The Top Fan's Top 25 - Week Ten
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My top 12 matches up nearly exactly with the AP top 12, but then my poll strays away. I have Kansas State as the top 2-loss team at #13, and I left off a Southern Miss team that the AP has ranked #25. The Golden Eagles have no big wins, but lost to Marshall in week two. There are a few other variances between my poll and that of the football media. Here is my top 25 following week ten's games...
1. LSU (9-0, 6-0) - Defeated Alabama, 9-6 - Last week: 1 - With the win on the road at #2, there is no doubt that LSU once again is atop this poll. The offense isn't going to break any NCAA records, but the defense is basically an NFL defense as most all of those guys will get a shot to play on Sundays. Next: Western Kentucky.
2. Oklahoma State - (9-0, 6-0) - Defeated Kansas State, 52-45 - Last week: 3 - This team was the biggest beneficiary of the huge game down in Tuscaloosa. A matchup between the high-powered offense of OSU and the stout defense of LSU could be epic. In a month, we will know if that is what we get to see. Next: at Texas Tech.
3. Stanford - (9-0, 7-0) - Defeated Oregon State, 38-13 - Last week: 4 - Just like Alabama-LSU was the game of the year in the South, this weekend's game between Stanford and Oregon is the game of the year out West. The winner remains very much alive in the national title hunt. Next: Oregon.
4. Alabama (8-1, 5-1) - Lost to LSU, 9-6 - Last week: 2 - Oh the woulda, coulda, shouldas that Alabama will take from this game. Three FG disasters (two misses, one block) in regulation forced the Tide into OT, where LSU's defense forced another long FG. Yep, it missed, too. Still, the Tide defense is just as good as LSU's and this is a legit top five team. Next: at Mississippi State.
5. Boise State (8-0, 5-0) - Defeated UNLV, 48-21 - Last week: 5 - This is nothing against Boise State, but I keep them hovering at the #5 spot until I see a reason to move them up. This weekend they play TCU, who I have at #25. Win that one in convincing fashion, and I will reevaluate my top five. Next: TCU.
6. Oregon (8-1, 6-0) - Defeated Washington, 34-17 - Last week: 6 - Well, Duck fans, the talk of "The Natty" you guys are always quacking about can heat up with a win over #3 Stanford this weekend. By year's end, most everyone will have a loss. If you can beat the Cardinal on the road, your resume will be as good as anyone's. Next: at Stanford.
7. Arkansas (8-1, 4-1) - Defeated South Carolina, 44-28 - Last week: 7 - I know it sounds crazy, but Arkansas is one huge win away from being in the very thick of the national title talk. A win in Baton Rouge is asking the impossible. But if the Razorbacks do that in three weeks, who knows! Next: Tennessee.
8. Oklahoma (8-1, 5-1) - Defeated Texas A&M, 41-25 - Last week: 8 - The Sooners used a monster third quarter (28 points) to put away Texas A&M in Norman. Just like all of the teams up here at the top, a huge late-season game could find them in the BCSCG talk. For OU, that game is at #2 Oklahoma State to end the year. Next: Baylor.
9. Clemson (8-1, 5-1) - Idle - Last week: 11 - With #9 Nebraska and #10 South Carolina Losing, the Tigers find themselves back in the top ten of all the major polls. A week off was huge for this team to regroup following the year's only loss. This weekend, CU can clinch a spot in the ACCCG in Charlotte with a win. Then again, their opponent can take the driver's seat in that race with the upset. Next: Wake Forest.
10. Virginia Tech (8-1, 4-1) - Idle - Last week: 12 - The Coaches Poll has VT ahead of Clemson, despite the Tigers' 20-point win in Blacksburg in week five. But the way I see it, things will work themselves out. VT has to play at GT Thursday, and if they win, perhaps against Clemson in Charlotte. If they win all of those they deserve the ranking. If they don't, they will drop anyway. Next: at Georgia Tech (Thursday).
11. Houston (9-0, 5-0) - Defeated Alabama-Birmingham, 56-13 - Last week: 15 - How can Boise be ranked fifth, but Houston is not even in the top ten? Well, Boise beat UGA in what was essentially a road game, while Houston has yet to defeat a team ranked in the top 50. Hopefully they will get a "big boy" in a bowl game and show what they can do. The offense is ranked first in America at 53 ppg. Next: at Tulane.
12. Penn State (8-1, 5-0) - Idle - Last week: 13 - I had the Lions move up a spot, even though idle, yet they were passed by Houston. I think the defense of PSU (third nationally) and the explosive offense of Houston would be one helluva game! Maybe by crazy circumstance we will get that matchup in a couple of months. Next: Nebraska.
13. Kansas State (7-2, 4-2) - Lost to Oklahoma State, 52-45 - Last week: 12 - I have Kansas State as the highest ranked of the two-loss teams, dropping just a spot. The way they can score impressed me against Oklahoma State this past weekend. Everytime OSU would pull ahead, KSU would storm back with a score. They damned near won the thing, unable to connect from the five-yard line in the final seconds. Next: Texas A&M.
14. Michigan State (7-2, 4-1) - Defeated Minnesota, 31-24 - Last week: 17 - It took all four quarters, but the Spartans remain in the national rankings with a win over the Golden Gophers. The defense is top ten in the nation in points against at just 16 a game. This weekend they hit the road to play an emerging Iowa team. Next: at Iowa.
15. Georgia (7-2, 5-1) - Defeated New Mexico State, 63-16 - Last week: 18 - Don't look now, but after a disastrous 0-2 start, UGA has barked and growled their way back into the top 15 and into the lead in the SEC East. A tough game awaits this weekend against Auburn. But win, and a trip to the SECCG in Atlanta is all but locked up. Next: Auburn.
16. South Carolina (7-2, 5-2) - Lost to Arkansas, 44-28 - Last week: 10 - I hate to see any team not at full-speed, so to see the Gamecocks without their main weapon, injured RB Marcus Lattimore, is not a fun thing to watch. The fact is, however, USC is just not even close to the same offensive team with him on crutches. The defense is a very solid unit, but they can only do so much. Next: Florida.
17. Wisconsin (7-2, 3-2) - Defeated Purdue, 62-17 - Last week: 19 - In the early weeks, I honestly thought the Badgers were national title material. Russell Wilson was showing out at QB, and the defense was shutting folks down. But back-to-back losses in weeks seven and eight ended all that. They bounced back this past weekend to put 62 on Purdue. Next: at Minnesota.
18. USC (7-2, 4-2) - Defeated Colorado, 42-17 - Last week: 23 - The Trojans dismantled Colorado high up in the Rocky Mountains for win number seven. The highlight game for the late part of the season is a trip to Oregon in two weeks. QB Matt Barkley has thrown for 2,608 yards and 28 TDs in 2011. Next: Washington.
19. Georgia Tech (7-2, 4-2) - Idle - Last week: 21 - This will be the game to basically decide the Coastal Division from Atlanta Thursday night. While mathematically nothing will be final to claim the division crown, the winner will have the inside track on a trip to Charlotte (UVA will have a say as they play VT still, and have already beaten GT). Next: Virginia Tech (Thursday).
20. Nebraska (7-2, 3-2) - Lost to Northwestern 28-25 - Last week: 9 - The grumbles from the Nebraksa faithful can be heard all the way down here in the South. The Blackshirt defense - the pride of Lincoln - continuously allowed Wildcat backup QB Kain Colter to shred the Husker defense for first downs and touchdowns, picking up two TD passing scores and rushing for another in the upset win. Next: at Penn State.
21. Michigan (7-2, 3-2) - Lost to Iowa, 24-16 - Last week: 15 - It wasn't so much the Wolverine's bad play that I remember from this loss, but rather Iowa's good play. The Hawkeyes showed up and took the opposition by the horns. UM must regroup as the final three games are all tough in different ways. Next: at Illinois.
22. Auburn (6-3, 4-2) - Idle - Last week: 24 - An up-and-down season has been the case for War Eagle in defense of their national title. Like I said before, being already bowl-eligible is big as the final stretch is tough. They will face a UGA team this weekend playing with new life. Interesting stat: Auburn is 70th nationally in both points for (26.1) and points against (27.7). Next: at Georgia.
23. Ohio State (6-3, 3-2) - Defeated Indiana, 34-20 - Last week: 25 - The Buckeyes have put together a three-game winning streak and should get number four in a row on the road this weekend. No Rose Bowl is in the plans this year, but a good finish will see them in a Florida bowl game. Next: at Purdue.
24. Texas (6-2, 3-2) - Defeated Texas Tech, 52-20 - Last week: unranked - The performance the Horns put on against TTU shows the potential of this talented squad. Still with just two losses, a huge bowl game could be in the works with wins in the final four regular season games. Next: at Missouri.
25. TCU (7-2, 4-0) - Defeated Wyoming, 31-20 - Last week: unranked - If the Horned Frogs can win at Boise this weekend, and win-out including a nice bowl game, they can follow up the banner season of 2010 with a top ten finish in 2011. Winning up in Idaho will be tough. But remember, we do not have much to base BSU off of so far. I will predict a Bronco win most-likely, but they play the actual games for a reason! Next: at Boise State.
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