A few surprises have come into play here. UCF was supposed to be good but not a BCS contender, and Tulane is much better than expected. Tulsa was supposed to pillage C-USA's West Division, but has collapsed and fallen to 102nd.
Your 1-through-126 mileage may vary. If you're wondering, Marshall is a disappointing 79th.
Perhaps the most intriguing news of MU's 56-14 perforation came out of the safety positions. First, Taj Letman played his best game of the year at free safety, with A.J. Leggett sidelined with an injured ankle, a positive development.
Letman had 11 tackles, one forced fumble and two pass breakups. Two plays that stand out to me - first, his failure to get over to help cornerback Darryl Roberts on the 58-yard bomb to Jamarcus Nelson. That play set up a UAB touchdown that tied the game at 7.
The second such play was UAB's attempt in the third quarter to duplicate that long pass. This time, Letman not only ran over to Nelson in time, but got perfect position to bat it down.
"Coach [Chuck Heater, defensive coordinator] made the adjustment. [Nelson] made a double move, I ran over, saw the ball and I thought I could have had a pick," Letman said. "I had it in my hands, but he pulled it out."
The situation at strong safety borders on shocking. True freshman Tiquan Lang has started the last two games in what was thought to be a relief role for D.J. Hunter, who was knocked out briefly in the final minute of the Oct. 23 loss at MTSU.
Hunter entered in the fourth quarter of the Southern Miss game, which was surprising. When he was inserted in the fourth quarter of the UAB game, it was curious.
In the postgame press conference, Holliday was asked, and he served up the answer: "He's playing better. We're going to play the best players and the guys that produce, and the guys who make plays are going to play. Tiquan Lang's a really good football player, and he's going to continue to get better.
"And D.J. went in there and did some good things. We need them all. We've got five games in 27 days; now we're down to three, I guess. They're going to come quick, and we're going to need all of our players out there, and all of them playing well."
Steward Butler was the Herd's third amigo to top 100 yards rushing yards against UAB, doing so with his 49-yard TD run in the fourth quarter. But he just as well could have watched Essray Taliaferro and Kevin Grooms pile up their totals.
Butler didn't elaborate on how he landed in Holliday's doghouse, but confirmed that he did and didn't deny that he deserved it. He was left back for the trip to Florida Atlantic and was not used until the Southern Miss game.
"I blame that on me. I had a little bump in the road," Butler said. "I'm back on track, staying out of trouble. I'm doing what I have to do, so I'm back in the rotation and I've got to keep it that way.
"Playing for Doc Holliday, he's going to make that happen. He's going to make sure you're doing the right thing, on and off the field. If it was any other running back, he'd have done the same thing, because he can replace you really quick."
Reach Doug Smock at 304-348-5130, dougsm...@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/dougsmock.