College Football Rankings: Auburn, Oregon, and TCU? Holy Triumvirate, Batman!

Tim McGheeCorrespondent IIINovember 2, 2010

Can Alabama do it again?
Can Alabama do it again?Harry How/Getty Images

Tied for No. 1 and listed in alphabetical order, Auburn, Oregon, and TCU form the 21st century triumvirate in the Intuitive Top Ten poll.

I haven't studied triumvirates since 1969 eighth grade history, the season Texas' wishbone triple option offense ruled.  41 years later, I can't even find an Encyclopedia Britannica like the one I used.

Google leads me to The First Triumvirate, which was basically a loose agreement established in 59 BC by Julius Caesar, Pompey the Great, and Marcus Crassus.  Just when it got rolling, Crassus died in 53 BC.  Pompey was killed off by Caesar in 49 BC.  Five years later. Julius Caesar bought the farm from Marcus Junius Brutus, when the Great One was heard to ask, "Et tu, Brutus?"

As you can see, the First Triumvirate is the inspiration for the Bowl Championship Series.


Auburn  Tied for No. 1 (last week tied for No. 3)

An offensive production of 51 points is certainly Glendale-worthy.  There has to be a way to play Cam Newton at linebacker and stop teams like Ole Miss before they rack up 31.  Oh well, it's life as we know it in the Southeastern Conference. 

Next up: not to worry—playing host to FCS' Chattanooga.


Oregon  Tied for No. 1 (last week tied for No. 3)

Et tu, Trojans?  

Not quite. 

It's not often a team outscores Southern Cal.  The Ducks did that and more.  Oregon would have squeaked by Auburn in this week's Monte Carlo 3,000 Reiterations Analysis Bowl. 

Next up: Danger!  Danger! Jake Locker was shut out and he's not taking it anymore!


TCU  Tied for No. 1 (last week No. 1)

The Horned Frogs got in and out of Las Vegas nicely.  UNLV is a bottom fisher on TCU's schedule.  This is a nuisance game that the schools from the non-AQs must play, serving as a constant reminder that the Western Athletic and Mountain West conferences are...well, better than the Big East.


Boise State  No. 4 (last week No. 2)

The Broncos scored a lot of points and held Louisiana Tech to less than half as much.  It was a W, albeit with Boise State's defense scrambling around trying to hold the Bulldogs to under 400 yards.  Barely doing that, the demand for the tape of that game exceeds the supply. 

Click on YouTube, Hawai'i!


Ohio State  No. 5 (last week No. 6)

The Buckeyes average 42 points per game.  They put up 52 in Minneapolis as they take a break this weekend.  Penn State and Michigan sandwich a trip to Iowa.  Rich Rod needs to make a statement against Wisconsin for Ohio State to smell the Roses. 

That is just about as ironic as it gets.


Alabama  No. 6 (last week No. 5)

The Tuna Theorem dropped the Tide down a slot.  Fortunately, Missouri and Michigan State choked.  Then there's a tough road trip to LSU this weekend.  Both teams should be well-rested, but both coaches did their best to keep the mean edge. 

Watching Auburn give up 31 should have done it.


Oklahoma  No. 7 (last week No. 10)

Lots of points—and Missouri's about-face attrition—led to a Sooner rebound.  They'll need it.  Four tough Big XII South teams who essentially hate Oklahoma stand in the way of the recapture of the conference championship berth. In fact, pulling a November 4-0 may give them a ride to the natty.


Utah  No. 8 (last week No. 9)

The Utes barely survived on the road to Air Force against the Falcons' brand of confusion called the triple option.  Okay, so now is the time to look forward to TCU.  I must admit, the Intuitive Top Ten may have been unfair to the boys from the Salt Lake.  It's up to Utah and their awesome home record.


Stanford  No. 9 (last week an also ran at No. 13)

Easily the champion of the Brainy SAT Conference, the Cardinal made a statement last weekend in the real conference.  Call it a chick flick remake: Shutout in Seattle.  Cheer on Oregon to get its berth in the national championship game.  That all but puts Stanford in the Rose Bowl.


Nebraska  No. 10 (last week an also ran at No. 14)

Looks like smooth waters to the Big XII North title and the conference championship game.  Could be another Oklahoma/Nebraska classic, like Sooner Greg Pruitt and Cornhusker Johnny Rodgers. 

Sorry,  that was 1971.  In this reality, the voyage begins for the 2010 Huskers this Saturday at Iowa State.


Also considered:

Arizona  No. 11, Missouri  No. 12, LSU  No. 13, Iowa No. 14, Michigan State No. 15, and Wisconsin  No. 16.


The Intuitive Top Ten is a completely non-algorithmic poll that is just about as human as it gets.  It's a one man poll, and I'm the one man.  As an engineer who understands computer polling well enough to essentially ignore it, I base my votes by taking my fandom back to how it felt watching:

a) the 1968 Ohio State "Super Sophs" national champions,

b) the 1969 Texas wishbone triple option national champions,

c) Anthony Davis and 1972-1974 Southern Cal national champions,

d) the 1986 Fiesta Bowl national championship game, during which "fat and slow" Penn State upset Vinny Testaverde and his Miami Hurricanes by absolutely smacking Vinny's receivers in the mouth without mercy, and

e) Vince Young, the greatest college football quarterback in the history of the game.

After forty-two years of watching, breathing, and feeling college football, all of that is now in a poll, described in language that encourages you to look from a fifth side.


Tim McGhee

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