College football last week saw USC go down for a fourth straight year to Stanford, the Big Ten get behind the eight ball in the national championship race after Michigan State ran into a Notre Dame defensive wall. Virginia Tech might have the worse loss of the year against Pittsburgh (more on that later).
Everyone is still waiting for Oregon, West Virginia and Florida State to get done with the preseason.
Florida, Notre Dame, and Alabama silenced road crowds with dominating performances. Good college football teams are expected to win at home but winning on the road against good (or supposed to be good) opponents sets teams apart.
The Southeastern Conference moves to the top of the list with the Crimson Tide, LSU Tigers, Georgia Bulldogs, and South Carolina Gamecocks ranked in top five of the JFP Top 25 this week. The Big East is the big winner this week after getting wins against the ACC.
LSU and Alabama are the best two teams in the country, hands down. Georgia, South Carolina, Florida, and Mississippi State are undefeated and looking to challenge for the top of the SEC mountain.
Some poor team is going to get the fifth or sixth best SEC in a bowl game and end up getting spanked. Missouri and Texas A&M look like they are going to be solid teams.
The Tigers defeated Arizona State out of the Pac-12. LSU had defeated Washington from the same conference the week before.
Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Auburn, Arkansas and Ole Miss look to be the bottom five teams of the conference. Tennessee played with the Gators for three quarters and should be a good solid football team.
Sure, USC lost last week but Oregon is still in the national title hunt and USC still has time to get back into the race. Stanford is undefeated right now and could get deep into the championship picture.
Colorado is a dumpster fire but most of the Pac-12 teams seem to solid early in the season. Besides the SEC this could be the deepest conference in the country.
Arizona, Arizona State, UCLA, and Washington State all seem to be much better teams this year. It is early in the season but the Pac-12 looks to be on the rise.
No team in the Big-12 has really stood out and played any big time competition. The only teams in the conference with a loss or losses is Oklahoma State and Kansas.
By virtue of at least beating bad teams or weaker teams, the Big-12 stays in third place by default. This conference really doesn't have many standout wins.
Someone wake me when the Big-12 plays somebody out of conference that is tough. People love knocking the SEC for week out of conference game but this conference can't say in thing about a weak out of conference schedule.
I have to wonder if this will show up when the bowl season starts.
The Big Ten as a conference is really going to be rooting for Michigan to defeat Notre Dame on Saturday night. It has only been been three weeks into the season and the Big Ten has struggle against top teams from other conferences.
Northwestern and Minnesota are undefeated and can play for a conference championship but the Wildcats and Golden Gophers aren't expect to make a lot noise once Big Ten play begins.
Ohio State is undefeated but can't play in the post season.
Michigan, Nebraska, Wisconsin, and Iowa have all struggle out of the game against weaker teams at time but the real struggles have come against other BCS conferences.
The Big Ten is not out of the title picture but will need help from several places to get into the championship picture.
The Big East almost earned the fourth spot but the Big Ten isn't that bad yet. Last week the Big East went up against the ACC and brought home some nice wins.
Pittsburgh leads the way after defeating Virginia Tech. The Panthers started out fast and never slowed down cruising to a 35-17 victory.
Connecticut defeated Maryland and Louisville defeated North Carolina. The Big East went 3-0 against the ACC to jump to fifth place.
Louisville needed to hold on against North Carolina but the Cardinals are the Big East best hope of playing for a national title. Cincinnati could get in to the picture if Louisville falls at some point.
The ACC was embarrassed last week against the Big East and Boston College fell to Northwestern out of the Big Ten. Virginia Tech's loss hurts the conference because Pitt hasn't been good and the ACC neededs some high profile teams in the top 25.
Now the conference needs Florida State and Clemson to put on a show on Saturday night. Both the Seminoles and Tigers are undefeated but the loser of this game will need help to get back into the championship race.
Both the ACC and the Big East could stay tied for the bottom of the BCS conference rankings. Neither conference has been dominate in a long time.
The Big East has the bigger image problem but the ACC really isn't that much better. In fact the ACC has been riding for a long time on past reputation.
This week's winners (picks in bold):
Maryland at West Virginia
Kentucky at Florida
Virginia at TCU
Miami at Georgia Tech
Oregon State at UCLA
Missouri at South Carolina
California at USC
LSU at Auburn
Michigan at Notre Dame
Vanderbilt at Georgia
Kansas State at Oklahoma
Clemson at Florida State
Arizona at Oregon