They’ve Earned It Top 10; Week 4

Another enjoyable weekend for college football fans is in the books. ECU loses a tough one on the road. Oregon falls at home. LSU wins a thriller on the road. Ball State gets a win for the MAC over the BCS.

On to the countdown, so remember, it’s who plays and who won. Tradition, expectations, and countless of other useless criteria don’t count.

They’ve Earned It Top 10 Countdown
10. East Carolina
9. LSU
8. Utah
7. USC
6. Alabama
5. BYU
4. Georgia
3. Florida
2. Wake Forest
1. Vanderbilt


  • Only playing two games to date worked against USC
  • Only 3 teams have four D1 wins: Vandy, Bama, & Utah
  • Wake Forest is the only team with three wins over BCS schools
  • Despite one loss, ECU gets love for their accomplishments to date

Next Week’s Pivotal Countdown Games
Besides games with the team in the countdown, the games below are teams on the outside looking in whose outcome influences next week’s countdown.

  • Wisconsin @ Michigan
  • Fresno St @ UCLA
  • Tennessee @ Auburn
  • TCU @ Oklahoma
  • Illinois @ Penn State
  • Va Tech @ Nebraska

Previous Weeks

They’ve Earned It Top 10: Week 3

Sorry about the delay of this feature. This past Sunday, Hurricane Ike remnants blasted much of Ohio with damaging winds knocking out 90% electricity in greater Cincinnati, led alone surrounding rural areas. Unfortunately for us and no fault of theirs, Duke Energy sent many local crews to the Texas coast to help with those devastating efforts. Once the damaged hit us, a limited number of crews can only do so much. Nonetheless, our problems are nothing to those on the coastal region, thus my thoughts and prayers go to everyone their. And thank you Panera for access!


2008 continues to be an interesting season. With only three weeks completed and since I continue to deplore scheduling nonD1 schools, schools playing nonD1 schools to this point is a big negative. Maybe, week 4 will bring some of those schools into the ranking next week ─ but not yet!


Scheduling byes, now common, creates a games-played discrepancy. Fortunately, this will take care of itself as the season progresses.


They’ve Earned It Top 10 Countdown

10. Wake Forest

9. Wisconsin

8. Auburn

7. Utah

6. Alabama

5. Oregon

4. Florida

3. Vanderbilt

2. East Carolina

1. USC  


An editorial: I continue to be appalled with results of the major polls. Pollsters continue to ignore achievements as East Carolina, continue to give huge support to expectations without current results (LSU and Ohio State to name a few), thus continuing to show favoritism. Heck, Florida State is getting many votes for beating not one, but TWO nonD1 schools.

They’ve Earned It Rankings

Week 1 is over and the time has come for one of the most unique rankings in the country. Maybe the only top 10 in the country without LSU, Georgia, Ohio State, or Oklahoma, the They’ve Earned It bottom line is simple: who played and who won. Consider the following.

– Last year doesn’t count
– Nor does the year before that
– Nor any other year
– Traditions don’t count
– Expectations don’t count
– Power Conference membership doesn’t count
– Band program doesn’t count
– Hosting ESPN Game Day doesn’t count
– Storied history doesn’t count
– Home attendance doesn’t count
– Number of times on TV doesn’t count
– National Anthem singers don’t count
– Number of alumni doesn’t count
– Famous mascots don’t count
– Fight and spirit songs don’t count
– Number of press passes doesn’t count
– Played in fabled game doesn’t count
– Hype doesn’t count
– Famous alumni don’t count
– Media market doesn’t count
– Bowl history doesn’t count
– Number of 5-star recruits doesn’t count
– Famous celebs in the stands don’t count
– Amount of school clothing sold doesn’t count
– Past legendary coaches don’t count
– Number of players in the NFL doesn’t count
– Loving or hating Notre Dame doesn’t count
– Preseason predictions don’t count

Personally, I’m tired of soft nonconference schedules, judgments based on expectations, and ranking on past performance. Loading up against the little guys won’t get support here.


They’ve Earned It Top 10 Countdown

10. Arkansas State
9. USC
8. Fresno State
7. Cal
6. Bowling Green
4. Utah
3. Missouri
2. East Carolina
1. Alabama

Many fans don’t get this because they believe rankings should be based on other erroneous factors. Next week’s ranking could be very different. Beating Tulane does not guarantee the Tide the top spot. As the season progresses, conference games will play a big factor, but for now, only week 1 counts.