As you all know by now, another two undefeateds fell over the weekend, which makes for lots of work for your trusty pollster. Stanford and Boise State were the latest victims, so how far did they fall? Let’s just say that you’ll only be able to find one of them on this page … you’ll have to click the link below to see where Boise State ranks, because they’re no longer occupying a spot in my Top 10.
1. LSU (Last week: No. 1) — The Tigers did not look good at all in their first half against Western Kentucky. But much like the way Florida State had a tough time recovering from such a hard-hitting Oklahoma game, I’m sure the Alabama game will stick with LSU for weeks. They pulled it together to win 42-9, so there were no issues with this game (aside from maybe the fact that WKU scored more points off the LSU defense than Alabama did at home last week).
2. Oklahoma State (Last week: No. 3) — The Cowboys ushered a satanic 66-6 victory over Texas Tech to improve to 10-0 on the year, and the other spot in the BCS Championship game is theirs to lose. They built a 49-0 halftime lead and coasted to a blowout win, and if you think this team is all offense, you’re wrong. Their defense is just as quick, and they’re looking like a very solid pick to beat Oklahoma in a few weeks.
3. Oregon (Last week: No. 4) — The Ducks have looked second-to-none since their Week 1 loss to LSU. Would LSU-Oregon be a better rematch than LSU-Alabama if Oklahoma State were to lose? I think so, because the Ducks are playing really, really well. What does a Week 1 game show us anyway? Two teams that are trying to figure out their identity. Oregon has found theirs, and after beating Stanford 53-30 in their own house on Saturday, I think they may be a better team than Alabama.
4. Oklahoma (Last week: No. 5) — The Sooners had the week off, but their spot at No. 4 is safe.
5. Alabama (Last week: No. 6) — Alabama didn’t look too good in their 24-7 victory at Mississippi State, but beating the Bulldogs at home at night isn’t always easy. So for that, they maintain their spot in my poll.
6. Stanford (Last week: No. 2) — OK, so Stanford isn’t as good as I thought they were. Saturday was their chance to prove they were the real deal, and they failed. They’re probably going to play in a BCS bowl, but achieving the ultimate goal is probably not going to happen in 2011.
7. Arkansas (Last week: No. 8 ) — Add Arkansas to the list of teams that look really good after losing a game earlier in the year. The style points were nice, but beating Tennessee 49-7 at home isn’t really anything all that special for an offense that has been hanging large numbers on teams better than Tennessee. UT is now 0-6 in SEC play, but the Razorbacks took care of business. That game at LSU in two weeks looms large.
8. Virginia Tech (Last week: No. 9) — There’s probably going to be a few people confused as to why I continue to rank VT above Clemson, but like I continue to stress, my poll punishes teams more for losing late in the season. Isn’t that how it should work? I thought so. Even though the Hokies were off and Clemson won their game, VT is still going to remain above them.
9. Clemson (Last week: No. 10) — Now, on to Clemson. The Tigers won the ACC Atlantic over the weekend with a close victory over Wake Forest. The Deacons are not a bad team, and they were desperate, playing to upset the Tigers and possibly win the division next week. But the Tigers are going to stay below the Hokies in my rankings with the chance to move above them when the two play for the ACC Championship.
10. Georgia (Last week: No. 11) — The Dawgs exposed Auburn on Saturday to the tune of a 45-7 blowout that could have been worse. They raced out to a 35-7 lead at halftime and never looked back, suggesting that UGA is rolling as they head into the SEC Championship game. All they have to do is beat Kentucky in Sanford Stadium this weekend and they will head to the Georgia Dome for a game against LSU in a few weeks. Expect another blowout this weekend.