Another week, another crushing Notre Dame last-second loss, and another batch of power rankings to satisfy all you college football fans out there. As with last week’s rankings, these are the combined voting efforts of me and Hogan. Write-ups were written by me.
1. Alabama (3-0, 40 points)
The Tide just keep on rolling. After an
off week game against Duke, they now enter the meat of
their schedule with three consecutive games against teams currently in our top thirteen
(two of which are on the road). If they
are 5-1 or better on October 10th, I’ll keep them at #1 because NO
team plays a harder stretch in the next three weeks (if not the rest of the
2. Ohio State (3-0, 37 points)
The Buckeyes keep chugging along by continuing their streak of a million straight wins against teams from that lawless wasteland known as the state of Ohio. This team has a schedule made up of bad-to-mediocre teams and will probably not play a close game until November (if then). I can accept that teams are going to play patsies once in a while, but OSU is in the midst of back-to-back games against Ohio and Eastern Michigan. That looks as bad as Holly Rowe in HD.
3. Oregon (3-0, 36)
While their schedule has definitely left much to be desired, the Ducks have certainly taken care of business in the early going while becoming the #1 scoring offense AND #1 scoring defense at this early point. The Pac-10 looks like a middle-of-the-pack conference this year, and the Ducks won’t get many chances to prove themselves against elite teams (actually, they won’t get any chances), so running the table is essential for them.
4. Nebraska (3-0, 34)
It’s a good thing that the Cornhuskers made some sort of statement in their trip to Washington because their disgustingly weak schedule only features one game with a ranked team ALL SEASON! If the Huskers lose to Texas in October, their win in Seattle might turn out to be their best win of the season (until, of course, they inevitably play OU/UT in their final Big 12 championship game).
5. Boise State (2-0, 31)
Arguably the team with the best win of the season to date, Boise will be fighting for their Power Ranking lives when they take on the Oregon State Beavers this weekend. A win, and I’ll be stuck having to find things to say about them for the next 12 weeks. With a loss, however, you can take it to the bank that I won’t vote for them again until Thanksgiving.
6. Texas (3-0, 30)
Let’s pause for a moment to reflect on how ridiculous it is that Texas got a first place vote in the AP poll this week.
Now as I said last week, the Longhorns are in the midst of their toughest four game stretch of the season (actually, if you look at it, their only four game stretch). They took care of business against Tech, and now they have to be careful not to look past a little school called the University of California, Los Angeles (which is in California) to their Oklahoma and Nebraska games that start October.
7. TCU (3-0, 29)
Another team with a top ten scoring offense AND defense clobbered another team (Baylor) from a conference that is supposedly better. An easy slate of games over the next few weeks isn’t going to help their standing in the power rankings, but I personally think they’ll end the season higher than their unofficial Blue turfed rivals.
8. Oklahoma (3-0, 25)
I feel like I rant about schedules too often, but the Sooners actually have one of the best non-conference slates I’ve seen from a Big 12 team in recent memory. They’ve already beaten Florida State and Air Force (a very respectable opponent) and have a game at Cincinnati this week. It’s a shame the Big 12 is so awful this year (and the Sooners don’t play Nebraska) and their season will pretty much come down (once again) to the Red River Rivalry.
9. Arkansas (3-0, 24)
Bobby Petrino and Ryan Mallett left Georgia with a win on Saturday, and that’s really all that matters with #1 Alabama on the docket this Saturday. With all the Heisman talk I keep hearing, Mallett must be very pleased he got out of Michigan (although, just getting out of that state is enough for happiness).
10. Arizona (3-0, 21)
Another candidate for best win of the early season is the Wildcats late night victory over Iowa. Entering the Pac-10 part of their schedule, Arizona is clearly the Pac-10 team with the best win, and might be the only team that has a chance to take on Oregon for conference supremacy.
T-11. Utah (3-0, 20)
I’m always high on this team, and think their season-opening win against Pitt is still one of the better victories in this early season.
T-11. Florida (3-0, 20)
This team still does not look as powerful as the Gators teams we’ve grown accustomed to seeing. They haven’t been putting away these early season teams we would expect them to slaughter, and I wonder if they’ll be able to get through the SEC East or if Steve Spurrier has his Gamecocks in position to pounce.
13. South Carolina (3-0, 18)
Speaking of the Gamecocks, they’re this high today based on one victory over a possibly down Georgia squad, but they’ve got a trip to Auburn this week to show the country what they’ve got and prove that they belong in the discussion with the elite SEC teams.
14. Stanford (3-0, 13)
The team that comes to Notre Dame Stadium this weekend gets there off of solid wins against Wake Forest and UCLA. I doubt the Cardinal are looking ahead to next week’s game at Oregon, but I couldn’t blame them if they are. I never thought I’d see the day that Stanford was ranked this highly, this early; and I fully expect the Irish to have a defensive collapse in the middle of the fourth quarter and lose the game in the final minutes. We will then all write about how much Harbaugh sucks.
15. Auburn (3-0, 12)
The Tigers beat the Tigers (of Clemson) in OT last week and are now one of the many SEC teams that will be jockeying for position in the coming weeks as they take on South Carolina. I’d expect Auburn to win the home game, but there’s no way of telling what is going to happen in the SEC.
T-16. LSU (3-0, 11)
I am completely shocked that LSU is playing a non-conference game against a team that is ranked (West Virginia), but I guess it’s part of this great new development where SEC teams try to schedule one decent non-conference game a year. I expect the Tigers to win this one simply because they’re playing it at home.
T-16. Wisconsin (3-0, 11)
I was in Madison last weekend and stood in the student section for their game against ASU, and came away pretty unimpressed. On the field, the Badgers barely managed to beat a mediocre Pac-10 team and looked pretty inept throughout many stretches of the game. Their special teams (return coverage especially) looked absolutely abysmal, and their offense only seemed to move the ball when it was absolutely necessary. Is this a decent team? Yes. Is it a top ten team? No. Looking at their schedule, I predict a 9-3 finish at best (which is great for them, but by no means are they an elite national team).
The other thing that I found shocking about Wisconsin was the fan involvement. The last Badger game I went to was a 2007 blowout against Indiana (over Halloween of all weekends), and it made sense that the fans were lackluster. I was expecting more for this “big” non-conference game, and was disappointed. For a school that seemingly sees itself in the college football elite, they are doing nothing to foster an atmosphere to match the elite teams of the Big Ten (hell, Michigan State fans create a more hostile environment, and you know how much I hate East Lansing).
Now I don’t expect every fan (or even the average fan) to be paying attention to every single play, but there are like organized traditions at this school that only serve as complete distractions to the action on the field. In the first quarter (when the Badgers were losing, and roughly half the student section was still empty), the stadium spent a solid ten minutes doing The Wave. Why? The Wave is something that should be reserved for the end of a blowout, sort of as a way to tell the opponents “this game has gotten so boring that we’re resorting to The Wave to entertain ourselves”. At Wisconsin, The Wave is apparently something they do in the first quarter of EVERY GAME!! Their offense is on the field in the red zone, and the fans were far more concerned with making their Wave go more slowly. Seriously??
This Wave is apparently a tradition, and it probably started in the pre-Barry Alvarez days when the Badgers were absolutely atrocious. What makes no sense, however, is that once Alvarez got the team doing great (I was shocked to find out that Barry Alvarez is the only Big Ten coach to EVER win consecutive Rose Bowls) he couldn’t get the fans to actually be interested in the game. He couldn’t get the fans to create an elite atmosphere.
It wasn’t just The Wave, however, but other things throughout the game. In the fourth quarter, most of the students seemed to be more concerned with watching their mascot and the ASU mascot play games with each other. They were in a slugfest on the field and most of the students weren’t paying any attention. How can we expect Wisconsin to be a top ten team when their home field fans are seemingly ambivalent to the game? Penn State and Ohio State players must see this as a joke. If all other things are equal, how could an elite recruit possibly choose Wisconsin over Nebraska or Iowa or Michigan? How can I take this team seriously as an elite program if their students and fans don’t even seem to take them seriously?
Go ahead Tim and Ben, I’m waiting for a rebuttal (and I’ll even consider posting it).
18. USC (3-0, 9)
HAHAHAHAHAHA, THEY CAN’T GO TO BOWLS!!!
19. West Virginia (3-0, 5)
The Mountaineers are probably going to lose in Baton Rouge this week. They play no other ranked teams all season. It’ll take them a long time to make it back into these power rankings.
20. Michigan (3-0, 2)
To be honest, I did not rank Michigan this week. Barely beating UMASS is not my idea of an elite team, but apparently Hogan feels differently. The Wolverines play Bowling Green this week (I just vomited in my mouth) and then Indiana, so they will probably be 5-0 before they start their patented midseason RichRod collapse against their actual conference opponents.