September 12, 2007

College Football Rankings: Week Two

Okay, good, caught up. Anyway, this past weekend of college football saw a couple of upsets, a couple of near-upsets, and another Michigan shocker. Fortunately for the Maize n' Yellow, they next face a historically bad Notre Dame team. Hopefully UM coaches have found a way to synthesize Mike Hart's competitive spirit and inject some of it into the rest of the team. A comment on these rankings - I'm not a fan at all of the 'ranking inertia' that seems to plague some polls, so there wil probably be a fair amount of jumping around for the next few weeks as the good teams stake their claims. On to the rankings:

1) Oklahoma -- LSU seems to be the trendy pick here, but I think the victory by the Sooners was actually the more impressive of the two big wins. Even when the team isn't great, Miami's defense has always been stellar, and Oklahoma shredded them. (5)
2) LSU -- Plus, I'm starting to wonder if VT's offense will do anything all season. Still, 600 yards on a great defense answers a lot of questions about the Tigers. (2)
3) USC -- A bye week for USC gives the Sooners and Tigers the opportunity to leapfrog the Trojans. Though obviously, if they roll up a very good Nebraska team, USC will be right back up top. (1)
4) Florida -- Another week, another patsy, another big win by the Gators. 31 points by Troy were mostly scored in the 2nd half long after the game was decided. Defending national champs now clear favorites to win the SEC East. Tebow with 5 total TDs. (3)
5) West Virginia -- A solid second-half performance, but the Mountaineers need to come out of the gate better to hold off Louisville and Rutgers, not to mention USF or Cincy. Even so... Slaton and White. White and Slaton. (4)
6) Texas -- UT's win over TCU wasn't pretty considering the first half, but against a defense that good they showed they could adapt. Controlled the second half start-to-finish. (9)
7) Cal -- 6-point victory over Colorado State ignores two late scores against second-team defense. Still, this was hardly a blowout, and the game wasn't put away until late in the 4th quarter. (6)
8) Louisville -- Allowing 42 points to Middle Tennessee State is... disconcerting, to say the least. Especially when the scores weren't flukey, but the product of what looked like a very bad defense. (8)
9) Wisconsin -- There's a clear divide, for me, between the above eight, and everybody else. Wisconsin looked very lackluster, barely holding off UNLV. Must use next game against The Citadel to prepare for conference play. (10)
10) Penn State -- Yeah. Notre Dame? Not so good. PSU's defense will dominate most of the games the Nittany Lions play, and the offense is good enough to put points up for the 'W'. (14)
11) Georgia Tech -- The defense strutted its stuff against Notre Dame, and this past week the offense decided to join the party, which I definitely didn't expect. If they get by BC, they're clear favorites in the weak ACC. (20)
12) UCLA -- BYU's defense is really good. That having been said, UCLA's pass rush has been nonexistent to this point, and must improve if the Bruins hope to succeed against the high-flying offenses of the Pac-10. (11)
13) Arkansas -- Bye week. Game at Alabama now very big, as the Razorbacks should go into November undefeated if they can win this weekend. (15)
14) Nebraska -- Nice win over a good Wake Forest team on the road. Just an appetizer, though, for this weekend's match with USC. [Go Cornhuskers!] (17)
15) Rutgers -- Slowed innovative Navy ground attack enough to win handily. Ray Rice has carried the ball 62 times in this season's first 2 games, against weak teams. Will he survive? (16)
16) Ohio State -- Wow, that was ugly. No question, tOSU's defense is excellent. But the offense must show some semblance of life, even though against most of the Big Ten it might not matter anyway. 3.6 yards per rush (Youngstown State) or 2.1 yards per pass (Akron) will not cut it against better defenses. (12)
17) South Carolina -- Hiya, Steve. Welcome back to the party. We missed you. (NR)
18) Clemson -- Easy win. Crappy opponent. Gave up two garbage touchdowns to make final score less impressive. Date with Georgia Tech at the end of the month looks like potential ACC championship preview. (24)
19) Boston College -- No excuse on my part for having missed these guys last week. A pair of very solid victories. However - first road game of the season, and it's against the Yellow Jackets. This could be trouble. (NR)
20) Georgia -- Well, that was quick. Still, Spurrier's a very good coach, and seems to win at least one game like this every year. Don't write the Dawgs off just yet, though I'd like to see some offense some time soon, please. (7)
21) Washington -- Notre Dame fans may soon wish they had kept Ty Willingham. Freshman QB Jake Locker looks very good, and holding Boise State to just 10 points is extraordinarily difficult to do. Part of the logjam of good teams in the middle of the Pac-10. (NR)
22) Tennessee -- Won easily by virtue of a strong start to the second half, but only being up by 1 at home versus Southern Miss suggests future struggles. (22)
23) Oregon -- Say goodnight, Lloyd. Just a shellacking in the Big House. Dennis Dixon is the west coast version of Pat White. However, UM was simply bum-rushed and still reeling from HOT HOT HOT, so let's hold off for a moment. They gave up a ton of yards to Houston, after all. (NR)
24) Hawaii -- Yeah, that defense is not so good. Brennan's going to throw for a billion touchdowns, but there isn't a single team on their schedule now with any cachet, since Boise State lost. Still, a win's a win, and the offense still seems to work. (18)
25) Virginia Tech -- Uhm. This is a ranking based partially on reputation, I suppose... But it may be that LSU is just -that- good, and the Hokies were emotionally burned out after last week. Either way, if they don't destroy Ohio, they're out of here. (13).

Dropped Out - Auburn (19): No brainer. Lose at home to unranked team? Bye. Texas A&M (21): Squeaking by Fresno State in 3OT at home suggests the Aggies aren't very good. Boise State (23): Lost to Washington. UW may be better than previously thought - it's still an unacceptable loss if they want to hold on to 'BCS Buster' status. TCU (25): For a half, it looked like they had a shot. Then McCoy went to work.

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