For the week of Dec. 9–
1. USC, 12-0–They went undefeated with a target on their backs, beat No. 4 Cal, No. 9 Va. Tech and No. 21 Arizona State and had the most balance of all the teams out there.
2. Oklahoma, 12-0–They bounced back from a rough end to last year and finished with a flourish this time. Along the way, they beat No. 6 Texas, No. 22 Texas A&M and and No. 23 Texas Tech (the last two on the road). They are a mirror image of USC, and it should be a great matchup in the Orange Bowl.
3. California, 10-1–They get dropped here because of the loss of Geoff McArthur. But make no mistake, this is a dominant team that features the best offense in the nation when at full strength. And the defense ain’t bad either. Some will preach they haven’t played anyone, but they have enough players who will be playing on Sunday soon to sway me.
4. Auburn, 12-0–One of the feel-good stories of the year, the Tigers rolled through the SEC thanks to the offensive mind of Al Borges. Had they not played The Citadel, Louisiana-Monroe and Louisiana Tech, they might be in the Orange Bowl. But then again, had they played anyone of worth in the non-conference portion of their schedule (as they did last year) we may not have been talking about them.
5. Utah, 12-0–We may never know just how good they are, but they should destroy Pitt.
6. Louisville, 10-1–They’ll beat Boise as a tune up for joining the Big East.
7. Va. Tech, 10-2–Make a field goal against NC State and they are 11-1.
8. Texas, 10-1–Enigmatic as usual. Coach Brown’s whining put them over the top and into the BCS.
9. Iowa, 9-2–A weak No. 9, but there really are very few good teams left.
10. Boise State, 11-0–Should get exposed against Louisville.