Tag Archives: Alabama Crimson Tide

College Football Rankings 10/8

There’s a familiar face at number one, and no, I do not care that they lost to Ole Miss because for an evening they forgot that even though St. Nick is their coach, they are not supposed to freely hand out presents to opponents.

The Big Ten is better than most thought, thanks in particular to the outstanding defense being played by Michigan and Northwestern. Remember when the SEC was known for defense? I’m just saying…

I still need to see LSU be more than one dimensional, but, as long as their quarterback doesn’t throw it to the other team, they’re going to be a contender.

Oklahoma is definitely reminding us that it’s not just Baylor and TCU in the Big 12.

With FSU and Georgia Tech looking more disappointing by the week, having survived Notre Dame and with South Carolina has utter dog meat right now though, while I don’t think Clemson is one of the five best teams in the nation, I can’t see a scenario where they miss the playoffs. They seem to be over their “Clemsoning” days. But, relapse is a dangerous part of addiction recovery.

1 Alabama 4-1
2 Utah 4-0
3 Baylor 4-0
4 Ohio State 5-0
5 TCU 5-0
6 Clemson 4-0
7 Oklahoma 4-0
8 LSU 4-0
9 Michigan State 5-0
10 Michigan 4-1
11 Texas A&M 5-0
12 Northwestern 5-0
13 Stanford 4-1
14 Florida 5-0
15 USC 3-1
16 Georgia 4-1
17 Notre Dame 4-1
18 Florida State 4-0
19 Ole Miss 4-1
20 Duke 4-1
21 Mississippi State 3-2
22 Texas Tech 3-2
23 North Carolina 4-1
24 Iowa 5-0
25 Oklahoma State 5-0
26 UCLA 4-1
27 Houston 4-0
28 Oregon 3-2
29 Memphis 5-0
30 Louisville 2-3
31 Toledo 4-0
32 West Virginia 3-1
33 Kansas State 3-1
34 Boise State 4-1
35 Wisconsin 3-2
36 Boston College 3-2
37 Navy 4-0
38 Cal 5-0
39 N.C. State 4-1
40 Temple 4-0
41 Cincinnati 3-2
42 Arizona State 3-2
43 Auburn 3-2
44 BYU 3-2
45 Miami 3-1
46 Pittsburgh 3-1
47 Washington 2-2
48 Syracuse 3-1
49 Arizona 3-2
50 East Carolina 3-2
51 Georgia Southern 4-1
52 Arkansas 2-3
53 Missouri 4-1
54 Indiana 4-1
55 Tennessee 2-3
56 Kentucky 4-1
57 Central Michigan 2-3
58 Ohio 4-1
59 Tulsa 2-2
60 Virginia Tech 2-3
61 Illinois 4-1
62 Nebraska 2-3
63 Bowling Green 3-2
64 Western Kentucky 4-1
65 Iowa State 2-2
66 Appalachian State 4-1
67 Northern Illinois 2-3
68 Georgia Tech 2-3
69 Minnesota 3-2
70 Louisiana Tech 3-2
71 Marshall 4-1
72 Texas 1-4
73 Air Force 2-2
74 Penn State 4-1
75 Maryland 2-3
76 South Carolina 2-3
77 Colorado 3-2
78 UConn 2-3
79 Oregon State 2-2
80 Western Michigan 1-3
81 Arkansas State 2-3
82 Buffalo 2-3
83 Southern Miss 3-2
84 Virginia 1-3
85 Vanderbilt 2-3
86 San Jose State 2-3
87 Louisiana Monroe 1-3
88 Akron 2-3
89 Middle Tennessee St 2-3
90 Purdue 1-4
91 Washington State 2-2
92 Utah State 2-2
93 UNLV 2-3
94 Ball State 2-3
95 Nevada 2-3
96 Colorado State 2-3
97 Kent State 2-3
98 UT San Antonio 1-4
99 SMU 1-4
100 San Diego State 2-3
101 Wake Forest 2-3
102 Hawaii 2-3
103 Louisiana Lafayette 1-3
104 South Alabama 3-2
105 South Florida 1-3
106 Rice 2-3
107 Texas State 1-3
108 Old Dominion 2-3
109 Fresno State 1-4
110 Army 1-4
111 Rutgers 2-2
112 Tulane 2-2
113 New Mexico 3-2
114 Troy 1-3
115 Eastern Michigan 1-4
116 Miami Ohio 1-4
117 Florida Atlantic 1-3
118 UMass 1-3
119 UTEP 2-3
120 Florida International 2-3
121 Central Florida 0-5
122 Kansas 0-4
123 North Texas 0-4
124 Idaho 1-4
125 Charlotte 2-3
126 Georgia State 1-3
127 Wyoming 0-5
128 New Mexico State 0-4

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College Football Rankings, 1-128

We’re at about the one third mark of the college football season, and so for the first time, I’ll release my ranking of all 128 teams in the country.

I know some are going to be up in arms over having Alabama ranked above Ole Miss, but I will still say, that as of this day, if these two played again on a neutral field, I’m taking Alabama as the better football team. Five turnovers in a game is an easy way for the better team to not win, and my rankings aren’t about your “resume”, or what I think you’ll do the rest of the year, it’s based on who I think, this week, are the best teams.

The week ahead promises to be exciting, as the schedule is littered with high quality matchups that will greatly affect the landscape of college football this season. But we’ll get to that later, for now, here’s how I rank ’em.

1 Ohio State 4-0
2 UCLA 4-0
3 Utah 4-0
4 Alabama 3-1
5 Baylor 3-0
6 Georgia 4-0
7 Michigan State 4-0
8 LSU 3-0
9 Ole Miss 4-0
10 USC 3-1
11 Florida State 3-0
12 TCU 4-0
13 Michigan 3-1
14 Notre Dame 4-0
15 Clemson 3-0
16 Mississippi State 3-1
17 N.C. State 4-0
18 Oklahoma 3-0
19 Northwestern 4-0
20 Wisconsin 3-1
21 Stanford 3-1
22 Texas A&M 4-0
23 North Carolina 3-1
24 Arizona 3-1
25 Duke 3-1
26 Texas Tech 3-1
27 Florida 4-0
28 Memphis 4-0
29 Oregon 2-2
30 West Virginia 3-0
31 Tennessee 2-2
32 Houston 3-0
33 Miami 3-0
34 Oklahoma State 4-0
35 Toledo 3-0
36 Boise State 3-1
37 Kansas State 3-0
38 Iowa 4-0
39 Cal 4-0
40 Kentucky 3-1
41 Auburn 2-2
42 Louisville 1-3
43 Bowling Green 2-2
44 Boston College 3-1
45 Northern Illinois 2-2
46 Navy 3-0
47 Nebraska 2-2
48 BYU 2-2
49 Temple 3-0
50 Pittsburgh 2-1
51 Washington 2-2
52 Syracuse 3-1
53 East Carolina 2-2
54 Texas 1-3
55 Virginia Tech 2-2
56 Georgia Tech 2-2
57 Ohio 3-1
58 Penn State 3-1
59 Air Force 2-1
60 Central Michigan 1-3
61 Minnesota 3-1
62 Arizona State 2-2
63 Georgia Southern 3-1
64 Missouri 3-1
65 Iowa State 1-2
66 Tulsa 2-1
67 Cincinnati 2-2
68 Colorado 3-1
69 Indiana 4-0
70 South Carolina 2-2
71 Appalachian State 3-1
72 Western Kentucky 3-1
73 Colorado State 2-2
74 Illinois 3-1
75 Louisiana Tech 2-2
76 UConn 2-2
77 Maryland 2-2
78 Nevada 2-2
79 Arkansas 1-3
80 Marshall 3-1
81 Oregon State 2-2
82 Akron 2-2
83 Arkansas State 1-3
84 Western Michigan 1-3
85 Hawaii 2-2
86 Buffalo 2-2
87 Louisiana Lafayette 1-2
88 Middle Tennessee St 2-2
89 Southern Miss 2-2
90 Virginia 1-3
91 Louisiana Monroe 1-2
92 San Jose State 2-2
93 Vanderbilt 1-3
94 Rice 2-2
95 Florida International 2-2
96 Kent State 1-3
97 Purdue 1-3
98 UT San Antonio 0-4
99 SMU 1-3
100 Ball State 2-2
101 UNLV 1-3
102 South Alabama 2-2
103 San Diego State 1-3
104 Washington State 2-1
105 Texas State 1-3
106 Fresno State 1-3
107 South Florida 1-2
108 Wake Forest 2-2
109 Utah State 1-2
110 Rutgers 2-2
111 Central Florida 0-4
112 Troy 1-2
113 New Mexico 2-2
114 Old Dominion 2-2
115 Army 1-3
116 Miami Ohio 1-3
117 Tulane 1-2
118 UTEP 2-2
119 Florida Atlantic 1-3
120 Eastern Michigan 1-3
121 UMass 0-3
122 Kansas 0-3
123 North Texas 0-3
124 Charlotte 2-2
125 Georgia State 1-2
126 Idaho 1-3
127 Wyoming 0-4
128 New Mexico State 0-3

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College Football Rankings 1-128

Before the attacks begin and the questions of my sanity, take a second to realize how I devise my own personal rankings. And also, take a second to realize, they mean absolutely nothing, and the only purpose they serve is to spark debate. Well, that and in December just see what kind of feel I had on the season back at the one third mark.

To begin with, this is not a ranking of who has the best resume, from the worst. A 5-0 team may very well be behind a two loss team in the same conference. A team who has but one victory may be above someone who has only lost once. On the flip side, a team who is 5-0, and deemed not to have played anyone, isn’t necessarily penalized for the lack of a schedule. In other words, I only use what a team has done to aide in evaluating that team in a vacuum. I don’t rank them based simply on what they’ve accomplished, or not accomplished, this year. They’re ranked in order from who I think, on this date, is the best team in the country, to who I think is the worst.

This means there may be cases where a team is ranked behind a team they’ve already beaten. Upsets happen. That’s why they’re upsets. Being the better team two weeks ago, doesn’t mean that I think you’re the better team today.

I also don’t look at it in the, “on a neutral field, who will win?” manner either. These outcomes are often predicated on matchups, a team may be a bad matchup for someone I rank them above, but a good matchup for someone above them. So, I don’t play that card. On paper, in a vacuum, is team A better than team B? That’s what I ask myself. Who do I think is the better football team right now.

Obviously, there are cases where I’ll use head to head matchups if two teams are extremely close to one another, but they’re not the end-all-be-all tiebreaker. Season results, strength of schedule, what you’ve done against that schedule, injured players returning, injured players going forward, bad luck, suspensions, weather, there’s a whole litany of factors I take into consideration. But, “so and so beat so and so, there is no way you can have them below them”, isn’t going to spawn much discussion.

Based on the manner I do these rankings, they’re very, very subject to change. They’ll be quite fluid. Which is why I’m really looking forward to this upcoming weekend. Of course, my ego would like it if the results on Saturday reflected accuracy on my part today. But really, what fun would that be in college football?

1 Alabama
2 Oklahoma
3 Oregon
4 Auburn
5 Florida State
6 UCLA
7 Baylor
8 Ole Miss
9 Texas A&M
10 Michigan State
11 USC
12 Mississippi State
13 LSU
14 Kansas State
15 Ohio State
16 Arkansas
17 Georgia
18 Nebraska
19 Wisconsin
20 Stanford
21 Notre Dame
22 Marshall
23 West Virginia
24 BYU
25 Oklahoma State
26 North Carolina State
27 TCU
28 Clemson
29 Arizona State
30 Missouri
31 Maryland
32 South Carolina
33 East Carolina
34 Washington
35 Arizona
36 Iowa
37 Louisville
38 Virginia
39 Georgia Tech
40 Memphis
41 Virginia Tech
42 Tennessee
43 Iowa State
44 Texas Tech
45 North Carolina
46 Miami
47 Texas
48 Penn State
49 Rutgers
50 Oregon State
51 Florida
52 Duke
53 Utah
54 Nevada
55 Minnesota
56 Cincinnati
57 Georgia Southern
58 Washington State
59 Air Force
60 California
61 Northern Illinois
62 Boise State
63 Syracuse
64 Middle Tennessee State
65 Navy
66 Colorado State
67 Pittsburgh
68 Central Florida
69 Boston College
70 Wyoming
71 Temple
72 Illinois
73 Toledo
74 Kentucky
75 Western Kentucky
76 ULM
77 Akron
78 Houston
79 Colorado
80 Arkansas State
81 San Diego State
82 Bowling Green
83 Michigan
84 Indiana
85 Florida Atlantic
86 UTEP
87 Hawaii
88 UTSA
89 Utah State
90 South Florida
91 Northwestern
92 Fresno State
93 Texas State
94 Ohio
95 Kansas
96 Louisiana Tech
97 Old Dominion
98 Central Michigan
99 North Texas
100 San Jose State
101 Ball State
102 Louisiana
103 UAB
104 Tulsa
105 Purdue
106 Vanderbilt
107 Wake Forest
108 Western Michigan
109 New Mexico
110 Tulane
111 Rice
112 South Alabama
113 Troy
114 Connecticut
115 Florida International
116 Southern Miss
117 UNLV
118 Massachusetts
119 Idaho
120 New Mexico State
121 Kent State
122 Army
123 Buffalo
124 Appalachian State
125 Miami Ohio
126 Georgia State
127 SMU
128 Eastern Michigan

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Pre-Bowl Rankings, 1-124

So, it’s late, because bowl games have already begun, but I wanted to get out my ranking of all 124 teams in the FBS level of division 1 football. In doing so, I didn’t go strictly by records, or head to head. It was much more of on a feel basis, as if they all were to line up tomorrow on a neutral field and play each other. The key word being tomorrow. Injuries, and recent performance factor in quite heavily. September results weigh in much, much less than what a team did to close the year. As a result, there will be plenty of arguments based on the Team A beat Team B premise. Oh well. I also refuse to play the daisy chain game. So, in any event, here they are, all 124 teams, in the order of who I think is the best, to the worst, right now.

 

1 Alabama
2 Notre Dame
3 Stanford
4 Oregon
5 Georgia
6 Texas A&M
7 Kansas State
8 Oklahoma
9 LSU
10 Florida
11 Ohio State
12 Oregon State
13 UCLA
14 Vanderbilt
15 South Carolina
16 Florida State
17 USC
18 Texas
19 Clemson
20 Northern Illinois
21 Wisconsin
22 Utah State
23 Kent State
24 Nebraska
25 San Jose State
26 Oklahoma State
27 Louisiana Tech
28 Penn State
29 Ball State
30 San Diego State
31 Toledo
32 Boise State
33 Michigan
34 Arkansas State
35 Fresno State
36 Louisville
37 Baylor
38 Northwestern
39 Louisiana Lafayette
40 Rutgers
41 Texas Tech
42 TCU
43 Cincinnati
44 Michigan State
45 West Virginia
46 Bowling Green
47 Arizona State
48 Syracuse
49 Arizona
50 Ole Miss
51 Mississippi State
52 Louisiana Monroe
53 Nevada
54 North Carolina
55 Miami
56 Washington
57 Pittsburgh
58 Iowa State
59 Arkansas
60 Tulsa
61 Ohio
62 BYU
63 Missouri
64 Tennessee
65 N.C. State
66 Middle Tennessee State
67 Central Florida
68 Virginia Tech
69 Western Kentucky
70 Troy
71 Navy
72 Rice
73 East Carolina
74 SMU
75 Georgia Tech
76 Minnesota
77 Duke
78 Purdue
79 Marshall
80 Connecticut
81 Utah
82 Houston
83 Indiana
84 Iowa
85 Temple
86 Wake Forest
87 Air Force
88 Buffalo
89 Virginia
90 South Florida
91 California
92 Memphis
93 Western Michigan
94 Auburn
95 Central Michigan
96 Miami Ohio
97 UAB
98 Illinois
99 Kentucky
100 Boston College
101 Maryland
102 Wyoming
103 Kansas
104 Colorado State
105 Colorado
106 Washington State
107 UTEP
108 Tulane
109 Eastern Michigan
110 Army
111 Texas State
112 Hawaii
113 Florida International
114 UNLV
115 North Texas
116 New Mexico
117 Florida Atlantic
118 Southern Miss
119 UT San Antonio
120 South Alabama
121 Idaho
122 Massachusetts
123 Akron
124 New Mexico State

 

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New Top 25; Logjam at the top, Just Who IS #2? Big Ten Making a Comeback

A lot of talk was made of the whipping Florida gave South Carolina, but I’m gonna hold off on that kool-aid for just a second. Yes, they hammered the Gamecocks, however, when you still don’t top 190 yards of total offense, you need to temper the excitement a bit. Personally, I think the other three teams in the top four were more impressive last week. I’ll go so far as to say I thought Oregon and Kansas State were FAR more impressive as well. That said though, beating LSU and South Carolina in the past few weeks certainly holds a lot of water. I’ve said it before, and still say it, you can throw a blanket over teams 2-4 right now.

The loss of Braxton Miller could really hurt Ohio State, as in the last two weeks they’ve been less than convincing in wins over Indiana and Purdue. But, the fact is, they’re still unbeaten. Notre Dame wasn’t exactly impressive either, but they too remain perfect. That tilt with Oklahoma this week is going to be huge. Two storied programs, any hopes of a national title on the line for both, should be great.

Speaking of Oklahoma, that loss to Kansas State looks less and and less damning as the season goes on. Perhaps the Sooners have been underrated. We’ll see soon enough.

I’ve railed on the Big Ten all year, and it got off to a pretty bad start with Michigan, Penn State, Nebraska and Wisconsin all suffering underwhelming losses out of conference early on in the year. However, the superior teams in the Big Ten have begun to assert themselves, and all have the looks of solid top 25 teams. Nebraska in particular, broke Northwestern’s heart last week.

I’m really looking forward to seeing Mississippi State play Alabama. The Bulldogs are off to a fantastic start, and a lot of people are saying ‘Bama hasn’t really been tested yet. We have a chance to learn a lot about both teams this week. Though, I get a feeling that if ‘Bama doesn’t blow them out, you’re going to be hearing from Oregon, Florida and Kansas State fans that it won’t be because Mississippi State is that good, but that ‘Bama is overrated.

1.  Alabama

2.  Oregon

3. Florida

4.  Kansas State

5.  Ohio State

6.  Notre Dame

7.  Oklahoma

8.  LSU

9.  USC

10.Mississippi State

11.Florida State

12.Oregon State

13.Louisville

14.South Carolina

15.Clemson

16.Rutgers

17.Georgia

18.Texas Tech

19.Ohio

20.Nebraska

21.Wisconsin

22.Texas A&M

23.Michigan

24.Penn State

25.Louisiana Tech

Others

West Virginia

Texas

UCLA

Stanford

Toledo

Cincinnati

TCU

Northwestern

N.C. State

Tulsa

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New Top 25, Dawgs & Noles Crash, South Carolina and Ohio State surge, Welcome Louisiana Tech and Ohio

I think right now it’s Alabama and Oregon at the top, and that, I think is pretty concrete and universally agreed upon. The question is, who is that third team that could potentially spoil that party. After Saturday night, one has to think it’s South Carolina. But are the Gamecocks really on that level?

Georgia takes a huge hit for completely not showing up at all. The Seminoles also drop a good bit after losing at North Carolina State. The SEC should fear not though, LSU stays in the top 10, and Mississippi State replaces Georgia among the top 12, so the conference still has five teams in the top 12. Georgia and Texas A&M also ensure that half the teams in the conference are ranked after this week.

I didn’t want to drop TCU all the way out, I’m interested to see what becomes of their quarterback situation. With Paschal, I think the Frogs win that game against Iowa State and remain unbeaten, so I didn’t penalize them too much.

With Nebraska, Northwestern and UCLA all playing poorly in games with a real chance to prove something, someone had to replace them in the top 25. Welcome teams like Louisiana Tech and Ohio. Both could potentially run the table this season.

It’s a real shame Ohio State isn’t eligible for the conference title, or a bowl game. These Buckeyes are good, and wouldn’t Urban Meyer against any SEC school in a potential national title game be extra compelling. Unfortunately it won’t happen……this year.

And Notre Dame? They’re for real people. They are for real.

1.  Alabama

2.  Oregon

3.  South Carolina

4.  Ohio State

5.  West Virginia

6.  Florida

7.  Kansas State

8.  Notre Dame

9. LSU

10.Oklahoma

11.USC

12.Mississippi State

13.Florida State

14.Louisville

15.Clemson

16.Georgia

17.Rutgers

18.Oregon State

19.Texas

20.Texas A&M

21.Stanford

22.Cincinnati

23.Ohio

24.Louisiana Tech

25.TCU

 

Others

Northwestern

Tennessee

Michigan State

San Jose State

Boise State

Iowa State

UCLA

Nebraska

Penn State

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College Football Weekend Review, New Top 25

1.  Alabama W 52-0 at Arkansas: This is actually getting a little bit old right now. This defense is ridiculously good, to the point it’s unfair. They’re the team that in pop warner all the other moms are afraid of their boys playing against because nothing will happen but hurt feelings and broken bodies. The fact that Arkansas pretty much quit helped their cause, but Alabama didn’t need much. They get Florida Atlantic and Ole Miss at home in the next two weeks. By the time the calendar turns to October, Alabama may not have even allowed 21 points on the season, total.

2.  LSU– W 63-14 vs Idaho: LSUs litany of early season tests continued with a cakewalk over the Vandals of Idaho. Three games in, the Tigers have outscored opponents 145-31. That’s pretty much 50-10 every week. The schedule gets a bit tougher next week, as finally LSU leaves the confines of Tiger Stadium and heads to Auburn. But let’s be real here, Auburn doesn’t exactly promise to offer much of a challenge either. The October 6th date in Gainesville is the one the Tigers really have circled.

3.  USC– L 21-14 at Stanford: Some would say the phrase, all style, no substance, accurately defines the USC football team, and Saturday nights loss at Stanford would seem to back that up. The Trojans were punched in the mouth, repeatedly, and could do absolutely nothing to punch back. After allowing just eight sacks all season in 2011, Matt Barkley went down five times at the hands of the Stanford defense while the Trojans only mustered 280 yards of offense. The absence of All-American center Khaled Holmes was perhaps a bit underrated, as the Stanford defense completely baffled Barkley, and in doing so pretty much derailed his Heisman campaign.

4.  Oregon– W 63-14 vs Tennessee Tech: The Ducks continue to walk over inferior competition like they’re the only team on the field, and Saturday was no different. Things will get a bit more interesting next week though when a surprising Arizona team comes to Eugene. The Ducks however have won four straight over Arizona, averaging over 500 yards and 50 points a game in doing so.

5.  Florida State– @ vs Wake Forest 52-0: I keep hearing that Florida State hasn’t played anybody and this makes them overhyped. I’m sorry, I’m not buying that, not one bit of it. You look around the country and you see mid major teams, even FCS teams, taking on BCS conference teams and giving them fits, if not beating them. Florida State has opened the season by outscoring opponents 176-3. I really don’t care who you’ve played, when you do that, you’re doing something. The Seminoles had struggled recently with Wake Forest, losing four of their last six meetings their former whipping boy. Order appeared to be restored with their shellacking issued Saturday afternoon.  With Army and Duke at home in the next two weeks, Wake Forest should get their season back on track and put them in a position to return to a bowl game. For Florida State the biggest game of the year in the ACC will be next Saturday when defending conference champion Clemson pays a visit to Doak Campbell Stadium in Florida State’s biggest home game in almost ten years.

6.  West Virginia– W 42-12 vs James Madison: With the struggles of Matt Barkley and Denard Robinson, Geno Smith suddenly finds himself a very strong candidate to be invited to New York at seasons end, and potentially hold up the Heisman trophy. The Mountaineers are serving notice to the Big 12 that they’re going to have a say in who wins the conference, and they might be having a say in who wins the national championship. Two home games against Maryland and Baylor await before they truly make their arrival in the Big 12 with a vist to Austin to play Texas.

7.   Michigan State– L 20-3 vs #16 Notre Dame: Perhaps no team was more disappointing than the Spartans this weekend. The offense was absolutely anemic, and what was left as the last hope in the Big 10 was completely dominated at home by Notre Dame. The overall weakness of the Big Ten still means a Rose Bowl bid is still an attainable goal for Mark Dantonio’s squad, but dreams of anything bigger have been squashed. Andrew Maxwell has struggled mightily at quarterback, and you have to wonder if at some point the team gets handed over to redshirt freshmen Connor Cook, or highly touted true freshmen Tyler O’Connor. Michigan State’s defense is good enough alone to carry this team to a conference championship, but a little offense wouldn’t hurt. This will be particularly vital when Ohio State comes to visit in two weeks.

8.  Georgia– W vs Florida Atlantic 56-20: The defense had its share of issues in the first half, much like it did in Georgia’s first two games against Buffalo and Missouri. However, it eventually settled down and began to play to the level Georgia fans expect. The offense was never a problem, and Georgia rolls into its second SEC game against Vanderbilt full of confidence. The Vanderbilt game marks the last that Georgia will be without Alex Ogletree and Baccari Rambo. Georgia should get through the suspension marred first quarter of the season without a blemish, and be ready to go for the seasons final eight games. By the way, for Florida Atlantic,  they play at Alabama next week. Ouch.

9.  Oklahoma– Bye

10. Ohio State– W 35-28 vs California: The Buckeyes squandered a double digit lead, but still managed to rally late and overcome a stubborn California team Saturday. Braxton Miller is the real deal, and the Buckeyes are quickly erasing the stench from last years 6-7 season. If not for the NCAA troubles, this would be a team peeking into the national championship picture. California played gamely, but lost for the second time in three games, both by just seven points. With a trip to USC next week, Jeff Tedford’s team may be in serious trouble. With a 12-13 record the last two years, there may be some whispers that Tedford’s time in Berkley has run its course.

11. Clemson– W 41-7 vs Furman: The Tigers managed to accomplish their first goal of the season, get to the Florida State game without a loss. Next up for Clemson will be eight straight ACC games, beginning with the huge showdown against Florida State. The offensive firepower from Clemson is unquestioned, but Florida State’s defense is a different animal. Andre Ellington has been averaging six yards per carry, but don’t expect that to continue next week.

12. Texas– W at Ole Miss 66-31: Texas entered the year expecting to ride their defense to a return to prominence, but Saturday night it was the offense that took control. The Longhorns racked up 676 yards while David Ash threw four touchdown passes, as many as he threw all of last season. While the defense allowed Ole Miss almost 400 yards, most were rather empty yards as the game itself was decided early in the first half. Texas gets a week off, then in succession will take on the three biggest threats to their Big 12 title hopes with Oklahoma State, West Virginia and Texas looming. Ole Miss suffered their first loss of the season, and the defense is the culprit. Offensively the Rebels are solid, but the defense may in fact be even worse than it was a year ago when it allowed over 400 yards of total offense per game, including 225 a game on the ground. They allowed 350 to Texas Saturday night, which remarkably, would have only been the third highest total put out against them a year ago.

13. Kansas State– W 35-21 vs North Texas: Perhaps Kansas State was looking ahead to next week, and who can blame them. After having outscored Missouri State and Miami 103-22 in their first two games, one can understand why Kansas State may have been peeking around the corner to their trip to Norman, Oklahoma next week. Collin Klein completed 15 of his 20 passes against North Texas, and he’s completed 72% of his passes on the year while also rushing for 210 yards and four scores this season. Geno Smith and Landry Jones may grab the headlines in the Big 12, but Klein is serving notice he belongs in that group. He gets a chance to really prove it next week.

14. South Carolina– W vs UAB 49-6: Can you really lose six starters on defense and come back even better? South Carolina seems to think so.  They’ve allowed just two offensive touchdowns in three games, and just 29 points total. That said, they haven’t been tested by a decent offense yet, but that is about to change. Missouri will be in Columbia, South Carolina’s Columbia, next week and they’ll bring the best offense that South Carolina will have seen thus far. Connor Shaw re-injured his shoulder, and obviously concerns are rising about his availability. Dylan Thompson though has given Gamecock fans reason to not worry too much about Shaw’s absence. On just five completions Thompson threw for 177 yards and two touchdowns against UAB.

15. Virginia Tech– L 35-17 at Pittsburgh: I had no real reason to pick against the Hokies last Saturday, just a gut feeling based on historically lethargic performances against weaker opponents on the road. The Hokies didn’t disappoint. Can we please stop with the Cam Newton comparisons for Logan Thomas? In two games against FBS teams, the Hokies have scored 37 points, total, and Thomas played poorly in both games. He went just 14/31 against Pittsburgh with three interceptions. Granted, the running game didn’t help him any, only able to get 59 yards on 26 carries, but if Thomas were as good as some delusional people make him out to be, he’d find a way to make something out of it. For Pittsburgh, freshmen Rushel Shell proved the perfect compliment to Ray Graham, and proved to be as good as advertised, piling up 157 yards against the vaunted Hokies defense. Pittsburgh needs to look no further than the 2010 Hokies for inspiration on how to overcome an 0-2 start with a loss to an FCS school and still salvage your season.

16. Notre Dame– W 20-3 at #7 Michigan State: While Stanfords win over USC was extremely impressive, the most impressive of the day may very well belong to the Fighting Irish. The Irish still have offensive problems, though Michigan State’s defense will make most anyone look offensively challenged, but their defense was outstanding. They limited the Spartans to only 237 yards of offense, and just 50 on the ground. It’s doubtful they will be able to shut down Michigan in the same fashion next week, so they’re going to need the offense to stop up, especially quarterback Everett Golson.

17. Louisville– W 39-34 vs North Carolina: For the third straight game the Cardinals scored at least 32 points, but this time the defense showed some holes previously unseen. Despite holding a 32-7 halftime lead, Louisville was forced to hang on for dear life as Bryn Renner threw five touchdowns to go with his 363 yards as North Carolina’s furious second half comeback nearly was completed. Even still, one bad defensive half out of the seasons first three games is about all Louisville fans can complain about right now. If you don’t know who Teddy Bridgewater is, make yourself aware.

18. Tennessee– L 37-20 vs #22 Florida: So all the talk about all the experience returning for Tennessee and how this year was the team that was going to mark the return of Tennessee football looks a bit premature. The simple fact of the matter is Tennessee just isn’t as good as they used to be, and whether that’s coaching or the players remains to be seen. We’ll likely find out soon though. This was a must win game for Tennessee, and this was Tennessee’s best chance to get back into contention for an SEC East title. Unless they find a way to win games in Athens and Columbia, those dreams appear to be dashed. I don’t think Dooley can survive another five loss season, and with those two aforementioned games, as well as a trip to Mississippi State and a visit from Alabama, five losses could be a very real possibility.

19. Boise State– W 39-12 vs Miami Ohio: Boise bounced back from the season opening loss two weeks ago against Michigan State, but it’s clear that with Kellen Moore no longer at the helm, it’s not the same Broncos offense. Defensively, they’re still extremely stout, despite only having two starters back from the 2011 team. Boise has lost more than once in a season just two times in the past ten years, but next Thursday night’s visit from BYU could mark the first time that’s happened since 2007.

20. TCU– W 20-6 at Kansas- The Horned Frogs didn’t light up the scoreboards and blow Kansas completely out of the water, but they were convincing enough. Four turnovers were costly for TCU, as the 20 points weren’t very indicative of the nearly 500 yards of offense they racked up. The schedule sets itself up for TCU so that they face the Big 12s chief contenders in their final five games of the season, meaning a run to 7-0 and potential top ten ranking seems very reasonable. After allowing 43.8 points per game a year ago, and few than 24 only once, Kansas has allowed just 20 per game in their first three games this season. This marked improvement might every well leave them flirting with bowl eligibility before the season is over.

21. Mississippi State– W 30-24 at Troy: Mississippi State didn’t play their best game of the year, but it was good enough to beat a team from what has become the pesky Sunbelt Conference. Tyler Russell was off most of the night, and the defense was nothing short of atrocious for the Bulldogs, but four Troy turnovers enabled the Bulldogs to get out of Troy with a 3-0 record. With South Alabama and Kentucky their next two games, Mississippi State should be 5-0 before Tennessee visits, and well on their way to a third straight bowl game.

22. Florida– W 37-20 at #18 Tennessee: The defense came to play, and the running game came alive for the Gators, who once again reminded Tennessee that they’re still a second rate program in the SEC East. The 20 points scored by Tennessee were the most scored against Florida on the young season, but the Gators defense dominated the second half. Offensively, there 37 points were more than they’ve scored in any SEC game against a team not named Kentucky or Vanderbilt since putting 41 on Georgia in 2009. Speaking of Kentucky, they get the Wildcats at home next weekend, so Florida should be at 4-0 when they host LSU and find out just how good they really are.

23. Georgia Tech– W 56-20 vs Virginia: If there were questions about the offense after the Virginia Tech game, they seem to have been answered in the past two weeks. Tech has scored 115 points in the last two games as they’ve bounced back quite nicely from the season opening loss to the Hokies. Defensively the Jackets have been solid as well, allowing less than 15 points per game through their first three games. Miami comes to Bobby Dodd stadium next week, and while the Hurricanes are struggling this year, they’ve had Tech’s number the past three seasons, holding Georgia Tech to just 34 points in the three games combined. Mike London’s Virginia squad looked completely overmatched by Georgia Tech, and its becoming more and more apparent that they were fortunate to be 8-5 a year ago. Going to TCU next week doesn’t inspire much hope either.

24. UCLA– W 37-6 vs Houston: There’s a team in Los Angeles that is 3-0, and hasn’t scored less than 36 points in a game this season. And they don’t wear maroon and gold. UCLA is off to a quick start under Jim Mora, and by avoiding Oregon from the north division this year, is in a position to repeat as the representative of the Pac 12 South in the Pac 12 championship game. The Bruins are playing well in all phases of the game, and should be 5-0 before traveling to California on the first weekend of October.

25. South Florida– L 23-13 vs Rutgers: The troubles with home conference games continued for Skip Holtz and South Florida as the Bulls offense couldn’t get anything going against Rutgers and saw their Big East title hopes take a huge early hit. The Bulls had no answer for the ball hawking Rutgers secondary, or running back Jawan Jamison. They should get back on track with a win against Ball State this week, but what could have been a huge showdown with Florida State in two weeks suddenly goes from a must see game, to a feared blowout.

Others

Stanford– W 21-14 vs USC: What do good fundamentals, toughness, and a great defense get you? A fourth consecutive victory over USC and a message to the rest of the conference that you were more than just Heisman runner-up Andrew Luck. Stanford gets a week off before a Thursday trip to Seattle to play Washington, a team they’ve outscored 106-21 in the last two meetings.

Arizona State– L 24-20 at Missouri: The Sun Devils nearly overcame a slow start and almost erased a fourth quarter deficit on the road against Missouri in what could have been a very early defning win for Todd Graham. Instead, the Sun Devils dropped to 2-1. After converting just 2/13 third down conversions and turning the ball over four times, the offense that looked so explsoive against Illinois the week prior seemed much more grounded. While expectations weren’t overly high in Tempe, the 2-0 start elevated them perhaps a bit much. Now more tempered, the Sun Devils will being their conference slate with a big home game against Utah. Arizona State hasn’t won a bowl game since 2005, and if that trend is to change, they’re going to need to win a couple games they probably shouldn’t. They blew that opportunity against Missouri, but get another one Satuday night. Missouri on the other hand absolutely had to come away with a victory after getting beat by 21 points at home the week prior. Two tough road games now await the Tigers with South Carolina and Central Florida on the horizon. A loss to Arizona State could have potentially been crippling to Missouri’s quest for an 8th straight winning season. While it’s still not going to be easy, a 1-2 start would have certainly spelled the end of that. With South Carolina on the road this week, Missouri gets another chance to make a good impression on the SEC. But don’t bet on it.

Nebraska– W 42-13 vs Arkansas State: Nebraska recovered nicely against Arkansas State in the first of three consecutive home games the Huskers will play. The big story of course is the health of Bo Pelini who was taken in an ambulance from the stadium. While his presence, or lack of it, may not make a difference against Idaho State this week, in two weeks when Wisconsin visits Lincoln in a game Nebraska circled from day one this year, it’s going to take on much, much more importance.

Baylor– W 48-23 vs Sam Houston State: Despite trailing at the half, Baylor cruised in the second half for their second win in as many games. Despite no Kenall Wright or Robert Griffin III, the Bears have still scored 107 points in their first two games. Friday night’s trip to Monroe to take Louisiana Monroe may actually be their stiffest test to date.

Arizona– W 56-0 vs South Carolina State: Rich Rodriguez has gotten Arizona off to a 3-0 start that is among the more surprising in the country. After winning with defense over Toledo, the Wildcats have put 114 points on the board in their last two games. The Wildcats though may be brought back to earth this week as they travel to Eugene, where they’ve lost 8 of 9 to Oregon.

Rutgers– W 23-13 at #25 South Florida: The offense has’t exactly been pretty for  Kyle Flood’s team, but Jawan Jamison is doing just enough carrying the football to enable a nasty defense to lead Rutgers to a 3-0 start. The Scarlet Knights have allowed just 25 points in three games. Linebacker Khaseem Greene, as well as corner backs Logan Ryan and Brandon Jones helped completely baffle potential Big East Player of the Year B.J. Daniels in last Thursday nights victory. Next up is a trip to SEC country where they’re getting an Arkansas squad that nobody has a clue what to make of at the moment. If Rutgers can get a victory there, there’s no reason they aren’t 9-0 before making a trip to Cincinnati to begin a three game stretch with Big East favorites to end the season.

Northwestern– W 22-13 vs Boston College: Quick, how many bowl eligible teams in the Big Ten are currently unbeaten. If you said two, you’re correct. But if you know which two, points for you. Northwestern joins Minnesota in the ranks of the 3-0 crowd, but their three wins have been a bit more impressive. They’ve beaten a Big East, SEC, and ACC team along the way, and while none of the three have been pretty, anyone in Evanston will tell you they’re thrilled to be 3-0. The schedule doesn’t get any tougher over the next month either, so there is a very good chance Northwestern sneaks up to 7-0 before the schedule picks back up.

Arkansas– L 52-0 vs #1 Alabama: Does it get any worse than this? Losing at home to Louisiana Monroe, then getting beat 52-0, also at home? I guess it does when accusations start flying around that the team essentially quit. If so, that bodes terribly for the Razorbacks, as they welcome in Rutgers next week before embarking on back to back road games against Texas A&M and Auburn. The possibility that Arkansas starts off 1-5 has suddenly become very real, and I don’t think there’s a Falcon fan alive bothered by this.

Speaking of the next few Razorback opponents, Auburn needed a missed field goal to survive the same Lousiana Monroe squad in overtime, and cannot be feeling good about themselves as they get ready to take on LSU. Texas A&M on the other hand got an easy 48-3 win over SMU after the disapponting blown lead the week prior against Florida. But while Auburn was struggling with a Sun Belt opponent, Kentucky was just simply losing to one, falling 32-31 to Western Kentucky at home.

The lack of offense nearly caught up with Wisconsin again, needing to survive a missed Utah State field goal in the closing seconds to avoid falling to 1-2. For the Aggies, it was nearly a second straight win over a high profile opponent. Penn State finally got of schnide with an easy victory over a very disappointing Navy team, while Indiana had a chance to join the unlikely due of Northwestern and Minnesota at 3-0, but allowed Ball State to gain 44 yards in the games final 49 seconds to kick a 42 yard field goal to win 41-39.

We know Oklahoma State can score, they’ve scored 188 points in three games, but can they stop anyone? They better hope they figure something out during their off week before hosting Texas. In Lubbock, it’s the same old story at Texas Tech, play a weak non conference schedule, pad the offensive stats, and sit at 3-0, having outscored foes by an average of 50-10. They too get a week off before taking on a suprising 3-0 Iowa State team. The Cyclones are only giving up 10 points per game, and have victories over Tulsa and Iowa to their credit.

Disappointment continues to abound in the ACC, as Boston College, North Carolina, and Maryland all lost to out of conference teams over the weekend. Two such losses came to Big East teams, including Maryland’s 24-21 defeat at the hands of Connecticut. The good news though is that Duke and Miami both won, over North Carolina Central and Bethune Cookman.

No Jordan Wynn, no problem for Utah who bounced back very well from their shocking defeat at Utah State by upending BYU on homecoming. It’s not going to be much easier for BYU either as they travel to take on Boise State on the road, and the Broncos are 64-2 at home since 2001. In terms of though the division one program that has most embarrassed itself, that honory easily goes to Colorado who allowed over 500 yards of offense to Fresno State, in the FIRST HALF. The Buffaloes fell to 0-3 after the 69-14 flop, and have allowed 34 or more points in 11 of their last 13 road games. The Colorado game with Washington State this weekend might officially be the worst ever football game between two teams in a BCS conference. Just be lucky neither of these teams plays New Mexico this year. The Lobos lost 49-0 to Texas Tech, and in their two games against FBS teams have been outscored 94-0. It was the fifth time in nine games they’ve been shut out AND allowed at least 42 points.

Southern Miss was expected to be the strongest competition for Central Florida (2-1) in the eastern division of Conference USA, but a second straight poor offensive showing by the Golden Eagles leaves them at 0-2 following a 24-14 lost at home to East Carolina. The joke that has become the Memphis Tigers continues to just get more humorous. A home loss to Middle Tennessee State dropped them to 0-3, and a fourth straight double digit loss season seems a foregone conclusion. Remember when Houston was 12-0 last season? Neither do we. They lost their third straight to open the season when UCLA pummelled them 37-6.

Toledo may only have returned eight starters, but at 2-1 following their 27-15 win over Bowling Green, folks in the MAC might start taking them pretty seriously. That overtime loss to Arizona to start the year looks better and better by the week. Ohio keeps their BCS dreams afloat after beating Marshall 27-24. No, it wasn’t super impressive, but it was a win, and that’s what they need to keep doing. Congratulations are also in order to Terry Bowden, who’s Akron team gave him his first win at the FBS level in 15 years. He gets his first SEC game in that same time frame next week in Knoxville, and that one could get ugly.

It’s probably not easy to find them on television, but if you can, you need to watch Louisiana Tech. Back to back 56 point showings by the offense and the Bulldogs are 2-0. If they can somehow get a couple wins on the road against Illinois and Virginia in the coming two weeks, they could make a run for an unbeaten season. In addition to Utah State and Lousiana Tech impressing, the WAC, which is on its last legs as a fledgling conference has a third team who has shown up and some damage. Remember when Stanford “only” beat San Jose State 20-17? Well, that Stanford team is better than we thought, and so too is perhaps the San Jose State squad. A 40-20 victory over Colorado State has the Spartans at 2-1 with a critical non conference game against San Diego State looming.

And one last shout out to the Sun Belt. Troy gave Mississippi State everything they wanted, ULM clearly did the same with Auburn, Western Kentucky upset Kentucky, and Florida Atlantic made the Georgia defense sweat in the first half in solid showings against the SEC. But it didn’t stop there. Florida International was not a pushover in their loss to Central Florida, and North Texas had Kansas State fans pacing back and forth until well into the 4th quarter. Not a bad day at all.

New Top 25

1.  Alabama

2.  LSU

3.  Oregon

4.  Florida State

5.  West Virginia

6.  Georgia

7.  Oklahoma

8.  Ohio State

9.  Texas

10.Clemson

11.Stanford

12.Notre Dame

13.USC

14.South Carolina

15.Kansas State

16.Florida

17.Louisville

18.Boise State

19.Mississippi State

20.TCU

21.UCLA

22.Michigan State

23.Georgia Tech

24.Arizona

25.Rutgers

Others

Tennessee

Virginia Tech

Northwestern

Nebraska

Baylor

Missouri

Ohio

Cincinnati

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