Steve Townsend said, "I think the top 10 looks a lot like it did 25 or 30 years ago, which in a lot of ways is good. The tradition teams are back as a force."
Townsend said that he had the 10 teams that are in the top 10 in his top 10, though not necessarily in the same order. This week's Harris top ten is:
1. USC (110 first place votes), 2. Texas (3 first place votes), 3. Virginia Tech, 4. Georgia, 5. Florida State, 6. Miami, 7. Alabama (up one spot from last week), 8. Notre Dame (up three spots while enjoying an open date), 9. Penn State, and 10. LSU.
There are 114 voters in the Harris poll, but in four rankings there have not been 114 votes yet. This week there were 113.
"I still have Alabama rated the top team from the SEC, but Georgia impressed me against Tennessee," Townsend said. "That game didn't surprise me. Georgia is very good defensively. They run well and tackle well. I think because of their schedule, Georgia could be a factor in the national championship."
Townsend said that "One thing that amazes me is that none of the West Coast teams shows much defense. Now, they may out-score everyone. I still think Southern Cal is the team to beat."
Townsend was not surprised at Texas' easy win over Oklahoma. "I don't think Oklahoma is very good," Townsend said. "I had seen them against UCLA and wasn't very impressed. Excluding the Big East, I think the Big 12 is the weakest major college football conference. Colorado looked good against Texas A&M, but I don't think that necessarily means anything. A lot of people think Texas Tech has a chance to beat Texas, but I don't see it happening. I don't think Texas has much of a challenge the rest of the way, including the Big 12 championship game. It's had to believe a conference with Oklahoma and Nebraska could be so bad."
On the other hand, Townsend thinks two conference championship games are shaping up to be dandies.
"In the ACC you could have an undefeated Virginia Tech against an undefeated FSU, and in the SEC you could have Georgia and Alabama undefeated. It probably won't happen that way. One or more of them will probably slip up. But it could."
EDITOR'S NOTE: Steve Townsend, an independent consultant for college football, is one of 114 voters in the Harris Interactive College Football Poll, which is part of the equation for choosing teams for the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) games at the end of the season. The BCS formula also consists of the USA Today Coaches Poll, and an average of six computer rankings (Anderson & Hester, Richard Billingsley, Colley Matrix, Kenneth Massey, Jeff Sagarin and Peter Wolfe). The first BCS standings will be released on October 17
Steve Townsend previously served as media relations director at Alabama (1988-98) and for the Southeastern Conference, co-publisher of Tiger Rag (the LSU equivalent of ‘BAMA Magazine), and as a graduate assistant under famed LSU Sports Information Director Paul Manasseh.
He shares his thoughts on his vote with BamaMag.com on a regular basis.