Week 10 of the college football season finds all the top dogs still on top, but now comes the time when some big dogs are going to get smacked down the poll. LSU and Alabama have topped the poll, and my ballot, for six straight weeks. The time has come, though for those two to face off. This is the last week they will be #1 and #2 on my ballot barring a rash of top five upsets.
But that game comes later this week. Right now, the top six on my ballot remain unchanged from last week. You will recall that I was unconvinced that Clemson could go down to Atlanta versus Georgia Tech and come away with the victory, and that intuition both kept me from moving them higher than 7th and turned out to be correct in substance, as the Yellow Jackets handled the Tigers convincingly.
Despite Stanford's rather narrow victory at Southern Cal, I briefly flirted with moving them into the third spot, as I am now becoming convinced that a solid case can be made for them to be ahead of Oklahoma St. My hand was stayed, though, by the reality that OSU still handled a solid Baylor team with aplomb. They remain at #3.
Houston moves up four spots despite being undefeated due to the weakness of their competition. Still, the Cougars are putting up staggering offensive numbers, and I suppose if they win by such convincing margins over SMU and Tulsa, two teams in weak conferences that presently have winning records, they might plausibly climb into the top ten when others fall. But here is a case where a school could wind up undefeated and never get within shouting distance of the BCS championship. Even Boise has one significant victory.
Another new entrant is Southern Mississippi. My mathematics convinced me that they belong in the top 25, but their schedule is so pathetic that they have managed only one victory against a team that presently has a winning record at all. It pains me to put them there, but I surrendered to the calculus.
Wisconsin probably took a bigger hit than the deserved. Here is a team that lost on the road to two powerful foes, by narrow margins, but college football is nothing if not cruel to losers. That two game losing streak ended whatever prayers of a national championship they may have entertained, and I was never a believer that they would get that far, unlike some other people I know.
As a parting shot, beware the Cardinal. They just might be underrated at #4.
Here is my ballot:
Let me have your comments, and corrections.