Evaluating the Top 25 Polls

9/28/09 in NCAAF   |   jaddun   |   respect

1. Florida
Why they should be lower:  Concussions are difficult injuries to predict the outcome of.  Some players bounce right back, and others are nagged by them throughout their career.  The Gator defense is great, but it is tough to say how productive the offense will be without Tim Tebow.

2. Texas
Why they should be higher:  Texas can score a ton of points in a very short amount of time. The defense looks to be improved over last year and they have tons of depth at nearly every position.

Why they should be lower:  Let's be honest,  they haven't played anyone yet.  Texas Tech was their only worthy foe thus far and it took all 4 quarters for the Longhorns to put them away. 

3. Alabama
Why they should be higher: Alabama has yet to show a sign of weakness.  The defense has been dominant, and the offense has controlled the line of scrimmage in every game they have played.

Why they should be lower:  I don't think that we can make an argument for this.  The have just been solid.  What concerns me is how they will play against a team that can force them to throw the ball.

4. LSU
Why they should be higher: LSU finds ways to win games.  The defense is good enough to keep them in any ball game.

Why they should be lower: The Tigers have struggled against some teams that they shouldn't have.  The offense has been inconsistent all season and will struggle once they start playing within their own conference.

5. Boise State
Why they should be higher:  hmmmm.... maybe Oregon isn't as bad as we originally thought.  The rest of the schedule lays out nicely for the Broncos to finish undefeated. 

Why they should be lower:  Boise struggled to put Fresno State away until late.  A weak schedule is not going to help them down the stretch.  Though they will end up in a BCS game, they may be watching a 1 loss team play for the national title once again.

6. Virginia Tech
Why they should be higher:  Thus far, the Hokies have probably played the toughest schedule in the nation.  With their only loss coming to what may be the best team in the country. 

Why they should be lower:  The Hokie offense has looked a bit one sided.  If Tyrod Taylor doesn't continue to use his feet like he did in the Miami game, they could struggle to score.

7. USC
Why they should be higher:  Talent, talent, talent.  As always, USC is stacked with 5 star recruits on both sides of the ball.  They got their one hickup of the year out of the way and if history rings true, they will finish strong.

Why they should be lower:  They lost to an unranked Washington team that showed that they are not quite ready to run with the big dogs for the long haul.  With a young quarterback, the offense may struggle to make plays when it needs to.

8. Oklahoma
Why they should be higher: Even with the loss of Bradford, the offense seems to be firing on all cylinders.  The defense looks to be greatly improved over last season (although they have yet to get into Big XII play).

Why they should be lower:  They struggled to put points on the board against a BYU defense that spent more time in the Sooner backfield than DeMarco Murray.  The O-line is going to have to do a better job of protecting the quarterback.

9. Ohio State
Why they should be higher:  The defense has proved to be stingey as always, and if Terrelle Pryor can start living up to the hype, they will be a force to be reconned with.

Why they should be lower:  The offense has be abysmal at times.  Though the defense seems to have gotten back on track, we cant forget the problems they had stopping the running game of Navy.

10. Cincinnati
Why they should be higher:  The Bearcats have done exactly what they need to in order to win games.  At times, the offense looks unstoppable and the defense has made stops when it needed to.

Why they should be lower:  Cinci has yet to play anyone that could be used as a benchmark.  We will get a good feel for how deserving this team is when they travel to South Florida on October 15th.

11. TCU
Why they should be higher:  Defense has once again been a strong suit for the Horned Frogs this season.  With a quality win over a talented Clemson team, TCU has put themselves in a position to go undefeated if they can get past BYU later on.

Why they should be lower:  One dimentional teams eventually get exposed.  Unless the Horned Frogs find a way to move the ball more effeciently, they may struggle to keep up with some of the more potent offenses.

12. Houston
Why they should be higher:  Houston has gotten quality wins over a once top 10 Oklahoma State team and also over a rebuilding but decent Texas Tech.    The rest of the season should play out nicely for them if they continue to play at the level that they have been.

Why they should be lower:  Although the Cougars have looked good thus far,  they will have to depend on the teams ahead of them to fall.  Strength of schedule will not help them gain any ground on the top 10 for the rest of the season.

13. Iowa
Why they should be higher:  After struggling to get by Northern Iowa on opening weekend, the Hawkeyes have stepped it up with wins over Arizona and conference favorite Penn State.  The defense will keep them in any game that they play.

Why they should be lower:  With games against Wisconsin, Michigan, and Ohio State still remaining, it is hard to believe that Iowa will finish in the top 15.  They will have to become more effecient on the offensive side of the ball to keep up with the likes of Forcier and Pryor.

14. Oklahoma State
Why they should be higher:  The Cowboys looked impressive against Georgia to open the season, and the offense has as much star power as any in the country.  If they find a way to get clicking, they will score a ton of points on about anyone they play.

Why they should be lower:  Although a loss to Houston no longer looks so bad, the defensive backfield needs to play better to keep Big XII teams from throwing the ball all over the field this season.  Defense wins championships, and the Cowboys need to fix theirs in a hurry.

15. Penn State
Why they should be higher:  Defensively, the Nittany Lions have looked solid all season. 

Why they should be lower:  Penn State hasn't moved the ball well against anyone this season.  Unless they find a balance between the running and passing game, they could lose 2 or 3 more games this season.

16. Oregon
Why they should be higher:  When the offence gets rolling, this can be one of the more explosive teams in the country.  This weekends 42-3 routing of Cal showed that the Ducks are capable of playing with the nations elite. 

Why they should be lower:  Oregon's offense looked shaky against the pressure of Boise State.  Though they appear to have fixed this, we will see how good they hold up when they have to travel to USC in a few weeks.

17. Miami (FL)
Why they should be higher:  This is a young team with tons of speed and talent.  When they are playing up to their potential, they show signs of greatness.  With wins over two top 25 teams under their belt already, they have shown that they are on the verge of being an elite program again.

Why they should be lower:  Florida State and Georgia Tech may not be as good as we originally thought.  The Hurricanes are a young team and they will continue to improve, but they will also make their fair share of mistakes along the way.  The question is, are they good enough to overcome them against some of the best teams in the nation.  I think that the VA Tech game answered that question.

18. Kansas
Why they should be higher:  Todd Reesing continues to be one of the most effecient passers in the nation.  Kansas shouldn't have much difficulty scoring 30 points on any team that they play this season. 

Why they should be lower:  The Jayhawks have yet to play anyone this season.  They struggled to put Southern Miss away on Saturday.  Defense may become an issue once they enter Big XII play.  The secondary has yet to be tested this year, but you can bet that they will be exposed in a few weeks when the Sooners come to Lawrence.

19. Georgia
Why they should be higher:  The Bulldogs should be commended for their non conference schedule.  They have played against a couple of high powered offences in Oklahoma State and Arkansas coming out victorious in one of those games. 

Why they should be lower:  Although they have won 3 of 4 games, the defense has been inconsistent giving up 37 to South Carolina and 41 to Arkansas.  If they wish to continue to be successful in the SEC, they are going to have to find a way to stop teams from scoring.

20. BYU
Why they should be higher:  The defense has shown that they have the ability to stop even the best of offenses and the offense can score if they are all on the same page.  A win over Oklahoma to start the season looks pretty good on a resume.

Why they should be lower:  BYU hasn't improved throughout the season.  They got blown out at home by an average Florida State team and didn't put Colorado State away until midway through the 4th quarter.  Although the most difficult part of the schedule is over, they may still struggle with TCU and Utah.

21. Ole' Miss
Why they should be higher:  Jevan Sneed has yet to play up to his potential and the defense is solid.  If the offense starts living up to it's expectations, they could still be a player in the SEC West.

Why they should be lower:  The Rebel offense looked horrid against South Carolina.  They still have to face Auburn, Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas, and LSU.  Things are not going to get any easier for Ole' Miss if they don't start moving the football consistently.

22. Michigan
Why they should be higher:  Tate Forcier!  The freshman quarterback has proven that he has what it takes to win games.  As he and the rest of the offense comes into their own, they are going to be tough to keep out of the end zone.

Why they should be lower:  It took all 4 quarters to put away a second tier Indiana team.  The defense hasn't played well enough yet to prove that they will be able to compete with some of the premier teams of the league.  With Iowa, Penn State, Ohio State, Wisconsin, and Michigan State left on the schedule, I will be surprised if they don't lose at least 2 games.

23. Nebraska
Why they should be higher:  Bo Pelini appears to have the team moving in the right direction.  With their only loss coming to Va Tech in a game that they dominated, the Huskers could make a case that they belong in the top 15.

Why they should be lower:  Though the scoreboard hasn't shown it, the defense has struggled at times against some of the Sun Belt teams.  They will have to come out with more intensity to get past some of the high powered Big XII offenses.

24. Cal
Why they should be higher:  If the line opens up holes for Javid Best, it can make for a long day for any defense.  They defense has shown at times that they can be effective.

Why they should be lower:  The defensive secondary showed that they are in need of some work when Jeremiah Masoli ripped them apart for 253 yards and 3 touchdowns in Saturday's 42-3 loss to Oregon.  The offense also struggled to gain yards once the responsibility was put on the arm of Riley.  The Bears will have to be less one dimentional if the plan on competing with USC next week.

25. Georgia Tech
Why they should be higher:  The Yellow Jackets showed just how difficult it can be to stop the option in a 24-7 defeat of N. Carolina.  If Ga. Tech can run the ball and control the clock, they can give even the best of teams fits.

Why they should be lower:  Although the North Carolina win was nice, we have yet to see a whole lot out of the defense.  With Florida State, Va. Tech, and Georgia still on the docket, the Yellow Jackets will be lucky to finish the season in the top 25.
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