The Washington Times - October 19, 2008, 12:30PM

It’s reached the point where I realize how grateful I am to be a college basketball poll voter and not a college football voter.

Not that there aren’t points in a basketball season when I ask “Are there 25 teams worth ranking?” It usually happens a couple times a year.

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But with fewer puzzle pieces to work with, it’s harder to come up with a “correct” ordering based on accomplishment and talent.

Both of those things matter, accomplishment moreso as the season progresses than talent. But ignoring the way a Southern Cal or Ohio State is playing the last few weeks is counterproductive as well.

One way to come up with a solid ranking is largely factoring in big wins. Here’s who owns victories over the top 25 listed below:

* Oregon State (home vs. Southern Cal)
* Texas (neutral vs. Oklahoma, home vs. Missouri)
* Alabama (at Georgia)
* Southern Cal (home vs. Ohio State and Oregon)
* Ole Miss (at Florida)
* Florida (home vs. Louisiana State)
* Pittsburgh (at South Florida
* Oklahoma (home vs. Texas Christian and Kansas)
* Bowling Green (at Pittsburgh)
* South Florida (home vs. Kansas)
* Oklahoma State (at Missouri)
* Texas Christian (home vs. Brigham Young)
* Wake Forest (at Florida State)
* Virginia Tech (home vs. Georgia Tech)
* Boise State (at Oregon)
* Georgia Tech (at Boston College)

Alabama owns the nation’s best road victory. Southern Cal, Oklahoma and Texas own two legitimately impressive victories. And that’s why they’re the top four teams in this endeavor.

If there is a dubious choice in here, it’s leaving Pittsburgh below South Florida. That’s simply a matter of weighing a bad home loss against the Panthers.

Also, good luck sorting through the ACC morass between 20 and 40. My guess is Florida State, Georgia Tech, Boston College, Virginia Tech, North Carolina, Wake Forest and Maryland all land in there somewhere, with Miami not too far behind. That’s just a jumble, and there’s probably a couple dozen legitimate ways to order those teams.

One other reminder: Overtime results are treated as ties. This especially helps North Carolina, which lost in OT on the road yesterday against Virginia. The AP rankings will be added as soon as they are unveiled later in the day. The team it hurts now more than anyone is Texas Tech, which needed OT to dispatch Nebraska at home earlier this month.

(EDIT: Updated at 1:53 p.m. with AP ranks)

No./Team

Adj. record 

AP 

Pvs. 

Notable Wins/Head-to-Head

1. Texas

7-0

1

1

* Oklahoma (N), Missouri (H)

2. Alabama

7-0

2

2

* Georgia (A) and Kentucky (H)

3. Southern California

5-1

6

3

* Ohio State (H); lost at Oregon State

4. Oklahoma

6-1

4

4

* Kansas and TCU (H); lost to Texas (N)

5. Penn State

8-0

3

5

* Illinois and Oregon State (H)

6. Georgia 

6-1

9

7

* Vanderbilt (H); lost to Alabama (H)

7. Ohio State

7-1

10

6

* Michigan State (A); lost at USC

8. Florida

5-1

5

8

* Louisiana State (H); lost to Miss. (H)

9. Oklahoma State

7-0

7

12

* Missouri (A)

10. Texas Tech

6-0-1

8

11

* OT win vs. Nebraska (H)

11. Utah

8-0

12

10

* Oregon State (H)

12. Louisiana State

5-1

11

13

* South Carolina (A); lost at Florida

13. Boise State

6-0

13

15

* Oregon (A); schedule an issue

14. South Florida

5-1-1

14

22

* Kansas (H); OT win at UCF; loss to Pitt

15. Texas Christian

6-1

15

26

* BYU (H); lost at Oklahoma

16. Tulsa

7-0

22

21

* 77 points, 791 total yards vs. UTEP

17. Pittsburgh

5-1

17

28

* USF (A); lost to BGSU (H)

18. Kansas

5-2

19

17

* Lost to USF and Oklahoma (A)

19. Ball State

7-0

20

25

* Navy (H)

20. Missouri

5-2

16

14

* Losses to Texas (A) and Okla. St. (H)

21. Brigham Young

6-1

18

9

* Lost at TCU

22. Florida State

5-1

24

NR

* Lost to Wake Forest (H)

23. Georgia Tech

6-1

21

NR

* Boston College (A); lost at VT

24. Oregon

4-2-1

34

27

* Lost to Boise (H) and USC (A)

25. Boston College

5-1

23

NR

* Virginia Tech (H); lost to GT (H)

26. Virginia Tech

5-2

T26

16

* Lost to ECU (N) and BC (A)

27. Cincinnati

5-1

33

30

* Things getting tougher now

28. North Carolina

5-1-1

30

24

* ND (H); lost to VT (H); OTL at Virginia

29. Northwestern

6-1

T26

NR

* Lost to Michigan State (H)

30. Vanderbilt

5-2

28

25

* Lost at Miss. State and Georgia (A)

Patrick Stevens