Weekly College Football Report

Not even the Cyclones hapless performance on the gridiron is enough to dwindle our founder's great enthusiasm for college football. Here is his latest report on where things stand entering the stretch drive of November.

If I had a vote in the AP Poll

1. Ohio State (9-0)…Nothing to say that hasn't already been said about the number one team in the land. See you November 18th.

2. Michigan (9-0)…Poor weather can be at least partially attributed to the lack of style points against Northwestern, but where has the offense been since Mario Manningham got hurt?

3. West Virginia (7-0)…Now the real season begins for the Mountaineers, who face one the most anticipated games of the 2006 season Thursday night.

4. Texas (8-1)…It's not often you fall behind 21-0 and come back to win, and it's also not often you hold that Texas Tech offense scoreless at home for an entire half. The Longhorns did both on Saturday night.

5. Florida (7-1)…It's so confusing in the SEC because everybody is beating everybody. So I'll rank those teams by their complete body of work thus far, and that gives the Gators the slight edge.

6. Tennessee (7-1)…A one-point loss to Florida at home in the final minutes is all that is keeping the Volunteers from being a major factor in the national championship race.

7. Auburn (8-1)…Was more workmanlike than impressive in dispatching a less than average Ole Miss squad. Still needs help in the SEC West.

8. Louisville (7-0)Brian Brohm is back and the Cardinals are rested. Will that be enough to beat West Virginia at home on Thursday night?

9. USC (6-1)…Living dangerously finally caught up with the Trojans in Corvallis, and they're hardly a lock for any BCS game at this point because they have one of the toughest final four weeks in the nation.

10. California (7-1)…The bye week was a productive one for the Bears, who got some unexpected help from the Trojans. Now they need to beat the Bruins.

11. Arkansas (7-1)…The team to beat in the SEC West still has a tough road to hoe, beginning with this week's potential ambush at South Carolina.

12. Boston College (7-1)…If you predicted before the season that this week's clash between the Eagles and Demon Deacons would be for the Atlantic Division title in the ACC you're…probably a liar.

13. Rutgers (8-0)…The undefeated team getting the least amount of respect gets a week off to get ready for catching Louisville on the rebound.

14. Notre Dame (7-1)…USC's loss also really hurt the Fighting Irish, because it ends any shot of them building enough of a resume to be any kind of factor in the national title hunt at 11-1.

15. LSU (6-2)…The week's game in Knoxville between the Tigers and Volunteers is basically a BCS at-large elimination match. The loser is done in the BCS. The winner still has an outside shot to get in.

16. Boise State (8-0)…Two spots away from securing an automatic berth in the BCS, but will the computers allow them to climb high enough to get it considering their weak strength of schedule.

17. Clemson (7-2)…More than just a game was lost in Blacksburg. The Tigers also likely lost any shot at their first ACC title since Florida State joined the league and any shot at the BCS as well.

18. Oklahoma (6-2)…A very impressive effort in Columbia for the Sooners, who continued their mastery of Mizzou because they're finally playing the type of defense we thought they would play before the season.

19. Georgia Tech (6-2)…Give Jon Miller over at Hawkeye Nation credit, he predicted the Yellowjackets would be in the ACC title game before the season and it looks like he'll be right.

20. Texas A&M (8-1)…Quietly the Aggies are remaining a threat in the Big 12 South and they still control their own destiny if they win out. Their first obstacle down that path is this week's elimination game with Oklahoma at home.

21. Wisconsin (8-1)…Penn State still has a stout defense, so the Badgers need to get P.J. Hill back and healthy otherwise John Stocco will struggle this week without a running game.

22. Wake Forest (7-1)…This week's visit by Boston College is the biggest home football game in Winston-Salem since…well…since Creation.

23. Virginia Tech (6-2)…The Hokies got back some national respect by ending Clemson's run at the ACC. They can all but end Larry Coker's tenure by winning at Miami this weekend.

24. Brigham Young (6-2)…In my opinion the Cougars are actually the best team in a non-BCS conference, they just played a tougher non-conference schedule than Boise State did.

25. Tulsa (7-1)…Suitors with blank checks will be lined up to hire Steve Kragthorpe after the season. If you're an athletic director looking for the next Kirk Ferentz this is your guy.

Honorable Mention: #26 Oregon (6-2), #27 Washington State (6-3), #28 Maryland (6-2), #29 Pittsburgh (6-2), #30 Missouri (7-2).

My Heisman Ballot (no changes from last week)

  1. Troy Smith, Ohio State—He's so far out in front now that if his team wins out he'll win the award in a landslide.
  2. Mike Hart, Michigan—Week in and week out he's the most consistent player in college football regardless of position.
  3. Steve Slaton/Pat White, West Virginia—These two are interchangeable parts and difficult to differentiate. Can teammates share the award?

The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly on the Cyclones

The Good—The Cyclones finally got the lead in a conference game for the first time this season.

The Bad—Same as it ever was.

The Ugly—Turns out the Big 12 North wasn't good this year, either. Nebraska gets hammered at Oklahoma State after leading, 16-0. Missouri gets dominated at home by a better than average Oklahoma team. Kansas and Colorado are worse than they were last year. Kansas State is just as bad as they were, they're just declining at lesser rate than Iowa State. The Cyclones could've won the North with a 5-3 record this year, too, but likely won't even win five games overall. If they even win another game at all.

(Steve Deace founded Cyclone Nation in 2002. He can be heard on the radio each weekday from 4-7 p.m. on 1040-WHO and seen each week on television on Mediacom's "Cy-Hawk Talk: State of the Nations" on Connections Channel throughout 500,000 homes in Iowa.)


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