1. Texas. By a bull's nose, but you could be looking at USC here, as well.
2. USC. Continued horror from whistle to whistle. And you will know them from their trail of dead.
3. Alabama. Dares the death of their undefeated season each time their offense takes the field. Which could mean a lot or nothing since Bama has a history of winning out without needing pesky things like offense and such--see entry for Barker, Jay.
4. Mi-ah-mi. So good this week we had to bring out the Keith Jackson pronunciation for the 'Canes, who busted out the pipes on an evidently overrated Virginia Tech team and destroyed another Beamer team's title hopes late in the season. We said last week on Sports Bloggers Live that we didn't think Miami had a killer instinct anymore, which should serve as a reminder as to why we don't get paid to do this.
Trick Daddy telling us to shut up after watching Miami's thug holiday in Blacksburg.
5. LSU. Still a total mystery of a team: are they the unstoppable zombie of a Nick Saban team, talent cruising despite Les Miles' sometimes questionable coaching? The team we've learned the least about despite watching them three times before November, unless you count finding out that Marcus Randall JaMarcus Russell had Fats Domino sleeping on his couch during Katrina as learning something.
6. Notre Dame. Getting scary. The fourth quarter of the Tennessee game was cruelty, with Weis' squad just waiting for Tennessee to drown in a sea of their own ineptitude. Their investment in the unstoppable Eastern European athlete has been the difference.
7. Penn State. For once we agree with Beano--the story of the year. We have a feeling this is about as high as they'll get, but watching codgers Paterno and OC Galen Hall go for one last ride warms the cockles of our hollow heart. This machine runs on talented freshman, Metamucil, and the delicious taste of strained peas.
8. Virginia Tech. Hoping the Blacksburg illuminati kept Mexico the Younger away from the healing arms of underage girls following their hammering Saturday night.
9. Georgia. Shockley's injury is the story of their year. Without it they're sitting in the top five.
10. Ohio State. Some people feed off misery and bad weather. Not surprisingly, Jim Tressel is one of them.
11. Oregon. Rumors of Mike Bellotti's demise were indeed premature, thanks largely to Gary Crowton's bouillabaise of an offense. They could even bust out the panic yellow unis if they wanted to--that's how well they're playing right now. A team no one will want to face in a bowl game at the end of the year.
12. Auburn. Another late-season charger that Georgia's coming up on at the wrong, wrong time.
13. UCLA. The entire team just woke up next to a burned-down meth lab in Scottsdale covered in dust and blood. You lose that badly to an unranked team, you get scorched in the poll.
14. Florida. Survive and advance! Fixing to get into another shootout on the road against Football Lucifer, but may be more prepared for this than people think. Nevertheless, the secondary's gonna get scorched for the second week in a row.
15. Texas Tech. Just like their coach, chugging along on a diet of cupcakes.
16. West Virginia. The best coaching job of Rich Rodriguez's life, even if it is the Big East.
17. Fresno State. Mustaches win, baby--Pat Hill's going to give USC the toughest five minutes of fight they've seen this year, after which the Trojans will stare really hard at the Bulldogs and make them burst into flames.
18. Florida State. Probably should be a spot or two higher, but we'll be completely transparent here: sometimes your personal hatred for a team influences your voting. Lucky for us, FSU's making the move down the polls a little easier on us with their deplorable play.
19. Georgia Tech. Gailey will dither them out of the poll before the year ends. Their remaining games? Miami and Georgia, which they will both lose in spectacular fashion.
20. TCU. Roll Horned Frogs, roll.
21. Michigan. Finally in rhythm. Credit happy kittens for success.
22. Northwestern. The most entertaining team in the nation this year.
23. Louisville. Does anything make sense toward the bottom of the poll? No, not really.
24. South Carolina. Our first largely ceremonial vote, followed shortly thereafter by...
25. UCF. The other freaky coaching job this year has been O'Leary's 6-3 turnaround of a team that had lost their previous 17 in a row.