The Big Ten has ended nonconference play for the most part, and the past four weeks are ones that will be remembered in the midwest for most of the wrong reasons. I dithered on keeping Michigan State in the top 25, but the defense is still really good, and it was either that or rank Rutgers or Baylor. The Spartans are at #25, so they'll either affirm their spot on my ballot on Saturday or drop out. Speaking of ballot:
Explanations after the jump, and feel free to let me know if you feel like something should be changed.
#1 - The king stay the king.
#2-#3 Oregon and Georgia, these are your spots due to winning all your games so far this season decisively.
#4-#6 The "new money" region, as these teams all had one very strong victory this week or last.
#7-#13 Very good undefeated teams which still need a very good victory. Note: Notre Dame may be slightly underrated based on their resume so far, but I believe that LSU beats them on a neutral field.
#14-#16 Teams that got dealt an upset loss. Oh Oklahoma, I knew I was so very, very, right about you.
#17-#21 The skepticism zone. These are teams that are undefeated but either haven't played any strong teams yet (TCU, Northwestern, Iowa St.), have only played two games (Oregon St.), or have played a middling to good team depending on how much you value Auburn (Miss. St.)
#22-#23 Procedural rankings. I feel Nebraska's strong enough to make the ballot, and if I rank them, I have to rank UCLA as well, so long as the Bruins are below Oregon State.
#24 This is your weekly reminder that the Big East plays football.
#25 The barrel of Stick'Um is on its way to EL as I type this.
Arizona - Lots of teams get beat at Oregon by 49, but top 25 teams don't get shut out in Eugene.
Boise State -- Could jump back in, but not after that performance against BYU this week.