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The Champaign Room Top 40: Shuffling The Top Ten

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

It was a pretty boring weekend in college football. Basically everybody who was supposed to win did so, and outside for a few games here and there, not much drama was involved. Making matters worse for writers everywhere looking for things to write about, Texas won a game, so it'll be much harder to fire Mack Brown this week.

Though I'm sure they'll try.

As for the TCR Top 40, while there weren't any upsets this weekend, there was still some movement in our poll. Yes, everybody won, but some did so more impressively than others, and sometimes that's enough.

1. Alabama

Alabama didn't blow out Colorado State, but coming off the Texas A&M game and with SEC play really getting started, the Tide wasn't looking to show too much. Plus Colorado State coach Jim McElwain was Nick Saban's offensive coordinator for three years, so it's not like Alabama was looking to run up the score.

2. Oregon

Oregon didn't even play this week and it moved up two spots thanks to the competition Florida State and UCLA played. It weakened their strength of schedule, and that was all the Ducks needed to wipe out that Nicholls State game.

3. Clemson

Clemson didn't play its best game on Thursday night, but it won. And that's what really matters for Clemson because in years past that's a game it loses. Short week, on the road, but business was taken care of.

4. LSU

LSU climbs a spot after taking care of Auburn on a wet Saturday night on the Bayou. I still feel like this is the most underrated team in the country as far as national attention is concerned, though that would likely change if it went on the road and beat Georgia this week.

5. Stanford

I'm not worried about Stanford's letdown in the fourth quarter on Saturday. The Cardinal had a 32-point lead going into the fourth quarter and simply took their foot off the gas. Which is fine. It's just that Arizona State can score quick and wasn't giving up, so they made things look kinda close for a while before Stanford shut the door on them.


Who would have thought playing New Mexico State would hurt your strength of schedule so much?

7. Florida State

Who would have thought playing Bethune-Cookman would hurt your strength of schedule so much?

8. Ohio State

Ohio State falls for playing a crap team as well, but at least the Buckeyes had the sense to hang 70 points on them, so they didn't fall as far. Margin of victory matters too!

9. Oklahoma

Oklahoma makes its first appearance in the top 10 even though it didn't play anybody this week. There goes that strength of schedule again, which the Sooners will definitely improve this week when they head to South Bend to take on Notre Dame.

10. Louisville

Louisville jumps up four spots for beating down Ron Turner's FIU squad, because, not only did the Cardinals hang 70 on them, but since FIU is an FBS team it's actually worth more on their SOS than the FCS teams everybody else beat up on.

11. Washington

12. Maryland

I was pretty shocked by Maryland's 37-0 win over West Virginia, but then I looked at the box score. Turns out Maryland didn't play all that well, but they got some help from West Virginia's six turnovers. Still, all that said, this is still a much better team than the one we saw last year.

13. Northwestern

Two weeks in a row Northwestern has played a sub-par opponent and two weeks in a row that Northwestern hasn't looked all that impressive in victory. Maine actually outgained the Wildcats in this contest, which has to be a bit of a concern, doesn't it?

14. Oklahoma State

15. UCF

16. Miami

17. Texas Tech

18. Baylor

I'm not knocking Louisiana-Monroe, which was a pretty decent team last year -- key words there being last year -- but PLAY SOMEBODY PLEASE. It's really fun watching the Bears rack up 70 points every damn week, but until they do it against somebody that matters, the Bears won't be rewarded as much for it in this formula.

19. Georgia Tech

20. Michigan

Michigan currently has a turnover margin of -5 so far on the season, which is the worst in the Big Ten and ranks 117th in the country. Which is both good and bad. It's bad because turnovers are bad -- I know, right! -- and Devin Gardner is turning it over with more frequency than Denard ever did. However, it's good because Michigan has a handy excuse for why it's had close calls against Akron and UConn in consecutive weeks. Take better care of the ball and things will be fine.

21. Georgia

22. Texas A&M

23. Ole Miss

24. Arizona

25. Missouri

The most impressive thing about Missouri's win against Indiana on Saturday was the way its defense completely shut down the Hoosiers offense. You know, that unstoppable juggernaut offense that managed to score 73 points on Indiana State. LOOK OUT FOR THOSE HOOSIERS, YOU GUYS! BIG TEN DARKHORSE! BOWL BOUND! Sorry for ripping Indiana in your blurb, Missouri, but, well, Indiana isn't in the Top 40 so I have to talk about it somewhere.

26. Minnesota

27. Wisconsin

So am I the only one thinking Wisconsin has a legitimate chance to go into Columbus next week and knock off Ohio State? Melvin Gordon is the truth, y'all. Unlike every other great back that we've seen in Madison the last couple decades, Melvin has top-end speed.

28. Northern Illinois

Never overlook Eastern Illinois.

29. Fresno State

This is so annoying to me because everybody is currently on the Fresno State bandwagon as the new BCS party crasher. Yeah, well I was on this bandwagon a year ago. I was just a year early. I'm a Fresno State hipster. Which means I have to smoke meth in skinny jeans.

30. Notre Dame

31. Navy

32. South Carolina

33. Houston

34. Wyoming

35. Florida

I've seen some people say that Florida is better off now that Jeff Driskel is out for the year and Tyler Murphy has taken over at quarterback. These people either have an extremely low opinion of Jeff Driskel -- understandable -- or they didn't actually watch Tyler Murphy play on Saturday. It's not like he was facing an amazing defense in Tennessee, folks.

36. Auburn

37. USC

Hey, hanging on to beat Utah State is nothing to be ashamed of because Utah State is pretty damn good. You know what else is pretty damn good? The Trojans defense. Developing a crush here.

38. Penn State

39. Colorado

40. Michigan State

Michigan State fans can complain about all the pass interference calls if they want to, and rightfully so. Most of them were bad calls. However, even though I hate pass interference -- #NOBLOODNOPASSINTERFERENCE -- Michigan State does this to itself. Its defensive backs are extremely physical with receivers in every game. It's just what this defense does. And sometimes you're going to run into an officiating crew that's going to call the hell out of it. Notre Dame noticed it and literally altered its game plan to try and take advantage. And did.

Just Outside: Washington State, Nebraska, Ball State, Rutgers, Arkansas

And Illinois?: The Illini move up two spots to 56th thanks to their victory over Bye Week.

And there you have it. Feel free to tell me how terrible my rankings are in the comments. I know you have anger built up inside you. Might as well let it out.