With no particular prejudice, here's how my top five shakes out.
1. Southern Cal Trojans
Although they got bumped out of No. 1 in the latest polls, the Trojans are still the best team in America until they lose.
Anytime you play Washington in Seattle and come away with a win, especially this season, you're a good team.
So what if it was close. Ty Willingham has that group playing well, and the crowd was really into the game.
USC's real tests will come later this season—at Oregon in three weeks and when they take on Cal for the Pac-10 title.
2. LSU Tigers
The Tigers have looked strong thus far, but the real questions will only be answered when LSU finishes their difficult SEC schedule.
Don't forget, while LSU beat up on Tulane, USC was facing a Pac-10 foe. LSU does have an impressive victory over South Carolina, but their victories over Mississippi State and Middle Tennessee are nothing to gloat about. Once they get past Florida, UK and Auburn, then they will be worthy of #1.
3. California Golden Bears
QB Nate Longshore was injured late, but the Ducks couldn't capitalize...and Cal rises to give the Pac-10 two of the three best teams in the nation.
California has an excellent head coach, a veteran QB, and a flashy star in the making in DeSean Jackson. I doubt the Bears stay undefeated for too long, but who knows...
It could be a wild ride for Cal this season.
4. Oregon Ducks
That's right, the Ducks are the best one-loss team in major college football—even better than Florida.
The Ducks will get to a BCS bowl this season, and will surprise many as they knock off USC in Eugene.
Saturday's game was an aberration due to Dennis Dixon's uncharacteristic turnovers. This team simply has too many weapons to lose again. RB Jonathan Stewart has played well, and if Oregon does knock off USC at home, there will be a 3-way tie atop the Pac-10 which will make for some interesting football down the stretch. The only thing really hurting the conference right now is the way bowl season plays out, with the Pac-10 #2 team getting the Holiday Bowl. Thus, unless all 3 teams finish with just 1 loss, one team may unjustifiably be sent to a non-BCS bowl.
5. South Florida
Yes, the insanity continues—but the Bulls beat West Virginia and Auburn, and have a shot to go undefeated.
USF is for real this season, and it will be interesting to see how high they can climb in the rankings. A game to watch is at home against the high-powered UCF Golden Knights.
Not Quite Top Five Material
Ohio State, Wisconsin, Florida, Oklahoma, Boston College, Kentucky, Missouri, Georgia
Wisconsin, South Carolina, Kentucky
Teams That Don't Deserve Top 5 Status Yet...
1. West Virginia - the loss to USF hurts due to a relatively weak schedule.
2. BC - Their strength of schedule is a complete joke, and they face no real competition until the latter stages of their season.
3. Florida - The loss to Auburn was significant because it was at home and also due to Auburn's 2 losses prior to this game. Also, they barely beat Ole Miss in Oxford a few weeks ago.
4. Oklahoma - While they had looked unstoppable, the loss to Colorado is inexcusable.
5. Kentucky - The jury is out until they face some real SEC teams, including the 2nd to last game of the season with Tennessee. (Fun with Randy Sanders)
6. Ohio State - Undefeated yes, but who have they beaten, and can you name anyone on their team? While stars are trivial in the ranking system, I just can't see Ohio St. doing better than 9-2 against an ultra-weak Big 10.
7. Wisconsin - The Citadel...
8. Georgia - Barely beat an average Alabama squad.
9. Missouri - Although they looked impressive against Cupcake U. and St. Louis School for Girls, Mizzou will finally get a real test when they take on OU.