Crazy weekend in the Big 12, which is more jumbled than ever. Should be a fun homestretch.
1. Alabama (2) – This one is pretty simple, as the Tide is the only BCS team that hasn’t lost. Look for them to even six years worth of scores against Auburn.
2. Florida (3) – I should penalize Florida for playing a weak I-AA team like The Citadel, but you can’t dispute how the Gators have looked against I-A competition lately.
3. Texas (4) – I put Texas ahead of Oklahoma because it beat Oklahoma at a neutral site, are the only one of the Big 3 to not get a home game against the others and because they have the toughest Big 12 schedule. The Longhorns will be right in the middle of an old-fashioned BCS controversy.
4. Oklahoma (5) – Sooners looked awesome in beating Texas Tech, but I can’t justify putting Oklahoma ahead of Texas right now. I just can’t at all.
5. USC (6) – Trojans move up because of the severity of Texas Tech’s loss. They’ll need to kill Notre Dame and UCLA to have any sort of shot at a title.
6. Utah (7) – The Utes capped off an undefeated season with a big win over hated rival BYU. A BCS bid should follow in two weeks.
7. Texas Tech (1) – Well, Tech might have kept its national title shot if it had hung with Oklahoma. But 65-21 ain’t going to do it.
8. Penn State (8) – The Nittany Lions clinched a Big Ten championship and a Rose Bowl berth with a blowout over Michigan State. The Rose Bowl committee and networks are hoping to God its not a rematch with Oregon State.
9. Boise State (9) – The Broncos are now one win away from an undefeated regular season. However, Utah’s victory will likely leave Boise State on the outside looking in at the BCS.
10. Ohio State (10) – The Buckeyes smacked Michigan around for the fifth straight year to end the regular season at 10-2. Now they’ll root against Oregon State in hopes of sneaking into the BCS as an at-large.
11. Georgia (12) – The Bulldogs had the week off and are basically playing for New Year’s Day positioning at this point. A rivalry game with Ga. Tech looms.
12. Oklahoma State (13) – The Cowboys could be the latest team to throw a monkey wrench in the title hunt if they beat Oklahoma this upcoming week.
13. Ball State (14) – The Cardinals grabbed a huge win at two-time MAC champion Central Michigan Wednesday. A win over Western Michigan would leave Ball State one win away from an undefeated regular season.
14. Missouri (15) – If Oklahoma State can’t do the job against Oklahoma this week, it might be the Tigers who have a chance to screw up the BCS.
15. TCU (16) – The Horned Frogs destroyed Air Force to conclude a 10-win season, with its only losses coming to Oklahoma and Utah.
16. Oregon State (18) – The Beavers winning the Pac-10, which they would with a victory over Oregon this weekend, would be a great story. But the Rose Bowl committee, ABC, USC and Ohio State will be rooting like heck against them.
17. Cincinnati (20) – The Bearcats took a huge step towards a Big East title and a BCS berth by beating Pittsburgh. A win over Syracuse this week would clinch that.
18. BYU (11) – The Cougars couldn’t quite topple Utah, and take a tumble as a result. Still, 10-2 isn’t something to be scoffed at.
19. Georgia Tech (25) – Any time you can run for over 400 yards, as the Yellow Jackets did against Miami, you have something. An upset win over Georgia would do wonders for the Georgia Tech program.
20. Boston College (NR) – Three straight wins have the Eagles surging at exactly the right time. We’ll see if they can keep it up this week against Maryland.
21. Oregon (NR) – Must be nice to jump this high into the rankings without playing. The Ducks can make a lot of people happy with an upset win at Oregon State this week.
22. Florida State (NR) – The Seminoles were the source of the coolest story of the weekend, as star junior safety Myron Rolle was named a Rhodes Scholar. Good to see true student-athletes of that caliber.
23. Pittsburgh (19) – A close loss to Cincy drops the Panthers a bit, but they can improve their bowl positioning with a win over West Virginia Friday.
24. Michigan State (17) – For the second time this season, the Spartans had a chance for a big win against the Big Ten’s elite. For the second time, Sparty was blown out. However, a 9-3 record is definitely an achievement in East Lansing.
25. Mississippi (NR) – The Rebels make their first appearence in the poll after blasting LSU. Oh yeah, the Rebels are also the only team to beat Florida.
Under consideration: Iowa, Northwestern, West Virginia
Dropped out: No. 21 Miami (Fla) (lost to Georgia Tech), No. 22 LSU (lost to Mississippi), No. 23 Maryland (lost to Florida State), No. 24 North Carolina (lost to N.C. State).