College football went haywire last weekend, from
’s collapse to Lee Corso’s
to a Saturday night that was equal parts riveting and exhausting.
crashed the top 25 with a road upset of
, where the Cavaliers were as poised as the Seminoles were undisciplined. Robert Griffin III vaulted into the Heisman conversation with a last-second touchdown pass that gave
its first win over
. Matt Barkley and Southern
’s national title quest.
’s Saturday afternoon faceplant at
into the mix, and four top-10 teams lost, making life miserable for your friendly neighborhood Associated Press pollster.
faithful are clamoring for their Hokies to jump all four losers, but based on quality of wins, I’m keeping Oklahoma State (the Cowboys beat Baylor and
) and Oregon (the Ducks won by 23 at
) ahead of Tech. That nudges the Hokies from ninth to seventh on my ballot.
Virginia was a no-duh to make the top 25. I voted the Cavaliers 24th, which would have been higher if not for impressive efforts by teams such as Baylor,
: The Hokies sixth and Cavaliers 24th.
has Tech fourth and Virginia 25th.
Here’s my complete AP ballot.
(11-0): Forget Black Friday shopping. Watch the
instead. Serious national title implications. LSU warmed up with a 52-3 rout of
(10-1): The Tide allowed 519 rushing yards in its first 10 games, 304 to Division I-AA
Southern in Saturday’s 45-21 victory. Guessing Bama will be tad more stoked for Iron Bowl at Auburn.
3. Arkansas (10-1): Win at LSU, and the Razorbacks turn the
on their heads. And after a 44-17 rout of
, they appear capable.
4. Oklahoma State (10-1): A 37-31 OT loss at
State seemed unfair after the plane crash, the second in 10 years to strike Cowboys athletics, claimed two women’s basketball coaches. Glad OSU has two weeks before hosting Oklahoma on Dec. 3.
5. Oregon (9-2): National title hopes vanished with a 38-35 home loss to Southern California. But a victory over
on Saturday would send the Ducks to the inaugural
6. Stanford (10-1): The Cardinal survived Cal 31-28 and awaits a visit from
. A win would assure Stanford its second consecutive BCS invite.
7. Virginia Tech (10-1): Yet another Hokies escape, this time 24-21 over
. Tech will need to be much better against Virginia.
(9-1): The Broncos whipped San Diego State and host
9. Houston (11-0): Case Keenum added to his record collection Saturday, setting the
career completion mark in a 37-7 rout of SMU. Friday’s visit to Tulsa far more dicey.
10. Southern California (9-2): Barkley and the
snapped Oregon’s national-best 21-game home winning streak. Too bad probation-saddled USC is ineligible for a rematch in the Pac-12 championship contest. Instead, the Trojans conclude their season Saturday against
(9-2): A 55-3 pasting of
sends Kirk Cousins and the Spartans to the inaugural
title game, regardless of how they fare this week at
12. Oklahoma (8-2): Defense abandoned the Sooners again Saturday in a 45-38 loss to Baylor. Oklahoma hosts Iowa State this week.
(9-2): The Badgers rallied from a 10-point halftime deficit to defeat
28-17 and set up showdown against visiting Penn State. Winner faces Michigan State for Big Ten championship.
14. Kansas State (9-2): The Wildcats edged Texas 17-13 and take this week off to prepare for Dec. 3 regular-season finale against Iowa State.
(9-2): The second 10-win season in Gamecocks history is at stake in the annual regular-season finale against reeling Clemson. USC dusted The Citadel 41-20 on Saturday.
16. Georgia (9-2): Nine straight and counting for the Dawgs after an 0-2 start. Most important, their 19-10 grinder over
clinched SEC East. Intriguing game this week at
17. Michigan (9-2): The Wolverines’ 45-17 rout of
was arguably their best performance of the season. Beat visiting
this week, and Michigan a serious BCS at-large contender.
18. TCU (9-2): The
secured by a 34-10 victory over
, the Horned Frogs now aim for a second consecutive BCS appearance. Beat UNLV on Dec. 3, and they’re likely to get it.
19. Penn State (9-2): Couldn’t help but feel good for the Nittany Lions’ players after their 20-14 victory at Ohio State. Can’t imagine what they’ve endured recently. Can they summon another big effort at Wisconsin?
20. Baylor (7-3): The Bears are 6-0 at home and conclude the regular season with visits from Texas Tech and Texas.
21. Clemson (9-2): I dropped the Tigers 13 spots after their 37-13 no-show at N.C. State. Saturday at South Carolina chance for redemption.
22. Notre Dame (8-3): The Irish hardly inspired in their 16-14 win over
23. Nebraska (8-3): The Cornhuskers host Iowa on Friday on the heels of Michigan debacle.
24. Virginia (8-3): The Cavaliers had to sweat an interminable replay review and a last-play field-goal attempt, but their 14-13 victory at Florida State was richly deserved.
coach of the year.
25. Georgia Tech (8-3): The Yellow Jackets defeated
38-31 and are playing for bowl position Saturday against Georgia.
In: Virginia, Georgia Tech.
Out: Florida State, Southern Mississippi.