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NCAA Football Round-Up Week 12
by Brian Miller (NCAA Football)
Posted on November 27, 2009, 9:56 PM

Same group of guys; we might have missed last week, but we’re back for another week of college football to evaluate; you already know the deal. Just a note that the rankings below were compiled before this weekday’s games.

Rank Team (First Place Votes)

1. Alabama (2)
2. Florida
3. Texas (1)
4. TCU
5. Cincinnati
6. Boise State
7. Georgia Tech
8. Oregon
9. Ohio State
10. Pittsburgh
11. Iowa
12. Oklahoma State
13. Virginia Tech
14. North Carolina
15. Oregon State
16. Clemson
17. Penn State
18. LSU
19. USC
20. California
21. Miami
22. BYU
23. Nebraska
24. Houston
25. Utah

Brian: Conferences. There are seven of them of any importance. Rank them for this year and will any of the remaining interconferences games (GT/UGA, Clemson/SCar, UF/FSU, Miami/USF, and Cincy/Illinois come to mind as the only ones left) change those rankings at all?

Andrew: 1- SEC (not by as much as some may say, mind you, but top to bottom the #1)
2- Pac 10
3- ACC (top to bottom its weak, top 5 can play with anyone)
4- Big Ten
5- Big East
6- MWC (Utah's being down hurt the conference. If Utah or BYU could play with more consistency- Colorado State too- they could be much higher)
7- Big 12 (I was amazed looking at this year's total body of work how bad the conference has been)

Don't see any results changing- SEC is already at the top, really only Illinois/Cincy and it would take a real slouch effort by Pike for that to happen. Think it stays put.

T.Cow: Ranking conferences is so objective because of what criteria one uses. Is a good conference one that is top heavy or filled with parity? Do you weigh each team equally? With that said, here’s my rankings:

1. Pac 10
2. SEC
3. ACC
4. Big East
5. Big 12
6. Big 10
7. MWC

Personally, I like the central mean idea used by Jeff Saragin (hence why my ranking is identical to his) which weighs middle of the pack teams a little more heavily than those at the top or bottom which is why I have the Pac 10 at the top. Plus they also have the marquee non-conf game in USC (middle of the Pac 10) vs. Ohio St (Big 10’s best). I put SEC 2nd because of UF’s and Bama’s status, but if GT, Clemson, and especially FSU wins, then ACC should jump over them.

Andrew: We're all college football fans. We're all fantasy football fanboys. For that matter, most who do one do the other, increasingly at the college level. With that in mind, name a couple of early guys you'll be expecting some big numbers from next season.

T.Cow: Since this is mainly about stats, I’m going to go with Blaine Gabbert. Missouri lack of defense will force him to throw constantly. Missouri has become more pass reliant this year. Derrick Washington only has 1 100 yard game and 1 multiple TD game. Gabbert really has only had 2 statistically terrible outing this year, against Nebraska (where he got injured in the rain) and Texas (who he isn’t playing next season). He should also have Danario Alexander back.

My other selection is Jordan Todman. Andre Dixon is going to graduate so barring some stud freshman that I don’t know about, Todman should get the vast bulk of the carry. In spite of the timeshare this season, the guy is still a top fantasy RB.

Brian: I think Quizz Rodgers from Oregon State should be number one on everyone’s college fantasy board next year. He’s one of the few backs who doesn’t really split carries with another player to some degree and this year Oregon State worked him even more into the passing game. He’s averaging six catches a game, that’s more than the lower level receivers will be catching. At QB ignoring the points factory that is Texas Tech, I think a healthy Christian Ponder at Florida State will continue to post rather ridiculous numbers as long as he’s healthy especially since I don’t think their defense will improve that much based on their talent so they’ll have to throw to stay competitive. There’s a whole bushel full of wide receivers at the top who are seniors or juniors who will almost certainly test the draft waters, I think one of the best options will be Ryan Broyles from Oklahoma who has managed to post solid receiving numbers and a large number of touchdown despite the Sooners’ offense being in a state of flux all season. If that offense shows any consistency next year, watch out for Broyles.

T.Cow: We've talked about the AQ conferences and the ranked schools from the non-AQ conferences for a large part of the year. Because the small guys deserve a nod too, I'm switching it up a bit this week. Among the currently unranked teams from non-AQ conferences, name 3 players you feel deserve some recognition for what they've done this year.

Brian: Ryan Mathews from Fresno State has to be the first, second and third answer as he is absolutely running up huge numbers at Fresno State. Kid even has prototypical size which is rare for a running back at a non-AQ school. Freddie Barnes has put up video games numbers at wide receiver, but he’s done it against the dregs of the MAC. He was held to a rather average 70 yards against Missouri and he only caught four passes for 24 yards against Boise. Greg Salas from Hawaii has done much the same though against the dregs of the WAC, not the MAC and without the falloff against tougher competition because Hawaii didn’t face any.

Andrew: The first name that comes to mind is Andy Dalton. TCU has a lot of talent that deserve mentioning, and if anybody hasn't heard of Jerry Hughes or Raphael Priest then they need to, but the Horned Frogs have always had great D's and a strong run O. Dalton's emergence has made TCU arguably the most complete team in the nation and a legit championship contender if Texas slips. The other two guys are a pair of top-flight RBs in Fresno's Ryan Mathews and Temple's Bernard Pierce. Every year- including in the NFL- some of the best backs come from the non-AQ level and these two- Pierce has his best football ahead of him (only a freshman) and Mathews has against some good defenses shown himself to be as productive and impressive as any player in the nation.

I hope you enjoyed the column. If you have any questions, concerns, or issues feel free to contact us via the Oratory Forums or e-mail Brian at bdmiller @ vt.edu, T. Cow at tangcow @ gmail.com, and Andrew at a.holik @ umiami.edu.

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