USA Today Sports

Exposing the Top 25: Where the polls went wrong

Each week throughout the college football season, Covers Expert Jesse Schule will dissect the new Top 25 rankings, looking for betting value. He'll showcase the most overrated team, along with the most underrated ranked team, and an unranked squad that he feels should be in the Top 25.

Most underrated Top 25 team: Washington Huskies (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS)


The Huskies showed signs of greatness last season, with upset wins over Top 25 teams Stanford and Oregon State. The season ended with a disappointing loss to Boise State in the Las Vegas Bowl. Washington avenged that loss in emphatic fashion in Week 1, blowing out the No. 19 ranked Broncos at Husky Stadium.

Bishop Sankey ran for 161 yards and a pair of scores on 25 carries and Keith Price completed 23 of 31 passes for 324 yards and a pair of touchdowns. If the Huskies continue to play like this, they are going to be tough to beat.

Most overrated Top 25 team: Ohio State Buckeyes (1-0 SU, 0-1 ATS)


The Buckeyes won big over Buffalo in Week 1, but coach Urban Meyer wasn't happy with the way his team played in the second half. With OSU clinging to a 10-point lead in the third quarter, Braxton Miller fumbled on his own 1-yard line but fortunately for Ohio State, it was nullified by a penalty.

The Buckeyes are going to have to be better against tougher opponents and Urban Meyer knows it.

"And then we rough a punter, and we have a fourth down (play) we don't make and then we throw a screen and it goes the other way,” he told the media. “In a tight game, you're going to lose."

Unranked team that should be ranked: Baylor Bears (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS)


The Bears had the top offense in the country in 2012 (total yards) and they scored 69 points in a Week 1 blowout over Wofford. What's even more impressive is that their defense, which couldn't stop anyone a season ago, limited the Terriers to just three points.

The Bears have a light schedule through the next two months, with six straight games against unranked teams.

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Posted by THEMUGG
1 year ago

Good to see Washington get some notice, but honestly I think they're ranked where they should be right now. The win vs BSU was impressive but I don't know that this Boise team is as good as past teams. I agree that the Huskies will be a tough out this year, but I'm remaining cautiously optimistic. If they don't blow any winnable games as they have in the past then I'm sure they'll move up.
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Posted by Jesse__Schule
1 year ago

@KINGTGM I hear what you are saying about Nebraska and NIU .. but I'm not feelin' you with the Spartans. They scored the bulk of their points with their defense in Week 1, and they need to be better offensively in order to be worthy of the top 25.
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Posted by KINGTGM
1 year ago

underrated....west kent and n-ill..........overrated....nebraska......should be ranked.....nill and mich st
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Posted by Jesse__Schule
1 year ago

Hi Barry, You make some good points, but let me remind you that I am only saying Baylor should make the top 25, not the top 10. After all, even though they faced an inferior opponent, you couldn't have asked for more than a 69-3 win over a team that lost 24-7 to the Gamecocks less than a year ago. I think you misunderstood the use of the word "impressive", that was comparing the Bear's defense to last year's unit that was one of the worst in the country. It wasn't meant to say that their defense is "impressive" in comparison to other teams.
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Posted by BarryBadr1nath
1 year ago

I played FCS football, and in no way I would try and diminish the success my University has had, but you guys do realize Baylor's "impressive" defense held an FCS school to 3 points? You can't use that game as an example, at minimum, give me a game that involves a smaller school which can draw recruits who can run with the big guys for at least the first half, not carry their opponents pads. 7 FCS schools defeated FBS schools this last weekend, there are other realistic examples throughout the country. No disrespect to Wofford, just trying to spread reality. I just find it ridiculous the praise a big time FBS university is getting for allowing their significantly smaller counterpart to score 3 points. - Barry
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Top Response

Posted by BarryBadr1nath
1 year ago

"I played FCS football, and in no way I would try and diminish the success my University has had, but you guys do realize Baylor's "impressive" defense held an FCS school to 3 points? You can't use that game as an example, at minimum, give me a game ..."