Deace's Top 25 College Football Rankings

Each week our publisher, Steve Deace, publishes his top 25 college football rankings based on how he thinks the teams should be rated at this moment. In addition, he offers up five thoughts on the season thus far.

1.  USC (3-0)…After a slow start, the Trojans just manhandled Oregon in the second half.  Now they face a more talented Sun Devils team on the road, although Tempe is certainly no Autzen Stadium.


2.  Texas (3-0)…Missouri will provide a tougher than expected road test on Saturday, particularly if the Tigers fully unleash Brad Smith on the rested Longhorns.


3.  Florida (4-0)…The Gators were sluggish early at Kentucky before pouring it on, but could be walking into an ambush in Tuscaloosa.


4.  Virginia Tech (4-0)…Were very impressive in taking the Yellowjackets behind the woodshed, but should be on upset alert at always tough Morgantown this week.


5.  Florida State (3-0)…Syracuse has a pretty good defense so this will be a good test for a still growing FSU offense, but the Seminoles' defense should tee off. 


6.  Ohio State (3-1)…Buckeyes get a week off before heading to the road for the first time this season next week.


7.  Georgia (4-0)…Got the job done on the road against Mississippi State, and now gets a week to rest up for a road trip to Knoxville.


8.  Tennessee (2-1)…After a comeback for the ages at LSU, what do the Volunteers do for an encore this week against Ole Miss?  Smart move naming Rick Clausen the starting quarterback.


9.  Miami, Fla. (2-1)…The Hurricanes better beware of South Florida, who shocked the country last week by blowing out Louisville.


10. Michigan State (4-0)…For the first time since 1967 the high-octane Spartans are favored over Michigan in a football game.  We'll see how they handle that rare role for them in this rivalry.


11. Notre Dame (3-1)…Last year the Boilermakers embarrassed the Irish in South Bend, and don't think the Notre Dame players have forgotten that.


12. LSU (1-1)…Les Miles will have a difficult chore getting his Tigers back up for this week's game at Starkville after the late-game collapse suffered on Monday night.


13. Arizona State (3-1)…This is a statement game for ASU.  They have the talent to pull off the upset, but do they have the testicular fortitude to withstand one of USC's in-game onslaughts? 


14. UCLA (3-0)…Bruins should have little trouble making short work of Washington at home in their Pac-10 opener.


15. Alabama (4-0)…The biggest game of Mike Shula's short tenure is this week when Florida ventures to Bryant-Denny Stadium.  With a win the Crimson Tide can start thinking BCS.


16. Wisconsin (4-0)…Barry Alvarez finally bested Lloyd Carr and has his young team off to a hot start, and they should stay that way with a home game versus lowly Indiana on tap.


17. Boston College (3-1)…Nice bounce-back win on the road at Clemson for the underrated Eagles, who need this week's breather against Ball State.


18. Georgia Tech (3-1)…With Reggie Ball sick and unprepared they were no match for Virginia Tech on the road, now they get a week off to heal.


19. Minnesota (4-0)…Gophers got it done against Purdue for the first time in a long time in an overtime classic, and now go on the road to find out if undefeated Penn State is for real.


20. Iowa State (3-0)…Will the real Cyclones please stand up?  Which team will we see in Lincoln this weekend?  The opportunity is there to win at Nebraska for the first time since 1977.


21. Texas Tech (3-0)…Red Raiders will finally play someone with a pulse in undefeated Kansas, who also hasn't played anyone with a pulse yet.


22. California (4-0)…Still not sure how good the Bears really are, but they should have little trouble going to 5-0 for the first time since 1996 by beating Arizona at home.


23. Virginia (3-0)…The Cavaliers have some big-time players and have kind of gone unnoticed thus far, but they should be on upset alert at Maryland this week.


24. Purdue (2-1)…So much for that talk that this was their year.  The Boilermakers lost their 17th game by seven points or less since 2001, and could be in trouble again this week.


25. Louisville (2-1)…How in the world did they lose to South Florida like that?  They're still the class of the Big East, though, for whatever that's worth.



Five Thoughts


1.      Mark it down, the Cyclones will beat Nebraska in Lincoln and join Colorado atop the North Division standings after week one of conference play.  


2.      LSU can still run the table and have a good shot of making it to the BCS title game by winning the SEC with one loss, like they did in 2003.  Provided, of course, that either Texas or Virginia Tech loses a game.


3.      Ohio State will win the Big Ten by two full games in the standings.  They're easily the best team in that league.


4.      Upsets alerts this week: Virginia at Maryland, LSU at Mississippi State, Florida at Alabama, and Michigan at Michigan State.


5.    Doesn't that smug little leprechaun that cheats named Lou Holtz on ESPN make you long for the days of Trev Alberts?  

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