Monday, September 26, 2022

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College Football Top 25

College Football Top 25

Big wins are what attract poll voters. Michigan, for instance, outscored its opponents by an average of 550-0. No team was able to threaten them in its five-game winning streak, and its margin of victory was a staggering 50.0. Its victories against Northwestern and Iowa were even larger.

Notre Dame drops out

Notre Dame dropped out of the college football top 25 after its season-opening loss to Ohio State. After seven consecutive appearances in the rankings, the Irish fell from No. 5 to No. 8. In addition, Texas A&M dropped from No. 6 to No. 24 after falling to Appalachian State and Marshall. This is the first time in the top 25 that two teams ranked in the top 10 have dropped out in the same week. In addition, Alabama survived a late-game upset bid from Texas, and Kentucky won at Florida.

Texas meanwhile, climbed up one spot after dropping two spots. Although they lost to Alabama, the Longhorns remained the third-best team in the poll. After beating the Crimson Tide last week, they should get more respect.

Texas A&M rises

Texas A&M is now comfortably in the top 10 in the AP Top-25 poll and ranked seventh in the ACPA Coaches’ Poll. This marks the Aggies’ fourth straight season in the Top-25. Last season, they were just outside of the Top 25. The rise in the poll is an indication of voters’ confidence in Jimbo Fisher and his team.

The Aggies have a strong core of returning players. Ainias Smith and Evan Stewart will help the offense replace Isaiah Spiller, who is off to the NFL. The offensive line returns three starters, though guard Kenyon Green will be missed. Defensively, Texas A&M hired former Ole Miss defensive coordinator DJ Durkin. The Aggies’ secondary should look respectable by 2022.

Ohio State is 3-0

Ohio State is 3-0 in college football, and the Buckeyes have a good chance to stay that way. This week’s opponent, Toledo, is one of the consensus favorites in the MAC. The Rockets are ranked 67th nationally in the latest FPI poll. Based on that ranking, the Buckeyes are projected to win 11.6 games this year, and are 27.4 points better than their opponents.

This week, Ohio State plays host to Toledo in a non-conference game. After beating Arkansas State last week, the Buckeyes are looking to build off of that performance and get a winning start in the Big Ten. Toledo is 2-0 this year, with two dominating wins against UMass and LIU. The College Football Power Index projects a victory for Ohio State, but it isn’t a lock.

Penn State is 3-0 against Power Five teams

Penn State has been one of the more consistent teams in the Big Ten this season, going 3-0 against Power Five teams. They have outscored their opponents a combined 155 points in their first three games, and their offense has produced points from every play. Their defense has been solid, too, with just three turnovers per game. Their defense also allows for plenty of rushing yards, which is important in a power-play game.

Penn State’s success against Power Five teams is not a complete guarantee, but it’s still a good start. After going 7-11 in 2016 and 2017, the Nittany Lions have won 10 straight games. But since the Minnesota game in 2018, the Nittany Lions are just 2-5 overall. Their last two non-con wins have been against rivals Illinois and Wisconsin. Penn State’s schedule next year is much easier than it is now. It will face Illinois twice and Wisconsin twice and play Purdue and Northwestern only once.

Oregon State has a chance to break into the top 25

The Beavers return a pair of starters from last year’s squad that have given them a chance to crack the top 25. Both quarterbacks will start, and Oregon State is expected to have a lot of success. However, the Beavers aren’t a perfect team. The team’s offensive line isn’t great, but it’s not terrible either. Oregon State’s offensive line has a good chance of meshing well with the quarterback.

The Beavers have a good chance of going 3-0 against Montana State in Portland. Although they’ll only get a slight boost from beating a FCS team, the Beavers should be able to maintain their current position in the top 25. The Beavers will have another chance to break into the top 25 when USC comes to Corvallis this week.

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