Taylor's Twins Talk

Focusing on the Twins, with a few ramblings on other things that catch my attention

Saturday, October 06, 2007

My College Football Top 25

My friends, we have been spoiled the past two weeks. There have been so many great moments in sports over the past couple of weeks that at the end of the weekend, I feel completely drained. Halfway through this weekend, I feel the same way -- what an incredible day of college football! Oh yeah, I would be remiss if I didn't congratulate my adopted Colorado Rockies for sweeping the Phillies and advancing to face the D-backs in the NLCS. Call me crazy, but I think they have a pretty darned good chance of making it to the Series. Anyway, back to the task at hand -- here's my Top 25, after a second straight week of massive upheaval.


1 (1) - LSU (6-0)
I feel pretty good now about having had LSU at the top of my rankings since I started doing this after week 2 -- they will be at the top of both polls tomorrow (although Ohio State will be getting some love), although things were a bit more interesting than Les Miles and his boys probably hoped for tonight. In the SEC, there are always potential losses lingering around every corner, and LSU goes to Kentucky in a game next week that could easily turn into a loss. However, the toughest is now behind LSU (although Auburn, coming up on October 20, might beg to differ), and the Tigers are in good position to reach the National Championship Game.

2 (4) - Ohio State (6-0)
Ever since the Buckeyes strolled into Seattle and beat Washington in week 3, I had an inkling that Ohio State was in good position to take advantage of an LSU or USC loss. The Big X looks like a very weak conference this season, and after dispatching Purdue today the rest of the schedule looks to be manageable. An OSU/LSU title game is a distinct possibility.

3 (3) - California (5-0)
The Golden Bears had the week off, but they had to be a bit disappointed watching USC fall tonight -- it makes a possible win by Cal over USC on November 10 look a little less impressive, and could hurt their chances of making it to the national championship.

4 (6) - Boston College (6-0)
BC keeps moving up the charts despite playing weak competition. This week, they pounded Bowling Green to reach Bowl eligibility, and next week they'll face a very beatable Notre Dame squad -- but all eyes will be set on a clash with Virginia Tech on October 25.

5 (7) - South Florida (5-0)
The Bulls escaped with a win against Florida Atlantic today, but a win is a win -- I didn't penalize Wisconsin for barely beating The Citadel, for instance, and FAU is better than The Citadel -- but they're going to have to protect the ball better if they want to have a chance to finish undefeated and get a BCS berth.

6 (8) - Oklahoma (5-1)
The Sooners proved that they're still a good team by beating Texas today and re-establishing some momentum after losing last week to Colorado. All of a sudden, next week's game against Missouri looks very interesting.

7 (12) - South Carolina (5-1)
The Gamecocks one loss this year came against LSU, and they have good wins over Georgia and Kentucky. South Carolina could still sneak into a BCS game by winning the SEC East and beating (presumably) LSU in the SEC title game -- but Florida will be trying to prevent from happening when they meet towards the end of the season.

8 (13) - Virginia Tech (5-1)
Like South Carolina, the Hokies only loss this season came at the hands of LSU. They hadn't won any impressive games until this week, however, when they took out Clemson. A very important match against Boston College is coming up on October 25.

9 (11) - West Virginia (5-1)
WVU recovered from a loss to South Florida last week by pounding Syracuse this week -- but it will all be for naught if the Mountaineers don't get some help from another team in the conference. If the Bulls win out, the Mountaineers are done. On the positive side, games against Rutgers and Louisville no longer seem so daunting -- but what to make of suddenly hot Cincinnati?

10 (2) - USC (4-1)
There is absolutely no excuse to lose to a team that you were favored to beat by 41 points. The Trojans don't even have the good ole' "we were looking ahead" excuse available to them, because they play the horrid Arizona Wildcats next week. Plain and simple, USC was bad tonight, and they deserved to lose. On the other hand, I still think that, all things considered, they're a top 10 team that had a bad night. I think that a move outside of the top 15 would be justified just on the basis of what happened on the field -- but on the basis of an honest evaluation, I can't go further down than this.

11 (10) - Florida (4-2)
Florida hung with LSU, in Baton Rouge, for most of the ballgame. This is still a very good football team, despite losing in back-to-back weeks. They absolutely need to get it together, as they face Kentucky, Georgia, Vandy, and South Carolina following next week's bye week. They simply cannot afford to lose again -- but for now, I give them credit for still being a very good team.

12 (14) - Oregon (4-1)
Oregon was idle this week, and they get winnable matchups with Washington State and Washington coming out of the bye. USC's loss still gives the Ducks hope to win the Pac-10 -- but they're going to need Cal to lose in order for that to happen.

13 (15) - Hawaii (soon to be 6-0)
Hawaii is an offensive machine, and I would be stunned if they found a way to lose to Utah State. As I write this, Hawaii is in the lead. I still don't know how I'll feel about the Warriors if they go undefeated -- but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

14 (22) - Arizona State (6-0)
Most of the Sun Devils wins this season have been dominant wins, but this week's game against Washington State provided a good test. Nonetheless, reality is probably about to set in, as ASU faces Washington, Cal, Oregon, UCLA, and USC in their next five contests. Good thing that Bowl Eligibility is already secured!

15 (23) - Cincinnati (6-0)
By beating Rutgers in New Jersey this week, the Bearcats proved that they're a threat to win the Big East. Games against Louisville and Pitt the next two weeks seem very winnable -- but what will Cincinnati do against South Florida on November 3?

16 (NR) - Missouri (5-0)
Mizzou started the season by beating Illinois, and that didn't seem that impressive at the time. Now, things look a bit different, as the Illini have reeled off 5 straight wins. Meanwhile, the Tigers win tonight against Nebraska puts them firmly in position to contend for the Big XII North title, and justifies an entry to the poll at #16.

17 (9) - Kentucky (5-1)
I reluctantly put Kentucky into the top 10 last week after they became impossible to ignore, but they could be out of the poll in a couple of weeks after meeting up with LSU and Florida.

18 (NR) - Kansas (5-0)
More surrealism -- the Jayhawks upended Kansas State in the Sunflower Showdown today, and that makes the early season drubbings they placed on 4 hapless non-conference opponents look a bit better. A matchup with Baylor next week should provide another win (and Bowl Eligibility), but games at Colorado and Texas A&M the two weeks after that will provide a true measure of how good Kansas really is.

19 (NR) - Illinois (5-1)
Illinois has reeled off wins against Indiana, Penn State, and Wisconsin over the last three weeks to put themselves in first place in the Big X. And here I was mocking Ron Zook -- looks like he's about to get the last laugh. The Illini can gain Bowl Eligibility next week by beating Iowa on the road, and a game against Michigan on October 20 will likely determine who Ohio State's number 1 contender for the Big X title will be.

2o (5) - Wisconsin (5-1)
It hasn't looked easy for Wisconsin since they beat Washington State in the opener on September 1. Finally, the Badgers luck ran out in Champaign-Urbana -- and next week Wisconsin has to go to Happy Valley to face Penn State.

21 (17) - Purdue (5-1)
I actually didn't want to punish the Boilermakers this much for losing to a really good Ohio State club, but that's just how things worked out. I suspect that Purdue is better than Michigan, and we'll find out next week when the two teams meet in the Big House.

22 (NR) - Florida State (4-1)
It may have been a bit premature to write off the Seminoles after they lost to Clemson on September 3. Since then, they've defeated UAB, Colorado, Alabama, and NC State -- and they look like solid contenders for the ACC along with BC and Virginia Tech.

23 (NR) - Auburn (4-2)
Speaking of writing off a team too early, the Tigers deserve another look after beating Florida two weeks ago and pounding Vandy this week. Auburn's September 15 loss to Mississippi State can't be spun into a positive light, but the loss to South Florida the week before looks a lot more forgivable now than it did at the time. Auburn gets Arkansas next week as a tuneup to a fight with LSU on October 20, and if they could find a way to pull that win off, they could still be in excellent position within the SEC.

24 (NR) - Colorado (4-2)
The Buffaloes two losses are against Arizona State (6-0) and Florida State (4-1), and they have a strong win over Oklahoma. With teams dropping like flies around them, I think it's time to give CU some love.

25 (NR) - Tennessee (3-2)
I really agonized over what I was going to do with this spot. I considered a lot of teams (Virginia, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Indiana, Alabama, Michigan, Maryland), but in the end I thought that Tennessee's dominance against Georgia, coupled with the fact that the two losses they've suffered were at the hands of Cal and Florida, was enough to give Tennessee this spot for a week. The Volunteers have to prove themselves against Alabama, South Carolina, Arkansas, and Kentucky as the season plays out (along with a few less compelling games), so they still have a chance to prove they belong. For now, I think #25 is not inappropriate.

Georgia (4-2), Nebraska (4-2), Kansas State (4-2), Texas (4-2), Clemson (4-2), UCLA (4-2), Michigan State (4-2) -- notice a pattern, here?



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