Ouimet's Top 25 (week 8)

Michigan falls to #19 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches' Poll, and to #20 in the AP Poll. Where does former Michigan staffer Mark Ouimet put The Wolverines?

1. Oklahoma – The Sooners hammered Iowa State and QB Jason White had another outstanding game. They are headed on the road against Texas, so we will see whose defense will step up and win this Big 12 match up.

2. Miami (Fl) – The Canes had a tough time with West Virginia, but did pull out another victory. They must play harder this week with the loss of RB Frank Gore and having to travel to Florida State. QB Brock Berlin has to play his best game for the Hurricanes to win this game on the road in hostile territory.

3. Ohio State – With a bye this week QB Craig Krenzel should be back for the road date with the Badgers. The Buckeyes have had a week to rest, but will this layoff actually hurt or help Ohio State. It is never easy to win on the road in the Big Ten!

4. Virginia Tech – A win against Rutgers is good, but with the top running back in the country coming to town the Hokies defense needs to step it up a notch. The Hokies need to contain Walter Reyes of Syracuse and show up with there best defensive effort this year in Blacksburg. This game will test Virginia Tech and this will prepare them for later on in Big East play.

5. Florida State – Will QB Chris Rix keep up the great performances this week against Miami? The Seminoles need to have a great team effort in this game and the defense must perform at its highest level. This will be the best match up of the weekend and look for a high scoring game in Tallahassee and RB Greg Jones must have a good day for this upset to happen.

6. LSU – This might be the be the next best overall team next to Oklahoma and are getting ready to show Florida how to party in Baton Rouge. The Tigers are going to have to get to the Gator Quarterback and force them into mistakes. Look for another victory has Coach Saban looks down the road for the Championship in New Orleans later in the year.

7. Georgia – The Bulldogs took care of Alabama and with the only loss being to LSU they are the best one loss team in the country. They are playing good football and QB David Greene is making a run at the Heisman. They travel to Tennessee and the Volunteers are going to be hungry for an upset.

8. Nebraska – This team keeps winning but is a very one dimensional team who will struggle to keep winning in the Big 12. The Cornhuskers travel to Missouri and face a QB Brad Smith led team that will challenge the Nebraska defense to its limits. This should be a close one on the road.

9. Arkansas – Had a bye week to prepare for the Auburn Tigers that just beat Tennessee. The Tigers have bounced back and the Razorbacks are going to need RB Cedric Cobbs to get the ground game going right out of the gate. If the Razorbacks can run the football and keep moving the chains look for a victory from Arkansas, but this game will be a huge test for the Razorback offense.

10. USC – They bounced back against Arizona State with a big victory on the road. Stanford is coming to Los Angeles and the Trojans need to get the offense rolling right away to take the Cardinals out of the game and stay in this PAC Ten Championship race.

11. Texas – The Longhorns have a Quarterback controversy again in Austin and are preparing this week for a redemption game. A great win at home against Kansas State and can't celebrate too long, because the Oklahoma Sooners are coming to town. They must be able to run the football with tailback Cedric Benson or it is going to be a long day for the Longhorns.

12. Tennessee – A tough road loss to Auburn, but they have to rebound quickly with Georgia coming to Knoxville. QB Casey Clausen tried to bring back the Volunteers on the road in Alabama, but they came up short. This is a must win to stay in the SEC Championship title hunt or with a loss fall completing out of the title conference race.

13. Pittsburgh – A bye week to prepare for a terrible Notre Dame team at home. Look for big days for both big guns in WR Larry Fitzgerald and WR Rod Rutherford. This game should be over at halftime as they put some ketchup, mustard, and some points on the Irish in Heinz field.

14. Purdue – They hammered Illinois at home as RB Jerod Void ran for 119 yards and 4 Touchdowns on the Illini. With Penn State coming in this week you can look for the Boilermakers to put some more pressure in the air with QB Kyle Orton and on the ground with its strong running game. Also, don't underestimate this defense!

15. Washington State – QB Matt Kegel had two touchdown passes as they beat Arizona, while Jason David returning one interception in for a touchdown. They have bounced back with some good wins against Oregon and Arizona after falling apart earlier in the year against a bad Notre Dame team.

16. Iowa – A great second half by the Hawkeye's and outstanding special team's effort gets the win at home against the Wolverines. Now Iowa gets a bye to prepare for the Buckeyes in two weeks. Can they make a run at the Big Ten title after a rough loss to Michigan State two weeks ago?

17. Minnesota – Here comes Michigan on a Friday night game in the Metro dome and there biggest test of the year. The Gophers are successful when they get there running game going in full force, so look for a heavy dose of RB Marion Barber III and QB Asad Abdul-Khaliq. This will be a game of time possession and a war in the trenches.

18. Northern Illinois – A game at home against Ohio University, but they continue to win with good solid football. RB Michael Turner is leading the way with 129 carries for 557 yards on the season and you will see more of him on the road this week against Central Michigan.

19. Michigan – A tough loss on the road to Iowa, but special teams cost the Wolverines the game with the Punt team having two blocked in the game. Also, giving up big returns to Iowa in both kick off and punt. Special teams are a must to improve as the Wolverines travel to Minnesota and RB Chris Perry must have a big day in the Metro dome in Minneapolis.

20. Kansas State – Back to Back losses to Marshall and Texas does not get any easier when you have to travel to Oklahoma State next. This is a must win for the Wildcats and Coach Snyder this week on the road. QB Ell Roberson and RB Darren Sproles must get the ground game going to win this game, while the defense tries to stop WR Rashuan Woods.

21. TCU – They keep finding ways to win and did again by beating a bad Army team 27-0, but they must go on the road to play a solid South Florida team. This weeks game will be a dog fight for the Horned Frogs, but a must win to stay in the Top 25.

22. Oregon State – They get a bye this week to prepare for Washington at home, but QB Derek Anderson has been impressive and this team should be undefeated but a set back earlier in the year to Fresno State on the road. Look for continued success in the PAC Ten has they try to win this title.

23. Michigan State – A big win against a bad Indiana team, but they would love to have that tough loss at home to Louisiana Tech back. The Spartans are still undefeated in the Big Ten and have the Illini coming to town, so watch out for QB Jeff Smoker and this spread offense has we go down the stretch.

24. Virginia – They are back in the Top 25 and only if they had QB Matt Schaub when they played South Carolina. Good back to back win against Wake Forest and North Carolina, which should continue against a struggling Clemson team on the road this week.

25. Wisconsin – Special Teams won the game for the Badgers against Penn State and it will be a must again with Ohio State coming to Madison. This will be a good old fashion Big Ten game with some serious title hopes on the line. We will see how long the Badgers can last in the Top 25 with their lone loss coming to UNLV.

Washington – That was a short stay in the Top 25 and they better get things straight as they have Neveda coming to town. UCLA just took the Huskies out of the game just like Ohio State did to them earlier in the year.

Florida – The Swamp isn't the same anymore if Mississippi can come into your back yard and beat you on your own turf. The Gators and Coach Zook need to find a way to win against LSU on the road before the season gets out of hand.

Oregon – They have now lost back to back games to Washington State and Utah. They now travel to Arizona State in a must win for this team and this staff to get back on the right track. They do not want to lose this teams attention like last year when they had that long losing stretch.

Wake Forest – With a bye this past week the Deacons had time to watch Georgia Tech play North Carolina State and figure out how to beat them. With losses to Purdue and Virginia, Wake Forest must find a way to beat Georgia Tech at home.

North Carolina State – Probably the best three loss team in the country, but they continue to struggle when RB TA McClendon doesn't play. A very important game this week at home against UConn.

Utah – A good win at home against Oregon and a decent team in San Diego State coming to town watch out for this team. They will have to beat Air Force and UNLV to win their conference, so we will have to wait a little bit on Utah.

Syracuse – With the nations leading RB Walter Reyes the Orangemen will travel to Blacksburg and try to run over the Hokies to get into the Top 25. Can they stop the Virginia Tech offense? Missouri – They have a tough task in trying to beat Nebraska this week, but if QB Brad Smith can get it done at home the Tigers will make it back into the Top 25.

Oklahoma State – The Cowboys keep beating bad football teams, but a win against Kansas State will get them into the Top 25 most likely. Their one loss has come at the hands of Nebraska in the first game of the year, so this will be a test to see if they are a good football team.

Auburn – They showed up for a game after a rough start this season, but they do not have much time to enjoy the win. They must travel to Arkansas and stop RB Cedric Cobbs has they will try to run the ball down the Tigers throat. This will be a great game and keep your eye on this team as we move halfway into the season.

Maryland – They lost two games to Florida State and Northern Illinois. Keep an eye on them as they have a struggling Duke this week and then travel to Georgia Tech, which will let us know if they belong.

Texas Tech – With QB BJ Symons leading this powerful offense they might be able to challenge a few defenses in the Big 12. They challenged Texas A&M, so let us see how it unfolds as they move through the Big 12.

Kansas – They travel to Colorado this week and have only lost one game to Northwestern, but this team might be able to beat the Buffaloes. Stay tuned to see if they can keep this winning up.

Miami (Oh) - This team is the second best team in the MAC and they know how to score points. QB Ben Roethisberger makes sure they move the football and puts points on the board. This is a one loss team, which came from Iowa in the first game of the year.

Bowling Green – With the only loss to Ohio State keep an eye on this team and QB Josh Harris as they try to put back to back weeks against CMU and WMU.

South Florida – With the only loss coming to Alabama in the first game and just beating Louisville this past week you will want to watch this one as the Horned Frogs come to South Florida. This could be an upset, but not sure if it is good enough to get them in the Top 25.

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