Archived Story

Is their a clear cut No. 1, or is this all hype?

Published 9:31am Thursday, September 13, 2012

About twice a year, I vent my frustration at the media, the pollsters and the NCAA.
I know this may seem a bit of a trick question, but after two weeks of absolutely crappy football, are we witnessing a major sell-job from the media? I dare anyone to tell me one game that the top five teams have played, that would be worthy of the top billing so far.
If you tell me the Alabama-Michigan cleared the hype bar, you are in la-la land.  Michigan is just plain awful and you who bought into the hype? Well, you were duped. Last Saturday, Michigan hosted Air Force and they had their full contingent of players, including previously suspended running back Fitzgerald Toussaint. Michigan squeaked by the Falcons 31-25 and Toussaint carried the ball eight times for seven yards.  Don’t tell me he would have helped the Wolverines against the Crimson Tide.
My point is this, Michigan (1-1) started at No. 8, and it really should have been much lower, but that would have lessened the hype surrounding the opener in Dallas.
Then, in comes Western Kentucky. After two games, Alabama (2-0) is a whopping 75th in the nation in passing yards and 66th in rushing offense.  They are fifth in points given up.
LSU (2-0) had their way with North Texas and Washington. The Tigers are a whopping 91st in passing, 11th in rushing and eighth in points allowed. Les Miles has a new quarterback in Zach Mettenberger, who is supposed to be a major upgrade from last year. Two touchdowns and one interception will not keep any opposing team up at night wondering how to stop the LSU passing game.
The Bengal Tigers will do what they do best, run the football until you prove you can stop them.
USC (2-0) defeated Hawaii and Syracuse—OK.  The Trojans have Heisman front-runner Matt Barkley and two all-world wide receivers in Robert Woods and Marquise Lee.
That is the good news.
The reality is that they are playing with 75 scholarship athletes, ten less than normal and have already suffered some key injuries. This is more like a 9-3 team and a trip to the Emerald Bowl, not Miami.
Oregon (2-0) had their way with the Sun Belt Conference powerhouse Arkansas State and new head coach Gus Malzahn. Then they unloaded on Fresno State. The quick-strike quack-attack can score from anywhere on the field.
The problem for the Ducks will be stopping anyone else from scoring. I’m still waiting for them to show any resemblance of a defense.
Oklahoma (2-0) and Florida State (2-0) are No. 5 and No. 6, but here is another clear-cut hype job we are asked to buy into. The Sooners played UTEP and Florida A&M, while the Seminoles did their version of “beat down for bucks” by thrashing Murray State and Savannah State.
So I ask you, can you honestly name one team in the top six that is worthy of the No. 1 spot?
I can, and hear it is—Alabama should have started the season No. 1 – that is where they finished the 2011 season.
Until another team defeats Alabama, no one else deserves the top spot. I do not care how many players they lost, what the upcoming schedule or tea-leaves may read.
I am totally against preseason polls, but if they must produce one so the magazines and the media can make some early money, then the previous champion should always be No. 1.
Alabama over Arkansas;
Auburn over Louisiana-Monroe
Tennessee over Florida
Michigan State over Notre Dame
USC over Stanford
Georgia, South Carolina and LSU are still on the cupcake tour.
Until next time.
Meyers is a college football columnist.