Question of the day: What are the top three teams in college football? [Updated]
Writers from around Tribune Co. weigh in on the topic. Check back throughout the day for more responses, and feel free to leave a comment of your own.
Chris Dufresne, Los Angeles Times
Leave it to the computers to screw things up, but it's still early. Oklahoma is getting overpaid for an impressive win over Florida State and a victory against a Texas team that lost at home to UCLA, which lost to Cal, 35-7, which just lost to USC, 42-0 (first half).
Oklahoma almost lost its home opener to Utah State and scored a three-point win over Air Force, which just lost to San Diego State. Boise State closes the season at home against Utah State. You think the Broncos will only win by a touchdown?
I think the Harris poll got the right teams -- Oregon, Boise State and Texas Christian -- just in the wrong order.
I have had Boise State at No. 1 since Day 1, and the Broncos have done nothing to knock themselves off that perch. Next up is Oregon at No 2. The Ducks routed Stanford, which is not getting nearly the love it deserves. Oregon is still going to have a tough time making it through the Pac-10 without a loss, with key road games left at USC and Oregon State.
My No. 3 is TCU, which would have been my preseason No. 1 had it beaten Boise State last year in the Fiesta Bowl. Wouldn't it be something if Boise State and TCU met this year, in the same stadium, except this time for the national title? The fact we're even talking about the possibility in mid-October is strange enough.
Teddy Greenstein, Chicago Tribune
So here’s the question: Do you care about margin of victory? Does a 40-point mauling mean more to you than a two-point scare?
I’d say it shouldn’t, and here’s why: Look at Oklahoma’s résumé, and you’ll see three seemingly unimpressive results: a seven-point victory over Utah State, a three-pointer past Air Force and a two-point squeaker over Cincinnati. But the Sooners had comfortable fourth-quarter leads in all three games. Oklahoma also drubbed a Florida State team unbeaten in its six other games.
So, if you go strictly by results -- and I do -- I think it’s an easy call: Boomer Sooner bats first, followed by Boise State (sweet wins over Virginia Tech and Oregon State) and then Oregon.
[Updated at 11:49 a.m.:
Desmond Conner, Hartford Courant
My top three …
No. 1 is Alabama: As an AP voter I took a lot of flak last week for putting the Tide at No. 3 following their loss to South Carolina, but I don’t think there’s any doubt Alabama is the best team with the best player (Mark Ingram) and the best coach (Nick Saban). The Gamecocks got lucky. No one else will.
No. 2 is Oregon: First, congratulations to the Ducks for their first No. 1 ranking in their 115-year history. The offense is averaging 54 points a game. That’s a problem for defenses, because there is a lot of talent producing all those points. Oregon won’t lose unless it beats itself.
No. 3 is Boise State: OK. We know the Broncos are one of the few programs where you have to defend the entire length and width of the field and at all times. This year is no different, but the Broncos' defense is third in the nation, giving up 12.3 points a game. That defense looks good enough to shut anyone down right now. Well, maybe not Oregon.]
[Updated at 12:09 p.m.:
Rachel George, Orlando Sentinel
I think the Harris Poll people got it right with their top three. But if it were up to me, it would be Boise State joining Oregon on top, rather than Oklahoma, which leads the BCS standings
1. Oregon. The Ducks are deservedly tops in the AP poll and second in the BCS. They have the nation’s best offense, give up 16.3 points per game and soundly beat a quality opponent in Stanford.
2. Boise State. The vitriol against the Broncos should only be directed at their strength of schedule and not the quality of the team. They are as good as any in the country, ranking first in total defense and fourth in total offense.
3. TCU. Four games of giving up a touchdown or less have the Horned Frogs at a nation's best 9.3 points per game allowed on defense. Oh, and the offense is pretty darn good too. It ranks seventh in scoring.]
Photos, from top: Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore. Credit: Kyle Terada / US Presswire. Oklahoma running back DeMarco Murray. Credit: Nelson Chenault / US Presswire