Two more undefeateds fell yesterday in what has become a wild October for upsets. This has created more work for me, because it’s getting tougher and tougher each week to figure out which 10 teams comprise my top-10 as the upsets continue to roll in.
But even though the list of unblemished teams continues to shrink, I’m a man of the people, so here’s my much-debated top-10.
1. LSU (Last week: No. 1) — The Tigers were idle, but the big showdown in Tuscaloosa is this weekend. I can’t see them falling far if they lose to Alabama, but they’ll be eliminated from a top-2 finish unless all the other one-loss teams lose again. Which, you know, won’t happen.
2. Alabama (Last week: No. 2) — Same goes for the Crimson Tide. Lose this game and their chances of finishing in the top 2 is over, but win and ascend to the top spot in my poll next Sunday.
3. Oklahoma State (Last week: No. 3) — Baylor has never been in my top-10 this season, but admittedly, they were close at one point. They’re not a bad football team. But Okie State made them look downright crappy on Saturday, picking them apart for a 59-24 victory that was even uglier than the score reflects. The Cowboys entered this week with no chance to hurdle Alabama or LSU in my poll, but they are definitely making me wonder whether they’re just as good as the LSU’s and Alabama’s of the world.
4. Stanford (Last week: No. 4) — The Cardinal were a helmet-to-helmet hit away from losing to USC on Saturday night. If we’re learning anything about the past couple of weeks, it’s that the undefeated teams just need to survive and advance. That’s what Stanford did against a very good USC team, and they’re going to stay in my top-4 unless they actually lose. Not a close win — only a loss is going to make me think less of Stanford.
5. Oregon (Last week: No. 5) — The Ducks looked very pedestrian in a 43-28 victory at home against Washington State. They never really put the Cougars away, but the Ducks may have just been looking ahead two weeks to that Nov. 12 date with Stanford. Beating Stanford in that game would give them a chance to make up some ground in the rankings.
6. Boise State (Last week: No. 8 ) — The Broncos were off, but this is where I throw my hands up and say there’s nothing more I can do to hold Boise State down. The undefeated teams ahead of them keep losing, and while the Broncos will probably never break the top-2, they’re going to move into my top-5 if the upsets keep happening.
7. Oklahoma (Last week: No. 12) — Kansas State hadn’t lost a game … until they were blasted 58-17 by the Sooners yesterday. And much like Oklahoma State’s win over Baylor, this game wasn’t as competitive as the score would suggest. This was a one-sided demolishing of the Wildcats from the beginning. The loss to Texas Tech is going to look ugly for the rest of the season, but the Sooners are a good football team that spent one night forgetting how to play football last weekend.
8. Arkansas (Last week: No. 9) — The Razorbacks haven’t played well in a long time, but they keep winning. Normally, that wouldn’t be enough, but everyone around them keeps losing. So I can’t really justify dropping them in the rankings, even though I’d like to.
9. Virginia Tech (Last week: No. 10) — The Hokies looked downright terrible in a 14-10 victory at Duke, but who would you put in this spot?
10. Clemson (Last week: No. 6) — After watching the Tigers get picked apart by Georgia Tech on Saturday night, I’m going to leave them in my top-10 because I still think they’re one of the 10 best teams in the country. We all know it’s tough to stop that GT offense when you only have a week to prepare, so I think this loss was an aberration. There’s a good chance Clemson won’t lose again this season.