Walker-Sports Top 25 Poll: It's About to Get Ugly
The college football landscape got a bit of a makeover on Saturday thanks to Oklahoma pounding Texas Tech. The results have already been shown in the BCS standings, but now it’s time to figure out what the shake-up did to the Walker-Sports College football standings.
The Iron Bowl is right around the corner, but for all the obvious reasons, this year's edition of a great Southern rivalry is not as exciting.
What Alabama needs to do is make sure they stay focused. First they must focus on Auburn and pour everything they have into that game. Once the final whistle is blown they can look around the corner to Florida. But they have to take it one step at a time, as there is still a lot of work to do.
The Sooners put together their best performance of the season on Saturday, and it could not have come at a better time: national television against the second-ranked team in the country, and the Oklahoma Sooners destroyed the Texas Tech Red Raiders. The Sooners offense looked dangerous, and their defense smothered Texas Tech.
While Saturday was great, the Sooners must put it behind them and now focus on Oklahoma State. Handle business there, and this whole BCS/Big 12 mess should sort itself out, and the Oklahoma Sooners will end up exactly where they deserve.
3) Florida Gators
Some people will say Florida got screwed by ending up third in this poll, but at the end of the day, they are in the best position of any team in the top 25. While the Gators are sitting in the third spot, Florida controls its own destiny.
Yes, the Gators still need to get by in-state rival Florida State next weekend, and God only knows which FSU team will show up. But once they are done with that, it’s assured that the Gators will match up against Alabama for the SEC title. If Florida wins that game, then they're in—it’s pretty simple.
It’s going to be very funny to me when USC finishes the season in the top five in the country and fails to win the Pac-10. Nonetheless, the Trojans have put together a good season, but that one loss on a Thursday night looks like it will bite them in the ass. I bet you that Pete Carroll and company are wishing the Pac-10 had a conference championship now.
The Longhorns are getting screwed. No other way to put it really. Texas has done everything right, but they will need a lot of help to get back into the mix of things.
The way Oklahoma destroyed Texas Tech actually hurt Texas because Texas lost to the Red Raiders. It also does not help the Longhorns that they lost to the Red Raiders just a few weeks ago. Teams that lose early are rewarded, while those who lose late are punished.
The dream season remains intact, and after winning their big game against BYU, it is set and done that that the Utes will be a part of the BCS one again. This will make them a two-time BCS party crasher. It has been a great season, and they will enjoy playing the Bearcats in a game that Utah should win.
7) Boise State
America’s favorite BCS busters are still in the mix and alive and well. Boise State has worked its way into the top 10 in the BCS rankings, and if they can hold on against Fresno State, they too will be BCS dancing once again.
If the chips fall correctly, Boise State could get a shot at an ACC team, and if that is the case, they will be celebrating their second win in a BCS game.
8) Penn State
Joe Pa could not have written a better exit plan for his storied career. Penn State has dominated the Big Ten all season, and after destroying Michigan State, PSU is on their way to the Rose Bowl. Everything has just fallen into place for Penn State. Now let’s hope that Joe Pa does the right thing and steps down after his big game.
9) Ball State
I feel like a broken record saying this, but this has been a great year for Ball State, and they have done everything right. However, at the end of the day, they fail to have a marquee victory over anyone. The result is Ball State is left out of the BCS Bowl games.
10) Missouri Tigers
The more I look at the Tigers just hanging out in the Big 12 North, the more they scare me. Missouri will play the Big 12 Championship in their backyard, and I keep getting these visions of them playing spoilers. If they knock of Texas, Texas Tech, or Oklahoma, the BCS computers may explode.
11) Ohio State
The best part about this ranking is we will not have to watch Ohio State be the whipping boy for another SEC team in a BCS game. That alone makes this season better than either of the previous two years.
12) Texas Tech
Texas Tech fell back into their old ways and old habits on Saturday night. The Air Raid offense was grounded, and the Texas Tech defense looked like Swiss cheese. Texas Tech can still factor into the Big 12 race, but they are likely out of running for a BCS Championship.
13) Georgia Bulldogs
It just wasn’t the season for Mark Richt and his boys. They get in-state rival Georgia Tech this weekend. Other than that, they will play in a New Year's day game, which is great, but it will seem extremely anti-climactic.
14) Oklahoma State
The Cowboys have had a great season, and things could get even better by next week this time. Oklahoma State has the opportunity to play spoiler when they take on the red-hot Oklahoma Sooners. Oklahoma State has a history of kicking the Sooners when they are at their best. Pulling the upset this time could prove to be as sweet as a trip to a BCS game.
15) Cincinnati Bearcats
Look who showed up and won the Big East. I have to admit that I did not see that one coming. Now the biggest question in Cincinnati is where their head coach will end up, as he is high on the Tennessee Vols wish list. The way he handles the next few weeks going into his BCS game could prove to be very important to the Bearcats' welfare.
A great year, and they played some great football. Their two losses came against two BCS teams. Really TCU did everything they were supposed to do, but they just did not have enough in the tank. This is the life that is college football.
17) Oregon State
One win away from the unthinkable: a trip to the Rose Bowl. Truly, Oregon State upending USC and taking their spot in the Rose Bowl would have to go down as one of the all-time great moments in college football.
However, before the Beavers can pack their bags for southern Cal, they must take on in-state rival Oregon in the Civil War battle. You can bet the atmosphere will be crazy for this game.
When the season opened, the Cougars wanted to go undefeated and make it to a BCS game. When the hopes for a BCS season went down the tubes early in the season, the goal then became beat Utah. Well, after Saturday, that goal will go unfulfilled as well. At the end of the day, BYU had a good season, but they fell well short of any expectations they had for themselves.
The Ducks have hung around this spot of the poll all season, and truth be told, they have had a solid season. This is a team that knew they were going into a transition year of sorts—not to mention they have gone through about 300 quarterbacks thanks to injuries.
Nonetheless, the Ducks have a chance to play spoiler on Saturday when they travel to take on Oregon State, and if they can do that, the season will not seem so bad.
20) Michigan State
So close, yet such a long way to go: That was the story all season for Michigan State. The Spartans were crushed both times they matched up against the elite of the Big Ten. That is what happens when a team has a one-dimensional attack. Good teams know how to stop it and leave you looking for answers.
This has been an amazing season for Northwestern. Not many saw this team working their way into a bowl game, but that is exactly what they have done. I tip my hat to them on a great season.
22) Boston College
Maybe they are the best team in the ACC. At this point I am not even sure what that means. The Eagles have a chance to play for an ACC Championship, and no matter who stumbles into that game, the Eagles have a chance to win.
23) Ga. Tech
Talk about a great first year. Paul Johnson leaves Navy, comes to Ga. Tech, and has his option offense rolling at full speed already—and he has yet to bring in all his players. Ga. Tech has overachieved this season, and that is not a bad thing.
24) Florida State
Bobby Bowden will do whatever it takes to make sure he sticks around long enough to pass Joe Pa on the all-time wins list. Why else would FSU be playing up to this level this late in the season?
25) West Virginia
Pat White had his best game of the season on Saturday, but it was far too little, too late to save the season.
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