College Football 2014 – Ranking The Conferences

Count down to College Football…….

2014 College FootballAs we are getting closer and closer to the best day of the year in all of sports, August 28, when the 2014 college football season kicks off in Columbia, South Carolina, I started thinking about the power conferences and how they stack up against each other. It’s easy to just rank the conferences, so I ranked the divisions as well as the conferences into one TOP 10 ranking. The SEC has ruled college football for the last, I don’t know, 7 to 30 years and there won’t be any change in that domination anytime soon. Oh sure, the PAC 12 has some formidable teams, the BIG 10 hopes to regain their past glory, the BIG 12 dreams of past Wishbone run dominating teams, and the ACC ( the Little Brother of the SEC ) thinks that 1 BCS National Championship will vault them past the SEC. Just one look at this years Top 10 ( depending on which publication you read ) and you will see 3 or 4 teams from the SEC in there. As everyone knows, getting through their brutal schedule as they beat each other up week after week, is tougher than winning the National Championship. Just look at Saban, I think he has won more National Championships than he has SEC titles! So, with all that said, let’s get to my TOP 10 rankings!

  1. No question about it, the SEC West is the best in the land. Alabama, Auburn, LSU, and Texas A&M. Survive this brutal schedule and then you get the best from the East in the conference championship game! Even though A&M is in a little bit of a rebuild this year, their recruiting has been stellar the last few years. ‘Bama, Auburn, and LSU could all end up in the Top 10 nationally by the end of the year. Oh by the way, let’s not discount Ole Miss, Mississippi St., and Arkansas!
  2. I give a slight edge here to the BIG 12 this year. Many of the Talking Heads are crowning Oklahoma right now as the National Champions. Their schedule is conducive to winning a title, but I am sure that Baylor, OK State, Texas, and K State will have something to say about that! Baylor just may have the most explosive offense we have ever seen and it wouldn’t shock me to see them average over 50 points per game this season. Texas, under Charlie Strong, will soon be back as a national contender. OK State has more financial support than most schools and K State under Bill Snyder is always tough to deal with.
  3. The SEC East. There are a ton of questions this year about the East. Can Vandy remain competitive with a new coaching staff? Will Tennessee continue to improve and regain their glory from past years? Can Florida shake out of their 2 year slump? How does South Carolina and Georgia react with new QB’s? What does Missouri look like with all of their roster changes? With all of that said, the conference is loaded with talent and probably a 2 loss team will win the East. Each of the top 3 teams ( SC, Georgia, and Florida ) have to play tough schedules and the slight edge goes to the Head Ball Coach and the SC Gamecocks to eventually win out.
  4. PAC 12 North. This division is top heavy with Oregon and Stanford and that is why they fell at # 4. Once again, the Nike Ducks are loaded with offense and probably will average over 50 points per game just like Baylor. They have a Heisman candidate at QB and most of their tough games are at home. Stanford has been a thorn in their side for the last few years and will continue to be one! Coach Shaw and his staff have figured out how to slow down and stop the Oregon track meet. Stanford has a difficult schedule this year with games versus USC, Notre Dame, Oregon, and UCLA. Win all of them, and you could have a chance to get into this years playoffs!
  5. BIG 10 East. There is the top 4 ( Michigan State, Michigan, Ohio State, and Penn St. ) and then the rest. The Spartan defense was stout last year and they have a lot of holes to fill. Their offense last year was weak and it should be their strong side of the ball this time around. They have a key early season match up with Oregon that will go a long way in determining their place potentially in the Top 10. Michigan is, well, Michigan. They will get your hopes up and then break your hearts at the wrong time. How much longer will the faithful remain loyal to Coach Hoke? Many experts rank the Luckeyes in the bottom half of the Top 10 this year. Maybe, just maybe, everyone is questioning their annual pitiful scheduling and realize they are a phony after all! Navy, Kent St., Cincinnati, Maryland, Rutgers, Illinois, and Indiana……OUCH!! Biggest question of all is, how will Penn State continue to recover now that a new coaching regime is in place? Mr. Franklin will do just fine!
  6. ACC Atlantic. You may think that with the defending National Champion residing here, the ranking may be higher. However, there are just way too many questions about the rest of the teams here. Louisville moves in here with a new coaching staff and a new QB. Clemson has a new QB and their defense has been awful the last few years. After these 3 schools, no one else scares you. Even FSU has concerns. Can Jameis stay out of trouble? Talk about a tough road….OK State, Clemson, Notre Dame, Louisville, Miami, and Florida!
  7. PAC 12 South. The Big 3 and then the rest. This division is lead by UCLA, USC, and Arizona State. The Bruins, thanks to all of the issues at USC, continue to improve under Jim Mora Jr. They too have a Heisman hopeful at QB and most of their tough games are at home ( Oregon, Arizona, USC, and Stanford ). USC has a lot of top athletes but due to NCAA penalties, they just lack numbers right now. The team to watch out for is Arizona State. You just have to wonder if they can hold up for an entire year.
  8. ACC Coastal. Ok, let me get this right. Duke is the defending Coastal Champion. I am trying to say that with a straight face. Seriously, they do have an awesome coach! Coach Cut is a great coach and a great leader of young men. Talk about the right man at the right school! Coach K and Coach Cut – what a winning combo at one of the finest institutions in the country! Va. Tech has been down ( from their standards ) for the last few years. Can they rebound in 2014? Miami can never be taken for granted. This division welcomes Pitt in 2014. How will they respond down south?
  9. BIG 10 West. Wisconsin, Nebraska, and Northwestern. Wisconsin has been a power for years but has the fewest returning starters of any team in the country. Maybe that is why they have, without question, the WORST schedule in the land! They open with a butt whipping against LSU and then play Western Illinois, Bowling Green, South Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Nebraska, Minnesota, Northwestern, Rutgers, Purdue, and Iowa. Don’t come screaming for respect when you go 11-1! Not with that putrid schedule!! The only question about Nebraska is whether or not they will lose 4 games for the, I don’t know, 18th year in a row! Northwestern…let’s move on!
  10. The American Athletic Conference. Lead by Cincinnati, UCF, and Houston, this conference rounds out my Top 10. Cincy is always a tough out, UCF continues to improve and is no longer taken for granted by anyone on their schedule, and Houston at times has a scary good offense.

 

If you read my  stories on a regular basis, you know that I am hard on power schools that play soft schedules. We just don’t need Ohio State playing Buffalo. We don’t need Clemson playing Furman. We don’t need to see Oklahoma vs. La Tech or South Dakota @ Oregon. What we really need to see is Oregon v LSU, UCLA v Alabama, FSU v Stanford, Ohio State v Auburn. These non conference games would be huge for college football. We do have some of these types of games – just not enough! With that said, college football has some great match ups in the coming years.

2015

Alabama vs. Wisconsin. Texas @ Notre Dame. Ohio State @ Va. Tech. Oklahoma @ Tennessee. Oregon @ Michigan State. Notre Dame @ Clemson

2016

LSU vs. Wisconsin. Tennessee vs. Va. Tech ( @ Bristol Motor Speedway ). Ohio State @ Oklahoma. Miami @ Notre Dame. UCLA @ Texas A&M. Va. Tech @ Notre Dame

2017

Texas A&M @ UCLA. Florida @ Michigan. Georgia @ Notre Dame. Nebraska @ Oregon. Oklahoma @ Ohio State. Texas @ USC

2018

Ohio State @ TCU. USC @ Texas. Texas A&M @ Oregon. UCLA @ Oklahoma. Wisconsin @ Washington. Penn State @ Pitt.

After seeing these great upcoming titanic games, do you wonder why college football is the greatest game in the world!!

Posted By A To Z On Sports

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