Here is our Top 25, following week four’s games. We start now because preseason polls create an unfounded framework for the season. Rather than swing assessments wildly week-to-week based on little information, seeing teams perform three to four times against different levels of opposition provides a more sober basis for assessment. My goal was to rank teams based on how they’ve performed, rather than how they’ve performed compared to initial expectations.
1. LSU: The Tigers pass the eye test, and have the most impressive array of scalps.
2. Alabama: A defense built to bring the pain. An offense rounding into form.
3. Oklahoma: Find ways to win competently against decent opponents.
4. Boise State: Coordinators go. Kellen Moore dissects. Petersen wins.
5. Stanford: Character, cruelty and three efficient blow outs.
6. Wisconsin: Obliterated their crappy schedule with ease.
7. Oklahoma State: Comeback win in College Station could be huge.
8. Clemson: Chad Morris’ offense is rolling. Defense could still use some work.
9. South Florida: The Bulls are top 25 in total offense and total defense and, yes, beat Notre Dame.
10. Georgia Tech: North Carolina slowed down their offense significantly last week, to 496 total yards.
11. South Carolina: Incredible talent and often incredible ineptness deploying said talent.
12. Florida: Sprinter speed and impervious defense. Big test next week vs Alabama.
13. Oregon: The Ducks have averaged 60.3 points per game since first week loss to LSU.
14. Nebraska: Four wins, but defense seems less stalwart than expected.
15. Baylor: That Robert Griffin fellow is having kind of a good year.
16. Virginia Tech: VT have beaten every team they’ve played. Have yet to play anyone of note.
17. Michigan: The Wolverines don’t seem to do anything well, except score points and not allow them.
18. Illinois: Ron Zook nearly pulled a Ron Zook against Western Michigan.
19. West Virginia: Overmatched against LSU, but like Holgorsen’s style.
20. Arizona State: Should have won every game so far. USC win will be critical.
21. Texas: Great defense, finally found the real McCoy at quarterback.
22. Kansas State: Proved themselves with win against Miami, a legitimate opponent.
23. Arkansas: Not good enough to win in Tuscaloosa, but, really, who is?
24. Texas A&M: Tough loss to OSU. Rest of tough schedule will sound them out.
25. TCU Righted ship with three wins after tough loss to Baylor.
[Photo via Getty]