The Fighting Irish Break Into Top Four In Top 25 Poll & More Comparing Our Rankings to the AP/Coaches Top 25Read Now
Notre Dame CFB Playoffs
NCAA & NAIA Football Rankings
As a believer in the jurisdiction system of College football, I am very happy in the direction it is heading from the FBS levels all the way down to the D3/NAIA Football levels. We have accidentally nearly been identical with the more established Top 25 Polls we have at College Football Today. We have dominated at ranking the FCS/D2 and NAIA levels in our first year, because well, they check our polls before they make their rankings and realize that there are facts that exist in the way we rank the Top 25 at each level. You will see more of how I do things and how I use now millions of resources to come to a theory of why a team is where, so the fans at UCF can understand what they need to do to win a actual National Championship. Our Top 25 will certainly not be dictated by a computer, but computers will be used, as stats are a key component to how we measure who reigns supreme in the ever fascinating world of college football. I believe if you can figure out this puzzle, you can figure out how to solve nearly every issue mankind deals with in our world today. Why? You are going to find out how Humans, Computer generated B.S., and recruiting algorithms, all play a factor not only in the Top 25, but in the world of sports today.
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Brian Kelly has brought new and innovative training methods to the Fighting Irish and they have worked magically at winning crucial games that have shot them up all three polls. The first three games of the season were not impressive and Notre Dame looked like a decent team, as they were able to defeat the Michigan Wolverines at home. What was concerning was after the big win in South Bend, they nearly lost to (2-4) Ball State by a score of 24-16. Given both teams are in Indiana, you could consider this an in-state rivalry, so they remain a Top 25 team. At home, against Vanderbilt, The Fighting Irish were able to defeat their SEC opponent by a score of 22-17. Vanderbilt is a good team this season, but a below average to average SEC team, as they were pummeled by South Carolina by a score of 37-14 in Nashville,TN. Consensus Top 3 team the Georgia Bulldogs, were able to defeat Vanderbilt 41-13 as the Bulldogs offense begins to assert their dominance in SEC play. They were able to defeat (3-3) Wake Forest handily in Winston Salem, NC by a score of 56-27 and you started to see the framework for the 2018-2019 Fighting Irish start to form. It was then, the Irish came up against the mighty Stanford Cardinals, who are year in and year out one of the toughest opponents the Irish face. They were able to defeat genius David Shaw and shatter Bryce Love's hopes for early Heisman contention. Normally, I am not into over analyzing things, as second guessing is for people who are unsure of the situation, but I looked at the remaining games for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the odds are in their favor of winning throughout the rest of the season. I had them picked to win over Virginia Tech and knowing how the system is set up, I presented my case to several older football minds and they said I was right. Let's look at the remaining schedule for Notre Dame and why they should ultimately be in the BCS playoffs at the conclusion of the college football rankings.
Georgia and Clemson over Ohio State?
This came down to the eye test when examining overall play on the football field. Ohio State's players have handled the off-season drama with their coaching staff considerably well, but they simply do not show up in the first half. Most of their glamorous stats accumulated this season were done against the likes of Tulane, who if you know FBS football, spend too many nights on Bourbon Street to compete with the Best FCS teams. As you will see in the charts from Herosports.com, while the offenses are merely 40-50 yards behind in production per game, Georgia and Clemson are crushing the Buckeyes in total defense by nearly 100 yards in total. Where I come from, Offense wins games, but Defense wins championships.
Short Explanations of rest of differences in polls
#7 Wisconsin Badgers - Beat Iowa, who we consider to be a top 25 team this season. Beat Coach Frost and have arguably the best running game in the nation with the line up front and Heisman Candidate Johnathan Taylor. We will really see if we are right in the badgers next game against the (5-1) Michigan Wolverines.
#10 Colorado Buffaloes - One person picked them to win the PAC-12 this year before the season and the Buffs were able to bring in weapon after weapon by recruiting key JuCo pieces in the likes Delrick Adams. Their defense is stepping up and creating key turnovers and they beat UCLA 38-16, while the Washington Huskies barely beat them 31-24. Being we are not sold on the Huskies and the fact that we like being right all along. Laviska Shenault Jr, Steven Montez and Nate Landman are on the 10th ranked football team by college football today.
#19 LSU Tigers - Nothing against the Tigers as I love Death Valley and recently visited. It is just the fact that they play a very tough schedule and sometimes lack consistency in play against lesser opponents. That being said, they can avenge the loss to the Florida Gators this week, as they get to travel to Athens, GA to take on the heavily favored Georgia Bulldogs.
#23 Cincinnati - We had the Bearcats at #25 last week and they were not in anyone else's Top 25 Polls. They won again, so they fit in perfectly to move up to #23. They will have a American Conference Battle Royale against UCF in Orlando,FL which could have major implications on pretty much everything.
#24 Iowa - The 4-1 Hawkeyes only have arguably Penn State on their schedule, as a game that would be a major upset. Coach Ferentz is an expert at not having those highly ranked recruiting classes and being able to acquire the perfect personnel to fit his program. They will be in everyone's Top 25, as usual, as they have a very good looking schedule moving forward. Possible Rose Bowl?
#25 Utah State - Best argument I could find for #25 in the College Football Today Poll. It has always been odd that Boise State hangs around the Top 25, as a non-power five conference team, even after defeat. Knowing that Air Force is really good this year and so was BYU, Utah State deserved this spot more than any other team in FBS Football. They nearly upset Michigan State and have won their last four games in very convincing fashion. Congrats, Coach Matt Wells!
Click on any pictures to access that divisions rankings. Click on the spread concept against cover 2 below, to access D2 Football Rankings. Coach Trout went overboard last year and designed millions of schemes that are based off of how we align pre-snap. Some plays involve post-snap - what we like to call "option routes", kinda like those Hawaii concepts.
Tough Loss For Indiana, But They Are Proving They Could Verty Well Be A College Football Today FBS Top 25 Team. Good luck this week against Iowa! Win and you are In!
NCAA Football Top 25
Note: Our Top 25 is released nearly a full day before the AP & Coaches Polls are released.
Why Georgia Over Clemson in AP Top 25 & College FB Today Poll?
I believe this solely comes down to the QB shuffle at Clemson and the very close win at Texas A&M, who just was ripped apart by No. 1 Alabama. Trevor Lawrence may have been the top QB recruit in last year's class, but voters are going to have to see consistency in his play before the Tigers are placed over the UGA Dawgs. We also were considering Ohio State for the 3rd spot, as they have had an impressive three game stretch and showed they did not need Urban Meyer to win at TCU in Dallas. Georgia on the other hand, has beaten a very good South Carolina team and handled a Missouri team that arguably could be in the Top 25 with one of the best QB's in the nation in Drew Lock. Georgia will try not to look ahead to its match-up against LSU on 10/13, as Coach Kirby Smart has prepared the Dawgs extremely well heading into Death Valley.
Why The Stanford Cardinals At #5?
I was on the Hawaii ban wagon until they ran into Army Football. I was a fan of Oklahoma this year, until they ran into–guess who– Army Football. Except Oklahoma did not lose to Army, however they did go into overtime with a team that is not ranked in any Top 25 nationally. We all love Lincoln Riley & Baker Mayfield (except Cowherd), but in our poll you must remain consistent throughout. We do not use the "they woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning" excuse that is often given to keep certain teams high in the rankings. I am not as crazy as Lane Kiffin, so I will not tell Kyler Murray to stick to baseball just yet, but he needs to step his game up as we move forward.
What Do We Have Against The LSU Tigers?
LSU struggled at Louisiana Tech and Stanford won a tough game at Oregon, who remains in the Top 25 in all three polls, showing the legitimacy of the Stanford Cardinal football team in the 2018/2019 season. LSU always has the best athletes and has produced many next level ball players, but they are known to be inconsistent in SEC play and I do not see them streaking very long, as they face off against a very good Ole Miss team next week and then travel to The Swamp™.
West Virginia Mountaineers Penalized For Not Playing?
The game that was postponed against NC State has seem to hurt the Mountaineers, who just finished blowing out Kansas State 35-6. WVU has struggled defensively in the past, but this year we really like the pieces they have on both sides of the football to make a run into the BCS playoffs in the final rankings. They have arguably the best QB in all of college football and one of the most dynamic offensive schemes we have seen in this decade. Washington has not looked good this season at all, so having them ahead of WVU shows the complete lack of football knowledge in the individuals picking the Top 25 possess.
The 2018 Cover Up Bowl - Ohio State vs Penn State
We have dubbed this "The Cover Up Bowl", as these schools have been under intense scrutiny nationally for off the field incidents. That being said, Penn State has appeared to have cleaned up their program under the direction of Coach Franklin and this game against the No. 4 ranked Buckeyes could propel them into the BCS playoffs, as the Buckeyes will travel to happy valley this weekend in hopes of remaining in the top four.
The Fighting Irish Have Not Been Impressive
We still are hung on the fact that Notre Dame struggled against a team that got obliterated by Indiana 38-10 and whose only win has come against FCS opponent Central Connecticut State. Ball State lost to Western Kentucky this weekend and was in a very close contest with Notre Dame on 9/8, where they were defeated 24-16 by the Irish. The win against Michigan also did not impress us that much, as Michigan did not have any continuity offensively and are not the same defensive unit of last year's Wolverine squad.
A Pivotal Win or Was Miss St & Florida Overrated?
Kentucky fans nearly lost it after they beat Dan Mullen and the Florida Gators, but the issue was that the Gators were really over hyped in 2018. They have beaten a bad Colorado State team and a really bad Tennessee team who has players who do not even want to enter the contest. That being said, Kentucky rose to the occasion and beat a statistically good Mississippi State team, as they also have only beaten the likes of Kansas State, LA-Lafayette and FCS opponent Stephen F. Austin. Ironically, the Bulldogs of Mississippi State will face off against Florida this weekend in The Swamp™ and then they might get to redeem themselves against Auburn to help Kentucky's win matter more to pollsters. Either way, whether at No. 14 or 17, Kentucky is back in the Top 25 for the first time since 2007!
Colorado In College FB Today's Top 25 - Not in AP or Coaches
The Buffs were off this weekend after not losing to an FCS opponent last week against New Hampshire. They were able to blowout the CSU-Rams in the Rocky Mountain Showdown and went on the road to beat Nebraska in Lincoln 33-28. We spoke about many key JuCo transfers in our2018 season preview and they have been paying off in huge ways for the Buffs defense. Their offense is prolific in itself, as Montez has been able to find the likes of Laviska Shenault Jr. for massive chunks of yardage and the Buffs will be well rested, as they head to a struggling UCLA team coached by Chip Kelly.
Duke Was In Our Top 25 Last Week & Boston College Was Not
Duke beat who by a score of 34-14? Army! I bet they did not know at the time that a game against West Point would have significance on Top 25 polls, but it did and it is why teams must handle business week in and week out. Duke also beat a very good Northwestern team 21-7 and we could not believe the pollsters left them out after a 40-27 win over 3-1 Baylor! Guess the pollsters are really starting to value the FCS, because after this weekend's blowout of NC Central 55-13, they finally gave Duke the love they deserve. Well, kind of, as we believe Duke would beat the teams in our Top 20-25 and it is why we they have moved up in our poll to No. 19.
Cal? No, really Cal?
Maybe the California Bears will make me eat my words, but I cannot justify them being in the anybody's Top 25. They beat a dreadful Tar-Heels team who lost to East Carolina barely by a score of 24-17. While they were able beat BYU, who almost was replaced by the likes of Syracuse or Texas Tech in our Top 25, I do not see Cal hanging around anybody's Top 25 very long. Cal will host Oregon this coming week and I guess we will find out if they are all the AP has cracked them out to be or if they are just selling more gear this year than USC.
Too Harsh On Oklahoma State & Virginia Tech?
Virginia Tech lost to ODU, who had a 1.8% chance of beating them on paper and were not mentally prepared heading into yesterday's contest with the Monarchs. ODU took advantage and produced one of the biggest upsets in FBS football history yesterday and we removed the Hokies from the College Football Today Top 25. Also exiting out poll was Oklahoma State, even though they were able to beat Boise handily, they let Kliff Kingsbury come into their own backyard with his surging Texas Tech squad and dismantle them 41-17 in front of Pokes Nation. The Red-Raiders' only loss came to a good Ole Miss team this year in their opening game and they have improved drastically since that contest under the direction of Kingsbury. They have our 6th ranked team heading into town this week in WVU, who has historically struggled on the road in Big 12 play. This will be a marquee match-up for both teams, as they look to make a case for all three Top 25 polls in the 2018 College Football Seasons.
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Division One FBS Top 25
2018 Top 25 Playoff Standings
While the Buckeyes offense looked almost unstoppable in their week one match-up, they appear to have some major issues on the defensive side of the ball. They were not able to produce any turnovers against Oregon State, a coming off of a season where they finished 127th out of 130th in the nation according to SB Nation when the numbers are crunched. Ohio State plays Rutgers tomorrow in Columbus,OH at 3:30 EST and needs to prove they can play at a high level defensively if they are to move up in our College Football Today rankings, as they will face far more superior offenses here in the future.
Florida Atlantic was rated a Top 25 program in some polls prior to the start of the season and it has a lot to do with their very popular Head Coach Lane Kiffin. They were a very good football team last year under Coach Kiffin and Kyler Murray simply dismantled the Owls Defense. In a decisive 63-14 victory, Murray was able to lead the Sooners' offense to an unfathomable 650 yards of total production and did not turn the ball over. If Coach Kiffin still thinks Kyler Murray should be playing baseball, he should have put his money where his mouth was and found a way to shut the Heisman Trophy "watch list" student-athlete down in week one. Oklahoma will face a more formidable opponent tomorrow at 1:00PM, as they face off against the UCLA Bruins in a PAC-12 vs BIG 12 showdown.
We do not consider 1AA-FCS opponent Southern University a nobody, as the AP Top 25 tends to do, but probably a more formidable opponent than Oregon State. They were in a dog fight last year in the Bayou Classic vs Grambling State and TCU was able to blow past them 55-7 at home without any hiccups. We also believe that the BIG 12 will be the strongest conference from top to bottom by the end of the season. You can catch TCU Football tonight against SMU live on ESPN2 at 6:00PM EST. If TCU does not live up to their ranking this year, they have the number one recruit in America on offense heading their way for the Class of 2019 in Daimarqua Foster.
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish at #13?
We could be wrong here, but with being an Independent and the very tough schedule they face, we just do not see them getting through the likes of Stanford, Virginia Tech and Pittsburgh. Because of this three game stretch, which includes a trip to Blacksburg, VA to take on the very talented Hokies, the season finale against USC will not have BCS playoff implications in our opinion. Did Notre Dame play very well against a terrible Michigan offense or was Notre Dame's defense that good? I guess we will have to see what the future holds, as the Fighting Irish take on Ball State tomorrow at 1:30PM EST.
I have spent a lot of time in Morgantown, WV over the years and they always have a prolific offense that can light up the scoreboard with this year being no exception. The difference in this year's Mountaineers is that they have a very stout defense up front with the likes of USC transfer Bigelow, who was able to make a immediate impact against Tennessee. We all know that Will Grier and David Sills are destined for big things if they stay healthy for the entire season. If the defense can play at the level they did in week one and sustain for the entire season, WVU is one of our favorites to win the BIG 12! On the contrary, the Huskies did not look like they could compete in SEC play in 2018, as they fell flat on their face against the Auburn Tigers, who are in both polls' Top 10.
#11/17 USC at #10 Stanford
We both happen to agree on the ranking of the Stanford Cardinals, whom David Shaw has ready year in and year out. But we do differ somewhat on where USC should be ranked. Either way, I guess neither of us can really be wrong if Stanford wins, but if USC beats Stanford tomorrow night at 6:30PM EST, how far do they move up in both polls?
Colin Cowherd says score will be 27-23 Stanford over USC
As Coach Franklin stated, App State is one heck of a college football program and I am glad the AP Top 25 realizes this and did not slide Penn State far in the rankings. They have one of the better Penn State teams I have seen and obviously have some things to sure up defensively, as they face off against the University of Pittsburgh to re-kindle an old in-state rivalry that my father David Trout took part in. Pittsburgh has received many votes for our FBS Top 25 and can move up into the College Football Today Top 25 with a victory over Penn State.
4 Different Teams In Each Poll
We have four different teams our poll that are not featured in the AP Top 25. The differences are listed below:
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