Monday, November 9, 2009
Non-AQ power rankings, Week 11
Posted by ESPN.com’s Graham Watson
1. TCU: The Horned Frogs seem to be hitting on all cylinders and are one of the hottest teams in college football right now. The defense has been dominant all season, but now the offense is starting to come along as well. The team cohesion couldn’t have come at a better time with a tough game against Utah on tap.
2. Boise State: The Broncos have fallen victim to style points. This week’s close win over Louisiana Tech coupled with Oregon’s loss to Stanford put Boise State in a no-win situation in the polls. All the Broncos can do at this point is win out and hope that the fact that they are undefeated for yet another regular season pays off.
3. Utah: The Utes decision to go with true freshman Jordan Wynn as the starting quarterback produced a noticeable difference in the offense. Granted it was against a winless New Mexico team, but still a good confidence builder heading into a tough game against TCU. The Utes could still win the Mountain West and be in play for a BCS bowl.
4. Houston: The Cougars are becoming the ultimate comeback kids. For the second consecutive week, they came from behind to pull off a dramatic conference win and stay at the top of the C-USA standings. Gotta hand it to quarterback Case Keenum. While it’s not all him, he does keep this team believing.
5. BYU: The Cougars 52-0 win over Wyoming was exactly what they needed to get back in the hunt for a 10-win season and an outside shot at the Mountain West title. BYU is still a good team and the way it responded to the disappointing loss to TCU two weeks ago now shows that it’s also a mature team.
6. Central Michigan: The Chippewas had a bye this week after losing to Boston College a couple weeks ago -- their first loss since the season opener. They’re still the favorites to win the MAC and that quest starts this Wednesday against Toledo.
7. Navy: For the second time in the past three seasons, the Midshipmen shocked Notre Dame and ruined the Fighting Irish’s season. The Midshipmen already accepted an invitation to the Texas Bowl. While yes, Temple did beat Navy a couple weeks ago, it was without quarterback Ricky Dobbs, who was the difference against Notre Dame and really all season.
8. Notre Dame: Notre Dame’s slim dreams of going to a BCS bowl are gone after Saturday’s loss to Navy. It will be interesting to see where this team goes from here especially since it could look back at a slew of missed opportunities all year long. Notre Dame is bowl eligible, but it will be tough to get the seventh win this weekend against No. 12 Pittsburgh.
9. Fresno State: After a tough start to the season, Fresno State has rebounded to win its last five games and become bowl eligible with three games remaining. This week’s game against Idaho really tested the Bulldogs, but it was good preparation for next week’s pivotal matchup against Nevada.
10. Temple: The Owls have won seven straight, but needed a last-minute field goal to defeat a one-win Miami team. Temple is still on pace to win the MAC East, but its reliance on the running game might come back to hurt it in games against Kent State and Ohio, two of the better rushing defenses in the conference.