Inaugural ranking for 2007-08:
5. West Virginia
6. Ohio State
9. Penn State
I freely admit to going against convention by having USC third. In fact, I think it's a toss-up amongst LSU, Florida, and USC. LSU beat a slightly over-rated VaTech at home, Florida downed a reasonably rated Tennessee at home, and USC cruised against a Nebraska team that I thought was significantly over-rated. So how to differentiate?
Before we had the joy that is the BCS, there was a controversy when at one time Penn State was ranked number one, won their game one week, but was still bumped to number two by, I think it was, Nebraska. That is something that should never happen once teams are into conference play.
I put a lot of emphasis on conference strength and depth to separate the upper teams. Now, consider the road LSU and Florida have to travel, compared to USC. If one of those two should run the table in the SEC, that would be a bigger statement than USC rolling through the Pac-10. Similarly, if either falters in conference play, then the ranking will take care of itself. Anyway, it will be be a surprise if USC isn't in New Orleans come January.
As for the rest of the rankings... OU, West Virginia, Ohio State, Cal, Texas, and Penn State all appear to be solid, but all can be had. After that, regarding Rutgers, Wisconsin, and Oregon, and bubble teams like BC, Virginia Tech, South Carolina, and Clemson, it's anybody's guess at this point because they all have significant flaws. Plus I haven't seen enough of them all to really order them with any confidence.
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