Through six weeks of the college football season, the field is wide open. Some normal powerhouses, like Auburn and Oregon, are performing way below expectations, while teams like Michigan and Utah have exploded onto the scene, and are real threats to win their leagues. There are surprises everywhere in the sport this year, and they have shifted how we view the individual conferences, and the divisions within them. The Pac-12 South, which has been competing with the SEC West for top billing in recent years, isn’t quite what we thought it’d be, while a strong Michigan does a ton to raise the profile of the Big Ten East.
Which divisions have thrived this season, and which are lagging behind? Which group has the deepest and most talented roster of teams, so far in 2015? Here is our ranking of college football’s divisions this season.
9. ACC Coastal
Despite their last-place ranking here, the ACC Coastal could legitimately place six teams in bowls this season. The problem is, at this point, it’s hard to tell if anyone in the division is anything more than above-average on a national scale. Outside of Virginia, which is yet to beat an FBS opponent, every team looks okay, but only one is ranked.
— Duke Football (@Duke_FB) October 11, 2015
Duke continues to impress under program savior David Cutcliffe. At 5-1, its only loss was against a very good Northwestern team. The signature win thus far is probably the one over Georgia Tech, which is a major problem for the division as a whole. Georgia Tech was supposed to be the standard bearer for the Coastal and a trendy pick to take down Florida State and Clemson for the ACC crown before the season. Instead, the Yellow Jackets have been extremely disappointing, opening 2-3, also losing to middling UNC and, most recently, in a blowout to Clemson. Pitt and Virginia Tech are fine, but have been ravaged by injuries to their best players, while Miami looks about as average as it usually does under Al Golden. Duke is a good team and a fine story, and outside of the Cavaliers, there are no outright bad teams here, but there are no good ones either, which is a major problem.