The Top Five:
1.) Alabama - I still think the Tide is the best team in the country, but they can't keep up this pace unless Greg McElroy remembers how to play QB. No passing TDs in the last 13 quarters of action. On the other hand, Leigh Tiffin has 11 field goals in that span.
2.) Florida - You get the feeling that if they came across a team with any semblance of an offense, the Gators might have at least two losses already. Four of their five conference wins have come by a total of 33 points, and even their blowout victory over Kentucky included a blocked punt for a score and just one passing TD. The Gators have topped 30 points just once against a BCS foe this year after doing it 10 times last season. Or maybe I'm just nitpicking.
3.) Texas - The Longhorns dominated an underwhelming Missouri team and really have yet to prove much of anything this season other than a lackluster win over three-loss Oklahoma. Of course, if they get by Okie State this week, it should be smooth sailing to the national championship game. That's a sad statement considering that there's a good chance they'll play in that national title game without having beaten a single team that ends the season with fewer than three losses. But, yeah, Cincy and Boise State don't deserve a shot, right?
4.) Cincinnati - Let's see: The Bearcats thump Louisville with a backup QB and drop from fifth to eighth in the BCS standings. They get more respect from me.
5.) Southern California - It wasn't exactly impressive, but USC did avenge last year's loss to Oregon State, which was just a touch more impressive this week than what Iowa did, moving the Trojans into my top five.
The Next Seven:
6.) Iowa - For the fourth straight week, Iowa barely got by an inferior opponent. This time it was Michigan State -- the same team that fell to Central Michigan earlier this season. At some point I'm going to need to decide which feeling is stronger: My gut instinct that Iowa might be a really good though not pretty team or my absolute certainty that the Big Ten is utter garbage. For this week, I'm leaning toward the latter.
7.) Boise State - Another team that took a tumble down the BCS standings this week for no good reason. OK, Hawaii stinks. But that road trip -- 3,306 miles and two time zones -- is no easy task regardless. The Broncos then handed down a 54-9 stomping of the Fightin' Shane Victorinos. Oh, and as an amusing side note, here are the Google directions on getting from Boise to Honolulu:
1. Head northwest on W Front St/US-20 W/US-26 W toward S Capitol Blvd Continue to follow US-20 W/US-26 W - About 2 mins8.) Oregon - USC goes to Washington and loses. LSU goes to Washington and barely escapes. Notre Dame hosts Washington and narrowly edges out a win. Oregon goes to Washington and dominates, picking up a 43-19 victory. I'm more impressed by the Ducks every week.
2. Continue onto I-184 W - About 3 mins
3. Take exit 0 to merge onto I-84 W toward Ontario, Entering Oregon - About 3 hours 47 mins
4. Take exit 179 to merge onto I-82 W toward Umatilla/Kennewick, Entering Washington - About 2 hours 11 mins
5. Merge onto I-90 W - About 1 hour 32 mins
6. Take exit 10 to merge onto I-405 N toward Bellevue - About 3 mins
7. Take exit 14 for State Route 520 E toward Redmond
8. Keep left at the fork, follow signs for State Highway 520 W/Seattle and merge onto WA-520 W - About 5 mins
9. Take the Montlake Blvd exit - About 1 min
10. Slight left at NE Pacific St - About 2 mins
11. Slight left at NE Northlake Way
12. Slight left at 6th Ave NE
13. Slight right at NE Northlake Way - About 3 mins
14. Kayak across the Pacific Ocean, Entering Hawaii - About 14 days 5 hours
15. Continue straight
16. Turn left at Kuilima Dr - About 1 min
17. Take the 3rd right onto HI-83 W/Kamehameha Hwy - About 20 mins
9.) Georgia Tech - The Jackets didn't exactly look exceptional this week, but it was another pretty easy win. You watch them and think, "Man, if teams just knew how to tackle better, that offense isn't that good." But maybe I should be thinking, "Man, those running backs just can't be tackled."
10.) TCU - The win over BYU was certainly impressive and keeps the Horned Frogs in the discussion for BCS buster status. But I think Boise State's win over Oregon was more impressive and Cincinnati has a better overall body of work, so I'd still put TCU third in the "dark horse" category. For now.
11.) LSU - Good win over what might now be a pretty bad Auburn team. The real test comes in two weeks in Tuscaloosa though.
12.) Oklahoma State - The only newcomer to the list. I wrestled with putting Penn State or Virginia Tech here, but Okie State continues to look impressive even without Kendall Hunter and Dez Bryant. Of course, we'll know more about the Cowboys next week.
Best of the Rest:
13.) Virginia Tech - Their two losses were against two of my top nine teams. There's probably a very good argument to be made that they belong over Okie State.
14.) Penn State - A joke of a non-conference schedule for a team that plays in a joke of a conference means it's going to take a lot to impress me.
15.) Houston - At year's end, I think that loss to UTEP might be chalked up as one of the year's most inexplicable.
Pittsburgh - They've beaten absolutely no one and lost to a bad NC State team.
Notre Dame - I hate Notre Dame.
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