Below is our draft of the Top 25 for this week, with brief commentary. We'll enter our official ballot tonight, so now's your chance to weigh in on the rankings. Who's too high? Too low? Are we immoral for ranking Texas A&M?
1. Ohio State - Another week, another blowout. This team needs some real competition. The game with Michigan is looking like the best national game remaining in the season. Jim Person and I discussed the inevitable complaints to be heard from the loser of that game. That team will want a shot at the BCS Title and a rematch.
2. Michigan - A workmanlike victory for Michigan, as predicted. The game ended 17-10, but it wasn't that close. Mike Hart is awfully good.
3. Southern California - Another week, another win. As the just-released BCS standings reflect, that's all that counts. The Trojans are in the driver's seat once again, which is all you can ask for. Still, three tough tests remain, and they won't survive unscathed the way they're playing right now.
4. Texas - The class of the once-beaten squads? The best news for Texas is that there's still lots of room to improve. If the development continues, the team will be the one no one wants to play in the postseason. Are we really on track to play Boise State in the Fiesta Bowl? Ugh.
5. West Virginia - Screwed around with Syracuse before burying them with a great day from Pat White. They look better than Louisville for now.
6. Tennessee - DNP. The good-not-great running game may cost them another game at some point, if Ainge has an off night. So far so good though, for the Vols.
7. California - Joey tried in vain to keep me from betting on Cal. He forgot that Cal's defense is much-improved, too.
8. Louisville - Brohm returned, but didn't play great. The Cardinals are sort of stuck in neutral right now. They'll need to amp things up for the track meet with the Mountaineers.
9. Florida - The blocked punt was decisive. The defense is still the SEC's best, though the offense is merely adequate. I'm not sure they'd score enough to get past Tennessee a second time.
10. Arkansas - We're probably overrating the Razorbacks here, but they smoked Auburn so thoroughly on the road that we feel compelled to leave 'em here until something else decisive happens. Like Texas, a team that's growing into a very tough one.
11. Auburn - They needed that one, didn't they? Back to back losses would have really stung, but they got the running game going enough to pick up the victory. Still, this is a flawed offensive football team. Stop the run and you can handle the Tigers.
12. Notre Dame DNP. The Irish get Olson-less UCLA, Hampton-less Navy, and severely inferior UNC, Air Force, and Army. In short: they're going to be 10-1 heading to LA to face USC. Get used to it.
13. Clemson - Why does Temple have a football team?
14. Boise State - On track to qualify for the BCS and face Texas in the Fiesta Bowl. 54b and I spent part of our tailgating time discussing how unexciting this is.
15. Georgia Tech - The run game erupted versus Maryland, but Reggia Ball had another mediocre day. Hard to get too excited about this team with him at quarterback. They're scary otherwise.
16. LSU - Absolutely obliterated Kentucky. With running, too. (Finally.)
17. Rutgers - The state university of the great state of New Jersey! Credible threat to Louisville and West Virginia? Could be. The defense is playing very well right now.
18. Oregon - Something tells me Nestor was secretly happy about the loss. One day closer to the end of Dorell?
19. Nebraska - The offense hasn't put it together this season, as predicted. Still, the defense is credible. Much, much more on Nebraska all week here at BON.
20. Wisconsin - Quietly coming together as a very strong football team. PJ Hill is a weird character to watch. That ass is HUGE.
21. Boston College - A collapse against NC State away from being undefeated. I said in August that this should maybe be TOB's year to win the ACC. I worry about the offense, though.
22. Pittsburgh - The Big East is so much more respectable with Pitt and Rutgers playing quality football.
23. Texas A&M - After careful deliberation, AW and I decided the Aggies should be ranked. They have a legitimate running game, and a decent enough defense. Depending how you look at it, the Ags are one play away from being 6-0 or two plays away from being 3-3.
24. Missouri - They probably should have beat A&M. Everything went the Aggies' way. What an annoying loss for the Tigers.
25. Brigham Young - The early loss to Arizona is inexplicable. Still, since then, they've come on very strong. We're bettting they finish that way, too.