Yesterday was a college football marathon for me. I did a few productive things but mostly watched the top four ranked teams play their individual games. As a transp-planted Texan I've assumed a wardrobe of burnt orange and an enthusiasm for all of my now-local schools.
I would hate to be a voter in the AP or coach polls this week. The lower half of the top 25 would be pretty easy. Ranked teams that lost to unranked opponents simply disappear. But what to do with the top four?
Only one of the four teams was playing a ranked team. That should mean something. Florida, currently number one, didn't look like a top-of-the-heap team. The game was a lot closer than the final score would indicate and Tim Tebow wound up on his head way too many times throughout the game. They ought to be bumped.
Alabama played well. They certainly looked, as a team, better than Florida this week. In a head-to-head ranking, I'd have to say that 'Bama outplayed the Gators and should jump ahead. The interesting aspect there is that the final game of the season for each of them is the SEC championship which will put them on the same field. That might indicated a 1-vs-2 pairing but it will make it virtually impossible for the loser to hold on in second place after that game.
Texas looked like a well-coached, well-trained, professional machine playing a high-school level opponent in Baylor. The first half was the only time for both offense and defense first-strings to show their stuff, but they did it exceptionally well. The execution was flawless, but the lack of a credible opponent will probably keep the Longhorns from moving up.
Which brings us to the real problem. The Horned Toads of TCU, currently number four in the rankings, played #16 ranked Utah and beat them like the proverbial drum. What then to do about TCU? They would seemingly be a candidate to move up in the standings, but all three teams above them won their games as well. The real dilemma is that since TCU is in the Mountain West conference they don't face the sort of schedule of football machine powerhouses that Florida, Alabama and Texas do in the SEC and Big 12.
If I were voting, I'd say 'Bama, Texas, TCU and Florida in that order. If I were a betting man, however, I'd put my money this week on no changes from before these games.