All in all, a pretty enjoyable week of college pigskin (unless you were a fan of Miami, FSU, Notre Dame, Tennessee, Texas Tech, etc. etc. etc.) that lived up to every bit of its "Footballpocalypse" billing. Of course, we end up kind of paying for it this weekend with a Saturday jam-packed with all of two inter-top-25 matchups, but you can't have everything.
Games watched: Georgia-UAB (in person!), parts of Auburn-LSU (listened to on the radio), Florida-Tennessee.
1. Ohio State (last week: 1)
2. Auburn (2)
Saturday's game showed that a good defense can indeed stack this team up, but you can't tell me there's a single team in America that wouldn't have trouble with Auburn's D. If I were taking schedules into account I'd probably rank Auburn first, because their path to the title game seems the clearest of any of the remaining undefeateds; their only major remaining challenges are Florida and Georgia, at home, and they'll probably be favored in both.
3. Southern California (4)
4. LSU (3)
My apologies if this comes across as rampant SEC homerism, but LSU was five yards (or, possibly, one outrageous pass-interference non-call) away from being in the #2 slot right now. If they can hold Auburn to just 182 yards of total offense, they'd probably destroy 95 percent of the teams in Division I-A.
5. Michigan (14)
A richly deserved nine-spot leap for the gentlemen who laid out the spike strips in front of a Notre Dame bandwagon that was traveling at unsafe speeds, dangerously overloaded, and generally out of control.
6. Texas (6)
7. Florida (7)
8. Louisville (8)
After Michael Bush broke his leg, everyone said the running game would drop off, and it hasn't (much). Then Brian Brohm strained ligaments in his throwing hand and that seemed to spell disaster, but his backup put away the Hurricanes quite nicely. The Cardinals can't afford any more major injuries, but their schedule over the next month is hardly a murderer's row; if they can get Brohm back in time for West Virginia on November 2, they should be in excellent shape.
9. West Virginia (9)
10. Virginia Tech (13)
11. Oregon (11)
12. Notre Dame (5)
They were #5 in my preseason ballot, dropped to #14 after the scare from Georgia Tech, leaped back up to #5 after annihilating Penn State, and now they're down to #12 after getting whupped by Michigan. I wanted to drop them further this week, but I'm not sure I should do that just yet -- watch them beat Michigan State 77-0 on the road just to make me look stupid again.
13. Georgia (15)
The defense is downright terrifying; the offense has a ton of promise and some time to develop before facing Tennessee. If Mark Richt and Mike Bobo can bring Matt Stafford along the way they're capable of doing, Georgia will be in great shape when the Vols come to town; a win there and they'll be in prime position for yet another SEC title run.
14. Iowa (10)
15. Tennessee (12)
Did anyone see Erik Ainge doing the Gator chomp after (I think) that long pass to Swain at the beginning of the third quarter? California game notwithstanding, I think he might be functionally retarded after all.
16. California (20)
17. Oklahoma (16)
Still not sure about these guys. They really haven't done anything that impressive all season long, yet consider that if that last on-sides kick against Oregon had been called properly, we'd all be marveling at how they knocked off a ranked Oregon team in Autzen Stadium.
18. Boise State (19)
19. Texas Christian (NR/28)
Nine spots might seem like a mighty big jump, but they held Texas Tech out of the end zone for an entire game, which has happened only one other time since Mike Leach brought his pass-all-over-the-freaking-field offense to TTU. That deserves some props.
20. Boston College (23)
21. Clemson (NR/27)
Wasn't sure whether to put them above UCLA. Ray Ray McElrathbey put them over the top.
22. UCLA (24)
23. Florida State (17)
Please lose to somebody else so I don't have to rank you anymore.
24. Georgia Tech (25)
25. Nebraska (21)
The next five: Penn State, Texas Tech, Minnesota, Miami, Utah.
Dropped out: Miami (18), Texas Tech (22).