After the third straight No. 1-ranked team fell on the road to a conference rival, you sort of hate to rank either Oregon or Auburn number one. Both have road games against more-or-less competitive teams from within their conferences (USC Trojans and Ole Miss Rebels, respectively) next week. But there's really no argument against these two teams being the best of the bunch at this point. The only question is whether you prefer resumes or style points.
Auburn has the nation's best collection of pelts. They had the second best until yesterday, when they beat previous title-holder LSU. Official polls will certainly include a team or two in the top five whose conquests literally aren't half as impressive as Auburn's. I'd take Auburn's six best wins over the top three wins of any two teams in the country.
The combined six best wins of Michigan State and Oregon, for instance: Wisconsin, Stanford, Michigan, Arizona State, Northwestern, and UCLA. Does that top what Auburn's done? No. We'll see if they can keep it rolling, with Alabama and quite possibly South Carolina, Georgia, or Florida on the horizon, but for now there's no question. Auburn has beaten the best collection of teams in football.
The resume top five, listing each team's noteworthy victims:
- Auburn Tigers: LSU Tigers, South Carolina Gamecocks, Arkansas Razorbacks, Clemson Tigers, Mississippi State Bulldogs, Kentucky Wildcats
- Michigan State Spartans: Wisconsin Badgers, Michigan Wolverines, Northwestern Wildcats, Illinois Fighting Illini, Notre Dame Fighting Irish
- LSU Tigers: Mississippi State Bulldogs, Florida Gators, North Carolina Tar Heels, West Virginia Mountaineers, Tennessee Volunteers, Vanderbilt Commodores (minus a loss to Auburn)
- Oregon Ducks: Stanford Cardinal, Arizona State Sun Devils, UCLA Bruins, Tennessee Volunteers
- Alabama Crimson Tide: Arkansas, Florida, Penn State Nittany Lions, Tennessee, (minus a loss to South Carolina)