JoePa can't walk without a cane. He can't stand on the sideline; he has to coach from the press box. He can't even walk down to the locker room at halftime, because halftime would be over by the time he got there, and then he would miss the first part of the second half getting back to his perch. But what he can do is adapt to the changing landscape of college football. He needs to retire before his body fails him; but he's got plenty left in the tank upstairs. The Buckeyes were latest team to find that out last week.
1. Texas: 3 down, 1 to go. Unfortunately, the last is always the toughest. The 'Horns outlasted a tough Oklahoma State team last week, now they go on the road to Lubbock to take on the Red Raiders in primetime. I believe if the 'Horns defense can get one or two stops, they win. But that's easier said than done.
2. Penn State: I said last week that Buckeye fans would go home crying. Check. Now let's see if the Nittany Lions run the table, which was my other prediction.
3. Alabama: I know that the Crimson Tide fans are happy with being No. 2 in the BCS, and in most polls. But until last week, they've been living by their elephant skins. It won't be long before they fall, and everyone else in the country falls in line with my rankings.
4. Oklahoma: This is a team that is seriously lurking right now. Their only loss was to the No. 1 team in the land. They bounced right back by trouncing the entire state of Kansas (KU & KSU) the past two weeks. And their offense hasn't missed a beat. If the 'Horns stumble somewhere down the line, look out for the Sooners.
5. Florida: Anytime you hang a half a hundred two weeks in a row in the SEC, especially when one of the opponents are the defending National Champions, you deserve Top 5 status. I don't care what the computers say. If they do it again this week against Georgia, look out!
6. Oklahoma State: I don't get this one with the other rankings. The Cowboys pushed the No. 1 team in the land to the brink last week, in their house, and had the ball with a last chance to pull off the upset as time expired, and they fall to 9th in most polls? No way. They are better than that.
7. Georgia: World's largest cocktail party. The whole team celebrated after their first TD like a bunch of high schoolers. Their coach planned it that way. Mr. Richt, allow me to introduce you "Mr. Payback-Is-A-Bitch". You'll be getting very acquainted with him this weekend.
8. Texas Tech: I have resisted putting these guys in my Top 10 because their schedule was so light. I said last week I would consider it depending on what happened against a good, and ranked, Kansas team in Lawrence. All the Red Raiders did was blast the Jayhawks and lay 63 on them. I think they'll have a tougher time with a Texas defense that is the fastest, most athletic bunch, especially up front, that they have encountered all year long. But it will be a dandy in primetime.
9. USC: These guys continue to underwhelm me, especially on the offensive side of the ball. They play in a very weak Pac-10 this season, and I can't believe they are as high as they are in the BCS (5th). Apparently, computers take into account previous reputation. These guys are in danger of falling out of my Top 10 if they don't show me something in a hurry. And I'm not counting this week against a lowly, winless Washington team that just fired Ty Willingham.
10. Utah: These guys were BCS Buster pick from the WAC all along, right? Ahem, right ?
--Ty Willingham was unfairly fired from Notre Dame; he was not unfairly fired this time around in Washington
--I'm seeing more articles and hype about the Red Raiders this week, than I am about Texas. If I'm a Red Raider fan, I would sure be wishing it were the other way around.
--What's the office pool on how much longer Phil Fulmer lasts at Tennessee?
--Count me in as a guy who really enjoyed seeing Ohio State lose last Saturday, so that we now don't have to worry about another BCS Championship debacle
--If Penn State fulfills my prophecy and reaches the BCS Championship game, they won't be another Ohio State. Count on it.
--Unless they're playing Texas, I'm rooting for JoePa to win the crown this year, then retire on top.