Ray's Top 25: Texas St. No. 16

Ray's Top 25: Texas St. No. 16
September 4, 2012, 5:32 pm
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Every week, our Senior Decider votes in the Associated Press Top 25 poll, which of course makes all other opinions both superfluous and valueless (hey, dont say you never get your moneys worth here).So here, after a mostly desultory Week One, is the world of college football, whether you like it or not. And if you dont, theres a new one next week you might like better.Oh, and just so you know, we dont project what a team will do in the future. Everyone has played only the one game, and we go on what weve seen, not what we think well see later, or what would happen if the teams played each other. Thats why Michigan and Boise State arent here. You can project all you want, though. Just dont complain because we dont.Its Week 1. Calm the hell down.AP POLL: Rankings as of 942012
This matters because a few constituencies who care about non-binding polls after so little actual information get violently angry when their team isnt ranked . . . well, 0th, the only spot better than first. Which is fine. Fans do that, which is why you never buy them a drink.But three items leap out: West Virginians are cranky I voted the Mountaineers 24th, even though they are considered a top 10 team in both polls. Well, maybe I undervalue a five-touchdown win over Marshall, but I didnt hear a peep from them when I ranked them 23rd the week before, and beating Marshall just doesnt make me leap to my roof and scream.Added screwup: I had a brain spasm when responding to a few Eer loyalists on Twitter, saying they beat Elon. This was indeed a spasm, and my fault. I knew they beat Marshall, but didnt check when I blearily lashed out. Thatll teach me to interact with others.Result: Ill own the second one. The first one, Im fine with. West Virginia will have 11 other chances to change my mind. Michigan and Boise State dropped completely out of the poll after losing. Well, the AP overlords tell us not to factor in previous seasons or reputations, and its simply difficult for me to philosophically out a team with zero wins ahead of a team with one. Michigan is not going to get beaten by four touchdown by any team except Alabama, so theyll be back, and Boise is Boise, so theyll be back too.Result: Give it time. These things settle themselves. Texas State 16th after beating Houston at Houston. Simple first FBS game ever, on the road, against a team that has been successful for several years now, and quite possibly the biggest upset of the week. Are the Bobcats the 16th best team in the country? No. Will they be 16th after they play Texas Tech? Only if they win. Is this an outrage? Only to people who only want the same teams in every week. To me, Week 1 is the most volatile poll of the year, and some things in Week 1 look ridiculous in Week 4. They should, if youre paying attention at all.Result: Dont steal their moment. It doesnt hurt you any.1AlabamaThe biggest opponent, and therefore the biggest beatdown. Bama not only hammered Michigan, they injured them (though not, as near as anyone can tell, on purpose). Anyone who doesnt vote for them as the best team in the country after one game is an idiot.2Southern CaliforniaLane Kiffin ran up the score on Hawaii, or tried to, anyway; the Trojans didnt cover, if thats what he was after. But they showed more than enough to be Alabamas most likely challenger.3Florida StateObliterated Murray State. Big deal. Thats supposed to happen in Week One.4OregonMade their point against Arkansas State so quickly that they had more than enough time to take their feet off the pedal and let the Red Wolves come within four touchdowns. I cant decide if thats weakness of focus, or common sense.5Michigan StateBoise State is a big win, anywhere, any time. I dont have to explain this to you. If I do, you arent reading this anyway.6GeorgiaThe Dawgs are overvalued here, but a lot of teams are overvalued and undervalued this early because there is so little else to go on. Buffalo has improved, but not so much that this becomes a jaw-dropping win.7Louisiana StateNorth Texas is an FBS school. Not a good one, necessarily, even with Sean Paytons voice ringing in their ears. A solid performance gets a bump.8OklahomaThe Sooners always have one fine stinker in them, and this is one of them. UTEP has never been better in Mike Prices time there, but a brutal schedule will crush the Miners. They should have been crushed here.9TexasWyoming was a fair test for the Longhorns in Week One, and the Horns handled it with relative ease. Not a lot of ease, but enough.10NebraskaSmall sample sizes are a bitch, but beating Southern Mississippi by gaining 630 yards is never a bad days work.11Oklahoma StateThey covered a 67-point spread. Im sure they piled on Savannah State, and God only knows what the value was in scheduling them, since it cost them almost 400K. But they covered an 67 point-spread.12Ohio StateUrban Meyer had months to prepare for Miami of Ohio, which is a representative MAC team. The result was expected. But at least it beats what happened to some of their archrivals.13South CarolinaStruggling to beat Vanderbilt is not a great advertisement for an early poll, but it is a legitimate test that we will think more highly of later in the year.14ClemsonAuburn doesnt stink. The game was at Auburn, Clemson won, 26-19. The Swinneys still lose three games, but this wasnt one of them. That matters.15Notre DameNavy is typically a tough out, and the Irish made them an easy one. Of course, they dont play in Ireland that often, so theyll lose that home field advantage for the rest of the year.16Texas StateNobody else will do this. Nobody else will think to do this. But beating Houston in your first FBS game ever is a big deal, getting Houstons offensive coordinator fired as a result bigger still, and anyone who doesnt see that . . . well, drive them out of your neighborhood. Theyre probably running a meth lab.17ArkansasI want to think that John L. Smiths team did something big here, but it is Jacksonville State, and protecting the football was an issue.18WisconsinNorthern Iowa is not a bad team by any standard, but Wisconsin didnt do much with 39 minutes of possession time.19FloridaSame for beating Bowling Green. Nobody in either state ends up happy about that one, but the Kentuckians can handle it better.20Virginia TechAn overtime win over Georgia Tech because of an absurd interception thrown by Tevin Washington doesnt exactly fill one with confidence. An overtime loss to Georgia Tech despite an absurd interception thrown by Tevin Washington would have been way worse. Given the way Va. Tech usually starts, this was a national championship.21Texas ChristianDidnt play. Therefore, the Toads move down only one as part of the Texas State wave.22StanfordWhen the story of your game is how the other teams coach became a national hot commodity, you didnt do well. Mike McIntyre is a star. Case closed.23LouisvilleKentucky has typically (meaning more often than not) been the SEC program everyone else wants to schedule if Vanderbilt isnt available. Still, Louisville is ranked, and a bad showing would have betrayed them as just part of the great 110-team underbelly. Theyre not there yet.24West VirginiaThey beat Marshall by five touchdowns. Good for them.25Kansas StateThey beat Missouri State by six touchdown. Almost as good for them.

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