Another week…another version of The WAD Rankings:
1) Ohio State (#1 AP, #1 USA Today, Previously #1 WAD) - Still no signs of weakness.
2) Michigan (#2 AP, #2 USA Today, Previously #2 WAD) - Predictable workmanlike effort against Northwestern in tough weather conditions. They are just counting the days until the showdown in the Horseshoe. And, with any luck they will have their most lethal weapon, Mario Manningham, back in a week or two.
3) West Virginia (#3 AP, #3 USA Today, Previously #3 WAD) - It all comes down to this Thursday night for the ‘Neers. Unfortunately for them, winning might not be enough. They may need to win impressively.
4) Tennessee (#8 AP, #8 USA Today, Previously #4 WAD) - Another week and another impressive win for the Vols. Any time Fulmer beats Spurrier it’s a big deal. Couple that with the fact that they once again dominated the fourth quarter in an extremely hostile environment, and I just continue to be impressed by the Vols.
5) Texas (#4 AP, #4 USA Today, Previously #8 WAD) - On the surface, a four point win at a rather pedestrian Texas Tech might not look that impressive, but when you consider the fact that the Horns came back from 21 down in a hostile environment, made two huge defensive stops late in the 4th quarter, and the young Colt McCoy fully came of age in the second half, you have to be impressed. At least more impressed than any of the teams I previously had ranked ahead of them.
6) Auburn (#6 AP, #6 USA Today, Previously #5 WAD) - They struggled mightily at Ole Miss a week after Ole Miss got humiliated by Arkansas. Not to mention, Ole Miss was playing without half its defensive and offensive lines. They deserved to fall, and they would have fallen further if Florida had given me any reason to rank them above the Tigers.
7) Florida (#7 AP, #7 USA Today, Previously #6 WAD) – They were less than impressive against UGA, and every week that goes by makes me continue to wonder if they have enough offense to be considered a great team. I’d drop them further if I had another team to put ahead of them.
8) Arkansas (#12 AP, #12 USA Today, Previously #10 WAD) - With Clemson and SC losing, and with the Hogs doing what they were supposed to do against UL Monroe, they’ve got to move up. Right now, the Hogs are 7-1 with one of the most impressive wins of the year, at Auburn. Arakansas’ November presents a huge test for the Hogs, but it also poses a huge opportunity. With games at South Carolina, at Tennessee, and home against LSU, if the Hogs somehow run the table, they could end up being the cream of the one loss crop when all is said and done.
9) Louisville (#5 AP, #5 USA Today, Previously unranked by The WAD) – I just don’t have a choice. I mean, they are undefeated after 8 games, right? We’ll find out Thursday night whether they belong here or not.
10) Notre Dame (#11 AP, #10 USA Today, Previously unranked by The WAD) – Again, with Clemson and SC losing, somebody had to take their places. And, as many doubts as I have about the Irish, the fact of the matter is that they played a decent Navy team and dismantled them. I would have loved to put Cal in this spot, but they didn’t play, so the last memory I have of them is their struggle against Washington. And, I just can’t justify putting Rutgers, Boise State, LSU, Boston College, or Wisconsin in this spot, so the Irish get it out of default.
The Best of the Rest:
15) Boston College
16) Boise State