College football halftime report

By Ralph D. Russo

The Associated Press

If there was still any doubt that being a so-called traditional

power in


football isn’t what it used to be,

consider the AP top 25 halfway through the 2010 season.

Here’s who is out: Notre Dame, Michigan, Texas, USC, Penn State

and Miami – teams that have won a combined 23 AP national


Here’s who is in: Oregon, Boise State, TCU, South Carolina, Utah

and Nevada – a group that has one AP title – by TCU in 1938.

Before we dive into the second half, a look back at the first

half and a few predictions for what’s to come.


Boise State 33, Virginia Tech 30: Tech had a four-point lead and

needed one more first down to run out the clock. That would have

been it for the Broncos. All the talk about a national championship

run would have been over. Instead, the Broncos rallied, and now

we’re stuck analyzing how Utah State’s big victory over BYU effects

Boise State’s strength of schedule.

Looking ahead: Most important game of the second half will be

Nebraska vs. Oklahoma in the Big 12 championship game. The winner

will be undefeated and will leap over Boise State into the BCS

title game.


Sure, many of Denard Robinson’s crazy stats were accumulated

against so-so defenses . But Michigan needed just about all of

Shoelace’s joystick-style moves to start 5-0. That’s why he gets

the nod over two other multi talented quarterbacks who have emerged

as stars: Nebraska’s Taylor Martinez and Auburn’s Cameron


Looking ahead: The Heisman goes to …. Martinez. His numbers

are already comparable to Robinson’s, and will become the first

redshirt freshman to win the Heisman.


Oklahoma State (5-0). Returning only eight starters, the Cowboys

were picked to finish fifth in the Big 12 South. Some even thought

they’d let Baylor out of the basement.

A weak early season schedule has helped coach Mike Gundy’s

cause, but the offense led by quarterback Brandon Weeden and

receiver Justin Blackmon looks good enough to get the Cowboys to

eight wins.

Looking ahead: Brian Kelly and Notre Dame (3-3) might not lose

again. Utah comes to South Bend, Ind., on Nov. 13 and the Fighting

Irish finish the season at USC. Notre Dame wins at least one of

those and goes bowling with eight victories.

– The Associated Press