Last week in our initial SwampSwami.com College Football Top 25 rankings for 2021, there were 26 undefeated teams to lead the way.
One week later, there are just 17 unbeaten teams among the 130 NCAA FBS (large division) football schools after the fifth week of the regular season schedule.
On the flip side, there are only four major college football teams out of 130 which have yet to win a game this season, too. If you’re a fan of #127 Arizona (Pac-12), #128 UNLV (Mountain West), and independents #129 UMass and #130 Connecticut (0-6), it’s time to hunker down and get that first “W” soon!
This week, ol’ SwampSwami put in the extra time and work to examine each and every one of the 130 FBS teams to determine his ranking of every single FBS team – from #1 all the way down to #130.
It is a daunting task to objectively evaluate every team and then to put a ranking on them. However, I have some established guidelines and try to follow them when possible. Here they are:
- At the top of our survey, the remaining unbeaten teams who were ranked in the Final AP Top 25 of 2020 will be given priority UNTIL they lose their first game in 2021. After Week #5, there were still eight (out of 25) teams from last year’s final AP poll who have yet to lose a game in 2021.
- From that point, the remaining unbeaten teams have priority over the teams with one-loss, two-losses, etc.
- Within all ties, I look at your team’s most impressive win this season and how that team is now faring. A win over a 4-1 team will take priority over a win over a 3-2 team, and so on.
- If that win over a 4-1 team was on the road, it gets priority over a team which defeated a 4-1 team at their home field. That process goes through the end of our list.
- For teams whose lone win has come against a smaller division (FCS) team, that win is discounted and only places your team above those without wins this season.
- Teams which have “lost” more competitively (on the scoreboard) take priority over those who have been blown out by more points.
Let’s take a good example of how biased the AP rankings are toward “name” institutions.
In today’s AP ratings, Florida (which has two losses – albeit to a couple of unbeaten teams in Alabama and Kentucky) is still ranked #20 in their poll.
In my SwampSwami.com College Football 130, I have Florida ranked at #54 this week. Why the big difference? Rather than try to evaluate how tough Florida played while losing to a couple of top teams, let’s take a look at who Florida has actually beaten so far this season.
In Week 1, the Florida Gators beat Florida International (now 3-2) 42-20. Next, Florida went to Tampa to defeat South Florida (1-4) 42-20. The Gators’ other win came at home against 3-2 Tennessee 31-14. That makes them 3-2 on the year with their best wins coming against 3-2 opponents as of the end of Week 5.
Sorry Gator fans, but two losses are still two losses. If Florida runs the table for the rest of the season and finished 10-2, their ranking will likely find them in my top ten.
A two-loss Florida should not be a top 25 team when there are 18 unbeaten teams and another 26 college football teams with just a single loss this season.
After losing their first game this weekend, several former SwampSwami.com Top 25 teams have taken a big tumble down the rankings.
South Alabama (last week’s #25 team) dropped all the way to #43 after losing Saturday to Louisiana-Lafayette (now 4-1). The Jaguars best win of 2021 came against Bowling Green (2-3) by only three points.
Likewise, last week’s #20 team (Maryland) lost their first game this weekend (blown out by our #7 team, Iowa). The Terps dropped all the way to #37 this week as the group of one-loss teams is quite competitive. Maryland’s “best” win this year came over 2-3 West Virginia.
You get the idea. If your team remains unbeaten, they will reside at the top of my weekly rankings. If that team should lose a game, the primary consideration shifts to the best college football team which they have beaten in 2021 and how well that other team is now faring.
Beating good teams deserves more consideration than whipping the cream puffs in my survey.
Without further ado, let’s reveal the SwampSwami.com College Football rankings for all 130 FBS teams through the weekend of October 2, 2021: