Poll breakdown: Bulls still unlikely to be ranked
A few of you have asked if USF could sneak back into the top 25 after a 30-19 win against No. 20 West Virginia, and given that the Bulls had zero votes in last week's rankings, it's unlikely to see USF back in the national polls this week.
That's not to say they don't deserve consideration. I figure at least three teams will drop out of the Associated Press top 25 -- No. 20 West Virginia, No. 21 South Carolina and No. 24 Mississippi, who all lost this week. No. 14 Virginia Tech, taking its third loss to an unranked North Carolina team, could drop out as well.
So who picks up those three or four spots in the rankings? BYU had the next-most votes and was off, so that's a safe bet, and I think California and Wisconsin, both 6-2, should rejoin the rankings. Based on last week's votes, Texas Tech or Clemson would make sense, but both have three losses and just one win against a ranked team.
What two-loss team could sneak in to the last spot in the polls? USF has a strong resume, with two wins against ranked teams and both its losses to top teams -- I project Cincinnati at No. 4 in the new poll and Pittsburgh at No. 13, jumping ahead of a Houston team with defensive issues. West Virginia is 6-2 but lost to USF; Rutgers is 6-2 but hasn't beaten anyone of consequence. Central Michigan is 7-2 but coming off a loss, so they won't pick up ground in the polls.
My guess is that a three-loss Virginia Tech, Texas Tech or Clemson team will make it in at No. 25, though USF should be close enough in vote-points the Bulls could move in during a bye week. Polls should be out shortly, so keep checking back ...