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Georgia Tech not the nation's best one-loss team

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

One lesson learned from this past weekend's games was who's not the best one-loss team in the country -- USC, which, after its loss to Oregon, now has two losses.

That leaves Oregon as the nation's best one-loss team this week in the BCS standings, but I'm willing to bet there are a few Georgia Tech fans out there who'd disagree. Here's how my order of top one-loss teams looked in my top 25 power ranking this week:

No. 8 Oregon

No. 9 Georgia Tech

No. 10 LSU

And here's why:

1. Georgia Tech's defense. Both Oregon and LSU have two of the nation's top defenses, and are ranked ahead of the Yellow Jackets in total defense, scoring defense, rushing and passing defense. LSU and Oregon are actually ranked among the top 25 in three of those four categories. Meanwhile, Georgia Tech has had to constantly depend on its offense in order to win, and so far it's worked. The Jackets' defense struggled in road wins over Mississippi State and Florida State, but showed significant improvement in the win over Virginia Tech. It was difficult to gauge just how well the defense played against Virginia, which has been struggling offensively this year. To allow Vanderbilt, a team which ranks 110th in the nation in scoring offense with 18.22 points per game, to build a 31-28 lead, shows Georgia Tech's defense isn't ready to be classified among the nation's best.

2. Oregon's convincing win over USC. Sure, Georgia Tech's 28-23 win over then-ranked No. 4 Virginia Tech on Oct. 17 was one of the ACC's more impressive wins of the season, but the Hokies have since added a third loss to their résumé, and Oregon handed No. 5-ranked USC its worst loss since 1997. Oregon racked up 613 total yards against USC while holding the Trojans to just 4-of-14 third-down conversions. And USC entered that game with the fifth-best rushing defense in the nation. Georgia Tech had a great day running the ball against Virginia Tech, but the Jackets only threw the ball once and had half as many yards against the Hokies as Oregon did against USC. Overall, Oregon played a more complete game in a more convincing win against a better defense. Oregon is undefeated in the Pac-10, with its lone loss coming to the No. 7 team in the country, Boise State. Georgia Tech has one loss in the ACC, to No. 17 Miami.

3. LSU still looking for impressive win. Only one opponent that LSU has beaten this year currently has a winning record, and that's Auburn (6-3), which just snapped a three-game losing streak. The teams LSU has beaten have combined for a 25-34 record, and besides Auburn, none have more than four wins. Last year was last year. Georgia Tech's 38-3 loss to LSU in the bowl game has no bearing on what would happen if those teams were to meet again this week, and I think the Jackets would win.