Ohio State snuck up on me and surprised me at #1, though that's largely because they're the only 5-0 team. Still, they've got 5 wins and no one else does.
Both Missouri and Virginia Tech (Hi, Spankee) got votes in the polls last week, though not enough to be ranked. This week, with another win each, we might see them crack the top 25, but probably not quite up to #9 and #11 where I have them.
USC stole a bit of the spotlight this week by firing Lane Kiffin. I only find that somewhat interesting because, after the Rams Thursday Night Football loss, and subsequent local media meltdown, I had a discussion with a friend about firing coaches. We looked up some records, and Mike Martz, seemingly hated by St. Louis fans and media (and ownership), was far better by pretty much any W-L measure than Steve Spagnolo or Scott Linehan. He took the Rams to the playoffs 2 years in a row, going 1-2 in those games, and was fired during the next season. Officially it was at the end, but there was a health leave and some ownership interference; it was clear he was out long before he was out. Yet the Rams were so bad for Linehan, if Spagnolo had taken the Rams to the playoffs even once, he'd have locked up his job for at least a few more years.
Our - probably obvious - conclusion was, it all comes down to expectations. The same can be said at USC. The "real" rankings don't go past 25, or 35 if you extrapolate all the votes, but I've got USC at #47, meaning they're better than nearly 2/3 of teams. If Southern Miss, 0-for-2012, was 3-2 this year, the new coach would already have a 5 year extension. Of course, USC has likely recruited some talent with better potential than other teams, especially being in a big conference and having relative success lately. So the quick hook was likely justified in this case.
The NFL and NCAA are vastly different in terms of signing players and competitive balance, but here's a short but interesting Freakonomics article on the effect of firing the head coach.
Now, on to the rankings.
|54||North Carolina State||3-1|
|99||San Jose State||1-3|
|103||San Diego State||1-3|
|124||New Mexico State||0-5|