therock Posts:120 Followers:3
On 10/26/2011 02:51 AM in NCAA Football

Exposing the Top 25: Where the NCAAF polls went wrong

Each week throughout the college football season, we dissect the new Top 25 rankings and post the week's most overrated and underrated team, as well as an unranked team that should be in the Top 25.

Most overrated Top-25 team: West Virginia Mountaineers

I normally reserve this spot for teams ranked in the Top 15, but this week, I believe the No. 25 team in the poll should not be ranked. I went against West Virginia this past Friday and we cashed an easy one with underdog Syracuse winning outright, 49-23.

The Mountaineers have played just two step-up games under new head coach Dana Holgorsen and they have been shell-shocked in both, giving up 47 points to LSU and 49 to the Orange.

The fact is, quarterback Geno Smith and the Mountaineers have built up their win column against relatively soft competition. And let's not forget, they almost took a come-from-behind loss to Maryland, holding on by the skin of their teeth in a 37-31 win. Smith threw just one interception against Marshall, Norfolk State, Maryland, Bowling Green, and UConn. But he threw a combined four picks in the two losses.

Not that Rutgers is a Top-25 team either, but the Scarlet Knights are just four points away from a 7-0 record (5-2). Holgorsen better get his squad in the right frame of mind for their road trip to New Jersey this week, or WVU could taste its third loss in five games.

Most underrated Top-25 team: Arizona State Sun Devils

The Sun Devils are still playing for a Pac-12 South title and a chance to win the Pac-12 championship.

Arizona State has dropped only two games this season, losing at Illinois by three points and on the road in Eugene, 41-27. The loss at Illinois came in a tough sandwich spot off a televised win over Mizzou and with USC on deck. And the Sun Devils played Oregon tougher than anyone other than LSU. They actually led Oregon, 24-21 in the third quarter before the Ducks finally pulled out a 14-point win.

Arizona State is led by one of the top QBs in the nation in Brock Osweiler. The 6-foot-8 junior has connected on 66 percent of his passes and no less than four players already have between 22 and 36 receptions on the season. The team is a load to defend, with the 21st-ranked passing game and they average over 34 points per contest.

Arizona State would have to virtually collapse to lose the shot at a conference title game. Southern Cal is the only team in front of them in the south and the Trojans are ineligible for the title contest. The closest team to ASU in the standings is a struggling UCLA team that's a full two games behind them.

The Sun Devils are 5-2 SU on the season and it would be disappointing if they finish the season without winning their final five games. At No. 23 in the nation, I believe ASU is ranked about eight spots too low.

Unranked team that should be in the Top 25: Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles

I believe Southern Mississippi should be ranked. But at the same time, if the Golden Eagles aren’t on their game this weekend, they could lose at UTEP. The Golden Eagles are on a strong run since the inexplicable loss to Marshall in their second game of the season.

Since then, head coach Larry Fedora's squad has won five straight games, winning at Virginia and piling up 63 points in a 28-point win over Navy. But the most impressive win came this past weekend. The way they shut down the SMU offense was eye-opening to everyone.

Southern Methodist went into the game averaging almost 34 points and 450 yards per game. June Jones’ squad, known for lighting up the scoreboard, could only muster one field goal and just 330 total yards. The Eagles defense held J.J. McDermott to 16 of 32 passing with no TDs and two INTs.

While I believe this team should be ranked and West Virginia should not, it must be noted that the Eagles better be focused for their trip to El Paso. But Southern Mississippi is this week's team that should be ranked.