USC walks into the belly of the beast, slays Ohio State with a dramatic game-winning drive and picks up two first-place votes in the coaches’ poll. One in AP.
Obviously, Florida is still the overwhelming No. 1 in both polls but I’m already starting to wonder what it would take to pass the Gators if they keep winning. The two teams below them are from different conferences (Texas, USC) and don’t play each other. No. 4 Alabama doesn’t play Florida in the regular season.
At first glance, Florida looks safe. It has 56 of the 60 first-place votes in the AP poll and 56 of the 59 votes on the coaches’ poll. Those numbers didn't change after the Gators mopped The Swamp with Troy, 56-6.
The other teams getting first-place votes are Texas (one in AP), USC (a combined four) and Alabama (two in AP).
The rest of the way Florida plays only two teams that are currently ranked (LSU and Georgia). Same for Alabama (Ole Miss, LSU). Texas faces five ranked teams (Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Missouri, Oklahoma State and Kansas). USC plays one (Cal, Oregon State).
Alabama had a similar lead at No. 1 before it lost to Florida in last year’s SEC title game. The Tide had 58 of the 61 first-place votes going in. After Bama lost and Oklahoma and Florida won their championship games, the final regular-season coaches’ poll was the closest in the BCS era.
Oklahoma (31 first-place votes, 1,482 points) ended up one point ahead of Florida (26 first-place votes, 1,481 points). Third-place Texas had four and 1,408.
Just for grins, I figured up the top six final regular-season first-place vote getters since 2004:
1. USC, 90 1/3 points
2. Ohio State, 62
3. Oklahoma, 49 1/3
4. Florida, 26
5. LSU, Texas, 11
6. Auburn, 9 1/3
But this is about BYU. The Cougs need FSU to win as often as possible, aside from this week when the Noles go to Provo. If FSU somehow gets back into the polls, BYU could make a more solid case for playing for the national championship. If it goes undefeated, it would have beaten four ranked teams (Oklahoma, Florida State, TCU and Utah).
If you’re wondering where this going consider that total would be more than Florida, LSU or USC.• If the BCS championship game were played today, it would be USC vs. Alabama according to our old friend Jerry Palm. Check out the most accurate BCS projections and collegebcs.com.
• Live by the pass, die by the pass: SMU’s nine interceptions lead the country but it has thrown four interceptions which ties for third-most nationally ... Notre Dame's Jimmy Clausen has thrown the most passes this season without an interception, 76 ... Purdue is home of the leading rusher (Ralph Bolden) and the quarterback who is tied for No. 1 in interceptions. Joey Elliott is tied Tennessee's Jonathan Crompton. Each have six.
The right-now, no-hype, no-b.s., not-what-they-did last year Heisman rankings for this week
Case Keenum, Houston: When he lost his coach (Art Briles who went to Baylor) everyone thought Keenum would go in the tank, or transfer. He bonded immediately with second-year coach Kevin Sumlin who might make him a Heisman finalist. Keenum threw for 366 yards against Oklahoma State as the Cougars beat a top-five team for the first time in 25 years.
Tim Tebow, Florida: Four passing touchdowns and one rushing in the rain against Troy add to the legend.
Colt McCoy, Texas: Three passing touchdowns against Wyoming in Texas’ 15th consecutive non-conference win. That ties a school record.
Max Hall, BYU: A week after beating Oklahoma, Hall gets a rocking-chair game against Tulane. Led the Cougars to scores in seven of eight possessions.
Dion Lewis, Pittsburgh: A workhorse freshman who is averaging 7.4 yards per carry.