I'm going with a different way to set up this top 25. I'll take each conference and list teams that were considered. Teams that have a strikethrough were considered but didn't make the cut. Teams that remained were placed in the top 25.
*Note: For Lack of Confusion, USC will not be considered under any circumstances due to their sanctions.
**Second Note: The conference section isn't in any specific order. Just because Illinois is listed below Northwestern doesn't mean I consider them to be worse than NW. Or it could. Like I said, it isn't in an exact order.
***Third Note: I changed the order halfway down to alphabetical without noticing. Go figure.
Maryland Miami (FL)
North Carolina State
Big East (I seriously considered putting "None")
Considered...32. Left in the cold...7
1. Ohio State: The concerns from voters over their perfomance against Illinois were understandable, but ended up being overblown with Illinois' thrashing of Penn State and OSU's thrashing of Indiana.
2. Oregon: I thought about jumping Boise back over Oregon after the Ducks' struggles against Wazzu, but I'm giving them a mulligan due to their performance against the Cardinal.
3. Boise State: Another thrashing of a mediocre opponent. Wheeeeeeeee.
4. TCU: Another thrashing of a mediocre opponent. Wheeeeeeeee.
5. Oklahoma: They had a bye week after a game against Texas that shouldn't have been that close.
6. Nebraska: I personally believe they are better than Oklahoma, but the strength of schedule keeps me from jumping them right now.
7. Auburn: Their head-to-head win with South Carolina keeps them ahead for now. But their struggles against Kentucky are not a good sign. Their win over Clemson is looking less impressive.
8. South Carolina: Wow, I was wrong here. I thought they were the most overrated team in the country since they hadn't defeated anyone great. Well, now they have.
9. Michigan State: Two straight wins against top 25 teams in Wisconsin and Michigan earn them a top 10 spot. If they beat Iowa, 12-0 is a very legit possibility.
10. Alabama: Ya know, if Bama was going to be upset, they should have at least kept the game in doubt for the last five minutes. As a matter of fact, I'm going to pull a Jon Stewart: "BAMA! MEET ME AT CAMERA THREE!" *Lectures Bama on needing to keep the game in doubt if there will be an upset to maintain more respect*
11. Utah: They are undefeated and have been good in the BCS, so they deserve some benefit of the doubt for now.
12. Stanford: The Cardinal have beaten USC 3 out of the last 4 years. Who would have seen that coming five years ago?
13. Arkansas: They have as good a chance as anyone in the SEC right now.
14. Iowa: This is still a top-ten team talent-wise, but obviously, they can't move up there right now. They had no business losing to Arizona. A few mistakes made a 21 point difference.
15. Air Force: This probably seems way high, but I'd take Air Force over most teams below here.
16. Florida State: Remember when everyone thought Miami was a top ten team?
17. Arizona: This looks like a classic case of a team playing up to their opponent (Iowa) and then falling back to Earth afterwards.
18. Wisconsin: They took care of Minnesota pretty easily. Can they beat better competition?
19. LSU: Yo LSU, I'm real happy for you, I'm a let you finish, but 2007 Hawaii is the worst 6-0 team of all time! Of all time!
20. Missouri: They've played just well enough for a top 20 ranking.
21. Oklahoma State: They are doing fine right now. But can they keep it up?
22. Oregon State: Can they beat stiffer competition in the Pac-10?
23. Nevada: They have looked impressive so far. Won't mean much until they face Boise.
24. Michigan: Will they rebound, or will we see 2009 all over again?
25. North Carolina State: A pleasant surprise this season.
1. Big Ten: With the number 1 team in the country, along with MSU's performance so far, the Big Ten has plenty of strength at the top, and Iowa and Wisconsin are certainly up there despite their losses. Illinois has played much better than expected. Michigan could still be legit.
2. Pac-10: Oregon, Stanford, and Arizona are certainly a formidable top tier for the Pac-10. Oregon State isn't very far behind. Of course, there isn't much depth behind them...
3. SEC: Auburn, Arkansas, and South Carolina are good teams. But can anyone say for sure that they are great? LSU is probably the luckiest 6-0 team in the country. Unfortunately, they are in the top ten because they were overranked to begin with. They could be 3-3 right now after doing their best to lose to UNC and Tennessee. Florida is in mediocrity. Tennessee and Georgia would probably love to be in mediocrity right now. And of course, Alabama has a lot of work to do to get back in the NCG chase.
4. Big 12: Nebraska and Oklahoma are legit. However, after those two teams, it seems like the conference falls off a cliff. Texas is unranked, which is amazing after being in the title game last year. Oklahoma State and Texas Tech are decent, but are they really legit?
5. ACC: Florida State is definitely a top 25 team, and NC State is a nice suprise. After that, it is a mess. Miami just got destroyed by Florida State, and Virginia Tech can't be ranked right now, considering their disaster in week 2.
6. Big East: Besides West Virginia, I can't think of a case for any Big East team to be in the top 25. No matter how bad a conference is, it is rare for even that type of situation. Rutgers, one of the contenders in the Big East, lost to Tulane a couple weeks ago. Ouch.