Monday, September 3

Week 1 Rankings

It's still way too early to tell who's better than who, but here's my guesswork:


1. LSU (preseason #1, +0 spot change)
They got off to a slow start, but you can't ask for much more from a team in a conference game on the road in poor weather conditions.

2. USC (2, +0)
Minor injuries probably kept the offense out of rhythm and I didn't see anything to make me think anyone but LSU would defeat this team.

3. Louisville (5, +2)
Brohm appeared in postseason form. The Cardinals were firing on all cylinders.

4. Florida (8, +4)
Everyone who needed to step up did. Tebow showed that he has the skillset Urban Meyer is looking for.

5. Oklahoma (11, +6)
The biggest question was at QB, and I think that one was answered.

6. Texas (3, -3)
McCoy's performance can be written off as a fluke, at least for one week. The questionable defensive performance causes the drop.

7. West Virginia (7, +0)
Excellent offense, questionable defense. About exactly what I expected.

8. Ohio State (10, +2)
Boeckman isn't Troy Smith, but he'll be a competent Buckeye QB.

9. Wisconsin (9, +0)
Donovan may actually wind up producing better stats here than Stocco. Had Hill produced a better game and they not struggled in the first quarter, I'd be ready to call Wisconsin the Big Ten favorite.

10. California (16, +6)
Longshore and the entire offense were all very impressive, and of course Jackson on special teams. Defense will again be a question and I wouldn't be surprised to see them lose their top ten spot... but for now, defeating Tennessee is a better accomplishment than anything anyone other than Appalachian State pulled off this weekend.

11. Arkansas (12, +1)
The defense didn't perform as well as the Hogs would like, but the offense put a lot of points on the board. Looked like more or less the same team as last year.

12. Nebraska (14, +2)
Very strong performance and what could be their best QB since 2001.

13. Virginia Tech (6, -7)
The offense hasn't improved as much as advertised. Scoring points will still be an issue for them.

14. Penn State (19, +5)
Morelli and the offense were great, beyond what I expected even against such an inferior opponent.

15. Rutgers (17, +2)
Teel's improvement is huge for Rutgers. They are the legitimate #3 team in the Big East and have an outside shot at winning the conference title.

16. Michigan (4, -12)
Based on their performance they shouldn't even be ranked, but I can't honestly picture any of the teams below them winning five out of nine games against the Wolverines. There is too much talent on offense and they'll bounce back.

17. Georgia (unranked)
Very impressive on both sides of the ball, particularly defense.

18. UCLA (23, +5)
The offensive outburst was reminiscent of the early BCS-era Bruin teams, with the exception of the fact that this team can play defense.

19. Hawaii (15, -4)
Nothing Hawaii did or didn't do made them drop four spots, but Cal, Rutgers, Georgia, and UCLA simply looked like better teams.

20. Miami FL (24, +4)
The pride and swagger were back, at least for one week.

21. Tennessee (18, -3)
A loss on the road to Cal in a game that was competitive from start to finish isn't a horrible thing, particularly since two bad breaks led to the decisive non-offensive touchdowns. The defense needs some patching up but 8-9 wins this season isn't out of the question.

22. Texas A&M (22, +0)
That was about what you'd expect given the opposition.

23. Missouri (20, -3)
The offense was perhaps even stronger than I would have expected, at least the passing game, but this defense looked horrible against a mediocre-at-best offense.

24. Auburn (21, -3)
The offense looked weaker than even I had expected.

25. Boise State (unranked)
Strong all-around game but they will have to do more than annihilate Weber State to show that they are the same force without Zebransky.

Dropped Out:

Florida State (13)
Clearly, Jimbo Fisher alone cannot save this offense. Their final two possessions ended:
incomplete, incomplete, incomplete, sack
sack, incomplete, incomplete

South Carolina (25)
Lackluster play against a clearly overmatched Louisiana Lafayette team.

Others to Watch:

Boston College
If BC can cut down on the turnovers, they could actually win the ACC.

At halftime, I was prepared to rank them around #20. Then they completely fell apart in the second half and were lucky not to give up the game with a fumble while trying to run out the clock. Still it's a good conference win and we'll see where they go from here.

Georgia Tech
I want to rank the Yellow Jackets just for putting such a whoopin on Notre Dame. At the same time, leaving them unranked is an even greater slap in the face of the Fighting Irish. And more importantly, it's probably true. I think any team in my top 25 would have little difficulty with Notre Dame at this point in the season.

Oregon State
I like the defensive play, running game, and hard play despite losing one of their two best players. But the QB play will need to improve.