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Top 25 Poll – Week 10 – No. 1 – Auburn, Until They Lose
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:
Between Oregon and Auburn you could toss a coin, they are that close. I’ll stay with Auburn until they lose.
1) Auburn (10-0) – Beat up AA Chattanooga 62-24, a poor choice of an opponent at this time of the season, or any time of the season. That said, Auburn must now get serious. The Tigers host Georgia and must travel to Alabama for their last two games. If Auburn is to advance to the national championship game, they must win out. You may like Oregon at No. 1 (The AP and Coaches Top 25 Polls like the Ducks over Auburn), but the Tigers can make a claim no other team can, they have beaten 4 Top 25 opponents – Mississippi State, South Carolina, Arkansas and LSU.
2) Oregon (9-0) – Just exterminated Washington 53-16 after the Huskies tried to stay with them in the 1st half. The Ducks lead the nation in scoring offense (54+) and total offense (567+) and are 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 still must host Arizona and travel to California and Oregon State for their annual Civil War game against the Beavers.
3) LSU (8-1) – Upset Alabama (now 7-2) 24-21 in key SEC showdown. Has now beaten 3 currently ranked opponents – Mississippi State, Florida and Alabama – and has only lost to Auburn. Faces Louisiana Monroe next, and must win big to stay here. Sorry, Boise State and TCU, you must wait in line until you play and beat some ranked teams rather than pushovers.
4) Wisconsin (8-1) – Badgers won an away game against Purdue, 34-13, which isn’t that big of a deal, but they have also done something that unbeaten Boise State and TCU have not – beaten two Top 25 teams, Ohio State and Iowa. Hosts Indiana next.
5) Boise State (8-0) – Logged an impressive win at home over Hawaii, 42-7, but has only beaten 1 ranked team, Virginia Tech. Travels to Idaho this week for another easy win against another easy opponent.
6) TCU (10-0) – Leveled unbeaten Utah on the road, 47-7, proving that Utah was not really very good for an unbeaten team. Hosts San Diego State next. Has 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 that much better than Utah, but who knows. Up until Utah, TCU has played a bunch of collective stiffs.
7) Michigan State (9-1) – Rebounds from first loss of the season to clobber Minnesota, 31-8. Has beaten one ranked team, Wisconsin. Only 3 other teams have 9 wins so far – Auburn, Oregon and TCU. Spartans are idle this week.
8) Stanford (8-1) – Took apart 13th-ranked Arizona, 42-17. Travels to Arizona State next to face the Sun Devils, who are hopping mad after losing on the road to Southern Cal 34-33.
9) Nebraska (8-1) – The Cornhuskers had a very lame victory over Iowa State, 31-30, in overtime. They were lucky to win. After leading 24-10, they laid down in the 4th quarter, letting Iowa State score twice to send the game into OT. The Cornhuskers have a dual personality – good and bad. That said, they also have beaten two ranked teams – Oklahoma State and Missouri.
10) Alabama (7-2) – Lost a close one on the road to LSU, 24-21. Still has a chance to show its stuff while hosting two ranked teams – Mississippi State and Auburn. Has victories against two ranked teams – Arkansas and Florida.
11) Iowa (7-2) – Just squeaked by Indiana on the road, 18-13. Does have a win over a ranked team, Michigan State. Travels to Northwestern next, and had better have their passing defense together.
12) Arkansas (7-2) – Just beat South Carolina in an away game, 41-20, their first victory over a ranked team. Has lost only to Auburn and Alabama.
13) Mississippi State (7-2) – Was idle this week. Has only lost to Auburn 17-14, and in an away game at LSU. Not many other teams with 7 wins can say that. Has a win over a ranked team, Florida. Must now travel to Alabama and face the Crimson Tide, which will tell us much about the Mississippi State Bulldogs.
14) Arizona (7-2) – Just lost on the road to Stanford, 42-17. Has beaten a ranked team, Iowa. Hosts Southern California next. Good luck, Wildcats. SC (6-3) has decided it can win games again, and just became bowl eligible.
15) South Carolina (6-3) – Just lost to Arkansas. The Gamecocks season is beginning to unravel. They do have a win over Alabama, a ranked team, which is more than a lot of teams can say. Travels to Florida next, and cannot afford another loss.
16) Texas A&M (6-3) – Upset 11th-ranked Oklahoma, 33-19, and made the Sooners look bad. Lost to Oklahoma State, Arkansas and Missouri, all ranked teams. Decided to beat a ranked team for a change. Has played the 26th toughest schedule. Travels to Baylor next and must beat the Bears.
17) Hawaii (7-3) – Just got beat badly on the road at Boise State, 42-7. Idle this week, then hosts San Jose State, a real weakling. Has beaten a ranked team, Nevada.
18) Ohio State (8-1) – Idle last week. Supposed to be a big deal, but has not beaten a ranked team yet. Hosts the Penn State Nittany Lions next, who have lost to Alabama, Iowa and Illinois. So, how good are the Buckeyes? I will let you know when they play and beat somebody. Ranked higher by others on reputation only, not performance. Has played only the 87th toughest schedule, the second worst among the current AP top 25 teams.
19) Oklahoma State (8-1) – Beat Baylor 55-28. Does not have a win over a ranked team. 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 not beaten a ranked team yet. Hosts Kansas State next, and had better be ready to win. Kansas State is back on the map at 6-3, and could give a crap about Missouri.
21) Oklahoma (7-2) – Just suffered an embarrassing loss to Texas A&M, 33-19. Sooners are not so tough, they have not beaten a ranked team yet. Has beaten 4 weaker opponents by a total of 20 points. Hosts Texas Tech next.
22) Nevada (8-1) – Just had a road practice against Idaho and whipped the Vandals, 63-17. Has not beaten a ranked team. Travels to Fresno State next, and needs to win to stay in this poll.
23) Utah (8-1) – Just got hammered at home by TCU, 47-7. Has not beaten a ranked team. Travels to Notre Dame next and had better win or I am kicking them out of this poll.
24) Florida (6-3) – The Gators keep hanging around after losing to Alabama, LSU and Mississippi State on consecutive weeks. Give them credit. Sixth win makes them bowl eligible. Has not beaten a ranked team yet. Hosts South Carolina next and must beat the Gamecocks to stay viable.
25) Central Florida (7-2) – Just beat Houston, 40-33. Has not beaten a ranked team, but neither has Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Utah, Oklahoma, Missouri, Nevada nor Florida. Central Florida hosts Southern Mississippi next.
This coming week may be the most boring of the entire season because there are only two games that pit ranked teams – 17th-ranked Mississippi State travels to 11th-ranked Alabama, and 22nd-ranked South Carolina travels to 24th-ranked Florida. Whoever loses the latter game may go flying right out of the AP Top 25 Poll.
Copyright © 2010 Ed Bagley
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