When teams lose, it's fairly easy to move them around the rankings. The losses provide tangible evidence that one team is better than another, justifying my decisions. In the case of the six remaining undefeated teams, I don't have that luxury. So I have to extrapolate.
Texas, last week's No. 1, and Alabama, last week's No. 2, each suffered a scare from a bitter in-state rival. Florida, last week's No. 3, also played a bitter in-state rival, but the Gators rolled past Florida State. I still have nagging questions about Florida's offense, but after this past weekend, they don't nag me as much as the questions the Texas A&M game raised about the Texas defense.
But that's the problem with extrapolating -- you've got to decide which variables to include, and which to leave out. In this case, I considered that the previously impenetrable Longhorns gave up 39 points and 532 yards to a 6-5 team. I assigned less weight to the fact that Texas was playing a rival with just four days between games, even though the argument could be made that such a scenario invites an anomalous result.
That's why I'm glad Florida and Alabama will play one another on Saturday. I don't know which team is better. Last week I thought it was Alabama. This week I think it's Florida. By Thursday, I'll probably change my mind again. Fortunately, they'll face off on the field and provide a definitive answer.
Maybe we should do that with all the undefeated teams, and maybe even one or two of the two-loss teams. Just match up the best teams at the end of the year and let them play each other until only one is left standing. Wow. It's genius. I can't believe no one's thought of that before.
NCAA Football Power Rankings
1 - 10
11 - 20
21 - 25