All that can be said about the weekend in college football is that it was good to be idle. Nine ranked teams went down, including three of the top four. It’s difficult to rank the degree of the upsets, but USC falling to Oregon State after looking so unbeatable against Ohio State is No. 1 for me. Georgia getting stomped at home and Florida losing to Mississippi at home were close seconds.
Who are the new favorites to advance to the BCS title game? Missouri, Oklahoma, Alabama and maybe BYU are in good position and have favorable schedules, but if the first month of the college football season has taught us anything it’s to expect the unexpected.
LSU became the first team to win the BCS championship with two losses last season and it’s looking like we’re going to have another wacky finish this season.
Here’s my top 25 ballot this week followed by a link to the new top 25.
6. Penn State
7. Texas Tech
9. South Florida
14. Ohio State
16. Boise State
20. Fresno State
23. Ball State
24. Virginia Tech
Why I voted Missouri No. 1: Once again I am a lone voice in the wilderness. One week after being only one of two people who gave a first-place vote to Georgia, I am the only person to give a first-place vote to Missouri. It was between Missouri and Oklahoma, and I like the Tigers for the top spot based on their opening week victory against Illinois. Oklahoma’s best win was against TCU, so I give the Tigers credit for their scheduling. That being said, Missouri’s defense better step up because Texas and Kansas, two future opponents during the regular season, have the potential to outscore the Tigers. If the Tigers get past those two, Oklahoma is the likely opponent in the Big 12 title game. That game has 63-56 written all over it.
Too many to rank: Remember when the Associated Press had a top 20 instead of a top 25? It’s getting harder and harder to find teams to round out my ballot from week to week. The 25th team (Illinois) on my ballot this week is 2-2.
Dark horse: Look out for South Florida as a national championship contender. The Big East is weak and the Bulls play Connecticut at home. The other tough games will be at Cincinnati on five days rest Oct. 30 and at West Virginia in the regular-season finale Dec. 6.
New on my ballot
Northwestern – Best start since 1962 for the Wildcats after an impressive 22-17 come-from-behind win at Iowa. Things are setting up well for the Wildcats, who get this week off before playing host to Michigan State and Purdue.
Ball State – Another surprise team off to a 5-0 start, the Cardinals have scored 35 points or more in every game. They appear to be the class of the Mid-American Conference.
Virginia Tech – The Hokies have rebounded nicely from that opening week loss to East Carolina. They have won four in a row, but the tough part of the ACC schedule is around the corner. After a non-conference game against Western Kentucky this week, they play three of the next four games against ACC opponents on the road.
On the cusp of my ballot
Mississippi – The Rebels are 3-2 and those two losses were close ones to Wake Forest and Vanderbilt. They’ll probably get on my ballot if they beat South Carolina at home this week.
Oklahoma State – The Cowboys are 4-0 and have scored 39 or more points in every game. No signature wins, however, so I’m waiting to see how they do in Big 12 play. They open league play this week against Texas A&M.
Maryland – Own impressive victories against California and at Clemson, but I can’t get over that loss to Middle Tennessee. Games against Wake Forest and Virginia Tech in the next month will be key for the Terrapins.