25 TCU--> SMU? Ugh. Listen, the Mustangs are bound to be better this year. But they aren't going to be "beating ranked teams" better. Brutal way to celebrate a return to the Top 25, TCU. And it's a good way to become the only team dropped off my ballot this week.
The new Top 25 ballot
1. Southern Cal (1 last week). Even when they're not playing, it looks like they're better than everyone else.
2. Texas (3). Vince Young looked like an actual quarterback on Saturday. Texas played poorly, in my opinion, but they still won the game, which says a lot for how much more talented they are.
3. LSU (9). Emotional game, and an emotional win. If they can correct that pass defense, they'll have a chance to go far. Not only that, but it's hard to root against a team like this.
4. Florida (5). Louisiana Tech? Meh.
5. Virginia Tech (6). At least Duke is a conference opponent. Meh.
6. Georgia (7). Shockley looked much worse against Carolina than he did against Boise. Not that anyone should be surprised. Needless to say, the SEC is wide-open, and evaluation to this point has been difficult.
7. Notre Dame (12). I hesitate to jump them this far. Frankly, I was unimpressed with the Irish after the opening drive against Michigan. But a win at Michigan is a win at Michigan until proven otherwise. We'll watch Notre Dame closely.
8. Michigan (2). Ouch. Another uninspired early-season effort, this one from a team already beset by injuries. I feel badly for Lloyd Carr. Even when the team is healthy, they always seem to stumble at some point in September.
9. Tennessee (10). Biggie this week against Urban.
10. Louisville (11). Oregon State will give Louisville trouble, especially if the Cardinals provide the same uneven effort they had against Kentucky.
11. Ohio State (8). Nothing I didn't expect. Good defense, decent running game, and terrible QB play. This ranking won't hold, because tOSU won't be able to win games where their defense can't do it all.
12. Iowa State (22). Biggest jump in the rankings this week. I think this is a severely underrated football team. Either that, or Iowa was really overrated. This looks like the best chance for a North Division team to win the Big 12.
13. Florida State (13). The Citadel?
14. Iowa (4). Couldn't possibly have looked worse on Saturday. I'd drop them further, but it was one game against a huge rival on the road. I won't overreact. And I wouldn't want to be Northern Iowa this week.
15. Miami (Florida) (14). I don't expect that Miami will be outside the top ten for a long time.
16. Oregon (15). Huge home game against Fresno State. I tend to think a ranking will be up for grabs...at least on this ballot.
17. Texas A&M (16). If SMU wins in College Station on Saturday, I may have to take back my earlier comments about them.
18. Purdue (18). Akron doesn't do anything for me. They didn't do anything to Purdue.
19. Boston College (19). They did what they were supposed to do to Army. Now Florida State and the ESPN Gameday crew are coming to Chestnut Hill.
20. Arizona State (17). OK, we need some defense here.
21. Minnesota (21). Maroney's H*i*m*n bid continues, but it won't get serious until the Big Ten schedule begins.
22. North Carolina State (20). Probably won't move up this week, being that they play Eastern Kentucky. Hell, they probably wouldn't move up by playing Kentucky.
23. Toledo (23). Won big, but this was against Western Michigan. Better than Western Illinois, but still not very good.
24. Georgia Tech (24). Barely got by North Carolina, and probably should have lost. It was the kind of effort that keeps Tech fans up at night wondering about their team.
25. California (NR). I think I'm becoming a believer.
Other teams that received consideration