Here’s my Top 25 in advance of the polls. Nothing too crazy here.
1. USC (1) – A game, bye week. A game, bye week. Only thing stopping the Trojans from winning right now is their schedule.
2. Georgia (2) – A questionable No. 2 coming into the week, the Bulldogs reinforced their credentials with a big win at Arizona State.
3. Oklahoma (3) – Sooners take a break from kicking everyone’s butt. The nation is thankful.
4. Florida (4) – The Gators made Tennessee look real bad – in front of Upland QB Josh Nunes, who was taking his official visit. Hope Florida didn’t ruin his weekend.
5. Missouri (5) – I was tempted to give this to LSU after the Tigers’ win at Auburn, but gave Missouri the nod because Buffalo is quickly improving.
6. LSU (6) – Getting a tough road win at Jordan-Hare Stadium – a place where LSU has traditionally struggled – is huge for the Tigers’ inexperienced quarterbacks.
7. Texas (7) – Another game, another blowout win. Ho hum for the Horns until the Big 12 season starts.
8. Texas Tech (8) – The Red Raiders massacred UMass. Had Marcus Camby been playing, I might have moved Tech up. But alas, he’s with the Clippers (I think?)
9. Wisconsin (9) – Badgers didn’t play, so they don’t move anywhere. Wisky starts the Big Ten next week against a wounded Michigan squad.
10. Alabama (12) – The first upward mover this week, the Tide rolls into the Top 10 after destroying Arkansas. Big game next week at Georgia.
11. Ohio State (11) – Terrelle Pryor’s first start or not, the Buckeyes have to do better than a 14-10 lead entering the fourth against Troy. OSU is definitely in neutral right now.
12. BYU (15) – The Cougars keep shooting up the rankings. While hotshots (see East Carolina and Fresno State) have flamed out, BYU has kept the mid-major BCS-buster flag hoisted high.
13. Penn State (17) – Yes, I know the Nittany Lions are playing against awful competition, but unlike a lot of teams, they are pulverizing the weak. The season starts this week against Illinois though.
14. South Florida (16) – The Bulls got lucky that a bunch of teams around them lost. Typically beating a terrible Florida International team by 8 won’t move you up in this poll. Count your lucky stars Bulls.
15. Auburn (10) – I didn’t drop Auburn too far despite their loss from LSU. Maybe its because I dropped them for their win over Mississippi State. Either way, the Tigers are on notice.
16. Wake Forest (18) – The Demon Deacons won ugly Saturday. However, any time a team like Wake Forest, which isn’t exactly a traditional football player, can put the clamps on Florida State three years in a row, it deserves props.
17. Kansas (19) – Kind of a boring win over Sam Houston State. But it was a win and a step in the right direction after a loss to South Florida – a step the Jayhawks will take willingly.
18. Utah (20) – Tough win against Air Force, but the Utes came through. If they can get by TCU, the battle of the Beehive State with BYU in November could have major BCS ramifications.
19. Clemson (21) – They shut out South Carolina State. Big whoop. Clemson still needs to pick it up.
20. Vanderbilt (24) – The Cinderella story of the BCS conferences so far, the Commodores improved to 4-0 with a big road win against an improved Ole Miss squad. Don’t look, but Vandy looks like its legit.
21. Boise State (NR) – I don’t care if Oregon played a true freshman quarterback. Getting a win at Autzen Stadium is quite a feat.
22. Oregon (13) – The Ducks took too long to get untracked against Boise State and paid dearly for it. However, freshman QB Darron Thomas could be the real deal.
23. Virginia Tech (25) – It’s not a win that’s going to get much pub, but the Hokies deserve a lot of credit for overcoming a 17-3 deficit to beat a quickly-improving North Carolina team.
24. Illinois (23) – Whatever. The Illini didn’t play this week and struggled against the Ragin’ Cajuns the week before. Illinois can earn its respect by beating Penn State though.
25. East Carolina (15) – I was tempted to dump the Pirates out of the poll entirely, and probably should. I just wasn’t in love with any of the other prospective teams to do so.
On the cusp: Fresno State, TCU, Colorado.
Dropped: No. 22 West Virginia (lost at Colorado).