Yes, I ranked Texas A&M very high after Week 1 again. No, I’m not overreacting.
A little background. Last year, like most of College Football America, I ranked the Aggies high in my poll after they beat South Carolina 52-28 in the season opener. I, again like several other people, put them at the top of my Associated Press Top 25 going into the second week of the season.
When the Aggies turned out to be paper tigers, there was much self flagellation over how we’d all overreacted and were silly to have ranked A&M that high, but I firmly disagree. What should we have done? At that point in the season, the Aggies were the most impressive team in the nation. The poll is not supposed to be based on last year’s team, and only the preseason rankings should be based on what voters THINK. The rest of the season, voters should vote on what they SEE.
And I saw an unranked Texas A&M team on Saturday that looked pretty salty in beating then-No. 15 Arizona State 38-17. So the Aggies are No. 2 on the ballot I submitted today. (Ohio State looks unfriendly.) If they fade down the stretch again, I’ll drop them like a stone, but at the moment Texas A&M looks like the second-best team in the country to me, and that’s not overreacting.
(P.S. This same argument holds true for Kenny Hill as the Heisman Trophy frontrunner after Week 1 last year. He clearly was at that moment.)
As for the Gamecocks, I didn’t add them to my poll this week despite a 17-13 win over North Carolina. There was a lot of good (first and foremost the win) and some not so good, and I’m going to need to see more from South Carolina before I put them in my poll. Here’s the whole thing if you’re interested:
1. Ohio State
2. Texas A&M
6. Florida State
7. Notre Dame
11. Ole Miss
12. Michigan State
13. Georgia Tech
15. Southern Cal
19. Boise State
25. Arizona State