They changed the way they crown a champion, so it makes sense to change the way we rank teams. We saw with the 4 team playoff that 4 can be better than 1. We always knew that, but the rankings seem to hold some special bond over people, and they need to see it to believe it. I think we should rank teams in a tier based system, since we can’t know if 1 is better than 4 after an entire season, let alone the first week. Beating number 11 really shouldn’t hold more weight than beating 15, and beating 25 really is no better than beating 35.
So I am going to start doing my weekly ranking. First tier is teams that I would put in the playoff if we had to get it done today. None of these will be in any particular order. After week 10 I will seed the playoff teams, and rank the second tier, which is teams that are waiting to grab an open slot in the playoffs. This will consist of 6 teams. Next is the 8 teams that are really good, but just not in the playoff discussion at this time. The following tier will be 22 teams that I think pretty good, decent or solid. All about the same thing once you get down this far. Catch a team like this on a good day, and you might be in trouble. Catch them on a bad day, and you might trounce them. After that, I don’t care. I might throw in an honorable mention if I see something in a team. Maybe they are 4-4 but won 4 in a row and beat a good team in there. Maybe they got a starting QB back from injury and are a different team than they were the previous 4 weeks.
Something else I am going to do with my ranking system is quantify what value I place on potential, and what happened on the field. It’s pretty simple and straight forward. Week 1 is all about potential since there is nothing settled on the field. Week 2 is 1 part on the field, and 13 parts potential. It’s pretty easy to figure out the rest. By week 14, I don’t care if you have 22 first round picks, if you lost 2 games, you lost 2 games. A 1 loss team with a similar schedule is getting into the playoffs with no draft picks.
So after week 1 of the 2015 college football season, here are my rankings.
- My week 1 playoff would be
Ohio State and Alabama, no shockers there. The other two are Baylor and Michigan State. I will explain the other two. Baylor looked better than anyone else on the potential list in week one. Oregon and Michigan State were both peeking ahead, so I gave them both a little bit of a pass. I put Michigan State ahead of Oregon because MSU has their starting QB back. I was not impressed with Auburn at all. Everyone told me they were going to be sweet because they had the second coming of Cam Newton. That kid looking like complete crap didn’t deter me. When Auburn won it with Newton, they struggled early. The kid will probably be fine. Louisville could run up the middle when needed. That, if you are an Auburn fan, should scare you. That generally doesn’t get fixed with a few more reps. We will see. They are obviously in my next tier.
- The teams knocking on the door.
Auburn is there, because they do have some parts of their team that look really good, and it’s only week one. Their “problems” could just be a week 1 thing. Oregon is there for the same reasons. Neither impressed, but this is more about potential at this point in the season. I seriously thought about putting Notre Dame in the playoff. I know Texas looked bad, and wasn’t very good last season. But it still is Texas, a team always loaded with potential. Not only did ND look like the better team, but looked more athletic. Something ND has been lacking lately. They were one of the biggest movers in my mind. TCU is in this group. Minnesota can be tough at home, so I am not holding that close game against them too terribly much. They would probably be ranked 5 if I did that sort of thing. I wasn’t sold on Georgia to start the year. I am a huge fan of Mark Richt. I generally think of Georgia as knocking on the door that will eventually get answered. But the last few years, I haven’t been impressed with Georgia. I felt they were a team that was holding steady at that number 10-15 range, but not wowing. Well, this Chubb kid is a beast, but that was never the question. It’s their defense. Time will tell, but they looked more active than they have in a few years. USC is always loaded. Sark’s boozing could be something that rallies a loaded team. It could be something to destroy it. I don’t know, but I do know beating Arkansas St. isn’t a good measure of a team. Neither is Idaho. However if they beat Stanford, ASU, Washington, ND and Utah in 5 consecutive games, they will probably be on my playoff list.
I was going to rank the next 30 in two different tiers, but then I decided I want one more week of game action. I’ll be honest, I have been drinking. But more importantly, I didn’t read the entire roster of the next 30 teams, and I really don’t know their potential. I could go by on the field, but after week 1, that’s silly. Same for going by what they did last year. If we were were going to do it by just this season, I have two problems. One, we really don’t know how good their opponents are, and two, teams easily can be much better or worse in week two. By week 4 teams start to show their true identity. I promise I will have the next 30 ranked next week. I will do the required reading and have a better grasp of the potential of the mid tier Big 5 teams and mid major players. But then again, I have been drinking, so my promises don’t mean much. You might have to wait for week 6 for those rankings.