Sunday, September 16

James' Week 3 Rankings

Shake it, baby! As in, yet another week of major shakeups in the top 25.


1. LSU (week 2 #1, +0 change)
Let's get this straight - it doesn't matter who runs the offense, and with the way the defense is playing if they'd scored just a field goal in each game they could be 2-1.

2. USC (2, +0)
They've got the feel of the 2004 squad - a team who has a good offense but a great turnovers-based defense.

3. Oklahoma (3, +0)
Outstanding all-around performances in all three games we've seen them. They have a good shot at the title game with the way they're playing and the strong possiblilty of UF and LSU squaring off twice.

4. Florida (4, +0)
Suddenly UF looks like they might have the best offense in the country. Not surprising, with Urban Meyer finally getting his vision of a QB.

5. Ohio State (8, +3)
I'll place them highest outside of the top four because they have the best defense of anybody not named LSU, USC, or Oklahoma. Winning a road game against Washington is going to appear a lot more impressive at the end of the season, if it doesn't already.

6. California (9, +3)
They're a threat to score before the offense even touches the ball. The Bears have an amazing wealth of speed and athleticism.

7. Texas (6, -1)
You've got to like a team that finds ways to win, but you've got to question a team that keeps having to. The OU game looks more and more unwinnable if they don't start playing to potential.

8. West Virginia (7, -1)
The offense continues to put up smaller numbers than I'd expect, and the defense is still questionable.

9. Penn State (12, +3)
At this point, they may very well win the Big Ten.

10. Rutgers (13, +3)
With Louisville down and WVA scheduled as a home game, now is the time for Rutgers to make a move in the Big East. The way they're playing, a BCS game is a possibility.

11. Oregon (17, +6)
Dixon's decision making has made all the difference.

12. Wisconsin (10, -2)
The defense played a poor first half and I'm beginning to question whether Donovan is the same kind of leader as Stocco.

13. South Carolina (18, +5)
They're making a believer out of me.

14. Boston College (unranked)
Ryan is definitely the best passer in the ACC, and the defense rose to the occasion against GT.

15. Clemson (19, +4)
The offense was a little sluggish this week, but the defense has been fairly good in all weeks.

16. Kentucky (unranked)
Coming off a bowl win season, Kentucky's off to a 3-0 start with a win over a highly ranked opponent. Woodson's stock is rising.

17. Missouri (22, +5)
If the defense maintains their focus, this team could wind up in the top 15.

18. Alabama (unranked)
Excellent display by the offense. They won't have to worry about facing many backfields as good as Arkansas'.

19. Cincinnati (21, +2)
The Bearcats continue to blow out clearly lesser opponents.

20. Louisville (5, -15)
Bad defense finally caught up with them. Sheer offensive firepower still makes UL a formidable opponent.

21. Virginia Tech (unranked)
I don't know that 28 points against Ohio University is a great statistic, but at least they're doing better with Taylor than with Glennon.

22. Nebraska (15, -7)
Lots of good teams have fallen hard against the Trojans.

23. Hawaii (24, +1)
Should coast through their WAC schedule, but I still have doubts about their legitimacy after week 2.

24. Texas Tech (unranked)
Harrell is blossoming as a senior.

25. Georgia (unranked)
A close loss to #13 South Carolina doesn't look so bad.

On the Cusp:

Arkansas (11)
Just like last season, the QB and penalties killed this team. Only unlike last season, the defense looks very weak.

Florida State
The defense, for the most part, has looked strong and the offense, for the most part, has looked weak.

Georgia Tech (16)
While Bennett is clearly an improvement over Ball, GT still needs to find a QB and a passing game to beat top 25 teams.

Miami (FL)
Still struggling to find the passing game.

Great performance but they'll need to do something big in conference play before moving back into the top 25.

South Florida (25)
I hope they took my advice and found a kicker during the bye week.

Tennessee (20)
The Vols had an unlucky early season schedule, but that's no excuse for how badly they were blown out by Florida. Special teams may be an issue and defense is clearly an issue.

Texas A&M
Visions of Frenso State still linger. A&M needs to face real opposition before they are rankings-worthy.

UCLA (14)
Though I thought UCLA was overrated, even I didn't expect them to lose to Utah.

Washington (23)
I think the team showed that they are for real in weeks 1-3... unfortunately, Ohio State showed that they are also for real.