Here's what I'm feeling about the Top 25 as we close out October, and head into the final month (or so) of the regular season:
Also Considered: Oregon State, USC, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois
Explanation after the jump:
I took a similar approach to the ballot again:
1. I power-ranked the 5 undefeated teams
2. I power-ranked the one loss and two loss teams. Things get a little tricky though. For example, you have Wisconsin who beat Ohio State and Iowa, but lost to Michigan State (who lost to Iowa). So how do you rank them, you know? Basically, I look at all three teams pretty equally and put them all together. Same goes for the Big 12. You have Missouri which beat Oklahoma, but also lost to Nebraska. I put those three close to each other as well.
Lastly, I had a hard time ranking the last 5 teams or so. Some examples:
Is it fair to have USC drop out of the polls? I mean, I'd expect a team ranked in the 20-25 range to lose to the #1 team. At the same time, USC's signature win is against a bi-polar Cal squad.
When is it appropriate to rank Oregon State? Yes, they're 4-3, but their losses are to TCU, Boise State, and Washington (by 1 point). They do have a nice win against Arizona. The Beavers still have to face USC, Stanford, and Oregon. Clearly, they are playing the hardest schedule in America.
I probably shouldn't fret. A lot of this will sort itself out. Bottom line: this is all very fluid. In a given week, you could make an argument for probably 30-35 teams to be ranked in the Top 25, and they all cannot be there.