With half of the top-10 teams on a bye, college football didn't provide too many surprises for us this past weekend. This led to very little movement in the polls, but that doesn't mean there wasn't any excitement.
No. 8 Stanford squeezed out a victory on the road against Washington State Saturday, 30-28, when WSU kicker Erik Powell missed a 43-yard field goal attempt as time expired to keep the Cardinal's postseason hopes alive. The Hurricanes pulled the rug from underneath the Blue Devils' feet, miraculously returning a last-second kickoff with the help of eight laterals, knocking Duke out of the rankings altogether.
As requested with last week's overrated list, Clemson jumped Michigan State in this week's Coaches' Poll after putting 56 points up against NC State and now sits at No. 5. UNC made the biggest leap after beating No. 23 Pitt, jumping seven spots to make its debut in the polls at No. 21. Texas A&M and Mississippi State also made their way back into the rankings, while Duke, Georgia and Pitt dropped out.
A number of teams remained on cruise control without any challenges, while others narrowly escaped defeat. We’ll continue to work our way through the Coaches’ Poll each week to find the impostors and bring more significance to the rankings that have been earned. Don’t believe everything you see in the polls.
5. No. 1 Ohio State
The Buckeyes weren't supposed to be part of this list and I expressed my intentions to take them off last week, but Ohio State received some unfortunate news regarding starting quarterback J.T. Barrett. Popped for a DUI, the sole reason for my change of heart regarding the No. 1 team in the country will not play this weekend. Cardale Jones will again take his place under center as the Buckeyes play host to Minnesota.
With Barrett, this could very well be the best team in the country. However, the same can not be said without him.
Ohio State struggled to find consistency with Jones under center through the first half of the season, forcing head coach Urban Meyer to make a change at quarterback. With an adjusted QBR of 48.7, Jones has thrown for 1,266, seven touchdowns and five interceptions. He has also been sacked nine times, and some of those were his fault. He'll have to do better.
While the news regarding Barrett was disappointing, it won't be enough to topple the Buckeyes this weekend. And Barrett will presumably return the following week. But until then, with Jones at quarterback, this is not the best team in the country.
4. No. 2 Baylor
The Bears have done nothing to make me believe they're the second best team in college football.
Baylor has only faced one team with a winning record so far this season, but there's plenty of competition on the back end of the schedule with No. 14 Oklahoma, No. 12 Oklahoma State, No. 5 TCU and Texas. The Bears will have a chance to prove themselves in the coming weeks. If they make it through that stretch unscathed, we should be looking at the No. 1 team in the country by the end of the year. But it's not going to happen.
The Bears have allowed an average of 25 points a game against mediocre-at-best competition through the first half of the season, and the offensive firepower that lies ahead poses a much bigger threat. The likelihood of Baylor running into a brick wall down the stretch seems pretty high.
At this point, Baylor should not be the No. 2 team in the country.
3. No. 14 Utah
The Utes showed their true colors when they got manhandled by a struggling USC team a couple weeks ago. The extremely talented Trojans have been ridiculously underwhelming in 2015, but they had no problems handling Utah. With Washington, Arizona and UCLA still remaining on the schedule, it could very easily be looking at another loss before it's all said and done.
The blowout victory against Oregon during the fourth week of the season no longer carries any weight, as the Ducks have been awful this season, and I don't think Utah would come away with a win if it faced Michigan today.
Timing couldn't have been better for the Utes, but I'm not buying it any more.
Utah should not be ranked ahead of Memphis and Florida State, and is therefore overrated.
2. No. 10 Oklahoma State
The Cowboys are not one of the ten best teams in the country, and their No. 10 ranking will come to an end this weekend when they host TCU.
Oklahoma State has yet to face a ranked opponent, but have had plenty of close calls. Defeating a Texas team - before the Longhorns gained a little traction - by three, needing overtime to take down West Virginia and sneaking by Kansas State by two is not enough to earn a top-10 ranking. But here we are.
In the coming weeks, as the Cowboys finish their regular season schedule, they will face three top-14 teams and will likely lose at least two of those games. This "top-10 team" can easily finish the season with three losses and without a ranking.
If the Cowboys somehow make it out of the Big 12 gauntlet that lies ahead, I will happily swallow my pride and take them off this list. But for now, this is right where they belong.
1. No. 24 Texas A&M
Texas A&M is not one of the 25 best teams in the country. The Aggies are not very good. We've gone through this before, but they've somehow made their way back into the Coaches' Poll.
We can go ahead and mark the regular season finale against LSU as a loss for Texas A&M, because Leonard Fournette is a monster and the Aggies don't have an answer for that. But they're also the kind of team that can lose to Auburn this weekend, and that's just sad.
The Aggies are an Arkansas implosion away from being a three-loss team at this point in the year. The offense has struggled mightily and the defense hasn't been been shaky at times.
The resume is not worthy of a top-25 ranking, so the Aggies find themselves atop this list.