Here is my Top 25 for this week. Lots of great action resulting in a lot of movement within my top 25. It seems each week whoever is in the top 20-25 acts like they don't want to be there and manage to go out and lose the next week. We'll try it again with some newcomers this time.
As always - comments and criticism welcome. Have at it.
1. ALABAMA: Prev. 1 - I saw this team tested like they haven't been tested this season and they responded and found a way to rally and win. That is the mark of a championship caliber team. Add to that, the hostile environment and all the distractions regarding Saban's return, and I was very impressed by Alabama's focus and toughness. They earned my vote for the top spot for another week.
2. TEXAS TECH: Prev. 2 - The Red Raiders are one impressive team! If you plan to beat them, you'd better bring your 50 point offense with you - and even that might not be enough. Their defense, although overshadowed by my Heisman pick Harrell and the offense, is rough and tumble too and very under-rated. I can't wait for the showdown with Oklahoma.
3. FLORIDA: Prev. 4 - This team is playing as well as anyone right now. I don't see them having any problems winning out against South Carolina, The Citidel and arch rival Florida State. The Gators just have too many weapons. With Tim Tebow into the mix and this team could very easily compete for the National Championship.
4. TEXAS: Prev. 5 - The Longhorns are one easy basket catch of an interception away from still being #1 and garnering everyone's vote for national champion. While a loss is still a loss, this is one impressive 1 loss team who is deserving of a BCS bowl bid. I doubt anyone would be too thrilled to have to face them in it either.
5.OKLAHOMA: Prev. 6 - The Sooners have been playing as well as anyone of late but it's now their turn to face the Big 12 gauntlet with Texas Tech up next and then the regular season finale at Oklahoma State. If they win out, it is going to thrown the Big 12 into a full blown dust storm to see which two teams get the BCS bids.
6.USC: Prev. 7 - The Trojans keep winning but not all that impressivly in two of their last three games - all against marginal PAC 10 opponents. The PAC 10 is very weak this year and is below .500 against non-BCS opponents and the Trojans are not looking overpowering right now in a very weak league.
7. PENN STATE: Prev. 3 - The Nittany Lions walked into a Hawkeye trap yesterday and paid the price. I still think PSU is a strong team and the class of the Big 10 so a road loss in a tough stadium environment didn't penalize them too much.
8. BOISE STATE: Prev. 9 - The Broncos keep on winning in their conference and don't appear to have any serious hurdles to climb until their season finale against Fresno State. Finishing the regular season 12-0 looks like a real possibility for them. Can you say BCS buster?
9. UTAH: Prev. 10 - The Utes survived a real scare from TCU, winning in the last minute of play. That's what championship teams do - find ways to win. The road doesn't get any easier for them (after San Diego State) as they close the regular season at home against BYU. Could the non-BCS teams get a second team in? Surely if Boise State stubs their toe, the Utes are more than capable of stepping in.
10. MISSOURI: Prev. 12 - Despite their losses to Oklahoma State Texas, Missouri is showing they are still an outstanding team. With Chase Daniel as QB, you can never count the Tigers out. When they win, they do so impressively. No shame in their two losses and should finish the season a very strong 10-2.
11. OKLAHOMA STATE: Prev. 8 - While the Cowboys took it on the chin to Texas Tech, what it shows is the strength of the Big 12 conference. OK State still has one of the most potent offences in the country led by a very good QB in Zac Robinson. The season finale against Oklahoma should be a fun one to watch and if the Cowboys prevail, they will end the regular season 10-2. Doing that in that conference earns you top 10 honors.
12. OHIO STATE: Prev. 13 - The Buckeyes are improving each week and appear to be peaking at just the right time. It's not coincidence this improvement is taking place at the very time Freshman Terrelle Pryor is coming into his own as a dual threat quarterback. His mobility and running ability was never in question but he is now showing a potent and accurate arm. Insert a healthy Beanie Wells and a stout defense and these Buckeyes are a formidable force.
13. GEORGIA: Prev. 14 - Well, it took a herculian effort to avoid a road loss to a good Kentucky team but the Dawgs pulled it out. Matt Stafford is a quality QB and you can never count out the Bulldogs while he is leading the team. Looks like a 10-2 regular season finish for them as well.
14. BYU: Prev. 16 - The Cougars appear to be a solid one loss team and their blowout of San Diego State did nothing to dispel that. They have two very tough foes on the road to close out the season though that will no doubt test them. Air Force could be a trap game for them, especially if they are looking ahead to their big game with Utah.
15.MICHIGAN STATE: Prev. 18 - You can't count out a team with Javon Ringer on it. The Spartans dispatched with Purdue to run their record to 9-2 going into their final regular season game on the road at Penn State. That will be a tough one for the Spartans but they have solidified their spot as the 3rd best team in the Big 10 this season.
16. NORTH CAROLINA: Prev. 20 - The Tar Heels easily routed a decent Georgia Tech team serving notice they are fully on track and looking to close out their season in a strong way. With a tough road game coming up against Maryland, it won't be easy.
17. PITTSBURGH: Prev. UR - The Panthers have been a bit up and down of late which explains their appearance, disappearance, and reappearance in my top 25. An impressive road win at Notre Dame (it's always impressive when you can win there) and a blowout of Louisville indicate maybe they are ready to show some consistency. It won't take long to find out as they go on the road next to Cincinnati.
18. CINCINNATI: Prev. UR - The Bearcats have been flirting with notoriety most of the season but an impressive road win against BE leader West Virginia was just the ticket to give them a big boost into my poll. This might be the surprise team in the BCS bowls. Whoda thunk it. They still have to prove themselves though including an upcoming matchup with aforementioned Panthers.
19. FLORIDA STATE: Prev. UR - The Seminoles righted the ship yesterday defeating Clemson but have a rough stretch to finish the season with BC, Maryland on the road and Florida. If they end up winning the ACC, they certainly will have to earn it the hard way.
20. LSU: Prev. 17 - Hey, when you push the number 1 team in the nation into overtime and lose, you don't fall far in my poll. The Tigers looked impressively and played with that swager and intensity they are known for. 4th best in the tough SEC is nothing to be ashamed of.
21. TCU: Prev. 11 - The Horny Toads came within an eyelash of toppling undefeated Utah, who pulled out a home victory in the last seconds. That's how close TCU was to possibly earning a BCS bowl berth. As it is, they are an impressive team with a great defense and sure to attract a big bowl game as a member of the impressive MWC.
22. OREGON STATE: Prev. UR - Welcome the Beavers to the Top 25. With only one loss in the conference and the only team to defeat USC, they deserve a shot to see if they can stay in the precarious Top 20-25 slots. They had better bring their "A" game though because they have 3 tough games to close out the season - Cal, Arizona and Oregon.
23. CALIFORNIA: Prev. 23 - The Bears played USC tough and had a few calls go against them or who knows what might have happened. The Bears remain in the same spot as last week despite losing. Not so much of their strength but everyone around them lost and I still think Cal is a top 25 team.
24. TULSA: Prev. 24 - The Golden Hurricane have had a week off to lick their wounds from their first loss of the season against Arkansas. Look for them to get well quickly against a weak Houston team.
25. OREGON: Prev. UR - The Ducks seem to be able to handle any unranked team they encounter but struggle against top competition. Their 3 losses have been to Cal, USC and Boise State. Maybe that's why they've been in and out of my top 25 so many times I'm getting dizzy. Well, I'll try them one more time.