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Ouimet's Top 25 (Week 7)

Michigan moved from 14 to 13 in the Coaches Poll, and stayed at #14 in the AP. Former U-M staffer Mark Ouimet is the only analyst who explains his team placings – where does he put the Wolverine this week in the "<b>Ouimet Poll</b>?"

1. USC – The Trojans were able to extend their winning streak to 14 games and avenged from their only loss last year to the Bears with a 23-17 victory at home this week. The Trojans had a hard time stopping the Bear offense and QB Anthony Rodgers as they went on to out gain the Trojans 424-205 as they looked helpless defensively. The Trojans gave up 23 straight completions to the Bears as the Trojans played frustrated, but were able to keep them out of the end zone. QB Matt Leinart was 15 of 25 for 164 yards, while he is still battling for the Heisman as he lost the in game battle to Quarterback Anthony Rodgers from California. The last two weeks for the Trojans have been two tough battles against Stanford and now California, but now will play host to another hot team in the Arizona State Sun Devils. The Trojan defense needs to get back in the film work and bring a better defense to the field on Saturday, because they are going to be facing another good Quarterback this week!

2. Oklahoma – For the fifth straight time the Sooners have beaten the Longhorns in the Red River Shootout. Coach Stoops and the Sooners have the Longhorns number and it was a freshman running back Adrian Peterson leading the way with 225 yards rushing in the 12-0 victory. The Sooners did something today that no other team has done is the last 282 games and that was shutting out the Longhorns. QB Jason White didn't help his Heisman chances today, but it is only one game as he had two interceptions on the day completing 14 of 26 for 113 yards and is being overshadowed by the freshman running back. The Sooners now travel to Manhattan, Kansas to take on Kansas State, which is a team that beat Oklahoma last year. Look for a close game next week again as they Sooners try to bounce back from this high emotional game to a revenge game, but should be another win!

3. Miami (Fl) – The game of the week is not going to be played on Saturday, but this Thursday when the Canes will play Louisville on National TV after coming off a bye. This is a very important home game for the Canes, because the next two are on the road against ACC opponents North Carolina State and North Carolina. The defense for the Canes is going to need to step up and stop the Louisville offense that is putting up a lot of points this year, while they should take advantage that the Cardinals haven't played in big games like this before. Look for a great game plan from Coach Coker and staff has they've had two weeks to prepare for the Cardinals, while they should take advantage of the speed on defense to attack Louisville all afternoon! Look for QB Brock Berlin to have success and put some points on the Cardinal defense, with the biggest question of they day being who will come out of this game as the main tailback for the Hurricanes?

4. Auburn – The Tigers are the best team in the SEC right now and they continued that with a 52-7 win against Louisiana Tech this week. Their was not a letdown this week after blowing out Tennessee the week before up in Knoxville and Coach Tuberville has the Tigers playing great football! This is a well focused team that is the front runner to win the SEC Title and get the BCS bid. The Tigers have a lot of swagger right now and have risen up in the polls, but must continue to play sound football as they will take on Arkansas for the first time since 1997 this week at home. This is a complete team and look for the Tigers to take advantage of this young Razorback team this week as QB Jason Campbell and Company should be able to move the ball downfield with some big plays against this Arkansas defense

5. Florida State – Coach Bowden just won his 346th victory, but was lucky to leave the Carrier Dome with a 17-13 victory over the Orangemen. Running back Leon Washington rushed for a career high 164 yards and scored twice in the second half to lead the Seminoles to victory on Saturday night. The Seminoles did not come with their best game and were out played most of the night, but found a way defensively to shut down the Syracuse running attack limiting them to 58 yards on 31 carriers. The Seminole defense is what won the game for Florida State, but must improve on both sides of the ball this week in practice before the Virginia Cavaliers come to town. This week against the Cavaliers is a must win game for the Seminoles or it will put them behind two teams in the ACC, so look for an aggressive defense as they will try to force this Cavalier Quarterback into making many mistakes.

6. Purdue – Quarterback Kyle Orton ended his streak and was the first interception of the year as well as Purdue's first turnover of the season in the 20-13 victory. In the victory over Penn State WR Taylor Stubblefield had 7 catches and became the Big Ten career receptions leader with that 40 yard sprint that got into the end zone for a touchdown. Coach Tiller has the Boilermakers in full stride and they put together a drive in the fourth quarter to get three more points on the board and put them up 20-13. The Boilermakers are now headed into the tough part of the schedule and the only Big Ten team that plays all the front runners that are challenging for the title. Purdue will now host Wisconsin and Michigan in back to back games, which if they win both of those games they will not only win the Big Ten Championship they will deliver the Heisman Trophy to Kyle Orton this December. Look for another tough game this week as the best defense in the Big Ten is coming to West Lafayette.

7. Wisconsin – The Badgers got their third straight win in the Horseshoe and were down after the first quarter, but were able to shut down the Buckeye offense to win 24-13 in Columbus. Coach Alvarez as this team playing well and were able to end Ohio State's 18 game home winning streak. Quarterback John Stocco was very steady while completing 15 of 24 passes for 169 yards and two touchdowns on the day. The Badgers are now 6-0 and are out to their best start since 1998 when they went 11-1 to share the Big Ten Championship with Michigan. The Badgers answered the first call against Ohio State with RB Anthony Davis helping the cause with 39 carries for 169 yards on the day. Now they must answer the second call as they will go to Purdue to take on the Boilermakers this Saturday, which means something is going to have to give the Badger defense or the Boilermaker offense. The Badgers have the best defense in the Big Ten and will face not only the best quarterback in the country, but the best offense of the Boilermakers. Which of the two will give? Not sure which one, but do know that it will be one heck of a Big Ten football game with the winner taking a huge jump towards the championship.

8. Texas– Not only were they shut out for the first time in 282 games, but now is the fifth straight loss to the Sooners in the 12-0 loss in Dallas. The key to this year will be to see how Coach Mack Brown will get his players to bounce back as they will host Missouri this week. It is very important for the Longhorns to win this week against the Tigers and Cedric Benson needs to deliver some senior leadership as they try to bounce back. RB Cedric Benson was overshadowed by the Sooners freshman tailback, but did have 23 carries for 92 yards against the Sooners. Before this game Benson was the leading rusher in the nation with 186 yards per game, but facing this tough Sooner defense he had a hard time mustering any substantial gains on the day. This loss means that every senior on this team will leave Texas without ever beating the Oklahoma Sooners. How will the Longhorns and Coach Brown come to work next weekend against Missouri in a must win situation?

9. Georgia – The Bulldogs did not look like the same team that just beat LSU the week before 45-16 as the Volunteers of Tennessee handed them a 19-14 loss at home this week. Quarterback David Greene completed 15 of 34 for 163 yards, but could not handle the zone coverage's that Tennessee continued to throw at the Bulldog offense all day and brought a sound game plan into Athens, Georgia. This was a tough loss for the Bulldogs as they now have lost control of the SEC East and is up for grabs for whichever team what's to make a run at it! Coach Richt now has to get his team back on track this week against Vanderbilt and fix the major problem with the penalties as they continue to plague the Bulldogs in games this year. Coach Richt continues to be a coach that can't win the big game, so how will this season play out for the Bulldogs as they chase for the SEC Title? A the National Title game is most likely out for Georgia, but a sense of urgency now to win the SEC!

10. California – The Bears were nine yards away from a winning score, but the Trojans were able to stop the Bears in the red zone as they went on to lose 23-17. It wasn't a win, but Bears QB Anthony Rodgers was 29 of 31 for 267 yards and a touchdown against the Trojans. It was a tough loss for Coach Tedford and the Bears in a game which they dominated all day, but came up a little short on the score board. QB Anthony Rodgers played outstanding as we all know from his stats on the game, but of those 29 completions he started the game by completing 23 straight to tie an NCAA record. This was the first time in 52 years that both teams were ranked in the Top 10 and Cal outplayed the Trojans all day, which is why I still have them in the Top 10. RB JJ Arrington had 112 yards on his 21 carries has the Bears out gained the Trojans 424-205, but now Coach Tedford must take this game into the film room and see why they couldn't get the ball in the end zone. They will play host to UCLA this week, so it will be a must to continue a strong offensive output, but must find ways to get into the end zone in this game!

11. Utah - The Utes are getting ready to play another BCS school this week in North Carolina and they are a team who has three losses to Virginia, Louisville, and Florida State. This will give the Utes a good test and let them know where they are at the midpoint of their run to a championship. Coach Meyer is going to need to have a great game plan to beat North Carolina this week and I expect this out of this young coach after coming out of bye this week at home. The Utes are 5-0 and have beaten every team by two touchdowns or more in every contest. QB Alex Smith has crawled up the Heisman list and is having an outstanding year completing 69 of 114 for 1119 yards on the season. He is the leader of this team and leads this high powered offense, but they are going to need the defense to step up this week or we will have a close game with North Carolina in the Mountains of Utah!

12. Virginia – The Cavaliers answered their first real test of the season with showing they could dominate Clemson in the 30-10 win on the Thursday night game of the week. For the Cavaliers it wasn't Lundy leading the way this week, but it was RB Alvin Pearman who rushed for 104 yards with two touchdowns against the Clemson defense. Coach Groh and the Cavaliers have won eight straight games now and in 9 days will take on Florida State on the road, so if they can get this game they might sneak into the Top 10. The Cavaliers know this will be a challenge in front of them, but how will they respond with this being their highest ranking since 1998 and now on the road against the Seminoles. Can they now win against a good opponent on the road? Look for a tough game for the Cavaliers and how will they respond to adversity on the road this week after a turnover or the loud stadium?

13. Louisville – The Cardinals offense has scored 28 or more points in every contest and they are going to need a lot of points this week against the Hurricanes on the road in Miami this week. Coach Petrino is trying to take his team down to Miami and make a claim at a BCS bid if they could pull off the win. The Cardinals are going to need their best defensive efforts, but keep in mind they have two shutouts on the year so far. They've had a bye to prepare for the Hurricanes, but must be error free to have a chance in this one! This game will let us know how good the Cardinals are this year and let us know if a team from a non-BCS has a chance at getting in this year. Keep your eye on this game, which is on National TV and a win will get them in the Top10!

14. Arizona State – The Sun Devils are having a real good season starting 5-0 and it is their best start since 1996, but up next is the USC Trojans who just beat the Cal Bears! Quarterback Andrew Walter is having an outstanding season and has completed 98 of 179 for 1249 yards with 15 Touchdowns to show for in the process. If he can lead his team to victory or put together a game like Cal QB Anthony Rodgers he will climb the Heisman Trophy charts. Coach Koetter is doing an excellent job in Tempe, Arizona and if they could beat the Trojans this week will get the national attention that the Sun Devils are dying to get in the Southwest. Keep in mind that Arizona State has beaten every opponent by more than 9 points in every game with the defense continues to shut down the best player on every team. They are getting the Trojans at the best time after sneaking out with barely beating Cal and might be prime for an upset after having a tough mental game against the Bears. Watch out for the Devils! 15. Oklahoma State – The Cowboys got out to a fast start and were able to take care of Colorado on the road with a 42-14 victory. Running back Vernand Morency was able to finish up with 165 yards rushing, which is his seventh straight regular season game with at least 100 yards in a game. The Cowboys are now 5-0 and are a very confident team with a 2-0 record in the Big 12. Coach Les Miles has this team very focused with the right frame of mind going into each week and have been capitalizing each week on their opponents mistakes. Now back home for the Cowboys as they will host a red hot Texas A&M team, which has only lost to Utah on the year. Look for the Cowboys to control the ball and play sound defense against the Aggies and move ahead with another victory at home this week!

16. Tennessee – The Vols bounced back from being dominated on both sides of the ball by the Auburn Tigers with a 19-14 upset win of the Georgia Bulldogs. Quarterback Erik Ainge led the way completing 12 of 21 for 150 yards with two touchdowns, but most importantly didn't turn the ball over this week in Athens, Georgia. The Vols got out to a quick 10- lead and were able to hold of the Bulldogs at the end, which now gives them a chance to do something in their division and still have a shot at the SEC title. This win also give Tennessee their first win against Georgia since 1999 and Coach Fulmer put together a great game plan to win on the road. The Vols will go back on the road this week to face Mississippi who just beat South Carolina, so look for another solid game from Tennessee this week!

17. UCLA – With a win against Arizona at home and their only loss to Oklahoma State in the first game of the year the Bruins keep climbing up the Top 25. The Bruins are now going to need their best game this week as they travel up north to take on the Cal Bears who are coming off a very disappointing loss to the Trojans. The Bruins are 4-1 and can not afford a loss to the Bears or they will fall out of the PAC Ten Championship race this year. They are playing sound fundamental football right now and QB Drew Olsen is putting together a good year to lead this offense. For the Bruins to win this week on the road they are going to need their best defensive effort of the season! This is going to be a tough game, but is not out of question with California to down in the dumps after the big game the week before!

18. Michigan – Ouimet's reasons coming up!

19. West Virginia – The Mountaineers are coming off of a loss to Virginia Tech and had a bye this week, so we will see how they respond this week on the road at Connecticut. UConn is 4-0 at home this year, so this will not be an easy game by any means and is a must win for the Mountaineers to win the Big East Championship. The Big East is wide open this year, so look for a well prepared Mountaineer football team after coming off of the bye has Coach Rodriguez wants to get rid of that bitter taste of a loss two weeks ago. To win the Big East it starts this week on the road and than will get Syracuse Orangemen at home who is a team that continues to play better as the season goes by each week. Look for a win, but will not be an easy won on the road against the Huskies!

20. LSU – The Tigers rebounded from their embarrassing 45-16 loss to Georgia last week with a 24-21 win in the Swamp against Florida. The Tigers can't win a national Championship, but are trying to repeat as the SEC Champs. Not only have lost two games to Georgia and Auburn, but are fighting to stay in the Top 25 after sharing the National Championship last year with USC. The Tiger defense was incapable of shutting down the Bulldog offense all day and was getting beat for big play after big play. Coach Saban needs to get a good week of practice in and needs to regain the focus defensively with now having to go play the Florida Gators this week in the Swamp. Quarterback Marcus Randall came off the bench to give the Tigers a spark completing 18 of 27 for 198 and two touchdowns, while having 10 carries for 46 yards. Randall did a great job coming into the game showing leadership and composure as the led the Tigers to victory in a must win situation. Coach Saban did a great job preparing his team this week and getting them refocused after the blowout loss. They had to win to stay in the Top 25 and now will get two weeks to prepare for a feisty Troy football team!

21. Florida – The Gators lost a tough game this week to the LSU Tigers at home in the swamp in the last few seconds 24-21. The Gators were in position to win this game, but could not finish as Coach Zook more losses at home in three seasons than Spurrier had in twelve seasons at Florida. Coach Zook is going to be on the hot seat with two losses on the year and now an overall record of 19-12 in three seasons at Florida, which should be a lot better with all of that talent. Coach Zook can be thankful, because the next two weeks will get a lot of people off his back with games against Middle Tennessee State and Mississippi State, but with two losses in the SEC you can forget about a championship. It will not be an easy week at practice for the Gators, but look for a blowout the next two weeks to get the frustration of these losses out!

22. Texas A&M – The Aggies are in the Top 25 after beating Iowa State this week 34-3 and only have one loss on the year in the first game of the year to Utah on the road. Coach Franchione has down a good job after starting the year 0-1 and getting this team refocused to put together a four game winning streak. The Aggies will have to come into this week's game against the Cowboys with a good game plan defensively to slow this Oklahoma State offense down to stay in this game. Quarterback Reggie McNeal is the leader of the Aggie offense both through the air and on the ground as the second leading rusher on this team with 55 carries for 356 yards on the year. For the Aggies to win against the Cowboys Reggie as to put an A+ game together and without any turnovers. Could be a short stay in the Top 25, but if they can put everything together maybe an upset!

23. Boise State – They are 5-0 with wins over Idaho, Oregon State, UTEP, BYU, and SMU with a road game up next with Tulsa. They are a good football team, but have been out of the top 25 because they only have one quality win against Oregon State so far this year. If they can put strong finish and win their conference we will get a chance to see them against a team that is better than .500 on the year. This team is a lot like Minnesota of the Big Ten, which is when they play someone that is good enough they get beat. With that being said keep your eye on this team, because I wouldn't be surprised to see them fall before the year is over. How good is good with this team and are they over ranked?

24. Ohio State – The Buckeye's now have lost back to back games for the first time in 3 seasons and now have lost three straight games to Wisconsin at home after losing 24-13 this week in Columbus. The Buckeyes are now 3-2 on the year and 0-2 in the Big Ten for the first time since 1992. Quarterback Justin Zwick was 15 of 31 for 125 yards and only had two first downs in the second half against the Wisconsin defense that also held them to only 49 yards in that same half. The Buckeye's now travel to Iowa and are in a must win situation to stay in the Top 25 and they don't have an easy schedule coming up as they finish the season with Purdue and Michigan in back to back weeks. This is a team that has two recruiting classes from Cooper's era with most of those players starting, so what does the future hold for the Buckeye's and Coach Tressel.

25. Virginia Tech – The Hokies have just won their first ACC road game this week after beating Wake Forest 17-10 on the road. This is a young team for Coach Beamer and it looks like they have found a running back in Mike Imoh who has only played in three games this year, but does have back to back 100 yard games with 100 yards on 29 carries against Wake Forest. The Hokie defense had a great game and was a dominated force all day long with swarming defensive plays. They are back into the Top 25 with only two losses to USC and North Carolina State, but remember they did beat West Virginia and now will play Florida A&M this week before traveling to take on Georgia Tech in Atlanta.

Others to watch:

27. Missouri – That loss to Troy still hurts, but a win this week against Texas and your fine!
28. Arkansas – Two losses to Texas and Georgia, but a win against Auburn would get them in!
29. Iowa – Losses to Arizona State and Michigan, who knows if they beat Ohio State!
30. Navy – Are they the best independent, well with a win they will be and in the Top 25!
31. Notre Dame – One more win of possibly sneaking in the Top 25, but two losses!
32. Minnesota –Will they ever beat a team that is in the Top 25?
33. UAB – One loss to FSU a win over Memphis and up next TCU!
34. Wyoming – Only loss is to Texas A&M and travels to BYU this week!
35. Boston College – Two road games up next with Pittsburgh and Notre Dame!
36. UConn – One loss to Boston College, but a win against West Virginia would get you in!
37. Texas Tech – Losses to New Mexico and Oklahoma, but Texas in two weeks!
38. Georgia Tech – Losses to North Carolina and Miami, who knows if they beat Virginia Tech!
39. Southern Mississippi – On the road to Alabama this week!
40. North Carolina - They are the best three-loss team in the country!
41. Stanford – Losses to the Trojans and the Irish and now a must win against Washington State!

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