First off, I wanted to draw attention to my Rivalry Series editions. I updated the one for Steve Spurrier/South Carolina (I anticipate Saturday’s game was the Visor’s last against the Tigers; I couldn’t stand him in the 1990s, but I will wish him well if that is the case). Also, obviously Spurrier had a huge impact upon the LSU/Florida rivalry, which will be renewed Saturday night in Death Valley between two undefeated teams. That information is enough to spark interest in this year’s game, but I think it’s worth reflecting upon some of the other huge games between the two in the last 10 years especially.
Speaking of Florida, I can almost guarantee that if Florida wins this weekend, they will be #1 both in this list and in the computer listing. However, for now I am keeping Ohio St. #1 and LSU #2. LSU is 8th in the computer list, but if you divide score by playing week the Tigers rise to 4th. So LSU is in position with a win to prove they belong at their current spot or better. If they lose, they’d fall to where the computer puts them, as would Florida.
If Ohio St. comes out first in the computer, they will stay #1. I haven’t been impressed by the Buckeyes, but I said last week we would not have enough information for a new #1 until next week. I’ll also say that if TCU comes out first in the computer (not likely), they will become the new #1. If it’s anyone else, I will consider what the margin is in front of the other teams and upcoming games before I make a decision.
I made a mistake with Michigan St. by putting them near the top the last couple of weeks. Somehow I gave them credit for beating a much better team than Oregon. This discrepancy didn’t show up until Oregon lost again and I realized the Spartans were getting way too much credit for their wins so far.
However, since they are undefeated and they do have a game against a top 10 team on Saturday, I didn’t want to drop them too far. I thought they were still a better top 10 team for now than Temple is. The Owls play winless Central Florida this weekend (winless means you don’t get points for beating them for the time being), so they may fall out of the top 10 anyway.
The only other change I made from the computer was to leave Ole Miss in the top 25 (they had lost several spots for beating NMSU, which is basically the same as a bye week until the Aggies beat someone) and to leave Memphis out of the top 25. If I put the wrong team in, that will be proven on the field when Memphis hosts Ole Miss on Saturday.
Other than the possible change to the #1 team I mentioned, my plan for next week is just to rely on the computers.
Everything in the computers has proceeded pretty much as expected. Utah, TCU, and Iowa got good but not great wins to varying degrees. This allowed them to pass up Texas A&M, who was idle. The Aggies are still in the top four when looking at average week though, and of course they can make up some ground by beating Alabama.
Michigan got the big win over previously unbeaten Northwestern, so they were the biggest mover in the top 25 other than Oklahoma, who lost to then-1-4 Texas. Northwestern fell seven spots for its loss, which I think is reasonable.
Clemson and Florida St. seem to be proceeding nicely to a potential undefeated match-up in November, although the Tigers do have a trip to Miami before that.
I double-checked to make sure Cal lost points for the Utah game but not that many, and the Bears benefitted from a couple of teams slipping downward.
The only other movers worth mentioning were across the Bay, where Stanford was idle and fell two spots, and in South Bend, where Notre Dame improved six spots with the win over previously unbeaten Navy. Also, Georgia of course fell out of the top 25 after blowing a 21-point lead in Knoxville.
Out of rankings (with last week’s rank):