Intensity Index: The getting real intense with a breakdown.
TIER A: Off the Reservation
1) Ohio State
Analysis: These two hard scrabble teams have yet to be challenged all year and both have killed two top ten teams on the road. I could see Ohio State being ranked higher because they've been demolishing foes lately while Michigan has just been merely handling them. Tough to ignore the best defense in the country, though.
TIER B: SEC Power
Analysis: All three of these teams have huge wins this year, and have yet be crushed by an opponent in their one loss. Tennessee's drubbing of a sprightly Cal team (THE INDEX LOVES BIG NON-CONFERENCE WINS) and just barely losing to Florida puts them on top. It's awful tough to separate Florida and Auburn. But Auburn's loss was a beat down and it came at home. Florida, on the other hand, came up just short on the road in Auburn. These are three great teams playing in a hellacious conference. We'll see what Tennessee is really made of when they play LSU at home next week.
TIER C: Viable Contenders
Analysis: All of these teams are having fine seasons, but each one has some warts. Texas got crushed by OSU at home and barely escaped with a couple of wins against Nebraska and Texas Tech. Cal has been playing great ball lately, but got drubbed by Tennessee at the start of the season. USC has looked shoddy in a number of games and just got nipped by a mediocre Oregon State team. They did destroy Arkansas and Nebraska though, two big NONCONFERENCE wins. Louisville has a great D, and they would be higher if they didn't almost give one away on the road against Cincinnati. And Arkansas killed Auburn but has beaten zero quality opponents otherwise. And they did get crushed by USC.
TIER D: I shoulda been a contender
11) Notre Dame
12) West Virginia
15) Boston College
Analysis: The Irish sure started off strong with wins over Georgia Tech and Penn State (two teams just outside of the index). But their competition since then has been laughable. They should have lost to UCLA (a bad team) and Michigan State (one of the country's worst). All their other wins have been jokes. West Virginia has been dominating crappy teams; somewhat impressive that they demolished Maryland, though. Oklahoma should only have one loss, and that loss they got handled by Texas - just had a decent win at Missouri - could be for real. LSU has NO good wins. But, they did play two great SEC teams pretty tight in their loses. Boston College has beat Clemson, Florida State, and on the road against Virginia Tech. Not a bad trio of wins - but shouldn't have let NC State hang around to beat them. Wisconsin hasn't beat a good team and struggled last week against a shit Illinois team. Rutgers is basically the same story as West Virginia, but they didn't attempt to play ANY decent out of conference team, and they haven't been as dominant as Louisville or West Virginia agains the mediocre opposition.
TIER E: A Little Feisty
19) Texas A & M
20) Boise State
Analysis: Clemson looked awful frisky pouncing on Georgia Tech two weeks ago. And, honestly, losing to Boston College and Virginia Tech on the road are forgivable sins. Texas A & M has been playing good ball lately. And, Boise State has done nothing to really deserve being intense, except for beat the holy hell out of Oregon State, who turned around and beat USC. So, finally, they have something that comes close to approaching a quality win, and they are undefeated.