No, with the BCS system now replaced by the four-team College Football Playoff, the Coaches' Polldoes not actually factor into the sport's postseason. But yes, fans still enjoy debating where they believe teams should be ranked any given week. After another amazing college football Saturday, we're here to do just that with you.
This week, per usual, there are a number of teams that the coaches have overrated. We've gone through the list and pulled out the five programs that we feel don't currently deserve their rankings. It just so happens that a few of them have huge games this upcoming week.
5. No. 11 Ohio State
Ohio State has won six games in a row, and in five of them, it put up over 50 points. How can the Buckeyes still be overrated? Two reasons. One - they haven't played or beaten a ranked team this season. Two - their offense, which has looked prolific the majority of the past two months, struggles against quality defenses. Virginia Tech and Penn State were by far the two highest-ranked units (in scoring defense) that they had to play against. You know what happened in those games.
J.T. Barrett has played incredibly well for his age, and Ohio State has certainly rebounded well after the Virginia Tech debacle. But the Buckeyes also aren't being tested. It'd be interesting to see what they'd do against an SEC West schedule, perhaps.
The Buckeyes really only have one shot to prove that they belong in the College Football Playoff conversation - and it's this Saturday. No. 6 Michigan State is the only ranked squad OSU will play all year, at least until the Big Ten title game, should it make it that far. A convincing win would get them off of lists like ours.
4. No. 8 Notre Dame
Notre Dame fans were upset when the Irish were placed No. 10 in the initial College Football Playoff rankings. After a questionable defensive performance against Navy this past Saturday, it's unlikely the team moves up. The Irish gave up 39 points to a Midshipmen team that is fighting for bowl eligibility. Luckily, their offense put up 49 points.
Notre Dame's biggest problem? It hasn't done much to wow the committee. The Irish have won seven of their eight games, but aside from the Michigan contest, none of them have been all that impressive. They let both Purdue and Syracuse hang around. They won shootouts with North Carolina and Navy. Even the Stanford victory doesn't look as good as it used to.
The Irish still have Arizona State, Louisville and USC on the schedule, and an 11-1 record might be enough to sneak into the top four. Might be.
3. No. 9 Kansas State
Kansas State has been one of the biggest surprises of the 2014 college football season. The Wildcats are 7-1 overall, with a 5-0 record in the Big 12 and wins over both Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. But we suspect that at No. 9 in the country, they're a bit overrated. Why?
Well, for starters, the Wildcats stole one from the Sooners. OU kicker Michael Hunnicutt missed a 19-yard field goal attempt that would have given his team a two-point lead late in the fourth quarter. Also, earlier in the year, KSU had to rally late in the final period to knock off Iowa State, a team that is still yet to win a game in the conference. But more than anything, the Wildcats have yet to play the tough part of their schedule.
Yes, they already played both Auburn and Oklahoma, but they've still got TCU, West Virginia and Baylor left on the slate. If they can somehow get through all three of those games, they'll probably be a College Football Playoff lock - and off of any overrated list.
2. No. 12 Arizona State
The Pac-12 South seems to be log-jammed with solid-yet-unspectacular college football teams this year. Arizona State may be the best of the bunch, but we're not sure that means the Sun Devils are the 12th best team in the nation. Yes, the team can score through the air, regardless of which quarterback - Taylor Kelly or Mike Bercovici - is playing. But they've yet to turn in a dominating performance against a quality opponent.
One big reason? Arizona State has one of the worst rush defenses in the conference.
ASU takes on Notre Dame this Saturday in what should be a fantastic non-conference matchup. If the Sun Devils are able to take down the Irish and finish out the rest of their Pac-12 schedule unscathed, they'll probably get to tangle with Oregon for the conference title. That's when we'll find out if they really belong in the conversation.
1. No. 18 UCLA
UCLA, ranked 25th last week, was our No. 1 most overrated team last time around. Saturday, the Bruins, at home, won a sloppy contest over Pac-12 South foe Arizona and somehow moved up seven slots to No. 18. Sure, quarterback Brett Hundley turned in a nice performance, throwing for 189 yards and running for 131 more, and the defense surprisingly shut down the Wildcats, but it's hard to believe that a team that went to double-overtime against Colorado a week ago really deserves such a high ranking.
The Bruins, in our opinion, have turned in one dominating performance this year - their 62-27 victory over Arizona State back in September. They won ugly over Virginia, Memphis and Texas to start the season. They lost to both Utah and Oregon at home. They struggled with both Cal and Colorado. They simply aren't an elite team. The biggest reason? Aside from the Arizona game, UCLA's defense, ranked 77th in the nation in scoring, has been subpar.
UCLA may still post a nice record this year, but all year long, the Bruins have been ranked higher than they deserve.