1. USC (8-0)
- Blew out a bad Washington State team. Meanwhile…
2. Texas (8-0)
- Turned an essential bye week into a game. Basically I see no difference between this game and the USC scares with Oregon and Arizona State. (Only that Oklahoma State is far worse than both those teams.)
3. Virginia Tech (8-0)
- My attitude changes daily with the Hokies. I think their defense will get them through all the way to Pasadena or at least the Orange Bowl in Miami. However, I am not sold on their offense at all. I need young Vick to emulate older bro Vick and lead a charge when the Hokies are trailing and their backs against the wall to believe.
4. Alabama (8-0)
- The Tide has a three-game season left with games against LSU and at Auburn then the SEC Championship Game to follow (likely against Georgia). That would be an impressive three-game run, as good as anyone in the nation. It’s that game at Auburn that has me worried.
5. UCLA (8-0)
- Houdini would be proud of the Bruins in recent weeks. However, again, to pooh-pooh the Bruins would be wrong because don’t we laud USC for their comebacks? Why condemn the Bruins for theirs?
6. Georgia (7-1)
- Playing their second string quarterback and still driving down the field with a chance to win the game doesn’t drop you much in my book. The Dawgs can still win the war, clinching a berth for the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta by beating Auburn on Nov. 12.
7. Florida State (7-1)
- Co-worker keeps downplaying the FSU season, worrying about this upcoming tilt at home to N.C. State. The Seminoles are simply prepping for huge 2006. In the mean time they could go ahead and win the ACC this year, 2005.
8. Penn State (8-1)
- The Big Ten is the Nittany Lions’ for the taking, needing to beat Wisconsin this weekend and winning at East Lansing on November 19th to seal the deal. The game in East Lansing has trouble written all over it.
9. LSU (6-1)
- Glorified scrimmage last week against North Texas and this week against Appalachian State. Each team of the SEC West can control their destiny. The Tigers need to win in Tuscaloosa on November 12th to march to Atlanta. Without the Tennessee meltdown, the Tigers could finally have gotten their rematch with USC, or been made to feel extreme irony being the odd man out.
10. Miami, FL (7-1)
- Miami has gone the longest with their loss, but they haven’t beaten much along the way. They get their first stiff test in Blacksburg. Win that and I will put them over Florida State and Georgia as the “Best Team with One Loss”.
11. Oregon (7-1)
- Follow me here, the Ducks are the only team that can win out and not earn an automatic BCS bid. A 10-1 Duck team with their only loss to USC would be hard to hold out of a BCS bowl. The downside is that they will have to make it without their starting quarterback, Kellen Clemens.
12. Wisconsin (8-1)
- Where I work I am surrounded by Michigan fans pointing out three needed steps for their Wolverines to win the Big Ten. Wisconsin can put that all to rest by winning in Happy Valley this weekend.
13. Notre Dame (5-2)
- The schedule before the season was a killer, then the season began and the expected powers faded. Kudos to Michigan for salvaging their season however, Weis is trying to convince anyone who will listen that Tennessee could be 6-1 or 7-0. The truth is somewhere in between – Tennessee will keep the game close, they have too much pride, but the Irish will prevail, sealing the deal late.
14. Ohio State (6-2)
- Buckeyes won a big game in Minnesota, exploding on offense. Ted Ginn, Jr. returned a 100-yard kickoff and they never looked back. Buckeyes win out and get someone to beat Penn State and they will be in the BCS. Granted, they have to go to the Big House to do it.
15. Texas Tech (7-1)
- The other team that could win out and not clinch a BCS automatic bid. Similar in that their only loss was to Texas, but the thing hurting the Red Raiders is the perceived lack of quality of the Big 12 this year. Win out and they get the Cotton Bowl.
16. Florida (6-2)
- As much as the Georgia loss using their second stringer shouldn’t drop the Dawgs, we shouldn’t get too high on the Gators with the win either. The Gators have an interesting game at South Carolina and Spurrier and then Florida State at home. Win out and the Gators are in the Capital One Bowl.
17. Boston College (6-2)
- Two good losses and no big wins. Sounds a lot like the Irish actually. The issue is potential and “upside”. This is the best the Eagles will get. Other teams around them haven’t hit their ceiling.
18. West Virginia (6-1)
- Carrying the flag for the Big East.
19. Colorado (6-2)
- Only losses to Texas and Miami, FL, and the Buffaloes got a decent win at Kansas State. They should be the Big 12 North representatives to play Texas in the conference title game.
20. Auburn (6-2)
- The Tigers could shake up the SEC winning at Georgia and home against Alabama down the stretch or they could fade into a four-loss team. I predict a split, ending Alabama’s undefeated season, but after losing between the hedges.
21. Georgia Tech (5-2)
- Reality will set in quick for the Jackets who close at Virginia, at Miami in a makeup game, then home against Georgia. They should beat Wake Forest to get bowl eligible.
22. Michigan (6-3)
- Quietly saving their season and making my life hell hearing at work about how they could rally and win the conference. Someone end this team. I might even have to cheer for the Buckeyes on Nov. 19th, because Indiana on Nov. 12th isn’t doing it.
23. Texas Christian (7-1)
24. Fresno State (6-1)
- Let’s give some love for the little guys. TCU is a head-scratching loss from being 2004 Utah while Fresno State quietly pines away for their shot at USC (Nov. 19th.)
25. Oklahoma (5-3)
- Another team quietly saving their season. Sooners could win out and play on New Years Day for the fifth straight year in the Cotton Bowl.
- ► 2006 (87)