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Posts Tagged ‘Arizona State’

There was a partial redemption by the ACC this week, but topping the surprises was the East Carolina Pirates taking down yet again, for the second week in a row, a top 20 opponent, this time, a top 10. Skip Holtz’s Pirates dominated Patrick White and the West Virginia Mountaineers 24-3. At some point don’t we have to think MAYBE these arent upsets?

Adding to the confusion were some very questionable performances by several top 25 contenders. For instance, the Ohio State Buckeyes were behind going into the 4th quarter, and were being outplayed by a spirited Ohio University Bobcat team. But for a couple of very good special team plays, the Buckeyes might have been alot sadder this evening. The same story goes for the Bulls of USF, who needed overtime to beat UCF 31-24. Florida, who probably should have rolled over state rival Miami, struggled also, along with lackluster performances from Auburn, Texas Tech, BYU, and South Florida. South Carolina drops out of the top 25 this week after being beat by Vanderbilt for the second year in a row.

Other top 25 teams had little or no problems with their opponents, but there will be some shift based on some uninspired performances. So, here’s the new Top 25 based on the weekend’s results.

#1 Oklahoma (2-0). Defeated Cincinnati (1-1) 52-26 at home. Next week: At Washington. The Sooners scored their first touchdown less than 2 minutes into the game, and built a rather formidable lead, before the Bearcats fought back bravely. At least this was a top 10 team playing something other than an Our Lady of the Redeeming Albino College.  Sooners are looking very fast, and very good.

#2 USC (1-0) Bye this week, Next week: Ohio State at home. The Trojans should be nice and rested when they take on the Buckeyes. They get moved up because of a lackluster Florida performance.

#3 Georgia (2-0). Defeated Central Michigan (1-1) 56-17 at home. Next week: At South Carolina. We predicted dawgs by 40 so we were close. Not much else to report here, other than Georgia was hitting on all cylinders. Matthew Stafford was 18 of 28 for 213 yards and 2 TDs. Knowshon Moreno, a legit Heisman candidate, had a great day running for 168 yards on 18 carries and 3 TDs.

#4 Florida (2-0). Defeated Miami (1-1) 26-3 at home. We weren’t overly impressed with this victory by the Gators. Tebow was off the mark quite a bit, and didnt really take control until late in the game. We’re impressed with the progress of the Hurricanes though. Gators are legit for sure, they should be concerned that they did not give a consistent offensive performance. However, Georgia needs to be scared.

#5 Ohio State (2-0). Defeated Ohio University (0-2) 26-14 at home. OSU had plenty of problems with the Bobcats at home. Their running game missed Beanie Wells, but we’re not sure he would have made a difference. Boeckman only through for 110 yards. Statistically the game was very close. Ohio converted 9 of 17 third downs against the Buckeye defense. A late punt return for 69 yards by OSU was the key in the game. They can’t play this way next week at USC and expect to win.

#6 LSU (1-0). Game with Troy was postponed to November 15 due to damage from Hurricane Gustav. Next week: North Texas at home.

#7 Missouri (2-0). Defeated SE Missouri (1-1) 52-13 at home. Next week: Nevada at home. As would be expected, the Tigers jumped out to a 42-0 halftime lead, and then coasted home. No surprises here. Chase Daniels threw for 245 yards and 3 TDs. Jeremy Maclin did play but had only 2 receptions for 20 yards. Consider this a bye week, since a decent Texas High School football team could beat SE Missouri.

#8 Wisconsin (2-0). Defeated Marshall (1-1) 51-14 at home. Next week: #22 Fresno State at home. The Badgers looked very balanced and impressive this week, and what with the demise of West Virginia, they move up. This week, P.J. Hill had only 57 yards (but 2 TDs), but the story was QB Allan Evridge who was 17 of 26 for 308 yards and 1 TD. They’ll get a stiff challenge next week when Fresno State visits.

#9 Auburn (2-0). Defeated So. Mississippi (1-1) 27-13 at home. Next Week: At Mississippi State. We expected this to be close, and had predicted the Tigers by 10, so they did a little better. In our hearts we were hoping for more, however to cement a top 10 ranking, but hey its ok. Junior QB Chris Todd had a good day throwing for 248 yards and the running game generated another 132.

#10 Texas (2-0). Defeated UTEP (0-2) 42-13 in El Paso. Next week: Arkansas at home. The score wasn’t indicative of Texas’ play, as much as indicative of an undisciplined, poorly coached UTEP team. Texas pulled another of its “let’s stay close and get a couple or more cheap TD’s at the end of the game” stunt. Forget the stats here, its a predictive win.

#11 Kansas (2-0). Defeated La. Tech (1-1) 29-0 at home. Next week: At #18 South Florida. The Jayhawks keep demonstrating that their program is for real, this time showing some pretty good defense as well as a versatile offense that generated 538 total yards. Todd Reesing was 32/38 for 412 yards and 3 TDs which is good in anyone’s book. Definitely a solid performance. Jawhawks get tested next week to see where they really are.

#12 Arizona State (2-0). Defeated Stanford (1-1) 41-17 at home. Next week: UNLV at home. ASU put in a solid performance, and better than expected (we predicted by 18). QB Rudy Carpenter was 22 of 28 for 388 yards and a TD.

#13 Texas Tech (2-0). Defeated Nevada (1-1) 35-19 in Nevada. Next week: SMU at home. Another disappointing performance from the TTU offense that really never clicked causes us to slip TTU a spot. Graham Harrell was far from Heisman cailber turning in a poor 19 of 46 for 297 yards, far below what we’re used to from the high octane Red Raider offense. A bright spot, however, was Michael Crabtree’s 7 catches for 158 yards, including an 82-yard TD reception.

#14 Alabama (2-0). Defeated Tulane (0-2) 20-6 at home. Next week: Western Kentucky at home. A two touchdown victory over a hapless team doesn’t do much for us. After the great victory over Clemson last week, we expected a blow out and what we got was a very unimpressive performance, perhaps a let down. Tulane generated lots more offense (318 to 172) than Alabama did which makes us wonder a little about what Nick Saban’s group was thinking.

#15 Oregon (2-0). Defeated Utah State (0-2) 66-24 at home. Next week: At Purdue. With 688 total offensive yards, and seven different Ducks rushing for at least 25 yards, 408 total yards rushing we’d say that this was complete domination. Oregon played three at QB accounting for another 280 passing yards.

#16 Penn State (2-0). Defeated Oregon State (0-2) 45-14 at home. Next week: At Syracuse. The Nittany Lions hit on all cylinders this day amassing 454 yards of total offense, sparked by Evan Royster’s 141 rushing yards and 3 TD’s. PSU has some defense work to do, however, allowing the Aggies to have 342 yards.

#17 East Carolina (2-0). Defeated West Virginia (1-1) 24-3 at home. Next week: At Tulane. We have to hand it to the Pirate’s head coach Skip Holtz (yes son of Lou). He has worked magic with his team in little over a year. Their win over then #17 Virginia Tech might had been interpreted as a hard fought game with a lucky break at the end. But not this game against West Virginia. We know what the Mountaineers are capable of. We know what Patrick White can do. And ECU shut it all down with a very good defense and a a consistent, ball-control offense that frustrated the Mountaineers all day.  What’s more…take a look at the ECU schedule and find a game where they WONT be the favored team the rest of the year.  Is this our Cinderella BCS buster?  Could be!

#18 Illinois (1-1). Defeated Eastern Illinois (0-2) 47-21 at home. Next week: La-Lafayette at home. After an excellent performance in a losing cause against Missouri last week, the Fighting Illini came roaring back against their state rival. Juice Williams and company amassed 533 yards of total offense, 399 of which was on the ground. Williams himself was a one-man wrecking machine, throwing for 124 and rushing for 174. Illinois will make its presence known the remainder of the season and could be a spoiler in the Big 10.

#19 So Florida (2-0). Defeated Central Florida (1-1) 31-24 in overtime at UCF. Next week: #11 Kansas at home. Another example of a rather lackluster performance. UCF fought valliantly, and more. However, we can not over look the fact that the Bulls generated over 500 yards of total offense, 346 of which generated by Matt Grothe’s passing efforts. We’ll chalk this up to a very good interstate rivalry, but we’d sure like to see a more consistent performance.

#20 West Virginia (1-1). Lost to #25 East Carolina (2-0) 24-3 in Greenville, NC. Next week: Bye. We haven’t lost complete faith in the Mountaineers. But on this day, ECU QB Patrick Pinkney torched WV for 236 yards, but it was their defense that was relentness. The Mountaineers’ title hopes are pretty much gone, but fortunately conference and bowl hopes are not.

#21 BYU (2-0). Defeated Washington (0-2) 28-27 at Washington. Next week: UCLA at home. BYU totally deserves to be dropped, as they win this game on a lousy, sticking “Excessive celebration” call. Washington scored the near-tying touchdown with :02 left, but then they were penalized. This is the lousiest directive that has ever been handed down by the NCAA. In any case, BYU didn’t deserve the game.

#22 Wake Forest (2-0). Defeated Mississippi (1-1) 30-28 at home. Next week: At Florida State. This was a hard fought game, and the ACC team this time came out on top.  Mississippi took the lead late but WF managed to get a game winning FG with 0:03 left in the game.  Give the game ball to Sam Swank who was 3-3 in field goals, including the game winner. He is the nation’s leader.

#23 Clemson (1-1). Defeated The Citadel (1-1) 45-17 at home. Next week: North Carolina at home. The Tigers rebounded with a solid performance offensively, generating 525 total yards. But perhaps equally as disappointing was the fact that they gave up 427 total yards. Fortunately they got 3 turnovers to counterbalance. However, if these Tigers are to live up to their pre-season expectations, much is left to be done.

#24 Fresno State (1-0). Bye. Next week: At #8 Wisconsin.

#25 Utah (2-0). Defeated UNLV (1-1) 42-21 at home. Next week: At Utah State. This game was quite competitive, being tied 14 at halftime. Utah QB Brian Johnson struggled early, but ended the game 15/24 for 183 yards and two touchdowns.


Dropped from the Top 25: South Carolina.

Bubble Teams: South Carolina, Georgia Tech, Air Force, California.

Most Impressive: East Carolina, Oklahoma, Penn State, Oregon.

Least Impressive: South Carolina, West Virginia, Ohio State, BYU.

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Surprise surprise the pollsters didn’t take long to change their minds on their number one did they? They have anointed USC for that this week. We (my good buddy Steve and I) weren’t quite ready to do so, even after they beat Virginia. Its true that Virginia was a bowl team last year and had quite the defense.  Operative word here – HAD.  It seems that our national pollsters might not have delved under the covers on the Cavaliers. They lost too many players, including their two top defensive studs, one to the NFL and one to academic violations. Their O-line was devastated and they lost their starting QB to academics also.  Add to that a few that left for undisclosed reasons, and you have a team rebuilding.  So the trouncing by USC was of no huge surprise to us, and did not warrant a jump to #1.

While week one might have given a couple of insights on teams this year, don’t look for week two to offer much more. For the most part, it should business as usual, but as we all know…thats where things can get mighty uneasy sometimes.

#1 Ohio State (1-0) v. Ohio U (0-1)  at home. Well, with or without Chris Wells (probably without) the Buckeyes should have little problem with the Bobcats. Look for the 1st team to exit early. We’d be surprised if Beanie Wells suits up.  OSU by 40.

#2 Florida (1-0)  v.  Miami (FL) at home. Now here’s an interesting game. The Hurricanes look all revved up after trouncing Charleston-Southern 52-7 (no great feat we admit), and the Gators were equally impressive dispatching an equally unimpressive Hawaii 52-10. Tebow will at least see a decent defense this week. The Gator defense might also have to play a few more quarters.  Florida by 10.

#3 Oklahoma (1-0) v. Cincinnati (1-0) at home. On the surface this looks like another walk in the park for the Sooners, especially being at home. The Bearcats dismantled Eastern Kentucky 40-7 last week while the Sooners were 50-0 at halftime against something a little less than a Texas high school football team in Chattanooga.  I think this game at least makes Oklahoma break a sweat. If they’re up 50-0 at halftime against Cincy, then we’ll anoint them #1 next week. Sooners by 21.

#4 Georgia (1-0) v. Central Michigan (1-0) at home. The Bulldogs have to be madder than a Michael Vick Pit Bull that they dropped to #2 in the national polls, after shellacking Georgia Southern. And Central Michigan is in the way this week.  I think the Dawgs do everything they can to run up the score, since USC has the week off. Bulldogs by 40.

#5 USC (1-0) off this week. The Trojans earn a week off before having to host the Buckeyes in 2 weeks. Isn’t that fortunate! We’ll have no problems shooting USC to #1 if they beat OSU. But hey, that gives the media a week to hype it!

#6 LSU (1-0) v. Troy (1-0) at home. Late news here is that this game will be postponed until Nov 15, so the Tigers get a bye this week.

#7 Missouri (1-0) v. Southeast Missouri State (1-0) at home. The Redhawks must have gotten a huge payout to get this humiliated. Look for Jeremy Maclin to take the week off, and Chase Daniel to be listening to his iPod by half time. It would be BAD if the Missou defense allows a big passing day. Missouri by 50.

#8 West Virginia (1-0) v. East Carolina (1-0) at ECU. The Pirates outplayed and finally beat Virginia Tech last week, on sheer tenacity. ECU had just as good a defense, and moved the ball well against a pretty good VT defense. But lets not confuse VT’s offense with West Virginia’s either. ECU will make this close early, but physically I think the sheer athleticism and flexibility of the WV offense pulls away late.  West Virginia by 17.

#9 Auburn (1-0) v. Southern Miss (1-0) at home. Both teams are coming off a good offensive outing, and Auburn is prone to relax against some lesser opponents. The Golden Eagles had well over 600 yards of offense last week, so the Tigers do have their work cut out for them. We think that this might be a good pick for an upset, but we aren’t going that way.  Tigers by 10.

#10 Wisconsin (1-0) v. Marshall (1-0) at home. Wisconsin running back P.J. Hill single handedly won the game last week, and will go up against a Thundering Herd defense that allowed less than 100 yards rushing last week.  Still, we’re reasonably sure that the Badgers are a bit bigger and stronger than Illinois State.  Wisconsin by 31.

#11. Brigham Young (1-0)  v.  Washington (0-1) in Washington. Poor Washington looks to have a pretty long year, and BYU will be glad to help that along. Last week against Oregon, the Huskies gave up almost 500 yards of total offense. Lord knows BYU can do that in a half probably. Cougars by 35.

#12. Texas (1-0)  v. UTEP (0-1) in El Paso. UTEP lost miserably against Buffalo last week, 42-17, so its really hard to believe that they’ll improve astronomically to give the Longhorns a good game. We think that Texas at #10 is way over rated by the way. Longhorns by 45.

#13. Texas Tech (1-0) v. Nevada (1-0) in Nevada. TTU’s offense was in decent form but their defense was very confused and sloppy in the home opener. Nevada’s offense last week against Grambling rushed for 426 yards and added another 209 in the air. That kind of offense against a confused TTU defense either means a long, high-scoring game, or an early loss for the Red Raiders. Watch out for the upset here!  TTU by 8.

#14 Kansas (1-0) v. Louisiana Tech (1-0) at home. Kansas looked solid last week, and Reesing didnt seem to have missed a beat. La Tech triumphed over a tougher opponent Miss State, so this might be a sleeper that could surprise some people. Well, maybe not. Kansas by 28.

#15 Arizona State (1-0) v. Stanford (1-0) at home. A home game and a conference game. I can’t see ASU approaching this game flippantly. Stanford won their opener last week, and will be high as a kite with hopes of upsetting a top 20 team. It could happen, but we don’t think so this year.  Sun Devils by 18.

#16. Alabama (1-0) v. Tulane (0-0) at home. Alabama sure looked real last week in their domination of Clemson, so we sure don’t see much of anything that Tulane can bring to be a threat.  Alabama by 38.

#17 South Florida (1-0) v. Univ Central Florida (1-0) at UCF. Interstate games are always interesting and hard to call, especially early in the year when anything can happen. The Bulls should dominate in sheer physicality tho, and come away with a solid win. Bulls by 24.

#18 Oregon (1-0)  v.  Utah State (0-1) at home. The Ducks had a solid game last week, even with all the turmoil at QB. Justin Roper should be back at the helm for Oregon so they should have little problem with the the Aggies who have lost 19 straight games against ranked teams.  Ducks by 35.

#19 Penn State (1-0)  v.  Oregon State (0-1) at home. While the Beavers might feel at home in Beaver Stadium in State College, PA, they’ll surely not be accomplishing much against Paterno’s bunch. PSU is 22-11 against Pac-10 opponents in their history. Make that 23-11.  Penn State by 22.

#20 Illinois (0-1)  v. Eastern Illinois (0-1) at home. You have to give Juice Williams credit against Missouri in a losing cause, and we think he romps big against the state rival Panthers. Eastern Illinois is 4-22 against FBS teams.  Illinois by 32.

#21 Clemson (0-1)  v.  The Citadel (1-0) at home. If ever there is a team that would need a kick in the pants it was Clemson. Not only did they lose to Alabama, they looked totally disinterested.  Look for Coach Tommy Bowden to shake things up, and win huge, even though the Bulldogs ran dominant in a lop sided win last week. Tigers by 28.

#22 Fresno State (1-0)  has a bye week. They’ll be tuning up for the big cross country trip to Wisconsin in two weeks.

#23 South Carolina (1-0)  v.  Vanderbilt (1-0) at Vandy. (Thurs game). The Gamecocks struggled but pulled away late when last years QB Chris Smelly was reinstated. He’ll start this week. Last year, when South Carolina was ranked #6, they lost to Vanderbilt, so there may be some motivation for revenge.  They should get it too. Gamecocks by 14.

#24 Utah (1-0) v. UNLV (1-0) at home. Last year the Utes were shutout by UNLV, but after an inspiring performance against Big-10 Michigan, they’ll definitely have the momentum. Look for Utah to come out fast and finish strong.  Utes by 20.

#25 Wake Forest (1-0) v. Mississippi (1-0) at home. This could be a nice little matchup The Demon Deacons won on the road against Baylor last week (doo dah), and Mississippi took out Memphis 41-24. The WF defense should be the key to the game, and provide the margin of victory. Wake Forest by 7.

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Just when I think a weekend is going to be boring, it turns out to be anything but. Games that I thought might be sleepers, turned the top 25 on end, yet again. With this year, I should know better.

Ohio State proved that they were anything but invincible as an inspired Illinois team, led by QB Juice Williams, humbled the Buckeyes in their own house. Barring some superhuman fluke (which could occur), this drops OSU out of the National Championship race, and sets up next week their showdown with Michigan (who also lost to an upstart Wisconsin team) for a trip to the Rose Bowl. What it also did was put LSU and Oregon in the driver’s seat for the top 2 slots. But the season is winding down and lots of things can happen.

By the way, Boston College lost again this week, this time to lowly Maryland, proving yet again that the East Coast writer block failed to assess talent as they should when they voted them in the top 5 and top 10. Now they will be in the bottom 10. Here’s the way I see them now:

1. LSU (9-1). Defeated La. Tech 58-10. Next Week: At Ole Miss.
These Tigers must have been pretty fired up after seeing Ohio State lose, and therefore took care of business properly so there would be NO decision on who should be #1. In my mind, Oregon gets a little bit hurt this week because they didn’t play. LSU still doesnt have a cake walk tho. They must beat a surprising Ole Miss team next week, then finish against Arkansas, before taking on (likely) Georgia for the SEC Championship. My advice to Les Miles, look at this year and don’t get comfy at this spot.

2. Oregon (8-1). Idle this week. Next Week: At Arizona (Thurs)
The timing really couldn’t have been worse for the Ducks, as they had an off week when #1 falls and LSU rolls. Still, the Ducks are in a most advantageous driver’s seat. They have a decent final schedule (at Arizona, at UCLA, home against Oregon State) which pits them against 3 unranked teams. Its true that 2 are on the road, but also in their favor there’s no Pac-10 championship game, so if they can win out, they could be sitting at #1. But lots of things could happen between now and then before they punch a ticket to New Orleans.

3. Oklahoma (9-1). Defeated Baylor 52-21. Next Week: At Texas Tech.
The Sooners find themselves in a similar predicament as LSU, but perhaps a little more difficult. OU must win out against two very high scoring teams in Texas Tech and Oklahoma State, which gets them to the Big 12 Championship game against either Missouri or Kansas. The BCS then goes to work for them if that happens. Figure that Mizzou or Kansas will be in the top 5 when one of them goes to the Big 12 Champioship game in San Antonio, and that pits #3 against #4 0r 5. The Sooners win that game, the BCS computers might just reward them with a trip to the National Championship.

4. West Virginia (8-1). Defeated Louisville 38-31. Next Week: At Cincinnati.
The Mountaineers have a real tough road ahead to hope to vie for a National Title, and it will take alot of luck as well as work. First, they must travel to Cincy and beat a Bearcat team thats on a roll after demolishing both South Florida and UConn. Then they get back-to-back home games against UConn and Pitt to win the Big East and an automatic BCS bid. Thats doable and within the range of this high powered offense. However, the writers dont seem to be very cordial to WVU, ranking them 6th or 7th last week. They’ll likely move up a spot with the OSU loss, but still undefeated Kansas and possibly even Mizzou might garner more “puter-points”. WVU needs for alot of things to happen ahead of them to get them in the mix, but first they have to take care of business.

5. Georgia (8-2). Defeated Auburn 45-20. Next Week: Kentucky at home.
Yep you dont need to do a double take. I raised the Dawgs up after their VERY impressive showing against Auburn. I was all ready to push these guyz down, as I thought Auburn might upset, but Georgia would have NONE of that. The Dawgs aren’t home free yet by any stretch of the imagination. They must play Kentucky next week, then on the road to finish against Georgia Tech. Keep in mind that one of Georgia’s two losses was to Tennessee, who is only one game behind them in the SEC East. That means ONE slip up by the Dawgs and they go from SEC Championship to a tier 2 bowl game. Now a fantasy scenario for them is that they do win out, beat LSU in the SEC Championship and get help above them to get to a possible National Championship. Thats pretty much to ask tho.

6. Kansas (10-0). Defeated Oklahoma State 43-28. Next Week: Iowa State at home.
This KU team, I think, gets a little bit shortchanged, but I can see why. Here’s my take. First, I think right now its a toss up between KU and Mizzou for this spot, but the fact that KU did very well against a high-powered offense like Oklahoma State, makes me feel comfy giving them the edge. However, lets face it. While teams ranked 1-5 above have played formidable opponents, Kansas hasn’t play a single Top 25 tea. This makes me a bit suspicious if they should be ranked this high at all. However, they are one of only two undefeated teams (Hawaii is the other one), and that deserves some merit until they show us they dont belong. That test will be in 2 weeks against Mizzou. Could KU get to the Natiional Championship? Absolutely. The BCS has them at #4 last week and probably #3 this week. If they win out, which would mean beating OU, they might garner enought BCS points to push LSU or Oregon out.

7. Missouri (9-1). Defeated Texas A&M 40-26. Next Week: At Kansas State.
As discussed above, these Tigers are pretty much tied for #6. At leat Mizzou can boast playing not only a top 25, but a top 5 team (Oklahoma). They lost that contest by 10, mostly on turnovers. However, similarly, they havent beaten a top 25 yet either. More cause for worry. This all shakes out against Kansas in 2 weeks for the Big 12 North title, and a trip to San Antonio to most likely play OU for the Big 12 Championship. Mizzou would need lots of help to get to New Orleans tho.

8. Ohio State (10-1). Lost to Illinois 28-21. Next Week: At Michigan.
Enough said – the Buckeyes failed to keep their eyes on the prize and stumbled badly against Illinois. So what’s next? Probably a Rose Bowl bid, if they can beat Michigan on the road next week. Given past history, thats a good bet. I’ll doubt that the pollsters will put the Buckeyes this low, but they certainly deserve it.

9. Virginia Tech (8-2). Defeated Florida State 40-21. Next Week: Miami at home.
The Hokies got a big win over the Seminoles the week after FSU knocked off Boston College. Va Tech will need to dispose of Miami next week, then turn their sites on rival Virginia to win the ACC Coastal.

10. Arizona State (9-1). Defeated UCLA 24-20. Next Week: Idle.
The Sun Devils gutted it up against a formidable opponent this week, and this was a great character builder after losing a tough game last week to Oregon. Closing wins against USC and Arizona, will get them a very high non-BCS bowl game. But USC has re-emerged, so look for a tough game.

11. Hawaii (9-0). Defeated Fresno State 37-30. Next Week: At Nevada.
I expected a tough game here, and it started out as a cakewalk. The Warriors took a 21-0 lead and I thought that they would just run away with it. However, Fresno St hung in, and took advantage of an injury to Colt Brennan to get close. However, kudos to the Hawaii defense for rising up at the end. Hawaii suffers from the same fate as Kansas in that they just dont play anyone. However, Hawaii still has a very tough road game against Nevada, but then must finish at home against Boise State and Washington.

12. Boise State (9-1). Defeated Utah State 52-0. Next Week: Idaho at home.
Quietly, Boise State has put up some terrific numbers and look to be headed for a showdown with Hawaii for the WAC Title. We all remember the fireworks last year between Oklahoma and BSU, and who knows… a similar match up might be in a future bowl game.

13. Florida (7-3). Defeated South Carolina 51-31. Next Week: FAU at home.
The Gators took care of business this week, something they just haven’t decided to do this year much. I’m a little uncomfortable putting them this high with 3 losses, but a 3-loss SEC team might be as good or better than a 1 or 2 loss team anywhere else.

14. USC (8-2). Defeated California 24-17. Next Week: Idle.
The Trojans seem to be resurgent with John David Booty now healthy. Lest we forget that their two losses this year have been for a combined 8 points, this is still a very good team Assuming that Oregon can win out and go to the National Championship, USC’s next game against Arizona State on 11/22 could be for a Rose Bowl bid, and I wouldn’t count them out with those stakes in play.

15. Texas (9-2). Defeated Texas Tech 59-43. Next Week: Idle.
Texas seems to just find ways to win every week, and even though the Longhorn defense was shredded for almost 500 yards in passing by Graham Harrell, they still prevailed. Texas hasnt got many options really. They have a day after Thanksgiving date with A&M, and then on to a tier 2 bowl game.

16. Virginia (9-2). Defeated Miami 48-0. Next Week: Idle.
The Cavaliers certainly continue to impress week after week, but they havent played a top 25 team this year yet, and wont until their matchup with Virginia Tech on 11/24 for the ACC Coastal title and a possible trip to the ACC Championship. The road victory against Miami this week was a good show of power that’s got to give the Hokies alot to worry about.

17. Boston College (8-2). Lost to Maryland 42-35. Next Week: At Clemson.
This week was disgraceful for the Golden Eagles, to be honest. I think I might be being too nice to them ranking them this high. A really good character team would have bounced back after the tough loss to FSU, and dominated a mediocre 4-5 (now 5-5) team like Maryland. Instead BC wimps out for a second week in a row. They need to really gut check this week against Clemson, as this will most likely be for the ACC Atlantic title and a trip to the ACC Championship to play Viriginia, or Va Tech, both of which are playing better than BC right now.

18. Michigan (8-3). Lost to Wisconsin 37-21. Next Week: Ohio State at home.
This loss to Wisconsin just is an enigma. Chad Henne starts the game, but leaves early. Mike Hart never enters. Most writers are writing off the Wolverines, but I’m not ready to do that quite yet. They mounted a heck of a come back in the 4th Quarter without the heart and soul of the team, so it shows me they haven’t given up. If Henne and Hart can get healthy for the last game, I think they have a chance, otherwise a Rose Bowl berth isnt likely.

19. Clemson (8-2). Defeated Wake Forest 44-10. Next Week: Boston College at home
These Tigers roll off 4 victories to open the season, then lose back-to-back against Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech, but have since gone on a 4-0 run again. With Clemson playing better, and Boston College on a downslide, this could be a very interesting matchup for, presumably, the ACC Atlantic Title and a trip to the ACC Championship game.

20. Tennessee (7-3). Defeated Arkansas 34-13. Next Week: Vanderbilt at home.
The Vols continue to hang in the SEC East race with Georgia, and in fact, remain a threat to drail them since they have defeated them earlier this year. Any slip up by Georgia, and Tennessee goes to the SEC Championship – well, if they can close out against Vandy and Kentucky (no small feat).

21. Cincinnati (8-2). Defeated UConn 27-3. Next Week: West Virginia at home.
Suddenly Cincy is looking at a possible automatic BCS berth. Yes you read that right. It’s as simple as defeating the Mountaineers at home – well if you can call keeping Pat White, Steve Slayton, et al in check. But the goal is clear and defined. There’s no dependence on anyone else – they are in control.

22. Illinois (8-3). Defeated Ohio State 28-21. Next Week: Northwestern at home.
Ron Zook and his team made the definitive statement over the weekend, defeating the #1 team in the nation and killing the Buckeyes’ hopes for a National Championship. At stake now is a 9-win season, and a trip to a very nice bowl game if they can prevail over Northwestern.

23. UConn (8-2). Lost to Cincinnati 27-3. Next Week: Syracuse at home.
The Huskie Big East hopes went down the tube with their underwhelming performance against Cincy. However, the Huskies will probably get a decent bowl bid if they can defeat Syracuse this week and play West Virginia close at the end.

24. Penn State (8-3). Defeated Temple 31-0. Next Week: At Michigan State.
The Nittany Lions, but for a few lapses this year, could be in the mix in the Big 10, but such has not been their destiny. However, a final win against MSU will give them a very respectable 9 win season and a good post season bowl game.

25. Wisconsin (8-3). Defeated Michigan 37-21. Next Week: At Minnesota.
The Badgers just have some of the best character of any team I’ve seen this year. Banged up and without All-American RB P.J. Hill, they battle Michigan and hold off a 4Q charge to win – thats just great character. A final win against Minnesota gives the Badgers, like Penn State and Illinois, a 9 win season, and a reasonable bowl game.

Dropped Out: Florida State, Alabama, Auburn

On the Bubble: BYU (7-2), South Florida (7-3)

Most Impressive Teams This Week: LSU, Georgia, Illinois, Va Tech, Cincinnati

Least Impressive Teams This Week: Ohio State, Boston College, UConn

Have a Great Week – we’ll be back on Wednesday to preview Week 12.

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