As always, this is neither a power poll or predictor of future success. It was also rather tough to fill out this week, as a cavalcade of one-loss teams clogged up the middle. A few more thoughts after the jump:
I wrote this last week and I think it has a chance to ring true again: the decision pollsters (and their electronic counterparts) will have to make on the final polls is whether to put one-loss Alabama/LSU loser in over undefeated Boise State. Oklahoma State has been a machine, but they haven't beaten the Sooners since 2002. Stanford survived at USC, but they have Oregon looming, as well as end-of-season games with the Irish and Sun Devils. The advantage for Stanford is that they'll play all of those games on their home field and have Andrew Luck, but I could still see them dropping one. I would love to see both the Cardinal and Cowboys go undefeated, as well as have LSU lose in triple-overtime Saturday night, just to see the BCS attempt to sort that out.
You can put those one-loss teams in almost any order you like after the Ducks, Sooners and Tigers. I'll take Nebraska, both because they just came off a nice win over the Huskers, their loss is legit (at Wisconsin) and their near-loss against Ohio State looks better when you consider that the Buckeyes are a real team when Braxton Miller is playing quarterback. South Carolina and Arkansas have been barely avoiding disaster, Kansas State just got housed and Virginia Tech hasn't really had a lot of chances for big wins after losing to Clemson a few weeks back. I'm not saying I trust Nebraska, I'm just saying I trust all of the one-loss teams slightly less.
By my calculations, Penn State's win over Illinois gave them their first win over both A) A team that was ranked at any point in the season and B) A win over a team that has a win over a team that's currently ranked. Penn State has a bye then closes with the Huskers, Buckeyes and Badgers, so they'll either earn their trip to the Big Ten title game or get pummeled out of the rankings in short order. Fret not, America.
I don't look at last week's rankings when doing this, so Arizona State and USC were intended to fall, they just sort of did. Same goes for Michigan and Penn State moving up. Sometimes the deltas just happen.
Landing just outside the top 25 were Texas, Washington, West Virginia, Virginia (why not?) and A&M.