your family to a BBQ hosted by Landry, but you would go to the strip clubs with Johnson.

  • I’d be up for pro-football rankings.

    Speaking of which – go Drew Brees and Bobby Meachem (both on my fantasy team)!

  • Yes, this is my favorite time of the sporting year (the best actual time period being rivalry week of mid November through the bowl season into early January.) Though I do like March Madness as well.

    As for nicknames, I am sucker for the politically incorrect names. At my high school (Marion Catholic in Ohio) we were the Fighting Irish. I am an Ohio University alum, and we are a member of the Mid American conference. At one time there were the Redskins (Miami of Ohio) the Hurons (Eastern Michigan) and the Chippewas (Central Michigan.) Now only the Chippewas remain. However, some alums from Eastern Michigan and Miami still travel with banners that read “Forever Hurons” and “Forever Redskins.” It was my understanding that the Huron tribe actually liked the name, but the liberal university board thought it would be offensive. Nothing like telling people that they should be offended!

    When I was in school, we had an old school Irish priest who also served as chaplain at the local correctional institute. He was always on the football sidelines exhorting the team and the crowd. One year we played a school about an hour away, where few Catholics lived. We were told some years later that the coach of the team placed a bounty on the priest. The priest was never touched because the opposing players were smart enough to know there would have been a war. During my high school years, that same priest once said that he was surprised to learn that players of German extraction had exceeded in numbers players of Irish and Italian extraction, “Maybe we should call ourselves the Fighting Germans? Well on second thought that might not go over well.” I think it was the only time he second guessed himself!

  • Dave,

    My first job out of college was as an Assistant to the Marketing Director at the University of Arizona Athletic Department. I did a lot of work in the college football industry after that so I can spin a tale or two to sell a ticket!

    Helps if the program is a winner.

    I’m also a MAC fan since I had to work with them when I was a Las Vegas Bowl rep many moons ago when their champions would meet the WAC champions.

  • Tito, ah the Las Vegas Bowl. At Ohio U, we never had a winning season in my undergrad years. For years after, fellow alums and yours truly would think of the Las Vegas Bowl as most school’s alums think of the BCS Bowl Series. We never made it! However, I did attend the MAC Championship Game and the Little Ceasar’s Bowl (formerly the Motor City Bowl) last December. Ah Detrot in December, there’s nothing like hearing gunfire as the detour signs to I-75 were mysteriosuly nowhere to be found, and you find yourself are driving through blocks of abandoned buildings. I don’t think my wife as recovered yet! Somehow, the Las Vegas Bowl of old would have sounded more inviting, though no less dangerous.

  • Yes, Ohio University.

    Back when I was more interested in sports/athletics than in God I remember Ohio U. having the best Masters in Sports Management degree in the country.

    Besides that, it is a fine and excellent university!

    The MAC is known as the cradle of college football coaches. Where all the greats start out and move on to BCS-caliber programs.

  • There is now an Idaho Vandal on my post. I guess I shall have to ensure that pictures from the LSU games make more frequent appearances.

  • Michael, just wanted to ‘improve’ the look of your post.

    It’s your post so I don’t mind if you take it down.

    :)

  • No, it’s fine. I think it’s kinda of funny.

    That said, if you suddenly see that one of your comments now proclaims the glory of LSU football and your profound love for the purple and gold, you’ll understand why. ;)

  • LOL.

    It’s a one week wonder. Idaho will probably lose to the Cornhuskers, but hopefully not so badly so my ranking looks good!

  • Tito, thanks for the compliment concerning my alma mater, Ohio University. Yes the MAC has had some great coaches. Miami of Ohio (our hated rival) is where Sid Gilman, Paul Brown, Woody Hayes, Bo Schembechler, Ara Paraseghian, Randy Walker etc got their start.

  • Can’t wait to see week’s 2 rankings beh-bee!

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