Boise State is ranked as the third best team in the nation right now.
Is it deserved?
Sure after beating a ranked Virginia Tech team, but that is the same team that lost to FCS James Madison one week later, too.
Even if they beat Oregon State this weekend (who is grossly over-ranked at 24th in a fraudulent attempt to try and justify Boise State’s own over-ranking on the assumption the team will beat the Beavers), it does not truly validate the projection that they are the third best team in the nation.
Then you have the Alabama Crimson Tide. Now THERE is a team that has earned their ranking.
And if they are able to survive the next three weekends – arguably the toughest stretch in all of college football (they are scheduled to play the ninth, tenth, and twelfth ranked teams in the nation on back-to-back-to-back weekends) – then there will be no first place votes left to share with Ohio State, Boise State, or whatever other pretender to the Crimson Tide throne may step forward.
So, tomorrow, Alabama will embark on the first of its Herculean labors by traveling to Fayetteville to take on the Arkansas Razorbacks. The matchup between these two SEC powerhouses at Reynold’s Razorback Stadium will feature several of the most talented players in college football, and unlike the Boise State games, this one has REAL national championship implications.
Arkansas, led by Heisman hopeful Ryan Mallett, is currently ranked tenth in the nation by the Associated Press, and is cruising into this weekend after an impressive win on the road against the Georgia Bulldogs.
Mallett, who leads the nation with 1,081 passing yards, will provide Alabama’s relatively inexperienced defense with its toughest test of the season as the Razorbacks look to end Alabama’s reign at the top of the SEC’s west division. If Mallett wishes to continue his candidacy for college football’s highest individual honor, he will have to play nearly flawless football. Otherwise, he can pull up a chair next to Jake Locker and kiss his hopes of becoming the next Heisman Trophy winner goodbye.
And speaking of Heisman winners (how’s that for a segue?!), Mark Ingram seems to be back at full strength after rushing for more than 150 yards and two scores on only nine carries for the Crimson Tide last weekend. And now that he is paired in the backfield again with Trent Richardson (who is just as explosive as Ingram), Alabama once more boasts the most formidable rushing offense in college football.
This game will feature arguably the two best teams in the SEC, one of whom will be making a statement this weekend that they legitimately deserve a shot at the national championship.
Yes, I know that there are still teams like Florida, LSU, and even South Carolina who have started the season strong. But it will be the winner from this game who becomes the de facto team to beat, not just in the SEC, but in the entire nation.