Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports
Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops
Once again, the Nos. 20-16 grouping has three of the same teams in both the AP and Coaches Poll.
Oklahoma sits at No. 20 in the AP but is up at No. 17 in the Coaches. Does this mean anything? Probably not, but it's incredible how one team can look so awful one week and then be competitive the next. One thing we do know about the Sooners is that they have a lot of talent, so regardless of what happened the week before, a solid game plan should allow them to compete with anyone.
The other two teams here are Northern Illinois and UCF. Not long ago, both these programs had the same stature in the college football world, but joining the conference formerly known as the Big East allowed the Knights to compete for an automatic BCS berth, which they will receive by winning their final two games against South Florida and SMU.
For Northern Illinois, there isn't much left it can do except put its head down and make the final game count. Quarterback Jordan Lynch is tearing it up and the Huskies are posting quality wins within the MAC, but it apparently hasn't been enough for voters to move them ahead of Fresno State, which needs to happen if they hope to reach the BCS.
Arizona State and Louisville are the other two teams in the Coaches Poll, while the AP voters selected Texas A&M and Fresno State to be part of the grouping.
Ever since the loss to UCF, Louisville has maintained its ground in the rankings, but Arizona State is on an upward trajectory, especially after beating UCLA in Pasadena. The Sun Devils will get a chance to play for a berth in the Rose Bowl regardless of what happens in their season finale against Arizona.
You could argue Fresno State to be any number of places, but one thing is for sure: It is a good football team and quarterback Derek Carr could play anywhere. As for Texas A&M, a Top 20 ranking seems generous. The Aggies now have three losses on the season, which includes the 24-point loss to LSU.
The offense was one part of Kevin Sumlin's team you could always count on, but if that starts to crumble like it did in Death Valley, this is suddenly an average team. It will be interesting to see how the Aggies respond against Missouri.