The most bizarre college-football season I can remember rolls on, and thus I declare myself officially absolved of any responsibility to come up with a top 25 ballot that makes sense. Though I still tried. I did it for the kids.
Note the edits! This thing is pretty much open to discussion and revision until midnight Tuesday.
Games watched: Navy-Pittsburgh, the second half of Wake Forest-Florida State, Hawaii-San Jose State, most of Georgia Tech-Miami, Georgia-Vanderbilt, the endings of Kentucky-LSU and Oregon State-California.
You know what? Screw it. A The Ohio State superfan (to whom I happen to be related) told me herself that tOSU probably shouldn't be ranked #1 just yet, and Brian's rationale for keeping LSU #1 is about as airtight as anything could be in a season as crazy as this one, so the Tigers stay put in the top spot as far as I'm concerned. Not to make excuses, but they were coming off a grueling, epic win, they were on the road, they were facing what I think we can all agree is a damn fine team . . . there's no shame in needing three overtimes to finally cough one up under those circumstances, and using the if-they-met-on-a-neutral-field criterion that is my primary basis for ranking teams in these ballots, I still think LSU would stand a better-than-50-percent chance of coming out on top against anybody below them. Ohio State included.
3. Boston College (4)
4. Oklahoma (5)
5. Oregon (8)
6. South Florida (6)
7. Kentucky (15)
OK, I'm a believer now.
8. California (3)
I can't drop them too many since they were without their starting QB, Nate Longshore; they outgained Oregon State by 139 yards and might've won the thing had backup QB Kevin Riley not made the ultimate head-slapper of a mistake by trying to scramble into the end zone with 14 seconds left and no time-outs.
9. South Carolina (7)
10. Auburn (13)
Screw the LSU and California losses -- the most shocking thing that happened all weekend was the fact that Arkansas's rushing game was held to only 67 yards. Then again, you have to wonder how Auburn's offense only managed three field goals against a defense as shaky as the Hogs'.
11. Florida (9)
12. West Virginia (11)
13. Arizona State (14)
14. Missouri (12)
15. Tennessee (16)
16. Michigan (23)
17. Texas (22)
18. Southern California (10)
I said Southern Cal would deserve to drop further if they looked bad against Arizona, and look bad they did. This just isn't a great team at the moment; they've got five Pac-10 teams left on their schedule, any one of which is theoretically capable of beating them and more or less ending their run of four straight conference titles.
Major corrections follow, due primarily to the fact that -- as I fessed up to in the comments -- I somehow blocked out the fact that Wisconsin got pwn3d by Penn State on Saturday. Oopsy!
The next five:
Dropped out: Hawaii (19), Arkansas (20), Wisconsin (25).