Dropped Out: Florida State (#20), California (#25).
The top 8 stay the same this week, and most of the rest of the ballot only experiences minor shuffling. Of course, this is what you'd expect after a week in which none of the top teams were challenged, only one pair of AP ranked teams played each other (#25 South Carolina @ #4 Florida), and only a couple minor upsets occurred (both in the who-wants-to-win-it-not-me-how-about-you? ACC).
This weekend, however, promises a much better slate and a few more answers in several conference races.
- Penn State hosts Michigan State with the Land Grant Trophy and a Rose Bowl berth on the line. If Sparty can pull the upset, it would create a three-way tie atop the Big TEleveN, and probably send Ohio State to Pasadena.
- Texas Tech visits Oklahoma in a HUGE Big XII tussle. A Tech win gets them in the conference title game, whereas a loss creates a 3-wie tie atop the Big XII South. I really don't know who comes out on top there.
- BYU visits Utah in a game with BCS implications. Utah would basically secure a BCS bid with a win, while a loss would create, in what appears to be something of a recurring pattern, a 3-way tie for first.
- Oregon State puts its improbably Rose Bowl run on the line against Arizona in Tucson, a place where, in recent years, BCS dreams have gone to die.
- Some games will be played in the ACC. Favorites will lose, and I will continue to not pay any attention whatsoever.
- Meanwhile, Cincy and Pitt lead the Big East, and meet this weekend in Cincinnati to decide the front-runner. What bugs me about the Big East is that, because they only have 7 conference games, they can schedule up to 5 non-conference games, meaning if they line up a string of patsies, they can almost guarantee themselves a bowl berth. I don't care how tough your conference is, if you have a 1-6 conference record, you don't deserve to play in a bowl game.