1. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (11-0)
Last week's ranking: 3
Reason for being ranked this high: Raise your hand if you thought Notre Dame would even sniff a number one ranking this year. (Watches as no one raises a hand, with the exception of the Pope). The Irish have reached the top of the heap, seeing as they are the only undefeated team left, unless you count those cheaters in Columbus. Their rise has been truly Rudy-like, except with access to gobs of money and minus Samwise Gamgee/Mikey from the Goonies.
2. Alabama Crimson Tide (10-1)
Last week's ranking: 4
Reason for being ranked this high: Raise your hand if you really thought Alabama was going to be kept out of the MNCG this year (Watches as no one raises a hand, with the exception of Gene Chizik). Just because the Tide lost the other week to SEC newbie Texas A&M doesn't meant that they're not, you know, Alabama.
Reason they're not ranked higher: What difference does it make? We all know they're going to win the whole thing again this year. Vomit.
3. Georgia Bulldogs (10-1)
Last week's ranking: 5
Reason for being ranked this high: Lucky for the SEC, there seems to have been a resurgence in their Eastern division this year. At 10-1 with a key victory over Florida, if Georgia can come up with two more wins they're in the MNCG. Any way you slice it, the SEC takes home another trophy this year (unless you subscribe to the idea that Notre Dame can overcome SEC Speed(!)... By the way, how annoying is it that the Bulldogs gained two spots with a win over Georgia Southern? Boise State would have been crucified for that.
Reason they aren't ranked higher: Although both the Coaches' and Harris polls place Georgia at #3, the computers think differently. They place the Bulldogs at #6 overall. Yes, the computers seem to be thinking for themselves...could this be the Rise of the Machines? (Smashes computer as a precaution...realizes article needs to be finished and heads to Best Buy to get a new one.)
4. Florida Gators (10-1)
Last week's ranking: 6
Reason for being ranked this high: Let me make this clear: I have never liked the Gators much. That being said, I think there's a decent argument that says they've been getting shafted in the rankings all year. Yes, I get the whole head-to-head match-up with Georgia thing, but consider this: Florida has wins over Texas A&M, South Carolina, and LSU. No other team out there has that kind of resume. Our new
overlords friends, the machines, would put them in the MNCG if those pesky human voters didn't get in the way.
Reason they aren't ranked higher: The anti-Boise State bias from the BCS continues! Voters clearly are put off by offensive coordinator Brent Pease's ties to BSU. At least that's how I read it.
5. Oregon Ducks (10-1)
Last week's ranking: 2
Reason for being ranked this high: The Ducks managed to stay in the Top 5 of this week's rankings, despite the fact that they only scored two touchdowns against Stanford after averaging almost 55 points per in all previous games. It's hard for voters to forget such gaudy numbers, even after such a lackluster performance.
Reason they aren't ranked higher: Once again, the humans and computers seem to be at odds with one another. Oregon comes in seventh in the computer ratings, which is enough to keep them behind Florida. Personally, I would knock the Ducks down a few more spots myself, just to show them how annoyed I am that their loss put the SEC back in the driver's seat. Yes, I'm biased.
6. Kansas St. Wildcats (10-1)
Last week's ranking: 1
Reason for being ranked this high: The Ducks didn't hand the coveted #2 spot back to Alabama all on their own of course. The Wildcats' fall from grace came hard and fast, against a then under-.500 Baylor team. However, in the man vs. machine battle royale that this week's BCS rankings are clearly shaping up to be, Kansas St. got enough love in the computer rankings (Asks self: Can a computer really love?) to come in sixth.
Reason they aren't ranked higher: Oh Kansas State, how you made fools of us all. You had us believing that a non-traditional school (albeit one in the Big 12) might be able to buck the odds and play for all the marbles...but it clearly was not to be. In your loss to a crappy, RG3-less Baylor team, we now see that the wool was pulled over our eyes. Sigh.
7. LSU Tigers (9-2)
Last week's ranking: 7
Reason for being ranked this high: The Tigers remain the seventh place team this week, despite allowing Ole Miss to score 35 points and beating them by only six. Here is what it would take for another round of "The Game of the Century"...
- LSU beats Arkansas
- Notre Dame gets the living snot beat out of them by USC
- Georgia gets beat OR has a very sloppy win against Georgia Tech and then gets the living snot beat out of them by Alabama
- Florida loses to Florida State and looks bad doing it
- Oregon loses to Oregon State OR makes it to the Pac-12 Championship Game, only to lose to UCLA
- Kansas State loses to Texas
While this may be a lot of pieces that have to fall into place, it's actually frightening how plausible it really is when you look at it...
Reason they aren't ranked higher: I said it last week and I'll say it again. LSU's strength of schedule will always be hard to take seriously as long as that schedule includes Idaho. This week's shout out contest: Shout out goes to whoever best can explain the positive correlation between "nasty" and "inebriated".
8. Stanford Cardinal (9-2)
Last week's ranking: 13
Reason for being ranked this high: The Treepeople (and no, I'm not referring to Doug Martsch's early 90s band...Boise trivia!) rose an entire five spots this week after beating Oregon and holding them to a mere 14 points. In other words..."Revenge of the Nerds"... If Stanford can beat UCLA this week, they'll be rewarded with the Pac-12 North Championship and a match-up with...UCLA. Yay?
Reason they aren't ranked higher: When two of your closest games were against Washington State and San Jose State, you don't exactly inspire that much confidence in voters.
9. Texas A&M Aggies (9-2)
Last week's ranking: 8
Reason for being ranked this high: The Aggies remain a Top Ten team by virtue of the fact that they are this year's "Team that Beat Alabama, but Did Not Really Change Anything by Doing So." That's an actual category, I swear.
Reason they aren't ranked higher: What was Texas A&M's encore for their win over the Tide? A victory over FCS member Sam Houston State. Pretty lame...and why do all SEC teams feel the need to play FCS games in November? Kind of feels like cheating.
10. Florida St. Seminoles (10-1)
Last week's ranking: 10
Reason for being ranked this high: The war of technology vs. flesh reaches its boiling point with the Seminoles. Florida State is beloved by Harris Poll voters (ranked them 6th) and especially by the Coaches' Poll (ranked them 5th). Their game with Florida on Saturday gives them one last chance to make their case.
Reason they aren't ranked higher: The computers rank the Seminoles all the way down at number 16. Could someone please remind me again why the ACC is considered to be one of the five "power conferences"?
Just missed the Top Ten: Clemson Tigers (10-1)
Reason they aren't ranked higher: No, seriously, the ACC is terrible.