Thursday, October 27, 2005

Bullseye!

Being undefeated is not all that it's cracked up to be. Just ask Tommy Tuberville. Don't get me wrong. There is no player, coach, or fan in America who wishes to lose at any point (that is unless you want to see your coach fired). But when a football team prevails each and every time it steps on the gridiron, it begins to arouse jealousy in its opponents, which carries a curse that could be greater than the blessing. This covetousness is not merely limited to an envying of the other team's record, but it also extends to the yearning for the selfish pleasure of being the first team to knock off the seemingly "untouchables." This is why games against a rather weak adversary aren't so easy. What is just another game against an inferior challenger to the one is a season defining game to the other. So, each week an undefeated team's contests become tougher and tougher as the stakes for its opponent are raised higher and higher . With the perfect team now set squarely in the middle of the cross hairs of not only each of its impending rivals but also the rest of the nation, every weekend the bow is arched and aimed at the target on the back of its jersey, forcing the invincible team to try and dodge yet another bullet. So, with no further ado, let's see which of the unscathed crews' enemies will hit the bullseye this Saturday. (Here's a hint: it's probably going to be one of the ones closer to the center of the target above.)...


Alabama 35, Utah State 6. The Tide dodged perhaps its largest bullet of the last 20 years last weekend when Roman Harper caused a fumble inside the 5 yard line, keeping Tennessee from taking the lead with under 5 minutes left in the game. And this occurred just one week after a close call in Oxford. The combination of these 2 games has caused many outsiders to be skeptical of the Tide in the post-Prothro portion of the season and has even caused some to say that Bama is no longer a good team but a lucky one instead. What is most shocking is that much of the "lucky" labeling has come from Alabama's 2 biggest rivals. No, it's not shocking that they would be the last to give Bama some credit. It's surprising that they would ever be agitated over a team supposedly winnig on mere luck in the first place. Does Tennessee not remember Arkansas QB Clint Stoerner's gift in 1998? Or does Auburn not remember the Referee's gift of a 2nd extra point chance against LSU last season? At least it hasn't been someone not wearing a crimson jersey giving new life to the Tide this season when it has needed it most. Call Alabama lucky if you want to, but I'd rather say they just know how to win. However, Mike Shula's team won't have to catch some breaks this Homecoming weekend since their opponent has given up an average of 33 points a game this season en route to a 2-4 record. Expect Brodie Croyle and the offense to get back on track and score early in the 1st half, allowing them the opportunity to watch most of the game from the sidelines after the queen has been crowned as Bama cruises to 8-0.

Virginia Tech 27, Boston College 24. (Note: This pick was made before kickoff, which will be blatantly obvious to Friday readers if BC wins.) It looks like the Big East Bullies are back stealing all of the ACC headlines again. This time, though, they're stealing all of the national headlines as well as they are the only game on the television in what should actually be a decent Thursday night game for a change. With the Eagles having an extra week to prepare for the Hokies, many believe that this will be the week that Frank Beamer's team falls from the ranks of the undefeated. However, that extra week hasn't been so beneficial to the underdogs in games featuring teams with perfect records as of late. Notre Dame came up just short to USC after a bye week, and Tennessee did the same against Bama following their week off. In both games, though, the outcome wasn't settled until the last moments. Expect another close one until the final horn again this time, but Quinton Porter's ineptitude in conference play (4 Td passes against 6 interceptions) might be too much for the Eagles to overcome even if their defense does allow only 14 points a game.

Florida 20, Georgia 13. In the 2nd game of the weekend featuring an unbeaten Top 5 team against an opponent coming off a bye, the trend of "close, but no cigar" might actually be reversed. Why is that? The Georgia Bulldogs no longer have D.J. Shockley under center. But does losing a quarterback really matter that much if you still have a potent running attack and a solid defense? If you really think that is a legitimate question, go talk to some Alabama fans. Or better yet, just read what backup QB Joe Tereshinski III said to reporters this week: "I don't want to do anything to make this team lose." With that kind of confidence, who wouldn't pick the Bulldogs to win this weekend? Playing not to lose is no way for the Bulldogs signal caller to earn his team an SEC Eastern Division clinching win. Look for the Gators to score just enough and keep themselves in the hunt for the SEC championship for a little longer. Don't feel too sorry for the Georgia fans, though, as they'll certainly be able to find a way to drown their sorrows at the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party.

Tennessee 24, South Carolina 7. It appears that each week just gets worse for Phil Fulmer. First it was a loss to Florida team with a first-year coach. Then it was a crazy LSU weekend where travel arrangements might as well not have been arranged. Then Georgia and Alabama hand him losses and injured senior starters in consecutive games. Now, it's a reunion with his old nemesis: Steve Spurrier. While this time around, it might not be as glamorous as previous meetings, this outing will be similar to old times as both of these coaches' teams enter this game tied in the SEC East. It's just a minor detail that this tie is for 3rd, not 1st. Despite earning a much-needed win over Vandy last weekend and keeping its bowl hopes alive, the ol' ballcoach's team lost its best player in do-everything WR Syvelle Newton after he tore his achilles tendon running for a touchdown. Throw in the fact that starting QB Blake Mitchell has missed some time due to injury this season as well, and Spurrier may have more visor throws than points in this one. So, with Notre Dame--and another possible loss--on tap for Fulmer's boys next week, expect the Vols to sharpen their offense as they avoid their 1st 3 game losing streak since 1992, a streak in which, coincidentally, the Gamecocks were the 3rd loss.

Memphis 31, UAB 28. After opening the season with a close loss in Knoxville, the Blazers regrouped and won their next 3 games. However, since then they've dropped 3 in a row, which isn't all that surprising considering their victories came over teams with a combined record of 8-18. Memphis, on the other hand, also suffered a narrow defeat at the hands of another SEC school to open the year, but they have since found a way to win 4 of their last 6 despite playing their 4th quarterback and having virtually no passing game. This shouldn't come as much of a surprise either though because superstar tailback DeAngelo Williams has rushed for 187 yards a game and 12 touchdowns. While this game won't have much of a bearing on who wins the C-USA, it still should at least be extremely entertaining as the 2 best athletes in the conference (Williams and UAB's Hackney) will compete on the same field for the final time of their stellar careers. This time, though, Williams will finally get the win as the Tigers avoid a 6th consecutive loss to their city school counterpart from Alabama.

Well, that's partially it for this week. Make sure to come back Monday to see this week's Pimp/Wimp, an updated Top 15, and the pick in the Memphis vs U Ain't Bama game. Have a good weekend, and if you didn't like the picks, I'm sorry but ESPN's power is overwhelming me as well.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Fighting for "W's"

We've all heard it said that "a win is a win." Sometimes, though, a win feels like a loss and vice versa. But at the end of the day, all that matters is what's written on the scoreboard. Take, for instance, 2 games from just last weekend that almost caused spectators to have a Dick Cheney size heart attack. Heading into its game against Ole Miss, Alabama was ranked 6th in the nation and a 14 point favorite. So, it would've been safe to assume that the Tide would roll to a comfortable victory. In South Bend, the top ranked Trojans were also double digit favorites and on a winning streak spanning more than 2 full seasons. However, both teams needed every second of the 60 minutes to earn the victory and keep their record unblemished. While Rebel fans were happy to keep it close, Charlie Weis emphatically declared that he will never deem any defeat as a "good loss." It appears that the man who holds possibly the most revered parachurch position in the Catholic faith understands one simple but profound truth: if you fall short, it doesn't matter by how little. So, in this era of undefeated teams being left out of championship games and nonsensical methods of determining a champion, don't succumb to the mindset of our friends from Oxford because no matter how satisfying it is, a moral victory will always register as an "L." Instead, realize that in order to have a chance for a title, take a "W" anyway you can...With that said, let's see who will earn the "W's" this week.




Alabama 20, Tennessee 13. While it's not the 3rd Saturday in October, it is the 3rd Saturday this October that Alabama and Tennessee are teeing it up when the 2 teams meet in Tuscaloosa this weekend. Even though this year's battle will not be waged on its traditional date, the heated rivalry may be more intense than ever as Bama Nation has been waiting for the Secret Witness to return to Bryant-Denny for quite a while. Due to the fact that Fulmer avoided the entire state of Alabama last year for safety concerns by skipping SEC Media Days and that the world's most powerful Alabama fan (Condoleezza Rice) will be in attendance, security will be at an all-time high for this year's matchup. However, there won't be any security to protect the Vols from Alabama's actual team unless, of course, Fat Phil gets the officials to work for him like he usually does. But even that might not be enough to protect UT from THEMSELVES. By continuing to feed the 2-headed QB monster, the Tennessee offense will fail to produce yet again. Add in the loss of Jason Allen in the Volunteer Secondary, and Bama won't need Prothro to make big plays--they'll just happen. Expect the Tide to answer the call again as it earns its 3rd impressive win in as many tries on CBS primetime.

LSU 24, Auburn 21. After playing their 1st 5 games at home, the Auburn Tigers have hit the road the last 2 weeks traveling from the Nutt House last Saturday to the Valley of Death (aka Death Valley) this weekend. This is the logical progression, though, of anybody who has come face-to-face with the realization that their best just isn't good enough as was the case with the Tigers a year ago. New season, same story. Despite boasting just 1 loss and an undefeated conference record, the Barners still have the respect of no one outside of Lee County, Alabama. And after LSU exposes them this weekend in a game featuring the previous 2 SEC champions (sorry Ole Miss, but you didn't win the West in 2003 no matter what your stadium banner says), Tuberville's boys will still have not turned any heads. Don't worry, though. They'll surely be able to find someone who will make up a nice consolation title for them.

Georgia 28, Arkansas 13. Between the hedges in Athens, Mark Richt is putting together another certain 10 win season for the 4th straight time since he's been the Top Dawg. While it remains to be seen if the quietest top 5 team in the nation can make this a championship season, having a relaxed Satuday afternoon barbeque this weekend against the Hogs will help DJ Shockley and the rest of the guys get ready for their Cocktail Party with the Gators next Saturday. While this game would appear to be a blowout waiting to happen, Arkansas has a little experience playing a team on the road in that JP slot the week before a showdown with Florida. Houston Nutt's team more than held their own against a flat Alabama team in the same scenario at the end of September. But in the end, Arkansas was Arkansas and found a way to lose. Don't expect things to be too much different this Saturday as the Bulldogs stay perfect and begin to make plans for a trip to Atlanta the 1st weekend of December.

Texas 41, Texas Tech 31. The winner of this Saturday's game in Royal-Memorial Stadium on the campus of the University of Texas might as well be crowned this year's Big 12 Champion since the competition and legitimacy of the rest of the teams in this once proud South Division is at an all-time low. How else could anyone explain the sudden rise of the Red Raiders as one of the elite teams of what used to be the one of the toughest conferences in all of college football. While Cody Hodges may be an outstanding quarterback and Tech's offensive system might be one of the most efficient and finely tuned in the nation, no one would've put up 59 against Kansas State or 34 against Nebraska (much less score in the last minute) a few years ago. Therefore, when Mike Leach takes his ball club to play a team this weekend that not only used to be good but actually is good now, don't expect the same results. Mack Brown not only has a team that can keep up with Texas Tech's scoring, but he has one that can stop their scoring as well. While this one could turn into a shootout, the Longhorns have the larger guns.


USC 38, Washington 7. After last week's game against Notre Dame, we know 2 things for sure: 1) USC is beatable & 2) God isn't Catholic. While we may have known the latter, the former won't be corroborated any further this weekend. During his 3 seasons as the head coach of the nation's premiere college football program, Ty Willingham lost by 31 points a game to Pete Carroll's sqaud each time, adding to the long list of reasons to oust him from South Bend. But, like they say, "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em." I'm pretty sure, though, that this adage suggests joining the team, not the conference. All Willingham has accomplished by taking over the Huskies is assure his streak of losing to Southern Cal every year by 31 points will continue. So, this week in Seattle, USC won't need the 2nd half heroic comeback that has characterized most of their games on this year's march to another championship.

And so goes another weekend of college football. It could be a fun one, but there's probably no way it'll be as dramatic or exciting as last week unless the UT players don't pass the security background check necessary to be so close to a member of the Bush Administration...Anyways, enjoy the games, and if anyone has any suggestions for an alternate route from Birmingham to Tuscaloosa about 2 hours before game time this weekend, PLEASE let me know--long story...

Thursday, October 13, 2005

The Hunt for Mr. October

In the 1977 and 1978 World Series, Reggie Jackson indelibly stamped his signature on this imprecisely named 10th month of the calendar year. In 2005, another Reggie (Sanders) is doing his best to leave his mark on baseball's postseason by producing 2 homeruns and 12 RBI's in the Cardinals' 1st 4 playoff games. While October may not provide college football athletes with such an opportunity to make memorable championship moments, the lineup of games with championship-type hype in this month does offer the occasion for these athletic anomalies to accomplish unforgettable feats. So, will the NCAA's Mr. October be another Reggie (Bush) or a Brodie? A Vince or a Vick? There's no way to be certain quite yet which one of these stars will lead their team into the season's final month with a chance of playing for it all, so I guess we'll just have to watch the games and see.

Alabama 28, Ole Miss 6. (Note: Since I tend to view this as an Alabama game and not an Ole Miss game, the "O's" will not be capitalized througout so as to not disrespect the pride of the SEC.) A statement win over a Top 5 team is all the Tide needed to get back into the national championship conversations again. But after the dust has settled and "Rammer Jammer" has ended, Bama fans may be wondering if all of this chatter may be a little presumptious. Well, Sports Illustrated certainly doesn't believe so. After making Bama's win over Florida last week's cover story, the premiere sports periodical has singled out the Tide as 1 of 3 teams with a viable chance of knocking off USC in the Rose Bowl in this week's issue. So, will Mike Shula's team continue to climb the ladder, or do they now just have further to fall? With games against Tennessee, LSU, and Auburn all still on the schedule, much remains to be seen. However, this Saturday's contest against a team that produced 3 1st half points and 2 offensive touchdowns over a 1AA team a week ago in their starting QB's "breakout" game shouldn't be much to worry about. (By the way, the 6 by Ole Miss is my prediction for number of 1st downs, not points.)


Penn St. 24, Michigan 14. Before the season kicked off, if someone would've said that Joe Paterno's team would be undefeated and Lloyd Carr's team would have a losing record after this game, he probably would've been about as believable as umpire Doug Edding's claim that he was purely going through his normal 3rd strike mechanic in Wednesday's bizarre "not 3rd out" call in the ALCS. But, if the Nittany Lions take care of business in Ann Arbor on Saturday, that will be the case. Even though it was the Wolverines who spoiled Penn State's season the last time they started 6-0 or better back in 1997, history will not repeat itself this time around for one primary reason: in 2005, losing streaks stop at 5. Over the last 2 weeks, 2 major 5-game losing streaks have ended. It was Alabama's streak against Top 5 teams in Tuscaloosa that ended October 1, and it was Mack Brown's 5 game sputter against Bob Stoops becoming old news last week. So, when Penn State heads to the Big House this weekend, their 5-game skid against Michigan will come to a halt as well. Don't hesitate, though, if you need to borrow Joe Pa's glasses to believe what you're seeing.


Texas 28, Colorado 27. After the past few tumultuous years, the Colorado football program has for the 1st time this season been able to actually focus on football for a change. The result has been a 4-1 record and a top spot in the Big 12 North. On tap for the Buffaloes this week, though, is a team from the Lone Star State for the 2nd week in a row. But, unfortunately for Gary Barnett, this one isn't against a Dennis Franchione coached team. While the Bufs might have originally planned on sneaking up on the Longhorns after they finally earned a big win over OU, beating a team that starts 12 freshmen isn't a big win. Just don't tell Mack Brown that. It might take a while for UT to get back in stride for this game after the Red River hangover, but they should come through in the end as Vince Young takes Texas to 6-0 for the 1st time since 1983, a year in which they went 11-0. But Buffalo fans shouldn't despair as they'll probably get another chance in the conference championship.

Notre Dame 35, USC 24. USC is #1 in total offense, #2 in scoring offense, undefeated, and the reigning national champs. Notre Dame is one option pitch away from being undefeated, has won more games away from home than any other team in America, and has the "Weisest" coach in NCAA history. But for some reason, there seems to be more people questioning the legitimacy of the Trojans and the Irish than Senators who are questioning the legitimacy of Harriet Miers. This Saturday, though, the truth will out: Notre Dame is legit, and USC is...well, not legit. Look for the Irish to mix up the pace by running both ball-control and hurry-up offenses to keep the vulnerable USC defense off balance as the Golden Domers end another school's era of dominance yet again.


LSU 27, Florida 17. It's highly doubtful that over the past few days Urban Meyer has been singing Willie Nelson's famed lyric of "I just can't wait to get on that road again." But on the road is where the Florida coach will find himself again this weekend. After the Gators displayed thorough incompetence to run their offense amidst crowd noise 2 weeks ago in Bryant-Denny, it might be a success if they can just get the snap off in a stadium whose noise once caused a minor earthquake. But maybe they have finally figured out the whole nonverbal communication thing and can actually use signals this game. If they have, the LSU secondary should allow Chad Jackson and the other Gator receivers to break open some big plays. However, the Gator defense has been known to give up a big play or 2 themselves. So, even with the inspired presence of a banged up Chris Leak on the field, Verne Lundquist may need to travel to Baton Rouge just so he can tell Urban Meyer once again that "this ain't Kentucky."

Well, that's all she wrote for this week. It's good to be back following the Tide after a week off...Be sure to check out the updated Top 15 on the sidebar...Have a good weekend, and try and stay away from boats with Minnesota Vikings on them...

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Reflection Time

At different points in life, it's a good idea to just stop and catch your breath. The arrival of the Alabama bye week and the nearing of the halfway point of the 2005 college football season signals that this might be that time for me. So, this week's blog will be a little different. In this edition, I take a break from the verbose, unbiased, and accurate practice of predicting games. Instead, I invite you to reflect upon a few moments that have made the 1st half of the 2005 season so memorable and peek into a few others that could make this year's 2nd half even better. Also, since preseason polls are merely unfounded opinions with more negative than positive effects, it is my belief that rankings should not be released until at least October. So after over a month of silence, the collegepicks.blogspot.com Top 15 poll will make its debut this week, and I'm sure none of you will have any objections to how these rankings place the nation's teams...Without any further ado, let's get right to it.

Top 5 Choke Jobs

5. Ed Orgeron. This Cajun ex-con fits the historic, picturesque home of the Grove in Oxford, Mississippi, about as well as OJ's glove fit the acquitted killer. The only problem: Johnny Cochran isn't around to help him win.
4. Big 10 Title Contenders. With all of the pundits ready to crown the "Big 11" as the toughest conference in the nation because of the big 3 at the top, Ohio St., Michigan, and Iowa all fell on the same day just 2 weeks into the season.
3. Oklahoma. It's not like it's the 1st time Bob Stoops' club hasn't come through. Do the 2004 Sugar Bowl and 2005 Orange Bowl mean anything to you? So, we should've seen this one coming. However, it's usually after an undefeated regular season that the Sooners need the Heimlich Maneuver performed on them.
2. Les Miles 2nd half against the Vols . After serving and giving so generously of his time and resources to Hurricane Katrina refugees during the weeks leading up to this matchup, maybe he just mistook UT for other victims and decided to start giving to them as well.
1. Fran not going for 2 in Week 1. You don't have to be a math major to know that it doesn't help too terribly much to kick the extra point to go up 2 late in the 4th quarter after scoring the go-ahead touchdown. However, you must have to have a semblance of a backbone--something Coach "Hold the Rope" lost a long time ago-- to go for 2. By allowing Clemson the opportunity to win the game with a field goal, Fran gave A&M its 2nd consecutive 0-1 start.

Top 5 Moments

5. Tim Frisby's reception. Quite possibly, the only thing that Coach Superior will be able to take away from this season is that he provided "The Greatest Generation" with another glorious moment by having one of its own--a man known as "Pops"--make a catch in an actual game.
4. Dion Byrum's performance against Pitt. This cornerback for Ohio singlehandedly won the game for Frank Solich's team against Pittsburgh under the Friday Night Lights on September 9th by producing the only 2 touchdowns of the game (both interception returns) for the Bobcats--the 2nd coming in OT--as Ohio knocked off a ranked opponent for the 1st time in over 30 years.
3. Trev Alberts' firing . The only way this could've made me happier is if The Donald, himself, would've dismissed Alberts in his boardroom on national TV. Now, if we could just get rid of Stuart Scott and Screamin' A. Smith.
2. The Catch. You know which one I'm talking about. Since Tyrone Protho's miraculous play, the Tide has outscored its opponents 118-30 and has turned the corner on what could be a dream season. It's just too bad "Pro" won't be around to contribute in any more games.
1. LSU's comeback victory over Arizona St. The resilience displayed by the Bayou Bengals in the 4th quarter showed the rest of America that no matter how adverse its circumstances, Louisiana will make a comeback.

Top 5 Games So Far

5. Boston College 16, Clemson 13 (OT). For the 2nd consecutive week, Tommy Bowden found his Tigers facing overtime against a former Big East heavyweight. And for the 2nd consecutive week, he found his team losing. Maybe it wasn't such a good idea to invite these guys to the ACC after all.
4. USC 38, Arizona St. 28. This was supposed to be the day the Trojans fell. Gameday was on site just in case. But in the end, all Chris, Lee, and Kirk got was another heroic performance by the USC backfield in a dramatic late come-from-behind victory. Coupling this with the LSU debacle might lead more coaches to urge their team to be losing at Sun Devil Stadium in the 4th quarter.
3. Michigan St. 44, Notre Dame 41 (OT). After starting with 2 wins over ranked teams on the road, the return of the Irish to South Bend to face a middle-of-the-road Big 10 team was supposed to be an easy win. The Spartans, however, had other plans. After digging a 21 point hole late in the 2nd half, Charlie Weis' men found a way to get back in it. But in extended play, it wasn't Drew Stanton's arm that won the game for Michigan St in overtime. It was Jason Teague's legs.
2. Texas 25, Ohio St. 22. The game that was hyped for 8 months completely lived up to its billing as 2 of the nation's elite fought for the entire 60 minutes. In the end though, it was the leadership and poise of Vince Young that led the Longhorns to victory and kept them on the road to Pasadena.
1. Tennessee 30, LSU 27 (OT). After waiting for almost 3 extra weeks to have a home-opener, Tiger fans were growing more impatient than the 40-year old virgin. But when the emotions died, there were still 2 quarters to play. Credit Phil Fulmer for not making the mistake of Mack Brown with Simms and Applewhite by replacing a talented QB with a winning one.

Top 5 Games to Come

5. Ole Miss @ Mississippi St, Nov. 26. While this game doesn't even register on anyone's calendar outside of the Magnolia State, it could be these 2 teams first chance to earn a conference win.
4. Miami @ Virginia Tech, Nov. 5. So this is how the ACC solves the problem of the Big East Bullies--by placing them in the same division so they have to play every year.
3. Oklahoma vs Texas @ Dallas, Oct. 8. Will this be the year that Mack Brown finally gets the OU monkey off of his back? It should be, but you just never know how things will turn out at the Texas State Fair.
2. USC @ Notre Dame, Oct. 15. Charlie Weis has 2 weeks to prepare for this one. The last time he had 2 weeks to prepare for a game: Patriots 24, Eagles 21. Go ahead and quote me on this one...Notre Dame by at least a touchdown.
1. Tennessee @ Alabama, Oct. 22. Last summer, Phil Fulmer was too scared to come to the State of Alabama for SEC Media Days. This year, it's probably an appointment with Demeco Ryans and friends that's making him a little hesitant. After the Tide rolls in this one, the Great Pumpkin will be wishing he was getting subpoenaed.

Top 5 Wish List

5. Joe Paterno's Retiring. The art of being a good guest is knowing when to leave. The art of being remembered as a good coach is knowing when to quit. Even with the Nittany Lions fast start, Joe Pa could still very easily split his team's 6 remaining games and finish 8-3 as Michigan, Ohio State, Michigan State, Purdue, Iowa, and Wisconsin are all left on the schedule. However, a winning season will probably just make him hungrier for some more.
4. Vince Young winning the Heisman. It doesn't necessarily have to be Young. I'm not that picky. Anybody not from USC will suffice.
3. Coach "O" vs Coach Amato compete in a bodybuilding contest. Have there ever been 2 coaches with broader chests in NCAA history? These guys must be on the juice. They even have the weird voices to prove it.
2. USC Losing. Besides the fact that we'll never have to hear the annoying "3-Pete" Carroll nickname again, would it really be good for college football if a team from a lousy conference was able to do something that no other team had ever done by winning 3 in a row?
1. Protho back in time for the Rose Bowl. Hey, T.O. came back for the Super Bowl. And this is a "wish" list. Isn't it???

Now, what you've all been waiting for...

Top 15 Poll

1. USC (4-0)
2. Texas (4-0)
3. Virginia Tech (5-0)
4. Florida State (4-0)
5. Alabama (5-0)
6. Notre Dame (4-1)
7. Ohio St. (3-1)
8. Miami (3-1)
9. Georgia (4-0)
10. Tennessee (3-1)
11. Cal (5-0)
12. LSU (2-1)
13. Texas Tech (4-0)
14. Penn St. (5-0)
15. Florida (4-1)

Well, there you have it. Let me hear some of your Top 5's...I hope that this didn't mess up your routine too bad. Don't worry, I'll throw in a few picks on the way out for you to ponder. See you next week, and look for me on ABC at the Red River Shootout. Boomer Sooner!

Texas 28, Oklahoma 20.
Tennessee 20, Georgia 16.
Florida 45, Mississippi St. 9.
LSU 31, Vanderbilt 17.
Penn St. 35, Ohio St. 21.
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