Gators not so great
At No. 4, Florida has to be the most overrated team in the Top 25. No disrespect to the Gators, but what were voters thinking when they moved Florida up six spots from No. 11 after its win over then-No. 4 LSU on Saturday? Maybe it was the glare of the Southeastern Conference or the fact that Florida beat a top-five team, but by no means is it a top-five team. If Florida beats South Carolina in two weeks, then we can talk.
On the flip side, Notre Dame is underrated at No. 7, especially considering the strength of its schedule and its performance on the field. The Irish haven't played this well on the defensive side of the ball since the Reagan years, and wins over Michigan, Michigan State and Miami should have moved them into the top five. A victory over Stanford Saturday should alleviate that discrepancy.
K-State deserves better
Could Alabama, which has received all 60 first-place votes, actually be underrated? It almost seems that way, given that its 33-14 victory over Ole Miss is the closest the Crimson Tide have had to a squeaker.
Seriously, though, I'll take Kansas State. The sixth-ranked Wildcats aren't flashy, ranking 111th nationally in passing yards. But a trouncing of Miami and solid win at Oklahoma should be worth more than No. 2 Oregon's best two wins, against Arizona and Washington.
It's hard to claim that Ohio State is overrated after the Buckeyes opened a can on Nebraska, scoring 63 points. But the Big Ten is weak, and the Buckeyes didn't leave the Horseshoe for any of their four non-league games. So who knows how good this team really is.
Tide even better than No. 1
Geno Smith — 24 touchdown passes and no interceptions!? — may win the Heisman and lead No. 5 West Virginia to the national title. But it's difficult for us defense-wins-championships Neanderthals to grasp a contender that has allowed 108 points in its last two games. The Mountaineers rank 102nd nationally in scoring defense and pass defense.
Along the same line, and counter-intuitive though it seems, top-ranked Alabama may be the most undervalued among the top eight. Quarterback AJ McCarron doesn't grace many (any?) Heisman watches, and the Crimson Tide offense doesn't obliterate scoring records. But Alabama leads the nation in scoring defense, total defense and pass efficiency defense, a combination that will be difficult to beat.
Ohio State a tad high
Los Angeles Times
I was one of the few people who had Ohio State in the top 10 to start the season. I had the Buckeyes No. 9 compared to No. 18 in the Associated Press media poll based on two factors: Braxton Miller returning at quarterback and Urban Meyer being named head coach.
Yet, I think Ohio State is probably a tad overrated at No. 8 this week, despite a dominating win against Nebraska. Ohio State did not look great in wins over Central Florida, California and Alabama-Birmingham. The Buckeyes survived a one-point win at Michigan State.
Underrated? Kansas State is No. 6 in the AP poll but has two of the more impressive victories — pummeling Miami 52-13 in Manhattan, and then shocking Oklahoma in Norman.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun