After another slate of challenges for the teams ranked in the Top Five of the first BCS standings of the season, each program proved that its ranking was completely justified.
Alabama, Florida, Oregon, Kansas State and Notre Dame occupied the top spots, in that order. Every one of these teams walked away from the field on Saturday with a victory, and there is no reason to adjust any of their rankings this week.
Starting at the top, Alabama continued to dominate and did nothing to even remotely suggest that they do not deserve to be the No. 1 team in the nation. The Crimson Tide have scored at least 33 points in every game this year, and have not allowed any team to score more than 14 points.
They rank first in the nation in points per game allowed, and the defense looks just as good as it did last season when the team won the national championship. At this point, the Tide are the unanimous pick for No. 1.
However, controversy ensued last week when the BCS formula picked Florida as the No. 2 team in the country instead of Oregon. The Ducks had held the No. 2 spot in the AP Top 25 poll for three consecutive weeks before the BCS standings were released, but the undefeated Gators just edged them out.
While this was certainly met with indignation in Pac-12 circles, the Gators made a statement in their victory over South Carolina.
The Ducks remained impressive with a 43-21 victory over unranked Arizona State, but Florida played remarkably well as it blew No. 7 South Carolina off the field in a 44-11 win.
In the past three weeks, the Gators have now taken out LSU and South Carolina, while Oregon’s most difficult opponents have been Arizona and Washington. The Ducks must settle for No. 3 now, although a victory over USC in Los Angeles in two weeks would certainly shake things up.
Kansas State certainly defended their position as the No. 4 team in the nation, and even made a convincing argument to move up in the rankings. Collin Klein has started to separate himself from the pack in the race for the Heisman Trophy, and the team emphatically defeated West Virginia 55-14.
This is Kansas State’s second important win of the season, as it defeated Oklahoma 24-19 three weeks ago. Like Florida, the Wildcats are undefeated after recording an impressive upset and defending their rank with a blowout victory.
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However, the Gators have done this against SEC opponents, while KSU’s important wins are over Big 12 teams. Both programs have impressive résumés, but the difference in the level of competition between the SEC and the Big 12 accounts for the difference between No. 2 and No. 4 in the nation.
That leaves Notre Dame, whose defense remained impressive against BYU, but the offense failed again to produce a significant amount of points in the 17-14 victory.
The Fighting Irish have certainly proved that they are an elite team with their 7-0 start, but they do not have the same balance that the other four teams have.
Ultimately, all five teams at the top of the BCS rankings remained impressive enough not to drop down the standings this season, but were not spectacular to the point that they should move up.