Morning Reading: A Look at the Rankings




lead narrowed.  Yes,




to reclaim the #2 spot.  Moving on…

With Iowa losing to Northwestern, the #4 spot in the BCS standings became available.  Although you’d want to be in the top 3 at this point in the season, being #4 might not be so bad.  With the Gators and Tide facing off on December 5th and the Longhorns in a conference with a championship game as well, there’s still a chance #4 could get into the top 2.  So, say hello to the Horned Frogs of TCU.  With another convincing win, Texas Christian jumped #5 Cincinnati.  The other small conference undefeated, Boise State, moved up a spot, but remained behind the Bearcats.

Don’t look now, but the Bees are the 7th-best team in the entire nation.  No really, it’s true.  Georgia Tech, who completes roughly 5 passes a game, is #7 in the standings.  The Yellow Jackets would need a lot (repeat: A LOT) of help to make true national championship noise, but GT is only 2 wins away from finishing the regular season 11-1.  Bet you didn’t ever think that would’ve happened way back at the beginning of the season.

Such is the nature of the BCS.  LSU loses, albeit to Alabama, and jumps 1 spot.  The human polls both dropped the Tigers, but 2 of the machines pushed LSU up and 3 of the others kept them in the same spot as last week.  Sometimes losing isn’t a bad thing?  Everyone convinced the computers should be destroyed Office Space-style?  I do believe the Tigers are a good team.  They’ve lost 2 games to the teams currently ranked #1 and #2.  I can get onboard with LSU as a top-10 team.  But to lose and go up in the rankings shouldn’t really happen.  Even if 2 of the teams ranked above you last week did lose too.

Iowa appears to be done despite being 9-1.  The Hawkeyes dropped to #10 meaning they have too high of a climb to make this late in the season.  It doesn’t help that the Big Ten finishes its season so early giving Iowa not as many chances to impress voters as some of the nation’s other teams.

Pittsburgh might actually have the toughest road at the moment.  The Panthers beat conference foe Syracuse by 27 to move to 8-1, but is down at #12.  It doesn’t help that Pitt has Notre Dame, West Virginia, and Cincinnati remaining on the schedule.  If the Panthers can win all of those games, then we have something to talk about, but right now the Panthers are a good team with 1 bad loss.

Oregon and Penn State saw any hopes they had dashed with losses to conference rivals.  The Ducks seem to be destined to be that team that has good (very good) seasons from time to time, but just not great.  With Oregon’s loss to Stanford, USC again becomes the top ranked Pac-10 team.  The Nittany Lions, on the other hand, could’ve been the nation’s top-ranked 1-loss team, but after winning the Big Ten last season, they figured it was a good idea to give control back to Ohio State.

And finally, USF.  The Bulls used an off week to their advantage and moved up 1 whole spot to #24.  With so little of the regular season remaining, it seems highly unlikely USF would be able to get near the top of the Big East standings.  In fact, with Cincy and Pitt winning, it became mathematically impossible for the Bulls to win the conference.  Even if they both lost their remaining Big East games, both teams hold the tiebreaker over the Bulls.  But USF can have a respectable finish and continue their rise up the standings.  At this point, the Bulls have to be shooting for that elusive 10-win season.  It’s not out the question and all starts with Rutgers on Thursday night.