Sunday, September 30

James' week 5 rankings


1. LSU
(prev #2, +1 spot)
The first half play was sloppy but in the end it was another double digit win where they allowed a single digit point total. Florida's loss to Auburn is going to make this weekend's game all the more difficult, as the Gators won't accept losing two in a row.

2. USC (1, -1)
I wouldn't be too worried about the closeness of the Washington game as it was uncharacteristic offensive penalties that kept them out of the high 30s.

3. Ohio State (5, +2)
The Buckeyes are allowing the 3rd-fewest points in the NCAA, and you have to figure that Kansas's 5.8 is going to skyrocket when they start conference play.

4. Cal (7, +3)
By what they've accomplished, you could rank Cal #1. I don't like the fact that they've only managed to hold one opponent out of five to under 20 points.

5. South Florida (20, +15)
This was a weird one for me. On the one hand, I don't think they're even one of the ten best teams in the country. On the other, winning at Auburn and vs West Virginia is more of a statement than most teams other than Cal can make. The defense is pretty good and Groethe seems composed and a solid leader if nothing else.

6. Kentucky (13, +7)
Who thought they'd see the day when Kentucky was ranked in the top 10? Enjoy it while you can, Cats, your next three opponents are South Carolina, LSU, and Florida.

7. Boston College (14, +7)
Ryan's looking like a much improved QB and they keep winning, but I have to wonder how much BC's schedule is responsible for their record.

8. Wisconsin (12, +4)
Yet another week where Wisconsin didn't look so great. At least they won.

9. Florida (4, -5)
Auburn seems to have Florida's number. They overcame that loss last season, can the Gators turn things around next week against one of the nation's top two?

10. Oregon (10, +0)
I never thought I'd say this, but I kinda... sorta... feel a little bad for the Ducks. For three quarters they played winning football against Cal before choking the game away with turnovers.

11. Oklahoma (3, -8)
I'm shocked that it came against Colorado. But this shows why teams with freshmen QBs have never won a BCS championship.

12. South Carolina (15, +3)
The Cocks are clearly a team who's performing well above their talent level - credit that to Spurrier as a coach. They can prove that a win over Georgia was no fluke by upsetting Kentucky.

13. Missouri (16, +3)
The close win over Illinois now looks like a pretty decent road victory. The offense is averaging well over 500 yards per game but the defense is still giving up a lot.

14. Cincinnati (17, +3)
Though their schedule has been easy, Cincinnati features the #4 scoring defense in the country and the #6 scoring offense.

15. Georgia (19, +4)
Brown turned in a dominating performance against Ole Miss.

16. Virginia Tech (18, +2)
For those hoping Tyrod Taylor was the cure for VT's offensive woes, a 17 point 241 yard total performance against North Carolina is not what you wanted to see. Once again, the defense rose to the occasion.

17. Hawaii (21, +4)
I don't know what went wrong with Brennan, but fortunately Idaho's QB was worse.

18. Arizona State (25, +7)
Though I'm weary of ASU based on past performance, Erickson does seem to have instilled a defensive mindset in the team's... uh, defense. Which is a good thing.

19. Texas (8, -11)
The sophomore slump is now official. Despite the score reading 41 points, UT's defense played well but the offense and special teams were atrocious.

20. Clemson (11, -9)
Just a horrific offensive performance by Spiller and Harper. Let's hope it was a fluke for their team's sake.

21. West Virginia (6, -15)
It was weeks in the making. The WVA offense is completely one-dimensional and their defense isn't strong enough to win games where they don't score 30.

22. Florida State (unranked)
The Jimbo Fisher offense, which in week 1 managed to replace interceptions with 3-and-outs, is now actually scoring double-digit point totals, and with this defense that's good enough.

23. Nebraska (unranked)
The defense is still very suspect but I'm running out of teams who have anything resembling a quality win.

24. Kansas State (unranked)
I'm not really sold on this team, but if nothing else they certainly have Texas's number.

25. Rutgers (9, -16)
Rutgers really needs to prove themselves against Cincinnati.

On the Cusp:

The win over Florida is of course impressive and suddenly the USF loss doesn't look as bad. It'll still take some more quality wins to overcome the loss to Miss State, though.

The Illini finally got a quality win over Penn State. Granted, Penn State's woes as a road team are well known.

A 4-0 record and all their gaudy stats don't mean much given the schedule they've faced so far. Beating Kansas State would earn them a spot in the top 25.

Miami FL
Not an impressive win over Duke.

The Wolverines faced their third I-AA team (I'm counting Notre Dame, who has yet to win, and Northwestern, who lost to Duke) and didn't look too good in their first road game. They've got another cupcake with EMU but of their final six games, five of those teams have at least shown life.

Michigan State
Sparty lost a close road game to Wisconsin, but has yet to beat anyone of note. Their style of offense should cause problems for most Big Ten defenses, but the question is whether they can stop anybody with a decent offense.

They're unbeaten, but their most difficult opponent (Notre Dame) has yet to win. We'll see what they're made of in back to back games against Ohio State and Michigan.

Ugly, ugly, ugly dogs.

Texas Tech
How do you respond to losing a game in which you managed to score 45 points? By putting 75 up on a I-AA team!

They've yet to face anybody good and that's certainly not going to change next weekend. Four of their final six games are against ranked teams and honestly I don't see them winning more than one of those games.