When you take the quality of opposition into account there is little argument that through nine weeks of the season one team should stand above the rest because of not only what it has accomplished on the field, but who it was against.
There is no question that at the moment Oregon is putting up ridiculous numbers on offense while its defensive numbers are solid. When you delve a little deeper though the numbers begin to look less and less imposing. This season the Ducks face seven teams that are worse than 70th in the total offense rankings in the country out of 11 BCS opponents in the regular season. Oregon has already played four games against teams ranked 89th or lower in total offense this season.
They will also face seven teams that are 70th or worse in total defense, and have already played five games against teams ranked 87th or below. Oregon's 11 opponents have an average rating of 63 in total offense and 73.6 in total defense at this point in the season. Oregon's seven BCS opponents to this point have a combined record of 22-35 with Washington (3-5), California (4-4), Arizona (7-1) and Oregon State (4-3) still on the schedule.
The Auburn Tigers face just three teams that are currently ranked 70th or worse in total offense (Clemson 82, ULM 86, LSU 101). The Tigers also face just two teams that are 70 or worse in total defense, (ULM 77, Ole Miss 81). The Rebels are the lowest rated defense Auburn will face this season. Oregon will face seven teams that are ranked lower than Ole Miss in total defense and have already played five of those teams in its first eight games as well as a game against a 2-6 Portland team from the FCS.
Auburn's 11 BCS opponents currently average a ranking 53.09 in total offense and 38.7 in total defense. The Tigers' nine opponents this season have a combined record of 46-30 with BCS teams Georgia (4-5) and Alabama (7-1) still on the schedule along with FCS opponent Chattanooga this weekend for Homecoming.
This season TCU will play six teams that are currently ranked 70th or lower in the total offense rankings in the country. The Horned Frogs also face six teams currently ranked 70th or lower in total defense in 2010. In fact, the Horned Frogs have not played a game this season against a total defense ranked better than 62 (SMU) in this week's standings.
TCU's 11 BCS opponents average 65.27 in total offense and 75.81 in total defense this season. TCU's opponents to this point have a combined record of 30-38. Utah (8-0), San Diego State (6-2) and New Mexico (0-8) remain on the schedule.
Boise State will face six teams that are 70 or below in total offense this season and an incredible eight of the Broncos' 12 opponents this season have a defense that is rated lower than 70th in the nation in total yards allowed. What is more amazing is that Boise State will face five teams currently ranked 107th or lower in total defense in the national stats. In their first seven games the Broncos have faced just one defense (Virginia Tech, 33) better than 56th in the country and five that are 94th or lower in total yards allowed this season.
BSU's opponents average 65 in total offense at the moment while the defensive number is a staggering 80 average. Auburn only faces one team (Ole Miss at 81) lower than the average for Boise State this season. Boise State's seven opponents to this point in the season have a combined record of 24-34 with games against Hawaii (7-2), Idaho (4-4), Fresno State (5-2), Nevada (7-1), and Utah State (2-6) still remaining.
Utah's schedule isn't very challenging despite playing Pittsburgh in the season opener as well as TCU. Notre Dame wasn't much help to the schedule this season with its struggles, leaving Utah with seven games against teams ranked 70 or below in both total offense and total defense this season.
In its first eight games Utah has faced five teams with total offense rankings of 98 or worse and six teams with a total defense ranked 93rd or lower. Their 12 opponents average 76.83 in total offense and just 74.83 in total defense. Utah's opponents to this point have a combined record of just 22-47. TCU (9-0), Notre Dame (4-5), San Diego State (6-2), and BYU (3-5) remain on the schedule.
Much like the defenders of schools such as Boise State, TCU and Utah say that you can't know how those teams would react to playing in a conference like the SEC, you also can't discount what Auburn has accomplished to this point either. While the numbers on defense don't measure up to the other four at the moment neither does the schedule.
In the end if Auburn takes care of business the Tigers will have a chance to play for the BCS Championship. For people to be pushing for TCU, Boise State, Utah and even Oregon based on what they've done to this point as the No. 1 team in the country, it just doesn't add up. One or more may very well wind up being a better team than Auburn, but at this point that's an argument that just doesn't hold water.