The ninth week of college football saw the top 5 teams in the AP Top 25 poll give any and all opponents notice that they are not moving down easily.
No. 1 Texas hosted undefeated No. 7 Oklahoma State and won 28-24 while holding the Cowboys to nearly half their 7-game scoring average of 46 points. In 4 of their 7 wins, Oklahoma State had scored 56, 57, 55 and 56 points in consecutive games. The Cowboys played hard, but in the end the Longhorns refused to lose.
No. 2 Alabama traveled to unranked Tennessee, and the Crimson Tide moved on, beating the Volunteers 29-9. Tennessee may be the best 3-5 team in the country. Few people realize that the Vols rank 14th nationally in running defense, 17th in scoring defense and 17th in passing defense.
No. 3 Penn State traveled to No. 10 Ohio State and took down one of the best defenses in the nation in a thrilling 13-6. The Nittany Lions had played their first 6 games before facing Wisconsin on the road and Michigan at home. Many pundits thought his schedule was weak compared to the Buckeyes. not so JoPa’s team left Ohio State with a 9-0 record.
Less well known was the fact that while the Buckeyes were ranked in the top 25 teams statistically in 5 defensive categories, the Nittany Lions were also ranked in the top 25 in the same categories. Additionally, Penn State was in the Top 25 in another defensive category and two more offensive categories. Ohio State will not play in the BCS national championship this year.
No. 4 Oklahoma traveled to unranked Kansas State and won the game in the first half, 55-28. Kansas won in the second half, 7-3. The final was 58-35. Suffice it to say that the defense was nowhere in sight.
No. 5 Florida hosted Kentucky and led the Wildcats to school in a 63-5 game that some thought would never end soon enough.
The number 6 from Southern California managed to edge out an unranked Arizona State team 2-5, 17-10, an unimpressive victory. No. 8 Texas Tech was impressive along the way, beating No. 19 Kansas in another 63-21 win. Tech led 56-14 after three quarters. No. 9 Georgia traveled to No. 11 Louisiana State and won 52-38.
The rest of the AP Top 25 winners didn’t create much of a stir. It was No. 13 Boise State over San Jose State 33-16, No. 15 Texas Christian over Wyoming 54-7, No. 16 Missouri over Colorado 58-0, No. 18 Brigham Young over UNLV 42-35, No. 20 Ball State over Eastern Michigan 38-16, No. 22 Tulsa over Central Florida 49-19, No. 24 Florida State over Virginia Tech 30-20 and No. 25 Minnesota over Purdue 17-6.
Other Top 25 teams that lost to unranked teams included No. 14 South Florida to Louisville 24-20, No. 17 Pittsburgh to Rutgers 54-34, No. 21 Georgia Tech to Virginia 24-17 and No. 23 Boston College to North Carolina 45-24. No. 12 Utah was inactive this week.
The only 8 undefeated teams left are Texas, Alabama, Penn State, Texas Tech, Utah, Boise State, Ball State, and Tulsa.
When the new AP Top 25 list for week 10 came out, 4 teams were missing: No. 17 Pittsburgh, No. 19 Kansas, No. 21 Georgia Tech, and No. 23 Boston College. They were all losers this week and then they’re gone.
New to this year’s list was Maryland at No. 25, and returning to the Top 25 from earlier in the season were No. 21 North Carolina, No. 22 Michigan State and No. 23 Oregon.
Week 10 of college football will be a pretty loose schedule with two exceptions. An undefeated team will lose for the first time when No. 1 Texas (8-0) invades No. 6 Texas Tech (8-0). The Red Raiders understand that to be No. 1 you have to beat No. 1. Texas got 100% of the first-place votes in the AP Poll.
Another big test will be finding No. 5 Florida (6-1) traveling to No. 8 Georgia (7-1). Most other teams play a lot of shoving.
Copyright © 2008 Ed Bagley