Everyone has some opinions on what they would like to see change–both in the sports world and outside of it. For whatever its worth (and it probably is not worth much), there are plenty of changes throughout sports that this author would like to see. Before we touched on the College Football Playoff reporting issues and ranking issues. But how about the playoff system as a whole? Consider…the Confidential’s Perfect College Football Playoff:
Everyone has some opinions on what they would like to see change–both in the sports world and outside of it. For whatever its worth (and it probably is not worth much), there are plenty of changes throughout sports that this author would like to see. Before we touched on the College Football Playoff reporting issues. But the rankings needs work also…as Florida State should be #1. As should ANY team that is the sole undefeated team from a Power 5 conference after 10 games.
THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF RANKINGS
OK, with the College Football Playoff Committee’s decision to have Alabama leap over FSU and Oregon based on beating Mississippi State, the Confidential cannot take it any longer. The goal in football has always been to win 100% of your games. Always. Unless you are outside a major conference (see Brigham Young), going undefeated and being the SOLE undefeated team was usually the best way to win a title. Indeed, if this season were to end under the BCS regime or its predecessors, an undefeated Florida State would be the national champion.
But, by the same token, if Tennessee or Wisconsin or Kansas State or Arizona State did the same thing, they too would be the national champion. That is and has always been the way it is done.
In light of same, there is absolutely no reason why any one-loss team from a power conference–a dozen weeks into the season–should ever be behind a one-loss team. None. The system should reward perfection BEFORE it starts analyzing warts for size, shape, and color.
The rankings as of today should be: (1) Florida State; (2) Alabama; (3) Oregon; and (4) Mississippi State. It is perplexing that the committee has undefeated Florida State #3.
The excuse is that Florida State has not played anyone. But Florida State scheduled and beat Oklahoma State and Notre Dame out-of-conference. What else can the Seminoles do? They have also beaten Louisville, Clemson, and Miami within conference. And Florida looms. Again, what else can the Seminoles do?
In fairness, Alabama tested itself with West Virginia opening week. The Mountaineers are 6-4 and Oklahoma State is 5-5, with WVU also having won the head-to-head matchup. Oregon, too, tested itself… beating Michigan State.
The problem is that Oregon lost to Arizona at home. This is the same Arizona team that lost to Southern Cal, which lost to Boston College. Oregon walked onto a football field and walked off the loser. That is something that Florida State has yet to do.
Similarly, Alabama walked off the field at Ole Miss a loser. Not an embarrassing loss by any stretch. But not so significant that a team with a perfect record should bow to it.
At this late juncture of the season, the sole undefeated team from a Power 5 conference should be the #1 team. And this is a change that the Confidential would like to see.
Welcome to the ACC Roundtable of the ACC Correspondents! As is and will be the plan for the remainder of the football season, the Confidential correspondents will discuss the Week that was (week 12) and the Week that will be (Week 13) for the ACC and their respective schools. Special thanks to the Confidential contributors for their comments and opinions. Tell us what you think below.
WHAT WAS THE BIGGEST SURPRISE FOR THE ACC IN WEEK 12?
David (FSU): Duke, what are you doing? I really didn’t see them losing to Va Tech going into the week, and you’ve got to feel for both Clemson (Watson’s knee) and Miami (I seriously don’t know how FSU won).
Len (Louisville): Clemson, Duke and Notre Dame all losing. Duke’s hold on the Coastal loosened and Georgia Tech is ready to take it from them. North Carolina can knock their rivals from the division lead this weekend.
Mike (NC State): While Virginia Tech’s upset of Duke was an eye-opener, the Georgia Tech domination of Clemson is the surprise of the week in the conference. Jackets fans will now be watching the UNC-Duke Thursday night game with renewed interest, as this is the best chance for another Duke loss.
John (UNC): Wow, Notre Dame’s freefall continues. Losing to a 3-6 Northwestern team just shows how far the mighty have fallen. Injuries aside, there’s no excuse for the Fighting Irish to lose to the Wildcats, especially in South Bend. Not that Notre Dame would have a chance for a big bowl with three losses anyway, but they may need to re-think their football conference affiliation status at this point. Welcome to the ACC…for real this time.
Brian (FSU): ND losing to Northwestern… what the heck happened? There went my pool. NW has one of the worst offenses in college football and puts crazy points on ND on the road. Brian Kelly has gone from top tier college football coach to a mistake waiting to happen in just two weeks.
Anthony (Syracuse): Tough call. I really did not see Duke losing to Va Tech, Clemson losing to Georgia Tech, or Notre Dame losing to Northwestern. The latter was the biggest upset though. But I will go with Florida State yet again starting slow and having to come back. The Seminoles are playing with fire. If you cannot come out strong against a rival like Miami–that is not a good sign. Credit FSU for the win, but it is high time that FSU play a full 60-minute game.
WHAT WAS THE BIGGEST SURPRISE/DISAPPOINTMENT FOR YOUR SCHOOL IN WEEK 12?
David (FSU): I could go on for days about everything that surprised me in this game. How lost the D was for the first 25 minutes of the game, how the Defense turned it on and shut down Miami for the next 35. How moving Cam Erving to Center & starting a True Freshman in Rod Johnson at LT actually worked, and worked very well. Helped open up running lanes for another True Freshman who is emerging as a the team’s homerun threat in Dalvin Cook.
Len (Louisville): Notre Dame losing. It would have been nice to face a ranked opponent on their turf. The Cards are playing for a good bowl game and we can knock the Golden Domers down a few more notches for the ACC.
Mike (NC State): Hey! The Pack can run the ball! Ok, it was only Wake, but NC State’s 362-yard rushing performance, including 100+ yards by both Matt Dayes and Shadrach Thornton was a high point in a season of struggles. And they are now bowl-eligible. But hey, Wolfpack, don’t settle for sneaking in at 6-6. Beat Carolina!!
John (UNC): I was so impressed with how the Tar Heels came back against Pitt, despite being down almost the whole game. One thing the team has shown this year is resiliency. Even though the defense is among the worst in the country, they always show up when they’re needed most. With a young team all-around, hopefully, it’s the sign of good things to come.
Brian (FSU): I am surprised FSU did not lose to UM by a field goal, and in reality UM is the team that got burned by a shanked field goal in reality. I am also surprised ESPN is beginning to cover the fact it may have jumped the gun on the Winston got paid for autographs scandal. Reports from OTL are coming out that the signatures in question were questioned so much by the original authenticator brought in to verify the signatures that said authenticator refused to authenticate the items in question (a different entity had to be brought in). In fact, when you read the story at ESPN it seems very shady. The guy claiming he got Winston to sign the items would not let the authenticator observe Winston actually sign the items. Also, it seems now that OTL has had handwriting experts look over the signatures and let us just say the experts seem to think they do not seem to be Mr. Winston’s John Hancock. Of course with my Noles’ luck this will all change tomorrow, and new information will blow up to make FSU look bad a little more. I was disappointed that all of FSU’s key opponents decided to get worse. Clemson and ND both choked winnable games away, and likely ACC Ch. Game Opponent Duke fell on its face again.
Anthony (Syracuse): As far as we know, no more starters were lost during the bye week.
WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO IN WEEK 13 FOR YOUR SCHOOL?
David (FSU): The Noles are almost 3 touchdown favorites heading into a home match up vs. BC, and all I’m looking for is seeing them escape with a comfortable win. Can we get one week where it isn’t down to the wire? Please? Honestly, look to see the same OL lineup and that they continue to gel. The run game for FSU has quietly been improving and I expect that to continue to flourish.
Len (Louisville): I should have mentioned this last week as probably the biggest surprise from the BC game was that the Cards won the game with their second string QB, true freshman Bonnafon. Gardner is at least done for the season with another knee injury and Bonnafon will start the rest of the season. He has had a tough season so far having been thrust into action a week after his father passed earlier in the season but performed well at Boston College. The bye week should help him prepare for the trip to South Bend. The Domers are playing poorly right now and Cards S Holliman only needs 1 more INT to tie the NCAA record. Only 15 FBS teams have more INT’s than his 13. He has 2 games to set the record (vs Kentucky).
Mike (NC State): The Pack is on a bye, so get prepared for the season-ending showdown. I say again, beat Carolina!!
John (UNC): This week is huge for North Carolina. With a win Thursday, they could deny Duke a chance at the ACC championship, and become bowl eligible at the same time. A Tar Heel dream. With a loss, well…that would put a whole lot more pressure on the season finale against NC State. The Wolfpack are a much better team than their record suggests, so North Carolina really needs to take care of business against the Blue Devils. Game. Set. Match?
Brian (FSU): Hopefully, and finally a strong win. Of course, BC is no pushover… in fact I tend to think they can win. I love my Noles, but they cause my blood pressure to rise a little too much.
Anthony (Syracuse): Syracuse really needs to win one of its final two games to get to 4 wins. 4 wins is a bad season, without question, but it would be great to avoid the valleys experienced only during the G-Rob era (his BEST season was 4 wins). Winning at Pitt has been elusive, but you have to wonder whether Syracuse fan force turnovers. Pitt has had problems in that regard and Syracuse’s defense is healthy.
WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO IN WEEK 13 FOR THE ACC?
David (FSU): I’m going to take the Louisville v ND game here, and think ND gets back on track after two weeks I’m sure any Fighting Irish fans have already tried to erase from their memory.
Len (Louisville): Can the Heels knock the Dookies from the Coastal lead. FSU may get more help by playing Georgia Tech in the CCG. Tech is looking stronger than Duke and should be higher ranked if they can beat Georgia. Bonnafon didnt fare well in the Cards trip to Death Valley, how will he handle the trip to South Bend? I have been waiting for this game for a long time and with it being played on my father’s birthday makes it all the sweeter. I just wish he was here to see it.
Mike (NC State): Louisville/Notre Dame should be interesting, though it has lost some of its luster. Then there’s Boston College/FSU, which will likely be closer than expected. But the game of the week is that Thursday nighter between Carolina and Duke. Both teams need it badly; UNC to get bowl-eligible and Duke to hold off charging Georgia Tech. Should be a good one.
John (UNC): I would love to see two more teams become bowl eligible. Sure, I’m biased, because one of the teams in position is North Carolina, but it would be great for the conference, there’s no denying that. I also think a Louisville win against Notre Dame is extremely possible, and that would be fun to see as well. Until the Fighting Irish join the conference full-time, I’ll root for the REAL ACC over them any day.
Brian (FSU): How about Louisville, FSU, ND, GT, and Clemson all trending up for their out of conference play. I want GT to get rested and ready to upset UGA. I want Louisville and ND to not kill each other before they face Kentucky and USC the following week. FSU and Clemson need to somehow get ready for their big rivals the following week, without choking and looking ahead (yeah it is doubtful CU will stumble… FSU however, different story). Long story short, I want the ACC to look as good as possible going into rivalry week to take some OOC schools down!
Anthony (Syracuse): Duke/UNC is a huge showdown as it will determine who plays in the ACCCG. Louisville traveling to ND will be very interesting… the new kid on the college football block vs. the old establishment. ND is reeling, so it will be interesting to see how they respond to adversity.
WHO ARE YOUR FOUR PLAYOFF TEAMS IF THE SEASON ENDED TODAY?
David (FSU): 1)FSU 2)Bama 3) Oregon 4) TCU with Miss St. and Baylor lurking.
Len (Louisville): 1) FSU, 2) Alabama, 3) Oregon, 4) Miss St. Miss St played better than I expected but they and Alabama still have a tough road ahead and I don’t expect them both to make it. I look for Baylor to sneak in at #4. The worst case scenario for the SEC would be to have Missouri as champion since they lost to Indiana.. In that scenario it would be possible for the SEC to be left out.
Mike (NC State):1) Florida State 2) Alabama 3) Oregon 4) Ohio State.
John (UNC): None of the teams from my top four lost last week, so no changes here. It’s Alabama, Oregon, Florida State and TCU until further notice.
Brian (FSU): 1) FSU, 2) Bama, 3) Oregon, 4) Miss St. In 3 weeks: 1) Bama (wins out), 2) Oregon (wins out), 3) Baylor (wins out), 4) OSU (wins out)…. Miss St likely loses to Ole Miss, and until I am proven wrong I am assuming FSU playing with fire will burn it soon… also that pre-ACC title game student conduct hearing could have a major impact on FSU’s standing. Even if FSU runs the table, winning the ACC title without Winston, if the hearing causes Winston to be removed from the team how will the committee react? The safe money is to exclude FSU on the same grounds 1 seeds in the NCAA Tournament have been lost by teams who have a star played injured just before the tourney.
Anthony (Syracuse): (1) Florida State; (2) Alabama; (3) Oregon; and (4) Ohio State. I am not a big fan of the Big 10, but you have to think that there is going to be a strong push by the Committee to get the Big 10 into the finale somehow. If Ohio State wins out, they will be in.
What do you think? How would you answer these questions?
It is now mid-November. The season is down to its final weeks. The Atlantic is clear, the Coastal is essentially down to two teams. Here is how the correspondents view the top 10 in the ACC:
Welcome to the ACC Roundtable of the ACC Correspondents! As is and will be the plan for the remainder of the football season, the Confidential correspondents will discuss the Week that was (week 11) and the Week that will be (Week 12) for the ACC and their respective schools. Special thanks to the Confidential contributors for their comments and opinions. Tell us what you think below.
WHAT WAS THE BIGGEST SURPRISE FOR THE ACC IN WEEK 11?
David (FSU): The week went pretty much as planned, though Clemson did struggle a bit more than I expected early, the week was pretty much the status quo.
Len (Louisville): All the blowout victories. Not surprised by the wins but by the margins. The way Arizona State dominated Notre Dame.
Mike (NC State): The way Wake Forest hung with Clemson, trailing only 20-17 going into the fourth quarter. This does not bode well for NC State; of their remaining two opponents, Wake looks to be the most winnable game. Or is it?
John (UNC): Nothing too surprising this week, honestly. All the teams that won were expected to win, even though the margins may not have been exactly the same. At times, Clemson struggled against Wake Forest, and Florida State looked sloppy against Virginia, but no one will remember that years from now when they look back at each team’s win-loss record. Pretty standard. Oh wait, Notre Dame got destroyed by Arizona State, completely ending the Fighting Irish’s chance at the College Football Playoff. Not entirely surprising given the way they’ve played against their questionable schedule, but fantastic for the ACC’s chances at having them join all-in at some point in the future.
Brian (FSU): Wake Forest putting up 20 points on Clemson’s defense. I could not believe Wake’s anemic offense was able to score on Clemson. On a side note I am surprised that OSU blew out Michigan State… you know the same OSU team that lost to the team currently in last place in the Coastal. Of course if you watch ESPN the OSU hype machine is spinning that OSU is improving while asking us to ignore the VT loss. Here is the thing, if you praise OSU you cannot do so without praising the ACC. If one of the worst ACC teams can handily beat the best Big 10 team at their house, what does that say about the ACC? You cannot brush off that loss for OSU when all they have played since the loss are other Big 10 teams and High School level competition, and the best Big 10 team should be able to handle the worst of any conference, even with a new QB. Everyone has called JT Barrett one of the bright spots for OSU this year… well you cannot ignore what one of the worst ACC teams did to that QB in September. Sorry all BIG 10 homers, fact is the Hokies beat your best team.
Anthony (Syracuse): By far… it was Clemson allowing 20 points to Wake Forest. A close second was Notre Dame laying an egg against Arizona State.
WHAT WAS THE BIGGEST SURPRISE/DISAPPOINTMENT FOR YOUR SCHOOL IN WEEK 11?
David (FSU): I was surprised at not seeing Mario Pender & some others play either at all or very sparingly in the second half. FSU seemed to pack it in once they had a 2 score lead, appearing to just desire escaping with a W and as much rest as possible for key players still hampered by injury.
Len (Louisville): I was surprised by how bad Boston College special teams were. I was disappointed in Dyers performance, I was expecting him to continue his high level of play. I was pleased that they weren’t caught looking ahead to Notre Dame. The 38-19 final score was surprising as well, it’s a solid road victory.
Mike (NC State): Zero momentum carried over from the Syracuse game and the Pack was pummeled. Not that the Tech game looked too promising, but 56-23? Really?
John (UNC): North Carolina was off last week, so thankfully, we didn’t lose. The Tar Heels continued to be in the news though, as former player Michael McAdoo (no relation to former basketball player James Michael McAdoo) sued the school, claiming that the University ‘failed to provide him with a quality education.’ While that may be true on some level due to his involvement in the African American Studies Department’s paper classes, this is a guy who got kicked out of school for plagiarism and academic fraud that he committed, not someone else. While I agree that it’s the University’s responsibility to provide a quality education, I am a firm believer in personal responsibility. The blame falls solely on McAdoo for going along with the paper class system instead of waiting to speak out when it was more convenient for him. Much like fellow whistle blower Rashad McCants, McAdoo’s professional career has been a complete bust, in part because of his bad attitude.
Brian (FSU): I was surprised and disappointed that the UM game is currently sitting at -1.5 FSU. Yes, UM is a rival…. Yes, statistically they have better numbers… Yes, they have played better offenses, and their D is top 11… Yes, FSU has not looked like last year… I do not care! Fact is FSU should be more of favorite than they are, and certainly not an underdog (trending that way). FSU has actually faced far better run defenses and defenses that are far more aggressive than UM. UM has actually played some of the worst run defenses, have Duke Johnson, and they are still not a top 30 team in rushing. In two of the games they lost this year they played good run defenses (the only 2 all year ), and could not break a 100 yards rushing. Fact is, if you stop UM’s ground attack they are in trouble. Would you believe me if I told you with all the injuries and all the criticism that FSU has the third best run defense UM will have faced all year, sitting at 35? Well they are, and are coming in healthier in the front line than they have been all year. Remember, FSU had 2 total linebackers going up against Louisville… that will not be the case against UM. That being said… UM will likely shock FSU… I always assume the worst.
Anthony (Syracuse): Syracuse keeps losing players and keeps performing at the same level. For all the criticism lofted at Scott Shafer (e.g. here), he has kept this team together despite the losses. Syracuse may not have talent, but it certainly has heart.
WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO IN WEEK 12 FOR YOUR SCHOOL?
David (FSU): I’m most looking forward to seeing how the run game works itself out on both sides of the ball. Getting Pender back should help FSU, and supposedly Cook will be able to play as well. Can the team finally have a dominate rushing game that we expected to see at the start of the year? As for MIA, they’ve already proven they can run the ball as well as anyone in the ACC not named GT. Will the FSU DL have gap composure and integrity? Exactly how healthy are Mario Edwards & Eddie Goldman, their play will be vital to FSU’s chances for success.
Len (Louisville): The Cards are on a bye week so I’m looking forward to them getting healthy again. Lorenzo Mauldin missed the game against BC due to a shoulder injury, that injury has been nagging him all season. Golson is struggling with turnovers and Holliman added 3 ints to his season total, giving him 13 to lead the nation, so I am looking forward to our trip to South Bend in two weeks. The Cards defense should be able to pressure Golson much like Arizona St did which should give the Cards the advantage.
Mike (NC State): The Wolfpack must focus and beat Wake to ensure bowl eligibility. I have no confidence that they can go into Chapel Hill and beat the Heels in Week 14, especially if the bowl issue isn’t yet nailed down.
John (UNC): It’s Homecoming, so I’m looking for a win against Pittsburgh. If we can’t pull it off against the Panthers, our shot at bowl eligibility decreases significantly since a win at Duke can’t be guaranteed, or even remotely expected, at this point. The Tar Heels need to take care of business against the Panthers in order to set up a crucial home game against rival NC State the final week of the season. Something to watch- If NC State loses at home against Wake Forest this Saturday (highly unlikely, but possible), the stakes of the Tar Heels’ end of the month meeting with the Wolfpack become even higher. NC State is only 5-5 with two games remaining.
Brian (FSU): Not much, since I somehow expect to lose. I would say, with our great kicker it would not be due to a wide right field goal… but then he shanked one against Louisville.
Anthony (Syracuse): Rest and healing.
WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO IN WEEK 12 FOR THE ACC?
David (FSU):I’m actually going to take the Clemson v GT game here, the GT offense vs Clemson D should be a great matchup to watch, and both teams still have plenty on the line this year.
Len (Louisville): If FSU can remain unbeaten after traveling to Miami. Also the Clemson and GT game. You have two Coastal teams, Miami and GT, playing at their best right now hosting the two top dogs from the Atlantic. Pop open a cold one, grab your favorite snack and enjoy the games.
Mike (NC State): Florida State vs Miami. One of the two rivalry games the Noles face as the season draws to a close. The Hurricanes are peaking at the right time, and the Seminoles have looked vulnerable over most of this season. Will this be the game that ruins the chance of getting an ACC team into the first College Football Playoffs?
John (UNC): The spotlight is on the Florida State-Miami game, but the other four games have bigger implications. Will North Carolina get one step closer to bowl eligibility against the Panthers? Will NC State get to six wins with a victory over the lowly Demon Deacons? What will another (expected) loss for the Hokies do to Frank Beamer’s tenure at Virginia Tech? And how will fierce rivals Clemson and Georgia Tech fare coming into a game with only four losses between them? There’s a lot at stake on Saturday, and it’s more than just pride.
Brian (FSU): I could say the only time ranked teams from the ACC are playing each other this weekend, and it is a rivalry game in GT vs. CU… but the Duke game is also important. Right now it is a 3 way race for the Atlantic, in reality. GT needs a lot of help. Duke controls its destiny. UM is in a good tie-breaker position against Duke head to head.
Anthony (Syracuse):Well, there are two top notch games between FSU/Miami and Georgia Tech/Clemson. What else could anyone want?
WHO ARE YOUR FOUR PLAYOFF TEAMS IF THE SEASON ENDED TODAY?
David (FSU): 1) Miss State 2) FSU 3) Oregon 4) Alabama (obviously this changes after this weekend).
Len (Louisville): 1 Miss State, 2) FSU, 3) Oregon. I was expecting a bigger margin of victory from FSU so I put them at #2. The top 3 are.solid but #4 isn’t getting any easier. My top candidates for the 4 spot are Alabama, TCU & Baylor. I would give this spot to the Big 12 champ but for now I will put Baylor there.
Mike (NC State):1 Florida State, 2 Oregon, 3 Mississippi State, 4 Alabama
John (UNC): Oregon, Mississippi State and Florida State were victors on Saturday, but Michigan State fell out of the race entirely when they lost to rival Ohio State. I’m not ready to put the Buckeyes in the rankings though, because Alabama has made a great case to be team #4 this week. Actually, make that team #3. With a loss against the Crimson Tide this weekend, Mississippi State falls out of the rankings too, and TCU moves in. Get ready for the Horned Frogs!
Brian (FSU): Right now: 1) Miss St, 2) FSU, 3) Oregon, 4) TCU… of course I think Baylor having the tie-breaker over TCU should count for something. At year end: 1) Bama, 2) Oregon, 3) Baylor (I think TCU will choke at UT… calling it now), 4) Miss St (With 1 loss, they beat a battered Ole Miss squad but by losing to Bama they avoid the SEC Title game, but resume trumps a 1 loss OSU BIG winner… the BIG then literally flips a… cannot finish that sentence.)
Anthony (Syracuse): I am going with Florida State, Mississippi State, Oregon, and TCU. I have zero issues with the way the playoff committee has things right now. Except… why is Florida State #3? They beat Notre Dame… who was good enough to propel Arizona State UP three spots. Meanwhile, Oregon has a MUCH worse loss and just had their Michigan State win downgraded. I think that they were just trolling #FSUTwitter
What do you think? How would you answer these questions?
Everyone has some opinions on what they would like to see change–both in the sports world and outside of it. For whatever its worth (and it probably is not worth much), there are plenty of changes throughout sports that this author would like to see. Here is the first:
THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF
Why are there ranked standings for this in November? As we speak #FSUTWITTER is afire as to how Florida State has dropped from #2 to #3, just by winning its 25th straight game. Admittedly, the drop makes NO sense. The team jumping FSU is Oregon, whose signature win was Michigan State, who just lost to Ohio State, who lost to Virginia Tech–the worst team in the ACC Coastal that Florida State currently leads. The transitive game is risky, but it has to mean something.
My proposed change is that the committee stop releasing actual rankings, and instead just release a top 4, next 6, middle 5, next 5, and last 5 for the first three weeks. To strike a balance between no disclosure and full disclosure, the tiered disclosures would (a) allow some transparency; (b) keep everyone interested, (c) stimulate discussion, (d) encourage speculation as to where teams fit within a tier, and (e) allow the committee to defer having to make actual ranking decisions until teams have played at least 10 games. Thus, for this week, the committee would issue this alphabetical ranking:
Top 4: Alabama, Florida State, Mississippi State, Oregon
Next 6: Arizona State, Auburn, Baylor, Ohio State, Ole Miss, TCU
Middle 5: Arizona, Georgia, Kansas State, MSU, UCLA
Next 5: Clemson, LSU, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Wisconsin
Last 5: Duke, Georgia Tech, Minnesota, Texas A&M, Utah
This way, the committee would only be indicating a general rank–giving teams a preliminary idea of where they stand. The top tier would have an idea that the committee seems to like what they have done so far, but no certainty. And the lack of certainty also adds hope for all teams and fan bases. And does it really matter right now who is #1? If #1 or #4 loses, they are in jeopardy.
These rankings mean very little right now because there are so many important games left to play. In a 12-game season, where the first 4-5 weeks are primarily OOC games, there is little to go by. Moreover, many top conferences games that fall short of being rivalries (i.e. the slate of games this past Saturday) are played towards the end of the season.
Also, what is the point of having a team at #7, if #7 can leapfrog #4 with a win even if #4 also wins. And so on. Why did Arizona State move up to #6 for beating Notre Dame, but Florida State moved down despite beating the same team? Either beating Notre Dame is impressive or it is not. That is the problem with rankings. Each new standings only reveals the weakness in the prior rankings–as the committee seemed to miss the boat. Only we all know that the committee can only work with what it has at the time.
In March, the committee makes its final decisions in the hours up until the bracket is announced. The fact that there is any transparency is great. And, at some point, the committee can and should show its full hand. The Confidential proposes the third Tuesday of November. At that point, every team would have at least 10 games played. That is a fair time to finally put numbers on things. But in these early weeks of providing guidance, the need for transparency is reduced and the need to know that the committee is only temporarily ranking teams is justified.
Not the most dramatic change ever, but one that this author thinks is appropriate.
It is now November. The season is down to its final month of regular season games. The ACC has identified a few teams that are weak (Wake Forest and Syracuse), and several that are mediocre (Virginia, Virginia Tech, Pitt, North Carolina, BC, and perhaps North Carolina State). Still, that leaves eight teams that are something more than mediocre and let’s see how they stand in the correspondents poll.