By Andy Staples
November 02, 2010
NCAA Football Power Rankings
21 Mississippi St. Bulldogs
Last Week: 24
Send your thoughts and prayers to the family of Mississippi State defensive end Nick Bell. Bell died Tuesday afternoon at a Birmingham, Ala., hospital only a month after he was diagnosed with cancer. He was 20. The redshirt sophomore from Bessemer, Ala., played in the Bulldogs? first four games. Not long after Mississippi State beat Georgia on Sept. 25, Bell complained of a headache. Doctors discovered a tumor on his brain early last month. Monday, Bell underwent emergency surgery after doctors learned the cancer had spread. Mississippi State?s athletic department has established a Memorial Fund to assist the Bell Family. Donations can be made through the Bullldog Club by calling (662) 325-3074.
Last game: Beat Kentucky, 24-17
Next game: Nov. 13 at Alabama
22 Baylor Bears
Last Week: --
This week's Told You So e-mail comes from Richard in Spring, Texas, who didn't appreciate Baylor being left out of the poll last week. (It was a glaring oversight on my part.) Here's what Richard wrote: "Baylor is ranked No. 25 in the BCS, but not even in your top 30? You're a fraud, and so are your power rankings. I'm glad Jesus loves you, because everybody else thinks you're a jerk."
Last game: Beat Texas, 30-22
Next game: Saturday at Oklahoma State
23 North Carolina St. Wolfpack
Last Week: --
Told you Thursday in Raleigh would be wild. Thursdays almost always get a little kooky when the road team is favored. NC State got a break when Florida State quarterback Christian Ponder fumbled near the goal line. Now let's see what the Wolfpack do with that break. They have the head-to-head tiebreaker against the Seminoles, but an earlier loss to Virginia Tech took away all margin for error. Lose this week against a Clemson team smarting from an upset last week at Boston College and the control of the ACC's Atlantic Division disappears.
Last game: Beat Florida State, 28-24
Next game: Saturday at Clemson
24 Florida St. Seminoles
Last Week: 19
The Seminoles also have no margin for error anymore. They probably have to win their last three conference games to win their division, and NC State isn't the only threat. Maryland is sitting with a 3-1 ACC record as well. The Seminoles and Wolfpack still will get their shot at the Terrapins, but both teams must go to -- as proud Maryland alum Scott Van Pelt lovingly calls it -- the snakepit that is Byrd Stadium. Florida State does get North Carolina and Clemson at home before that, though, so the Seminoles need to take care of business at Doak Campbell Stadium.
Last game: Lost to NC State, 28-24
Next game: Saturday vs. North Carolina
25 Maryland Terrapins
Last Week: --
If Maryland hopes to stay with FSU and NC State atop the Atlantic, the Terps will have to beat a Miami team coming off a humiliating upset at Virginia. Miami is more talented, but the Hurricanes may not have quarterback Jacory Harris, who suffered a concussion in Charlottesville. Still, Maryland should not get overconfident against freshman Stephen Morris, who looked quite promising after a shaky first few series against the Cavaliers.
Last game: Beat Wake Forest, 62-14
Next game: Saturday at Miami

Next five: Syracuse, Northwestern, Central Florida, Hawaii, USC

Andy Staples' Power Rankings also serve as his ballot in the Associated Press Top 25 poll.

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