Pac-12 Power Rankings Week 13: Apple Cup, Civil War, Territorial Cup, Rose Bowl

Pac-12 Power Rankings Week 13

There is so much parity in Pac-12 that it is a tough undertaking to rank the teams outside of #1 Washington State. Washington lost to Oregon and Cal who lost to Arizona who lost to UCLA who lost to Arizona State who lost to Colorado, who lost to Oregon State who lost to USC who lost Stanford, who lost to Utah who lost to Washington. Teams 2-10 have switched up a lot this season and are pretty fluid from week to week. The Pac-12 Power Rankings Week 13 is based on four things: quality wins, schedule played, dominance, and how teams are playing now. The “eye test” and preseason rankings are not factored into the Unafraid Show’s rankings. I know some of you are used to the biased rankings, but you won’t find those here.

You can see last weeks rankings here.

Pac-12 Bowl Projections are after the rankings.

Send all your questions, comments, and grievances to: Immad@unafraidshow.com

12. Colorado (5-6) 

(L) 7-30 Utah

Not only has Colorado lost six straight games since starting 5-0. The Buffaloes have scored a grand total of 14 points in the last two weeks! The team isn’t playing as hard and their intensity is gone. It is obvious that the team sees the writing on the wall. Mike MacIntyre likely won’t be retained as the head coach for next season. He deserves credit for bringing stability to a program that was in total dysfunction. However, after six seasons and only one of those with more than five wins, it is hard to advocate for him. The Buffaloes will try to get bowl eligible this weekend at Cal.

11. Oregon State (2-9)

(L) 23-42 Washington

Everyone knew there would be no upset against Washington, but things are looking up for the Beavers. While their defense still can’t stop anyone ever their offense is continuing to show promise for the future. Jonathan Smith can at least take solace in the fact that multiple times this season the Beavers were not the worst team in the Pac-12.

10. Arizona (5-6)

(L) 28-69 Washington State

The Arizona defense returned back to form against Washington State. They allowed Wazzu quarterback Gardner Minshew to have a career day with 473 passing yards and seven touchdowns. The Wildcats defense had been poor all season against the pass and run despite back to back solid performances against Oregon and Colorado. Khalil Tate was one of the few bright spots this week. He finished with 319 total yards and four passing touchdowns. It seemed the freezing temperatures in Pullman took a toll on the warm-blooded Wildcats as they fumbled the ball six times. Coach Kevin Sumlin has to get his team back firing on all cylinders if he hopes to make a bowl game year one.

9. USC (5-6)

(L) 27-34 UCLA

The doomsday scenario has happened for USC. They do not have a school President, the athletic director Lynn Swann will likely be leaving soon, the boosters, fans, and alumni are demanding Clay Helton be fired, and they lost to a 2-8 UCLA team. The game against UCLA looked like it was going in Helton’s favor until a pair of horrendous second-half interceptions by quarterback JT Daniels sealed the Trojans fate. USC allowed UCLA running back Joshua Kelley to rush for 289 yards. So, I have no idea how they are going to compete against Notre Dame this week. If Helton can upset the Fighting Irish and knock them out of the College Football Playoff, he just might be able to save his job.

8. UCLA (3-8) 

(W) 34-27 USC

It is all smiles for the “boys in blue”. I actually have never heard anyone other than Maurice Jones-Drew call them that, but whatever. They beat USC after starting off the season 2-8. Chip Kelly has started 20 freshmen this season. Their start was slow, but have improved more than any other Pac-12 team from the beginning of the season until now. Their rushing offense and pass defense have steadily improved throughout the season. The future is extremely bright for the Bruins. I believe Chip Kelly will have UCLA in the College Football Playoff discussion in two more years.

7. Arizona State (6-5)

(L) 29-31 Oregon

If I told ASU fans that they would hire Herm Edwards (who hasn’t coached in forever), and have a chance to finish 7-5 year one they would have been happy. It will only take a win against their rival Arizona to make that a reality. The Sun Devils had to feel like they let a game slip away against Oregon. After a slow start, their defense held the Ducks to only a field goal in the second half. They picked off Justin Herbert twice and put up 16 points as well. If ASU can hold Khalil Tate in check this weekend, their bowl game destination will improve.

6. Cal (6-4)

Postponed vs Stanford (Dec. 1)

Cal is last in the Pac-12 in scoring offense (22.7 ppg). Ordinarily, that would be a huge impediment to winning games. But the Cal defense is only giving up 21.1 ppg. If they can get two wins to finish the season 8-4 coach I am positive you will start to hear Justin Wilcox’s name floated around for other head coaching jobs.

5. Oregon (7-4)

(W) 31-29 Arizona State

The good news is Ducks offense showed signs of life against Arizona State. The bad news is that it was only for one half of football. The Ducks offense scored 28 points in the first half. But only managed three more points and under a hundred yards of total offense in the second half. If the Ducks finish off the Beavers in Corvallis they will finish the regular season 8-4. It will be a could games less than I predicted preseason, but the future still appears bright. The biggest question for the Ducks is will their stars return for their senior seasons Herbert, Mitchell, Dye) . If they do, the Ducks will be in the preseason national championship conversation.

4. Stanford (6-4)

Postponed vs Cal (Dec. 1)

There has been nothing “Stanford-like” about this season. They still need two more wins just to tie David Shaw’s worst record at Stanford. UCLA and Cal won’t be pushovers the next two weeks. The Cardinal will need to get refocused after their game got postponed due to the California fires.

3. Utah (8-3)

(W) 30-7 Colorado

Everyone thought the Utes were done competing for the Pac-12 South crown when they lost their top two offensive playmakers, Tyler Huntley, and Zach Moss. Kyle Whittingham’s team had no intention of packing it in. They have had decisive victories against Oregon and Colorado since then. No matter what happens this week against BYU this week, Utah will still play the winner of the Washington vs. Washington State game in the Pac-12 Championship game. The conference needs Utah to dominate BYU and Washington State to beat Washington. It would set up at top 15 matchup in the championship game. The Utes will have an opportunity to make it to their first Rose Bowl appearance.

2. Washington (8-3)

(W) 42-23 Oregon State

The Huskies had been battling injuries all season, but are finally getting healthy. Myles Gaskin returned to the lineup last week and rushed for over 130 yards in both games. Washington’s offense came back to life and the look like a team that can win the Apple Cup. It will be interesting to see how the #2 defense holds up against the #1 offense in the Pac-12. A potential berth in the Rose Bowl will come down to Jake Browning’s ability to make throws and be special. Washington’s preseason hopes of playing for a national championship are gone, but there is still plenty on the line this week.

1. Washington State (10-1)

(W) 69-28 Arizona

DOMINATION. The Cougars whipped Arizona at every part of the game. Mike Leach’s team had 55 points at halftime. If he were Steve Spurrier in his Florida days he may have just done it. This was one of the statement games Washington State needed to send a message to the College Football Playoff committee that they deserve real consideration for the top four.

Now if they can survive the Apple Cup against Washington on a short week, and handly beat Utah in the Pac-12 championship, the Cougars just may get a berth in the playoffs. There feels like there is something magical about this squad. If they get in the playoffs, everybody better watch out!

BOWL PROJECTIONS

via- Sports Illustrated

Rose Bowl– Ohio State vs. Washington State

Holiday– Iowa vs. Washington

Sun– Syracuse vs. Cal

Alamo– Iowa State vs. Utah

Red Box– Indiana vs. Oregon

Cheez-It– Army vs. Arizona State

Las Vegas– Utah State vs. Stanford

Unafraid Show’s College Football Top 10 Rankings Week 12: Chalk for Now…

College Football Top 10 Rankings Week 12

The Rules: No Bias, No Bull

There has been no more unbiased ranking out there than the Unafraid Show’s College Football Top 10 Rankings Week 12. I get criticized from time to time by people who only want to see the college football world through the lens of the AP Poll. However, if you go back and look at the rankings for each week, I guarantee you would now agree that I have been 100% right and accurate along the way.

The Unafraid Show College Football Top 10 Rankings Week 11 are not going to look like the AP Poll. Open your eyes to see a different view of evaluating the top 10. Most polls including the College Football Playoff Committee give college blueblood teams a massive “benefit of the doubt.” I don’t believe in that. The college football top 10 teams are ranked by the correct criteria: quality wins, schedule played, and dominance. Only the games have played matter.

I re-rank the top 10 every week from scratch. The previous week’s rankings do not factor into the next week. So, the rankings will change, sometimes drastically every week because we will have new information.

Before we get to College Football Top 10 Rankings Week 11, you can reference the Unafraid Show’s College Football Top 10 Rankings for Week 10.

Leave a comment or shoot an email: ImMad@unafraidshow.com… Yes, that is the real email address.

1.  Alabama (10-0) Last Week: #1

Watching Alabama play this year is like watching Mike Tyson in the early years. If you tune in 5 minutes late, you will miss the knockout. They were up 14 zero on Mississippi State before you could blink. Alabama did see the best defense they have seen all season. Tua Tagoviloa only finished with 164 yards with a touchdown and an interception. And the offense struggled to put points on the board. Even though this was Alabama’s most competitive game of the season, it still wasn’t close. Their defense has not allowed a single point in consecutive weeks. Very impressive.

As long as Alabama doesn’t look past Auburn and Georgia, they will cruise to the SEC championship and College Football Playoff.

2. Clemson (10-0) Last Week: #2

There are so many similarities between the #1 and #2 teams. The Clemson defense matched Alabama’s defense this week. They pitched a shutout. The only points they allowed were on a punt return. Alabama gave up a touchdown this week as well, but a phantom penalty called it back. The Tigers defense has locked it down for the last month, while their offense has been steady and high powered. Clemson’s true freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence is growing up fast, but his play will be the difference between a trip to the College Football Playoff and a National Championship.

It feels like Clemson and Bama are on a collision course for the national championship.

3. Notre Dame (10-0) Last Week: #3

Any doubt Notre Dame had coming into the game without their starting quarterback Ian Book was quickly forgotten. The Fighting Irish jumped out to a commanding 32-6 halftime lead. It was a 26 point lead, but it felt like 100 points. Brandon Winbush had a couple of interceptions in the 3rd quarter.  It is clear that Notre Dame Book back in the lineup if they hope to beat Syracuse and USC to finish the season undefeated.

Chaos always happens in the rankings in November. Notre Dame will be looking to make sure they are not the victims who miss out on a top-four spot.

4. Michigan (9-1) Last Week: #4

Michigan’s offense is not explosive, but they are efficient. They lean on the defense, don’t make mistakes, and don’t turn the ball over. Then you look up and realize they scored 42 points. And the Wolverines defense is like a boa constrictor. They just squeeze and squeeze the offense until they break and turn the ball over. The #1 defense in college football has only gotten better since their week one loss to Notre Dame. This is an impressive football team.

I’m hesitant to pick Michigan to make the final top four because they have a huge mental hurdle to overcome in two weeks named Ohio State. It does look like the stars are aligning for Jim Harbaugh and the Michigan faithful.

5. Oklahoma (9-1) Last Week: #5

I am still bullish on the Sooners and their offensive prowess. I am also terrified by their defense. This defense hasn’t been much better since they fired Mike Stoops as defensive coordinator. However, the stats and dominance show that Oklahoma’s offense is even more unstoppable than Alabama’s. And that is saying a lot. They put up an eye-popping 702 yards against Oklahoma State. Kyler Murray is the only player that may give Tua Tagoviloa a run for his money for the Heisman trophy.

The Sooners have only been held under 37 points once this season. And that was against Army who had the ball for literally three-quarters of the game.

If you answered 0-20, it only shows your bias. There is not a team in college football that could keep the Sooners under 20 points. I’m not saying they would beat Bama, but damnit their offense will make it competitive.

6. Georgia (9-1) Last Week: 7

The cream has risen to the top in the SEC. Georgia is playing so well right now that there is a lot of “what if Georgia beats Alabama” talk starting. The Bulldogs are dominant running the ball. They have rushed for over 300 yards in back to back weeks. Kirby Smart and the crew have smartly gone all-in on pounding the football. They likely would never have lost to LSU if they had kept running the football. As long as Georgia can run the ball at that pace and isn’t turning the ball over, they cannot be beaten.

If the Bulldogs have an Achilles heel, it is the passing game. If their running game gets slowed can Jake Fromm have 300+ three-touchdown performance to win the game?

7. Washington State (9-1) Last Week: 7

Washington State needed a dominant win after playing a close game against Cal last week. They easily disposed of Colorado on the road. Gardener Minshew has to be on target to take home some postseason hardware for the best passer in college football. He was below his season average, but nobody can complain about 335 yards and a pair of touchdown passes. By the metrics, the committee uses it seems unlikely the Cougars will make the playoffs. But, if a few things break their way, don’t be surprised if they slide in the back door.

8. West Virginia (8-1) Last Week: #8

The Mountaineers dominated TCU in every way possible. West Virginia had two rough weeks in the middle of the season, but it fair to say they are peaking at the right time. Will Grier had another performance that validates his 1st round draft pick hype. He finished with 343 yards passing and three touchdowns. The Big 12 is often criticized for not playing defense because their offenses are so explosive. However, this West Virginia team has allowed 17 points or less in five of their nine games.

If the Mountaineers do win the Big 12, I wonder if the committee will hold the fact that they will have one less win than everyone else against them (NC State game canceled due to hurricane).

9. Central Florida (9-0) Last Week: #9

Last week I said Central Florida had played too many close games against inferior competition to warrant significant #CFBPlayoff consideration. They took that criticism and put up a good performance against Navy. Ultimately the Knights will not make the playoffs. But I do believe missing out two years in a row will create enough momentum for the Group of Five schools to take action and put themselves in a better position to make the playoffs.

10. Ohio State (9-1) Last Week: #10

Another uninspiring victory by the Buckeyes. Michigan State has a tough defense, but Ohio State’s offense continued to struggle. They only converted 33% on 3rd down, and only averaged 2.7 yards per rush. And the Buckeyes only managed two offensive touchdowns. All of these struggles will be erased if they take care of business against Maryland and win the big one against Michigan.

Ohio State is a team that was projected to make the playoffs until about a month ago. They will need some better performances to propel them up the rankings.  If it comes down to the Buckeyes and another one-loss team like Oklahoma they may be on the outs unless something changes.

Next Up:

LSU– (a two-loss team that didn’t score a point against Bama and struggled to put Arkansas away)

Syracuse, NC State, Florida, Texas

I know some of you are steaming mad right now because your team is ranked too low or is unranked. Take a breathe and realize that your fandom is causing irrational thoughts. The College Football Top 10 Rankings Week 12 is accurate, unbiased, and unafraid.

Pac-12 Power Rankings Week 11: Time to Close the Deal

Pac-12 Power Rankings Week 11

The Pac-12 is still not decided yet. The south division is wide open, and the north is a two-team race. There are still four teams with a shot to win the south. The Pac-12 Power Rankings Week 11 is based on three things: quality wins, schedule played, and dominance. The “eye test” and preseason rankings are not factored into the Unafraid Show’s rankings. I know some of you are used to the biased rankings, but you won’t find those here.

You can see last weeks rankings here.

Pac-12 Bowl Projections are after the rankings.

Send all your questions, comments, and grievances to: Immad@unafraidshow.com

12. Oregon State (2-7)

(L) 21-38 USC

Oregon State returned to earth after beating Colorado the week before. The good news is they have a quarterback Jake Luton. The bad news is that Luton is a senior. They have a legit running back for the future in Jemar Jefferson who already has eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark as a freshman. Oregon State didn’t win one Pac-12 game last year, so this season should be seen as an improvement… right?

11. Colorado (5-4) 

(L) 34-42 Arizona

The Buffaloes are spiraling out of control. Granted, they have been without their All-American wide receiver Lavishka Shenault. They started the season 5-0, but have dropped their last four against USC, Washington, Oregon State, and Arizona. Mike MacIntyre’s job will be in danger if Colorado drops their last three games against Washington State, Utah, and Cal. They have fallen from the top tier of the Pac-12 in rushing defense, rushing offense, 3rd down conversions, and sacks against.

10. UCLA (2-7) 

(L) 21-42 Oregon

Their 2-7 record doesn’t show improvement, but when you see the Bruins play, it is clear their team is on the rise. They have found a running back in transfer Joshua Kelley. Their defense held Oregon’s offense in check for three quarters. The offensive line is blocking better and Chip Kelly is getting his college football playcalling legs back under him. At this point, the Bruins goal for the rest of the season should be getting one more win. A win against USC would make the entire season worth it.

9. USC (5-4)

(W) 38-21 Oregon State

USC had been inconsistent rushing the football all season but had their best rushing output of the season against Oregon State. Clay Helton called the plays, and the Trojans finished with 332 yards on the ground against the worst rushing defense in the Pac-12. Can USC keep up the momentum through the rest of the season? Cal brings the best pass defense in the conference to the Coliseum this week. USC cannot go to sleep in this game. If they do, Cal will beat them to sleep.

The USC faithful are trying to be patient, but everyone knows that losses to Cal, UCLA, and Notre Dame will take things to DEFCON 1.

8. Cal (5-4)

(L) 13-19 Washington State

Cal suffered a brutal loss against Washington State. Justin Wilcox has his team playing phenomenal defense, but his offense continually lets him down. They had an opportunity to go up on Wazzu late in the 4th quarter, but sophomore quarterback Brandon McIlwain threw an interception in the end zone. Cal switched quarterbacks like they were running backs all game. I’m not sure why they won’t just stick with Chase Garbers who is the better passer. If Cal can manage at least their 23 point season average, they will have a chance to get bowl eligible.

7. Stanford (5-4)

(L) 23-27 Washington

David Shaw’s teams are usually a shoo-in for 10 wins. The “intellectual brutality” is missing in 2018. Stanford is still averaging under 100 yards per game rushing, only scoring 26.1 ppg, and 11th in the conference in total offense. The combination of K.J. Costello to JJ Arcega-Whiteside was only good for one catch for 11 yards against Washington. Costello finished the game throwing for 347 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions.

Even with so many things going wrong in 2018 Stanford still has the opportunity to finish 8-4. Their last three games against Oregon State, Cal, and UCLA are all very winnable.

6. Utah (6-3)

(L) 20-38 Arizona State

Utah is in a bad spot right now. They were in control of their own destiny in the Pac-12 south and were just starting to get respect nationally. Then they lost their starting quarterback Tyler Huntley to a broken collarbone. The Utes backup quarterback Jason Shelley struggled to complete passes and move the football. Oregon makes their way to Salt Lake City this weekend. Only a fool would count the Utes out of this game because Oregon has struggled to take their game on the road.

5. Arizona State (5-4)

(W) 38-20 Utah

Herm Edwards has his team in prime position to get to a bowl game in year one. After back to back wins against USC and Utah the Sun Devils are in the driver’s seat in the Pac-12 south. N’Keal Harry torched the Utah secondary. He finished with nine catches for 161 yards and three touchdowns. This was the kind of monster game we had been waiting all season to see. Arizona State has moved up to 4th in the conference with 435 yards of total offense per game. Their last three games are against UCLA, Oregon, and Arizona. If they can keep up the scoring, they have a legit shot to make the Pac-12 title game.

4. Washington (7-3)

(W) 27-23 Stanford

Huge win for the Huskies. Their defense and running game fueled the victory. The defense forced three turnovers and only allowed Stanford 77 rushing yards. Jake Browning and the Washington offense has continued to be underwhelming this season, but they did get their running game going. Myles Gaskin returned to the lineup and rushed for 148 yards. Despite all the negatives, the Huskies are a win against Oregon State and Washington State away from a birth in the Pac-12 Championship game.

3. Oregon (6-3)

(W) 42-21 UCLA

Oregon got a much-needed win at home against UCLA. Their defense and special teams led the way. The score would fool you into believing the Ducks offense is back where it needs to be; it’s not. However, the Ducks did flash some big play ability again with a long run from Tony Brooks-James and a 67-yard touchdown pass from Herbert to Mitchell.

Oregon heads to Utah to face Utes on Saturday. Offensive coordinator Marcus Arroyo will need to have his offense firing on all cylinders if they are going to put up points against the Pac-12’s best defense.

2. Arizona (5-5)

(W) 42-34 Colorado

The “eye test” and stats tell me that Arizona is a middle of the road Pac-12 team, but they just continue to win games. The results say Arizona is the second hottest team in the conference right now. I have no clue how they keep winning with one of the worst defenses in the conference. They are ranked 10th against the run, 9th against the pass, and 10th in total defense. Khalil Tate being nearly healthy is a significant difference maker for the Wildcats. His legs help him extend plays, but the magic happens when he passes the ball. Arizona wide receivers make more acrobatic catches and draw more pass interference penalties than any team in the Pac-12.  They have a bye this week and will need one win at Washington State or against Arizona State to secure a bowl game.

I predicted Arizona would win the Pac-12 south, but I never fathomed it would look like this.

1. Washington State (8-1)

(W) 19-13 Cal

The Cougars are sitting at #8 in the College Football Playoffs. Something special is brewing in Pullman, Washington. Mike Leach has turned one of the worst college football teams into a playoff contender. No one expected their success after they lost their starting quarterback Tyler Hilinski to suicide during the offseason. However, graduate transfer Gardener Minshew II has shown up and thrown for nearly 400 yards per game.

If one of nations top defenses cannot stop the Cougars, they should be able to finish their Pac-12 schedule unscathed.

BOWL PROJECTIONS

via-USA TODAY

Rose Bowl– Ohio State vs. Washington State

Holiday– Iowa vs. Stanford

San Francisco– Northwestern vs. Utah

Sun– Boston College vs. Oregon

Alamo– Texas vs. Washington

Texas– Oklahoma State vs. Colorado

Independence– Duke vs. California

Cheez-It– Nevada vs. USC

Las Vegas– Utah State vs. Arizona State

Unafraid Show’s College Football Top 10 Rankings Week 11: No Margin for Error

College Football Top 10 Rankings Week 11

There has been no more unbiased ranking out there than the Unafraid Show’s College Football Top 10 Rankings Week 11. I get criticized from time to time by people who only want to see the college football world through the lens of the AP Poll. However, if you go back and look at the rankings for each week, I guarantee you would now agree that I have been 100% right and accurate along the way.

The Unafraid Show College Football Top 10 Rankings Week 11 are not going to look like the AP Poll. Open your eyes to see a different view of evaluating the top 10. Most polls including the College Football Playoff Committee give college blueblood teams a massive “benefit of the doubt.” I don’t believe in that. The college football top 10 teams are ranked by the correct criteria: quality wins, schedule played, and dominance. Only the games have played matter.

I re-rank the top 10 every week from scratch. The previous week’s rankings do not factor into the next week. So, the rankings will change, sometimes drastically every week because we will have new information.

Before we get to College Football Top 10 Rankings Week 11, you can reference the Unafraid Show’s College Football Top 10 Rankings for Week 10.

Leave a comment or shoot an email: ImMad@unafraidshow.com… Yes, that is the real email address.

1.  Alabama (9-0) Last Week: #2

Alabama is the class of the SEC and College Football. After week 10 I believe we can all agree that Bama is a juggernaut and the rest of the SEC is just like every other conference. Anyone can get beat on any given Saturday (with Clemson as the exception).

Alabama heard all the people saying they would to lose to LSU and told them to have a seat and be quiet. The Crimson Tide’s schedule has been extremely light this season. Playing tougher teams multiple weeks in a week out does fatigue a team mentally and physically. And Alabama has not experienced that, but I’m not sure it would have mattered who they played this season.

It feels like a foregone conclusion that the Crimson Tide will win the National Championship, but remember the New England Patriots looked unbeatable at 18-0, then proceeded to lose the Super Bowl. So, you never know.

2. Clemson (9-0) Last Week: #1

This is the time of year that teams jockeying for playoff seeding are trying to make statements. Clemson clearly made a statement by unmercifully beating Florida State, NC State, and Louisville over the last three weeks.

Dabo Swinney made the correct move when he made Trevor Lawrence the starting quarterback. The Clemson offense has been more dynamic and consistent since then. Winning the ACC is a foregone conclusion for the Tigers. Gearing up for what feels like an inevitable matchup with Alabama for the title has to be priority number one.

3. Notre Dame (9-0) Last Week: #3

If Notre Dame wins their last three games, there is NO chance they get left out of the playoffs. Oklahoma, Michigan, Washington State, West Virginia, Ohio State, and Georgia all have to be rooting for the Fighting Irish to drop a game. Ian Book continues his solid play and feels like the new prototype college quarterback. He is a terrific passer, but also adds a lot of value extending playing and picking up first downs with his legs.

In an interview on College Football GameDay head coach, Brian Kelly was already talking about the playoffs and a potential rematch with Alabama. I have to wonder if Kelly and his team could be looking past games against Florida State, Syracuse, and USC.

4. Michigan (8-1) Last Week: #6

I officially believe in Michigan. The Wolverines did horrible things to Penn State. Their defense is smothering, and unquestionably the #1 defense in the nation. This defense could absolutely slow Alabama’s offense down. The only question is will their offense be able to produce against Bama’s notoriously stingy defense.

The “eye test” tells me that Michigan is a better team than Notre Dame, at this point. However, the fact that Notre Dame beat Michigan week one cannot be ignored. If it came down to the last playoff spot could anyone in good conscience put Michigan over an undefeated Notre Dame?

5. Oklahoma (8-1) Last Week: #5

We have learned two things about Oklahoma this season. Their offense is unstoppable, and their defense can’t stop nosebleed most times. Unless the Sooners lose another game, they will 100% be in the top four of the CFB Playoffs. Chaos always ensues in November and the Sooners will be the beneficiary. It will be interesting to see if a team like Michigan or Alabama who is so good defensively can stop the most potent offense in college football.

Kyler Murray has to be a Heisman Finalist and could possibly win the award if he has more heroics over the last month of the season. Oklahoma is what Washington State would be with 4-5* athletes all over the place, except Washington State plays better defense.

6. Georgia (8-1) Last Week: 7

We have to give Georgia credit for wins against Florida and Kentucky though neither team is nearly as good as the hype that surrounded them. The Bulldogs are in a tight spot when it comes to making the College Football Playoffs. They already have one loss and have to play Alabama in the SEC championship. Anything but a win will keep them out of the top 4, but a New Years Six bowl is surely in Georgia’s favor.

The Bulldogs only need to guard against a let down versus Auburn or Georgia Tech over the next three weeks.

7. Washington State (8-1) Last Week: 9

Something special is brewing in Pullman, Washington. Mike Leach has turned one of the worst college football teams into a playoff contender. No one expected their success after they lost their starting quarterback Tyler Hilinski to suicide during the offseason. However, graduate transfer Gardener Minshew II has shown up and thrown for nearly 400 yards per game.

If one of nations top defenses cannot stop the Cougars, they should be able to finish their Pac-12 schedule unscathed.

8. West Virginia (7-1) Last Week: #NR

It seems Will Grier and the Mountaineers are peeks at the right time. They had ugly games against Kansas and Iowa State in the middle of the season, but have bounced back nicely. We appear to be headed for an Oklahoma vs. West Virginia Big 12 championship game. Dana Holgorsen has his opportunity to deliver on the expectations of West Virginia fans if he can get 3 more wins out of his team.

Just like every other Big 12 team, the only question about this team is their defense. Can they get enough stops against teams that want to run the football to win in the playoffs?

9. Central Florida (8-0) Last Week: #8

Central Florida is the Rodney Dangerfield of college football. They do good things but get no respect. The Knights have won 21 straight football games going back to last season, but have no hope of making the top four. Their schedule has not been good, but until last week had been better than Alabama and other teams in the top 12.

Central Florida is not doing themselves any favors by playing close games against Memphis and Temple. Neither of those teams is as bad as some of the cupcakes on other top 10 teams’ schedule. However, the other teams in the Unafraid Show’s College Football Top 10 Rankings Week 11 have been dominating their inferior competition.

10. Ohio State (8-1) Last Week: #10

The Buckeyes are sitting at 8-1, but they do not look good right now. They have struggled both offensively and defensively in three consecutive weeks against Minnesota, Purdue, and Nebraska. There is no lack of talent with this team, so their play of late has to be concerning for Ohio State fans. A one-loss Big Ten champion will likely end up in the College Football Playoffs, so there is still time for the Buckeyes to pull it together. Michigan is hot right now, and the last thing Ohio State wants is to be playing poorly heading into their most crucial game of the season.

Next Up:

LSU, Texas,

I know some of you are steaming mad right now because your team is ranked too low or is unranked. Take a breathe and realize that your fandom is causing irrational thoughts. The College Football Top 10 Rankings Week 9 is accurate, unbiased, and unafraid.

Pac-12 Power Rankings Week 10: Nobody is Safe From the Upsets

Pac-12 Power Rankings Week 10

What a crazy week in the Pac-12. Betters everywhere probably lost a mint with all the upsets in week 10. Oregon State beat Colorado. Arizona destroyed Oregon. And Cal beat Washington without scoring an offensive touchdown. The Pac-12 Power Rankings Week 10 is based on three things: quality wins, schedule played, and dominance. The “eye test” and preseason rankings are not factored into the Unafraid Show’s rankings. I know some of you are used to the biased rankings, but you won’t find those here.

You can see last weeks rankings here.

Pac-12 Bowl Projections are after the rankings.

Send all your questions, comments, and grievances to: Immad@unafraidshow.com

12. Oregon State (2-6)

(W) 41-34 Colorado

I apologize to the Beavers. Last week I said, “The Beavers blew their last shot at a Pac-12 win in 2018.” I was wrong. Jonathan Smith inserted Jake Luton at quarterback after halftime, and he torched Colorado’s defense. I know that game is an outlier, but there is part of me that believes the Beavers can beat USC this week.

11. Colorado (5-3) 

(L) 34-41 Oregon State

Oregon State is undoubtedly the worst defense in the Pac-12. Colorado lost a 21 point lead 3rd quarter lead Oregon State and ultimately lost the game. They were still without mid-season All American wide receiver Lavishka Shenault (toe), but there are no excuses for that loss. The Buffaloes have lost three straight games and will need a fantastic effort to get a win against Arizona.

If Mike MacIntyre can’t coach his team to a bowl game his seat will go from warm to scorching hot.

10. UCLA (2-6) 

(L) 10-41 Utah

After winning two consecutive games UCLA ran into the Utah buzzsaw. It didn’t help that they were without their electric true freshman quarterback Dorian Thompson Robinson. We don’t know if he will be back this week against Oregon. Chip Kelly will likely pull out all the stops as he returns to Oregon for the first time as an opposing coach. Everyone in the stadium should be prepared for fireworks. UCLA has to believe they can win the game after they saw what Arizona did to Oregon. However, if DTR is not in the lineup, the Bruins don’t stand a chance of walking out of Autzen Stadium with a win.

I will be in attendance at this game and cannot wait. 

9. USC (4-4)

(L) 34-38 Arizona State

It almost feels like Clay Helton is coaching on borrowed time. He has taken over playcalling duties for the Trojans. So, now there are no more excuses allowed for USC’s offense to struggle. They head to Corvallis Saturday to play the Beavers. I would say there is no chance USC loses this game, but Oregon State did beat Colorado last week. There is good news though. USC gets starting quarterback JT Daniels back from concussion protocol for this weeks’ game.

Fans are disappointed, and Athletic Director Lynn Swann may be painted into a corner. He may have to make a change at head coach on the tarmac at the airport (Lane Kiffin style) if the Trojans fall this weekend.

8. Arizona State (4-4)

(W) 38-34 USC

Arizona State had their most impressive offensive performance of the season against USC. N’Keal Harry showed up and showed out. He caught for a touchdown, returned a punt for a touchdown, and made one of the most difficult catches of the 2018 season.

Herm Edwards has his team sitting at 4-4, with a chance to win the Pac-12 South. The future is extremely bright for the Sun Devils. This week a red-hot Utah team comes to Tempe. Will they be able to continue the Pac-12 upsets and defeat the Utes?

7. Washington (6-3)

(L) 10-12 Cal

The Huskies are light years away from the team many people expected to compete for a national championship. Their defense has been the only thing keeping them in games. If not for stout defensive play this team would be 3-5 instead of 5-3. Washington’s offense is painful to watch. Jake Browning has been underwhelming. And the offense has been unable to dominate rushing the football whether Miles Gaskins is in the lineup or not.

Washington gets a chance to bounce back against Stanford. Chris Peterson will have his team prepared, and this will be a heavyweight title fight.

6. Cal (5-3)

(W) 12-10 Cal

If I told you Cal would beat Washington without scoring an offensive touchdown you would have called me a crazy fool. But, the Golden Bears did just that. The job Justin Wilcox and his staff have done with this defense is remarkable. They don’t have 4 and 5* athletes at every position, but they are well coached and play hard. Cal has the top-ranked defense against the pass in the Pac-12. However, they have to travel to Pullman to play the top passer in the nation, Gardner Minshew. Something has to give.

If Cal wins, they will be bowl eligible. That would be a huge accomplishment for the team to make a bowl game out of the most competitive division in college football.

5. Oregon (5-3)

(L) 15-44 Arizona

What on earth happened to the Ducks last week in Tucson? Oregon’s loss to Arizona would have been the most shocking result of the week had Colorado not lost a 21 point halftime lead to Oregon State.

Oregon’s offense has been virtually non-existent the first half of the last two weeks. They have punted nearly 15 times in two games. That is a far departure for the offense that was leading the conference in scoring. Coach Mario Cristobal and offensive coordinator Marcus Arroyo need to right the ship this week against UCLA. The Ducks must run the football early and often so Justin Herbert can get open passing lanes for play-action passes.

The next 4 games are crucial to cementing Ducks fans trust in this coaching staff.

4. Arizona (4-5)

(W) 44-15 Oregon

The Pac-12 is insane. How else can you explain Arizona losing to UCLA in week 9, then beating Oregon badly the very next week? The Arizona defense had their most outstanding performance of the year against Oregon. They were fast and extremely physical which was a departure from the swiss cheese defense they displayed through their first eight games.

Now the biggest question is will the Wildcats return back to the team that earned a sub .500 record or have they turned a corner. This week they get Colorado on Friday night.

3. Stanford (5-3)

(L) 38-41 Washington State

David Shaw proved again why he is a great coach. Stanford had been unable to run the ball as effectively as they had in the past. Instead of continuing to beat his teams’ head against a wall, Shaw decided to throw the football a lot. Stanford was extremely successful throwing the ball against Washington State, which is one of the top pass defenses in the conference. KJ Costello threw the ball 43 times for 323 yards and four touchdowns.

Stanford is tough and consistent even in defeat.

2. Utah (6-2)

(W) 41-10 UCLA

The Utes are continuing to steamroll through Pac-12 opponents. They disposed of UCLA pretty easily at the Rose Bowl. Utah’s defense is one of the best in the nation. Zack Moss carried the Utah offense on his back. He finished with 211 rushing yards and three touchdowns. If Utah can run the ball this successfully, they will be tough to beat.

The recipe to beat the Utes is stopping their running game. SOmeone can force Tyler Huntley to throw the ball 30+ times he will throw a few interceptions.

1. Washington State (7-1)

(W) 41-38 Stanford

At this point, I am rooting for the Cougars to finish the season 12-1 including the Pac-12 Championship. The conference needs a representative in the College Football Championship and Washington State is the last hope. It is increasingly frustrating for Pac-12 fans to see the conference with the most parity to consistently be dismissed in conversation.

Mike Leach is an offensive genius, and it will be interesting to see his ‘Air Raid’ offense against the likes of Alabama and Clemson. Gardener Minshew is lighting up the stat sheet for nearly 400 passing yards per game. They will get a real test this week from the stingiest pass defense in the Pac-12.

This could be Leach’s last season in Pullman if the USC job or other top jobs become available.

BOWL PROJECTIONS

via-USA TODAY

Rose Bowl– Michigan vs. Washington State

Holiday– Iowa vs. Washington

San Francisco– Northwestern vs. Stanford

Sun– Boston College vs. Oregon

Alamo– Texas vs. Utah

Texas– Texas Tech vs. Colorado

Cheez-It– Baylor vs. USC

Las Vegas– Utah State vs. Arizona State

Unafraid Show’s College Football Top 10 Rankings Week 10: New Sheriff in Town

College Football Top 10 Rankings Week 10

Chaos Showed Up: Eleven of the top 25 teams lost in week 9.

The Unafraid Show College Football Top 10 Rankings Week 10 are not going to look like the AP Poll. Open your eyes to see a different view of evaluating the top 10. Most polls including the College Football Playoff Committee give college blueblood teams a massive “benefit of the doubt.”  I don’t believe in that. The college football top 10 teams are ranked by the correct criteria: quality wins, schedule played, and dominance. Only the games have played matter.

I re-rank the top 10 every week from scratch. The previous week’s rankings do not factor into the next week. So, the rankings will change, sometimes drastically every week because we will have new information.

Before we get to College Football Top 10 Rankings Week 8, you can reference the Unafraid Show’s College Football Top 10 Rankings for Week 9.

Leave a comment or shoot an email: ImMad@unafraidshow.com… Yes, that is the real email address.

1. Clemson (8-0) Last Week: #2

Clemson is at #1 because they deserve to be. I know everyone expects to see Alabama at #1 because of their dominance, but they haven’t played anybody yet. Clemson has played a tougher schedule than Alabama but has been equally as dominant in the last two weeks.

Dabo Swinney has his defense peaking at the right time. They followed up a fantastic performance against NC State with a more dominant performance against Florida State.  You could get arrested in multiple states for what Clemson did to Florida State. Their young quarterback Trevor Lawrence has full command of their offense and their defensive performance now matches the hype.

Clemson should breeze to the CFB Playoffs.

2.  Alabama (8-0) Last Week: #1

A week off doesn’t change the dominance that Alabama has displayed. The Crimson Tide have LSU, Mississippi State, and Auburn in three of the next four weeks. So they should get at least one close game in the next four weeks.

3. Notre Dame (8-0) Last Week: #3

After a forgettable offensive performance against Pittsburgh, the Fighting Irish showed up big against Navy. They got good performances from their quarterback Ian Book, and lead back Dexter Williams. Notre Dame will need dominant performances in their last four weeks to ensure they make the top 4.

4. LSU (7-1) Last Week: #4

This week Ed Orgeron has his biggest game since becoming the head coach at LSU. The Crimson Tide rolls into town. The Tigers are on the short list of teams that could knock off Alabama. LSU has already played in big games against Miami, Auburn, and Georgia. Joe Burrow is battle tested at quarterback and shouldn’t be fazed by the moment. LSU’s defense is stout and should be able to hold their own against Alabama. If they beat Alabama, the entire college football landscape will be turned upside down.

5. Oklahoma (7-1) Last Week: #6

The domination is back. The best offense in college football put up another 50 point performance against Kansas State. As long as the Sooners can play a reasonable amount of defense they can score on anybody. The best move Lincoln Riley has made this season is was replacing Stoops as defensive coordinator.

A lot of people are sleeping on the Sooners because they lost a game. However, this team can compete with anyone.

6. Michigan (7-1) Last Week: #8

After getting a huge road win at Michigan State, the Wolverines got a much-needed BYE week. There is no question that the Michigan defense is one of the three best in the nation. The only questions surrounding this team are on the offensive side of the ball. Can the Wolverines score enough point to beat Penn State this week, and Ohio State in the regular season finale?

Jim Harbaugh has a chance to get his team to the Big Ten championship game and the College Football Playoffs.

7. Georgia (7-1) Last Week: NR

Georgia finally got a quality win. We have known they were a talented team, but they hadn’t earned a ranking in the College Football Top 10 Rankings. There was a major difference in how Jake Fromm played without looking over his shoulder wondering if Justin Fields is coming in to replace him. The Bulldogs committed to running the football against Florida, and it paid off.

Kentucky and Auburn should provide enough competition over the next two weeks to have Georgia ready for the SEC championship.

8. Central Florida (7-0) Last Week: #9

The Knights have won 20 straight games going back to last season and have earned their spot in the College Football Top 10 Rankings Week 10. The committee will have a tough task keeping UCF out of the top four if everyone around them continues to lose. It will cause too much commotion if UCF doesn’t get in the playoffs after two consecutive undefeated seasons. The only team people wish losses on more than the UCF Knights is Notre Dame. Both teams could take a spot for a Power 5 team.

9. Washington State (7-1) Last Week: NR

If you haven’t heard of Gardener Minshew, you should Google him. He is the graduate transfer quarterback for Washington State. Minshew is throwing for nearly 400 yards per game while completing an extremely high percentage of his passes. The Cougars defense is stout as well. A lot of people around the nation aren’t giving Washington State the credit they deserve. However, if the Cougars finish 12-1 with a Pac-12 championship there is an outside chance they could make the playoffs.

Washington State has something special going on this season.

10. Ohio State (7-1) Last Week: #10

The last two weeks against Minnesota and Purdue exposed some glaring weaknesses in Ohio State’s game. Urban Meyer should have spent their off week finding ways to turn all those yards into points, and sure up their defense. A birth in the College Football Playoffs is still within their grasp, but they must finish the season unblemished.

Next Up:

Penn State, Kentucky, West Virginia

I know some of you are steaming mad right now because your team is ranked too low or is unranked. Take a breathe and realize that your fandom is causing irrational thoughts. The College Football Top 10 Rankings Week 9 is accurate, unbiased, and unafraid.

Pac-12 Power Rankings Week 9: New King of the Castle…For Now

Pac-12 Power Rankings Week 9

The Pac-12 Power Rankings Week 9 is based on three things: quality wins, schedule played, and dominance. The “eye test” and preseason rankings are not factored into the Unafraid Show’s rankings. I know some of you are used to the biased rankings, but you won’t find those here.

You can see last weeks rankings here.

Pac-12 Bowl Projections are after the rankings.

Send all your questions, comments, and grievances to: Immad@unafraidshow.com

12. Oregon State (1-6)

(L) Cal 7-49

The Beavers blew their last shot at a Pac-12 win in 2018. They got hammered by Cal. Oregon State is the best team in the Pac-12 rushing the football, but could not do so against Cal. The Beavers are still last in the Pac-12 in total defense, rush defense, pass defense, and nearly every other important defensive statistic. Head coach Jonathan Smith has his work cut out for him in recruiting.

11. Arizona (3-5)

(L) 30-31 UCLA

Rhett Rodriguez got his first start of the season at quarterback, and the Arizona offense looked good. He personally did not have a fantastic game as he finished 15/34 with 231 yards passing and a pair of touchdowns and interceptions. However, if not for a fumble on a sure touchdown, and multiple penalties on big plays the Wildcats could have beat UCLA.

The Ducks head down to Tucson this week. Will Khalil Tate be back in the lineup or will he be sidelined for another week?

10. Cal (4-3)

When you look at the 10th ranked Pac-12 team, you might assume they are terrible. That is far from the case for Cal. They are much improved from the cellar dwellers under Sonny Dykes as head coach. They play in the Pac-12 north, which is the toughest division in college football. So, it is going to be extremely difficult to win games.

Cal’s pass defense is 4th best in the Pac-12 in total defense and 2nd against the pass. There is a lot to be excited about for the future of the program. If the Golden Bears can find two wins against Washington, Washington State, USC, Stanford, and Colorado, Justin Wilcox will make his first bowl game as Cal’s head coach.

9. Arizona State (3-4)

(L) 13-20 Stanford

All four of the Sun Devils losses have come by exactly seven points. They are within striking distance in every game. Arizona State is just not making enough plays to consistently win football games. It is not one particular side of the ball to blame. Both the offense and defense have shared responsibility for the losses. Manny Wilkens will need some 300-yard passing games if ASU is going to win three of their next five games (USC, Utah, UCLA, Oregon, Arizona) to get bowl eligible.

8. UCLA (2-5) 

(W) 31-30 Arizona

It is a winning streak. The Bruins have won two games in a row, and their offense is running and throwing the ball well. Chip Kelly has his team headed in the right direction. It is not all good news for UCLA. True freshman starting quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson left the game and never returned. And the Bruins defense allowed big play after big play by Arizona. You could drive a tractor through some of the running lanes.

UCLA has Utah coming in town this week. What if they mess around and…

7. Colorado (5-2) 

(L) 13-27 Washington

Colorado performed admirably on the road against Washington. They were without multiple starters including mid-season All-American wide receiver Lavishka Shenault and were still within four points deep into the 4th quarter. Steven Montez deserves a lot of praise for the Buffaloes 5-2 start. This season he has a 3:1 touchdown to interception ratio, and has eliminated a lot of the silly mistakes he made last season.

Colorado should be bowl eligible after they play Oregon State this weekend. Mike MacIntyre will have at least one more season in Boulder.

6. USC (4-3)

(L) 28-41 Utah

The USC fan base is in full panic mode. They are questioning Clay Helton and his ability to lead the Trojans back to the promised land. It is extremely puzzling how USC has the most talented team in the Pac-12 but isn’t getting result commensurate with that on the field. They have had trouble running the football in the majority of their games.

To make matters even worse, lost JT Daniels and Matt Fink to injury against Utah. USC will likely have to start their 3rd string quarterback Jack Sears Saturday against Arizona State.

It is going to be a long rest of the season for USC.

5. Stanford (5-2)

(W) 20-13 Arizona State

The Cardinal have played seven games, and Bryce Love is leading the team in rushing with a lowly 348 yards. 2018 Stanford cannot run the football effectively. It is time to give up hope that will change this season. Trying to run the ball so much has continuously kept Stanford in 3rd and long situations, which they are last in Pac-12 conversion %.

It is time to for Davis Shaw to fully invest in letting KJ Costello pass the ball on early downs. They need to feed JJ Arcega-Whiteside until the defense loosens up on the run game.

4. Utah (5-2)

(W) 41-28 USC

I cannot fully buy into the Utes offense, even after three straight 40 point outings. However, I am fully buying into them winning the Pac-12 south. They scored a bunch all those points against three defenses that no one would consider top tier. Stanford is uncharacteristically 11th in total defense, Arizona can’t stop a nosebleed, and USC had some of their best defenders out. But, when you play bad defenses, you should treat them like bad defenses, and Utah deserves credit for that.

I am absolutely gushing over their defense. They are only allowing 282 yards per game which is 7th in the nation. And the Utes are only allowing 17.7 points per game.

3. Washington (5-2)

(W) 27-13 Colorado

There was never a doubt in my mind the Huskies would beat Colorado. However, the game was much closer than most people anticipated. It was 17-13 until 3:50 to go in the 4th quarter. Washington then piled on some late style points for those who didn’t see the game. A lot of credit goes to Washington’s second-best Pac-12 defense. Their middle linebacker Ben Bur-Kirven is leading the nation in tackles.

Watching the Huskies is a lot like watching the Michigan Wolverines play this year. You recognize the talent, and the defense is one of the best in the nation. However, their lack of explosiveness offensively hinders both from being national championship threats.

If the Huskies win out, they will be headed to the Pac-12 title game.

2. Oregon (5-2)

(L) 20-34 Washington State

Oregon got a huge wakeup call in the first half of the Washington State game. They were completely shut down offensively. At the half, the Ducks had only gained 50 yards on five possessions. And their defense allowed points on every drive in the first half after the first series interception. There were miscues and missed opportunities all over the place.

After the first half ended 27-0, the Ducks came out and looked like the team ranked #8 in the Unafraid Show top 10 and #12 in the AP poll. They dominated the Cougars in the 2nd half but had dug a hole far too deep.

Now the Ducks need a lot of things to fall their way to get a New Years Day Six Bowl birth.

1. Washington State (6-1)

(W) 34-20 Oregon

There is one stat that shows why Washington State has been so successful this year. Through 7 games Washington State is only allowing Gardner Minshew to be sacked once every 76 snaps. Mike Leach does a masterful job making the opposing defense guard the entire field. He designs plays that get the ball out quickly and have an outlet for when pressure comes. The Cougars are throwing for over 400 yards per game while being the best pass defense in the conference.

I have said it since Week 1; the Cougars appear to be turning a tragedy into a special season. They now have the inside track to the Rose Bowl or College Football Playoffs, and have earned the top stop in the Pac-12 Power Rankings Week 9.

BOWL PROJECTIONS

via-USA TODAY

Rose Bowl– Michigan vs Washington

Holiday– Iowa vs Stanford

San Francisco– Northwestern vs Oregon

Sun– Boston Col vs Utah

Alamo– West Virginia vs Washington St

Texas– TCU vs Arizona St

Cheez-It– Iowa State vs USC

Las Vegas– San Diego State vs Colorado

Unafraid Show’s College Football Top 10 Rankings Week 9: Chaos is Coming

College Football Top 10 Rankings Week 9

Chaos is Coming

The Unafraid Show College Football Top 10 Rankings Week 9 are not going to look like the AP Poll. Open your eyes to see a different view of evaluating the top 10. Most polls including the College Football Playoff Committee give college blueblood teams a massive “benefit of the doubt.”  I don’t believe in that. The college football top 10 teams are ranked by the correct criteria: quality wins, schedule played, and dominance. Only the games have played matter.

I re-rank the top 10 every week from scratch. The previous week’s rankings do not factor into the next week. So, the rankings will change, sometimes drastically every week because we will have new information.

Before we get to College Football Top 10 Rankings Week 8, you can reference the Unafraid Show’s College Football Top 10 Rankings for Week 8.

Leave a comment or shoot an email: ImMad@unafraidshow.com… Yes, that is the real email address.

1.  Alabama (8-0) Last Week: #1

The Crimson Tide ran through Tennesse like they were a JV team. Tua Tagoviloa finished the game healthy after a scare last week. Alabama fans know they cannot be beaten if Tua is healthy. The truth is Bama has not played any real competition, and their resume suggests they should not be #1. However, their dominance has been unprecedented.

The thing that makes the Crimson Tide so impressive is how fast they play on both sides of the ball. Every player knows their assignment and executes in a hurry. There is never any second-guessing.

They are off next week, and then finally get to a real game in week 10! Smh.

2. Clemson (7-0) Last Week: #4

Clemson has their best game of the year against undefeated NC State. Their defense finally displayed the dominance we all expected preseason. They Trevor Lawrence had another solid performance. The Tigers defense turned a trap game and a top NFL quarterback draft prospect into lunch meat. The ACC runs through Clemson at this point. They can’t go to sleep next week as they head to Tallahassee to play Florida State.

3. Notre Dame (7-0) Last Week: #3

Notre Dame was on a BYE this week. They better be prepared for NAVY next Saturday. Triple option teams are always tricky matchups. Brian Kelly is only five wins away from securing a spot in the College Football Playoffs. However, they cannot have another performance like against Pitt, or they may not be lucky enough to survive.

4. LSU (7-1) Last Week: #7

LSU handled their business against Mississippi State. The Tigers offense is still not as explosive as it will need to be to give Alabama some competition in a couple of weeks. Their defense continues to have dominant performances each week. LSU is the most battle-tested team in the country. I double dog dare anybody to try and say Coach ‘O’ is not the right man to lead the Tigers. He has knocked off Miami, Auburn, and Georgia, so far this year. So technically he does have three top 10 wins. The fact is that Miami and Auburn (lost to Tennessee) were ranked WAY too high in the preseason and neither is currently ranked.

If Joe Burrow and the Tigers offense continue to improve, Bama better watch out.

5. Texas (6-1) Last Week: #5

The Longhorns fans have to be saying prayers every night for Sam Ehlinger’s shoulder to be healed. His legs and improved passing have been the difference in Texas starting the season 6-1 instead of 3-4. Texas will be hard pressed to finish the season 11-1 heading into the Big XII championship game if Ehlinger misses extended time. The Longhorns will need all hands on deck if they want to escape Stillwater with a win against Oklahoma State on Saturday.

6. Oklahoma (6-1) Last Week: #NR

Oklahoma has the best offense in the country. Yes, they are better than Alabama. Their offense is more explosive and dynamic with Kyler Murray at quarterback than last year with Baker Mayfield. The only concern surrounding the Sooners is their defense. They played much better against TCU without Mike Stoops as defensive coordinator. Oklahoma’s offense is so good that if the defense can keep everybody under 30 points, they will cruise to the playoffs. I hope we get to see the Alabama defense try and stop this offense in the Playoffs.

7. Florida (6-1) Last Week: #6

Florida had a BYE week and is preparing for their most important game in at least 4-5 years. Dan Mullens is preparing to take his team to Jacksonville, Florida for the “Biggest cocktail party in the world” to play Georgia. This is going to be a must win for both teams. The loser will undoubtedly be eliminated from College Football Playoff consideration. Feleipe Franks will need to have his most efficient game thrown the ball if the Gators are going to put the Bulldogs down.

8. Michigan (7-1) Last Week: #9

The Michigan game against Michigan State was painful to watch. There is no doubt Michigan’s defense is dominant and one of the top in the country. However, the offense leaves a lot to be desired at times. Jim Harbaugh’s offense seems to get ultra conservative in big games. I have no Idea why he likes to play a plodding style of offense instead of opening things up. Michigan’s roster is littered with top recruits who are potentially explosive playmakers that go unused. The Wolverines will need better offensive performances against Penn State and Ohio State to get wins.

9. Central Florida (7-0) Last Week: #10

The Knights have won 20 straight games going back to last season and have earned their spot in the College Football Top 10 Rankings Week 9. Much to the chagrin of the CFB Playoff committee, UCF beat East Carolina badly in week 8. It will cause too much commotion if UCF doesn’t get in the playoffs two years in a row undefeated. The only team people wish losses on more than the UCF Knights is Notre Dame. Both teams could take a spot for a Power 5 team.

10. Ohio State (7-1) Last Week: #2

Dwayne Haskins threw for 470 yards and two touchdowns, but the Buckeyes offense only managed 20 points. Ohio State’s offense has struggled running the football in back to back weeks against Minnesota and Purdue. The Buckeyes are one of the most athletic, dynamic, and talented teams in the nation. I wonder if Ohio State started to read it’s own press clippings and lost focus against Purdue. Maybe this piece of 49-20 humble pie will keep the Buckeyes energized for the rest of the season.

I believe Ohio State will bounce back unless Urban Meyers’ “memory loss” has finally started to affect his coaching.

Next Up:

Iowa, Georgia (needs a quality win), Washington State, Oregon, Penn State, Texas Tech

I know some of you are steaming mad right now because your team is ranked too low or is unranked. Take a breathe and realize that your fandom is causing irrational thoughts. The College Football Top 10 Rankings Week 9 is accurate, unbiased, and unafraid.

Pac-12 Power Rankings Week 8: Bowl Games and CFB Playoffs Up For Grabs

Pac-12 Power Rankings Week 8

The Pac-12 Power Rankings Week 8 is based on three things: quality wins, schedule played, and dominance. The “eye test” and preseason rankings are not factored into the Unafraid Show’s rankings. I know some of you are used to the biased rankings, but you won’t find those here.

The Pac-12 conference had another strong performance on the national scene. Washington and Oregon lived up to all the hype, and the entire country got to see two of the nations best teams. Well, sort of… The game was on ESPN2 in the south.

Take a peek at last week’s rankings here.

12. Oregon State (1-5)

Oregon State comes off a BYE and plays Cal in Corvallis. The Beavers look to get their first Pac-12 conference win since November of 2016. Their offense has not been the problem this season. They are #1 in the Pac-12 in rushing at 211.8 yards per game, and #3 in total offense with 453.7 ypg. Oregon State’s defense has consistently undone all the great work their offense has done. They are dead last in the conference in scoring defense, rushing defense, pass defense, and total defense.

I am not sure how you win a game with those kinds of stats. Hopefully, head coach Jonathan Smith’s defense has made some adjustments over the BYE week.

11. Cal (3-3)

After the first three weeks of the season, Cal was looking like a team that could end up in a bowl game. After dropping three straight games against Oregon, Arizona, and UCLA, their bowl game chances look bleak. The Golden Bears defense was highly ranked and appeared to be the strength of their team through their first three games. Last week’s 37-7 loss to winless UCLA has to be concerning for head coach Justin Wilcox.  They gave up 37 points to the worst offense in the Pac-12. This week Cal has to try and stop Oregon State’s #1 rushing offense in the Pac-12.

Cal’s offense has to step it up. They rank #11 in the Pac-12 in both scoring offense (23.0 ppg), and passing offense (214.5).

10. Arizona (3-4)

Arizona quarterback Khalil Tate did not finish last week’s game against Utah, and head coach Kevin Sumlin said he will not play Saturday at UCLA. Rhett Rodriguez, son for former Wildcats coach Rich Rodriguez, will get the start. Rodriguez should give Arizona a boost in their passing efficiency but is nowhere near the dynamic athlete running the ball that Tate is.

The Wildcats have a 3-4 record because they are statistically middle of the road Pac-12 offense and bottom third defense. This game against UCLA will be a pivotal game in deciding whether Arizona gets a bowl game.

9. UCLA (1-5) 

Bruins are relieved to know their team will not go defeated this year (0-12). Chip Kelly found a way to get his team which ranks last in the conference in points per game to score 37 points against Cal. UCLA has a chance to get their second win in a row against a struggling Arizona team. The game seems to be slowing down for true freshman Dorian Thompson-Robinson. He looks more comfortable passing the ball and continues to show flashes that he can be a special player.

The last two games have catapulted UCLA from the worst rushing offense in the Pac-12 at under 100 yards per game to 9th. Their defensive improvement has been a pleasant surprise. Bruins held Washington in check and shut Cal down in their last two games. Can they put together three straight solid defense games?

8. Arizona State (3-3)

The most intriguing team in the PAC-12 this season has been Arizona State. I am still not sure what to make of Herm Edwards’ team. Are they more the team that beat Michigan State or are they the team that lost to San Diego State? ASU comes off of a bye week and gets a huge test with Stanford coming in town. Manny Wilkins and their offensive coordinator have to find a way to get N’keal Harry the football more.

7. Stanford (4-2)

I am absolutely sure that David Shaw and the smart guys at Stanford did a lot of analytics number crunching over their BYE week. The “intellectual brutality” offense we are familiar with seeing has struggled to run the football. The Cardinal are typically one of the top-rated rushing offenses in the country and the Pac-12. However, injuries to Bryce Love and poor offensive line play have their offense only managing 85.7 rushing yards per game. Their inability to run the football keeps them in 3rd and long situations which have translated to a Pac-12 worst 32.9% 3rd down conversion rate.

Stanford must rebound after ugly losses to Notre Dame and Utah. However, they still control their own destiny in the Pac-12 North but must win out.

6. Colorado (5-1) 

People tried to convince me that Colorado was a real threat to win the Pac-12 after starting 5-0. The Buffaloes suffered a bunch of injuries in the USC game, including their mid-season All American wide receiver Laviska Shenault. But, they weren’t winning that game if everybody had remained healthy. Statistically, Colorado is top four in the Pac-12 in scoring offense, scoring defense, rushing defense, pass efficiency, opponent first downs, and a whole bunch of other categories. The reality is their opponents have a combined record of 12-25.

The Buffaloes travel to Seattle to battle the Huskies on Saturday. A win would go a long way to ensuring Mike McIntyre is the coach next season.

5. Utah (4-2)

I could not believe my eyes. Utah scored 40 points in consecutive games. It appears Kyle Whittingham’s team has turned a corner offensively. Tyler Huntley is being efficient passing the ball, and Zach Moss is 3rd in the Pac-12 in rushing with 102 yards per game. Granted, they played a beat up Stanford team and a defensive disaster in Arizona. The Utes defense is for real. They lead the conference in opponent first downs, scoring defense, and total defense.

The Utes get a huge home test against USC this weekend. If they win, they will have a shot to earn their first Pac-12 South crown.

4. USC (4-2)

Clay Helton got a much-needed win against Colorado. True freshman quarterback JT Daniels did not start sharp but ultimately finished with 283 passing yards with three touchdowns. The Trojans will need to improve their -6 turnover margin on the season if they hope to keep the lead in the Pac-12 South.

USC lost their best pass rusher Porter Gustin for the season. If the Trojans can get past the next two weeks against Utah and Arizona State, their schedule appears to get a little lighter with Oregon State, Cal, and UCLA.

3. Washington State (5-1)

We will find out what Gardner Minshew and Washington State are made out of as the Oregon Ducks roll into Pullman this weekend. The Cougars boast the Pac-12’s best passing offense (413.7 ypg), and 2nd best defense in terms of yards allowed per game (313.7). Mike Leach’s ‘Air Raid’ offense is very capable of exploiting the Oregon secondary that ranks 10th in the conference in defensive pass efficiency.

2. Washington (5-2)

The Huskies are a top tier football team. They were a missed 37 yard FG away from beating Oregon for the 3rd straight year. Now, Washington looks to bounce back from a heartbreaking loss against their bitter rival Oregon. Teams are 0-5 on the season after playing a physical game against the Ducks. Chris Peterson is a great coach and should have his team up for the task against Colorado. Their defense continues to show up and be tough. The Huskies offense must improve their explosiveness. The lack of big plays seems the difference between the 2017 and 2018 Huskies teams.

There is still a chance the Huskies can win the Pac-12 and play in either the Rose Bowl or Fiesta Bowl.

1. Oregon (5-1)

The Ducks have earned the #1 spot in the Pac-12 Power Rankings Week 8. They gutted out a win against a very good Washington team. Oregon suffered a major injury in the against Washington. Their true freshman left tackle Penei Sewell is scheduled to miss significant time with a leg injury.

Justin Herbert continues to lead the conference in passing efficiency (171.2). The Ducks offense seems unstoppable at this point, but their defense will get a huge test this weekend at Washington State. We saw the Ducks respond well after a tough loss to Stanford. How will they handle the success of a big win?

Oregon has positioned themselves to potentially earn a spot in the college football playoffs.

Pac-12 Power Rankings Week 7: Bad Blood and Razor Thin Margins

Pac-12 Power Rankings Week 7

The Pac-12 Power Rankings Week 7 is based on three things: quality wins, schedule played, and dominance. The “eye test” and preseason rankings are not factored into the Unafraid Show’s rankings. I know some of you are used to the biased rankings, but you won’t find those here. Respect is earned, not given.

Take a peek at last week’s rankings here.

12. Oregon State (1-5)

(L) Washington State 37-56

I spent a lot of time deciding on #11-12 in the Pac-12 Power Rankings Week 7. How do you choose between a winless team who has played a solid schedule (UCLA) and a team that has only beaten Southern Utah (OSU)? Jermar Jefferson is the best thing the Beavers have going. The freshman has rushed for nearly 900 yards and 12 touchdowns through six games this season. The future for Oregon State is brighter than the present.

11. UCLA (0-5) 

(L) Washington 24-31

If there were moral victories in sports, UCLA would have one for how they played against Washington. The Bruins had multiple opportunities to tie the game in the 4th quarter, but could not capitalize. Dorian Thompson-Robinson made some really good throws and showed flashes of future greatness. Another bright spot was UCLA’s ability to run the football at will against a typically stout Washington defense.

I 100% believe that the Bruins would beat the Beavers if they played this season. They have a chance to get their first win against Cal this weekend.

10. Cal (3-2)

(L) Arizona 17-24

If Brandon McIlwain can stop throwing the ball to the other team Cal will win some Pac-12 games. He looks to be Khalil Tate 2.0; a dynamic athlete at quarterback, but also has solid passing skills. If Justin Wilcox can get his young quarterback to take care of the football a bowl game is in their future. The Golden Bears defense has remained solid even into Pac-12 play. The Bruins head to Cal this week, which should be a very “winnable” game for both teams.

9. Arizona (3-3)

(W) Cal 24-17

Until Khalil Tate is fully healthy and can run the football, Arizona is not a real threat to the upper class of the Pac-12. The Wildcats need his legs to be as much of a threat as his arm. Last year Khalil Tate rushed for over 1,400 yards and 12 touchdowns. This year, Tate only has 110 rushing yards through 6 games. A Pac-12 South title is still in reach for Arizona. Utah comes to Tucson Friday for what is essentially a must-win for the Wildcats.

8. Arizona State (3-3)

(L) Colorado 21-28

Arizona State is sitting at a 3-3 record. It doesn’t feel like they are overachieving or underachieving. They seem to be in a perfect spot when measured against preseason expectations. They are struggling to get off the field defensively. The Sun Devils allow the most first downs per possession in the Pac-12. Also, Herm Edwards has to find a way to get his team to close out games. All three of their losses have come by seven points.

7. Stanford (4-2)

(L) Utah 21-40

How the mighty have fallen. Stanford was king of the Pac-12 Power Rankings for the first five weeks of the season. I’m not sure what is going on, but the “intellectual brutality”we had grown accustomed to has been conspicuously absent since the Oregon game. A BYE in week seven should allow the Cardinal ample opportunity to recalibrate and refocus. They must be perfect down the stretch if they want to win the Pac-12 North title.

6. Utah (3-2)

(W) Stanford 40-21

How on earth did Utah score 40 points on Stanford? Utah had not scored more than 24 points against FBS competition this season. The Utes offense is still underwhelming, but their defense did a great job of forcing four turnovers, which led to a lot of scoring opportunities. We will see if Utah can repeat their dynamic offensive and defensive performance this week against Arizona.

5. Washington State (5-1)

(W) Oregon State 56-37

There is no team that I am happier about their success than the Cougars. It would have been easy for them to mail the season in after Tyler Hilinski’s suicide. But, they have come out and fought hard and won games. Gardner Minshew has been so impressive at quarterback that he has drawn the eye of NFL scouts. He may have to put his coaching dreams on hold for NFL paychecks.  They get a much-deserved BYE this week. Mike Leach knows the rest of the schedule will be tough as they have Stanford, Oregon, and Washington still on the schedule.

4. USC (3-2)

BYE

This week is the most important game of the season for USC. If they beat Colorado, the team has a shot to rekindle the energy and excitement of their 2016 Rose Bowl season. If they lose to Colorado, the Clay Helton boo-birds will be out in full force.

3. Colorado (5-0)

(W) Arizona State 28-21

We all keep waiting for Cinderella’s glass slipper to fall off, but the Buffaloes refuse to let it go! Steven Montez and crew keep putting up solid offensive performances. They rank third in the conference in percentage of possessions that end in touchdowns (36.4%). And their defense is one of the stingiest in the Pac-12. If you haven’t seen the Buffaloes electric wide receiver Laviska Shenault, don’t worry, you will see a ton of him Saturday versus USC.

2. Oregon (4-1)

BYE

The Ducks got a week off and who knows what they will have up their sleeves for Huskies week. Revenge has been on Oregon’s mind since being embarrassed in 2016 by Jake Browning and the Huskies at Autzen Stadium. This game is the most bitter rivalry in the conference besides UCLA vs. USC. The loser will be the subject of ridicule for an entire year.

After watching Washington play UCLA last week, we could have a new #1 team in the Pac-12 Power Rankings after the game. Huck the Fuskies!

1. Washington (5-1)

(W) UCLA 31-24

Washington continues to win football games. I am extremely concerned about how this team faired against UCLA. The Huskies may have looked past UCLA to next week’s date at Oregon. However, their usually very stout defense was porous against the Bruins. Jake Browning’s steady play at quarterback has made Washington tough to beat. He rarely makes mistakes, and give his team a chance to win every game, but won’t be a superhero. Browning is the Alex Smith of college quarterbacks.

It is Washington Huskies vs. Oregon Ducks this weekend. The winner of this game will have the inside track if the Pac-12 gets a spot in the College Football Playoffs.