By Stewart Mandel
November 19, 2008

I'm going to be honest. This week's rankings are fairly boring. The top 14 teams remain the same (with a little minor shuffling amongst them) and only two new teams, Maryland and Boston College, entered the fray.

But I'm already looking ahead to next week and the potential voting headache that could transpire from Saturday night's Texas Tech-Oklahoma game. If the Red Raiders win, there's no controversy. Phew.

But if the Sooners knock off the 10-0, No. 2 team in the country, should they jump ahead of Texas (they're only one spot behind as it is)? The argument against is that they lost to Texas. The mitigating circumstance, of course, is that they would have won five straight games since then and will have beaten the same Red Raiders team that the Longhorns lost to.

Check back next week.

NCAA Football Power Rankings
Got a different view than Stew?
1 Alabama Crimson Tide
Last Week: 1
I would have to say the highlight of 'Bama's workmanlike 32-7 win over Mississippi State ... was Nick Saban's fiery pep talk to the fans at his radio show beforehand. (Fast forward to the 2:38 mark. Warning: He uses a dirty word.)
Last game: Beat Mississippi State, 32-7.
Next game: Nov. 29 vs. Auburn.
2 Texas Tech Red Raiders
Last Week: 2
The Red Raiders will be walking into a stadium Saturday that has not been kind to them during Mike Leach's tenure. In four games (all losses) in Norman, Leach's normally prolific offense has yet to crack 24 points.
Last game: Beat Oklahoma State, 56-20.
Next game: Saturday at Oklahoma.
3 Florida Gators
Last Week: 3
The Gators are in the midst of a historic run. They've become the first team in SEC history to win six straight league games by at least 28 points (combined margin: 299-63). But yeah -- that offense will never work in the SEC.
Last game: Beat South Carolina, 56-6.
Next game: Saturday vs. The Citadel.
4 Texas Longhorns
Last Week: 4
Who says the 'Horns can't play a little defense? Despite missing their best player, DE Brian Orakpo, they held Kansas to its fewest points (seven) and yards (305) of the season thanks in part to four sacks and three forced fumbles.
Last game: Beat Kansas, 35-7.
Next game: Nov. 27 vs. Texas A&M.
5 Oklahoma Sooners
Last Week: 5
So here's the deal: Texas Tech ranks first nationally in passing offense (433.7 yards per game), Oklahoma third (355.5). The Sooners rank 93rd in pass defense (238.1), the Raiders 98th (244.0). Don't expect too many third-and-three handoffs.
Last game: Beat Texas A&M, 66-28.
Next game: Saturday vs. Texas Tech.
6 USC Trojans
Last Week: 6
Yet again, the Trojans failed to gain traction in the national title race when they failed to gain the lead over Stanford until 2:36 remained in the third quarter. They steamrolled the Cardinal from there, piling up 282 rushing yards.
Last week: Beat Stanford, 45-23.
Next game: Nov. 29 vs. Notre Dame.
7 Penn State Nittany Lions
Last Week: 7
After struggling for 10 quarters, Penn State's offense finally broke open with 24 second-half points against Indiana thanks in large part to do-everything Derrick Williams, who had 61 yards rushing and 62 receiving.
Last game: Beat Indiana, 34-7.
Next game: Saturday vs. Michigan State.
8 Ohio State Buckeyes
Last Week: 8
Seeing as Saturday's Michigan game figures to be over by halftime, and seeing as this will be Senior Day for the Buckeyes -- it would be nice if Jim Tressel let displaced sixth-year senior QB Todd Boeckman play most of the day.
Last game: Beat Illinois, 30-20.
Next game: Saturday vs. Michigan.
9 Utah Utes
Last Week: 9
Utah Utes (11-0)
It's the biggest game in the 10-year history of the Mountain West -- and almost nobody's going to see it. The league has placed BYU-Utah on The Mtn., channel 616 on DirecTV if you have it. If you have cable ... watch the ESPN ticker.
Last game: Beat San Diego State, 63-14.
Next game: Saturday vs. BYU.
10 Boise State Broncos
Last Week: 11
It's long been assumed that the Broncos were on a cakewalk to a 12-0 season, but apparently the folks in Vegas -- and they usually know these things -- think otherwise. Boise opened as just a four-point favorite at 6-4 Nevada.
Last game: Beat Idaho, 45-10.
Next game: Saturday at Nevada.
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Got a different view than Stew?

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