With the AP relegated to an afterthought until January, all eyes are turned on the USA TODAY Coaches Poll and the Harris Poll Top 25. Each of the latter two comprise 1/3 of the BCS standings a piece, the first of which will be released later this evening on ESPN.
For the second straight week, Ohio State finds themselves fourth in the Harris Poll. Florida State, as what occurred in each of the other two major polls, jumped the Buckeyes after soundly dismissing Clemson on the road. Alabama and Oregon remain the only other two teams in front of the Bucks.
Though the Harris Poll is only in its second week of release the season (they subscribe to the principle many advocate that polls shouldn't begin ranking teams until 6+ weeks into the season), there are a number of prominent shortcomings between it and the other major rankings. The unbeaten trio of Baylor, Missouri, and Miami (FL) are just behind the Buckeyes, much like in the AP and Coaches Polls. Another knock on the poll is that two-loss Texas A&M is ranked 13th while on-loss Auburn, who just defeated the Aggies head-to-head last night, are ranked two slots lower.
Joining the Buckeyes in representing the Big Ten are #22 MIchigan, #23 Nebraska, and #24 Wisconsin. This echoes the Coaches Poll, which we've been on record as saying isn't as indicative of the conference's members' actual order of superior as the AP's rankings of the trio. Michigan State just narrowly misses inclusion finding themselves as the school with the 26th most total points in the poll.
Here is the Week 9 (second week overall) Harris Poll Top 25 as a whole:
|3||Florida State (2)||6-0||2401|
|Other teams receiving votes: Michigan State 196; Oregon State 168; Arizona State 124; Georgia 113; Notre Dame 61; Florida 30; Mississippi 21; Texas 14; Ball State 8; Houston 4; Washington 2; Boise State 1. Dropped out of Top 25: Georgia, Florida, Washington.|