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The TCR Top 40: No, The Illini Did Not Make It

The Champaign Room Top 40 thinks Top 25 polls are for wimps

Now I know what you were thinking the moment that last second ticked off the clock and the Illini had beaten Purdue on Saturday: "how high will the Illini climb in the TCR Top 40 this week?" A natural question to ask yourself, and possibly the most important question you've ever asked yourself.

And the answer to that question was seven spots. The Illini climbed seven spots. Unfortunately for the Illini those seven spots weren't nearly enough to crack the top 40 since they were 56 spots behind #40 coming into the week. Sadly, a win over the NUrds this week won't be enough, either, though it would at least lead to the Illini passing Northwestern in the rankings.

But that's enough about the Illini, let's get to these teams that don't matter.

1. Florida State (Last week: 1)

Florida State's lead actually got bigger this week even though it only played Idaho, and that's because of who Alabama played. So the Seminoles didn't take as big a hit to their schedule strength as Alabama did. However, it's not all good news for the Noles...

2. Alabama (2)

... because Alabama's final two games will be against Auburn and either Missouri or South Carolina. All three of whom are currently ranked in the top ten of the current BCS standings. So should Alabama win both of those games they'll likely pass Florida State here, and although the two will get to actually settle it on the field, a BCS title isn't nearly as valuable as being the TCR Top 40 Champion.

3. Ohio State (4)

I actually voted for Urban Meyer for coach of the year this season, though I don't think he has any realistic shot of winning. It's just that while I was watching Baylor get destroyed on Saturday night it served as a very good reminder of just how fucking hard it is for a college football team to go through the regular season undefeated. Not even Alabama has been able to do it recently. Meyer's Buckeyes are a win over Michigan away from going two straight seasons without a loss. That's not an accident.

4. Oklahoma State (8)

Yeah, if you beat the hell out of the #3 team you're going to jump into the top ten, and it's hard to argue against Oklahoma State being here right now. Just imagine if the Cowboys hadn't lost to West Virginia earlier this season. But it's important to note that this team is entirely different now than it was then. It's sticking to one quarterback and it actually found a run game. And you've seen the results.

5. Missouri (6)

I picked you to lose against Ole Miss this week, Missouri. I was wrong and I apologize. However, I feel that I should let you know that I've also picked you to lose against Texas A&M this week. It's nothing personal. It's just the way of the SEC East.

6. Clemson (7)

Play the Citadel and move up anyway because teams in front of you lose. Am I the only one that feels like Clemson fell off the face of the earth after the Florida State loss? I mean, nobody really talks about this team anymore yet here it is in the top ten with a 10-1 record.

7. Baylor (3)

If it's of any consolation, Baylor, while you may have lost on Saturday night I actually get a six-pack out of it. You see, I made a bet with my colleague Jerry Hinnen back in September that you wouldn't go undefeated. It's not that I didn't think you were good right from the start, but like I just said a few teams ago, it's REALLY FUCKING HARD TO GO THROUGH AN ENTIRE SEASON UNDEFEATED. So I was just playing the odds. And now I get beer! And it's free beer, which is the best kind of beer.

8. Michigan State (10)

Still really good and still underrated, though not as badly underrated as it has been for the last month. But if this Michigan State team plays this way in the SEC then it's a top five team, but this is Big Ten bias at work. And I'm not blaming voters for having that bias, because it's only natural given how the Big Ten has performed in recent years. But that doesn't make it right, either.

9. Auburn (9)

Yeah, my formula doesn't like Auburn nearly as much as the human polls or the BCS does. I can only assume that it's mostly due to margin of victory as Auburn's defense really doesn't allow this team to blow people out. Only five of Auburn's win have been by 10 points or more. Compare that to Michigan State which has won nine of its games by 10 points or more.

10. Stanford (11)


11. Oregon (5)

My biggest takeaway from Oregon's loss to Arizona on Saturday is that the air of invincibility is gone. Yes, Oregon has lost plenty of games in recent years, but it's been to teams like Stanford, USC, Auburn, Alabama and LSU. Now it's getting blown out by Arizona? Nobody in the Pac-12 is going to fear this team anymore. That's what Saturday's loss meant in the long run.

12. Northern Illinois (12)

The BCS finally moved NIU into the top 14. I'd like to point out that the Huskies have been there in my rankings for weeks.

13. Wisconsin (13)

14. Fresno State (14)

15. Arizona State (18)

At this point would anybody be shocked if Arizona State ends up beating Stanford and going to the Rose Bowl? And if you're Ohio State or Michigan State, I'm not sure whom you'd rather face

16. South Carolina (19)

17. UCF (16)

18. Louisville (17)

19. Oklahoma (21)

An honest question: Is Oklahoma having the worst 9-2 season of all time? Nothing about this team seems good yet there it is at 9-2. It's so strange.

20. LSU (22)

21. Texas A&M (15)

I don't have a Heisman vote, but if I did it would still be going to Manziel. In my opinion you can have a bad week when everybody else had a bad week. Why so many people think the Heisman race is in "disarray" boggles my mind.

22. USC (27)

23. Duke (23)

24. East Carolina (25)

25. UCLA (20)

26. Cincinnati (30)

Remember that time Cincinnati lost to Illinois 45-17?

27. Ball State (26)

28. Texas (29)

29. Notre Dame (32)

30. Arizona (UR)

Now here's the team that took the biggest leap in the rankings this week, which is what happens when you beat the hell out of the #5 team in our rankings.

31. Georgia (36)

If you haven't heard, Aaron Murray is out for the season with a torn ACL. Just a shitty way for a very good college career to end, and to have it happen now when it can fuck with his draft status just blows.

32. Minnesota (24)

33. Nebraska (35)

34. Washington (33)

Washington got its Wisconsin on against Oregon State. It rushed for 530 yards and had three running backs finish with 140 yards or more.

35. Miami (37)

36. Marshall (39)

37. Bowling Green (UR)

38. Buffalo (UR)

39. Ole Miss (28)

40. Michigan (31)

Still hanging on.

Just Outside: Texas Tech, Georgia Tech, Rice, Louisiana-Lafayette, BYU

And Illinois?: How valuable was that HUGE win against Purdue? So big that the Illini climbed all the way up from 96th to 89th. Right behind Troy, but ahead of Louisiana-Monroe!

The Best Worst Ten (from worst to terrible

1. Southern Mississippi

2. Miami (Ohio)

3. Georgia State

4. Florida International

5. Idaho

6. New Mexico State

7. Massachusetts

8. Eastern Michigan

9. Western Michigan

10. Hawaii

Read all about it in The Best Worst Ten over at Eye on College Football.

Last week's rankings can be found here.

Follow The Champaign Room on Twitter at @Champaign_Room and Like us on Facebook. You can follow Tom Fornelli on Twitter at @TomFornelli.