Some real movement in this week's Top 25, as expected. First, the poll - then commentary:
1. Ohio State - There's just not much to say right now. They have a great resume, they're playing at an elite level, and they're waiting for a real challenge. The Michigan-Ohio State game this year - always interesting for its tradition - is looking like the conference game of the season. Like what Texas-OU has been in many recent seasons.
2. Michigan - They're just getting better. It's getting silly, and that win over Notre Dame was just the beginning of the Great Things this team seems destined to do. That may sound hyperbolic, and maybe it is, but I've got a Feeling about this team.
3. Florida - Tebow off tackle. Tebow off tackle. Tebow off tackle. Tebow jump throw! Huh? Hey, it worked, and the Gators pick up another critical win. We've been talking about how disgusting this Gator defense is since July, and they have yet to disappoint. Reggie Nelson is an absolute terror.
4. Southern Cal - The bad news: they're not playing as well as California is right now. The good news? They're still undefeated, and they're improving. They'll have to take a couple significant steps forward if they want to run the table, but they've not stumbled yet. My Dad made a good observation about Booty - he takes far too long to wind up for his throws. Still, the Trojan run game is improving each week. This is an interesting team. They could lose three games if the wheels came off. Or they could run the table. We'll be watching closely.
5. Texas - Colt McCoy is developing so nicely. The defense is a monster. The offensive line is the best in the country. The Horns are on the outside looking in right now, but if the dominoes fall around the Horns, they'll be a worthy one-loss national title contender. I don't see Texas losing the rest of the way. I really don't.
6. West Virginia - We're six weeks deep into the college football season, and we still don't know how good West Virginia is. We won't 'til they play Louisville. I have no vibe about this team.
7. Louisville - A fully healthy Louisville gets my nod over West Virginia, and I still think they've got a terrific shot to take out WVU in Louisville later this season. Right now, we're linking these two teams together until somebody shows some separation. The loser will rocket down the ballot.
8. Tennessee - My God! What a win. And what a bizarre game it was. Erik Ainge has been absolutely scorching. The Vols haven't been completely consistent, but they've been excellent at times. And they're only a one-point loss to Florida away from being undefeated.
9. California - I want to place Cal higher. I really do. But that loss to Tennessee counts, and for now, they must claw back up the ladder. That said, USC can't take this game for granted at all. The Golden Bears look like the class of the Pac 10 right now.
10. Arkansas - They laid an egg in the opener against Southern California, granted. Still, that was -without- McFadden. And this team is rapidly improving. The Razorbacks didn't get one of those flukey "crazy upset" wins. They went to Auburn and just whooped 'em on both sides of the ball. This may seem drastic, but this was the third most impressive road win of the season to date - behind Ohio State's in Ausitn and Florida's in Knoxville. At the least, it's as impressive as Michigan's thumping of Notre Dame in South Bend.
11. Auburn - This just seems right. The Tigers were spanked at home. It was decisive. I don't know that we can justify Auburn above Arkansas right now. We don't have to.
12. Notre Dame - The rest of the schedule isn't as easy as some folks are making it out to be. The Irish still have Navy, UCLA, and USC to go. They'll be favored in the first two, but they aren't gimmes. Hard to think the team won't drop one of those three. This ranking feels right.
13. Clemson - Watched Clemson storm back against Wake Forest in the Cave with MMHorns, a Wake alum. It was pretty painful. The Tigers were outcoached badly before the wheels came off for the Deacons and Clemson prevailed with superior athleticism. Definitely some red flags if you're a Clemson fan.
14. Missouri - They certainly got the best of Graham Harrell on Saturday night, harrassing him into several huge mistakes early in the game from which Texas Tech was never able to recover. They've passed every test they've faced this season with flying colors, but the toughest are yet to come. This is a team we're watching closely. Chase Daniel is doing terrificly, and Tony Temple looks like a real player from where I'm sitting.
15. Boise State - Another lopsided win for Boise State, who remain the best mid-major in the country. They're dominating on both sides of the football right now, and will have a chance to sneak into BCS consideration if they win out.
16. Georgia Tech - Reggia Ball sucks. Which sucks. Because Calvin Johnson does not suck. If you get what we mean.
17. Louisiana State - LSU is not running the football very well right now, and it's hurting the offense. Like Auburn, they're finding themselves in games in which the margin for error is virtually nil because the offense isn't sustaining drives well. If the rush game doesn't improve, they'll continue to lose to good teams.
18. Oregon - The defense is ripe for exposition by good offenses. Which the Pac 10's got at the top of the pecking order. There's at least one more loss coming. Probably two.
20. Rutgers - A good week to have a bye, as their next two are at Navy and at Pitt - neither of which will be easy. If they survive both tests, we'll know they're legitimately strong.
21. Iowa - Now that's more like it. The Hawkeyes rebound from the blowout to Ohio State in trouncing Purdue. The good half of Drew State shows up to pick apart the Boilers. Does this team really only have one loss?
22. Nebraska - Speaking of one-loss teams that have yet to impress, Nebraska churned out another victory this week - on the road in Ames. That should count for more, but it's not particularly impressing right now. They'll have their chance, though - Texas comes to town in three weeks.
23. Oklahoma - The Sooners just got beat by a better team. They can still manage a solid season with the group they've got, but it's clear that they're a full step or two behind the Horns right now. Thank God. It's 12:13 a.m. and OU still sucks.
24. Wisconsin The most unexciting 4-1 team ever! PJ Hill has an ass that you could land a helicopter on, but he churns out those yards, doesn't he? Odd as it sounds, if they get by Iowa in Iowa City, they should probably run out the schedule.
25. Pittsburgh - I may regret this one, but the Panthers are coming on pretty strong after a disappointing loss to Michigan State in week two. We've been touting Tyler Palko for a couple weeks now, and he had another solid week in another Panther win. This team isn't flashy, but they get it done.