During the season, we have observed a number of teams ranked No. 1 in the country at some time or another. In the ranking of the 11 Best 11s we have seen Ohio State, Southern California, Oklahoma, Penn State, and Alabama occupy the top spot since the season began in August.
The won–loss record of the five current and prior No. 1 teams of the 11 Best 11s is 53–5, and all are still in the BCS, AP, and Coaches Top 10.
Chances are good that one of those five will emerge as the National Champion, although understand that Florida still has a say in the matter, as well as possibly Texas and Utah.
Of the five, the one that disturbed me the most to drop from the top spot is the Oklahoma Sooners. The Sooners were the victim of poor timing, with the injury to their great linebacker Ryan Reynolds during the Texas game.
The Sooners had controlled the game the entire way until the injury to Reynolds, which led to a late 25–7 flurry by the Longhorns that resulted in a 45–35 Texas win.
Gone but not forgotten, the powerful Sooners gathered themselves, improved each game, and destroyed No. 2-ranked Texas Tech in a mismatch, just three weeks after the Red Raiders conquered Texas.
With highly rated Oklahoma State next on the radar, the Sooners can continue to improve their BCS ranking strength. In fact, if Florida does upset Alabama in the SEC Title game, the Sooners could end up No. 1 at regular season's end in every poll.
THE 11 BEST 11s
RANK THIS WEEK RANK LAST WEEK
1) ALABAMA #1
2) OKLAHOMA #7
3) FLORIDA #3
4) TEXAS #4
5) PENN STATE #6
6) SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA #5
7) OHIO STATE #8
8) UTAH #9
9) BOISE STATE #10
10) TEXAS TECH #2
11) MISSOURI #11
On The Porch: Georgia, Cincinnati, Oklahoma State, Oregon State, Georgia Tech
Let's cover all the bases here, Texas is ranked ahead of Texas Tech even though Texas Tech beat Texas. The Red Raiders imploded much like Pittsburgh in 1981 and Oklahoma in 2003, when each was on the verge of a national title.
Likewise, Oklahoma is ranked ahead of Texas because, when healthy as now, they are a plainly better team and should be ranked higher. Texas should hope for an Oklahoma State upset of the Sooners this week, along with a Baylor upset of Texas Tech.
Additionally, Penn State was impressive in destroying vaunted Michigan State, this leads to the Nittany Lions jumping over Southern Cal who was idle this week.
It should be noted that the Lions are the Big 10 Champions while the Trojans are one week away from not winning the Pac-10, if Oregon State prevails in the Civil War against Oregon. Should the Beavers prevail, the Trojans are out of the Rose Bowl picture.
Another former No. 1 in the 11 Best 11s, Ohio State, moves up from No. 8 to No. 7 after a savage beat–down of hapless Michigan, 42–7. Do Wolverines have second thoughts out in the wild?
Utah should be congratulated for battering Brigham Young. The undefeated Utes have been consistent all season and deserve a bid to the Sugar or Fiesta Bowl.
And what of Texas Tech? It has been a great ride this season and an exciting adventure into the higher echelons of BCS rankings. The key for the Red Raiders will be, can they build upon the success of this year?
We should hope for continued success out in Lubbock, as their fans have lived for many years just on the cusp of greatness, and are certainly entitled to all of our congratulations on a record–breaking season.