Ouimet's Top 25 (Week 10)

Here he goes again!<br><br> Former staffer <b>Mark Ouimet's Top 25 Poll</b> -- the <b>Poll With Reasons</b> (whether you agree with them or not!)<br><br> Michigan has moved to #9 in the Coaches' Poll and #10 in the AP (#11 BCS due to the overall weakness of the Big Ten) ... has Michigan finally cracked the Ouimet's Top 10 (what do YOU think)?<br>

(For the BCS, AP and Coaches Polls, click here: BCS Standings, ABC Sports)

The Ouimet Top 25

1. USC – The Trojans came out of the gates flying in this game as they jumped out to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter and its 17th straight victory in the 42-12 win over Washington State. The Trojans without a question are the best team in the country that never lets up for 60 minutes. The Trojans were able to put up 426 yards of total offense, while the defense held the Cougars to 156 with five sacks against the Cougar Quarterback. They have an attacking defense that plays relentless, while they were able to limit the Cougars to minus 9 yards rushing. Quarterback Matt Leinart completed 23 of 28 passes for 235 yards, while building a 35-0 halftime lead and it does not look like there is any team in the country that can beat the Trojans this year. Coach Pete Carroll has put together another great team performance and look for that streak to continue on the road this week against Oregon State as they are on the verge of winning back to back National Championships!

2. Oklahoma – The Sooners got out of Stillwater, Oklahoma with a close 38-35 victory over Oklahoma State and it was RB Adrian Peterson that made the difference. The freshman was able to run for 249 yards on 33 carries with a long of 80 for the Sooners who are trying to hang on for a possible match with the Trojans in the National Championship game. Coach Bob Stoops has done an excellent job with the freshman running back and the development with the offense, but remember last years Heisman winner in Quarterback Jason White has been very helpful for this freshman in the backfield. Adrian Peterson has eight consecutive 100 yard games and 1,272 yards on this year as he was able to win the rushing battle over the Cowboys Vernand Morency, who was limited to 93 yards by the Sooner defense. WR Michael Bradley had three touchdowns of 72, 23, and 4 yards as he was the go to guy for quarterback Jason White this week as he had 4 catches for 128 yards. Up next is a road game with Texas A&M, so look for another Big 12 win and one step closer to the Big 12 Championship! Are the Sooners the second best team in the country or are the Auburn Tigers?

3. Auburn – The Tigers earned a spot in the SEC Championship game with the 35-14 win over Mississippi and are now challenging the Sooners as the second best team in the country! Quarterback Jason Campbell is the most efficient quarterback in the SEC and was 11 of 22 for 234 yards while having two rushing touchdowns. The Tigers are now going to play either Georgia or Tennessee in the Championship game in Atlanta, while still a possible shot at the National Title game in Miami. The Tigers have a much needed bye this week as they will prepare for Georgia in two weeks, which will be a home game for Coach Tuberville and the Tigers. This game will have a championship atmosphere and get in mind that Georgia always struggles in big games, especially on the road!

4. Texas – The Longhorn defense dominated in this game as they were able to overcome some offensive mistakes in the 31-7 win in Boulder. Quarterback Vincent Young threw a couple of interceptions in this game, but running back Cedric Benson was able to turn the game back around with 32 carries and 141 yards. The Longhorns are 22-0 when Cedric goes over 100 yards and is the fifth Division I back to rush for 1,000 yards in four seasons as they dominated the time of possession with 37:59 in this game. The Longhorns were well prepared and are probably the best one loss team in the country as they are trying to get an at large bid to the BCS. The Longhorns will play Oklahoma State this week at home and are getting them at the best time after their loss to Oklahoma this week in their rival game, so look for Cedric Benson to have another 100 yard game.

5. Running back JJ Arrington rushed for 188 yards as he now has seven straight 100 plus games on the year. Cal is a very good football team that plays together as a team, while defensively try to force mistakes by the quarterback and get him running out of the pocket. The Bears and Coach Tedford will host the Oregon Ducks this week, while you can look for another win in this Pac Ten game. Remember this is the same team that should have beaten the Trojans are their own field, so if Trojans are able to stay undefeated and make it into the Championship game look for the Bears to get an invitation to the Rose Bowl game.

6. Utah - The Utes remained undefeated with the 51-28 win over San Diego State on the road as they are now 8-0. Quarterback Alex Smith was able to lead the way with a career high five touchdown passes and are about to become the first non-BCS conference to participate in the Bowl Championship Series. Alex was 22 of 33 for 298 yards in this game and the Utes were able to put the Aztecs away, which is something the Michigan Wolverines couldn't do earlier in the year at home in the Big House as the Aztecs have now lost five straight games! The Utes were able to score on their first four possessions and on seven of their first eight as they put up 548 yards of total offense. With losses handed to Miami and Florida State this past weekend the Utes will be ranked in the Top 6 in the BCS poll this week. With 2 of 3 games at home to finish the season look for the Utes to remain undefeated, especially with Colorado State this week.

7. Wisconsin – Are the Badgers really the best team in the Big Ten? Unfortunately we might not find out since they don't get the opportunity to play Michigan but they are 8-0 with Minnesota coming into Badger land. Wisconsin is coming into this game having a bye to prepare for the Gopher ground game and with a very terrible defense the Gophers are going to have a tough time in Madison, Wisconsin. Look for another win and continued rise in the BCS bowl for the Badgers, but keep in mind this is a team that finishes the season with two road games with Michigan State and Iowa. Coach Alvarez will have his Badgers well prepared but for any team to finish on the road for the Championship is always very hard to pull off. Remember Big Ten Championship are won with great defenses!

8. Tennessee – With a freshman quarterback leading the way as he threw three touchdown passes in the 43-29 win over South Carolina on the road, but it was running back Cedric Houston who ran for a career high 190 yards in their 12 straight win over the Gamecocks. The Volunteers have the capability of being one of the best teams in this country and now have a pretty clear path to the SEC Title game. The Vols have already beaten the Georgia Bulldogs, so with wins over Kentucky and Vanderbilt they will be playing in the Georgia Dome on December 4th. Look for a huge win this week over Notre Dame at home this week as Coach Willingham is fighting to keep his job. Coach Fulmer has done an excellent job with this young team as they want a rematch with Auburn in Atlanta!

9. Georgia - The Bulldogs scored touchdowns on their first three possessions as the Gators were coming into the game very emotional after the firing of Coach Zook. Coach Richt and company were able to control the first half with a 24-7 lead, but the Gators were able to come back with some big plays to cut the lead to 24-21 as the Bulldog defense gave up 458 yards of total offense. Defensive coordinator Brian Van Gorder better get things straighten out in a hurry as the Bulldogs will be playing the Auburn Tigers in two weeks as they travel to Kentucky this week. It is an easy game this week as the Wildcats are at the bottom of the SEC struggling to put anything together, but it won't be long with the big game in two weeks.

10. Miami (Fl) – The Hurricane defense only needed one defensive stand to send it to overtime and they couldn't get it done as North Carolina was able to upset Miami 31-28 with a last second 42 yard field goal in Chapel Hill. The Hurricanes are now out of the National Title picture, but now must find a way to win the ACC title and get the automatic bid to the BCS. Quarterback Brock Berlin was 20 of 35 for 338 yards and two touchdowns, while the rushing attack was only able to muster 77 yards rushing and was the first time they didn't break the 100 yard mark in a game. Miami now as a home date with Clemson, who is a team coming off of a big win over North Carolina State, so Coach Bowden will be coming into this game with the confidence of possibly beating the Hurricanes. Don't look for back to back upsets in this weeks game as this is a must win for Miami this week!

11. Louisville – The Cardinals showed they could bounce back from adversity with losing to Miami and than blowing out South Florida the next week. They play again on Thursday night this week on the road against Memphis, who might be the third best team in Conference USA and was ranked earlier in the year. Look for Coach Petrino to have a great game plan this week with a bye to prepare for the Tigers as this offense is very capable of high numbers both through the air and on the ground. The defense continues to improve and look for an attacking style again this week as they will try to stop Memphis running attack. This will be a Championship atmosphere this week and look for the Cardinals to win again, but a closer game than the one against South Florida.

12. Michigan – The Wolverines were able to erase a 17 point fourth quarter deficit in 5:44 in the 45-37 triple overtime thriller over Michigan State in Ann Arbor. Leading the way in one of the greatest come backs was WR Braylon Edwards with 11 catches for 189 yards and three touchdowns as he broke Anthony Carter's career yards for receiving. Let's not forget true freshman quarterback Chad Henne who had very good day in the Big House completing 24 of 35 for 273 yards and 4 touchdowns, while getting Michigan into the right plays with many checks at the line of scrimmage as MSU was trying to confuse and disguise their coverages. Henne was able to run the two-minute offense like a senior and offense coordinator Terry Malone made the right calls down the stretch as they were able to erase that deficit. RB Michael Hart was able to do it again rushing for his third straight 200 yard game (a U-M record for consecutive 200+ yard games; he also is the first U-M frosh to rush for over 1,000 yards … the FIRST) with 224 yards on 33 carries as he kept the chains moving for a total of 27 first downs for the Wolverines. Hart might lack in size, but he has the vision to find the hole or stretch the run out to get positive yards on each play. Hart must continue to improve on his blocking as he cost the Wolverines twice on third down with both resulting in sacks on the play, but he continues to be the running back that Michigan needed this year. Michigan State came into Ann Arbor with a great game plan against the Wolverines, and Drew Stanton leaving the game with an injury to the shoulder only helped the Wolverines. Michigan now as a bye this week to prepare for another spread offense in Northwestern, which will be in two weeks at the Big House!

13. Virginia – The Cavaliers had a bye this week, but they are now in the ACC Championship race with both Miami and Florida State losing this weekend. With they bye this past weekend the Cavaliers made up some ground and had a great week of practice for their stretch run of four ACC games to finish the season. If Coach Groh's team can finish strong they will win the ACC, but it will not be easy with game against Maryland, Miami, Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech. If they can continue to run the ball well as they did in their last game and control the line of scrimmage the Cavaliers will be looking at a BCS bid, but keep in mind the last two games are on the road.

14. West Virginia – The Mountaineers beat Rutgers for the 10th straight time with a 35-30 win on the road with WR Chris Henry leading the way with four catches for 119 yards. It wasn't any easy game for West Virginia, but they were able to hold off the Scarlet Knights down the stretch. The Mountaineers only loss is to Virginia Tech this year in a 19-16 game, but their last three games are against Temple, Boston College, and Pittsburgh. This week will be an easy win for the Mountaineers, but look for a tough finish with games against the Eagles and the Panthers with the last game on the road. The good news about this weak conference is that all the teams play each other, so we will have a real champion!

15. Florida State – The Seminoles came into this game with a six game winning streak and were perfect 14-0 record against Maryland, but were unable to escape from College Park with a win as they fell 20-17 the Terrapins. Quarterback Wyatt Sexton had two interceptions and was replaced by Chris Rix who didn't fair much better completing 8 of 21 for 140 yards with one touchdown. There is a definite quarterback controversy now in Tallahassee and must find out who can lead this team in practice this week. The Seminoles will come back home after two road games and it will be an easy one this week with Duke up next, so look for a big win and a way for the Seminoles to get rid of some built up anger.

16. Boise State – The Broncos were able to stop Hawaii's quarterback Timmy Chang and held the Rainbows to only 3 points in the 69-3 rout of Hawaii, which extended the Broncos' winning streak to 19 games. The Broncos have the longest winning streak in the country, but it was their defense that showed up in a big way why only allowing 227 yards of total offense. Coach Hawkins team is playing extremely well as the offense had 589 yards of offense and were able to put 69 points on the board. They have stepped up their play as they are on the way to win the Western Athletic Conference after their 23rd straight conference win! The Broncos have a bye this week, but will get prepared for San Jose State in two weeks in which you should see another blow out win!

17. LSU – The Tigers were able to run the ball with more consistency this week as LSU was able to rush for 273 yards in the 24-7 win over Vanderbilt. The Tigers were second in the SEC passing with 249 yards a game, but only threw the ball eleven times for 102 yards as Coach Saban wanted to make sure the running game came back this week. Defensively the Tigers defense is ranked fifth in the nation and only gave up 289 yards of offense, while blocking a field goal. Their was one loss on the day, which was the Tigers Center who left the game with a bad injury to his left leg and will miss the rest of the season. The bye week is coming at a great time for Coach Saban's team as they lost the best center in the country. Up next for LSU is a home game with Alabama in two weeks and the Tigers can't afford another SEC loss since they already have two of them to Auburn and Georgia this year.

18. Virginia Tech – The Hokies were able to turn it all around in the last six minutes of the game as their senior QB Bryan Randall led the way passing for 304 yards in the 34-20 come from behind win against Georgia Tech. Bryan completed 18 of 31 passes as he was able to bring the Hokies back as Coach Beamer was able to get his big time players to make big time plays in the fourth quarter. Coach Beamer must now get the Hokies ready in a hurry as they will play back to back road games with this on against North Carolina who is coming off of a major upset against Miami this past week. Look for a much better defensive effort and a close win against the Tar Heels!

19. Southern Mississippi – They are coming off of a 51-10 blowout win against East Carolina as they are still undefeated in Conference USA, but remember they don't have Louisville on the schedule. They are playing a much improved Cincinnati team this week at home after having a bye this past Weekend. Remember the Golden Eagles did beat Nebraska and do play the Golden Bears from California in the last game of the year. Coach Brower is doing a good job with this team this season and did lose to Alabama on the road this season. Can they win the Conference USA Championship?

20. Arizona State – The Sun Devils turned the ball over five times and could not move the ball offensively as they were shut out 27-0 against California. This was the Sun Devils first shutout loss since 1995 as QB Andrew Walter and the Sun Devils were shut down by the Bear defense. They now have lost back to back games to USC and California, but with Stanford up this week look for Coach Koetter's team to get back on track at home in Tempe, Arizona. Look for a strong week of practice by the Sun Devils after they've made 10 turnovers in the last three games and a must win this week!

21. Texas A&M – The Aggies were upset on the road this week in the first overtime as the Baylor Bears went for two point conversion and the 35-34 win. Baylor ended an 11 game skid in the Big 12 and their first time in beating a ranked opponent since 1998 and it isn't going to get any easier for the Aggies with Oklahoma up this week at home in a South division match up. QB Reggie McNeal did not play his best with his first two turnovers of the season in the loss and was sacked four times in the second half, so Coach Franchione must shore up the mistakes offensively before this weeks game with the Sooners! This is a tough match-up for the Aggies and look for back to back losses for A&M which will drop them out of the Top 25 most likely!

22. Iowa – The Hawkeye's defense held the Illini to 268 total yards and became bowl eligible for the fourth consecutive season as Illinois lost its sixth straight game to the Hawkeye's 23-13. It was a pretty win for the Hawks, but they found ways to get things done on the road in Champaign with Coach Ferentz earning his 50th victory with Iowa. The Hawkeye's are the third best team in the Big Ten, but let's keep in mind that the Big Ten is very weak and not deep with many good teams this year. The conference has a lot of young teams that are improving, with the Hawkeye's being one of those teams, but the future of this conference looks very bright. The Hawks are now going to host a very slumping Purdue Boilermaker team this week and will try to use the same defensive schemes the last three teams have used in order to beat the Boilermakers. Look for a very close game, but the Hawks should be able to pull this one out!

23. Oklahoma State – The Cowboys almost pulled out the upset in Stillwater, but as the missed 49 field goal by Jason Ricks with seconds left went by the upright so did the possible win to the second ranked Sooners. It was a tough loss for Coach Miles and the players, but you will not win many games giving up 38 points especially when you give up 249 yards in rushing to Adrian Peterson. The Cowboys were trying to overcome the 21-14 halftime deficit, but Sooner quarterback Jason White had a great game finding the open receivers as Mark Bradley had an outstanding day for the Sooners. The Cowboys can't make that many defensive mistakes and still think they will win the game, but look for Coach Miles to get a good week of practice out of his players to correct those mistakes. It isn't going to be another easy week with the Texas Longhorns coming into town, but they must shore up the defense if they even are thinking any kind of upset.

24. Purdue – With three straight losses in the Big Ten with the last one coming to Northwestern in a 13-10 game in Evanston the Boilermakers are now in a must win situation or they will fall out of the Top 25. Quarterback Kyle Orton was ineffective against the Wildcat defense and they used the same schemes as Wisconsin and Michigan so Coach Tiller made a change in the fourth quarter. Look for Kyle Orton to be the starter this week against the Hawkeye's but look for the same result on the road. The Boilermakers are one of those average teams in the Big Ten who are having trouble with the man to man coverage these teams are bringing in each week. Kyle Orton was 15 of 33 for 143 yards, but once again he fumbled for the third straight week and is not mentally preparing himself for these Big Ten games. Northwestern is a team that is allowing 269 yards of passing per game, which ranks them at 105th in Division IA, so for the Boilermakers to be so ineffective is not acceptable for Coach Tiller. Look for a much better game plan this week, but the game will be another close loss for the Boilermakers as they continue to slip in a very average Big Ten conference.

25. UTEP – The Miners have secured its second winning season in 16 years with a 38-20 victory over San Jose State on Saturday. Coach Mike Price is leading the way and this is a program that won teams games in each of their last three seasons. The Miners have won their third straight conference road game and QB Jordan Palmer was 16 of 22 for 218 yards with two touchdowns. The Miner defense was able to force five turnovers with two interceptions and three fumbles on the day and actually able to stop opponent's offense under Coach Price's direction. This team has two losses on the year to Arizona State and Boise State, so this team is much improved! They have a bye now to prepare for Rice and the option in two weeks, so keep your eye on the Miners!

Others to watch:

26. North Carolina – The best four loss team! Losses to Utah, Louisville, FSU, and Virginia.
27. Nebraska – North Division leader and Oklahoma in two weeks! Did lose to S. Mississippi!
28. UCLA – A shutout and home date with Washington State this week!
29. Alabama – Two weeks to prepare for Mississippi State, but LSU in two weeks!
30. Ohio State – Beat Penn State, up next is the spread offense of MSU! Look for a road win!
31. Minnesota – Can't beat Indiana, so can they beat Wisconsin?
32. Michigan State – A must win without there starting Quarterback against OSU!
33. Pittsburgh – A bye to prepare for Syracuse, so will they win?
34. Boston College – Two weeks the Eagles have a road date with West Virginia!
35. Oregon – Could they actually pull off the upset at Cal this week?
36. Notre Dame – Better win one of the next three games or Willingham will be looking for a job. The Irish finish with Tennessee, Pittsburgh, and USC!

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