Dropped Out: UCLA (#17), Nebraska (#19), Auburn (#24).
I picked LSU as the best team in the country and I'm sticking by that statement, regardless of the fact that USC looked outstanding on Saturday night. I don't think much of Nebraska (and wish I would have stuck by my guns of having them unranked last week), but then again, the same criticisms of the Huskers can also apply to LSU's one marquee victim. Still, LSU deserves some credit for shutting out a team that scored at will on Louisville, so it isn't as if they were static over the weekend.
The prevailing consensus is that USC, Oklahoma, LSU, and Florida are clearly the top four teams in the country. Personally, I think that Florida is a little short of the other three. I never put much credence into the notion that Tennessee has a good team, so I'm still thinking that Florida has some questions to answer on defense. I'm probably being unfair to the Gators, as any team can be picked apart by saying that the teams it beat aren't very good, but I came into the season with reservations about Florida's defense, whereas there were very few reservations about the other three (save for Oklahoma's quarterback situation and I'm confortable that Bradford's excellent performance against a good Miami defense answers that question). Florida is clearly the second-best team in the SEC and will be overwhelming favorites in 2008, but it seems to me that they are being set up for a fall at Baton Rouge.
I'm certainly drinking the Boston College kool-aid right now. They look to be a good bet to go to Blacksburg unbeaten. At this stage in the season, I'm looking for teams that don't have obvious weaknesses and BC is one of the few teams that falls into that category. They probably lack a game-breaking running back or receiver, but with a quarterback throwing for 300+ yards per game, they can probably do without. The million dollar question is whether they would be looking this good with Tom O'Brien still in charge.
Don't ask me why I bumped South Florida up the week after their big win over Auburn was significantly devalued. I'm probably just rewarding them for looking like a balanced team. I might also be confusing them with Central Florida and giving them credit for the developing story that the landscape is changing in America's Wang.