Ouimet's Top 25 (week 10)

Three of Michigan's final four opponents are ranked ahead of Michigan in both the latest AP and ESPN/USA Today polls. Michigan is #13 in the AP and #15 in the Coaches' Poll. Where does former U-M staffer Mark Ouimet put the Wolverines -- as well as upcoming opponents Purdue, MSU and OSU?

1. Oklahoma – Big games, but no let down from this team as this season unfolds they continue to win. QB Jason White had another great day while completing 20 of 34 for 278 yards and 2 Touchdowns. DB/PR Antonio Perkins returned his fourth Punt Return for a Touchdown this season and is having a great year. They travel on the road to Colorado and look for Coach Stoops to bring another victory home.

2. Miami (Fl) – A huge win against Temple at home and Jarrett Payton had his first 100 yard game. Coach Coker and the Hurricanes have two weeks to prepare for Virginia Tech, which will be their biggest test of the year. Can the Hurricanes play on the road and take care of the Hokies?

3. Virginia Tech – The Hokies will be tested this week on the road against West Virginia. The Special Teams need to have a great game along with QB Marcus Randall, so the Hokies can focus on the biggest game of the year against the Hurricanes. They must take care of business this week and than we will get an early national championship type game in November in Blacksburg.

4. Georgia – They won on the road against Vanderbilt in a not so great fashion. QB David Greene was 19 of 30 on the day with 208 yards, which might lower his chances in the Heisman race. The Bulldogs now get to host UAB this week, which should give them a great warm up for the Gators in two weeks.

5. USC – The Trojans stomped all over a bad Notre Dame team, but a huge win on the road. QB Matt Leinart had a great day with 351 yards and 4 Touchdowns. Now the Trojans will have to travel to Washington to play a much improved Husky team. Stay tuned to the Trojans has they try to win the PAC Ten and get into the National Championship picture.

6. Florida State – Coach Bowden now has tied Joe Paterno for the most wins in college football. The Seminoles beat Virginia in a good solid game for a comeback after the Hurricane loss. They host Wake Forest this week and must continue to win to get that ACC for the BCS bid, but it is looking good for the Seminoles.

7. Purdue – QB Kyle Orton and K Ben Jones delivered a huge win against the Badgers on the road in Madison and will they be able to do it again this week against Michigan. The Boilermaker offense is rolling and will test the Wolverine defense to its limits with the spread offense that is coming to the Ann Arbor to challenge Michigan. Purdue hasn't won in Ann Arbor since 1966 in a 22-21 victory over that Bump Elliott team, so this will not be an easy task for the Boilermakers to come out of Ann Arbor has the Big Ten front runner going into November.

8. Washington State – QB Matt Kegel passed for 331 yards and 3 Touchdowns has they handled Stanford this week on the road. The Cougars are the front runner in the PAC Ten title race as they get to host a solid Oregon State team this week. The Beavers will not be an easy task with RB Stephen Jackson and QB Derek Anderson. Watch out for this Washington State team as we move into November where the great teams win the big games.

9. Ohio State – The Buckeye's just beat a good Iowa team at home and have bounced back after that tough loss to Wisconsin. Great Special Teams is why the Buckeye's won this game and it will get easy this week against a bad Indiana team on the road. They need to win out to win the Big Ten Championship, so can Ohio State deliver another streak to the title?

10. LSU – An easy victory on the road against South Carolina, but must get ready in a hurry for the Auburn Tigers as they travel to Baton Rouge. LSU must have a good offensive game plan for Auburn, because they are playing outstanding team defense. This will be a tough task for LSU, but a must with one loss already in the SEC.

11. Nebraska – The Black shirts are back after forcing eight turnovers in a big win over Texas A&M. They got out to a 20-3 lead and never looked back, which is a great way to come out after that loss from Missouri. The defense is playing well and it looks like another easy victory this week against Iowa State.

12. Michigan State – QB Jeff Smoker is back and threw for 252 yards against Minnesota. They have a great defense of unit that is playing hard for 60 minutes and find ways to get to the Quarterback. A tough loss to Louisiana Tech is keeping the Spartans from being undefeated, but Coach Smith now has two weeks to prepare for Michigan. Can the Spartans bounce back from last year's blowout from Michigan?

13. Northern Illinois – They took care of Western Michigan at home with Michael Turner leading the way with 173 yards and 1 Touchdown. They travel to Bowling Green this week with the MAC showdown being televised on ESPN and this game will have a huge bearing on who will win the MAC. The big wins against Iowa State, Alabama, and Maryland will not mean on thing if they can not take care of Bowling Green.

14. Iowa – A blocked punt causes the Hawkeye's big on the road against Ohio State, but they will bounce back this week against Penn State. That was their second loss in the Big Ten and now they must respond in a hurry or falter further down in the rankings. Look for a big output offensively and improved special teams this week against the Lions.

15. MichiganChris Perry ran wild on the Illini with 140 yards and 3 Touchdowns in the win at the Big House. Now Purdue is coming to town and the defense will have to figure out how to stop the spread offense and Coach Tiller's attack, while the Boilermaker defense will show up with a run stopping machine and three All-Americans. This game will be an old fashioned Big Ten game with a lot at stake and the winner having a huge advantage in the Big Ten title hunt.

16. TCU – Another three point victory, but they continue to find ways to win as they defeat UAB. They will get better test in the next two games against Houston and Louisville in back to back weeks. Let's continue to watch this team, because they are ripe for an upset soon.

17. Oklahoma State – They have only fallen to Nebraska in a tight game and just finished a shootout against a great Quarterback with an outstanding offense. Texas Tech gave the Cowboys a run for their money, but the Cowboys withstood the challenge and delivered a huge win at home. They now travel to Aggie land for a date before they get to prepare for Oklahoma. Watch this team, because they might impact some teams down the stretch in the Big 12 title race.

18. Wisconsin – A tough home loss to Purdue after the big win against Ohio State. It does get easier for the Badgers while they get to play Northwestern this week on the road. Look for a bounce back win and a tougher task ahead of them when they travel to Minnesota in two weeks. They must win out to win the Big Ten which will not be easy as this race is going to be a close one. The turnover battle and Special Teams will let you know how far the Badgers will last in this race.

19. Arkansas – They have now lost two back to back home games to Auburn and Florida, but now are in a must win situation this week on the road at Mississippi. Coach Nutt and RB Cedric Cobbs need to deliver a win and get this Razorback team on track. Another loss will drop this team out of the Top 25.

20. Texas – They have bounced back from the blowout loss to Oklahoma with a victory against a bad Iowa State team. They get to play another bad team in Baylor, so let's watch this Longhorn team and see if they can beat a decent team this year. Coach Brown and company need to find a way to beat Nebraska in two weeks at home or they will be out of the Top 25.

21. Auburn – They just handed Mississippi State a huge loss and now Coach Sherrill is going to retire, so it looks like the Tigers have bounced back in the SEC race. We will find out for sure though this week as they travel to Baton Rouge to take on LSU and that great defense. Who will win the test of the best defense?

22. Tennessee – Back to back losses to Auburn and Georgia will drop you in the polls, but a must win this week on the road at Alabama. Coach Fulmer and QB Casey Clausen must bring a win back to Knoxville or they will fall completely out of the Top 25 and out of the SEC picture. Look for a solid offensive performance this week from the Vols and a total team effort with their backs against the wall.

23. Minnesota – With back to back losses and not a good rushing game against the Spartans how good is this Gopher team going to be this year. Like most years they fizzle as the Big Ten comes along and it doesn't look any different. They do get to travel to Illinois and should win in big fashion this week, so stay tuned and will see how long this Top 25 rating will last.

24. Florida – Back to back wins against LSU and Arkansas will get you back into the Top 25, but Coach Zook is going to have to continue this winning streak against Georgia in two weeks at home. QB Chris Leak needs to lead this team and score about 28 points to beat this team. This will be a challenge, because the Bulldogs have a great defense and will challenge this freshman with a lot of blitzes.

25. Bowling Green – With their lone loss coming to the hands of Ohio State and beating Purdue the Falcons have made the Top 25. This is a very important week though with Northern Illinois coming into town. QB Josh Harris needs to have a huge day against the Huskie defense or it will be a short stay for the Falcons.

Texas Tech – A tough shootout loss to Oklahoma State this week and now need to win this week against Missouri to stay in the Big 12 hunt. With QB BJ Symons leading the way the Red Raiders shouldn't have any problem with the Tigers and will get back on the winning track.

Mississippi – Undefeated in the SEC and if they can beat Arkansas they will be in the Top 25, while also be the leader for the SEC west division race. QB Eli Manning is playing well and delivering some great games, so keep a close watch on this team.

Miami (Oh) – A blowout victory on the road against Ball State and this team might be the best in the MAC, so watch out for them as they will get a chance in two weeks against Bowling Green. QB Ben Roethlisberger is for real and is the best Quarterback in the country. If you have noticed they continue to move up this list and closer to the Top 25.

Utah – They keep winning and Coach Meyer has this team going after the bad loss to Texas A&M on the road, but this team will not make my Top 25 until they beat Air Force on the road.

Missouri – They are in a must win situation this week against Texas Tech with already having two losses in the Big 12. They need to find a way to win this game at home and might be able to pull it off if QB Brad Smith has a great game.

Oregon State – Two bad losses to Fresno State and Washington they are in a must win on the road this week against Washington State. It is not out of question either with RB Steven Jackson and QB Derek Anderson, so this offense must show up this week.

UCLA – The just put four straight wins in a row together, but a bad loss to Colorado is still keeping them out of the Top 25. Two more wins against Arizona State and Stanford might get them in, because they are a decent team when they show up and play for 60 minutes.

Pittsburgh – They beat a bad Rutgers team and should not have lost with QB Rod Rutherford and WR Larry Fitzgerald against Notre Dame. They must beat Syracuse and Boston College to make it back into the Top 25. Stayed tuned, because we will find out what this team is all about.

Syracuse – A good bounce back win against Boston College and now we will find out if QB RJ Anderson can deliver another win against Pittsburgh this week.

Kansas State – They have beaten the first of four easy games in a row with a win against Colorado. Now if they can put wins against Kansas, Baylor, and Iowa State they might make it back into the Top 25. So stay tuned and let's see if they can put four games in a row together.

Maryland – They just keep winning after losses to Northern Illinois and Florida State, but need to continue again this week with a tough game on the road at Georgia Tech. Just keep an eye on them, because they still have a way to go this year.

Louisville – Keep an eye on this team with only one loss on the year to South Florida and with TCU coming soon in two weeks. A win this week against East Carolina will set up a showdown against the Horned Frogs.

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