Monday, September 11, 2006

THE RANKS: The shake-up begins

I didn't get to do much of the preview and post-view stuff because of travel. (Who holds a wedding during football season?) But you've got to do the Top 25 every week. Again, this poll is based on performance, not preseason hype. So now that some teams have begun to play more than just 6A-high-school-level opposition, let the polls move.

1 (Last week: 1) Notre Dame: v. Penn State, 41-17. Oh, yeah. That offense is hurting. Georgia Tech exposed a weakness. We were too quick to jump on the Notre Dame bandwagon. Putting ND at No. 1 was a ... good decision.

2 (3) Ohio State: at Texas, 24-7. Whipping the defending national champions in their home stadium deserves the No. 2 spot for now. The schedule still has plenty of challenges and sleeper games, though.

3 (2) Florida: v. UCF, 42-0. Chris Leak will never adjust to Urban Meyer's offense. He'll struggle and be replaced by Tim Tebow. He'll ... throw for 352 yards and four TDs against a not-horrendous opponent. I still think they'll end up above OSU in the end. But, again, this is based on performance and not expectations.
4 (4) West Virginia: v. Eastern Washington, 52-3. Torches another hapless rival. Waits for Louisville.

A severe couch-burning warning has been issued for all of West Virginia.

5 (5) LSU: v. Arizona, 45-3. Now, I am impressed. A little.

6 (11) Auburn: at Mississippi State, 34-0. Challenging to say exactly what this means. South Carolina beat them 15-0, then got dropped by UGha. But they're showing a bit of promise.
7 (9) Louisville: at Temple, 62-0. v. Kentucky, 59-28 (9/3). Temple demolished. Questions still linger about the lack of Bush, but everything looks good.
8 (10) Georgia: at South Carolina, 18-0. Can JoePa retire so Bobby Bowden will retire so Mark Richt will go to FSU?
9 (6) Texas: v. Ohio State, loss, 24-7. Gotta tumble. Haven't done much.
10 (17) Florida State: v. Troy State, 24-17. at Miami (Fla.), 13-10. Win over Miami moves them up. One-TD win against Troy State does not help.

11 (8) Iowa: at Syracuse, 20-13, 2 OT. Only saving grace? They can blame lackluster showing against biggest joke in the Big Least on lack of Drew Tate.
12 (14) Southern California: BYE.
13 (13) Michigan: v. Central Michigan, 41-17. Vanderbilt. Central Michigan. What a list of victories.
14 (7) Penn State: at Notre Dame, loss, 41-17. JoePa reverting to on-again, off-again pattern.
15 (12) Clemson: at Boston College, loss, 34-33, 2 OT. Tommy Bowden strikes again. But FSU game could be saving grace.
16-T (16) TCU: v. UC-Davis, 46-13. at Baylor, 17-7 (9/3). Could be fly in ointment. Could just be fly. Who knows?
16-T (15) Miami (Fla): v. Florida A&M, 51-10. v. FSU, loss, 13-10 (9/4). Loss to FSU takes its toll. Win against FAMU does not help.
17 (18) Georgia Tech: v. Samford, 38-6. What can you say? It was Samford.
18 (23) Virginia Tech: at North Carolina, 35-10. Opponent a bit better than Northeastern. But not much.
19 (21) Tennessee: v. Air Force, 31-30. Could have been a loss. Fulmer has some 'splaining to do. But they move up because others do worse.
20 (22) Nebraska: v. Nicholls State, 56-7. A faceoff with the other USC (Southern Cal) will give a better idea of where they are.
21 (24) Oregon: at Fresno State, 31-24. 'Sno usually gives BCS league teams a run for their money. Maybe that explains it. Maybe.
22 (NR) Rutgers: v. Illinois, 33-0. Rutgers debuts. Never, ever thought I'd say that.
23 (NR) Oklahoma: v. Washington, 37-20. Still a lot of questions. But who else are you going to put here?
24 (NR) California: v. Minnesota, 42-17. Bouncing in and out. But outright body-slam put on Minnesota worth noting.
25 (19) Alabama: v. Vanderbilt, 13-10. Beat Vandy, after rallying, by a field goal, at home? C&F overestimated. I wanted bacly to kick them off the list, but no one else does well enough to justify it.

DROPPING OUT: Texas Tech needs overtime to beat UTEP, 38-35 ... South Carolina falls to Georgia, 18-0, marking first shutout of Spurrier since Ronald Reagan was president ...

ON THE BUBBLE: Purdue still can't quite clear the hurdle ... Akron takes down N.C. State after scaring Penn State ...


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