My Completely Irrelevant Top 25 and Heisman Race

The top three players this week reflect the most consistent performers in the country.

Newton strikes the pose. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

1. Cam Newton, Auburn, QB
Last Week vs. Alabama: 13/20, 216 yards, 3 TD, 0 INT, 22 att., 39 yards, 1 TD

2. LaMichael James, Oregon, RB
Last Week vs. Arizona: 28 att., 126 yards, 2 TD

3. Kellen Moore, Boise State, QB
Last Week vs. Nevada: 20/31, 348 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT

4. Ryan Mallett, Arkansas, QB
Last Week vs. LSU: 13/23, 320 yards, 3 TD, 2 INT

5. Andrew Luck, Stanford, QB
Last Week vs. Oregon State: 21/30, 305 yards, 4 TD, 0 INT

Under the Radar Candidates

-Colin Kaepernick, Nevada, QB
Andy Dalton, TCU, QB
Brandon Weeden,
Oklahoma State, QB
Bryant Moniz, Hawaii, QB
Terrelle Pryor, Ohio State, QB
Landry Jones, Oklahoma, QB
Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State, WR
Denard Robinson, Michigan, QB

I’ve been on board with Newton since early October and nothing changes this week. Cameron Newton is the reason for success on the field at Auburn. He drives this team week in and week out.

I won’t punish Kellen Moore for a loss that wasn’t his fault. Moore played brilliantly in the loss to Nevada.

It’s meaningless, but I don’t understand why Andrew Luck is so far up on Heisman ballots, yet Mallett is nowhere near him. Here’s my case:

Both quarterbacks have one loss on their respective teams. I say one loss because Mallett barely played in the Auburn game before leaving with a concussion. I hardly think its fair to count that against him.  Arkansas is 10-2. Stanford is 11-1. Stanford has played two teams against the Top 25. Arkansas has faced five Top 25 opponents (six if you include Texas A&M).

The argument against Mallett is that he makes mistakes that costs his team games. Mallett did throw three interceptions in the loss to Alabama and that directly led to swings in momentum in Alabama’s favor. However, Luck also threw two second half interceptions against Oregon. One loss separates the two teams and I don’t think you can argue against the quality of opponents that Arkansas has faced. Both guys have their flaws, but those who say it’s not even close between the two need to reconsider.

♣♣♣

My Top 25

1. Auburn
2. Oregon
3. TCU
4. Stanford
5. Wisconsin
6. Virginia Tech
7. Boise State
8. Ohio State
9. Oklahoma
10. Arkansas
11. Michigan State
12. South Carolina
13. Alabama
14. LSU
15. Nevada
16. Oklahoma State
17. Nebraska
18. Missouri
19. Texas A&M
20. Florida State
21. Utah
22. Northern Illinois
23. San Diego State
24. Mississippi State
25. Hawaii

I really don’t want to include any Big East team in the Top 25. I just think the voters are moving a West Virginia or UCONN up so the Big East representative in the BCS Bowl Series isn’t unranked. Of course, it could also be because the bottom of the Top 25 has been guesswork all season long and you just have to throw an average 8-3 or 8-4 team in.

I didn’t drop Alabama as much as they did in the real standings. They had one of the best teams in the country on the ropes before imploding. I also dropped LSU quite a bit. They are simply not Top 10 material. They can win at home, but they’re 2-2 on the road (excluding UNC game because it was neutral site). Even at home, they are shaky at times. If this team gets matched up with a quality offense in a bowl game, I don’t see them winning.

I’d still like to include Boise State in the Top 5, but that wouldn’t be fair. They lost a close game on the road to a good Nevada team. I’m not saying Nevada is better than Boise State, nor do I think Nevada is an outstanding team. Mistakes happen. Boise State isn’t the first team to lose a game to someone they shouldn’t have, but they receive a lot more flak for it because they are Boise State. This is where the advocates for a playoff step in. One loss late in the season doesn’t hurt you in basketball, but it kills you in college football. So much pressure rides on every single game.

That pressure is also what makes college football great. It’s a double-edged sword. The upset by Nevada would have had less impact if we had a playoff system. There’s no real way to determine what type of playoff system would be in place, but the Broncos would likely still be in the hunt if we had a playoff system. I’m using that as an example. There are plenty of other scenarios.

I’m not particularly a big fan of the BCS, but I don’t think it’s an awful system. Before last week, there were four teams that legitimately deserved a shot at the title this year: Oregon, Auburn, TCU and Boise State. Although, it’s hard to argue against Stanford or Boise State still deserving a shot despite their one loss.

One thing is certain: this season had all the potential of causing a ruckus with the BCS system, but it has been rather anti-climactic instead. TCU still has a legitimate chance at gaining entry to the BCS National Championship game, but they will need Auburn or Oregon to lose. Boise State would have been better, though. They are the Cinderella team that everyone came to appreciate when they upset Oklahoma in 2006. The attitude toward the Broncos has changed these days. Unless TCU slips into the National Championship, the 2010 season will be yet another victory for the BCS system.

Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comment box below. You can e-mail me suggestions or questions at jtmcadams@aol.com. Follow me on Twitter @JoeSportswriter.

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