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 Top 25 Poll - Week 8 - Auburn, Not Oregon, Is No. 1 
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Post Top 25 Poll - Week 8 - Auburn, Not Oregon, Is No. 1
Top 25 Poll - Week 8 - Auburn, Not Oregon, Is No. 1
by: Ed Bagley

The AP Top 25 and Coaches Top 25 College Football Polls are nationally recognized, but after 50+ years of watching and/or covering college football games, and being a former sports editor for a daily newspaper, here is another view:

With three more unbeaten teams - Oklahoma, LSU and Oklahoma State - losing this week, and another three upsets of ranked teams, the rankings have some major changes.

1) Auburn (8-0) - Auburn just beat AP's No. 6, LSU, 24-17. Auburn is the only team among the AP Top 25 to have 3 victories over ranked teams (South Carolina, Arkansas and now LSU, all from the SEC). Auburn has also has played the toughest schedule strength (24th) among all of the unbeaten teams. Oregon has beaten only one Top 25 team - Stanford.

2) Oregon (7-0) - Slammed UCLA 60-13. Has beaten exactly one Top 25 team - Stanford. Visits Southern California (5-2) next and must win big or lose position.

3) Michigan State (8-0) - Still unbeaten with one Top 25 win - Wisconsin. Won road victory over high-powered Northwestern offense. Now ranked 5th in both the AP and Coaches Polls. Must travel to Iowa this week and must win or lose 3rd spot.

4) Wisconsin (7-1) - Has only lost to Michigan State and lays claim to something that only one other top-ranked team can say: has beaten two ranked teams - Ohio State and now Iowa in an away game. Can you believe that NO other ranked team has more than one win against a currently ranked team? I believe that makes the Badgers better than all of the other unbeaten teams, which have piled up wins against a lot of unranked teams. Next game is at Purdue.

5) Missouri (7-0) - Just gave an impressive 36-27 upset of BCS's No. 1-ranked Oklahoma. The Tigers have played the 2nd toughest schedule strength (30th) among the 7 unbeaten teams that are left in major college football. No rest for Missouri, the Tigers face the Cornhuskers at Nebraska this week.

6) Boise State (6-0) - Idle this week. Only here because the Broncos are unbeaten and have one victory over a ranked team - Virginia Tech (6-2), which is not that big of a deal. Next opponent is 81st-ranked Louisiana Tech.

7) TCU (8-0) - Beat a pretty good Air Force team 38-7. Remains unbeaten, and the Horned Frogs can finally say they have beaten at least one ranked team, the Baylor Bears (6-2), who are now ranked 25th in the AP Poll. Travel to UNLV next, a really sorry team ranked 143rd among 120 Division 1-A schools. No wonder TCU is 8-0.

8) Utah (8-0) - Just put a 59-6 whipping on a terrible Colorado State team. Only here because the Utes are unbeaten; they still have not beaten a ranked team, mostly because they do not play any team worth talking about. Travels to Air Force next. They had better hammer the Falcons like TCU did or I will downgrade them in a heartbeat.

Disclaimer: Among the next 17 teams to be ranked, you need to know that ONLY 7 of them have even beaten one ranked team.

9) Alabama (7-1) - Just knocked off Tennessee 41-10 in an away game. The mighty Crimson Tide have not beaten a currently ranked team. They get their chance this week when they travel to LSU (5-2). Alabama may be the best one-loss team in the country, but we don't know that. We will let you know next week.

10) LSU (7-1) - Just lost to Auburn and may be ranked too high. Hosts Alabama next and simply must win to remain this high in the rankings.

11) Oklahoma (6-1) - Could not beat 18th-ranked Missouri on the road. Has one win over a ranked team, Florida State. Gets Colorado next.

12) Nebraska (6-1) - Gave Oklahoma State its first defeat. Hosts Missouri next and had better be ready to battle to the death. Let's get this settled right now about who is better - Oklahoma or Nebraska.

13) Stanford (7-1) - Beat Washington State 38-28 in a weak showing on the road. Hosts Washington this week, a good bellwether team as the Huskies have beaten Southern Cal and Oregon State. The Cardinal need to level the Huskies to show they are really 7-1 and not a fraud as a Pac-10 contender. Stanford has also beaten USC, a ranked team.

14) Arizona (6-1) - Just took apart Washington 44-14. Travels to UCLA this week. The Bruins, like the Washington Huskies, are an up and down team trying to get consistency. It's hard to tell just how good the Wildcats are at the moment. Arizona does have a win over Iowa, a ranked team.

15) South Carolina (5-2) - Just beat Vanderbilt, which says nothing. Has beaten Alabama, and has played a much tougher schedule than Florida State. Hosts Tennessee next.

16) Florida State (6-1) - Idle this week. Has win over Miami-FL, a ranked team. Travels to North Carolina State (5-2) next, must win big.

17) Ohio State (7-1) - Shut out Purdue 49-0. Looks real serious, but travels to Minnesota next, a real weak sister, so who really knows? The Buckeyes schedule strength is 72nd, and will be worse after beating Minnesota. Ohio State must finally face Iowa and Michigan before the season is over. Ohio State does have a win over Miami-FL, a ranked team.

18) Iowa (5-2) - Was just upset by Wisconsin 31-30. Yeah, the Badgers are bigger, better and badder. Hosts Michigan State next with an opportunity to upset the Spartans. We shall see if the Hawkeyes have what it takes. Does not have a win over a ranked team yet.

19) Oklahoma State (6-1) - Lost to Nebraska 51-41 in a shootout and lost its perfect record. So how good are the Cowboys? Don't know. Looks like they have an offense and no defense. Does not have a win over a ranked team yet. Travels to Kansas State (5-2) next and had better be ready or they will lose. They Wildcats have only lost to Nebraska (6-1) and Baylor (6-2), which jumped into the AP Poll this week at 25th.

20) Southern California (5-2) - Idle this week. Lost to Washington and Stanford by a combined total of 3 points. Does not have a win over a ranked team yet. Has had two weeks to prepare for the visiting Oregon Ducks this week. This game will tell us a lot about Southern Cal, and even more about Oregon, which has only beaten one ranked team this year (Stanford).

21) Baylor (6-2) - Must be better than the 5-2 Kansas State Wildcats, the Bears just beat them 47-42. Travels to Texas next. That should be interesting since Texas has lost at home for the 3rd time this year and stands at 4-3. Texas is not in my poll this week, they have too many losses. It's like come on over to our place and beat us.

22) Mississippi State (6-2) - Lost to Auburn and LSU, but beat Georgia and Florida. Squeaked by UAB this week 29-24. Six wins is a lot for the Bulldogs, who have not won that many since 2007. Maybe the Bulldogs have more gas in the tank. They host Kentucky this week and need to win to stay here.

23) Hawaii (6-2) - Just picked up a nice road win over Utah State 45-7. It's not that Utah State is any big deal, it's that the Warriors only losses are to USC and Colorado. Have beaten Nevada, and now host Idaho in a must win situation.

24) Nevada (6-1) - Was unbeaten until the Wolf Pack met Hawaii. Biggest win was over California. Hosts Utah State next, and needs to win big.

25) Northwestern (5-2) - Any team that can almost upset Michigan State has something going on and, frankly, I am tired of some other 5-2 teams, including Arkansas, Kansas State, West Virginia, Michigan, Syracuse, East Carolina, Navy and Miami-FL.

Six of the 7 unbeaten teams have road games this week, and there is a great likelihood that one or more may suffer their first defeat. After all, the No. 1 ranked team the last three weeks has lost the following week on the road.

Copyright © 2010 Ed Bagley

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Ed Bagley's Articles is Writer, Author and Editor Ed Bagley's personal web site with hundreds of original articles on 46 different subjects. Ed Bagley's Articles is a treasure trove of feel good stories, satire, insight, and frank commentary on our life and times in America. Find Ed Bagley's Articles at:
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Sun Feb 13, 2011 12:31 pm
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