University of Colorado Buffs in top 10 in AP college football poll

University of Colorado Buffs in top 10 in AP college football poll
Posted at 7:50 PM, Nov 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-21 21:50:48-05

A mere two seasons ago, suggesting the Big Ten was the best conference in college football would have been difficult to support — probably even laughable.

Now, you'll get a stink from SEC fans on the argument, but at least there is something to back up to the boast.

The Big Ten placed three teams in the top five of the Top 25 for the first time since 1960 on Sunday. Alabama is No. 1, as has been the case all season, followed by No. 2 Ohio State and No. 3 Michigan. The rivals will meet in Columbus, Ohio, on Saturday.

Clemson is fourth, and then Wisconsin gives the Big Ten three of five at the top for the first since in 56 years. Throw in No. 8 Penn State, and the Big Ten has 40 percent of the top 10.

Of course, rankings are not necessarily the best way to judge the strength of a conference, and fans probably spend too much time debating which conference is best anyway.

Heat check reminds everyone it is about teams not conferences. Let's see how the voters did in ranking the teams.

No. 1 Alabama (11-0)
Nick Saban was mad Saturday, which is usually bad news for the Tide's next opponent.
Next: No. 16 Auburn.
Heat check: Just right.

No. 2 Ohio State (10-1)
Buckeyes QB J.T. Barrett has his limitations, but few quarterbacks do a better job protecting the ball. Among Power Five quarterbacks with more than 300 pass attempts, Barrett's interception percentage of 1.3 (four in 314 attempts) is third best.
Next: No. 3 Michigan.
Heat check: Just right.

No. 3 Michigan (10-1)
What worked against Indiana for the Wolverines' offense with a backup quarterback probably won't work against the Buckeyes in Columbus.
Next: at No. 2 Ohio State.
Heat check: Too hot.

No. 4 Clemson (10-1)
The running game has been conspicuously absent from Deshaun Watson's play this season. Could it be what's missing from a red-zone offense that has underperformed?
Next: South Carolina.
Heat check: Too cold.

No. 5 Wisconsin (9-2)
The Badgers are getting a lot of credit for almost beating Ohio State and Michigan.
Next: Minnesota.
Heat check: Too hot.

No. 6 Washington (10-1)
The Huskies bounced back big against Arizona State — no surprise. Their argument is dominance because they are still light on marquee victories.
Next: at No. 23 Washington State, Friday.
Heat check: Too cold.

No. 7 Oklahoma (9-2)
The offense is so good. The defense is pretty bad.
Next: No. 10 Oklahoma State, Saturday, Dec. 3.
Heat check: Too hot.

No. 8 Penn State (9-2)
Rutgers was easy. The Spartans will pose a real challenge to Penn State's banged up offensive line.
Next: Michigan State
Heat check: Too hot.

No. 9 Colorado (9-2)
The Buffs' six-game improvement over last year's Pac-12 win total (from one to seven) is the best in the history of the conference.
Next: No. 21 Utah.
Heat check: Too hot.

No. 10 Oklahoma State (9-2)
Even if the Cowboys had only one loss, like they say they do, they're still not particularly impressive.
Next: at No. 8 Oklahoma, Saturday, Dec. 3.
Heat check: Too hot.