THE TOP 25 (in ascending order!)
25) PENN STATE- Bill O'Brien (5-2). Last week's ranking: (UR). After losing their first two games in a row, Penn State has managed to win everything else. Their latest victim: Kirk Ferentz's Iowa Hawkeyes (#63 at 4-3, or about as good as Tennessee) at a score of 38-14.
24) BOISE STATE- Chris Peterson (6-1). Last week's ranking: (UR). They lost their opener to Mark Dantonio's Michigan State and at the time, that loss looked better. The Spartans have plummeted to #59 (4-4) while Boise has kept winning. Their schedule? Unremarkable and their victories equally. Their latest? A ho-hum 32-7 drubbing of #105 UNLV (1-7).
23) STANFORD- David Shaw (5-2). Last week's ranking: (UR). An impressive win against a Top 25 but not #1 USC followed by a less than impressive loss to Washington. Should've beaten Notre Dame? There are seven other teams currently kicking themselves for not having better offenses, something Stanford has kinda struggled with this year. They took care of #75 (3-5) California 21-3 this week. Not impressive, really, but with their schedule, they can afford to be unimpressive and still hitch a ride on the Top 25.
22)TEXAS- Mack Brown (5-2). Last week's ranking: (21). They had to fight to beat a post-RGIII Baylor squad that's been struggling at 3-3 (#53). They've been struggling a lot lately themselves. Must be a little weighed down from all that money.
21) MICHIGAN- Brady Hoke (5-2)- Last week's ranking: (20). Those two losses to Alabama and Notre Dame don't look all that terrible now. Struggling to beat a hapless Michigan State team 12-10 won't help much (they slipped one this week), but in the Big Ten this year, that probably won't be an issue.
20) CLEMSON- Dabo Sweeney (6-1)- Last week's ranking: (UR). Clemson took it to Virginia Tech this week 38-17. Not as impressive as it might've been in years past, with the Hokies uncharacteristically struggling at 4-4 (#52), but considering the ACC this year, this is still a pretty good win for the Tigers.
19)LSU- Les Miles (7-1)- Last week's ranking: (16). This was one calculated wrong last week and in adjusting it, LSU actually dropped a few spots despite winning a couple of impressive games in a row. Go figure.
18) CINCINATTI- Butch Jones (5-1). Last week's ranking: (17). You always sort of thought that Cincy was on borrowed time, and they finally lose one this week to Toledo (not half bad themselves at #30, 7-1).
17) GEORGIA- Mark Richt (6-1). Last week's ranking: (13). They needed some magic to run away with the win at Kentucky of all places.
16) LA TECH- Sonny Dykes (6-1). Last week's ranking: (24). What happens when you lose a close win? You lick your wounds by pounding on a hapless Idaho team (1-7) 70-28.
15) RUTGERS- Kyle Flood (7-0). Last week's ranking: (22). Try to remember that this is actually Kyle Flood's first year coaching the Scarlet Knights. Not half bad for a Big East squad, beating Temple 35-10.
14) TEXAS A&M- Kevin Sumlin (5-2). Last week's ranking: (10). Lost a tight one to LSU this week. Still a dangerous team with that QB of theirs, but no defense to speak of.
13) OREGON STATE- Mike Riley (6-0). Last week's ranking: (15). I keep waiting for this team to lose and they keep not losing. This week's victim? 2-5 Utah. That game against Oregon in a couple of weeks should set the matter to rest (or cause the PAC-12 to fall into the earth. Whichever).
12) SOUTH CAROLINA- Steve Spurrier (6-2). Last week's ranking: (4). They went to Florida to see who would vie for the SEC East, and Florida settled the matter with distinction. South Carolina really should just stop loading the bus. They clearly are not suited for away games.
11) OHIO STATE- Urban Meyer (8-0). Last week's ranking: (11). They lost Braxton Miller this week and kept coming back to beat Purdue anyway. They haven't been winning impressively, but they've been winning.
10) FLORIDA STATE- Jimbo Fisher (7-1). Last week's ranking: (9). FSU has to be kicking themselves for losing to NC State like they did. Because their schedule is not helping them at all. This week? Miami should've been blown out by them the way Kansas State blew them out. Winning by 13? Ho-hum.
9) SOUTHERN CAL- Lane Kiffin (6-1). Last week's ranking: (12). This is another team that has to be kicking themselves for losing. They're definitely still in position to win the PAC-12 provided they can get past Oregon. Right.
8) NOTRE DAME- Brian Kelly (7-0). Last week's ranking: (8). They're winning, and that means they're overranked, because it's Notre Dame, but who are the beating and by how much? This is why they don't move.
7) MISSISSIPPI STATE- Dan Mullen (7-0). Last week's ranking: (14). If MSU wins out, they'll play (presumably) Florida in the SEC Championship game and perhaps play for the BCSNC. All they have to do is win out. Next week's game: Alabama.
6) TEXAS TECH- Tommy Tuberville (6-1). Last week's ranking: (6). They played a nailbiter against TCU 56-53, which is why they didn't go up or down. TCU's a good team.
5) OKLAHOMA- Bob Stoops (5-1). Last week's ranking: (5). They destroyed Kansas 52-7. Kansas sucks and Oklahoma did as they should have. So? No up or down.
4) FLORIDA- Will Muschamp (7-0). Last week's ranking: (7). South Carolina paid a visit and Florida sent them packing 44-11, putting them clearly in the driver's seat to win the SEC East.
3) KANSAS STATE- Bill Snyder (7-0). Last week's ranking: (3). They close in on Oregon with a resounding victory over West Virginia 55-14. They win out, and the Big 12 is a lock for them.
2) OREGON- Chip Kelly (7-0). Last week's ranking: (2). Clearly in the driver's seat to win the PAC-12, they took it to a Top 25 Arizona State team 43-21. Not as impressive as K-State, but their season overall has been more championship caliber. Kansas State shoudl need only win out to pass them based on strength of schedule. Who saw anyone beating the Big 12 gauntlet? There's still some games to be played.
1) ALABAMA- Nick Saban (7-0). Longest streak at #1 ever. 7 games at 30+ points for the first time in school history. A QB who has not had an interception in about a year. Keep making history, Crimson Tide!