Was it something I said?
In all seriousness, I appreciated Senator Blutarsky’s thoughts on the Georgia Southern game, Nathan’s response to my predominantly positive but unflinching assessment of the contest, and the many measured and thoughtful comments from Cookin’ and Smilin’, Dawgblogit, Mark the Shark, NCT, Richard Pittman, RocketDawg, Romad_20, Cale Self, SG Standard, Shadrach, and Darin Smith. I hope I adequately clarified my position---which, again, I believe was extremely positive overall---in response.
Irrespective of whether I did, though, here is a preliminary draft of my top 18. (Why top 18? Because I had Tennessee ranked 19th in my preseason top 25 and the Volunteers don’t play until tomorrow night.) Here are a few pertinent points to bear in mind when assessing why I did what I did:
- While I have every confidence in my team and its coaches, my rankings (while still mostly prospective at this early stage of the season) are based upon the available evidence, however scant, and, at the highest level, style points count.
- I tried to measure each team’s opening game for what it was worth. For instance, Oklahoma played a much weaker opponent than Missouri did, but the Sooners won by a final margin which was more in line with the expected result than the Tigers did.
- By doing so, am I rewarding teams for running it up on inferior competition? Perhaps, although this will come out in the wash once everyone has played someone. Until all of the teams have played legitimate games, the best we can do is compare apples to apples. A game between Georgia and Georgia Southern is analogous to a game between Ohio State and Youngstown State, so, if the Buckeyes looked better in their outing than the ‘Dawgs did, I have to reward that accordingly.
- Where I was not given any particular reason to move a team, I left that team alone. This, too, will change as more teams face serious competition.
- Not only is there no Atlantic Coast Conference team in my top 18, there will not be an A.C.C. squad in my top 25. This should be self-explanatory, but, for anyone who wonders why I am omitting the A.C.C. entirely, it is because the A.C.C. stinks.
Here, then, is the rough draft of my top 18:
Obviously, Tennessee could move up or down, depending upon tomorrow night’s result, and I am giving serious thought to moving the Crimson Tide higher and to ranking Utah (which will be in my top 25) above the Broncos.
Those caveats aside, though, how does that look as a preliminary rundown of the top 18 teams in the land after the first Saturday’s college football action?