Sunday, October 3, 2010

Down Go The Longhorns, Up Go The Ducks

Move over Virginia Tech-- there are more powerhouses joining you in the world of the unranked.

The Texas Longhorns, after their 28-20 loss to the No. 6 Oklahoma Sooners in the Red River Rivalry, have fallen out of the rankings for the first time since Oct. 15, 2000. The ousting ended the Longhorns (3-2) nation-best 162 consecutive weeks in the rankings.

The new rankings kings are the No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes at 90 consecutive weeks and the No. 14 Florida Gators at 87 consecutive weeks. The Gators, however, got pummelled by the No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide, 31-6, so their streak could be in jeopardy with another loss. Will it happen next week? The Gators (4-1) play a tough one next week against the No. 12 LSU Tigers. We'll see.

Also dumped from the rankings were the Penn State Nittany Lions, after getting crushed, 24-3, by the Iowa Hawkeyes. The last time Penn State was out of the rankings was in Oct. 2007.

On the Boise State front--

The Broncos (4-0) won their game, 59-0, against New Mexico State but were leapfrogged in the rankings by the Oregon Ducks, who beat the Stanford Cardinals, 52-31. Oregon (5-0) is the new No. 3 and Boise State fell to No. 4, while Stanford (4-1) fell out of the Top 10 and landed at No. 16.

But getting leapfrogged is nothing new for Boise State. It's been happening to them ever since they became a part of the BCS conversation a few years ago. In fact, the Boise State heated debate is the cover story of the latest issue of Sports Illustrated.

And one thing I've noticed, the strength of schedule component has always been Boise State's Achilles heel. They could have beaten anemic New Mexico State 200-0 and it still wouldn't have been more impressive than Oregon putting up 52 against then-No. 9 Stanford. So getting leapfrogged because of their wins over weak opponents is something Boise State has learned to live with.


As for the Wisconsin Badgers, their dream season came crashing down after a tough, 34-24, loss to the surging Michigan State Spartans. With the loss, The Badgers (4-1) have fallen way back to No. 20, while the Spartans (5-0) climbed to No. 17.

And finally, on the "little guys" front--

The idle Utah Utes (4-0) have landed in the Top 10 at No. 10 by default, after Florida, Stanford and Wisconsin all lost and LSU got a gift 16-14 victory from mistake-prone Tennessee. The AP got it right by leapfrogging Utah over LSU because the Tigers should have very easily lost that game.

And last but not least, the Nevada Wolf Pack (5-0) continue to roll and are now ranked at No. 21. The ideal scenario for Nevada is to remain unbeaten until their late-November meeting against Boise State.

If this were to happen, then Nevada, for sure, will host it's biggest game ever.

Photos courtesy of the AP and SI

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