This poll looks more like a war of attrition than moving up because of actual merit.
Oregon and Cal had a game for the ages once both teams woke up in the second half. Cal moves to #3 and I only dropped Oregon a few spots because I think they are still a dangerous team. SC will have their hands full with these two.
The Big East took a major hit with both WVU and Rutgers going down in defeat. South Florida is the real deal and WVU never saw it coming. Pat White having a thigh injury seemed to have the same effect as cutting off the head of a snake. Once he was out the Mountaineers wilted like frog on a hot rock. WVU takes a major hit in my poll because some of us saw this coming as they have struggled a bit defensively this season.
Rutgers bowed to the pressure of being in the top 10 letting Maryland beat them at home though Ray Rice did have a decent game. Having lived in Maryland for a time it made me happy to Big Ralph go on the road and get a big win. Rutgers takes the hit because they lost at home against a Maryland team that fell flat on their face against Wake.
I received a text message from a friend of mine who was at the Rutgers game shooting off his mouth about how Rutgers was "gunning for SC" and such. I let him stew until Monday morning and simply replied back with a text of my own simply saying, "you were saying?" He replied back about SC struggling against UW and that's when I set the hook. Now, my friend is also a Michigan fan so I simply replied back by stating the obvious that you couldn't spell Lloyd without two L's and one of those L's was App. St. I have yet to hear back from him...
Florida had their ticket punched by a less than stellar Auburn team with QB Brandon Cox at the helm. The Urbanator tried to ice the Auburn kicker by pulling a Shanahan rabbit out of his hat. It didn't work, as the Auburn kicker stuck the second kick better than the first and he quickly showed his displeasure with the Urbanator for trying to pull a schoolyard trick by sarcastically giving the Gator faithful the "Chomp" sign as he ran off the field. It seems that Auburn has the Gators number with their second straight victory. Florida has LSU next week in Baton Rouge so it will be interesting to see how the Gators respond.
Speaking of LSU they sleepwalked through their game against Tulane in the first half before finally waking up and getting their game together with some semblance of coherence. I mean come on, can't they schedule someone, anyone outside the state of Louisiana for a meaningful game. Those southern juggernauts of Middle Tennessee, Tulane and Louisiana Tech obviously improve LSU's strength of schedule. Hell Tulane is pretty much a home game as that is really no different than going to a friend's house for a sleep over. I also noticed Les Miles has been keeping his yap shut. Though he did rank USC at #1in the coach's poll. Better to let people think you're a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. They stay at #2.
Once again, I simply disagree with Kyle's assertion that LSU has "at this point in the season... LSU has played, and beaten convincingly, a higher caliber of competition." as I discussed here.
I don't know what to think about the Oklahoma loss other than they just caught looking ahead to Texas. Colorado is an improving team but Stoops should have known better to keep his team focused. Texas didn't just lose they were smoked at home by K State. There is something eerily familiar to this team, like they are playing like before they had Vince Young. Mack is probably safe but OC Greg Davis is once again on the hot seat.
Now about USC, as I noted yesterday SC's win obviously wasn't pretty but it was dominant. Even with all the penalties, some legit some not. Even with all the miscues SC had their way with UW. Every team has its tough games, so while SC beat Washington by a mere 3 points the numbers don't lie, SC dominated UW even with all the mistakes. This SC team has a glimmer of the old championship teams, and they don't even know how good they are/can/will be yet. They kind of have that naive 2002 feel before the 8-game winning streak when it was clear USC had a good team but just how good could they be? But also a bit of that 2004 team where you knew things would be sluggish early but if they got it together they'd be gold in a title match-up with the right opponents. Now, I don't know if this team will put it together like that - the schedule's ridiculously backloaded - but they have a glimmer of it.
I don't think SC is out of the woods yet but they have done what they should have done, beat the teams in front of them. It hasn't always been pretty but it can't be perfect all of the time.