With three top-ten teams going down (Alabama, Utah Utes, and Oklahoma Sooners), tomorrow's BCS, AP, and Coaches' Poll college football rankings are going to be a whole new world, no Princess Jasmine. Who fills the gap left by No. 5 Utah and No. 6 Alabama? Last week's No. 7, Nebraska, would have dibs, but needing overtime to beat the Iowa St. Cyclones foregoes all that. Expect LSU to leap Nebraska into the top five. I'd put LSU ahead of Boise, too, but nobody cares what I think.
While one-loss Utah could linger very near the top ten, it's hard to picture them remaining all that close to single digits. The Utes simply haven't beaten anybody of national repute, and got absolutely smoked by an all-around superior TCU team. Stanford and Ohio State could fill top-ten gaps vacated by Utah and Oklahoma, but don't be astounded if Bama's fall stops at No. 10.
At this moment the Missouri Tigers trail the Texas Tech Red Raiders 24-17 in the fourth quarter, but I'm not sure if Mizzou would be ranked ahead of Bama even if they're able to come back -- the Tide has beaten three ranked teams and lost to two others, both on the road. Missouri is 1-1 against ranked teams, and that Oklahoma win just lost major luster.
Among the three, Stanford has had the most recent and imposing success, blasting (as of this typing) the No. 15 Arizona Wildcats tonight after shutting out the Washington Huskies on the road. If they do beat Zona they'll have completed a four-game winning streak after losing to the nation's current No. 1 -- not a bad resume at all.
The Buckeyes seemingly haven't played in like a month, but they did paste the Purdue Boilermakers and Minnesota Golden Gophers in back-to-back weeks by a combined 101-10 after losing to Wisconsin. Human voters will likely take comfort in returning to the Buckeye brand over any other one-loss options.
So, here's something like what we might be staring down the barrel of:
- Oregon Ducks
- Auburn Tigers
- TCU Horned Frogs
- Boise St. Broncos
- LSU Tigers
- Wisconsin Badgers
- Nebraska Cornhuskers
- Stanford Cardinal
- Ohio St. Buckeyes
- Alabama Crimson Tide