Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Michigan & Big Ten Rankings Review--Week 1

Week 1 of 2012 is in the books. There were highlights and lowlights from pretty much every single game. The first week always takes longer, since it was spread out over the course of 5 days until the NFL regular season arrives. South Carolina was there in the beginning, winning a close one over Vanderbilt, and we ended with Virginia Tech winning in overtime against Georgia Tech.  Whoever said the first week everyone played cupcake teams? Even Texas State beating Houston somehow received national attention. Dennis Franchione somehow got a No.16 vote from a voter for that win. The new rankings were released this afternoon (typically on Sunday evening any other week) and I'm giving my two cents worth...if that's cheap enough.

1. Alabama--It's no surprise the Tide were bumped up to the No.1 spot. They completely handled Michigan from start to finish to win 41-14. Rolling up over 400 yds of offense, particularly on the ground, while shutting down Michigan's offense earns them this spot.
2. USC--USC lost the No.1 spot mostly due to they played Hawaii, not Michigan. Barkley looked every bit of a Heisman candidate and Lee caught 10 balls for almost 200 yards. Dominant yes, but not Alabama
3. LSU
4. Oregon
5. Oklahoma--completely overrated in this spot. They did not look clean and smooth and make several mental errors. Missed field goals by UTEP make the score look further out of reach than it really was.

6. Florida State
7. Georgia
8. Arkansas
9. South Carolina
9. West Virginia
11. Michigan State--I hate to say it, but if it weren't for Maxwell's three interceptions I could see MSU being ranked at 5. Time will tell if Maxwell can make better decisions under pressure, but this was a shell of a Boise St defense that was still pressuring him all night. Maybe some more work on the offensive line would help. However, while Le'Veon Bell is a stud, he can't be their only stud all season long.
12. Clemson
13. Wisconsin--Big surprise they're ranked this high. They had a very close game against FCS team Northern Iowa. Most would say too close at 26-21. Their defense needs a lot of work, especially in passing downs.
14. Ohio State--Another team that could have been ranked higher. Yes, Urban Meyer won in his first game at the Horseshoe. But let's remember that it was against Miami (OH). Miami wasn't the best team last year with only 4 wins. That's why 14 makes sense.
15. Virginia Tech
16. Nebraska--Taylor Martinez won the co-Big Ten Player of the Week award and it's understandable why.  Throwing for 5 TDs while staying the pocket can do that. Downside is possibly losing Rex Burkhead to a knee ligament injury for who knows how long. Still think 16 is low for this team.
17. Texas
18. Oklahoma State--OK St-84, Savannah St-0. The only positive thing going back to Savannah was a $354,000 payout that they received for playing this game.
19. Michigan--Ah, here we are down to almost 20. It's no surprise. Michigan brought a pencil to a gun fight. Losing Countess hurt, and Lewan was injured later in the game. Hopefully this will character building for Michigan, and learn how to prepare better. Keep in mind Michigan was vastly undersized in this matchup from the RichRod era, and Hoke is recruiting the kind of players Michigan needs to compete. Bright spot: Elliott Mealer looked pretty darn good at the center spot.
20. TCU
21. Kansas State
22. Notre Dame--For a team that had to cross the Atlantic to play in Ireland, they looked refreshed and good out there. Golson might still prove me wrong, but the loss of Cierre Wood to a suspension didn't seem to hurt their running game. Should be above TCU at least.
23. Louisville
24. Florida--An SEC that barely beat Bowling Green? And they're still ranked?
25. Stanford--The loss of Andrew Luck will certainly echo throughout their halls later in the season.

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