We’ve officially developed a game of leap frog each week for the #2 and #3 spots. Much like a good NASCAR driver, Georgia is using their clean air atop the field to widen the gap from everyone else. Texas A&M replaces Cincinnati in the #5 slot after their dominating defensive performance against Auburn while the 10th position continues to be a revolving door without true separation of the have’s and have not’s.
We head to Texas, specifically the AAC, to find an overvalued commodity. The SEC, like always, continues to be the home of underrated teams given the rigorous league schedule known for cannibalizing resumes.
Without more pomp and circumstance…
Bet the Board Top 10 Week 11:
2.) Ohio State
5.) Texas A&M
8.) Penn State
9.) Ole Miss
10.) Iowa State
Overrated: Houston Cougars
The AP and USA Today polls have Houston ranked #17 after their win over USF. SPOILER: We don’t! At 8-1, we can certainly understand why Houston has moved up the polls going unblemished since a season opening defeat against Texas Tech. However there are some major flaws in the Cougars resume.
Houston has played a strength of schedule outside the Top 100. Their best win came at home against SMU requiring a kickoff return in the game’s closing moments to secure victory. Houston doesn’t do anything particularly great; ranking outside the Top 40 in both offensive and defensive efficiency against a weak slate of opposition.
Work in Tandem
QB Clayton Tune and WR Nathaniel Dell make quite the pairing on the offensive side of the ball. Dell is averaging 15 yards per reception with 8 TD’s rapidly becoming Tune’s top target. Houston has scored 30+ points in all but 2 games but they could definitely use a boost in the run game. That’s an area where they’re 90th in overall yards per carry. Houston has talent on both sides of the ball yet there is nothing ELITE about them. Considering their weak SOS these factors should be worrisome. We have Houston power rated outside the top 40th as opposed to sniffing anything close to a top 15 ranking.
Underrated: Florida Gators
The Gators have fallen below .500 after losing to South Carolina on the road last week as 20+ point favorites. Florida was dealing with the flu-bug that impacted 30+ players towards the latter end of the last week and it certainly showed in their most lethargic effort in the Dan Mullen era. Unlike the team we broke down in our overrated section, Florida has played an extremely difficult schedule; ranking 12th overall in difficulty. They fell to Alabama by 2 earlier this season, blew Tennessee out by 24, and were right there with Georgia before an end of half implosion.
Metrics vs Current Form
Florida remains a net +1.4 yards per play for the season. They’ve shown dominance on the ground even if their current form isn’t as promising as their season long figures. Bill Connelly’s S&P+ has Florida ranked inside the Top 10 on the offensive side of the ball and their defense ranks inside the Top 35 no matter what analytical site you choose to use. Unfortunately, Florida has had too many inexcusable losses for their talent level to garner any respect with the pollsters and it makes sense. There were some shake-ups in the coaching staff this past week with a re-emphasis placed on fundamentals. Bottom-line, the Gators “top game” is one that may be close to a top 10 team. Problem for them is we just haven’t seen it nearly enough.