THE RANKS: A little bit less shakin' going on...
1 (Last week: 1) Ohio State: def. Iowa, 38-17. One of those games where the score doesn't tell the whole story. Or, actually, it does. This was a dominating performance on both sides of the football. I'm beginning to believe in Ohio State. Which means they're almost certainly doomed.
2 (2) Florida: def. Alabama, 28-13. Still has to run the gauntlet, but this was a good start, even if the officials might have helped just a touch. I still think they have accomplished more than just about anybody else on the list, but I also still think they're just a step behind Ohio State.
3 (3) Auburn: def. South Carolina, 24-17. South Carolina gave Auburn all that they could handle -- and almost gave them more. Color me nervous, but not yet deterred.
4 (4) Michigan: def. Minnesota, 28-14. So is it time to start wondering when Lloyd Carr's "Huh?" game is going to occur. Or is it possible they won't have one this year.
5 (5) LSU: def. Mississippi State, 48-17. Was LSU having a bad week when it got stifled by Auburn. Or is the Tiger defense just that good?
6 (6) Southern California: def. Washington State, 28-22. Still don't have the wow factor. And underwhelming games against almost everyone they have faced (except Arkansas) says this is the right place to put them, right now.
7 (7) Louisville: IDLE.
8 (8) West Virginia: IDLE.
9 (10) Texas: def. Sam Houston State, 56-3. Slowly climbing back. They say it's better to lose early than late, which leads us to...
10 (11) Notre Dame: def. Purdue, 35-21. Again, was the ND offense just having a bad week, or is Michigan that good?
11 (12) Clemson: def. Louisiana Tech, 51-0. Another one of a series of less-than-daunting wins by BCS-league teams. Could be headed for a showdown with the Jackets.
12 (13) Tennessee: def. Memphis, 41-7. They could probably beat Clemson, but I'm not quite sure. We'll see how bad they (should) beat Georgia this weekend.
13 (9) Iowa: lost to Ohio State, 38-17. You can only fall so far for losing to a team like Ohio State. But Oregon and Oklahoma are just a shade behind.
14 (17) Oregon: def. Arizona State, 48-13. Don't want to say I told you so on Arizona State. But I told you so.
15 (18) Oklahoma: IDLE.
16 (19) Georgia Tech: def. Virginia Tech, 38-27. Will move up further once they prove this was not a fluke and they are as legitimate an ACC title contender as they look.
17 (14) Georgia: def. Mississippi, 14-9. One too many close games. Lose to Tennessee too bad, and we could see some unranked "DAWGS."
18 (16) Virginia Tech: lost to Georgia Tech, 38-27. You lost to Chan Gailey and Reggie Ball. You better hope they're exceeding expectations this year.
19T (20) Rutgers: def. South Florida, 22-20. A little bit tepid, but they hang on for another week. Besides, you can't be quite as harsh on (most) conference road games.
19T (21) Penn State: def. Northwestern, 33-7. JoePa could still pull out a Top-25 season at Happy Valley.
21 (22) California: def. Oregon State, 41-13. Has rebounded nicely from Tennessee thrashing.
22 (23) Florida State: IDLE.
23 (24) Nebraska: def. Kansas, 39-32 (OT). Kansas could be a rising Big XII power. Or Nebraska could still be a fallen one. We'll find out soon enough.
24 (25) Missouri: def. Colorado, 28-13. At least they haven't lost to BYU.
25 (NR) Washington: def. Arizona, 28-10. Call me crazy, but I think Willingham can pull it off.
DROPPING OUT: TCU gets punished not for getting beat by BYU, but for getting blasted by BYU...
ON THE BUBBLE: Boise State/Washington was a tough call...Purdue is still rumbling around, though ND knocked off some of the luster...Wake Forest could be a bowl team in a weak ACC...We'll see if Kentucky can beat a serious team...