The Top Fan's Top 25
Posted By:Brett Haynes - Greenville, SC Tags:
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My top-25 took a restructuring this week. After another handful of ranked teams lost, I decided to just go ahead and give my poll a makeover. Utah, Houston and Pitt - the three one loss teams with not so big names - were the biggest beneficiaries of my latest poll. Florida and Texas both looked very strong. With each weekend it is getting harder to rank the teams at the top because there are just too many good teams for not enough spots.
1. Florida (8-0) (TopFan poll last week: 1) - The Gators will stay at the top as they easily beat Georgia, 41-17. Tim Tebow looked to be back to form with a performance seeing him account for four touchdowns. He also broke the SEC rushing td record in this game with his 50th score - which came late in the first half. The record was previously held by Herschel Walker - a Dawg. Up next for Florida is Vanderbilt in the Swamp.
2. Alabama (8-0) (TTFPLW: 2) / Texas (8-0) (TTFPLW: 3) - Texas won big over a top 15 team while Alabama had the week off. With the big win, I will jump the Horns back into a tie for number 2 with the Tide. It is just tough to seperate these two teams. Up next for Alabama is a home date with LSU. Texas will take on Central Florida in Austin.
4. TCU (8-0) (TTFPLW: 5) / Iowa (9-0) (TTFPLW: 4) - The Horned Frogs layed a beat down on UNLV, 41-0. I wish so bad that TCU could play Texas during the season as it would be a good measuring stick for them and is a logical close game geographically. Anyway, the Frogs are looking strong, and a BCS berth is a good possibilty as an at-large. The Hawkeyes meanwhile, got a bit of a scare this week, but appear as if they will be the Big 10 rep in the BCS. They piled on 28 points in the 4th quarter to pull away from Indiana after being down 24-14 in the 2nd half. Up next for TCU is a trip to California to play San Diego State. Iowa will play Northwestern at home.
6. Oregon (7-1) (TTFPLW: T8) - This was the most impressive team of the weekend in my opinion. The Ducks scoring 47 points was not a surprise to me. But their holding of USC to just 20 points is what catches my attention. The Ducks are playing as well as any team in America right now, and the Pac 10 is their's for the taking. Their are several good teams remaining - including Arizona - but they should win out. Quarterback Jeremiah Masoli was 19 of 31 for 222 yards and a score and also rushed for 164 yards and a score. Folks, that is 386 all purpose yards. Up next they will play Stanford on the road.
7. Boise (8-0) (TTFPLW: 7) - BSU defeated San Jose State, 45-7 to remain unbeaten. As I have said so many times, it is just tough for them to move up as the remaining big games are non-existent. I would love to see Boise get a BCS opponent at years end. Up next for them is Louisiana Tech on the road.
8. Cincinnati (8-0) (TTFPLW: 6) - The high scoring machine known as the Bearcats (averaging well over 40 ppg) was slowed down just a hair by Syracuse of all teams, as Cincinnati beat the Orange, 28-0. I still think Cincy is one of the better offensive teams in the nation. But for this week, in my newly arranged and rethought poll, I have them a bit lower than before. Up next is a game with UConn.
9. Penn State (8-1) (TTFPLW: T11) - PSU beat Northwestern, 34-13, for their fifth straight win. None of those games have been close, and the season's only set back has been to Iowa. This team is not bad at all. I want a playoff so bad I just cannot stand it! The Lions could play and beat any team in America, but - like many, many other teams - will not get a chance to play the best. Up next is a visit from Ohio State in what is essentially an elimination game for the Big 10 crown. The winner could still take the trophy if Iowa were to lose twice.
10. LSU (7-1) (TTFPLW: 10) - This week will tell a lot about LSU as they travel to Alabama. The Tigers' only loss is to Florida, 13-3. If the LSU offense shows up, they might have the defense to keep the Tide out of the end zone and steal a win. LSU is jam full of top athletes, and will give Bama all they want. A 42-0 win over Tulane is nice for the shutout aspect, but really doesn't tell you too much.
11. Georgia Tech (8-1) (TTFPLW: T11) - After traling Vandy 31-28 early in the 3rd quarter, Tech turned it on with 28 unanswered points for a 56-31 win. In what looked to be a disaster, the win was actually a very impressive thing by the time it was over with. The running attack finally wore down the Commodores, and once that point was reached, it was a td every touch just about. Up next for the Yellow Jackets is a visit from Wake Forest.
12. Pittsburgh (7-1) (TTFPLW: 17) - After beating USF two weeks ago, the Panthers had an open date. So how did they jump 5 spots? Because I rethought the way I had my teams ranked, and a few teams in front of Pitt lost. Surprisingly, Pitt's only loss so far in 2009 came OOC to NC State. Otherwise the BCS would have even more troble. Next up for Pitt is a home date with Syracuse. After that it is a tough close with ND, WVU and Cincy.
13. USC (6-2) (TTFPLW: T8) - I guess the days of me thinking that the Trojans were the one and only team out West are now over. With Oregon torching them, I see now that USC has some work to do to get back to being the supreme team in that region. The talent is there (or at least I think it is), but I under-estimated USC's competition. I did pick them to lose that game, so I wasn't way off, though. Next up for USC is a trip to Arizona State.
14. Miami (6-2) (TTFPLW: 15) - The Hurricanes kept their BCS chances alive by pulling out a road win in the rain at Wake Forest, 28-27. Miami can now make a possible trip to Tampa if Georgia Tech is to somehow lose. The 'Canes have the head to head with GT, but are a game behind them in the loss column. Up next for Miami are three ACC Coastal foes, starting with Virginia at home.
15. Houston (7-1) (TTFPLW: 18) - It is tough putting Houston up this high, but they have earned it (I guess). They just gave up 43 points to Southern Miss - something a true top-15 team probably wouldn't do. But still, they have managed to beat everyone on their schedule save UTEP, and here is where they are. Do not expect them to exceed this ranking though. The Cougars signature win is against Oklahoma State. Not bad, but the Cowboys just got trounced by Texas. If you can't tell, I am very uneasy about this ranking, but when I look at the two-loss teams just behind, I cannot put them this high, either.
16. Utah (7-1) (TTFPLW: 21) - Wow, a five spot jump for beating Wyomng, 22-10?! Well, like I mentioned above, I restrutured things pretty heavily this week, and Utah was one of the beneficiaries. The Utes have had a pretty decent season, with that one loss coming to Oregon - not bad! But still, the Utes do not have the fire power they did last year as they are averaging roughly 27 ppg against a ho-hum schedule. I'd like to see them draw a big team for a bowl. Up next is New Mexico.
17. Ohio State (7-2) (TTFPLW: 16) - The Buckeyes defeated New Mexico State, 45-0. They scored six touchdowns and a field goal between the second and third quarters alone. And while the Aggies of NMSU aren't much to compare things with, it's always good to get a big shutout win. Up next for Ohio State is a trip to Penn State where both teams are battling to stay alive in the Big 10 race behind Iowa.
18. Notre Dame (6-2) (TTFPLW: 23) - It is hard to ignore the 6-2 record ND has put together. Regardless of whether you like the Irish or do not, they actually are a pretty good team here in 2009. They have now won two straigbt, and will make it three easily as they get Navy this weekend. Jimmy Clausen is having a very strong season - 2,318 yards and 18 touchdowns.
19. Arizona (5-2) (TTFPLW: 25) - Out West, the Wildcats of Arizona have quietly snuck into the top-25. With everyone always talking about USC and Oregon, Arizona is also a team to keep your eye on. Their first loss was at Iowa, and their second loss was at Washington - a team that is turnng out to not be so bad after all. With just 1 loss in the Pac 10, and Oregon, Cal and USC still on the schedule, this team could make some noise...or fade fast! Up next is a visit from the Cougars of Washington State.
20. Wisconsin (6-2) (TTFPLW: UR) - With a 37-0 defeat of Purdue, the Badgers looked like the tough, hard-nosed teams of old. Now, with losses to just Iowa and Ohio State, winning out could see them in a New Year's day Florida bowl. The schedule is managable with Michigan at home and no Penn State. Up next is a trip to Indiana.
21. Oklahoma State (6-2) (TTFPLW: 13) - Texas may be the best team in America, so I don't want to drop the Cowboys too far. Their two losses now come aginst Houston and Texas - two top ranked teams. But this is about where they belong after clearly showing they are not a top-10 team. They will now play Iowa State away.
22. California (6-2) (TTFPLW: UR) - Cal squeeked out a win over Arizona State, 23-21,as Giorgio Tavecchio kicked a 24-yarder with seconds to go. This kept the Bears in the likes of the ranked teams. Though tricky (two road games), the next four games are winnable to see them make it into a nice bowl game. Up next is a home date with Oregon State.
23. South Florida (6-2) (TTFPLW: UR) - The Bulls played a Friday night game against West Virginia this past weekend, and won, 30-19, to get back on track. Just two weeks removed from back-to-back losses against the Big East's best in Cincinnati and Rutgers, the Bulls bounced back and looked strong - especially on D. The closing schedule is favorable, with 2 Big East games and a home visit from Miami. Up next: Rutgers
24. Oklahoma (5-3) (TTFPLW: 20) - OU completed the Kansas sweep by beating K State, 42-30, a week after beating Kansas, 35-13. Oklahoma is very close to being ranked about number 10, but here they are barely in the top 25. The loss column becomes in their favor from here on out as most of the top 25 will have three losses, and OU's three will rate among the best (BYU, Miami, Texas). Up next they play Nebraska in Lincoln.
25. Virginia Tech (5-3) (TTFPLW: 14) - The Hokies of VT have fallen fast. They were respectable opening night against Alabama, and then climbed all the way to number 4 after several more nice wins, including Nebraska and Miami. But back to back losses to Georgia Tech and UNC have the Hokies just hoping for a decent bowl at this point. The ACC Coastal title is all but lost. Up next for VT is a trip to East Carolina.
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