New this week: Tulsa Golden Hurricane
Dropped Out: Central Florida Knights
EQ Top Ten (Week 14)
- NIU (12-1): The Huskies capped the season with a Conference Championship against a very game Kent State team that would not go away. The Huskies are the only team in the country to have won 21 out of their last 22 games and await a BCS Bowl invitation.
- Utah State (10-2): Utah State and Kent State were neck-and-neck last week, the Aggies slid up a spot this week, despite not playing, due to their strong play all year.
- Kent State (11-2): Kent State put up a valiant effort but was beaten by the better team in the MAC Championship Game. It's difficult to drop them after all of the fight that they showed but Utah State has been very impressive as well and gets the nod over the Flashes.
- Ball State (9-3): Ball State did not play this week but swapped places with San Jose State. I struggled last week placing these two teams but ultimately the depth of the MAC, which was on display in the Championship Game, won out. The Cardinals have a great chance to face Utah State or San Jose State in a bowl.
- San Jose State (10-2): As explained above, the Spartans were idle but swapped places with Ball State. In the end, the MAC is a much deeper conference than the WAC this year and San Jose State was blown out by Utah State at home even with an extra week to prepare while Ball State lost a heartbreaker on the road to Kent State.
- Toledo (9-3): Toledo had the misfortune of being in the same division as NIU and Ball State. But will be a tough draw for any team in a bowl.
- Boise State (10-2): Boise State is solid this year but definitely not at the level of past teams. The Broncos benefited from their mythology early in the year but as the season went on it was apparent that these are not your older brother's Broncos.
- Louisiana Tech (9-3): The Bulldogs also rode a weak schedule early but eventually their Defense, which was always suspect, was exposed as severely porous.
- Tulsa (10-3): Tulsa proved to be, with two sloppy victories over Central Florida, the best team in a weakened C-USA. The Golden Hurricane were very inconsistent all year long.
- Fresno State (9-3): For most of the season, Fresno was more impressive than Boise and Tulsa but lost to both during the year, so I have a hard time placing them ahead of those teams. Nevertheless, a very good year for the Bulldogs under a first-year head coach.