1) Penn State (5)
They just keep dominating teams. Remember, this was the same Wisconsin team who took Ohio State to the wire last week.
2) Texas (4)
Sure they looked the part on offense, but man, that pass defense still has a lot of questions. What if the offense is not on for one game—then what?
3) Alabama (3)
Just biding their time, though the close call against Tulane is starting to look worse.
4) Oklahoma (1)
If it was not for a few breaks here and there, this would have been a different outcome. But like Texas, they need to shore up that defense, while the pass offense is unstoppable.
5) Florida (9)
LSU was probably not a top 10 team, let alone a top five team—and Florida handled them like a top five team should have.
6) USC (7)
Don't look now, but the Oregon State Beavers have won three of their last four. Also, when you turn the ball over five times and the other team still gets shut out, then your defense is doing something good.
7) Georgia (6)
Everyone is still waiting for another top 10 performance like the one against Arizona State.
8) Oklahoma State (12)
If their defense is going to play like that while their offense is still rolling, then this might be the team to beat in the Big 12. That was a great defensive effort, especially the pass rush.
9) Missouri (2)
Look, even with all the problems they had on offense, they were still in the game, and the defense had a decent game. This could have been a possible matchup for the Big 12 Championship.
10) Michigan State (14)
The win in Evanston was better than people will give the Spartans credit for. This team is winning when Ringer is not running for 100 yards, they are winning when the passing game is not working—they are even winning when the defense is having problems. They are just winning.
11) Texas Tech (14)
You know this is looking more and more like a team that is just waiting to explode. I do not want to be the team they go for 60 on.
12) BYU (10)
Now the serious meat of the conference schedule is coming up. Remember all the tough games for the Cougars are on the road, starting with TCU this week.
13) LSU (8)
This defense is quietly having a problematic season. They gave up the third most points Auburn scored all season, the second most points Mississippi State scored all season, and then this. Couple that with the QB questions, and this could be a longer season than first noted.
14) Ohio State (11)
They need to get this offense going. At some point they are going to play a team with the offensive firepower to score 20 points on their defense. This week they play Michigan State.
15) Boise State (18)
They are playing consistently right now. They are not as dominant as past Broncos teams, but they have the same cold efficiency.
16) Utah (20)
You could make a case that they are better than BYU and have played a better schedule. But right now BYU has finished their games with more consistency than Utah.
17) Cal (20)
You know that game against Maryland is looking worse. But at the same time, they are humming on offense, and it should be fun to watch them the rest of the way.
18) Kansas (16)
The kind of forgotten Big 12 team right now. They finally found a bit of a running game, which should help take some heat off of Todd Reesing.
19) Wake Forest (15)
The win over Clemson was decent, but to be in the red zone so many times and not come away with more touchdowns has to be a bit disappointing. They need PK Sam Swank back in a hurry.
20) Virginia Tech (21)
They are waiting to explode back onto the national scene, and they will have plenty of games to do it with the upcoming schedule, but the offense needs to be more consistent.
21) South Florida (20)
I still believe that at the end of the day this team is the best team in the Big East. They have still played more erratically than Kansas, and well, it is only a matter of time before I move Pitt ahead of them.
22) UNC (NR)
The Tar Heels are playing lights out on defense, causing and creating turnovers left and right. The offense will need to cope with the loss of everything WR/KR Brandon Tate, but they have some playmakers ready to step into the spotlight.
23) TCU (23)
This is the old school defensive TCU that got them noticed in BCS conversation in the past 10 years. They have only allowed over 14 points once, and that was to Oklahoma. In fact, they only allowed more than seven points one other time, in a 31-14 win over Stanford.
24) Ball State (25)
Not having Dante Love dampens my raising them up in the rankings as much, but the more they win without him, the more I am convinced that they are still well on their way to a MAC title.
25) Tulsa (22)
That was a close call against a bad SMU team. You can chalk it up to the one bad game everyone has during the season. The offense is still playing lights out.
OUTSIDE LOOKING IN
Knocking on the Door
Georgia Tech, Pittsburgh, Western Michigan, Florida State, Cincinnati, Boston College, UConn, Navy, Minnesota
Don't look now—Minnesota and Western Michigan are 6-1. The Broncos have a huge game against Central Michigan this week for positioning in the MAC West.
If Georgia Tech can get their QB situation straight with all the injuries and get someone back there who can run the offense, then they will be back to where they were.
Florida State is a consistent offense away from being a real threat in the ACC race.
The Big East boasts Pitt, Cincy, and UConn all with one loss, ready to be taken seriously by the media.
Down the Block
Northwestern, South Carolina, Louisville, Vanderbilt, Oregon, Central Michigan
Northwestern was going to have trouble on defense against a team like Michigan State, but they needed to show more on offense.
South Carolina is slowly but surely making its way back to relevance as the offense is coming together to compliment a really good defense.
Vanderbilt plays great defense and is very opportunistic. There has not been much in the way of offense during the course of the year, however, and that will need to change.
Waiting at the Corner
Ole Miss, Notre Dame, Arizona, West Virginia, Oregon State, Air Force, Maryland
Notre Dame needs to do something to cut down on Jimmy Clausen's turnovers.
Ole Miss is so close to being a good team. Maybe they are a player or two away, but if they were more consistent on offense, they would be at least 4-2 right now.
Maryland has to be the craziest team of the entire season. They beat two top 25 (at the time) teams, and then lose to Middle Tennessee State, and then Virginia by 31 points.
Oregon State is sneaking around—they are four points away from being on a four-game winning streak.
Going the Wrong Way
Wisconsin, Auburn, Illinois, Miami, Kentucky, Clemson
Wisconsin has played some tough teams the past two weeks, but that game against Michigan really hurts them
Auburn needs something to work on offense. It would not matter if Bill Walsh was coaching on offense—they would still be having trouble.
Illinois has been good, but not great. Juice Williams has been great in the losses, but in the wins he is average.
I don't know what happened to Miami after the FSU game, and why UCF plays all the other Florida schools tough, but everyone in C-USA this year is running over them.
Clemson...what can I say. I will say that Cullen Harper needs to start playing a lot better after telling the media Tommy Bowden got what he “deserved.”