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October 2004

October 27, 2004

Few Changes at the Top
College Football Top Teams Roll to Big Wins
posted by Rick Gagliano

There were few changes to the top of our weekly rankings as college football powerhouses Oklahoma, USC and Auburn all recorded lopsided victories while still-undefeated Miami and Wisconsin kept pace with solid wins.

While Oklahoma pounded Kansas, 41-10, USC destroyed Washington 38-0 and Auburn put a 42-10 hurt on Kentucky, Miami scored a key road win over NC State by a 45-31 tally in a game that was never really close, and Wisconsin took care of a determined bunch from Northwestern, 24-12 to round out the top 5 in our rankings.

Perhaps the most impressive win was Cal's 38-0 road win at Arizona as the Bears limited the Wildcats' freshman QB Richard Kovalcheck to 159 yards passing, allowing only 13 completions in 32 attempts (40%). The Bears also blocked a field goal attempt and intercepted a pass in a dominating performance.

The other undefeated, but not unforgotten teams, Utah and Boise State, also kept their records perfect, as the Utes clobbered UNLV 63-28 and Boise bested Fresno St. 33-16, in what could be the last real test for the Broncos. After this Friday's game against Hawaii, they take a week-long hiatus and resume on the 13th of November against San Jose State. After that, it's Louisiana Tech and Nevada to close out the season. Boise looks like they will finish the season without a blemish.

See the complete Top 25 below.

In light of what undefeated teams may do to the BCS rankings (besides blow them up), there is the potential for all seven teams now without a loss to finish that way. Oklahoma plays Oklahoma State this week and their only other big test will be against Texas A & M. USC has demoralized the remainder of the PAC-10, but their annual date with Notre Dame (Nov. 27) looms big. Auburn faces the roughest road, which may include having to play the Georgia Bulldogs twice - November 13 at home and possibly in the SEC Championship game.

The Tigers may well be up to the task, however. After winning a critical 10-9 contest against LSU, they have been on a roll, confidently smacking their next five opponents by a combined score of 199-50, including a thorough thrashing of Tennessee, 34-10. It was those very same Vols who handed Georgia its only loss, so the Tigers appear a quality opponent.

Wisconsin will be the first team to reach the undefeated season plateau if they can get by Minnesota and road games against Michigan State and Iowa on the first three Saturdays in November. The Badgers may be waving the #1 sign as early as nightfall on the 20th.

The Miami Hurricanes may have the roughest road to complete a perfect season. They have five games remaining, all against solid ACC competition, including Virginia, Wake Forest and Virginia Tech to close out the regular season.

So what if five, six or seven teams end their seasons without losses? The BCS, a poorly-conceived system designed solely to produce a "National Championship" game, will decide which two are worthy of the honor of even playing for it. The others - fans and media included - will have to just take their lumps and deal with it.

Potentially, a team like Boise State does not belong, but who's to judge that besides the players and coaches themselves, ON THE FIELD. College football is crying out for a playoff system now more than ever before. The BCS committees and the major conference honchos have had their heads in the sand far too long.

Consider that not only may 5-7 teams finish with perfect records this season, but as many as seven more may have only one loss. Louisville and Florida State both lost road games to Miami in the last minute, Michigan lost in week 2 to Notre Dame and since has won 6 straight including three against ranked opponents.

There are enough quality teams to make a 12-to-16-team tournament not only thrilling for the fans and the teams, but profitable for the schools while keeping the bowl system intact and potentially even improving upon it.

The BCS needs to wake up to the fact that this is not 1946, it's 2004 and college football teams and fans deserve something better than a phony device cooked up by six guys in suits and a computer in an air-conditioned office.

Here's hoping all the undefeated teams stay that way until December. Make those BCS guys sweat.

NCAA Top 25 POWER RANKING - Week ending 10/23
RankTeamRecordLast GameNext Game
1Oklahoma7-0W, 41-10 vs. Kansas10/30 at Oklahoma St.
2USC7-0W, 38-0 vs. Washington10/30 at Washington St.
3Auburn8-0W, 42-10 vs. Kentucky10/30 at Mississippi
4Wisconsin8-0W, 24-12 vs. Northwestern11/6 vs. Minnesota
5Miami (FL)6-0W, 45-31 at NC State10/30 at UNC
6California5-1W, 38-0 at Arizona10/30 vs. Arizona St.
7Florida State6-1W, 20-17 at Wake Forest10/30 at Maryland
8Utah7-0W, 63-28 vs. UNLV10/30 at San Diego St.
9Tennessee6-1W, 17-13 vs. Alabama10/30 at S. Carolina
10Michigan7-1W, 16-14 at Purdue10/30 vs. Michigan St.
11Georgia6-1W, 20-14 at Arkansas10/30 vs. Florida
12Louisville5-1W, 41-9 vs. S. Florida11/4 at Memphis
13Texas A & M6-1W, 29-26, OT vs. Colorado10/30 at Baylor
14Texas6-1W, 51-21 at Texas Tech10/30 at Colorado
15Boise St.7-0W, 33-16 vs. Fresno St.10/29 vs. Hawaii
16West Virginia6-1W, 27-6 vs. Syracuse10/30 at Rutgers
17Virginia Tech.5-2W, 62-0 vs. Florida A & M10/28 at Georgia Tech
18Purdue5-2L, 14-16 vs. Michigan10/30 at Northwestern
19LSU6-2W, 24-20 vs. Troy10/30 vs. Vanderbilt
20Virginia6-1W, 37-16 at Duke11/6 vs. Maryland
21Arizona State6-1W, 48-42 vs. UCLA10/30 at California
22Oklahoma State6-1W, 20-17 at Missouri10/30 vs. Oklahoma
23Iowa5-2W, 5-4 at Penn St.10/30 at Illinois
24Minnesota6-2W, 45-0 vs. Illinois10/30 at Indiana
25Boston College5-2W, 24-23 at Notre Dame11/6 vs. Rutgers
Honorable mention: Stanford, NC State, Southern Miss., Minnersota, Fresno St., Marshall, Missouri, South Carolina, Nebraska

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