College Football Top 25 Week 9: Missouri and Auburn Rise, Oklahoma and LSU Fall
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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 (6-0)
Plays Louisiana Tech at home on national TV Tuesday.
Everything seems to be pointing towards another undefeated season for Boise. And right now, the Broncos are playing like the best team in the country. They've only had one close game, and that was against a top six team 2400 miles away from home. Boise State has won 20 Games in a row—its last loss was to TCU back in 2008. Its regular season winning streak is 31. With Oklahoma losing, Boise's chances of playing in the title game are looking better and better.
2. Oregon (7-0)
Defeated UCLA 62-10 on Thursday Night.
The Ducks have the most explosive offense in college football. They are also in the driver's seat for the national championship race. If they win out, they're in. Oregon is one team that controls its own championship destiny.
3. TCU (8-0)
Beat Air Force 38-7.
TCU gave Air Force, who lost two road games to Oklahoma and San Diego State by a combined five points, a 31 point blowout loss. The Mountain West 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 20 straight regular season games with its only loss in that span coming to Boise Stat, 17-10, in last year's Fiesta Bowl.
4. Auburn (8-0)
Beat LSU 24-17.
Auburn has developed a habit of winning extremely close games against elite competition. Auburn's Cam Newton should be the undisputed favorite in the Heisman race. The Tiger's margin of victory has not been impressive to this point, but their win total and schedule have.
5. Missouri (7-0)
Beat Oklahoma 36-27
Last week I wrote: "Shhhhhhh. Missouri is quietly 6-0. They are probably the most underrated BCS conference team in the country." With the victory over Oklahoma, the secret is out. The Tigers are legitimate national championship contenders.
6. Utah (7-0)
Beat Colorado State 59-6.
Are the Utes legit national title contenders? At this point, probably not. But they should be.
7. Michigan State (8-0)
Won @ Northwestern 35-27.
I wouldn't fault anyone for putting Michigan State in the top-five. But I was not impressed by them against a Northwestern team that I consider to be a paper tiger. For now, they remain below the other undefeateds, even though they do have the most impressive victory out of anyone in the bunch.
8. Alabama (7-1)
Crushed Tennessee 41-10.
If Alabama wins out, I will be a little surprised if they don't play in the title game.
9. Wisconsin (6-1)
Won @ Iowa 31-30.
Wisconsin's only loss is to Michigan State. And now the Badgers have more signature victories than anyone else with one loss.
10. Ohio State (7-1)
Beat Purdue 49-0.
The Buckeyes had been dominant until they ran into Wisconsin. They still have not beaten a single team (currently) ranked in my top 25. They had a nice bounce-back win against Purdue. But this same Purdue team lost to Toledo.
11. Stanford (6-1)
Beat Washington State 38-28.
12. Oklahoma (6-1)
Lost @ Missouri 36-27.
Oklahoma finally let one get away. But they still have a great chance to win the Big 12.
13. Nebraska (6-1)
Beat Oklahoma State 51-41.
Who needs defense when you can put up 51 points? Nebraska's defense was "exposed" against one of the better offensive teams in the country.
14. Arizona (6-1)
Beat Washington 44-14.
They have the best defense in the Pac-10. And they have as good as chance as anyone to win the Pac-10 (other than Oregon).
15. LSU (7-1)
Lost 24-17 @ Auburn.
LSU defied luck and common sense to get to 7-0. But they finally came down to earth at Auburn in a heartbreaking loss. 50 and 70 yard TD runs were the key difference in an extremely hard-fought game.
16. South Carolina (5-2)
Won @ Vanderbilt 21-7.
South Carolina still is my runaway favorite to win the SEC East.
17. Arkansas (5-2)
Beat Ole Miss 38-24.
Arkansas's only losses are very competitive games to Auburn and Alabama.
18. Oklahoma State (6-1)
Lost to Nebraska 51-41.
Oklahoma State hung 41 on the "blackshirt" defense of Nebraska. But they gave up 51. They might have one of the best offenses in the country, but their defense is so awful it doesn't matter. They made Taylor Martinez look like Peyton Manning.
19. Iowa (5-2)
Lost a heart-breaker to Wisconsin 31-30.
Iowa has two very close losses to two top 15 teams. They still get Michigan State and Ohio State at home and are very alive in the Big 10 title race.
20. Florida State (6-1)
Had a Bye.
21. Virginia Tech (5-2)
Beat Duke 44-7.
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 six in a row.
22. Nevada (6-1)
Had a bye.
Nevada was having a historic season until Hawaii brought them back down to earth. But they are still 6-1 and could easily be 7-0. Hawaii is a legitimate top 25 caliber team.
23. USC (5-2)
Had a bye.
Beat California 48-14 last week.
24. Baylor (6-2)
Beat Kansas State 47-42.
Baylor's only losses are to TCU, and a heartbreaking loss to Texas Tech. They are in 1st place in the Big 12 South standings.
25. San Diego State (6-2)
Won @ New Mexico 30-20.
San Diego State's only losses are at Missouri and BYU by six points combined. Both games were lost due to some questionable calls. This is a legit, top 25 caliber team. It also gave Missouri its toughest game of the year.
AP College Football Top 25 Poll Prediction:
2. Boise State
6. Michigan State
10. Ohio State
15. Florida State
17. South Carolina
20. Virginia Tech
21. Mississippi State
24. Oklahoma State
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