Iowa Surges After Win in Happy Valley: My B/R Top 25 Ballot

Kevin TrahanAnalyst ISeptember 27, 2009

1. Florida Gators

Florida stays here for now, but if Tebow stays out, the Gators could have a big issue in the coming weeks.

2. Texas Longhorns

Texas still hasn't shown a very strong win, but the Longhorns should get a chance to prove themselves pretty quickly in a tough Big 12 South.

3. Alabama Crimson Tide

That win against Virginia Tech is looking very good right now and don't be surprised if the Tide surf all the way to the National Championship this year. All it'll take is wins over LSU and Florida. No biggie, right?

4. LSU Tigers

The Tigers have bounced back from an unimpressive game against Washington in Week One (even though it doesn't look that bad anymore) to vault back into the top five. But they need to be careful, as they barely beat Mississippi.

5. Virginia Tech Hokies

After a very impressive win over Miami, the Hokies seem to be back on the right track. That win, plus a win over Nebraska, and a close game against No. 3 Alabama are all very legit games.

6. Oklahoma Sooners

What do you know? After taking a tumble because of a Week One loss to BYU, the Sooners are back. While most of it has to do with everyone ahead of them losing, the Sooners still have a shot to make a run at the BCS National Championship game.

7. Iowa Hawkeyes

While this may seem a bit biased, I have seen other polls list the Hawkeyes at No. 6, No. 7, and No. 9, and none of those writers is a Hawkeye fan. Iowa has a very impressive win against Penn State, 21-10, in Happy Valley and an impressive win against Arizona at home.

The defense could be the best in the country and the offense, especially the running game, seems to be coming along. Plus, all of Iowa's past opponents are 3-1, with their only losses coming to the Hawkeyes.

8. USC Trojans

USC bounced back to beat Washington State after a loss against Washington last week. But the Trojans still didn't look that impressive and I'm hesitant to rank them back in the top five until they have a convincing win against Oregon or Cal.

9. Ohio State Buckeyes

Ohio State fans are probably whining about their team being ranked below Iowa, but the Hawkeyes are 4-0 and have a road win against a top five team, while the Buckeyes are 3-1 and have a home loss to a top five team. Still, their defense looked extremely impressive.

They have a shot at running the table in the Big Ten, but need more reliability on offense. Iowa comes to Columbus on November 14 and that should be a big factor in deciding the Big Ten Championship.

10. Boise State Broncos

I'm still not sold on Boise State. The way Oregon's playing right now, they could easily beat the Broncos in a rematch. Plus, Boise's been in a lot a games that were a lot closer than they should have been.

11. TCU Horned Frogs

TCU got an impressive win over Clemson this weekend and proved that it is still the team to beat in the Mountain West and is by far the most underrated possible BCS buster.

12. Oregon Ducks

Week One was a disaster for Oregon, but the Ducks have since recovered and had some very impressive wins, including a victory over Utah and a 42-3 drubbing of No. 6 Cal. They have a very good shot at winning the Pac-10 if they play like they did in Week Four all year.

13. Houston Cougars

Houston is one of the many surprise teams this year, starting their run to glory with a shocking win over Oklahoma State. They continue to play well and overcome adversity, as they were able to top Texas Tech in Week Four.

14. Cincinnati Bearcats

The Bearcats are 4-0 and not much is stopping them from going undefeated. After all, they do play in the Big East.

15. Penn State Nittany Lions

This just isn't the same Penn State team as it was a year ago. Iowa's defensive line made Penn State's offensive line look like a middle school team and this year, the Hawkeyes ruined Penn State's national championship dreams before they could even begin.

16. Oklahoma State Cowboys

Defense wins championships. If Oklahoma State showed any of it outside of a win against Georgia, they would be the best team in the country. The offense is amazing, but they need to be able to stop other teams in order to be a serious contender in the Big 12 South.

17. Ole Miss Rebels

As we learned Thursday night, Ole Miss was extremely overrated this year. The offense isn't clicking like it was at the end of 2008. As it stands now, the Rebels aren't a serious national championship or even SEC championship contender in 2009.

18. Miami Hurricanes

I actually believed in Miami. I thought that they could run the table in the ACC and possibly go undefeated. And boy was I wrong. After a big loss to Virginia Tech, the Hurricanes have even more problems to deal with, as they meet Oklahoma next week.

19. BYU Cougars

I don't see the Cougars as a legitimate BCS buster this season. There is no way they would have beaten Oklahoma if Sam Bradford had played during the second half and a loss to inconsistent Florida State doesn't look very good either.

20. California Bears

The Bears looked really promising three weeks into the season, but, like every year, they couldn't live up to the hype. Jahvid Best is still a very good running back, but not a Heisman frontrunner anymore. I can understand a loss to Oregon, but a 42-3 drubbing by the Ducks is unacceptable.

21. Missouri Tigers

Missouri has quietly worked its way to 4-0 this year and seems like one of the favorites to win the Big 12 North crown. There isn't much hope for a Big 12 Championship, but this is a young team that has great potential for the future.

22. Auburn Tigers

I never thought I'd say this, but it looks like Auburn is headed in the right direction this season. Gene Chizik isn't the best coach, but he's a much better fit for the Tigers than he was for Iowa State.

23. Georgia Bulldogs

Georgia has bounced back from a Week One loss to Oklahoma State, but the Bulldogs weren't very impressive in Week Four, as they barely got by Arizona State.

24. Nebraska Cornhuskers

I'm not quite sure what to make of the Cornhuskers at this point. They've beaten up on cupcakes and lost a very close game to Virginia Tech. They could still easily win the Big 12 North, but I'm not ready to jump on the Nebraska bandwagon just yet.

25. Michigan Wolverines

Michigan's offense may be the best in the Big Ten, but its defense needs to improve if it wants a realistic shot at the Big Ten title. Needing a blown call to get by Indiana isn't helping the Wolverines' cause.


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