BATON ROUGE, LA - OCTOBER 22: Kenny Hilliard #27 of the LSU Tigers celebrates after scoring a touchdown during the game against the Auburn Tigers at Tiger Stadium on October 22, 2011 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
For the first time ever, we actually had some movement at the top. With some of the losses by highly ranked teams, here was our first chance to move teams around and have to really think not only about the top four, but everyone after them and where to rank some one loss teams in relation to some unbeaten teams that haven't necessarily beaten anyone good. So here are a couple of observations on our ballot:
- We've moved Oklahoma State up to that #3 spot behind Alabama and LSU because as of now, they've beaten the best bunch of teams. Additionally, they'll have the best chance to also beat enough high profile teams that if they run the table, there will be no denying them the BCS Championship Game if they're undefeated.
- Speaking of Oklahoma State and that schedule, how impressive is the Big XII right now. On our ballot, the Big XII has #3, #10, #11, #21, and #24. And keep in mind that while they're young and still adjusting to new schemes, those ranked teams don't even include Texas. Oh, and while they're also unranked, there's no player in America better than Robert Griffin III at Baylor. All of that to say, for as much as the SEC has the mantle of being America's best conference, the Big XII is every bit as good as the SEC right now.
- Stanford became the first team since, I think, 1936, to beat 10 consecutive teams by 25 points or more. On Saturday, they rushed for over 400 yards against an improved Washington team. They're one of the few teams that improved and built without going "spread". Andrew Luck is the best pro prospect in college since, what, Peyton Manning? I confess I would just love to see them have a chance to match up with a physical defense like Alabama or LSU.
- We're down to one Big East team after West Virginia got pistol-whipped by Syracuse on Friday night. We still think the Mountaineers are a very, very good team and I personally think they'll win the Big East when it all washes out, but right now, there's no way to put them in the stop 25. In two weeks, they'll get their shot against the one team we did rank, Cincinnati, in Paul Brown Stadium on ESPN. That should be a very telling game for the Big East race. We naturally dropped Rutgers after they lost on the road at 2-4 Louisville.
- We feel pretty good about being way ahead of the curve in ranking Southern Miss. They continue to roll through C-USA. Next year, Larry Fedora is going to make a lot of money being someone else's head coach. Ole Miss maybe?
- Houston keeps inching its way up the polls by scoring its way past C-USA opponents. If it wins out, a C-USA title game win over a likewise ranked Southern Miss team just might push them into the top 12. Houston could push into the top 12 and finish higher than the Big East or maybe Big Ten champion which would probably get it into a BCS bowl, where it would get killed.
- The best thing about this top 25, so many upcoming games between ranked teams. The final poll won't look anything like this one.