These rankings reflect the opinion of the Boise Sports Examiner and are not a representation of the Associated Press poll or the polls that make up the BCS rankings. Click the links for teams 1-10 and 11-20.
21. Arizona State 5-2
Previous Rank: 25; Last Game: L 41-27 Oregon October 15th; Next Game: vs Colorado
The Sun Devils had an extra week to lick their wounds following a loss at Oregon. Brock Osweiler and the offense played well in the 1st half but the Ducks, without LaMichael James, managed to stay in the game through some early struggles and put the Devils away in the 2nd half. Arizona State still controls its own destiny in the Pac-12 South as they host Colorado this week followed by trips to UCLA and Washington State. The Sun Devils will be heavy favorites in their remaining games with a home contest against California to close the season likely the trickiest game remaining on the schedule.
22. Georgia 5-2
Previous Rank: NR; Last Game: W 33-28 Vanderbilt October 15th; Next Game: vs Florida
The Bulldogs have recovered since opening losses against Boise State and South Carolina to open the season. The struggled more than expected against Vanderbilt but pulled out the win behind Aaron Murray’s 326 passing yards and three touchdowns. Marlon Brown caught two touchdown passes and finished with 121 yards but the Georgia running game struggled again and is just 55th in the country despite the presence of highly-regarded freshman Isaiah Crowell. At 4-1 in the SEC East, Georgia is in good position to represent the division in the SEC championship if they win out and South Carolina drops a game along the way. They go to Jacksonville to face Florida in “The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party,” hoping to keep their title hopes alive.
23. West Virginia 5-2
Previous Rank: 11; Last Game: L 49-23 Syracuse; Next Game: @ Rutgers
The Mountaineers got curb-stomped at Syracuse as Ryan Nassib connected with tight end Nick Provo for three touchdowns. Nassib finished with 229 yards and four touchdowns and Antwon Bailey added 125 yards and a score on the ground. Dorian Graham answered a West Virginia 2nd quarter touchdown with a 98-yard kickoff return to restore the Orange to a 21-9 lead at the half. Geno Smith drove the Mountaineers down the field but one of his two interceptions halted the drive and gave the momentum back to Syracuse. Smith finished with 338 yards and two scores but his turnovers and the lack of a running game hurt the Mountaineers.
24. Cincinnati 6-1
Previous Rank: NR; Last Game: W 25-16 Louisville October 15th; Next Game: @ South Florida
Syracuse’s big win over West Virginia leaves Cincinnati as the only Big East team with no conference losses. Only a Week 2 hiccup against Tennessee keeps Cincinnati from being much higher on this list but they will have a chance to prove themselves worthy with three of their next four games on the road. Their only home game in that stretch is with conference favorite West Virginia and a win would give Cincinnati a major advantage in securing the Big East’s automatic BCS bid.
25. Southern Mississippi 6-1
Previous Rank: NR; Last Game: W 27-3 Southern Methodist; Next Game: @ UTEP
The Golden Eagles were dominant in a win over SMU, holding Mustangs quarterback J.J. McDermott to 16-32 passing for 173 yards and two interceptions, the 2nd of which was returned for a touchdown to seal the win. Austin Davis passed for 266 yards and a touchdown and Jamal Woodyard ran for 116 yards and score. The Mustangs managed just 4-13 3rd down conversions and Southern Miss outgained SMU by 123 yards. The Eagles have an advantage in the weaker SEC East division as they skip both Houston and Tulsa and should have a relatively easy path to the Conference USA championship game.
Dropped from the rankings: Illinois (18), Georgia Tech (19), Notre Dame (22), Auburn (23), Washington (24)
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