And the wall came tumbling down! Al Dannity wades through the carnage in the Top 25 as two unbeatens fell and BCS Armageddon raised its ugly head.
1. LSU (10-0, 6-0 SEC, 7-3 ATS) After a tight first half, this turned out to be a routine win for the Tigers. The extended use of Jordan Jefferson left no doubt that he has won the starting spot from Jarrett Lee at quarterback. Last week: W 42-9 vs. Western Kentucky. Next game: Saturday at Mississippi.
2. Oklahoma State (10-0, 7-0 Big 12, 8-2 ATS) The offense ran riot in Lubbock but don’t ignore a defense that leads the nation in turnover margin. Last week: W 66-6 at Texas Tech. Next game: Saturday at Iowa State.
3. Alabama (9-1, 6-1 SEC, 7-3 ATS) Despite jumping two spots in these rankings, the Tide did themselves no favors in a dull win over the Bulldogs. If they want a rematch with LSU they may need to explode in the Iron Bowl. Last week: W 24-7 at Mississippi State. Next game: Saturday vs. Georgia Southern.
4. Oregon (9-1, 7-0 Pac-12, 6-4 ATS) That was a huge win over the Cardinal. Getting a re-match with the Tigers may be beyond reach for the Ducks. Last week: W 53-30 at Stanford. Next game: Saturday vs. USC.
5. Oklahoma (8-1, 5-1 Big 12, 6-3 ATS) The Sooners jump two spots in an idle week and could yet play their way into the BCS title game with a win in Bedlam. Voters will however be hard pressed to forgive that loss at home to the Red Raiders. Last week: Idle. Next game: Saturday at Baylor.
6. Stanford (9-1, 7-1 Pac-12, 9-1 ATS) The Pac-12 and BCS title hopes of the Cardinal evaporated on Saturday night. They could yet make the BCS but Stanford must win out first. Last week: L 53-30 vs. Oregon. Next game: Saturday vs. California.
7. Houston (10-0, 6-0 Conf. USA, 8-2 ATS) The Cougars have hit an extra gear but they face a tough road to finish line in their bid for a trip to the BCS. If they lose, the tumble down the rankings will be huge. Last week: W 73-17 at Tulane. Next game: Saturday vs. SMU.
8. Arkansas (9-1, 5-1 SEC, 6-4 ATS) Oh look, the Hogs are building up a head of steam as their date with LSU draws near. Now wouldn’t it be fun if we had a three-way tie in the SEC West? Last week: W 49-7 vs. Tennessee. Next game: Saturday vs. Mississippi State (at War Memorial Stadium).
9. Clemson (9-1, 6-1 ACC, 7-3 ATS) A narrow win over Wake Forest booked a spot in the ACC title game and sees the Tigers hold on at #9 in these rankings. Last week: W 31-28 vs. Wake Forest. Next game: Saturday at NC State.
10. Boise State (8-1, 3-1 MWC, 4-5 ATS) For the second year running the Broncos’ BCS hopes end on a missed field goal/ Last week: L 36-35 vs. TCU. Next game: Saturday at San Diego State.
11. Virginia Tech (9-1, 5-1 ACC, 3-7 ATS) Just like that the Hokies are back on course for a shot at redemption in a likely re-match with Clemson. Should they win that, they will surely rue the missed opportunity at a perfect season. Last week: W 37-26 at Georgia Tech. Next game: Thursday vs. North Carolina.
12. Georgia (8-2, 6-1 SEC, 7-3 ATS) The Dawgs only need to beat hapless Kentucky to secure an unlikely trip to the SEC title game. Quite the turnaround. Last week: W 45-7 vs. Auburn. Next game: Saturday vs. Kentucky.
13. Michigan State (8-2, 5-1 Big Ten, 6-4 ATS) The Spartans know the task ahead of them. Win out and they are in the Big Ten title game. Last week: W 37-21 at Iowa. Next game: Saturday vs. Indiana.
14. South Carolina (8-2, 6-2 SEC, 5-5 ATS) A 10 win season is still within reach but the Gamecocks know they had a shot at returning to Atlanta this season. Last week: W 17-12 vs. Florida. Next game: Saturday vs. Citadel.
15. Nebraska (8-2, 4-2 Big Ten, 3-6-1 ATS) They needed to hang on but that win at Penn State put Nebraska in the mix for a BCS at-large bid. Last week: W 17-14 at Penn State. Next game: Saturday at Michigan.
16. Wisconsin (8-2, 4-2 Big Ten, 7-3 ATS) The Badgers are back in the driver’s seat in the race to the Big Ten title game. Two more wins and they’re in. Last week: W 42-13 at Minnesota. Next game: Saturday at Illinois.
17. Kansas State (8-2, 5-2 Big 12, 8-2 ATS) It took triple-overtime but the Wildcats proved they belong in these rankings with a big win over the Aggies. Last week: W 53-50 vs Texas A&M. Next game: Saturday at Texas.
18. TCU (8-2, 5-0 MWC, 5-5 ATS) To all the non-believers out there, these Horned Frogs plan on making a big splash in the Big 12 next season. Last week: W 36-35 at Boise State. Next game: Saturday vs. Colorado State.
19. USC (8-2, 6-2 Pac-12, 6-4 ATS) It was tough not to move the Trojans up after an excellent display but the teams above them did too much to be ignored. Last week: W 40-17 vs. Washington. Next game: Saturday at Oregon.
20. Southern Mississippi (9-1, 5-1 Conf. USA, 7-3 ATS) Southern Miss just squeezed home against UCF and should have it easier against the Blazers on Thursday. Last week: W 30-29 vs. UCF. Next game: Thursday at UAB.
21. Penn State (8-2, 5-1 Big Ten, 2-7-1 ATS) The Nittany Lions took a big tumble following that home loss. Last week: L 17-14 vs. Nebraska. Next game: Saturday at Ohio State.
22. Arkansas State (8-2, 6-0 Sun Belt, 8-2 ATS) One more win and the Red Wolves will lock up at least a share of the Sun Belt title. Last week: W 30-21 vs. Louisiana Lafayette. Next game: Saturday at Middle Tennessee.
23. Michigan (8-2, 4-2 Big Ten, 7-3 ATS) Congratulations Brady Hoke on getting more wins in your first season than Rich Rodriguez managed in any of his three in Ann Arbor. Last week: W 31-14 at Illinois. Next game: Saturday vs. Nebraska.
24. Notre Dame (7-3, 5-5 ATS) The Fighting Irish creep up one spot. A home win over Boston College would ensure Brian Kelly’s troops outdo their regular season showing from 2010. Last week: W 45-21 at Maryland. Next game: Saturday vs. Boston College.
25. Virginia (7-3, 4-2 ACC, 4-5-1) The Cavaliers enter the rankings almost by default, as the only one of last week’s last five out not to lose. They face a tough trip to Tallahassee on Saturday. Last week: W 31-21 vs. Duke. Next game: Saturday at Florida State.
Last five out: Baylor, Florida State, San Diego State, Tulsa, West Virginia.