Ouimet's Top 25 (week 9)

The AP and ESPN/USA Today/Coaches' Polls didn't move Michigan much Sunday (to #17 in both). Where does former U-M staffer Mark Ouimet put them this week?

1. Oklahoma – Once again the Sooners send Texas home for the night with a loss. The Sooners are the best team in the country and have the best Heisman candidate to show for in QB Jason White. They need to watch out for Missouri this week and this is a team you need to prepare for very carefully.

2. Miami (Fl) – The Canes defense showed up for this game and forced Florida State into five turnovers which help the Canes score earlier. They get an easy game at home this week with Temple, but can they maintain the road to New Orleans or will they fall to Virginia Tech in the near future.

3. Virginia Tech – A blowout win versus the Orangemen at home should get them rolling for the date against West Virginia. In two weeks it will be a good test with the Mountaineers and QB Marcus Randall needs to get the Hokies on the scoreboard early to continue the Hokies hot streak. An important week to stay focused and not to look ahead!

4. Georgia – A blowout win against the Volunteers and with Vanderbilt on the road this week the Bulldogs are looking like a team that can contend for the National Championship if the Hokies or Canes are to fall. With a good defense and QB David Greene keep your eye out for this team as they make a run at New Orleans.

5. USC – The Trojans offense keeps on rolling and with this week against Notre Dame that should continue. A great win against Stanford this week and the Irish will feel the pain many teams have had with the Trojans. Can the Trojans still win the PAC Ten Championship?

6. Florida State – QB Chris Rix had an awful day in the rain and was never able to get into his rhythm. The Seminole defense played alright and it must continue on the road this week at Virginia. The Cavaliers will give this Seminole team a great game with a lot of effort, so they must prepare well this week without a letdown.

7. Purdue – Just an overall solid team on both sides of the ball that should still be undefeated, but had a tough loss at home in the first game of the year against Bowling Green. This team is in control of its destiny in the Big Ten after beating Penn State this week. As QB Kyle Orton leads this team with 110 of 177 for 1,210 yards on the year and 10 Touchdowns look out for them this week on the road against the Wisconsin Badgers.

8. Washington State – This is another team that should be undefeated on the year, but a bad offensive performance against Notre Dame in the second half has this team with one loss. QB Matt Kegel continues to have a good year with completing 111 of 200 for 1,595 yard and 10 Touchdowns on the year. Look for continued success this week as they travel to Stanford and travel their way to the PAC Ten Championship.

9. Ohio State – The streak is over and a tough loss to Wisconsin on the road leaves the Buckeye's with one loss in the league. It doesn't get an easier with hosting Iowa this week and QB Craig Krenzel struggling to get back into form. For Ohio State to win the Big Ten this year it looks like the defense is going to need to put some points on the board or even Special Teams. Watch out as the road gets difficult for the Buckeye's.

10. Iowa – As they rallied to beat Michigan in their last game and two weeks to prepare for Ohio State this game is going to be a dog fight in the Horseshoe! Both teams need to win this game or they are out of the Big Ten Championship race. If the Hawkeye's can protect the ball and not have any turnovers they will win this game.

11. LSU – Even WR Michael Clayton wasn't enough to beat the Gators this week, but the Tigers need to bounce back this week as they travel to South Carolina. It is a must win to stay in the SEC title hopes! The Tiger defense should be able to slow down the Gamecocks and bounce back this week with a win!

12. Arkansas – What a tough loss at home against Auburn with two touchdowns being called back for holding. The Razorbacks should have won this game this past Saturday, but they must prepare for a tough Gator team at home this week. QB Matt Jones and RB Cedric Cobbs need to put together another good day offensively like they did against Auburn.

13. Northern Illinois – Down 17-3 at the Half to Central Michigan the Huskies ended up winning 40-24. RB Michael Turner had another outstanding game and they still are undefeated with the MAC title in their sights. They need to watch out this week as Western Michigan comes to town and tries to stop Mr. Turner and the Huskies.

14. Wisconsin – Now 6-1 and coming off a big upset of Ohio State at home. This Badger team controls its destiny in the Big Ten title race, but must face another tough team in Purdue this week at home. If home cooking is good enough for the Badgers again this week than watch out the rest of the season!

15. Nebraska – Could not control QB Brad Smith and the Missouri offense, so this Cornhusker defense needs to regroup for this week's game against a Texas A&M team that scored 73 points on Baylor. It will be gut check time for the defense and they must respond against the Aggies.

16. Michigan – A great come from behind victory against Minnesota with a school record 31 points in the fourth quarter. Look for an easy victory this week against a bad Illinois team at home this week. With a huge game in two weeks against Purdue at home to stay in the Big Ten title race. RB Chris Perry had an outstanding day as a receiver and the staff did a great job getting Special Teams back together.

17. Michigan State – Just finished torching Illinois 49-14 with QB Jeff Smoker leading the way completing 23 of 31 passes for 317 yards and two touchdowns. As they travel to Minnesota this week the Spartans schedule is going to continue to be tough. A win in the Metrodome would be a huge victory for the bowl eligible Spartans.

18. Minnesota – A tough home loss for the Gophers, while they were up 28-7 in the second half and couldn't finish the game. The defense needs to step up and get ready for the spread offense of Michigan State. If RB Marion Barber III and QB Asad Abdual-Khaliq can have another great game the Gophers should be able to beat the Spartans at home.

19. TCU – Coach Patterson and QB Ty Gunn continue to find ways to win. They are leading Conference USA and host a 3-3 UAB team this week. They do have an important date with Houston in two weeks, which will let us know if the Horned Frogs are for real or not.

20. Texas – Not many times will TCU be ranked ahead of the Longhorns, but Coach Brown needs to get this Texas team back on track against Iowa State on the road. A blowout loss to Oklahoma and nothing positive out of the game the Longhorns need to bounce back fast before they fall out of the Top 25 with all that talent.

21. Tennessee – Like Texas the Volunteers just got blown out and it didn't look good. Now they travel on the road to Alabama, so Coach Fulmer needs to rally the troops and come out with a victory to stay in the Top 25. QB Casey Clausen needs to step up and deliver a win when the team needs his leadership the most.

22. Oregon State – They had a bye week to prepare for Washington this week at home and with QB Derek Anderson having a great year the undefeated Beavers should be able to take care of Washington at home. Watch out for the Beavers as the PAC Ten race unfolds!

23. Auburn – They have bounced back after two losses and just defeated the Razorbacks on the road. RB Carnell Williams had a great game against Arkansas and let's see if the Tiger offense can keep it going this week against a bad Mississippi State team at home.

24. Oklahoma State – With a great victory against Kansas State they have bounced back from the early loss to Nebraska. With a good tandem of WR Rashaun Woods and QB Josh Fields, let's keep an eye on this team as they host a great offense team in Texas Tech this week.

25. Missouri – A great victory against Nebraska at home, but they better enjoy this stay in the Top 25. This will last a week, because Coach Pinkel and the Tigers get to travel to Oklahoma. They need to find a way to move the ball against the Sooner defense and put some points on the board like they did against Nebraska. Good luck!


Texas Tech – With QB BJ Symons leading the way and another victory at home against Iowa State this past week the Red Raiders are for real. Look out for this team because they could travel to Oklahoma State and upset the Cowboys.

Florida – The Gators went on the road to beat LSU, but there is no time to rest with having to travel to Arkansas. QB Chris Leak and Coach Zook need to get this offense rolling at Kickoff to take the Razorbacks out of the game.

South Carolina – If the Gamecocks and Coach Holtz can find a way to upset the LSU Tigers they will make the Top 25, so hang on and we will see how good the defense is against the Tigers at home.

Mississippi – With only having two losses to Memphis and Texas Tech watch out for this team led by QB Eli Manning. With the next two games against Alabama and Arkansas this team might find its way back in just by winning some big games.

Miami (Oh) - This team might be the best team in the MAC with their only loss coming to Iowa in the first game of the year. They have the best Quarterback in the Country and they travel to Ball State this week. This team is close in making my Top 25, so let's see how they do on the road this week.

Virginia – When they get into the Top 25 they will find a way to lose, so let's see if they can beat a good team and get back with the big boys. The next two weeks they play Troy State and North Carolina State, so stayed tuned and let's go Cavaliers!

Utah – They keep winning and now must go to UNLV, so keep your eye on this team as the get to play the Running Rebels and Air Force soon. This is a good team, but how good is the biggest question?

Bowling Green – With the only loss to Ohio State by seven and beating Purdue in the first game this team can play some football, but we will find out for sure in two weeks when they play against Northern Illinois.

Pittsburgh – Should not have lost with QB Rod Rutherford and WR Larry Fitzgerald, but stay tuned they might make it back into the Top 25 with their next three games versus if they can beat Syracuse and Boston College.

Kansas State – They have fallen out after three tough losses to Marshall, Texas, and Oklahoma State, but stayed tuned they should be back in the Top 25 in three weeks.

Georgia Tech – They have some good wins and some good losses so let's just see how this game against Maryland plays out. Can they continue to win?

Maryland – They just keep winning after losses to Northern Illinois and Florida State, but need to continue after not beating a bad Duke team by many points. We will have to watch the Terps with a game on the road at Georgia Tech.

UCLA – The have won three games in a row and host California this week, so we will find out exactly how good this team really is against the Cal Bears. Stayed tuned and can they put some more wins together?

Houston – With the only loss coming to Michigan in the Bighouse they might be able to make a run at the Conference USA title. The next two weeks they do play Memphis and TCU so we will find out in a hurry.

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