Hootens.com national Top 25 with picks and analysis

Hootens.com national Top 25 with picks and analysis

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1. Boise State (6-0): Let the grumbling of the weak schedule begin. But it's hard to argue how dominant the Broncos have been. They led San Jose State 41-0 at halftime. Louisiana Tech is next in a strange Tuesday night matchup on Oct. 26.

2. Oregon (6-0): Ducks were idle last week, but they needed the rest with USC, Arizona and Oregon State on the horizon.

3. TCU (7-0): How good is TCU's defense? The Frogs have not allowed a touchdown in three games, and BYU had just 14 yards in the first half as TCU rolled, 31-3.

4. Auburn (7-0): The national championship may stay in Alabama, but it may not be in Tuscaloosa. The 65-43 win over the Hogs marked the most points Auburn has ever scored in an SEC game. Huge game this week with LSU.

5. Oklahoma (6-0): Sooners may be No. 1 in the BCS standings, but body of work doesn't anoint them the top spot. A win at Missouri would certainly go a long way toward that.

6. Alabama (6-1):
A blue-collar win over Ole Miss.  They didn't rebound impressively after the loss to South Carolina, but did hold a potent Rebel offense in check.

7. Utah (6-0): Despite three interceptions, Utes slop their way to 30-6 win at Wyoming. They'll bide their time for another week before a three-week run of Air Force, TCU and Notre Dame.

8. Michigan State (7-0): Pay attention to what's going on in East Lansing. Spartans are off to their best start since 1966. But State now leaves the state of Michigan for the first time with consecutive road games at Northwestern and Iowa.

9. Stanford (5-1): Cardinal were open last week and face woeful Washington State this week. Some might say that's like two open dates in a row.

10. LSU (7-0): Tigers were probably peeking ahead to Auburn last week after leading McNeese State by only six points late in the third quarter amid some boos at Tiger Stadium.

11. Wisconsin (6-1): There was no fluke or luck in the Badgers' dismantling of previous No. 1 Ohio State. UW pounded the Buckeyes physically with a stout running game and tough defense. But can they harness that energy the rest of the year?

12. Ohio State (6-1): Couldn't get the license plate number that ran over the Buckeyes, but it was a Wisconsin tag.

13. Iowa (5-1): Hawkeyes’ season turns up or down in the next two weeks. Home games with Wisconsin and Michigan State have Iowa fans rubbing their hands about the possibility.

14. Florida State (6-1): Four turnovers made 24-19 win over Boston College closer than it should have been. Seminoles now have best record in Atlantic Coast Conference, for whatever that's worth.

15. Missouri (6-0): Tigers could really climb the respect-o-meter with a win over Oklahoma. But they haven't beaten the Sooners since 1998.

16. Oklahoma State (6-0): Cowboys, picked next-to-last in the Big 12 South, are quietly putting together a surprising season. If they can topple Nebraska at home, it won't be so quiet any more.

17. South Carolina (4-2): Blew a 28-10 halftime lead at Kentucky in 31-28 loss.  Losing running back Marcus Lattimore (212 yards of total offense and three touchdowns in the first half) for almost all the second half didn't help.

18. Texas (4-2): Who's Nebraska's daddy? The Texas Longhorns. Huskers were frothing for a payback and appropriate Big 12 goodbye to Texas. Instead, Longhorns held Nebraska to just 202 yards in going 9-1 against the Huskers in the Big 12 era.

19. Nebraska (5-1): Cornhuskers better get over the devastating loss to Texas quickly. A road game at undefeated Oklahoma State is next.

20. Arizona (5-1): Wildcats' future is a little shaky after QB Nick Foles left the Washington State game early in the second quarter with a right leg injury. That may be why Arizona won only, 24-7.

21. Arkansas (4-2): On the subject of injured quarterbacks, can Tyler Wilson continue the effective relief he showed against Auburn after Ryan Mallett went out with a concussion? With Mallett's condition in doubt, consecutive home games with Ole Miss and Vanderbilt won't hurt.

22. West Virginia (5-1): Mountaineers could run the table with the mediocre Big East. Syracuse, which has lost eight straight to West Virginia, shouldn't get in the way this week.

23. Virginia Tech (5-2): Hokies have won five in a row after loss to Boise State and humbling defeat by James Madison. Playing Duke should make it six in a row.

24. Mississippi State (5-2): Dan Mullen has breathed life into the Bulldogs football program. Just ask Florida.

25. Southern California (5-2): Where would Trojans be if not for consecutive last-play field goal losses to Washington and Stanford? A lot higher than No. 25.

Hootens.com Predictions
Ole Miss (3-3) at Arkansas (4-2): No matter if it's Ryan Mallett or Tyler Wilson at quarterback, returning home should be enough... Arkansas 28, Ole Miss 17.

Florida Atlantic (1-4) at Arkansas State (2-5): ASU nearly knocked off Big Ten's Indiana. That kind of performance again should notch the Red Wolves their third win...ASU 31, FAU 21.

Georgia (4-3) at Kentucky (4-3): Georgia is showing signs of life after a slow start, but as the SEC is discovering, winning at Lexington isn't that easy...Kentucky 24, Georgia 21.

North Carolina (4-2) at Miami (4-2): It's been a year of upheaval for UNC. And now the Heels are coming off a loss to East Carolina... Miami 35, UNC 27.

Nebraska (5-1) at Oklahoma State (6-0): Cornhuskers get their ground game back in sync, which keeps the ball away from the explosive Cowboys... Nebraska 31, OSU 27.

Texas Tech (3-3) at Colorado (3-3): Buffs have always given Tech problems even when Mike Leach had his offense rolling. With Tech in a state of flux, that makes it even tougher for struggling Red Raiders...CU 31, Tech 30.

LSU (7-0) at Auburn (7-0): Explosive Auburn offense against tough LSU defense. Cam Newton goes to the head of the class in the Heisman Trophy race... Auburn 28, LSU 17.

Air Force (5-1) at TCU (7-0): Frogs will give up a touchdown, but not much more than that...TCU 27, Air Force 10.

Wisconsin (6-1) at Iowa (5-1): Badgers continue the momentum after big win over Ohio State ...Wisconsin 17, Iowa 13.

Oklahoma (6-0) at Missouri (6-0): Tigers haven't beaten Oklahoma since 1998, but they have the defense to pull off a mild upset... Missouri 24, Oklahoma 20


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