I have the feeling that my rankings might raise the ire of some folks, so I would like to start with a disclaimer/statement.
The TRS rankings are not a projection. They are an assessment of what has been done to this point.
If you are rooting for a team (cough cough Bama) who hasn't hit the meat of their schedule yet, please try not to get too excited. If you run the table, it will be reflected.
1. OHIO STATE BUCKEYES
The Buckeyes had the week off, with a pretty solid Indiana team up next. I don't give Indiana more than a puncher's chance in this one, and it is going to have to be a heck of a punch.
Oh hell, who am I kidding.
2. CLEMSON TIGERS
What a game!!!!
Clemson is not a perfect team, but they do have some heart. They have a couple of should-wins before FSU, which may or may not be a test. You know, depending on if FSU has found a defense by then.
3. LOUISVILLE CARDINALS
Louisville showed that they have guts to get back up after being punched in the mouth. Going into Death Valley and falling behind is pretty common. Coming back and bringing the game down to the end shows real guts.
I am not big on moral victories, but this loss doesn't do knock them down much.
4. ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE
Bama's next 4 include 3 in the rankings plus LSU who looked like a new team in their first game under coach Oeax. Oh yeah, and 3 of those are on the road. IF they run the table, they will likely jump to #1. If they do it convincingly, there will be no doubt.
Can they do it? Let's make the popcorn and find out.
5. HOUSTON COUGARS
Houston is too good for their conference. They are going to have to fight for respect till their showdown with Louisville on November 17th. If they want to keep themselves in contention for the playoff, they not only have to run the table, they have to blow everyone out.
To this point, that doesn't look like it is going to be a challenge. The hard part will be not having a letdown.
6. MICHIGAN WOLVERINES
It wasn't pretty, but beating Wisconsin was a big-time win.
Harbaugh has built a rare animal in Ann Arbor, a team that can play defense in the day of spread offenses and basketball on turf.
7. TEXAS A and M AGGIES
The next 2 weeks might be the season for the Aggies. First, the Volunteers come to town, and then they go to Bama. Both of these are going to be big-time tests for a surprising Aggie team, but if they can find a way they will be positioned to try to steal a spot in the playoff.
The problem is, what if they do and they win the SEC title.
Say, Clemson and the OSU or Michigan run the table. That leaves the Houston/Louisville Winner, the OSU/Michigan loser, and the SEC champ left. Toss in the fun option of Washington, if they can make it through the PAC unbeaten, and you have 4 teams fighting for 2 spots. Is it possible that the SEC gets left out if its' not Bama?
Probably not, but there may actually be a conversation, which would be strange.
Of course, I am not betting against Bama.
8. WASHINGTON HUSKIES
Well, that was a coming out party. I knew it wouldn't take too long for ol' Chris from Boise to get them going, but nobody does Stanford like the Huskies just did.
Now, Peterson is a very good coach, but that was not X's and O's.
He had better players. The linemen were more physical, and the skill positions players were faster.
The latter has been known to happen, but the former? The last time I saw that, Pete Carroll was still at USC.
9. WISCONSIN BADGERS
Well, the Badgers are real. Yup, they are real, but they aren't "beat Big Blue in the Big House" real.
That said, that front 4 can get it done.
10. TENNESSEE VOLUNTEERS
Tennessee has not been dominant, outside of Va Tech and a half against Florida.
They have been error-prone, and sloppy, but they have talent. Another think they have is wins over 3 likely bowl teams, with a chance for a fourth.
Up next? Bama and the Aggies. Much like we talked about the Aggies a few spots up, if the Vols can get these they are going to make a hell of a mess.
Oddly though, I have the feeling that if Tennessee wins the SEC, they will be in with little question. Those pre-sesason expectations still carry weight.
11. NEBRASKA CORNHUSKERS
12. WESTERN MICHIGAN BRONCOS
13. MIAMI HURRICANES
14. OLE MISS REBELS
15. FLORIDA GATORS
16. COLORADO BUFFALOES
17. OKLAHOMA STATE COWBOYS
18. ARKANSAS RAZORBACKS
19. SOUTH FLORIDA BULLS
20. TROY TROJANS
21. MARYLAND TERRAPINS
22. NORTH CAROLINA TARHEELS
23. UTAH UTES
24. MEMPHIS TIGERS
25. BAYLOR BEARS
26. FLORIDA STATE SEMINOLES
27. NORTH CAROLINA STATE WOLFPACK
28. AUBURN TIGERS
29. WAKE FOREST DEMON DEACONS
30. AIR FORCE FALCONS