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We’re happy to say that for the most part we were spot on this week in the games. Those that we put on upset watch, were indeed there for a reason, and those we thought would be blowouts, well, they were. There were a few mild surprises, buton the whole we weren’t particularly astonished by any of the results this week.  Outside of BYU collapsing against TCU (which we aluded to), there weren’t that many shockers.  The lower portion of the Top 25 did get shuffled, with 4 teams dropping out, the most of any week so far.

The interesting thing about this part of the season, is that usually that low hanging morning fog that lingers over the first 6 weeks, begins to lift and the future begins to take shape. Next week will be a tremendously critical week for many teams, so pay close attention to the “Next Week” games as you read through. Now on to the new Kathman-Patton top 25.

#1 Texas (7-0). Defeated Missouri (5-2) 56-31 in Austin. Next week: Oklahoma State (7-0) at home. This game went down like we thought, only to a greater degree. Missouri still has offense, but not much defense. Texas, showed vulnerability defensively, as they did against Oklahoma, but their defensive line dominated enough to get the win. Colt McCoy looked like a legit Heisman candidate going 29/32 for 237 and 2 TDs.

#2 Alabama (7-0). Defeated Mississippi (3-4) 24-20 at home. Next week: At Tennessee (3-4). The Tide struggled and had to stifle a late comeback by Ole Miss to win at home. We drop Alabama this week, strickly because we still haven’t seen this team perform well except for one half against Georgia. Alabama QB John Parker Wilson threw for 218 yards and 2 TDs.

#3  Oklahoma (6-1). defeated Kansas (5-2) 45-31 at home. Next week: At Kansas State (4-3). OU, as expected, came out and performed well, but still showed a pretty vulnerable pass defense. Sooner QB Sam Bradford was 36-for-53 for 468 yards and three touchdowns. Kansas QB Todd Reesing was 24/41 for 342 yards, 2 TDs but two costly interceptions.

#4 Penn State (8-0). Defeated Michigan (2-5) 46-17. Next week: At Ohio State (7-1). Penn State started slow in this game, trailing 17-14 at halftime, but outscored Michigan 32-0 in the second half. The Nittany Lions had a near perfect balanced offense, 251 passing and 231 rushing. Showdown time next week.

#5 USC (4-1). Defeated Washington State (1-7) 69-0. Next week: At Arizona (5-2). As advertised, we expected this to get ugly fast, and it did. The story is sweet and simple. Mark Sanchez threw for 253 yards and 5 TDs…in the first HALF.  Nuff said.

#6 Texas Tech (7-0). Defeated Texas A&M (2-5) 43-25. Next week: At Kansas (5-2). The Raiders looked somewhat lackidasical in the first half against A&MM, turning the ball over twice leading to 10 Aggie points, but the defense looked much better. However, Ruffin McNeil’s bend but not break defense might not hold up in the next 4-game stretch against Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma State and Oklahoma. The Raiders offense pretty much abandoned the running game and looked like teams of year’s past, with QB Graham Harrell going 44/56 for 450 yards and 3 TDs.

#7 Florida (5-1). Did not play. Next week: Kentucky (5-2) at home. We’re not as convinced about the Gators as the pollsters are, apparently, so we’ll wait until next week to see if they can put back to back games together.

#8 Ohio State (7-1). Defeated Michigan State (6-2) 45-7 at MSU. Next week: Penn State (8-0) at home. The Buckeyes continue their turnaround by dominating a previously impressive Spartan team on the road. Frankly, this was probably the only huge surprise on the day, as we thought this game would be closer.  We don’t think we overvalued MSU, but probably undervalued Tyrelle Pryor and the OSU defense. Chris “Beanie” Wells had another big rushing day, going for 140 yards and 2 TDs. Next week’s clash with PSU will be THE game of the year for both teams.

#9 Oklahoma State (7-0). Defeated Baylor (3-4) 34-6 at home. Next week: At #1 Texas (7-0). OSU came back strong again after the emotional win over Missouri last week. The Cowboys scored on four straight possessions beginning in the 1st Quarter, and never looked back. QB Zac Robinson was 13/20 for 238 and two TD’s to pace the offense. OkSt plays perhaps the biggest game of their program next week in Austin.

#10 Georgia (6-1). Defeated Vanderbilt (5-2) 24-14 at home. Next week: At LSU (5-1). The Bulldogs continue to do workman-like performances, but lack impressiveness. We expected a bit of a bigger victory here but were satisfied with their effort. Georgia freshman receiver A.J. Green had 132 yards on 7 catches to lead the offensive performances.

#11 LSU (5-1). Defeated South Carolina (5-3) 24-17 at SC. Next week: #10 Georgia (6-1) at home. LSU bounced back after their less than mediocre outing against Florida a couple of weeks ago, but still remain an enigma. Down 17-10 at the half, the Tigers were able to hold SC scoreless and get 3 turnovers to spark a rally. QB Jarett Lee continues to struggle, going 16/26 for 189 yards and 2 intereceptions. Showdown this week with Georgia either makes or breaks LSU’s season.

#12 TCU (7-1). Defeated Brigham Young (6-1) 32-7 at home. Next week: Wyoming (2-2) at home. We’ll go on record saying we thought this game was ripe for upset, and sure enough, we saw the real BYU come out.  TCU dominated both on offense and defense the entire game. The real story was not necessarily the great play of TCU, but the true colors of BYU.  It’s obvious their ranking has been exaggerated. However, let’s DO hand it to TCU for a solid overall performance.

#13 Utah (8-0). Defeated Colorado State (3-4) 49-16 at home. Next week: Bye. Utah continued its consistent play soundly defeating a lackluster Ram team. The Utes put up almost 550 yards of total offense, with RBs Corbin Loucks (109 yards, 2 TDs) and Matt Asiata (49 yards and 2 TDs) led a 327 yard rushing attack.

#14 Boise State (6-0). Defeated Hawaii (3-4) 27-7 at home. Next week: At San Jose State (5-2). BSU remained undefeated at home against a stubborn Hawaii team.  QB Kellen Moore had another big night, throwing for 256 yards and 3 TDs.

#15 Tulsa (7-0). Defeated UTEP (3-4) 77-35 at home. Next week: Central Florida (2-4) at home. QB David Johnson had a field day against UTEP going 21/27 (78%) for 434 yards and 5 TDs for a passing rating of 266.50.  The Golden Hurricane continues to raise eyebrows.

#16 Missouri (5-2). Lost to#1 Texas (7-0) 56-31 in Austin.  Next week: Colorado (4-3) at home. How the mighty have fallen!. Early in the season we became concerned about Missouri’s pass defense, but thought that it would eventually get better. Seems it hasn’t.  There’s not much wrong with Chase Daniels and the offense, but oh my, this team will need to get its defensive act together, or we’re back to normal in the Big-12 North with no team capable of rising to the South’s dominance. However, all is not lost, there’s not much more challenge for the Tigers, which means we’ll see them in the Big-12 Championship game where they could play spoiler to a possible National Championship.

#17 South Florida (6-1). Defeated Syracuse (1-6) 45-13 at home. Next week: At Louisville (4-2). Nice to see the Bulls put a good game together, even it was against the hapless Orangemen. QB Matt Grothe was 19/26/fr 248 yards and 3 TDs,  and ran for another 72 yards and a TD.

#18 Brigham Young (6-1). Lost to #12 TCU (7-1) 32-7 in Fort Worth. Next week: UNLV (3-4) at home. We can’t emphasize enough how we were disappointed in BYU’s collapse.  We’ll have to see if this is the real Cougar team or just an anomaly.

#19 Florida State (5-1). Defeated North Carolina State (2-5) 26-17 at NC State. Next week: #25 Virginia Tech (5-2) at home. Nothing has really turned heads in the ACC this years, each week producing disappointments and disbeliefs.  However, we like the direction that FSU is going. The Seminoles seem to have found a productive leader in QB Christian Ponder who threw 23/35 for 254 yards and 1 TD. Credit also a tough defense to the mix. Coach Bowden may be on to something, if something is to be flaunted in the ACC this year.  We’ll see next week against VT.

#20 Kansas (5-2). Lost to #4 Oklahoma (6-1) 45-31. Next week: #6 Texas Tech (7-0) at home. Kansas did their best to keep up with Oklahoma, and very nearly did. However, whereas the Jayhawks had been able to come from behind their last two games, coming from behind against OU was a totally different story. Next week, they’ll play host to TTU, where we hear that the local airports will be grounding all air traffic to avoid conflicting with Harrell and Reesing.

#21 Pittsburgh (5-1). Defeated Navy (4-3) 42-21 at Navy. Next week: Rutgers (2-5) at home. In the Big East this year, it’s anyone’s game really, but certainly South Florida and Pitt are emerging as the top dogs. Pitt won the earlier match up, and they get a really nice win against a tough Navy squad.  The Panthers generated right at 500 yards of offense to spark a solid win that saw Pitt jump out to a 35-14 halftime lead and turn it over to the defense.

#22 Georgia Tech (6-1). Defeated Clemson (3-4) 21-17 at Clemson. Next week: Virginia (4-3) at home. Here’s yet another ACC team attempting to make some noise, but in a soundproof conference, even a little noise can be deafening. This was a sloppy game, but GT forced 6 Tiger turnovers to eek out the win.

#23 Virginia Tech (5-2). Lost to Boston College (5-1) 28-23 at BC. Next week: At Florida State (5-1). The Hokies had won 5 straight before this tough loss to BC.  Most pols dropped the Hokies out, but we still believe that they might possibly be one of best of the ACC (not saying muh tho).

#24 Michigan State (6-2). Lost to #9 Ohio State (7-1) 45-7 at home. Next week: At Michigan (2-5). We honestly dont know what happened to the Spartans this week, other than the fact that Ohio State just hit the ground going 200 mph and didnt stop. All isnt lost for Michigan State tho, since a 2 loss team certainly could be in play toward the end of the Big-10 season. However, there’s not alot of room at the top.

#25 Ball State (7-0). Did not play. Next week: Eastern Michigan (2-6) at home. The Cardinals finally got our attention, perhaps because we keep looking for teams that deserve to get into the Top 25.  We hardly think, like the pollsters, they deserve to be too high, however, a 7-0 record even in the MAC deserves note.

Dropping out: Vanderbilt, Wake Forest, North Carolina, California

On the Bubble: Arizona (5-2), Northwestern (6-1), Minnesota (6-1)

Most Impressive: Texas, USC, TCU

Least Impressive: BYU

Top 25 Composition: Big-12 (6), SEC (4), Big-10 (3), ACC (3), MWAC (3), Big East (2), WAC (1), MAC (1), C-USA (1), PAC-10 (1)

Special Note: Congratulations to the authors’ Alma Mater, Abilene Christian Univeristy Wildcats, the #2 Div II team in the nation, defeating the #4 West Texas A&M over the weekend 52-35. Running Back Bernard Scott, perhaps the top running back in Div II, ran for 259 yards.

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Well, it just goes to show you that you have to play em all. The top 10 (and the top 25) turned itself on end this week with some very impressive performances as well as some important upsets. Lack of performance by others added to the mix.

In the marquee game, Texas and Oklahoma battled hard offensively, producing the most points scored in the series. Texas, however, pulled away late, being able to take advantage of a late Sam Bradford interception. As far as OU is concerned, their defense dropped off perceptibly after their MLB went out with a season-ending knee injury.  It’s hard to tell if the sub will be fine in the long run (likely) or if their defense is permanently reduced to merely above average.  We certainly never envisioned Texas putting up 45 on ‘em.  McCoy played probably the best game of his life at just the right time.  OU could find themselves in that odd position Kansas did last year; a one loss-top ten team but not even in the conference title game.

The Mizzou outcome surprised us, though we knew their defense scared no one.  We had expected the Tigers to win a 48-35 kind of game, kinda like Texas-OU turned out. But kudos to Coach Gundy and his QB Zac Robinson for exploting the Tiger defense where Illinois couldn’t in week one, and forcing Chase Daniel into a gunslinger mode, rather than the calm, cool Heisman candidate.

In another key matchup, Penn State did take care of business in Wisconsin, winning a critical road game over the Badgers to get to 7-0. Coach Paterno, even from the booth seems to still have it goin on!. Interesting to note that in his first 18 games, Coach Bielema was 17-1; since then he’s 7-7.  That has all the earmarks of not being able to sustain the recruiting level.  He’ll finish out this year, and probably be fine next year as well, but if he keeps coaching .500 ball after that, it’s gonna get uncomfortable in Madison.

Where did MissSt muster enough offense to score 17?  LSU got a wake up call.  While one of their DE’s stayed home with injury, the rest of the defense was there & held Tebow in check from a running standpoint.  But Fla finally got enough contributions from others to bust out offensively, limited the turnovers, and revealed the Bayou Bengal offense to be…well…merely above average.  That’s one trend you can’t tell about by getting to see them once or twice a year; their defense quite often gives them a short field, so you don’t know if the offense can regularly sustain long drives.  Turns out they can’t, at least against a really good defense.

Oh, and while they aren’t anyone’s idea of a Top 25 threat, note that Ol’ Miss upset a Top 25 team for the second consecutive week.  Houston Nutt continues to convert new disciples to the Rebel cause, while Razorback fans spend yet another week trying to remember what it was about him they didn’t like.

On a bit of a somber note, Cinderella-would-be Vanderbilt was unable to go 6-0 for the first time since 1928, as they lost to Mississippi State.

So, on to the new rankings. When so many things happen in one week, it causes all of us pollsters to give a thought about the state of things overall, and re-evaluate. We are sure that many of you will have a couple of eyebrows curl, but keep in mind that when so much happens in one week, and the BCS rankings iminent, its time for everyone to re-evaluate and re-rank according to where we are right now.

#1 Texas (6-0). Defeated #4 Oklahoma (5-1) 45-35 in Dallas. Next week: #11 Missouri at home. We’ll admit that the Longhorns are much better than we ever thought they’d be this year. We’ll also admit that we must begin to think of the combo of Colt McCoy, Quan Cosby and Jordan Shipley, might be superior to anything that Missouri or Texas Tech or anyone else can put up. Credit also the Texas Defense in rising to the occasion when it had to. Too many losses in the top 5 make Texas’ ascension natural.

#2 Alabama (6-0). Did not play. Next week: Mississippi (3-3) at home. Well, with the implosion by Missouri, the Crimson Tide can stay here for another week, but we’re still skeptical.

#3 Penn State (7-0). Defeated Wisconsin (3-3) 48-7 in Wisconsin. Next week: Michigan (2-4) at home. for those of you (and you know who you are) that have been waiting for the Nittany Lions to play a tough team on the road, I wonder if this might qualify? While we don’t think that Wisconsin is anywhere near a top 25 team, they were ranked high earlier, and with P.J. Hill, always are a threat. In this game however, it was perhaps one of the most impressive performances overall by a top 10 team we’ve seen this year. Daryll Clark was 16/25 for 244 yards and a TD, and added two more rushing TDs.

#4 Oklahoma (5-1). Lost to Texas (6-0) 45-35 at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. Next week: #15 Kansas at home. Despite a 387-yard passing day by Sam Bradford, the Sooners can’t stop Texas. The OU Defense needs much improvement. This is still a very dominant team, and good enough to get to the title game despite the loss.

#5 Brigham Young (6-0). Defeated New Mexico (3-4) 21-3 at home. Next week: At #22 TCU (6-1). BYU was business-like in disposing of New Mexico, with QB Max Hall going 22/34 for 258 yards. Slightly underachieving by the Cougars, but there was never any doubt in the game.

#6 USC (4-1). Defeated Arizona State (2-4) 28-0 at home. Next week: At Washington State (1-5). In a game marred by 9 turnovers (5 by USC), the Trojans dominated and throttled the Sun Devils in every possible way. All in all it was a bit of a lackluster performance, but ASU has fallen so far, it was not only a poor game, it was a low energy game also. Sanchez, who was questionable for most of the week, was 13/26 for 179 yards but three interceptions. The Stars of the game were the USC defense who perhaps played the best game of their year.

#7 Florida (5-1). Defeated #12 LSU (4-1) 51-21 at home. Next week: Bye. The Gator offense finally erupted, and did so in a major way against an inept LSU Tiger team. The once defensive juggernaut of LSU had no answer to the vicious assault of a well balance offensive attack. Tebow pulled a modest 14/21 for 210 yards, while Freshman RB Jeffrey Demps ran for 129 yards and scored on a 42-yd run. With a rejuvenated offense, and Kentucky and Georgia still on the schedule, who would have thought that the Gators could still make a run at the SEC East and perhaps a title.

#8 Texas Tech (6-0). Defeated Nebraska (3-3) 37-31 in overtime at home. Next week: Texas A&M (2-4) at home. The Raiders move down, yes down, following what we thought was a pure lucky win, and a scary defense that merits their drop more. The pure magnitude of how Nebraska dominated the Tech defense was remarkable. The Raiders, giving up 471 yards of offense, had no defensive answers, except a gimme interception in overtime that sealed the win. Graham Harrell was 20/25 for 284 yards (we can’t remember the last time he threw for less than 300) and Michael Crabtree had 89 yards receiving and 2 TDs.  We think that Coach Leach needs to teach his high-power offense how to be a defensive weapon by staying on the field longer so that his D won’t be gassed at the end of the game. One thing is for sure, however, if Tech doesn’t find a defense, they’ll finish 4th in the Big-12 South and way out of the top 25. Oh by the way, get rid of Corona…easily the worst kicker in the country.

#9 Ohio State (6-1). Defeated Purdue (2-4) 16-3 at home. Next week: At #17 Michigan State (6-1). OSU had a hit and miss offense, but the defense was solid and special teams got a blocked punt returned for a touchdown to allow the Buckeyes

#10 Georgia (5-1). Defeated Tennessee (2-4) 26-14 at home. Next week: #23 Vanderbilt (5-1) at home. The Bulldogs generated over 450 yards of total offense, and though the Volunteers defense got 2 interceptions of Matt Stafford, the Georgia offense was too much. The Dawg defense held Tenn to 209 total yards.

#11 Missouri (5-1). Lost to #12 Oklahoma State (6-0) 28-23 at home. Next week: At #1 Texas. Watching this game was truly painful. We’ve been harping on the fact that in week 1 Illinois exposed a very vulnerable Missouri defense. Each week, Missouri has been scoring enough to win, but this was the first quality opponent since the Illini, and our doubts still aren’t allayed. Cowboy QB Zac Robinson used a variety of receivers to pick apart the Mizzou defense. Chase Daniels had a statistically significant night going 39/52 for 390 yards, but had three interceptions.

#12 Oklahoma State (6-0). Defeated #11Missouri (5-1) 28-23 in Columbus. Next week: Baylor (3-3) at home. We commented above on the game above, and we’ll see which team goes up in the next few weeks

#13 LSU (4-1). Lost to #8 Florida (5-1) 51-21. Next week: At South Carolina (5-2). See above under #8 Florida. Not a great night for LSU.

#14 Utah (7-0). Defeated Wyoming (2-5) 40-7 at Wyoming. Next week: Colorado State (3-3) at home. The Cowboys came into the game averaging 9 points per game, and they underachieved. Utah was perhaps one of the few top 25 teams to do exactly what was expected. Statistically it was a draw however, with the Cowboys actually out gaining the Utes in total offense. However, they gave up 2 fumbles and 3 interceptions that helped the runaway Ute train.

#15 Kansas (5-1). Defeated Colorado (3-3) 30-14 at home. Next week: At #4 Oklahoma (5-1). Todd Reesing again had to rally the Jayhawks from an early deficit. However, this one was much less (7 points). The KU QB was 27/34 for 256 yards, a TD and no interceptions. Jayhawk RB Jake Sharp had 119 yards on 31 carries and 3 TDs.

#16 Boise State (5-0). Defeated Southern Mississippi (2-4) 24-7 at So Miss. Next week: Hawaii at home (Friday). BSU QB Kellen Moore threw three touchdown passes leading the Broncos to an easy win, with a scoring flurry in the second quarter. There’s not alor more to say, except that Southern Mississippi fell to 1-8 all-time at home against ranked teams.

#17 Michigan State (6-1). Defeated Northwestern (5-1) 37-20 at Northwestern. Next week:#10 Ohio State (6-1). Despite 459 yards of total yards by the previously undefeated Northwestern Wildcats, MSU took advantage of 3 turnovers and a 124 yard performance by Javon Ringer (2 TDs) to pace the victory.

#18 Virginia Tech (5-1). Did not play. Next week: At Boston College (4-1).

#19 South Florida (5-1). Did not play. Next week: Syracuse (1-5) at home.

#20 North Carolina (5-1). Defeated Notre Dame (4-2) 29-24 at home. Next week: At Virginia (3-3). We can only say that this was an epic win for NC over a much improved Notre Dame team. The Tar Heels had to rally from a 17-9 halftime deficit, and then survive a last minute drive that came down to a recovered fumble to end the game. Quan Sturdivant had the momentum-changing 32-yard interception return to start the third quarter, only to be answered by a TD by the Irish. NC scored the winning TD at the beginning of the 4th quarter and their defense held on.

#21 Wake Forest (4-1). Defeated Clemson (3-3) 12-7 at home. Next week: At Maryland (4-2). There was a thought in putting the Demon Deacons into the top 25 last week, but we just couldn’t do that on a loss. The fact is that WF has played solidly every week and sports a mean, fast defense. QB Riley Skinner has had his ups and downs, but certainly his 4th quarter leadership and TD makes up for alot of ills. We’re still not seein a clear cut leader in the ACC, but at least defensively the Deacons have got to be at the top.

#22 TCU (6-1). Defeated Colorado State (3-3) 13-7 in Fort Collins. Next week: #5 Brigham Young (6-0) at home. In a less than inspiring performance, TCU found a way to put up 317 yards of total offense and only 13 points. Turnovers seemed to keep the game score low (2 for TCU and 3 for CSU).

#23 Vanderbilt (5-1). Lost to Mississippi State (2-4) 17-14 in Starkville, MS. Next Week: At #10 Georgia. As previously mentioned, the Commodores couldn’t snuff the 80 year old curse and go 6-0. This was a game where Vandy could only manage 107 yards of total offense, and MSU still only won by three. Two costly interceptions hurt scoring efforts.

#24 California (4-1). Did not play. Next week: At Arizona (4-2).

#25 Tulsa (6-0). Did not play. Next week: UTEP (3-3) at home. With the drop out of a couple of teams, its gotten down to looking for teams to fill the lower places, and Tulsa has it locked here.  We like the Golden Hurricanes a bit more than Pitt (4-1) and Ball State (7-0) right now, though that could change in a heartbeat.

Dropped from Top 25: Auburn, Wisconsin.

On the Bubble: Pitt (4-1), Ball State (7-0), Minnesota (6-1).

Most impressive: Texas, Florida, Oklahoma State

Least impressive: Texas Tech, LSU

Top 25 Composition: Big-12 (6), SEC (5), Big-10 (3), ACC (3), MWAC (3), Pac-10 (2), WAC (1), Big East (1), C-USA (1).

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