Week 10 was not too eventful at the top of the rankings, but there were some interesting developments. Oregon’s defense was finally exposed. The Tide got tested. Colin Klein got injured and the team still won fairly big. Notre Dame escaped with an ugly win against Pitt. The SEC’s mid-level teams struggled with average non-AQ teams. Boise lost at home for the 4th time since 2000. It was a surprising and interesting week. Welcome to college football in November! Oh, and remember that time when Arizona was ranked? Good times.
Others receiving votes: Boise State, Nevada, South Carolina, TCU, Texas Tech
Dropped from the rankings: Boise State (10), Texas Tech (19), West Virginia (25)
25. (NR) Washington (5-4) – How many teams can say have multiple top 10 wins? Forget the SEC West. The Pac-12 North is the class of college football.
24. (24) Toledo (8-1) – A bye week finally came for the potent offense, but not too serious of a bye. They play Tuesday night against scrappy Ball State.
23. (23) Rutgers (7-1) – They need to stay focused so that season finale against Louisville means something.
22. (14) Mississippi State (7-2) – They have now has two big losses in a row. But they were to arguably the two toughest matchups in the conference. One more loss and they may completely unravel.
21. (21) USC (6-3) – They performed admirably on offense and dreadfully on defense. Not surprising.
20. (NR) Texas (7-2) – I thought this team was dead, but that win in Lubbock is impressive.
19. (22) Oklahoma (6-2) – Their last four games are among the best offenses in the country. We will see how that defense holds. The bye week could not have come at a better time.
18. (18) Nebraska (7-2) – A nice, ugly, squeaked-out road win is exactly what this team needed. They have no cushion in the division…that is until Michigan loses to the Buckeyes.
17. (NR) UCLA (7-2) – Their win against Nebraska is looking better, but I still cannot completely take them seriously until I figure out that loss to Cal.
16. (11) LSU (7-2) – They showed some fight against Bama, but the whole time it just felt like a fluke. I wouldn’t be surprised if they lose one more before the postseason.
15. (20) Northern Illinois (9-1) – Jordan Lynch and company continue their dominance of the MAC.
14. (17) Louisiana Tech (8-1) – How amazing would a LT-NIU Famous Idaho Potato Bowl be to kick off the bowl season? Forget last year’s Alamo Bowl. These teams could go for 80 apiece!
13. (16) Texas A&M (7-2) – This offense is going to be an interesting match against the Tide, who just finished their first real physical game of the year. Upset alert?
12. (16) Stanford (7-2) – The Cardinal are the real darkhorse in the Pac. Eventually they will be able to close out a game against Oregon. Is it this year? Their defense is stout and not like any the Ducks have faced so far.
11. (8) Florida (8-1) – Struggling against Missouri is not what the Gators needed. Questions about that offense are beginning to arise, as well as their tackling ability on defense.
10. (12) Clemson (8-1) – This team is looking at an at-large bid if they win out.
9. (13) Oregon State (7-1) – They had a really nice win against ASU last night, and they seem to have found their best option at QB. No one wants to play this team.
8. (9) Louisville (9-0) – Teddy Bridgewater is the real deal. This team is going to have quite the showdown with the dominant defense in the conference Rutgers to close the season.
7. (7) Georgia (8-1) – Their defense is still beyond suspect, but take away that horrid first quarter against the Gamecocks, and this team is likely undefeated.
6. (5) Florida State (8-1) – The week off will help them refocus and lock up that ACC Championship Game appearance.
5. (6) Ohio State (10-0) – There is almost no chance they lose this season. So if they were eligible, would they be number 2 in the polls? I kinda think so…
4. (4) Notre Dame (9-0) – They are one win away from an automatic BCS Bowl bid. I hate that rule. Eventually, though, these ugly wins are just going to be wins. Ask 2010 Auburn.
3. (3) Oregon (9-0) – Wow, did you see that “improved” Duck defense?! They aren’t the same Ducks as the past couple years! Oh, wait…
2. (2) Kansas State (9-0) – Even when Klein got injured, they still looked like they were in control, despite only scoring 6 points during that span. The Wildcat defense is stronger than anyone thinks.
1. (1) Alabama (9-0) – They survived a scare and barring a huge upset by Texas A&M in Tuscaloosa, the Tide will roll to the Championship.
Heisman Trophy Watch
This race is shaping up great. The five main candidates are from different conferences. Hopefully, however, the voters will not be biased and vote for the best player, like last year when RG3 even had the majority of SEC-country’s votes. Here is how the obvious top 5 rank right now:
5. Braxton Miller, QB, Ohio State – He is going to lead his team to one of the easiest unbeaten seasons ever. His rushing and passing are both vastly improved from last year. It is scary to think what he could do as a junior and senior under Urban Meyer.
4. AJ McCarron, QB, Alabama – He led the game-winning TD drive in a matchup of top 5 teams. Heisman moment, anyone?
3. Manti Te’o, LB, Notre Dame – He had a quiet game in Notre Dame’s struggle against Pitt. But he is still the best player on the team. How often are all the candidates on unbeaten teams?
2. Kenjon Barner, RB, Oregon – He finally showed what his stats look like when he needs more than 15 carries. 300+ rushing yards and 5 TDs. Most of those yards were before contact, so it is probably mostly the O-line, but those numbers are just sick. That is normally enough to get votes. Just ask Monte Ball.
1. Colin Klein, QB, Kansas State – If he is not too seriously injured and has a solid last few games (and goes 12-0), then he should coast to the win.
Rose Bowl – Nebraska (Big Ten) over Oregon State (At-large)
Orange Bowl – Florida State (ACC) over Rutgers (Big East)
Sugar Bowl – LSU (At-large) over Notre Dame (At-large)
Fiesta Bowl – Kansas State (Big 12) over Clemson (At-large)
BCS Title Game – Alabama (SEC) over Oregon (Pac-12)
What do you think? Give me your rankings in the comments!