1. USC- USC is very good but after watching them the last two weeks, I am no longer convinced that they have the best offense of all-time. They might have the deepest offense as far as playmakers go, but the Florida and Nebraska teams didn’t struggle for whole halves like the Trojans have. Also, Leinart will not win the Heisman this year.
2. Texas- I thought the winner of the Texas/Ohio St. game would make it to the Rose Bowl and it sure looks like that’ll be the case. Oklahoma is terrible. Texas Tech is overrated. The Big XII is not good. Texas should cakewalk to Pasadena.
3. Ohio St- Believe it or not, Ohio St.’s best chance of making it to the Rose Bowl is for USC to lose, not Texas. USC still has to play California, Notre Dame, Fresno St., and UCLA. I don’t think USC will lose any of those games but there’s a better chance of that happening than Texas losing.
4. Va. Tech- Va. Tech has been typical Va. Tech. They’ve always played well in every facet of the game. They’ll have a tough time going undefeated with the addition of the ACC Championship game.
5. Georgia- The SEC is very strong but before last week, it has been tough to tell these teams apart. It’s still not easy but it appears that the two best teams are Georgia and Alabma. The SEC is being dominated by defense right now
which means any team with a semblance of offense can thrive.
6. Alabama- The whoopin’ that ‘Bama put on Florida reminded me of the 1999 season when the Tide did the exact same thing in dominating a highly-ranked Florida team in the SEC Championship game. Amazingly, that was the last time these two teams played. Everyone knew Alabama had a good defense but Brodie Croyle has put this team on a new level with improved play. Alabama has a lot of talent on offense.
7. Florida St.- Florida St. has two quality wins over Miami and Boston College but Florida St. hasn’t been dominating or overly impressive. They are number seven by default because there just aren’t that many good teams this year.
8. Miami- I can’t rationalize ranking Miami anywhere other than one spot behind FSU. These two teams are mirror images of each other. FSU won so they get the higher ranking.
9. Tennessee- I have to rank Tennessee ahead of LSU because Tennessee beat LSU. Even though the Vols lost to Florida, the Gators were blown out by Alabma. We’re getting to the point where head to head match-ups aren’t everything in determining a ranking.
10. LSU- The Arizona St. win was very impressive but Les Miles deflated their season by bringing his Michigan “sit on the ball with the lead” approach. LSU has a lot of talent but as I suspected, there has been a big drop off from Nick Saban to Les Miles.
11. California- Joseph Ayoob has looked terrible at times but Cal has been impressive in the final score in every game this season. Ayoob needs to bring his best game against USC for Cal to have a chance. I can’t rationalize ranking Cal any higher since they haven’t beaten anyone.
12. Arizona St- Losing to USC and LSU isn’t any reason to hold your head down. ASU really could’ve won both games. The fact is that they just ran into two teams that are better than they are. ASU is still very good.
13. Notre Dame- I’d like to thank the Irish for officially disposing of the Purdue hype train that had no business existing in the first place. Purdue was a trendy pick to win the Big Ten because they didn’t play OSU and Michigan. As a result, many voters had Purdue ranked high based on expected outcome from a weak Big Ten schedule. Apparently the fact that Purdue isn’t a very good football team shouldn’t be factored into the rankings.
14. Florida- It might have been asking too much for Urban Meyer to get offensive results in his first season in Gainesville. I took him an 8-5 season in Utah before the fireworks started. Florida is good but they will struggle on offense against good defenses. That’s not good news in the SEC.
15. Wisconsin- Wisconsin has a more impressive resume than people realize. They beat Michigan, N. Carolina, and Bowling Green. That’s a huge step up from Wisconsin’s typical resume of Wisconsin A&M and Minnesota Tech.
16. Michigan St- The Notre Dame/Michigan St./Michigan troika is a difficult group to rank but there goes….. Notre Dame beat Michigan at Michigan. Michigan beat Michigan St. at Michigan St. Michigan St. beat Notre Dame at Notre Dame. So, they’re all tied as far as head to head match-ups. However, Michigan has two losses and has beaten two MAC teams. Michigan St. has one loss in OT. Thus, it goes Notre Dame, Michigan St., then Michigan.
17. Michigan- See Above for explanation.
18. UCLA- Karl Dorrell has something going in southern California. UCLA has been very impressive on offense. They almost beat USC last season which should give them some confidence going into this year’s match-up. As I see it now, UCLA is the fourth best team in the Pac-10 but they’ll have a chance to prove me wrong in the coming weeks.
19. Auburn- Auburn has been dominating teams since their opening loss to Ga. Tech. The problem is that they haven’t played anyone good. We’ll learn a lot more about Auburn in the near future.
20. Louisville- Something tells me that if Louisville played S. Florida ten times, they would blow them out nine times. But, S. Florida crushed Louisville and that doesn’t look good. The Cardinals were basically given an undefeated season as long as they didn’t screw up. Bummer.
21. Boston College- BC is a decent team. I can’t really say much more since they haven’t been overly impressive and their starting quarterback is injured.
22. Penn St- Now this is the Penn St. program that we’ve been missing over the last few years. Building a resume by pounding on terrible teams has been Penn St.’s model for years and now they’re back doing what they do best. They are in for a rude awakening against Ohio St. this weekend.
23. Texas Tech- Personally, I have a hard time ranking Texas Tech at all. They’re resume is embarrassing. Seriously.
24. Oregon- Oregon might be much better than this. They dominated USC for a half and beat a very good Fresno St. team. If they’re better than this, it’ll show up in the next few weeks.
25. Minnesota- Minnesota had a bad game against Penn St. If anyone doesn’t think that the Gophers are one of the best 25 teams in college football, then they haven’t been paying attention. Minnesota beat Alabama last season and beat Purdue last week. Minnesota isn’t a dominating team so they aren’t going to win every week but their running game is among the best in college football.
Next three teams: Nebraska, Fresno St., and Ga. Tech