Cagle’s Corner: Rankings

LSU running back Leonard Fournette (7) greets fans as he runs off the field after an NCAA college football game against Auburn in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015. Fournette had 228 rushing yards, nine receiving yards, and three touchdowns as LSU won 45-21. Photo credit: Associated Press

While the college football playoff committee will not release their official rankings until after the ninth week of the season, hypotheticals are always fun.

As a college football fan, you build your own rankings week after week, hoping that the committee will get a clue and know what you know.

After the midway point in the 2015 season, I’d say it’s about time for some rankings.

Here are my top four if the season ended right now:


LSU is 6-0 and they have the best player in the nation in running back Leonard Fournette.

They have won close games against Mississippi State and Florida and the magic of Les Miles is rolling in full force.

The aforementioned Fournette, who is reigning supreme on just about everyone’s Heisman ballots, leads the Tigers’ offensive force.

The man is simply unstoppable right now and his rare combination of speed, power, and agility has helped him gain a nation-leading 1202 rushing yards along with 14 touchdowns.

Fournette may be the best SEC back since Darren McFadden (yes, better than all of Bama’s legends) and he could run this team to an SEC championship.

LSU has played well on defense so far, ranking 15th in the nation in terms of yards allowed per game.

If they can continue that play and Fournette can continue to stay healthy with his workload, the Tigers will win a playoff spot.


This pick might take a lot of heat but the rankings are all about who is the best team that week and while the Buckeyes are undefeated, they have not been consistent.

When the season began, we all wondered how Urban Meyer would work with having three potential Heisman quarterbacks.

Since then, Braxton Miller has been explosive at the hybrid H-back position with Cardale Jones and J.T. Barrett struggling as quarterbacks.

Jones was the season starter and has not played even remotely close to what he showed off during last season’s playoff run.

Meanwhile, Barrett has received limited time but has also struggled. Barrett has been announced as the new starter for the Buckeyes due to his better efficiency through the air (barely) and his mobility.

While the Buckeyes have remained unbeaten this far, the meat of their schedule is coming fast with games against Michigan State and Michigan looming at the end of the season.


With the rest of the PAC-12 in shambles, Utah has risen up and played tremendously in 2015.

The Utes have four wins against quality opponents in Michigan, Oregon, Cal, and Arizona State.

While the Ducks and the Sun Devils have been relatively disappointing this season, they are still loaded with talent and the Utes have shut them down.

Utah, traditionally known as a power school that doesn’t look to outscore opponents, has been incredibly finesse in its attack this season on offense.

Running back Devontae Booker and quarterback Travis Wilson form an incredible tandem in the backfield, with Booker emerging as a true Heisman dark horse.

Defensively, the same Utah spirit of power and strength reside in Salt Lake City. While the Utes rank just 49th in terms of total defense, they are 26th in allowing only 19 points per game and rank 13th in rushing yards allowed per game.

Utah is a grindhouse, the Memphis Grizzlies of college football and if you don’t come to play, you will be beaten down.

With a remaining schedule that does not feature a single ranked opponent, Utah’s physical and consistent play could carry them all the way to the fast with games against Michigan State and Michigan looming at the end of the season.

For now they hold a top four spot simply out of respect and potential but eventually, the miscues could get them knocked out.


Now you’re probably thinking of course Baylor is at the top, this is Baylor’s newspaper after all.

But the fact of the matter is that the Bears have been the most dominating team in the nation and it’s not even close.

The Bears lead the nation in scoring offense by almost 14 points and they are the only team in the nation to rank in the top ten in both passing and rushing (6th passing, 2nd rushing).

Quarterback Seth Russell is a legit Heisman candidate and his number one target Corey Coleman is as well.

Russell leads the nation in passer efficiency and yards per attempt while Coleman is third in receiving yards and first in touchdown catches.

This could be the best offense college football has seen since Oklahoma in 2008, with the Bears already besting that Sooners squad on the ground.

While the Achilles Heel for Baylor will be the inconsistent play of its defense, the Bears have improved with each game so far in the season, ranking 62nd in the nation in terms of average yards allowed.

Baylor also has one of the toughest remaining schedule in the nation, with three games against ranked opponents.

With the Big 12 gauntlet looming for the Bears, if they can weather the storm and win out, they should top the rankings.