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 (5-0)…They deserve to be ranked here until somebody beats them.  And that's going to happen this week by the way. 


2.  Texas (5-0)…Took the Sooners behind the woodshed and is beginning to place doubts in voters' minds about who really is the No. 1 team in the country. 


3.  Virginia Tech (5-0)…Has a bye this week to get ready for a tough three game stretch: at Maryland, Miami (Fla.), and Boston College.  


4.  Georgia (5-0)…Huge road win for the Bulldogs at Knoxville, and they should be 7-0 heading into the Cocktail Party.


5.  Alabama (5-0)…Crimson Tide had a week off to find out who would replace Tommy Prothro as the team's big play threat. 


6.  Florida State (5-0)…Still flying beneath the radar screen with a 9-0 start possible heading into road games at Clemson and Florida to close out the campaign.  


7.  Penn State (6-0)…That was the biggest win for the Nittany Lions since JoePa broke Bear Bryant's record four years ago.  If they beat reeling Michigan this week look out BCS.


8.  UCLA (5-0)…Karl Dorrell seems to have finally established his program in Westwood, but the Bruins should be on upset alert this week in Pullman.


9.  Miami, Fla. (4-1)…Hurricanes should close out an undefeated October on their way to a pivotal road trip to Blacksburg.


10. Florida (5-1)…Still not sure how good the Gators really are.  The defense was embarrassed against Alabama, and the offense still hasn't hit its stride yet.


11. LSU (3-1)…Still has a good shot at the SEC West title, if they can beat Florida and Auburn at home the next two weeks to set up a showdown in Tuscaloosa.


12. Michigan State (4-1)…Is the Michigan loss truly behind them?  If so, they may be catching a hurting Ohio State team at the right time this week. 


13. Notre Dame (4-1)…The Irish are better than this ranking and they will prove it by ending USC's winning streak this week at home in South Bend. 


14. Boston College (5-1)…Just a solid program that averages a solid eight wins per year.  Should beat Wake Forest at home this week.


15. Texas Tech (5-0)…Well, we at least know that the Red Raiders would be the best team in the Big 12 North were they in that division.


16. Ohio State (4-2)…Two losses already for one of the most talented teams in the country, but I still think they'll win the Big Ten title when it's all said and done. 


17. Tennessee (3-2)…The Volunteers are poised to waste one of the nation's most talented rosters due to a horrific schedule and a question mark at quarterback. 


18. Colorado (4-1)…The Buffaloes again look like the class of the…um…let's call it "balanced" Big 12 North.


19. California (5-1)…They still haven't beaten anyone with a pulse yet, but they did play the Bruins tough in the Rose Bowl.


20. Oregon (5-1)…The Ducks look like they're on the brink of having a nice season, and the Holiday Bowl would love to become Autzen Stadium South.


21. Wisconsin (5-1)…Someone forgot to tell the Badgers that you've got to pack a defense when you head on the road.


22. Louisville (4-1)…Blew out North Carolina at home and will now play West Virginia for the Big East title this week in Morgantown.


23. TCU (5-1)…Has all but won the Mountain West Conference already in its first year in the league.


24. Minnesota (5-1)…The Little Brown Jug heads to the Twin Cities for the first time in 16 years. 


25. Baylor (4-1)…They're here because there really isn't anybody else that deserves this slot more.  And very few programs in the country have three wins on the road already.


Honorable Mention: #26 Auburn (4-1), #27 West Virginia (5-1), #28 Fresno State (3-1), #29 Nebraska (4-1), #30 Maryland (4-2).    



Five Thoughts (read only if you have thick skin)


1.      I'll say it again this week, this Iowa State team just doesn't seem to have progressed as much as was expected and is pretty much the same team the Cyclones had a year ago minus Ellis Hobbs.  I'm still not sure who the playmaker is on this squad.  Bret Meyer is having a solid year, but he's not able to carry a team on his back quite yet.  Until one – or several – playmakers emerge there will be more Saturdays like this last one unfortunately.   


2.      This will be as tough a week as a coach as Dan McCarney has ever had at ISU.  Great expectations bring either great joy or great disappointment, and right now the latter is more likely than the former.  The players sense that disappointment more than we do in the cheap seats, and getting them motivated won't be easy this week.  In fact, it's clear it hasn't been easy the last three weeks because this team hasn't played with emotion and a sense of urgency since the Iowa win.  Actually, that was the only time they've played with emotion and a sense of urgency the entire season thus far.


3.      If you're a true-blue Cyclone you absolutely hate the Hawkeyes.  Which is why it has to hurt all the more that Iowa is again likely headed for a better bowl game than ISU regardless of that 23-3 win at Jack Trice Stadium.  Of course, that is assuming that ISU even makes a bowl game, which is no longer a cinch with the way they've played in four of their five games this year. 


4.      My Heisman Trophy ballot at the midway point of the season: 1) Vince Young (QB-Texas), 2. Reggie Bush (RB-USC), 3) Brady Quinn (QB-Notre Dame), 4) Maurice Drew (RB-UCLA), 5) Matt Leinart (QB-USC).


5.      Midway through the season, here's how I project the BCS turning out: Rose—Virginia Tech (12-0) vs. Texas (12-0), Orange—Notre Dame (10-1) vs. Georgia (11-1), Sugar—LSU (11-1) vs. Louisville (10-1), Fiesta—Ohio State (9-2) vs. USC (11-1).


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