There's no BCS conference schools in today's installment, but fret not --- more will be on the way soon enough.
No. 95 WESTERN MICHIGAN
Current members of the MAC to play Notre Dame in the last 90 seasons: None.
So Western Michigan's trip to South Bend on Oct. 16? As Joe Biden might say, it's a big $%#@ing deal.
The Broncos, it turns out, were blanked by a combined score of 94-0 in visits to Notre Dame in 1919 and 1920. The quarterback on those Irish teams? George Gipp. Yep, it's been a while.
In any case, Western Michigan figures to struggle in this and several other games this season. It couldn't run effectively last season, nor could it efficiently stop anyone on the ground or in the air. The Broncos were 5-7 last year, and a similar result this year would come as no surprise.
No. 94 HAWAII
The Warriors already got a victory of sorts more than two months before the season started. Part of the NCAA penalties for Southern California --- scheduled to visit Hawaii on Sept. 2 --- was to take away the possibility of playing a 13th regular-season game the next two years. The NCAA graciously delayed that sanction by a year, permitting Hawaii to not lose its season opener.
Well, not to lose the revenue from its season opener.
Given the relatively mediocre results of the last couple seasons, it's certainly difficult to believe this program had everything come together brilliantly just three years ago. After going 23-4 with June Jones coaching a Colt Brennan-led offense, the Warriors are 12-13 and will try to maintain their prolific offense with a rebuilt offensive line.
Hawaii certainly isn't in Boise State's class, so that means the best-case scenario is to scramble for seven wins and await the arrival of a Conference USA team on Christmas Eve in Honolulu. A visit from Marshall or UTEP wouldn't be quite as exciting as Santa, but it would mean the Warriors got back to a bowl game after a one-year hiatus. It's possible, but no sure thing.
No. 93 MARSHALL
The Thundering Herd reached their first bowl since 2004 and won their first postseason game since 2002 last season.
They still opted to fire former coach Mark Snyder, replacing him with West Virginia assistant Doc Holliday.
Both were telling developments. Marshall isn't quite as bad as it was while stumbling through four straight losing seasons under Snyder. But the Herd isn't quite around the corner, either, regardless of a bowl victory over Ohio to close out last season.
Marshall's offense remains questionable, while its defense is certainly solid by Conference USA standards. If the Herd gets decent play at quarterback (either from incumbent Brian Anderson or Clemson transfer Willy Korn), they could easily outpace this ranking.
No. 92 UTAH STATE
Meet this year's Idaho. Unlike many seasons, that's meant as a compliment.
The Aggies showed progress last season, winning four games for the first time since 2002. The next stop could be the program's first winning season in 14 years.
There's some interesting pieces here, notably 17 starters returning from a team that played fairly well in the second half of last season.
The Aggies' offense was solid while its defense was porous in 2009. That's not unusual for the WAC, though, and it would come as no surprise if things improved just enough for Utah State to earn a postseason invitation for the first time since the John L. Smith days.
No. 91 COLORADO STATE
Proof that a veteran offensive line doesn't always mean anything, the Rams brought back as much experience up front as anyone last season and wound up 3-9. Maybe the return of one starter on the line won't mean that much.
What's interesting about the Rams is they were good at very little, but not particularly atrocious at much, either. Colorado State ranked in the top 50 nationally in one of 17 categories (kickoff returns), but in the bottom 20 of 120 in just one area (net punting).
There were three losses by two points or less, but also a 24-23 escape against Weber State. The Rams won their first three and then lost nine straight to finish the season. It's sort of a team that defies a consistent storyline for the season.
There's a very real chance Colorado State winds up with a true freshman (Pete Thomas) or a redshirt freshman (Nico Ranieri) at quarterback. Combine that with a schedule featuring one nonconference home game, and there might not be a whole lot of tangible progress this fall.