Rivalry week had several disappoinments. Many of the top teams did not play this week, but are gearing up for really big matchups next week and the week after that. Oklahoma destroyed TTU. Which made the later games lackluster. Penn State clinched a BCS bid (Rose). Cincinnati clinched a BCS bid (Orange?). Utah clinched a BCS bid (in all likelyhood). So as some of the picture clears up, other parts of it blur (who is at the top now?)
Here is how I have it this week:
1. Alabama- LW 2- The Tide move up to the top of the poll on an off week. They still have a rivalry game against Auburn. Then against the Gators for a spot in the NC game.
2. Oklahoma- LW 6- The element that was missing for me for the Sooners showed up this week. If their defense can hold as it did against the Red Raiders then their offense will take care of the rest. A running game with Murray and a passing game with Bradford, yikes. Still a test in Stillwater, then the Big 12 Title game.
3. Florida- LW 3- The Gators took care of the Citadel. Luckily they called off the dogs to keep it to just 70 (seriously). They have a rival in Florida State, then Bama.
4. Texas- LW 4- The win against Oklahoma looks very good right now. But Oklahoma is the hotter team and probably has the inside track to the Big 12 title game at this point.
5. University of Southern California- LW 5- USC has a couple of games left with ND and UCLA. They will beat those poor saps. But will Oregon State lose in the Civil War? So USC is either Rose Bowl bound…or Fiesta bound.
6. Pennsylvania State- LW 7- The Lions put it on the Spartans. They stopped Ringer and beat them up on the line of scrimmage. Outside of the Iowa game this team has been pretty impressive (and Iowa has looked good lately).
7. Utah- LW 8- The Utes continue to do what they need to do. They win, and they beat BYU in a tough rivalry game. They put it out of reach at the end of the game, and will be headed to a BCS game. Can they climb higher in the rankings?
8. Texas Tech- LW 1- The Red Raiders looked terrible against Oklahoma. Completely outclassed. They have a couple of marquee wins to keep them high in the rankings. They appeared to quit in the game against Oklahoma which is something that really turns me off to this team.
9. Boise State- LW 9- The Broncos also handled their business. But their shots at a BCS game appear to be dwindling with Ohio State in the clubhouse and Utah ahead of them.
10. Ohio State- LW 10- They beat a hapless Michigan team. Michigan hung around for a while, but big plays turned out to be the difference for the Buckeyes.
11. Oklahoma State- LW 11- The Pokes have a big matchup with Oklahoma. Bedlam will be coming to Stillwater. Are Zac Robinson and the defense ready to compete with Oklahoma?
12. Missouri- LW 12- Their ticket is already punched for the Big 12 Title game in the North. They are waiting for those other teams to sort it out in the South.
13. Georgia- LW 13- The Dawgs still have what looks to be a very tough game against Paul Johnson and the Yellow Jackets. If they win this rivalry game (again) they will most likely be looking at a date in the Capital One Bowl.
14. Ball State- LW 16- The two teams in front of Ball State lose and their impressive win against Central Michigan leaps them up a few spots. Nate Davis is a monster, and can lead this team to an undefeated season. Their reward maybe the Motor City Bowl though (against Big Ten number 6 or whatever it is).
15. Oregon State- LW 17- The Beavs had an impressive win against a feisty Arizona team. The loss of Quiz Rodgers could prove to be big in their finally against Oregon (the Civil War). Can they steal a BCS bid? Still control their fate.
16. Cincinnati- LW 19- The Bearcats beat a solid Pittsburgh team. They let them get back in at the end of the game, but they will mature. They are going to a BCS game by virtue of their Big East title.
17. Georgia Tech- LW UR- Tech absolutely put it to the Canes. They ran all over them. Paul Johnson’s offense appears really dangerous with a few more skill players. Their defense also played very well, which was somewhat overlooked because of their almost 500 yards of rushing.
18. Texas Christian University- LW 20- The Horned Frogs are still rolling along. They have a real chance to jump up and beat someone down in a bowl game.
19. Florida State- LW- UR- The Noles are a team that is tough to figure out. Ponder is a good QB and as he develops the Noles will continue to improve. Their defense is good. The ACC is still confusing…
20. Oregon- LW 24- The Ducks are an impressive team. They don’t have any great wins to really hang their hats on but they continue to run the ball impressively against just about everyone they line up against.
21. Brigham Young University- LW 14- BYU got beat up pretty good by Utah. The rivalry game got out of hand at the end. Max Hall and company are still a solid team.
22. Michigan State- LW 15- They ran into a buzz saw. Penn State was clicking on all cylinders at home. A 9-3 season for the Spartans shows that they are improving under Dantonio. Ringer and co will provide a difficult challenge in a bowl game (Outback maybe).
23. Northwestern- LW 23- The Cats finish the season with 9 wins. This is very impressive. Pat Fitzgerald is a good young coach, and he is rebuilding this program and could win 10 games if they win their bowl game (incredible).
24. Ole Miss- LW UR- The Rebels are making a serious comeback under Nutt. Snead is a very good QB who had a great game against LSU. They are steadily improving and can hang their hat on the win against Florida especially.
25. Boston College- LW UR- BC is another good team in the ACC. They still have a shot if they continue to win. They can win out and still be in the ACC title game.
On the cusp: VT, Pitt, Iowa, Western Michigan, Miami FL, West Virginia, UNC
Dropped out of the rankings: Pitt (19), Miami (21), LSU (22), Maryland (25)
POW: Pat White, QB/RB WVU: Pat White ran for 200 yards on 21 carries. He scored 3 times on the ground. In the process he became the all-time leader rusher for a QB (4,00 yards or something ridiculous). He also completed 6 passes in 11 attempts for 122 and 2 TDs. Pretty impressive day, and career for the kid.