Ouimet's Top 25 (Week 11)

Has Michigan finally cracked former staffer Mark Ouimet's Top Ten? <br><br> The Ouimet Top 25: The poll with Reasons!

1. USC – The Trojans were not even stopped by the fog this week as they were able to win 28-20 over Oregon State on the road. Running back Reggie Bush was able to return a 65 yard return and is trying to make a run at the Heisman before the season is over. Quarterback Matt Leinart was 17 of 31 for 205 yards with one interception as the Trojans were able to come back from a 13-0 deficit. Coach Carroll has to be happy with this come from behind road victory, but must get this offense back to full cylinders as a much improved Arizona Wildcat team is coming to Los Angeles. Look for another win this week as they Trojans are still atop the poll and fighting to remain one of the unbeaten teams that will play in Miami.

2. Oklahoma – The Sooners just escaped back to back victories on the road against Oklahoma State and Texas A&M with a 42-35 win this week against the Aggies. Quarterback Jason White was 19 of 35 for 292 yards and RB Adrian Peterson had 29 carries for 101 yards with this being his ninth straight 100 yard game. With the last two victories being tough games for the Sooners look for them to finish the season strong against Nebraska and Baylor with both of the games at home. Look for the Sooner offense and Coach Stoops to take out a lot of frustration this week against the Cornhuskers as they move closer to the Big 12 Championship!

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 Longhorns were down 35-14 at halftime in a blowout trailing 35-7 at one point, but Coach Brown was able to get them to rally back to win 56-35 over Oklahoma State at home. The Longhorns were dominated in the first half, but made the unbelievable comeback with QB Vince Young leading the way completing 18 of 21 for 278 yards. Coach Brown and his Longhorn team showed the character of this group of coaches and players as they did not give up or lay down in this great comeback! Texas is a team fighting for a BCS bid as well and now travel to play Kansas on the road, so all they can hope for are a couple of teams to falter down the stretch.

5. California – The Bears were able to pull out a close game against the Ducks as Cal stopped them at midfield in the 28-27 victory that kept their BCS hopes alive. QB Aaron Rodgers was 21 of 32 for 275 yards with three touchdowns, while RB JJ Arrington ran for 188 yards and a touchdown. Cal was able to snap a seven game losing streak against Oregon as Jared Siegel missed an extra point in the first quarter. The Cal Bears were able to control the line of scrimmage in the second half and do a lot of job running the football, which is the reason Arrington was able to get his eighth straight 100 yard rushing game. Look for continued success running the football game this week against Washington as the Bears are trying their hardest to get into the BCS with only one loss to the Trojans.

6. Utah - The Utes QB Alex Smith threw for 291 yards and four touchdowns as the dominated Colorado State in the 63-311 victory, while Alex continues to make a run at the Heisman. This Utes team is now 9-0 and has scored more points than any other team in school history, which just shows how affective this spread offense is under the direction of Urban Meyer. Coach Meyer is doing a great job with this offense as the Utes are trying to get a BCS bid, but don't forget the quarterback that is directing the offense as he was 21 of 26 in the game against the Rams this past Saturday. They have now scored more than 50 points for the third straight week and have beaten every team by more than 17 points this year, but they will travel on the road to Wyoming this week as they will try to remain unbeaten and an outside chance at the National Title game!

7. Wisconsin – The Badgers showed what the second ranked defense in the nation can do to the Gopher running attach with a 38-14 rout of Minnesota this weekend at home in Madison. RB Anthony Davis rushed for 124 yards with two touchdowns, while QB John Stocco threw for a Career high 297 yards and one touchdown. The Badgers are 9-0 and might be one of the hottest teams in the country, but let's not forget they finish the season on the road with back to back games against Michigan State and Iowa. Unfortunately for the Big Ten they do not have the match-up of the year with Michigan and Wisconsin having their second year off each others schedule. The Badger offense was able to pile up 525 yards on the Gophers, while winning the Time of Possession with over 44 minutes dominating the Gophers from Kick-Off. Look for another outstanding defensive game and an easy win against the Spartans this week in East Lansing as they try to make their run at the National Title game!

8. Georgia – The Bulldogs were able to rout Kentucky with a 62-17 win and QB David Greene was able to set a NCAA division I record with his 40th win passing for 259 yards against the Wildcats. Coach Richt and the Bulldogs must now get ready for its upcoming game with Auburn on the road which will not be an easy task for this coaching staff as Coach Richt has struggled in big games. The Bulldogs need to execute very well to win this game against the Tigers and defensive Brian Van Gorder needs to come up with the right scheme to stop the Auburn Tigers. With this being the toughest game of the year and on the road I look for the big game to haunt Coach Richt again as they will lose the opportunity for the SEC Championship this week.

9. Virginia – Coming off of a bye the Cavaliers were able to dominate the Maryland Terps in the 16-0 win at home in Charlottesville. The Cavaliers were able to get two backs over 100 yards in this game and they dominated the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. Coach Groh and the Cavaliers were able to put the Florida State loss behind them but now must prove themselves this week against Miami at home with the ACC Championship in the back of their minds. The Winner of this game will most likely get the BCS bid as the ACC Championship and this one should be a good one down in Charlottesville. Can the Cavaliers actually win the ACC?

10. Michigan – With a much needed bye for the Wolverines this past week after winning games against Purdue and Michigan State, the Wolverines will play host to an undermanned Northwestern team that is fighting for a bowl spot. Look for Coach Carr to come into this game with the same game plan as against Purdue, but focusing defensively on the run first than the pass as the Wildcats focus on running first. You will see a lot of defensive schemes this week as they will try and stop this spread offense of the Wildcats. Look for the U-M offense to continue to implement more this week as their two freshmen are gaining more experience and knowledge each week. Look for a very powerful Michigan offense this week as the offensive coaches will exploit a very average Northwestern defense in the Big House! The Wolverines will come out with a win, but remember they do travel down to Buckeye land next week with the Title on the line! Can the duo of WR Braylon Edwards and QB Chad Henne deliver a Big Ten Championship?

11. Louisville – The Cardinals escaped with a 56-49 victory on the road against Memphis in a shoot out that had 1,202 yards of total offense, but did show the nation how powerful this offense truly is this year for Coach Petrino. They have the nation's top ranked offense, while gaining 599 yards this week against the Tigers and staying 4-0 in conference play with the only loss on the season to Miami. Quarterback Stefan LeFors is the Nation's most efficient passer with 76% completion rate on the year, while completing 24 of 34 for 321 yards and 9 of 13 on third down conversions in this win. Coming into this game against Memphis the Cardinals had the 11th ranked defense in the country, so Coach Petrino and company need to go to the film room to regroup as TCU is up next for the Cardinals this Thursday.

12. Florida State – Quarterback Wyatt Sexton brought the Seminoles back in the second half completing 11 of 15 passes for 220 yards and scoring 20 unanswered points to beat Duke. It looks like there is a quarterback controversy in Tallahassee as Chris Rix went 9 of 15 for 94 yards with an interception that set up Duke's Touchdown and was his 37th career interception. Coach Bowden now must decide on a quarterback and must get his offense refocused in the red zone this week in practice. The Seminoles road doesn't get an easier this week as they will now travel to take on North Carolina State, which has a much better defense than the Duke Blue Devils. Look for a tight game on the road in a must win situation for the Seminoles.

13. Boise State – The Broncos last win was a 69-3 win over Hawaii and up next is a road game with San Jose State, which you will be able to see more of the same for the Broncos. The biggest two questions for the Broncos is how high in the BCS will the get before the season is over and will they be able to keep Coach Hawkins? Remember this is the same team that beat Oregon State by 19 points who just lost to Cal by a Point and the same team that lost to LSU by a point, so let's just say the Broncos are a very good football team! Look for another blowout and a move up in the polls again!

14. West Virginia – The Mountaineers now have beaten Rutgers and Temple back to back with the 42-21 win over the Owls, but will fall in the polls with two closer games against very bad football teams. The Mountaineers are leading in the Big East at 4-0, which is the weakest conference in the country right now even though they get a bid to the BCS if they win the conference. If they win this week against Boston College this week the Mountaineers will clinch at least a share of the conference title and a berth to the BCS. They are most likely headed to the Fiesta Bowl game, but first most take care of the Boston College Eagles this week and look for a win at home in this game.

15. LSU – The Tigers had a bye this week after their win over Vanderbilt two Saturdays ago, but they did get a lot of rest this week and you should expect a solid game from the Tigers as Alabama is coming to Baton Rouge. This Saturday they will be without the best Center in the country in Ben Wilkerson, but look for a solid offensive line put together with the extra week of practice. Coach Saban and the defense will play very aggressive this week as they can not afford any more losses this year. The Tigers two losses are to Auburn and Georgia, but are lingering around in case other top SEC teams falter down the stretch.

16. Virginia Tech – The Hokies were able to do something the Hurricanes couldn't do which was beating North Carolina on the road in a 27-24 victory. The Tar Heels missed a 54 yard field goal with a minute left in the game and the Hokies have now won five straight games with a 4-1 conference record. The only loss in the conference this season for the Hokies is to North Carolina State, but they still have an outside chance at the ACC title with a strong three games left against Maryland, Virginia, and Miami. The Hokies have a bye this week to prepare for the Maryland Terps which will be a Thursday night game on National T.V. This game will be a hard noised tight fought football game with the best defense to come out with the win. Look for the Hokies to win and continue their winning streak! Beamer ball brings wins to Blacksburg!

17. Arizona State – The Sun Devils have now won back to back games in come behind fashion against UCLA and Stanford with this weeks 34-31 win over the Cardinals at home. Quarterback Andrew Walter was 28 of 42 for 415 yards, while breaking John Elway's Pac Ten record for career touchdown passes with a total of 80. The Sun Devil offensive coaches have put together two outstanding games plans that put a lot of points on the board, whole the defense still must continue to improve as they will host a feisty Washington State team this week in Tempe. Look for another close victory this week as the Sun Devils will pull it out in the fourth quarter with another come from behind win.

18. Miami (Fl) – The Hurricanes only chance of going to a Bowl Championship Series game is to win the conference Championship, but they have a lot of work to do after the 24-17 loss to Clemson in Miami. This loss puts Miami behind Virginia and Virginia Tech for the league title, but they still get to play both teams with Virginia this week in Charlottesville. The Hurricanes were up 17-3 at the half, but were dominated in the second half and now have lost back to back games to Clemson and North Carolina. These two losses are very disappointing for this team and Coach Coker, but you will see a very hungry and passionate football team this week from the Canes. Look for a close game, but a Hurricane victory on the road to stay in the race for the ACC Championship!

19. Iowa – The Hawkeye's defense was able to force five turnovers and block two field goals as they came out on top 23-21 over Purdue in Iowa City, Iowa. The Hawkeye's are finding ways to win and are very well coached on both sides of the ball while at the same time being a team that plays very consistent week in and week out. Iowa has the 10th rated defense in the country and Quarterback Drew Tate is the Big Ten's passing leader, so with that combination the Hawkeye's continue to their winning streak at home with 17. Look for the winning ways to continue on the road this week against Minnesota as they Gopher defense will be much easier to score on this week. If the Hawkeye defense plays like one of the top ten in the nation than look for a double digit win against a very poor Minnesota team.

20. Tennessee – The Vols have lost both their freshman quarterbacks as Ainge is now lost for the season as well in the 17-13 loss to Notre Dame this weekend. When QB Rick Clausen came into the game the Notre Dame defense became very aggressive and was able to return an interception for a touchdown. The loss does not affect the SEC standings and they will have a bye this week to get ready for back to back games against Vanderbilt and Kentucky. With two wins against those low SEC teams it will send them into the SEC Championship game as the East division winner. During the bye week Coach Fulmer needs to find a way to get the ball into the End Zone with both freshmen quarterbacks now on the bench with season ending injuries.

21. Texas A&M – The Aggies now have suffered back to back losses with a close one at home against the Sooners, which went down to the wire ending in a 42-35 loss. The Aggies made the game very exciting and played the Sooners tough as they were able to hold Peterson to 101 yards on 29 carries, but in the end the reigning Heisman Trophy winner was able to manufacture some points and control the Sooner offense. Quarterback Reggie McNeal had to leave the game with an injury in the third quarter and was unable to come back to win without him. Coach Franchione must get this team rejuvenated as the Red Raiders of Texas Tech are coming to College Station with a passing attach that would worry some defensive coordinators.

22. Oklahoma State – The Cowboys were up 35-7 in the first half, but could not hold off the Longhorns as they fell short in Austin 56-35 as they were shut out in the second half. It was two different halves for Coach Miles and his team will feel the pain of this loss for a few days. The Cowboys will have a tough week of practice and the defense must improve, while learning to play 60 minutes this week. Look for a very angry, frustrated, and emotional team this week against Baylor, which will result in a big win for the Cowboys this week at home. They now must win both games against Baylor and Texas Tech to finish the season strong and get a good bowl spot!

23. Texas Tech – The Red Raiders are coming into their own this year as a team after the 42-17 win against Baylor. Quarterback Sonny Cumbie threw for 397 yards and five touchdowns while he is the leading the nation in passing after a 37 of 48 performance against Baylor. Coach Leach needs to get his team focused with a great week of practice with the game on the road against Texas A&M this week in a must win situation as they are fighting for bowl positioning. Look for a closer game than expected, but more than likely a loss on the road in a very tough environment for Coach Leach's team. Remember this team has losses to Oklahoma, Texas, and New Mexico so look for this to be a short stay in the Top 25 unless they can pull an upset.

24. UTEP – The Miners only have to losses on the season to Boise State and Arizona State, while winning their third straight conference game a week ago against San Jose State. Look for a great game plan this week against Rice with the bye week this past week for the Miners. QB Jordan Palmer is having a good season completing 131 of 225 for 1648 yards and 14 touchdowns. Coach Mike Price has restored the Miner football program and has brought respect back to this program. Look for another win this week and should be able to win their last three games to finish the season at 9-2 and its second winning season in 16 years.

25. Boston College – They were able to hold off Rutgers and pull out a 21-10 victory at home. The Eagles have to losses on the year to Wake Forest and Pittsburgh with both of them coming on the road this season. With this game against West Virginia on the road look for that pattern to continue as the Mountaineers will be too much for the Eagles. It should be a close first half, but the Mountaineers just are too skilled on both sides of the ball for the Eagles. It will be a short stay for B.C., but remember this is a very poor conference this season. Good thing Louisville will be in this conference soon!

Others to watch:
26. Georgia Tech – A non-Conference win over Uconn, who knows with Virginia up after that!
27. Ohio State – They won three, they lost three, and then they won three! 6-3 Purdue is next!
28. Alabama – Can they win on the road at LSU? If so they are in the Top 25!
29. Notre Dame – Willingham saved his job, but can he beat a Big East team?
30. Northern Illinois – Are they really the best team in the MAC? Next up is Toledo!
31. Oregon – Should have beaten Cal and might be the best four loss team! UCLA is up next!
32. South Carolina – A road game with the Gators is next and a win would land them in the 25!
33. Pittsburgh – A bye to prepare for Syracuse, so will they win?

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