With a tumultuous week filled with upsets and nine ranked teams losing. Who now leads the national title race and who gets the BCS shovel?
1. Missouri Tigers
Due to the losses of USC and Florida, Missouri moves up to number one in my poll after a bye week. Chase Daniel is the best quarterback in the nation and great quarterback play is essential for national title.
2. Alabama Crimson Tide Football
Nick Saban has proven his worth by turning the Crimson Tide into a national title contender in only his second season. Alabama has had the most impressive set of wins of any team in the nation. First they blowout Clemson 34-10, and have a dominant 41-30 win over Georgia that includes a 31-0 halftime lead. Alabama is loaded with young talent and they will continue to get better as the season goes.
3. Oklahoma Sooners
Oklahoma passed his first major test with flying colors. Lead by 411 passing yards from Sam Bradford, the Sooners dominated a ranked TCU team and look like a potential BCS title team.
4. BYU Cougars
This may seem a little high for a Mountain West team, but BYU has been dominating its competition since escaping from Washington. Quarterback Max Hall has been putting up the best numbers in the nation and the Cougars defense has been able to keep up with their high power offense.
5. Penn State Nittany Lions
With Wisconsin losing to Michigan, Penn State looks like the best team in the Big Ten. They also won their first tough game against Illinois.
6. Texas Tech Red Raiders
Despite their great offense, Texas Tech still has an unproven defense. That side of the ball will determine whether the Red Raiders win anywhere between 8-12 games.
7. South Florida Bulls
Due to the Big East’s weakness, South Florida has a great shot to go undefeated and sneak into the title game. The Jayhawks’ success ultimately may determine how South Florida appears in the BCS title game.
8. LSU Tigers
Despite quarterback problems, LSU still has continued to win with top talent at every other position. Their upcoming trip to the swamp will determine whether this year’s Tigers can defend their title.
9. USC Trojans
USC shocking loss at Oregon State spells trouble for the Trojans, but they are not out of the national title hunt. With the nation’s best defense and their only road challenge being at Arizona, USC can easily run the table. Pete Carrol, however, needs to be able to keep his players motivated against inferior teams.
10. Texas Longhorns
Texas may be one of the most over ranked teams in the nation. They are unbeaten, but they have not played anyone of any merit either. The Big XII season will expose Texas’s suspect secondary and an interception prone Colt McCoy.
11. Georgia Bulldogs
Unlike the Trojans, Georgia and Florida are pretty much eliminated from national title contention. First they must play each other and a two loss team will most likely not make a title game. Also Georgia must play at Auburn and LSU and will probably lose at least one of those games.
12. Florida Gators
A loss at home one of the worst teams in the SEC (Ole Miss) has killed the Gator’s title hopes. However, they are still a top team with elite talent and that is why they hang on in the top 15.
13. Boise State Broncos
Can two non-BCS schools crash the BCS party. With the strength of the Mountain West and Boise finaly beating a BCS school on the road with their victor against Oregon, the Broncos schedule sets up for another Fiesta Bowl appearance. The Broncos only remaining challenge is a home game against Fresno State which has not won on the blue turf this millennium.
14. Utah Utes
The Holy War looks like a playoff for a BCS bowl (or even national title) berth. However, USC killing Oregon State is coming to Utah on Saturday which may be a challenge for the Utes.
15. Ohio State Buckeyes
Beanie Wells came back on Saturday to aid Ohio State’s victory against Minnesota. Terrel Pryor’s composure ultimately will determine Ohio State’s standing in the Big Ten.
16. Auburn Tigers
Auburn continues to look unimpressive after three lackluster games (3-2 over MSU, losing to LSU, and scraping by a 1-3 Tennessee team), while continuing to struggle on offense. Auburn is on its way to its first Iron Bowl loss since 2001.
17. Oregon Ducks
The Ducks are down to their third string quarterback but have still persevered to a 4-1 record this season. Watch out for the Ducks when Justin Roper returns from injury.
18. Wisconsin Badgers
A disappointing loss to a down Michigan team has cost Wisconsin a national title chance.
19. Fresno State Bulldogs
The Bulldogs tie Utah with the most BCS wins for a non-BCS team since 2000 with a win at UCLA. The Bulldogs should cruise through the WAC until a big game against Boise State at the blue turf.
20. Kansas Jayhawks
Kansas has performed as expected so far this season. The Big XII season will prove Kansas’ viability.
21. Vanderbilt Commodores
Vanderbilt also started 4-0 in 2005, but ended up finishing 5-6 and that season. However, this year’s Commodores seem to be more likely to make a bowl game due to having much better wins at this point (South Carolina, @ Ole Miss).
22. UConn Huskies
Uconn has not had any impressive wins, but similarly to last season’s Huskies, they find ways to win. With a soft Big East schedule, UConn can amass a win total that is much greater than their talent level.
23. Wake Forest Demon Deacons
Saturday’s loss at home to Navy has exposed Wake’s struggles with their running game with only 43 yards that game. Wake Forest is going to need to improve its running game for the rest of ACC play if they want to be an Orange Bowl contenders.
24. Virginia Tech Hokies
A win over Nebraska at Lincoln puts Virginia Tech back in the rankings. However, their loss against East Carolina continues to look worse
25. Ball State Cardinals
Since no other team outside the rankings deserves to be ranked, Ball State will cap out the top 25 due its impressive 5-0 start that includes wins over Navy and Indiana.
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