College Football Top 25 Week 10: Missouri and Michigan State Fall, Alabama No. 6
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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 (7-0)
Beat Louisiana Tech 49-20 at home on national TV Tuesday.
It didn't seem like a dominant performance for the Broncos, but they still won by 29 points. 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 21 Games in a row—their last loss was to TCU in 2008. Their regular season winning streak is 32. Boise is in good position to make the title game if Oregon or Auburn fall before the end of the season.
2. Oregon (8-0)
Won @ USC 53-32.
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 (9-0)
Beat UNLV 48-6.
TCU's 42-10 win over Baylor is looking better and better. Their impressive win over Oregon State (3-1 Pac-10) is also starting to look pretty good. 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 21 straight regular season games with its only loss in that span coming to Boise State, 17-10, in last year's Fiesta Bowl.
4. Auburn (9-0)
Beat Ole Miss 51-31.
Auburn is starting to really come together as a team. Their win over Ole Miss on the road was surprising. Not that they won, but that they actually defeated a road team by more than three points. Their defense was average yet again. And winning at Ole Miss is something Jacksonville State can also claim. The SEC is third in all of the computer rankings. The conference has not defeated any team ranked in the top 25. All that being said, Auburn is in control of their championship destiny. Win out, and they will be in.
5. Utah (8-0)
Beat Air Force 28-23.
Are the Utes legit national title contenders? I say yes. They just gave Air Force their only loss at home so far this season. They play TCU at home next week and are at Notre Dame the week after that. If they win out they should get into the championship game over any one-loss team aside from Alabama.
6. Alabama (7-1)
Had a bye.
If Alabama wins out, I will be a little surprised if they don't play in the title game. They don't quite control their own destiny, but it's close. Unless the voters break history and favor an undefeated Boise, TCU or Utah over a 1-loss SEC champion, if the Tide win out, they will have their chance to defend their BCS title.
7. Wisconsin (7-1)
Won at Iowa 31-30 last week
Wisconsin's only loss is to Michigan State. The Badgers have more signature victories than anyone else with one loss. They are a legitimate sleeper threat to make the BCS title game. But it would probably take five of the six teams ahead of them losing. And with TCU-Utah and Auburn-Alabama coming up, they might need just three more upsets to slide into the title game.
8. Stanford (7-1)
Beat Washington 41-0.
Their only loss is to Oregon. And they just dominated a Washington team that has beaten Oregon State and USC.
9. Nebraska (7-1)
Beat Missouri 31-17.
Nebraska has to be kicking themselves for losing to Texas. If they survive that game, they are probably No. 3 in the BCS standings right now with an excellent chance of making the BCS title game.
10. Ohio State (8-1)
Won at Minnesota 52-10.
The Buckeyes have been dominant in every game except their loss to Wisconsin. But then again they really haven't faced any quality teams except Wisconsin up to this point. But with a final three games of Penn State, Iowa and Michigan, Ohio State's schedule gets a lot tougher. If they survive unscathed, they have an excellent chance to go to a BCS bowl yet again.
11. Oklahoma (7-1)
Beat Colorado 43-10.
They still have a great chance to win the Big 12. But they have three losable road games coming up: at Texas A&M, at Baylor and at Oklahoma State.
12. Arizona (7-1)
Won at UCLA 29-21.
They have the best defense in the Pac-10.
13. Iowa (6-2)
Beat Michigan State 37-6.
Iowa has two very close losses to two top 16 teams. They still get Michigan State and Ohio State at home and are very alive in the Big Ten title race.
14. LSU (7-1)
Had a bye week. They play Alabama at home next week.
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. They are still very much in the hunt for a national title.
15. Missouri (7-1)
Lost to Nebraska 31-17.
Last week I wrote: "The Tigers are legitimate national championship contenders." I was wrong.
16. Michigan State (8-1)
Lost at Iowa 37-6.
I was not impressed by them last week against a Northwestern team that I consider to be a paper tiger. They seemed to be riding good luck, good fortune and a favorable schedule to an undefeated season, until they were exposed this week at Iowa.
17. South Carolina (6-2)
Beat Tennessee 38-24.
South Carolina still is my runaway favorite to win the SEC East. They have a huge game at Arkansas in two weeks.
18. Arkansas (6-2)
Beat Vanderbilt 49-14.
Arkansas' only losses are very competitive games to Auburn and Alabama. Ryan Mallet is having an impressive season.
19. Oklahoma State (7-1)
Beat Kansas State 24-14.
Their defense stepped up and played their best game of the season with their primary offensive threat serving a one-game suspension.
20. Virginia Tech (6-2)
Had a bye.
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.
21. Nevada (7-1)
Beat Utah State 56-42.
They led Utah State 35-0 at halftime, and the game was never in doubt. Nevada was having a historic season until Hawaii brought them back down to earth. But they are still 7-1 and could easily be 8-0. Hawaii is a legitimate top 25 caliber team.
22. Baylor (7-2)
Won at Texas 30-22.
Baylor's only losses are to TCU, and a heartbreaking loss to Texas Tech. They are in first place in the Big 12 South standings and they get Oklahoma at home. They are legitimate Big 12 title contenders.
23. San Diego State (7-2)
Won at Wyoming 48-38.
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 gave Missouri a much tougher game than Oklahoma did.
24. Hawaii (7-2)
Beat Idaho 45-10.
Hawaii has won six in a row, including impressive victories over Nevada and Fresno State.
25. Mississippi State (7-2)
Beat Kentucky 24-17.
Mississippi State has won six games in a row, including victories over Georgia, Houston, Florida, and Kentucky.
AP Top 25 Prediction
2. Boise State
8. Ohio State
15. Michigan State
17. South Carolina
19. Virginia Tech
20. Mississippi State
21. Oklahoma State
24. Florida State
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