By Andy Staples
November 24, 2009
NCAA Football Power Rankings
21 Ole Miss Rebels
Last Week: --
Like Cal, the Rebels were victims of their own hype. Unlike Cal, they might have avoided that fate had coach Houston Nutt figured out how to best use Dexter McCluster (averaging 238.3 all-purpose yards in his last four SEC games) sooner. Unfortunately for Ole Miss, it's too late to change that. Fortunately for Ole Miss, the Rebels will punch a ticket to Orlando or Dallas with a win in the Egg Bowl on Saturday.
Last game: Beat LSU, 25-23
Next game: Saturday at Mississippi State
22 LSU Tigers
Last Week: 10
LSU Tigers (8-3)
Tigers coach Les Miles admitted Monday that the bungled clock situation at the end of the Ole Miss loss was his fault. Now LSU must move on, because if the Tigers dwell on last week, they'll lose to Arkansas as well.
Last game: Lost to Ole Miss, 25-23
Next game: Saturday vs. Arkansas
23 North Carolina Tar Heels
Last Week: --
The Tar Heels appeared dead after losses to Virginia and Florida State during a three-game stretch in October, but they've won four in a row and appear ready to snap a two-game losing streak to Research Triangle rival N.C. State.
Last game: Beat Boston College, 31-13
Next game: Saturday at NC State
24 Miami (Fla.) Hurricanes
Last Week: 21
Like Florida State's game against South Florida in September, this is another critical moment for Sunshine State recruiting. The Hurricanes need to beat the fading Bulls, lest USF coach Jim Leavitt have two head-to-head wins against Florida's Big Three to brag about on the recruiting trail.
Last game: Beat Duke, 34-16
Next game: Saturday at South Florida
25 Texas Tech Red Raiders
Last Week: --
The Red Raiders win the Sybil award for multiple personalities this season. Are they the team that got clipped by Texas, the team that beat Kansas State 66-14 or the team that lost 52-30 to Texas A&M? Last week's 41-13 win over Oklahoma suggests Texas Tech has found its groove, but another personality could emerge this week against Baylor.
Last game: Beat Oklahoma, 41-13
Next game: Saturday vs. Baylor

Next five: Arizona, Utah, Houston, BYU, Northwestern.

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

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