Once again, Falco and I complete this poll, with very interesting results. We actually mostly agree until #14 USC, with a few exceptions with how we sorted the Iowa-Cincinnati-Boise State crew and our positioning of Pittsburgh as right behind or right in front of Houston. In that way it seems that we are starting to come to a bit of a consensus on the top 25. We can only hope the rest of the country does too.
1) Florida (2)- A beatdown of a bad Georgia team won’t make them the unquestioned best team, but it is good enough to take the #1 spot for now. Nice to see the offense get going, even against a bad defense like Georgia.
2) Alabama- Only coaching lapses allow two blocks to the same player, no matter how good he is. This team should have lost, but they can redeem themselves with a win over LSU.
3) Texas- Alabama should have lost last weekend, and Texas thumped a very talented Oklahoma State team in Stillwater… but Alabama still has a better resume to this point. I badly want to have Texas jump them, and next week will determine that.
4) Cincinnati- Tony who? Cincy is doing just fine with backup QB Zach Collaros so far. They may want their veteran back against UConn and Pitt, talented squads that make up the Bearcats next two contests.
5) Iowa- They have escaped from so many games and had so many last-minute comebacks that if you showed me snapshots from their various games without the final score I would probably put them at the bottom part of the top 25. But a win is a win. And 8 wins count for a lot.
6) Boise State- I am just waiting for the major conference bias to hit and for Oregon to jump Boise State. Without another competitive game on the schedule (Idaho is the only one with a decent record… maybe Nevada too?), the voters will drop them eventually.
7) TCU- Another big win to an overmatched team, but they are still undefeated and on their way to making the BCS’ life very difficult. They better hope Utah keeps winning, as that is the last resume piece left on the slate.
8) Oregon- So much for the Pete Carroll mystique. This team looks great right now, and any other year they are in the top 5. An astounding 7 undefeateds keeps them out.
9) LSU- Quietly, very quietly, sneaking up the polls with just one loss this season. Should they beat Alabama, they could make an Oregon-esque argument as the best one-loss team. Both just have one loss to an undefeated team.
10) Georgia Tech- Forgotten earlier in the season after a loss to Miami, Tech has slowly moved back up the rankings. As I have said in the past, this is the most fun team to watch offensively, though the defense is a concern.
11) Penn State- They started off with a weak schedule, but the Nittany Lions are proving themselves as a very talented team. How good would they be with half decent opponents no one can say, but they can make a huge statement against Ohio State this weekend.
12) Pittsburgh- Has the much maligned Wannstedt finally started to turn around Pitt? They could be the best team in Pennsylvania. I hope they spent some of their bye week getting ready for Notre Dame in a couple weeks.
13) Houston- They can’t stop any decent offense, but they sure can score. Tulsa next week may be their last major test- too bad they already lost to UTEP or they could be right up with TCU and Boise State, though a with a few more flaws.
14) USC- Why is everyone so bullish on this team? I don’t even know that they should even be this high, but this is where they wound up. If you put them in another team’s uniforms, they would be bringing up the rear of the top 25.
15) Miami (FL)- A come-from-behind win against Wake Forest tells me that this team may be shakier than we thought even after the Clemson game. They should be great next season though.
16) Ohio State- Shredding New Mexico State is one thing; we’ll see if Pryor can get going against Penn State’s defense this weekend.
17) Utah- *Yawn* another win over an overmatched team. Then again, Wyoming did win the first half against Texas earlier in the season. I have no idea how good this team is- good enough to only lose by 7 to Oregon or the one that can barely put away cupcakes?
18) Oklahoma State- Way to come back down to Earth. Until the Cowboys can beat a highly ranked team, they will always be looking up at the Texas & Oklahoma programs in the Big 12.
19) Arizona- The loss at Iowa isn’t looking so bad anymore, and Mike Stoops might finally have a season where he outperforms his brother. However, his Wildcats still have Cal, Oregon, and USC to go.
20) California- This is starting to feel about right for them. It’s upsetting that they could only score 6 points in two games against Oregon and USC, or they might be a team on the rise.
21) Virginia Tech- The toast of the ACC has become toast in the ACC. Can it all rest on Tyrod Taylor? I’ll give some of the credit at least to UNC, but this team has suddenly become a real disappointment.
22) Wisconsin- Sneaking into the top 25 is a Big Ten team whose losses to Ohio State and Iowa are nothing to be embarrassed about, and look on their way to 9 or even 10 wins. If they can reach that level, Bret Bielema might not have to hear the omnipresent Barry Alvarez comparisons.
23) Notre Dame- “What the hell is Notre Dame doing here?” “For lack of better options. Nothing more.” If Navy had won this weekend, they would probably be here.
24) BYU- Same as California, though without the major conference schedule but with a marquee win. Take the balance and Oklahoma’s subsequent two losses and you wind u p slightly behind them.
25) Auburn- I went out on a limb and went for Auburn despite them having lost their previous 3 games before beating Ole Miss. However, does this mean we can finally stop seeing Mississippi slide its way into the poll later this year?
Others receiving votes: South Florida