Before we announce this week's rankings, let's attempt to do a blind case study and see how much perception shapes reality, shall we?
- Team A and Team B are both undefeated. Team B has played a tougher schedule but Team A has blown out more teams.
- Team A: Beats a team that was previously ranked for several weeks by 25+ points.
An anticipated Thursday came and went, leaving contenders and hopefuls in its wake. From the debris rose a clearer picture to the national championship. With the Ducks falling to Stanford for a second consecutive year, we now have two teams that control their own destiny; though there are teams with semi-legitimate gripes, should they be left out.
We are now left with just four undefeated AQ teams in college football, falling into two different categories: The Contenders (Alabama, Florida State) and The Hopefuls (Ohio State, Baylor).
Usually in this space I like to recap what happened over the weekend and explain how it translates into the rankings. Due to this weekend having an absolute dearth of quality match-ups (even Florida State versus Miami was a letdown), I decided it's better to leave the past where it is and look forward to the future.
This Thursday night, college football fans and sports bars across America will be given a special treat.
Last week, we saw Florida State take a decisive lead in the Rankings (yes, I'm pretentious enough to capitalize my own rankings) after routing rival Clemson in Death Valley. The win gave the Seminoles two straight victories over ranked opponents by a combined margin of 114-14. These accomplishments easily outweighed those of Alabama and Oregon, who, at the time, had faced two ranked teams total, winning those contests by a combined 28 points.
Out of deference to the Seminole tribe and their people, I'll refrain from making any puns involving the name of the Florida State mascot, but know this: it is hard. There's too many superlatives to throw around after FSU absolutely throttled Clemson in a battle for ACC supremacy. For those keeping track, that's two straight games the Seminoles have played a ranked opponent.