Why Florida State still deserves to be ranked No. 1


The top-dogs of the SEC come calling, but I firmly believe the Florida State Seminoles still deserve to sit atop the rankings of the College Football elite. The Seminoles have their reasons to still be ranked #1, and the rest of the top-4 have their reasons as well.

Florida State Seminoles

Florida State came into Saturday’s contest vs. Syracuse riding a 21-game winning streak (including an 11-game ACC game winning streak), and the ‘Noles knew the SEC was calling for their top spot among the college football elite. Quarterback Jameis Winston proceeded to put up his best stats of the year (30/36, 317 passing yards, and 3 passing TDs). The Seminole defense also managed to turn Syracuse over 3 times compared to Florida State’s 2 turnovers. It wasn’t a perfect game, but the Seminoles showed glimpses of why they should still be considered the No. 1 team in the country.

Come Saturday afternoon after the final whistle blew, Florida State had won 22-straight games and in that game span have compiled 2 ACC Conference Championships, a National Championship, and a Heisman Trophy. No other team in the country has looked nearly as impressive over that time span. Florida State will get its opportunity to show it belongs when it faces off in a prime time game vs. No. 6 Notre Dame. After that the Seminole’ schedule takes a hit, but with Clemson and Oklahoma State winning consistently, those wins look more and more impressive as this season progresses.

Mississippi State Bulldogs

With three consecutive wins over top-10 teams, how could the Bulldogs not be considered the best in the country? A demolishing of LSU in Death Valley is nothing short of remarkable, but just how good is LSU? LSU proceeded to lose to Auburn 41-7 the very next weekend, and became almost irrelevant instantly and dropped from the top-25 completely.

A 17-point win vs. then No. 7 Texas A&M is worth noticing as well, but just how good is Texas A&M? This weekend at home vs. Ole Miss the Aggies lost 35-20, including a halftime score of 21-0. Getting shut-out on your home field an entire half shows no sign of a team deserving a top-15 ranking like the Aggies had last night.

Then a 15-point win over No. 2 Auburn just put the icing on the cake for Mississippi State, which claimed the No. 1 spot come Sunday afternoon. Auburn is indeed a top-10 team, and could still very well find itself back in the play-off mix if it can compile a few impressive wins down the stretch. The Tigers also turned the ball over twice (not to mention 2 others later in the game) in the first 10 minutes of the game in a hostile environment and seemingly never gained back momentum. So could that game have been different had it been played at Auburn?

Ole Miss Rebels

The Rebels have been nothing short of impressive as well, but just how impressive? Entering the season, the Rebs were supposed to be a dark-horse SEC championship contender and now at the half-way point in their season sit at No. 3 in the country. Following a sloppy 35-13 win vs. Boise State in Atlanta, everyone wondered just how good can they be if they put it all together.

Following yet another sloppy 24-3 win vs. Memphis, the questions still loomed around the Rebel fan base and college football landscape. Following a 23-17 win vs then No. 1/No. 3 Alabama, the doubters were silenced, and Ole Miss was accepted among the elite, but has anyone raised the question on just how good is Alabama this year? Alabama barely survived with a 14-13 win at Arkansas last night, and had Jeff Driskel been able to compile more than a 93-yard passing game when the Tide played Florida that game would have been significantly closer.

Last night’s 35-20 Rebel win at Kyle Field vs. Texas A&M was impressive, but as I asked before, just how credible of a win is that vs. Texas A&M? A squad that was only hyped because they beat down then No. 9 South Carolina 52-28 in the college football season kick-off on a Thursday night at South Carolina. The SEC West schedule is something they still have yet to conquer, but Ole Miss will go as far as their Senior Quarterback Bo Wallace, and dominant defense, can take them.

Baylor Bears

Baylor pulled it off in an instant classic last night with a 61-58 win vs. No. 9 TCU. Following TCU’s 37-33 win vs. Oklahoma, the Frogs were starting to make noise for the college football play-off, but after watching a 21-point 4th quarter lead fade their hopes are all but gone.

This was Baylor’s only win vs. a ranked team this season, and while it was impressive, several questions surround the Bears, such as where is their defense? Baylor’s offense has been absolutely dominant this season, including 782 total yards of offense last night, but they also had 3 turnovers and their defense allowed 485 total yards. Baylor’s schedule is bottom-heavy as they face No. 11 Oklahoma and No. 16 Oklahoma State in back-to-back weeks.

Baylor Quarterback Bryce Petty has been dominant this season (1534 Passing yards, 15 TDs), but until Baylor plays that tough competition, it’s very hard to consider them for the top-spot with two SEC powerhouses and a defending national champion ahead of them. With that being said, the Bears are very much in the College Football Playoff picture at this point, and that is a fact.

With so much football left to play this season and conference championships left to decide, there is still plenty of room for other top-10 teams to sneak into the top 4, as well as several 1-loss teams that are waiting for their chances to prove they still belong among the elite.