Here are the teams that are ranked in the AP Top 25 but don’t have a top 25 resume:
#19 Kentucky – Resume score: 10
#20 Texas – Resume score: 11.5
#21 Cincinnati – Resume score: 10
#23 NC State – 11
I understand why Texas ranked. I think you can make a fair argument that the Longhorns are a much better team with Ewers, and at the very least they would have one fewer, perhaps two fewer, losses if he had not been hurt. I suppose some people may think the same thing about Kentucky and Will Levis, but I’m not buying that right now.
Cincinnati is ranked because of last year’s team and respect for their coach. Their schedule is beginning to heat up a bit though, and the regular season finale against Tulane does look interesting now. Hopefully, both teams keep winning.
Lastly, I feel awful for NC State, but with Devin Leary out for the season due to injury, their time in the AP Top 25 could be coming to an end. They just can’t muster much offense. That said, they also play Virginia Tech, Boston College and Louisville in their final three games. They may have to muddy it up, but if that defense steps up, State could still finish 8-4. That’s not what Wolfpack Nation had their hearts set on, but under the circumstances, that would be a good finish.
Syracuse at Clemson kicks off at noon Saturday. You would think a Top 15 matchup would garner a later start time, but networks also don’t want to put potential blowouts on their afternoon or primetime schedule. I don’t personally think this will be a blowout, but with oddsmakers heavily favoring Clemson, I think the networks shied away from this game.
The other big game of the weekend will be in Eugene, Oregon as the Ducks host the Bruins. Oregon’s resume isn’t spectacular, but they have worked their way back into the AP Top 10. Both teams would get nice resume points with a win, particularly road team UCLA.
The quietest Top 25 matchup is Kansas State visiting TCU. I think it is a benefit to the Frogs that they aren’t “getting a week off”; they can’t have a letdown if they have to keep getting back up for the next challenge.
The other two Top 25 matchups are Texas at Oklahoma State and Mississippi State at Alabama. Three of those teams are coming off a loss. While it will be interesting to see if the Longhorns can take advantage of the Cowboys following their loss to TCU, I think most eyes will be on Tuscaloosa to see how the Tide responds to their loss to the Vols.