Week 1 |
Week 2 |
Week 3 |
W, Arizona 20-3
at Washington State
It’s sort of amazing that USC can play two sluggish games against
Nebraska and at Arizona and still win with ease. The defense is better
than it’s been in past years, but the offense isn’t quite up to snuff
thanks to a shaky running game. Dropped passes, missed opportunities,
and not enough big plays might make some Trojan fans worry about this
week’s game at Washington State. There’s reason to be concerned against
the high-powered Cougars.
2. Ohio State
W, Penn State 28-6
next game: at Iowa
Ohio State certainly didn’t look like the nation’s number one team
against Penn State. The Nittany Lions didn’t show much on offense yet
still ran well and had a chance to win late. Give the Buckeyes credit
for coming through late and sealing the win, but this week’s battle at
Iowa will be the real test.
W, Buffalo 38-7
next game: at South Carolina
No argument here is you want to put Auburn number two. The win over LSU
will look better and better as the year goes on, but the real test is
coming up soon against Florida. An impressive win at South Carolina next
week would do wonders to start proving to doubters that this is a
real-deal national title contender.
W, Tulane 49-7
next game: Mississippi State
A legitimate case could be made that Auburn is the number one team in
the nation right now and LSU is number two. No one throttles the
mediocre like the Tigers, and it should have few problems with
Mississippi State next week.
W, Wisconsin 27-13
next game: at Minnesota
How good does that Notre Dame win look now? Don’t get too fired up over
that; Michigan State choked and the Irish still gave up way too many big
plays. In other words, people are going to make a bigger deal out of
that win than it probably deserves. Be careful of the trip to Minnesota.
W, Kentucky 26-7
next game: Alabama
While this is certainly a great team, it seems to be missing something
to put it ahead of Auburn, LSU and Michigan. There will be more than a
few chances ahead to prove it’s a major player in the national title
race. Blowing past Alabama would be a good start.
W, Iowa State 37-14
next game: Sam Houston State
Shhhhhhh, Texas is going to be laying low for a while, even with the
Oklahoma game coming up in a few weeks. However, watch out as this team
stays in the title race all season long. Longhorn fans, get out your
Ohio State pom poms because you need the Buckeyes to rock and roll the
rest of the way since that’s the one team you’re not going to get past
in the polls.
W, Marshall 33-7
next game: at Memphis
The Cal win is going to look better and better as the year goes on.
Blowing up Marshall is no big deal, and beating Memphis isn’t going to
get any national love, but the Vols have speed and skill to burn. If you
believe in Florida, then you need to believe that Tennessee might be
really, really good.
W, Arizona State 49-21
next game: at Oregon State
Would Cal beat Tennessee if the game was played next week in Berkeley?
This looks like a team that just needed to get its feet wet, and now
it’s ready to start dominating. USC is the only team in the Pac 10 that
can run with the Bears, but Oregon won’t be a pushover by any stretch in
a few weeks.
10. Louisville (4-0)
W, at Kansas State 24-6
next game: at Middle Tennessee (Fri. Oct. 6)
Easily the hardest team to figure out, the Kansas State win wasn’t
convincing enough to believe that this might be a good road squad. It
would be interesting to see what the Cards could do against a complete
team. Miami certainly doesn’t qualify at this point.
W, Michigan State 40-37
next game: Purdue
Is Notre Dame any good? The jury is still sort of out, but it’s going to
be 10-1 going into the USC showdown. Michigan State’s O went into the
tank in the second half of the classic loss, but the Irish D showed
great heart and had something to do with the collapse. The offense is
12. West Virginia (4-0)
W, at East Carolina 27-10
next game: at Mississippi State (Oct. 7)
West Virginia needs to play against someone good, but we’ll all have to
wait a while for that. How could the offense handle a fast, talented
defense that’s fired up to stop it?
W, Cincinnati 29-13
next game: Georgia Tech
The Hokies were way too shaky against a bad Cincinnati team. Sean
Glennon doesn’t appear to be consistent enough to get through an entire
season without one major clunker. Georgia Tech will finally provide a
real indication of how good Beamer’s bunch is.
14. Clemson (3-1)
W, North Carolina 52-7
next game: Louisiana Tech
Yeah, yeah, yeah, BC beat Clemson so, technically, this ranking might be
too high. Clemson is the better team and could be the one to beat in the
ACC. That was a flat-out spanking over North Carolina.
W, Oklahoma 34-33
next game: at Arizona State
The Ducks have had two weeks off to prepare for what’s sure to be a
disheartened Arizona State coming off a blowout loss in Berkeley. An
impressive win in Tempe would go a long way to proving that they’re the
main challenger to USC.
16. Georgia (4-0)
W, Colorado 14-13
next game: at Ole Miss
The ranking should probably be way, way lower. The running game couldn’t
get going against Colorado and the passing attack is a major mystery
with the issues at quarterback. All the problems on offense overshadow
the fantastic defense that’s good enough to lead the way to an SEC
17. Nebraska (3-1)
W, Troy 56-0
next game: Kansas
Whoopee … we know you can blowout Troy. We know you’ll throttle Kansas
next week. At Iowa State in two weeks begins the road to respectability
on a national scale, but the October games against Missouri and Texas
are the big tests.
18. Missouri (4-0)
W, Ohio 31-6
next game: Colorado
You could make a case that Missouri is playing better than anyone in the
Big 12. Yeah, it hasn’t beaten anyone with a pulse, but everything’s
working on both sides of the ball. This appears to be Gary Pinkel’s best
team yet by a long shot.
19. Iowa (4-0)
W, at Illinois 24-7
next game: Ohio State
If Iowa beats Ohio State when the national spotlight is on, and beats
Michigan in Ann Arbor on October 21st, it’ll be in the Rose
Bowl with a shot at possibly a lot more. However, the team has to play a
whole bunch better. The same performances that beat Iowa State and
Illinois with ease won’t be good enough.
20. Oklahoma (3-1)
W, Middle Tennessee 59-0
next game: vs. Texas (Oct. 7)
Now that’s the Oklahoma we’ve all been waiting for. Yeah, it was
only against Middle Tennessee, but it was a dominating performance on
both sides of the ball that showed how good the team might be down the
21. Michigan State (3-1)
L, Notre Dame 40-37
next game: Illinois
That same offense that blew the doors off Notre Dame for thirty minutes
is more than good enough to give Ohio State and Michigan fits. Not known
for being the most mentally tough team around, Michigan State has plenty
of chances to make amends.
L, at NC State 17-15
next game: Maine
A few plays away from being 1-3, Boston College is as hard a team as any
to figure out. With Maine up next followed up by a week off, the Eagles
will be as ready as they can possibly be for Virginia Tech and Florida
23. Arizona State (3-1)
L, at California 49-21
next game: Oregon
There’s more than enough talent and explosion to beat anyone in the Pac
10, but everyone seems to be pressing too hard. Much is made out of the
quarter situation with Rudy Carpenter struggling and Sam Keller taking
classes at Nebraska, but the bigger problem is receiver. The offense
desperately missed Derek Hagan.
24. Florida State (3-1)
W, Rice 55-7
next game: at NC State (Oct. 5)
Who cares that the Noles throttled Rice? There was an actual running
game getting the job done. It’s too bad there were plenty of empty seats
to witness it. Don’t forget that the Noles are one big run by Clemson
away from being 4-0 and in the national title chase.
L, Ohio State 28-6
next game: Northwestern
Penn State is hanging on here by a thread, but its defense made Ohio
State’s juggernaut offense look mediocre. QB Anthony Morelli has to
start playing better or the ranking slips to around 35.
Texas Tech (3-1)
Iowa State (2-2)
Texas A&M (4-0)
NC State (2-2)
Air Force (1-1)
Ole Miss (1-3)
New Mexico (2-2)
San Jose State
San Diego State
Ball State (2-2)
Kent State (2-2)
New Mexico State
UL Monroe (1-2)
Utah State (0-4)