This past Saturday's college football slate was one of the most interesting in recent memory. There were so many matchups between top-25 squads that you knew that the latest edition of the Coaches' Poll was going to feature a ton of movement. That was exactly what happened when the poll came out on Sunday - the top two teams stayed the same, but many of the teams ranked 3-25 changed.
With so much movement, you also knew that some teams would be ranked a little too high. In most cases, this just means that the teams are ranked a couple of spots above where they should be, but in some cases, you can make the case that the teams should not be ranked at all. That is especially true with the No. 5 squad on our list. Which team is that? There's only one way to find out...
5) No. 24 Oklahoma
At this point in the season, we know the following things about the Sooners: 1) This team did not deserve to be considered a national title contender at the beginning of the season, 2) At 6-3 with a 3-3 mark in the Big 12, Oklahoma does not deserve to be ranked among the 25 best teams in the country.
The Sooners have played three games against ranked opponents this year, and they have lost all of them. Oklahoma fell to TCU in Fort Worth, 37-33. It fell to Kansas State at home, 31-30. The low point came on Saturday, as the Sooners got obliterated at home against Baylor, 48-14. With the loss, Oklahoma fell into a tie for sixth place in the Big 12. The teams that are in a tie for fourth in the conference -- Texas and West Virginia -- are not ranked in the Coaches' Poll. Huh?
The Sooners have been a massive disappointment this year, and based on how they have performed through 11 weeks, we're willing to say that they do not deserve to be ranked among the 25 best teams in the country.
4) No. 18 Arizona
Sure, Arizona went into Autzen Stadium and took down a depleted Oregon team earlier this season, which was impressive. At the same time, you can argue that it had a negative impact on the squad in a way, because the Wildcats went from unranked to the No. 10 team in America after that win, which remains its only victory over a ranked squad this year.
Since then, the team has not done a very good job living up to the suddenly high expectations - which is a bit fair, because going from "unranked" to "top-10 team" rarely ever happens. Arizona has gone 2-2 since the Oregon game with losses to USC and UCLA. The loss to the Bruins was especially troubling, as the Wildcats' high-powered offense was held to only seven points and 255 total yards. Arizona was able to take down two pretty bad teams in Washington State and Colorado, but the Wildcats were overrated after the Oregon win, and the team is still reaping the benefits.
Arizona closes the season out against three really good teams against Washington, Utah and Arizona State. If it can win out - or even win two of those three games - the Wildcats will certainly strengthen their resume and deserve a spot among the 20 best teams in the country. For now, Arizona has not earned the right to be among that crowd.
3) No. 16 Notre Dame
Quick, off the top of your head, what is Notre Dame's best win this season? Blowing out a bad Michigan team? Narrowly beating a 5-4 Stanford squad in South Bend? Who exactly has Notre Dame beaten that inspires any confidence in the Fighting Irish being a top-20 squad?
The Golden Domers have played against three ranked teams this year. The squad beat Stanford, which as we've learned over recent weeks, isn't a particularly good football team. The only other games it played against ranked opponents include a close loss to Florida State and last week's beatdown at the hands of Arizona State. When Notre Dame has played against better teams, it has lost. While beating the teams you are supposed to beat is a sign of any good team, a team that is ranked 16th in America should probably have at least one marquee win. Notre Dame doesn't have any.
Sure, the Fighting Irish have a schedule packed with teams from Power 5 conferences, but most of those teams aren't very good. Notre Dame needs to beat someone before it deserves to be ranked the 16th best team in America.
2) No. 12 Michigan State
Coming into this season, the Spartans' defense was hyped as one of the best in America. In the three games MSU has played against ranked opponents - Oregon, Nebraska and Ohio State - the Spartan defense is giving up an average of 39 points and 462.7 yards. Not exactly inspiring numbers for a squad that hangs its hat on defense. The unit was especially bad against the Buckeyes on Saturday, when the OSU offense scored touchdowns on seven of its 10 drives against Sparty.
The scary thing is, this isn't just happening against highly ranked teams. Look at how Indiana's Tevin Coleman ran all over Michigan State, or how Purdue managed to hang 31 points on Pat Narduzzi's defense. Maybe the expectations were too high at the beginning of the season, and now that we're nine games into 2014, we can safely proclaim that everyone overrated this group for most of the year. In fact, because hindsight is 20/20, and it's not unfair to say that Michigan State's defense was one of the most over-hyped units in the country.
Sure, the Michigan State offense has been solid, but it's miles ahead of the defense, which really shouldn't happen in East Lansing. Maybe if some magical switch gets flipped, we'll see the Spartan defense wake up and live up to its reputation. Until then, Michigan State isn't well-rounded enough to be the 12th best team in the country.
1) No. 5 TCU
Let's get this out of the way first: TCU is an excellent football team that deserves to be considered one of the best in America. The Horned Frogs have absolutely earned to be in that discussion, and you can make the argument that they deserve a spot in the College Football Playoff.
With that being said, TCU doesn't deserve to be the No. 5 team in the Coaches' Poll, if only because it is ranked ahead of the one team that beat it: Baylor. The two teams have fairly similar resumes: 8-1 with one loss in the Big 12, explosive offenses, Heisman-caliber quarterbacks and defenses that have looked great at times and completely miserable at others.
When it comes to separating those two evenly-matched teams, it should come down to which squad won the head-to-head match-up. On Oct. 11, the two teams played, and Baylor won, 61-58. The Horned Frogs choked away a 58-37 lead with more than 11 minutes remaining, which gave the team its only loss on the year.
Ultimately, when ranking Baylor and TCU, consider this: if the two teams win out, the Bears will win the Big 12 Championship, and it wouldn't make sense to rank another Big 12 team over the conference champions, especially a team that Baylor beat. For that reason, we think TCU is ever so slightly overrated.