Year So Far
Here is the cliff-notes version of the year so far in NCAA Football. Alabama is really good. The SEC as a whole is very solid. The Big 12 is the second best conference in the nation behind the SEC. The PAC-12 could be better than what everyone originally thought. The ACC is top heavy with Florida State, Clemson and nobody else worthy of Top 15 consideration. The Big 10 doesn’t have a Top 15 team in the conference but a plethora of teams in that 20-40 range.
Surprise Teams (By conference)
ACC: Florida State—The Seminoles are 3-0 and although they haven’t beaten anyone noteworthy, they have given up only 3 points in three games. Definitely a Top 5 team and National Title contender.
SEC: Florida—The Gators win by a hair over Alabama. I don’t think anyone expected Alabama to be as good as they are however it is Nick Saban; so maybe it shouldn’t surprise us that much. The Gators are 3-0 with big wins on the road against Texas A&M and Tennessee. The Gator defense have never been a question mark but the offense has shown glimpses in the two road SEC games.
Big 10: Northwestern—The Wildcats are 3-0 and have solid wins over Syracuse (road), Vanderbilt (home) and Boston College (home). None of those teams are great but given the overall resume of the Big 10 this is the best they have to offer.
Big 12: Kansas State—The Wildcats barely get the nod over my beloved Cyclones who have quality wins over Tulsa and Iowa. However, the KSU story is a bit more interesting because everyone expected KSU to take a step backward this year. The 52-13 beating they put on the Miami Hurricanes indicates they are once again a
Top 15 squad.
Pac 12: Arizona—Kind of a Wildcat theme here but AU gets the nod for the PAC-12. Arizona struggled at home against Toledo winning in overtime but the yardage was complete domination. They have backed up that mediocre performance with a win over a ranked Oklahoma State (at home) and a 56-0 blanking of South Carolina State. Major test for Arizona this week in Eugene.
Big East: Rutgers—The Scarlet Knights win by default as the only other real option was Louisville and everyone expected them to be 3-0. Rutgers got a nice win in the conference last Thursday at South Florida and now looks to win at a reeling Arkansas squad this weekend.
Non-BCS: Louisiana-Monroe—The Warhawks get the nod over the Ohio Bobcats by a very small margin. Consider them 1 and 1A at this point. However, a split over
SEC West opponents (both away from home) is more impressive in my mind then a win at Penn State for Ohio. ULM is looking for more this week when they get a middle-of-the-road Big 12 squad in Baylor in Monroe on National TV.