I had some changes to make this week
Two weeks into the season, my Super 16 has seen a few more changes from the preseason poll. Ohio State losing at home to Oklahoma was one reason I mixed things up a bit on my ballot this week. USC topping Stanford was another.
— Kevin McGuire (@KevinOnCFB) September 10, 2017
The latest Super 16 poll has been released by the Football Writers Association of America and the National Football Foundation, but here is how I voted this week, with the team’s rank in the current Super 16 poll noted.
1. Alabama (1)
I see no reason to drop them after a blowout victory at home against Fresno State, although I will admit to giving strong consideration to place the Sooners above them this week.
2. Oklahoma (2)
The Sooners really impressed me in a game I thought they would lose. Ohio State now has arguably the most impressive win of the season by virtue of having to get it in a true road game. Baker Mayfield and the Sooner defense came through in a big way.
3. Clemson (3)
The Tigers can still play some fantastic defense, as was the case against Auburn Saturday night with 11 sacks. Clemson needed the defense to come through for a hard-fought home win against a ranked opponent.
4. USC (5)
I’m giving the Trojans a huge step up in my rankings because I thought Stanford was going to flex some muscle against them. Instead, it was USC scoring a solid victory with Sam Darnold looking like the Heisman Trophy favorite he was hyped to be in a big game. USC can run the ball too. Yikes.
5. Penn State (4)
Penn State’s offense didn’t get much time to do anything against Pitt, but they still managed to put together a 19-point victory over the Panthers. Penn State’s defense has looked good too, but I wonder just how much they have actually been tested. Special teams coverage was excellent vs. Pitt.
6. Oklahoma State (8)
It was a solid week for the Big 12 frontrunners. The Cowboys still haven’t had to play a tough team yet, but they do what superior teams have to do in these games, and they do it well.
7. Michigan (6)
The Wolverines once again looked darn fine on defense, but that offense needs to improve. After two games, I feel one of two things is bound to happen for Michigan. Either the offense finds itself or it’s going to cost them a game or two in conference play.
8. Washington (7)
Again, Washington does what they need to do. After a shaky outing against Rutgers, the Huskies were dominant at home against Montana.
9. Wisconsin (10)
The Badgers can run the football, surprise, surprise. A 31-14 victory over FAU may not have been super impressive, but Wisconsin is looking set for a run o the division crown once again.
10. Georgia (12)
I feel as though I am overrating the Bulldogs a bit right now, so this may not last for too long, but a road win against Notre Dame helps them move up my ranking this week. Bonus points for flustering Brian Kelly in the post game presser.
It’s Week 2 and Brian Kelly is on edge. https://t.co/G12TcEwZtZ
— Kevin McGuire (@KevinOnCFB) September 10, 2017
11. Ohio State (9)
This may be too harsh of a drop considering the opponent, but a double-digit loss at home when other teams were putting up wins is cause for a drop. Especially when the offense played as poorly as it did (unless Oklahoma’s defense is just that crazy good).
12. Florida State (11)
Though inactive due to Hurricane Irma, Florida State gets dinged on my ballot only because of what other teams did this week.
13. Louisville (14)
I told you Louisville would probably be back on my ballot pretty soon. Lamar Jackson was on fire against UNC enough to overlook a few of his less glorious moments. Looking forward to seeing Jackson and Louisville hosting Clemson this week. That’s the game of the week right there.
14. LSU (13)
LSU’s defense has looked solid in their first two games, although I am not going to get too carried away with a big win over Chattanooga.
15. Auburn (15)
Even in defeat on the road against Clemson, I feel as though Auburn is going to be a pretty good team this season. That Tiger defense played well, but the offensive line had a long night in Death Valley.
16. Virginia Tech (NR)
The Hokies didn’t have a stellar performance in their follow-up to their wild win over West Virginia, but that’s two games in the same week so I’ll let it slide against Delaware.
Who did I not vote for that is ranked this week?
Miami (16) – Hello Miami. To make room for Louisville this week, Miami had to be left out of the mix. And to be fair, I didn’t rank Miami last week either, although they are on my radar. And with their game at Arkansas State being scrubbed due to Hurricane Irma and this week’s contest against Florida State likely to be pushed back, I may need to wait a little longer before considering placing the Canes in my top 16.
For the most part, my ballot was fairly close to the final result. Other than Virginia Tech, every other team on my ballot appears in this week’s Super 16. On top of that, the majority of my picks are within two spots of their ranking this week, suggesting I am falling in line a bit more with the rest of the voters in the poll this season. I’d like to think that means they are all catching up to my line of thinking, but I had a rough week of making picks so that may not be the case.
But another week is in the books. Let me know how you would change the ballot.