Another week led to another major shakeup in the power rankings, and a tie between the top two teams. I’m sure this week will bring even more madness in the race for the Championship, and this is why I love college football.
T-1) Oregon (7-0, 38)
The Ducks haven’t really been involved in a super-close game all season, and they really haven’t had a major road test yet. Their trip to the Coliseum could prove to be both of these things as they take on a down, but still powerful USC team. I predict a Trojans victory if only because it will create more chaos in the Power Rankings.
T-1) Auburn (8-0, 38)
Les Miles ill-fated 4th down disaster towards the end of the game led Auburn to another close victory and co-ownership of the top spot in these rankings. On paper, the Tigers look to have an easy month of games before their Iron Bowl matchup in Tuscaloosa, but their penchant for close SEC games means anything could happen.
3) Michigan State (8-0, 36)
It’s really tough for me to swallow the fact that MSU still has not lost a game. It looked like they were going to fall to Northwestern in what was their FIRST GAME OUTSIDE THE STATE OF MICHIGAN, but they came through with another risky play at the end. Iowa might have the last best chance at defeating the Spartans this weekend, and hopefully they will (because I wouldn’t want to have to root for Purdue or Penn State at the end of the season).
4) Boise State (6-0, 35)
Four of the Broncos next five games are not on Saturday. I’m not quite sure what this means, but I don’t think that tonight’s contest on ESPN2 is really the best way to nationally showcase themselves. In any event, I think we’re obligated to rank them pretty high as long as they keep crushing the opposition. Would they have the same results in another conference, probably not, but I think they’ve earned a high ranking.
5) Missouri (7-0, 33)
Despite the fact that Hogan fell asleep and I started switching over to the Giants-Phillies game, we were both very impressed by Missouri’s win against Oklahoma. Do I think that the Tigers will follow it up with a win at Nebraska this weekend? Not at all, but for one week the Tigers have earned their place in the top five.
6) TCU (8-0, 29)
Playing usually respectable teams BYU and Air Force the past two weeks, the Horned Frogs continued their dominance by only allowing a total of ten points. Just like Boise, they have been thoroughly taking down opponents left and right, but probably don’t have a chance at the title.
7) Alabama (7-1, 28)
The first one-loss team to appear in these power rankings is also a team that I still believe will have a chance to defend their title come January. They have an off week before a trip to Baton Rouge followed by a game against power rankings newcomer Mississippi State, and I really can’t imagine that any team in the country faces a more ridiculous schedule than the Tide.
8) Utah (8-0, 27)
The Ute’s begin their three-week season-defining gauntlet against Air Force, TCU, and Notre Dame this weekend with nobody really expecting them to make it through unbeaten. I haven’t really watched this team yet and have no idea what they’ll do either, but I’ll let you know more in a few weeks.
9) Wisconsin (7-1, 24)
The Badgers escaped from Iowa with a win and are now delusionally thinking they have a chance to compete for the championship. They might very well finish 11-1, and they might very well go to the Rose Bowl, but there’s no chance they play for the title. Sorry.
10) Oklahoma (6-1, 21)
The Sooners didn’t drop too far after their loss to Missouri based on our respect for some of their early season wins. I don’t really like this team as a championship contender, but I still think they are the favorites to win the final Big 12 Championship. Although a trip to suddenly strong Baylor is looming in a few weeks.
T-11) Florida State (6-1, 19)
Jimbo Fisher has his team poised for an ACC Championship game appearance, which might not mean much in this watered-down conference, but is a huge improvement over Bobby Bowden’s final seasons.
T-11) Stanford (6-1, 19)
I feel like a team this strong should have beaten the Cougars of Wazzou by more than ten points.
13) Ohio State (7-1, 17)
I’m just glad that no arguments for #1 can be made for the Buckeyes this season.
14) Arizona (6-1, 14)
The Wildcats have some tough road tests coming up (UCLA, Stanford, Oregon) and home dates with the Trojans and the Sun Devils. This could end really poorly for them.
15) LSU (7-1, 11)
The fighting Les Miles’s couldn’t pull another rabbit out of their hat against Auburn and now have a week to screw around (because does anybody think Miles does actual coaching?) before playing Alabama. Good luck with that.
16) Nebraska (6-1, 9)
After exposing Oklahoma State (or winning a close game on the road) the Huskers now have a date with last week’s team of destiny as Missouri tries to retain their national stature on the road. I’m picking Nebraska.
17) Arkansas (5-2, 8)
T-18) South Carolina (5-2, 4)
T-18) Mississippi State (6-2, 4)
Because two-loss SEC teams are what the bottom of the power rankings are all about.
T-18) Oklahoma State (6-1, 4)
Because getting exposed by Nebraska means they remain in the power rankings. Or, we ran out of teams worth ranking. Either way, the Cowboys still have 3-4 losses remaining on their schedule.