The state of Texas is getting both ends of the football world as the University of Texas has had huge wins the past two weeks and enters the first BCS rankings as the #1 team. The schedule is brutal with undefeated teams on deck the next two weeks but the Longhorns are the team to beat right now.
In the NFL the Dallas Cowboys have gone from Super Bowl favorites to the joke of the league. Dallas is still 4-3 but with all the injuries and the distractions a quick recovery is unlikely. The next three games for the Cowboys are against elite NFC teams facing Tampa Bay at home and then division games at New York and at Washington. In the AFC the Tennessee Titans are universally being praised as a Super Bowl contender. The Titans are a legitimate threat but consider that the team has zero wins against winning teams counted in the 6-0 record. Pittsburgh and Buffalo are both considered next in line in the AFC and both also have zero wins against winning teams.
It is still very early in the year but no team in the AFC has more than one win against a team that currently has a winning record (Denver could get a 2nd Monday night). The teams with one win include Jacksonville, Cleveland, New York, Kansas City, and Denver. The team with the most wins against teams that currently have winning records is the 5-2 Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Four of the five wins came against winning teams and no other team in the NFL has more than two wins against such teams.
The first BCS rankings are out this week and there are three match-ups between teams in the top 13 of the rankings this week. For those looking for a playoff system in college football, consider the rest of the season to be a single elimination format. The remaining undefeated teams likely can not afford a loss and the one-loss teams would obviously fall out of the picture with a loss in the coming weeks. There are some surprising teams in the top 25 of the BCS rankings at this point, including Minnesota, Northwestern, Ball State, and Tulsa.
In the various computer rankings Texas and Alabama are unanimous 1-2 teams but the other major undefeated team Penn State is not ranked third in any of the computer polls. A win this week changes all that but the Lions appear to be a team that is overrated and the computers agree. Also interesting is that USC is a borderline top 10 team in most of the computer polls even though the Trojans appear to have a pretty clean path to being the highest ranked one-loss team.
Utah and Boise State appear to be in strong position for a BCS slot if they win out but an unprecedented situation could occur if TCU would win out and knock Utah out of the mix. The one-loss Horned Frogs could conceivably finish high enough in the rankings to qualify as they currently sit at #14. The one-loss came against Oklahoma and the Frogs will need BYU and Utah to maintain strong enough rankings to matter in the schedule. The ACC and the Big East have been absent from any discussion with top teams checking in at #16, and #18.