Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Rank 'em!

1. Texas
2. Southern Cal
3. Louisiana State
5. Penn State
5. Virginia Tech
6. Oregon
7. Ohio State
8. Miami (Florida)
9. Auburn
10. Notre Dame
11. Fresno State
12. UCLA
13. West Virginia
14. Georgia
15. Alabama
16. TCU
17. Georgia Tech
18. Texas Tech
19. Iowa
20. Michigan
21. Louisville
22. Oklahoma
23. Florida
24. Boston College
25. Colorado

USC surrendering 42 points to Fresno State convinced me of two things: (1) USC's defensive improvement is not all it's cracked up to be and I'm taking Texas over them in the Rose Bowl until I see differently from the Trojans; and (2) Fresno State is a very good team. As others have pointed out, their credentials are now almost as good as Notre Dame's, given that the best selling point for the Irish is the way they played against USC. I had a hard time deciding between LSU and Penn State for the #3 spot, but decided that LSU deserved a bounce because of their complete domination of an Ole Miss team in Oxford that had held their own defensively until Saturday. I came close to putting Virginia Tech ahead of Penn State for similar reasons, but I can't get the Hokies' domination at home at the hands of Miami out of my head. I bumped Auburn ahead of Notre Dame because the scalps they have claimed in the past two weeks are better than anything on the Irish's resume.

Oregon and Ohio State are very close to one another in my head. There is going to be major gnashing of teeth on the Left Coast if the Ducks get left out of the BCS at the hands of Ohio State. As usual, there'll be accusations of bias, followed by stony silence when someone points out that Ohio State is also ahead of Oregon in every single computer ranking used by the BCS. And the computers are forbidden from taking margin of victory into account, so Oregon's relatively narrow wins over Houston, Arizona, and Washington State don't even enter into the picture. As was the case in 2001, Oregon will (or ought to) be punished for not looking like a complete team in many of their games.

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