Deace Blog: October 14th

As exciting as this college football season has been across the country, that's how depressing it's becoming in Ames. Even for a fanbase accustomed to losing over the eons, the last two weeks against Texas Tech and Texas have folks remembering why Dan McCarney got rid of the gold pants in the first place. Suddenly, a sentencing to Boise for a flea-bag bowl game doesn't look so bad, does it?

This is how I would rank the top teams in college football this week if I had a vote in the AP Poll:

1. South Florida (6-0)…Of the undefeated teams in contention for this slot, the Bulls have the most quality wins and are thus deserving of the top spot.

2. Ohio State (7-0)…Most folks thought the Buckeyes would start 7-0, but they finish the season playing the top teams in their league the next five weeks.

3. Boston College (7-0)…This lofty ranking is rarified air for the Eagles, who are on upset alert this Thursday night in Blacksburg.

4. LSU (6-1)…Can't penalize them too much for losing in triple overtime, plus I think they're the nation's best one-loss squad.

5. Oklahoma (6-1)…Won a shootout to knock Mizzou from the ranks of the unbeaten and the Sooners have a favorable slate the rest of the way.

6. California (5-1)…Nearly pulled it out over underrated Oregon State with their backup quarterback, but they missed the chance to be #1.

7. Oregon (5-1)…The Ducks are just taking folks behind the woodshed, but may have lost two of their top offensive players for the season with injuries.

8. South Carolina (6-1)…Gets one more tune-up against Vanderbilt this week before a very difficult four-game closing stretch to the season.

9. Kentucky (6-1)…Back in the top 10, the Wildcats will be a player in the SEC East because they get the Gators and Volunteers at home.

10. Arizona State (7-0)…Are the Sun Devils for real? We'll find out since they play the rest of the Pac-10's first division the next four weeks straight.

11. USC (5-1)…Another sloppy outing for the talented Trojans, who were forced to play without John David Booty this week.

12. Kansas (6-0)…Who would've guessed before the season that the Jayhawks would be the last unbeaten left in the Big 12?

13. Missouri (5-1)…Really battled the Sooners hard, despite not having their top tailback – Tony Temple – who was out with an injury.

14. Auburn (5-2)…Next up is a road trip to Baton Rouge in a game that will likely decide the SEC West Division championship.

15. Florida (4-2)…Needed a week to rest after a physical game at LSU, but they should be very leery about this week's trip to Lexington.

16. Texas Tech (6-1)…Is this finally the year the Red Raiders take the next step and win the Big 12 South Division?

17. West Virginia (5-1)…I know the mainstream polls have them a lot higher than this, but they haven't really beaten anybody yet.

18. Virginia Tech (6-1)…I know the mainstream polls have them a lot higher than this, but they haven't really beaten anybody yet.

19. Cincinnati (6-1)…Upset by underachieving Louisville in a heartbreaker because for the first time this season they were the ones turning it over.

20. Michigan (5-2)…Don't look now, but the Big Ten title will likely come down to the Big Game in November again.

21. Tennessee (4-2)…That double-digit win at Mississippi State is more impressive than you might think.

22. Illinois (5-2)…A young team got caught in the classic sandwich game at Iowa City, but can bounce quickly by beating the Wolverines at home.

23. Georgia (5-2)…Gets a week off to prepare for a finishing slate of Florida, Auburn, Kentucky, and Georgia Tech.

24. Virginia (6-1)…Has anybody noticed that the Cavaliers have reeled off six straight wins ever since that stinker loss to Wyoming in the opener?

25. Texas (5-2)…It was get-well-week for the Longhorns; in other words they were playing the Cyclones.

Honorable Mention:

26. Alabama (5-2), 27. Hawaii (7-0), 28. Maryland (4-2), 29. Connecticut (6-1), 30. Penn State (5-2).

My Heisman Ballot

1. Mike Hart (Michigan), 2. Graham Harrell (Texas Tech), 3. Andre Woodson (Kentucky), 4. Matt Ryan (Boston College), 5. Tim Tebow (Florida).

Five Thoughts on the Cyclones

1. I must confess my confidence is pretty shattered after what we witnessed on Saturday, a 56-3 loss to probably the least impressive Texas team since David McWilliams was coaching in Austin.

2. It appears the season has now reached the point I was concerned about all along. That is the nightmare scenario when the weight of the schedule crushes ISU's collective spirit and completely overshadows any progress that has been made.

3. I do not believe the Cyclones will win another game this season. The only reason that wouldn't be worse than 2003's 2-10 debacle is because at least our lone win was over Iowa.

4. From a recruiting standpoint, Signing Day 2009 could be the day that determines the next five years of ISU football history. I'm sure lots of folks will wonder what I mean by that specifically. Let's just say given the anemic talent on this year's team, and the fact we're losing our three best players from said team, there is zero margin for error this recruiting season for ISU. This class has to be a homerun; otherwise it could get even uglier. The Cyclones have chosen the wrong time to revert to their pathetic past, because the Big 12 North is getting better—much better.

5. I'm going to stop complaining about the Big 12's tacky television package short-changing ISU. At this point it would be merciful to keep the Cyclones off the air, especially for the Cyclones.

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