The AP Top 25 and Coaches Top 25 College Football polls are nationally recognized, but after more than 50 years of watching and/or covering college football games, and having been a newspaper sports editor, here’s another one. opinion:
Between Oregon and Auburn you could flip a coin, they’re that close. I’ll stay with Auburn until they lose.
1) Auburn (10-0): Beat AA Chattanooga 62-24, a poor choice of opponent at this point in the season, or at any point in the season. With that said, Auburn now needs to get serious. The Tigers host Georgia and must travel to Alabama for their final two games. If Auburn wants to advance to the national championship game, they must win. You might like Oregon at No. 1 (the AP and coaches in Top 25 polls like the Ducks over Auburn), but the Tigers can claim no other team can do it, they’ve beaten 4 Top 25 opponents: Mississippi State, South Carolina, Arkansas and LSU .
2) Oregon (9-0) – Just finished off Washington 53-16 after the Huskies tried to keep them down in the first half. The Ducks lead the nation in scoring offense (54+) and total offense (567+) and rank 13th in scoring defense (17+). Oregon has had an offense in recent years, now the Ducks have a defense as well. Oregon has beaten only one ranked team, Stanford. Oregon Will Earn Its Stripes: The Ducks have yet to host Arizona and travel to California and Oregon State for their annual Civil War game against the Beavers.
3) LSU (8-1) – Stunned Alabama (now 7-2) 24-21 in a key SEC matchup. They have now beaten 3 currently ranked opponents: Mississippi State, Florida, and Alabama, losing only to Auburn. He faces Louisiana Monroe next, and he needs to win big to stay here. Sorry, Boise State and TCU, you have to wait in line until you play and beat some ranked teams instead of easy ones.
4) Wisconsin (8-1) – Badgers won a road game against Purdue, 34-13, which isn’t a big deal, but they’ve also done something undefeated Boise State and TCU haven’t: They beat two Top 25 teams, Ohio State and Iowa. The next host is Indiana.
5) Boise State (8-0) – Recorded an impressive home win over Hawaii, 42-7, but has only beaten 1 ranked team, Virginia Tech. Travel to Idaho this week for another easy win against another easy opponent.
6) TCU (10-0) – Tied unbeaten Utah on the road, 47-7, proving that Utah wasn’t really very good for an unbeaten team. Next it receives the state of San Diego. They have beaten only 1 ranked team Utah and we saw how good the Utes are they are not. You can argue that the Horned Frogs are much better than Utah, but who knows. Until Utah, TCU has played a bunch of collective stiffs.
7) Michigan State (9-1): Rebounds from the first loss of the season to defeat Minnesota, 31-8. Has beaten a ranked team, Wisconsin. Only 3 other teams have 9 wins so far: Auburn, Oregon, and TCU. The Spartans are inactive this week.
8) Stanford (8-1) – Defeated 13th-ranked Arizona, 42-17. He travels to Arizona State next to take on the Sun Devils, who are in a frenzy after losing on the road to Southern Cal 34-33.
9) Nebraska (8-1) – The Cornhuskers had a very poor victory over Iowa State, 31-30, in overtime. They were lucky to win. After leading 24-10, they slotted into the 4th quarter, letting Iowa State score twice to send the game into overtime. Cornhuskers have a split personality: good and bad. That being said, they have also beaten two ranked teams: Oklahoma State and Missouri.
10) Alabama (7-2) – Lost close on the road to LSU, 24-21. He still has a chance to show his stuff while hosting two ranked teams: Mississippi State and Auburn. He has wins against two ranked teams: Arkansas and Florida.
11) Iowa (7-2) – Just barely edged out by Indiana on the road, 18-13. He has a win over a ranked team, Michigan State. Next, travel to Northwestern, and you better have your air defense together.
12) Arkansas (7-2): Just beat South Carolina in a road game, 41-20, their first win over a ranked team. It has only lost to Auburn and Alabama.
13) Mississippi State (7-2): Was inactive this week. It has only lost at Auburn 17-14 and in one road game at LSU. Not many other 7-win teams can say that. Has a win over a ranked team, Florida. Now he must travel to Alabama and face the Crimson Tide, which will tell us a lot about the Mississippi State Bulldogs.
14) Arizona (7-2) – Just lost on the road to Stanford, 42-17. It has beaten a ranked team, Iowa. The next host will be Southern California. Good luck, wildcats. SC (6-3) has decided it can win games again, and it just became bowl eligible.
15) South Carolina (6-3) – Just lost to Arkansas. Gamecocks season is starting to unravel. They have a win over Alabama, a ranked team, which is more than many teams can say. Then he travels to Florida and can’t afford another loss.
16) Texas A&M (6-3) – Defeated 11th-ranked Oklahoma 33-19 and made the Sooners look bad. They lost to Oklahoma State, Arkansas, and Missouri, all ranked teams. He decided to beat a ranked team for a change. He has played the 26th toughest schedule. He then travels to Baylor and must beat the Bears.
17) Hawaii (7-3): Just took a heavy loss on the road at Boise State, 42-7. Inactive this week, then hosts San Jose State, a real weakling. You’ve beaten a ranked team, Nevada.
18) Ohio State (8-1) – Inactive last week. It was supposed to be a big deal, but it has yet to beat a ranked team. Next, it hosts the Penn State Nittany Lions, who have lost to Alabama, Iowa and Illinois. So how good are the Buckeyes? I’ll let you know when you play and beat someone. Ranked higher by others on reputation only, not performance. He has played only the toughest 87th schedule, second worst among current AP top 25 teams.
19) Oklahoma State (8-1) – Defeat Baylor 55-28. They do not have a win over a ranked team. He travels to Texas next and must win to stay here. Ranked higher by others on reputation only, not performance.
20) Missouri (7-2) – Lost to Nebraska on the road, and now Texas Tech on the road, 24-17. Is Missouri really good? The Tigers have yet to beat a ranked team. Next up are hosts Kansas State, and they better be ready to win. Kansas State is back on the map at 6-3, and could give a shit about Missouri.
21) Oklahoma (7-2) – Just suffered an embarrassing loss to Texas A&M, 33-19. The Sooners aren’t that tough, they haven’t beaten a ranked team yet. He has defeated 4 weaker opponents for a total of 20 points. It then houses Texas Tech.
22) Nevada (8-1) – Just had a road practice against Idaho and they beat the Vandals, 63-17. Has not beaten a ranked team. He then travels to Fresno State and needs to win to stay in this poll.
23) Utah (8-1) – TCU just beat them at home, 47-7. Has not beaten a ranked team. Travel to Notre Dame next and you better win or I’ll kick you out of this poll.
24) Florida (6-3) – The Gators are still spinning after losing to Alabama, LSU and Mississippi State in back-to-back weeks. Give them credit. The sixth win makes them eligible to bowl. They have yet to beat a ranked team. The next host is South Carolina and they must beat the Gamecocks to stay viable.
25) Central Florida (7-2) – Just beat Houston, 40-33. They haven’t beaten a ranked team, but neither have Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Utah, Oklahoma, Missouri, Nevada or Florida. Central Florida meets southern Mississippi below.
Next week may be the most boring of the entire season because there are only two games facing ranked teams: 17th-ranked Mississippi State travels to 11th-ranked Alabama and 11th-ranked South Carolina. 22, travels to Florida, ranked 24. Whoever loses the last game can fly out of the AP Top 25 poll.
Copyright © 2010 Ed Bagley