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 (6-0)…Displaying, yet again, the heart of a champion.  The Trojans convert a fourth-and-long late in the game and then score with three seconds left to beat the Irish.  Now has three straight breathers before a road date at Cal. 


2.  Texas (6-0)…Dominating what looks like a down Big 12 Conference and its going to take a major upset for the Longhorns to lose a game the rest of the way.


3.  Virginia Tech (5-0)…Coming off a bye, but should still be on upset alert at Maryland.  The Terrapins are also coming off an off week in anticipation of this game.


4.  Georgia (6-0)…Just continues to get the job – two straight SEC wins on the road – and now has two weeks to prepare for the world's annual largest cocktail party.


5.  Alabama (6-0)…If that 13-point output at Ole Miss is indicative of the Crimson Tide offense minus Tommy Prothro, don't put them in the SEC Championship Game just yet. 


6.  UCLA (6-0)…Just dodged an ambush in Pullman, and now needs to prove it's not destined for another late season swoon under Karl Dorrell.


7. Texas Tech (6-0)…Playing their best defense in years while still putting up video game numbers on offense.  However, a reality check in Austin is forthcoming. 


8.  LSU (5-1)…Losses of other undefeated teams helps the Tigers jump right back in the BCS race, and they still control their own destiny in the SEC West.


9.  Florida State (5-1)…Tough loss at Virginia, but the Seminoles are still likely to land in the inaugural ACC title game when it's all said and done.   


10. Miami, Fla. (5-1)…Ho-hum effort at Temple, but that's usually all it takes to beat the Owls.  Should win their next two at home against Georgia Tech and North Carolina. 


11. Penn State (6-1)…Was the gut-wrenching loss to Michigan really an upset?  The Wolverines were favored after all.  Still in control of the Big Ten's path to the BCS, though.


12. Notre Dame (4-2)…Nearly added another storied chapter to its storied history, but still gave the two-time defending national champs 60 minutes of hell. 


13. Boston College (6-1)…Quietly, again, having a very solid season and gets two weeks to prepare for a tough road trip to Blacksburg. 


14. Oregon (6-1)…Will be favored in the rest of its games the rest of the way, and if they run the table the Ducks – and their fan base – could be very attractive to the BCS. 


15. Wisconsin (6-1)…What an unreal way to a win that game at Minnesota.  It's beginning to feel like fate has stepped in and decided to give Barry Alvarez a memorable sendoff.  


16. Ohio State (5-2)…A school-record 12 sacks, plus those typical Spartan mental breakdowns, led to a win that put the Buckeyes right back in the BCS hunt.  


17. Florida (5-2)…The legend of Urban Meyer continues to be put a hold after another loss on the road in the SEC that all but ends the Gators bid for the BCS and the SEC title.


18. Tennessee (3-2)…That treacherous schedule we've talked so much about since the preseason doesn't get any easier with a trip to Tuscaloosa on deck and a trip to South Bend still to come.


19. West Virginia (6-1)…May have already punched its ticket to the BCS for the first time ever after a dramatic, double overtime comeback upset of Louisville.


20. TCU (6-1)…With the exception of that loss to SMU following a post-Oklahoma swoon, the Horned Frogs have played as consistently as any team outside the top five this season.


21. Auburn (5-1)…Ever since that opening home loss to Georgia Tech the Tigers have been playing good football.  Now they face a stern road test at LSU.


22. Virginia (4-2)…Knocked the Seminoles from the ranks of the undefeated for the best win of the Al Groh era, but should be on upset alert at Chapel Hill this week.  


23. Nebraska (5-1)…Maybe it's time to start taking the Huskers, whose only blemish came on a dramatic fourth-down touchdown by Texas Tech, seriously again?


24. Fresno State (4-1)…One of the more underrated teams in the country, again.  The Bulldogs lost early this season by three points at Oregon, and suddenly with the way the Ducks are playing that's not a bad looking loss.


25. Michigan State (4-2)…Again the Spartans are left to ponder what might have been after wasting chances to beat both Michigan and Ohio State.  Still has some tough games left on the schedule.


Honorable Mention: #26 Minnesota (5-2), #27 Louisville (4-2), #28 California (5-2), #29 Iowa (5-2), #30 Colorado (4-2).



Five Thoughts (read only if you have thick skin)


1.      The effort was tremendous, as was the overcoming of those two early defensive touchdowns by Missouri.  With that said, however, the Cyclones have squandered a golden opportunity this season that may not come around again anytime soon.     


2.      ISU is clearly not ready to be a championship program yet.  It's inventing new ways to loose football games.  And before some of you predictably blame this on the coaches let me remind you of two things: 1) While I wouldn't say every play-call has been Lombardiesque, the coaches have had the team in position to win during all three of those losses; 2) basketball media day was Tuesday.


3.      ISU is going to need to beat Colorado at home for the first time since 1983 to even make a bowl game, because you don't want to be 5-5 heading to Lawrence in the final to face a 5-5 Kansas squad also looking for bowl-eligibility.  


4.      The Heisman Trophy is now a three-man race: Reggie Bush and Matt Leinart of USC versus Vince Young of Texas.  Who will be the fourth person invited to the ceremony?  Could be Laurence Maroney of Minnesota.  However, if Bush stays healthy and doesn't win it there ought to be an investigation.


5.      This week's BCS projection: Rose—Texas vs. USC, Orange—Virginia Tech vs. Georgia, Sugar—LSU vs. Notre Dame, Fiesta—Penn State vs. West Virginia.

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