October 4th, 2010 at 23:10:06 (top10)
Welcome to the first installment of my college football top 10 for 2010. As a reminder, my rankings are based on what you did on the field. Not if you can beat X. If you think you can beat X schedule them and beat them, and I’ll rank you higher. This does mean though that my early top 10 rankings are unlikely to look very similar at the end of the season. Top concern is wins, followed by whom you played with an emphasis on out-of-conference games because that is what you can control. Until the SEC lets all teams join the SEC and share revenue equally, I don’t want to hear how you beat each other up in conference. It is your choice to be in there and your collective choice to keep other teams out. This is especially when you have teams that lose at home to Jacksonville State. That is not to say in-conference games don’t matter, but I am more impressed when you go on the road out of conference to play a tough team instead of playing teams that aren’t even in a FBS conference. However if you play good teams out of conference, if your conference is stronger than someone else’s, you’ll rate favorably. Without further ado, here is my first top 10.
- Boise State (4-0). Virginia Tech’s lost to James Madison has me questioning how good of a win this was, but since VaTech has won three straight after that, including 2 ACC games, I think the James Madison loss was a hangover from losing the Boise State game, so I’ll give the Broncos credit for playing what was basically a road game against an AP-top 10 ranked team to start the season. They also followed it up with an impressive win over the Pac-10’s Oregon State University.
- Alabama (4-0). I’m not impressed with Penn State, but give Alabama credit for scheduling them even if it was played in Alabama. A blowout of the ACC’s Duke isn’t that impressive but beating in-conference foe Florida counts for something.
- Oregon (5-0). Oregon has scored at least 42 points in every game and has a great second half defense. Although Tennessee isn’t the Tennessee that Peyton Manning played for, credit for playing them on the road is due. I’ll also give them a pass for scheduling Portland State since they are another Oregon school. New Mexico as the other out-of-conference game keeps them out of the top 2, however.
- Oklahoma (5-0). I really didn’t want to put the Sooners this high as with the exception of the Texas game I haven’t been overly impressed by their scheduling (and beating) Florida State and Cincinnati.
- LSU (5-0). Nice wins against North Carolina and West Virginia out of conference. Both were at home though and UNC was without a bunch of players, but a win is a win and credit for scheduling them is due.
- Nevada (5-0). Beat California out of the Pac-10 and BYU out of conference. Even though BYU isn’t as good as usual this year, that still counts for something.
- Nebraska (4-0). Only tough out of conference matchup was against Washington (who just beat USC) but that was a good win and at least San Diego State isn’t the Citadel.
- Arizona (4-0). I doubt Arizona will stay in my top 10 for long, but a good win against a AP top-10 Iowa gets them on my list. Wins over Citadel and Toledo keep them from being higher.
- TCU (5-0). Texas Christian has out of conference wins against Pac-10 and Big-12 teams. And while SMU isn’t a top 10 (or even 20) caliber team, they aren’t chopped liver so that is another good out of conference win.
- Ohio State (5-0). Not really sure what to think of their one good win – an out-of-conference triumph of Miami (FL) – as I don’t know if Miami is as good as some people seem to think they are.