USC is back in the top ten. Thats right, University of South Carolina.
Tyler Stimson votes in the ESPN-U NCAA College Football Top 25 poll. This is his individual ballot, not a prediction of what the top 25 will be in the AP or Coaches poll.
1. Boise State (5-0)
Dominated Toledo, 57-14
Everything seems to be pointing towards another undefeated season for Boise. And right now, they are playing like the best team in the country. They have two wins against teams in my top 25, and have steamrolled everyone else on their schedule. They've only had one close game, and that was against a top six team 2400 miles away from home. I expect Boise to be No. 3 in both major polls. Boise State has won 19 Games in a row.
2. Ohio State (6-0)
Won @ Indiana 38-10
The Buckeyes have been dominant. But they have not beaten a single team (currently) ranked in my top 25. With Miami's blowout loss to Florida State, Ohio State's one quality win this season, they fall down a notch below Boise. They remain ahead of Oregon because they beat them in last year's bowl game.They will assuredly be No. 1 in both major polls, but I think Boise and Oregon will also get some first place votes.
3. Oregon (6-0)
Won @ Washington State 43-23
The Ducks have the most explosive offense in college football right now. But they were not very impressive on the road at Washington State, the perpetual doormat of the Pac-10. I also have to take last year into account. Oregon lost 19-8 at Boise last year, and 26-17 in their bowl game to Ohio State.
4. TCU (6-0)
Beat Wyoming 45-0
TCU has posted back-to-back shutouts. Their offense has not disappointed this year either, putting up 42 PPG.
The MWC is ranked fifth in the country, according to ESPN's conference power rankings, behind only the SEC, Pac-10, Big 12, and Big 10. TCU has won 18-straight regular season games; their only loss in that span is to Boise State 17-10 in last year's Fiesta Bowl.
5. Nebraska (5-0)
Won @ Kansas State 42-10
It seems like OU and Nebraska are on a collision course considering the strength (or lack thereof) of both teams' schedules. I'd be a little surprised if either slips up before the Big 12 title game.
6. Utah (5-0)
Won @ Iowa State 68-27
Utah dominated the underrated Cyclones with an amazing offensive explosion. For now, they are ranked ahead of Oklahoma because of OU's close calls to bad teams (Cincinnati, Utah State).
7. Oklahoma (5-0)
Had a bye. Ranked teams on Oklahoma's remaining schedule: one.
I'll be pretty surprised if we don't see an OU vs. Nebraska Big 12 championship game. Their victory over Florida State certainly looks even better now, considering FSU's dismantling of Miami.
8. Auburn (6-0)
Won @ Kentucky 37-34
Auburn has developed the habit of winning extremely close games against inferior competition. But they are winning. And they beat the team (South Carolina), that just shocked Alabama by two TDs.
9. South Carolina (4-1)
Beat Alabama 35-21
That was the best performance of any team this CFB season. Their defense was spectacular. Lattimore outplayed Ingram, and Garcia played a better game than McElroy has played in his entire career.
10. Alabama (5-1)
Shocked by South Carolina 35-21
Alabama got flatout dominated. If it had been a narrow loss, than I could've justified dropping them less far. Their schedule the rest of the way is brutal. But the most difficult stretch is over. If they win out, I will be surprised if they don't play in the national championship game.
11. Nevada (5-0)
Beat San Jose State 35-13
Why is Nevada so high? Nevada put up 52 points on California. California has given up less than seven ppg in the other four games on their schedule. California's only other loss is at Arizona by one. Nevada's "closest" game was a 27-13 victory at BYU. Nevada is also ranked in the top 10 in the the congrove computer ranking.
12. LSU (6-0)
Won @ Florida 33-29
LSU has defied luck and common sense and is 6-0. They've given Florida their first loss at home since Ole Miss victory in 2008.
So why isn't LSU higher? Because I almost count LSU's win over Tennesee last week as a loss. There was awful officiating. Tennessee's defense was not given enough time to counter LSU's substitutions, and got called for having 13 men on the field. LSU's clock management was awful. In reality, neither team deserved to win that game. But they still won.
13. Michigan State (6-0)
Won @ Michigan 34-17
Michigan State's defense did what no one else could do. They shut down Denard Robinson. Someone please tell me one thing, what is the tiebreaker for the Big 10 title if both Michigan State and Ohio State go undefeated?
14. Iowa (4-1)
Had a bye
Why are they ranked ahead of Arizona? They lost by seven points on the road in a game they probably shoud've won. They've also steamrolled the rest of their schedule.
15. Stanford (5-1)
Beat USC 37-35
Stanford didn't look good against an unranked USC team. But I think it was more a case of USC playing up to the competition, than Stanford playing down to USC's level.
16. Arkansas (4-1)
Won at Texas A&M 24-17
It wasn't an impressive win for the Hogs, as they almost let the Aggies come back on them. But it was a solid road win against a decent opponent.
17. Air Force (5-1)
Demolished Colorado State 49-27
It was 49-13 until Air Force allowed CSU to score two TDs in garbage time. Their only loss is at Oklahoma 27-24.
18. Missouri (5-0)
Shutout Colorado 26-0
Shhhhhhh. Missouri is quietly 5-0. They are probably the most underrated BCS conference team in the country.
19. Oregon State (3-2)
Won @ Arizona 29-27
Their two losses are to two top-five teams on the road: TCU and Boise State. I think Oregon State will win the Pac-10.
20. Arizona (4-1)
Lost to Oregon State 29-27
A week after they escaped against Cal, Arizona lost to an Oregon State team that didn't have James Rodgers in the second half.
21. Oklahoma State (5-0)
Do I think the Cowboys are the 21st best team in the country? No. But they are 5-0. I will give credit where credit is due. But Oklahoma State's best victory is over Texas A&M, at home, by three points. A&M's best victory is beating Louisiana Tech.
22. Florida State (4-1)
Won @ Miami 45-17
Aside from a 30-point loss on the road to Oklahoma, Florida State is perfect. And they just beat Miami much more impressively than Ohio State did, and they did it on the road.
23. Wisconsin (4-1)
Won @ Minnesota 41-23
Wisconsin's only loss is to a top-15 team. Wisconsin's best victory? A one point win at home over Arizona State thanks to a missed XP.
24. Virginia Tech (4-2)
Beat Central Michigan 45-21
I know they lost to an FCS team, but that was a week after a heartbreaking loss to Boise State. And James Madison would have beaten a lot of top 25 teams that week. Since then they've won four in a row, and are the only team to have beaten 5-1 NC State.
25. California (3-2)
Beat UCLA 35-7.
Cal has had an amazing season. Aside from a "bad" loss to Nevada on the road, they have only fallen by one point at Arizona. Their defense has only given up seven ppg if you throw out their game against Nevada's unconventional offense.
My Subjective Conference Power Rankings
1. SEC (five top 25 teams)
2. Pac-10 (five top 25 teams)
3. Big 10 (four top 25 teams)
4. Big 12 (four top 25 teams)
5. MWC (three top 25 teams)
6. WAC (two top 25 teams)
7. ACC (two top 25 teams)
8. Big East
9. Conference USA
11. Sun Belt