Sep 21

The Top Fan's Top 25

Posted By:Brett Haynes - Greenville, SC  Tags:

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1. Florida Gators (3-0) - It wasn't the beat down everyone was thinking it was going to be, but Florida's 23-13 win over Tennessee will look all the same in the standings of the SEC East. QB Tim Tebow had just 115 yards passing, but he led his team to 208 yards rushing (76 himself) and they did most of their damage running the ball. You had to know Tennessee was going to give them the fight of their life, so to win by ten (23-6 at end of third quarter) is still a good win in my opinion. The Gators are still the top team in the land even though they didn't cover the spread this time. Next: at Kentucky (6:00 ESPN2)
 
2. TIE - Texas Longhorns (3-0)/ Alabama (3-0) - Both of these teams received first place votes in the AP poll for whatever reason this week. And seeming how both teams have one solid win (VT and TTU), and two wins that aren't much to write home about, I will have them tied at this time. While Texas quarterback Colt McCoy is a Heisman contender, Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy is off to a good start, too. The junior - from Texas - has accounted for five scores in three games, one of which was a rushing td. Until these teams seperate, they will remain tied. Next: Texas: UTEP/ Alabama: Arkansas
 
4. Penn State (3-0) - So you may ask, what have Texas and Alabama done that they deserve to be ranked ahead of the Nittany Lions? Well, I don't know. But so far the Nittany Lions have played Syracuse Temple and Akron - not exactly death row. They won each of those games by nearly identicle scores: 31-7, 28-7, 31-6. PSU has been a good team for a long, long time, so perhaps I am wrong not to have them higher. This week they get Iowa at home. This will be a much stiffer test that will actually require some blocking and tackling. We'll see how that goes. Next: Iowa (8:00 abc)
 
5. Cal (3-0) - I always get ahead of myself on Cal. This year the Bears are off to another hot start, but it is really too quick to tell. Maryland and Eastern Washington were at home and both gut thumped pretty severely. The away win at Minnesota was quality. Running back Javhid Best is perhaps the best running back in the college game. He has racked up 412 yards on just 53 carries and has put it in the end zone 8 times. He has also caught a td pass and has 59 yards receieving. Junior Kevin Riley has thrown for 700 yards and five scores in 3 games. Next: at Oregon (3:30 abc regional) 
 
6. Mississippi (2-0) - I think Ole Miss is in big trouble this week. South Carolina has a pretty good squad, and they will be psyched out of their minds for this game. The Rebels have a good team, do not get me wrong. But they are so new to this top-5 thing that I just dont know yet. I need to watch them play a few times more, I suppose. If they win in a very hostile environment Thursday night against the Gamecocks, I'll bump them up. Until then, number six is pretty dang good! Next: at South Carolina (7:45, Thursday, ESPN)
 
7. LSU (3-0) - The Tigers from down in Baton Rouge are quietly working their way up the polls. They will get a win this weekend at Mississippi State, but then face three games that will tell us if they deserve this lofty ranking. They travel to Athens, and then host Florida and Auburn. The victory they had at Washington looks bigger now as the Huskies just upset USC on that same field. Sophomore quarterback Jordan Jefferson seems to be leading the team well. He has 475 yards and five touchdowns through three games, and has thrown just one interception. On the road at Vandy this past weekend, he went 20 of 29 for 138 yards in the win. Next: at Mississippi State (12:00)
 
8. Virginia Tech (2-1) - The Hokies held off Nebraska for a crucial win, but they do not get to enjoy the victory long as Miami vists on Saturday. Tyrod Taylor is not the flashiest quarterback of all-time. But he delivered under pressure against the Huskers no-matter what you think of him. On the Hokies final scoring play, Taylor moved in the pocket, kept his cool and bought time for what seemed like an eternity before finding his man for the six. The defense of VT is very strong, and if the Hokie offense moves the ball at all, they usually will win the game. Next: Miami (3:30 abc regional)
 
9. USC (2-1) - USC longs to be the dominant program of this time-period of college football. They recruit great, they have an awesome following, and they have a proud tradition. What they also have is a major problem - they keep slipping to a fellow conference team in an upset game each year! The latest to ruin a run at a national championship is Washington. On a last-second field-goal, the Huskies took down the Trojans and now come December when USC is 10-1 again, they will struggle to reach the title game. They are still absolutely loaded, and will probably destroy the rest of their slate. Next: Washington State
 
10. Boise State (3-0) - I watched the game against Fresno State Friday night almost in entirety, and I still do not know what to think of the Boise State Broncos. They have some excellent players. Titus Young made perhaps the play of the decade when he hustled to recover a fumble in the end zone. But I also watched the Bulldogs continue to pull-off big plays time and again, too, and I wonder how that Boise D is. I like the Broncos, just not sure yet. Unfortunately, it may remain that way for a while. Next: at Bowling Green
 
11. Miami (2-0) - It's amazing what a name can do. Just like Notre Dame, when Miami finds success, the voters catapult them up the polls. The 'Canes started 2009 unranked, but with wins over FSU and GT, the AP sent them to number 9. The Coaches have 'em at 13, and I split the difference. I think they have an unreal talent in Jacory Harriss at quarterback, but as a young player, he may lose focus in a game or two this season and the 'Canes may slip. Things are definetely looking up though suddenly for the Randy Shannon era. We will know soon enough about Miami as they now travel to Blacksburg and return home to host Oklahoma. Ouch!!! Next: at Virginia Tech (3:30 abc regional)
 
12. Ohio State (2-1) - USC's loss to Washington does not help the Buckeyes. OSU needed both teams to run the table to perhaps have a shot to meet again for the national championship. Now, it looks like winning the Big-10 is the best reasonable goal. And it probably should be that way. Ohio State is still just an intangible short of being at the top level of college football. The defense is superb, but the offense is going to have to find ways to produce more. It isn't that they are terrible on offense. But rather that if OSU wants to challenge for major hardware, it must improve. Next: Illionis (3:30 abc regional)  
 
13. Cincinnati (3-0) - Well, I predicted the Bearcats would go out to Corvallis and win, and they did. I'm telling you all right now this is a team to watch. I never in a million years thought Cincinnati (definetly a basketball school) to be a force to be reckoned with on the grid-iron. But Brian Kelly's team plays very exciting offense and the D is averaging only 12 points given up a game. That number works pretty well when your averaging 48 a game yourself! The schedule is not real hard to be nice about it, so this team is very possibly thinking BCS already. Next: Miami (OH)
 
14. TCU (2-0) - The Horned Frogs are still a tough team to gauge as they really haven't played anyone. Virginia and Texas State are hardly the measuring sticks of college football. The Frogs do much of their damage on the ground (96 carries, 489 yards this season) as they have nine rushing scores compared to just two through the air. But they can sling it if they have to, as QB Andy Dalton has thrown 45 times for 399 yards this season. The schedule has but a few highlights, and one of them is this weekend when they travel to Clemson. You can bet both teams will be wanting this bad. CU could climb back in the polls with a win, and TCU could flirt with the top-10 with one. Next: at Clemson (3:30)
 
15. Oklahoma (2-1) - With Sam Bradford being injured, and an early season loss already, I am not ready to give OU top-10 status right now. Yeah, so they have scored 109 points in the last two games. The fact is that they only scored 14 points on a defense that just gave up 54 points to Florida State. I'm not throwing in the towel on OU, but they need to do something better than wax Idaho State first. In two weeks they play at Miami. And while I think the 'Canes are getting a bit too much love right now, they still offer a very stiff test for OU. Next: at Miami (2 weeks away)
 
16. Oklahoma State (2-1) - The good news this week: you play Grambling State. My goodness, who put them on your schedule??? Man, there is monthing to wash away the tears of a loss to Houston like beating up on Rice and Grambling State. Anyway. After that you go to Texas A&M before the schedule gets pretty hot. QB Zac Robinson has thrown for 602 yards and five scores in 2009 thus far. He will need to keep on lighting it up. Next: Grambling State (7:00) 
 
17. Florida State (2-1) - FSU isn't bad, folks. They lost a gut-wrencher to Miami on opening night or else they would be ranked about 8th right now. QB Christian Ponder looked sharp that night, and he looked even better against BYU. He was an efficent 21 of 26 for 195 yards and two scores. Most importantly, he had no interceptions. He led the offense to 23 points in a second quarter outburst. The talent on defense is very strong, and this team is coming of age. They will be the team to beat in the ACC Atlantic. Next: South Florida (12:00 ESPNU)  
 
19. North Carolina (3-0) - The Heels turned it up a notch to defeat East Carolina this past weekend. And while a 31-17 win over the Pirates shouldnt be considered that big of a deal, it cant be taken lightly, either. ECU is the kind of team that likes to pull upsets, and by putting them away easily, I think this game said at least a little something. With that said, UNC has yet to really face a good team. They play on the road at Georgia Tech Saturday in a Coastal division battle. A UNC win would all but knock GT from the race early in the year as they would lose the head to head with both Miami and UNC. A Heel win would give them an early leg up in the division. Next: at Georgia Tech (12:00)
 
20. Michigan (3-0) - Michigan has to be extremely careful with Indiana this weekeend. A huge game with Michigan State is on the horizon, and if they don't pay attention, the Hoosiers could pull the upset and ruin what Rich Rod prayed all summer for. The Wolverines rushing attack has produced nine scores and 812 yards over three games. That is a good compliment to the solid play of Tate Forcier at quarterback. This team aint bad ya'll! Next:  Indiana (12:00)
 
21. Georgia (2-1) - I have to admit, I was shocked at how the Dawgs went down early to Arkansas and then turned it on with 52 points for the win. People (including myself) need to give quarterback Joe Cox more credit. He doesnt have the NFL type game of Matt Stafford, but he is leading the offense pretty well at this point. For the season he has thrown for 738 yards and eight touchdowns - not too bad for three games. He does have three interceptions. Next: Arizona State ( ESPNU)
 
22. Houston (2-0) - Man, I'm still not used to seeing Houston in here! Nothing against them, but you have to amit it has been a while since the Cougars have been in the top 25 for more than a couple of weeks! If they can win this weekend at home against Texas Tech, I will believe in them a bit more. They are led by junior quarterback Case Keenum, who has seven scores and 725 yards in three wins. In week two he was the national offensive player of the week. He has over 8,000 passing yards in his career. Next: Texas Tech (9:15)  
 
23. Kansas (3-0) - Sorry Jayhawks, but you have gotten a free ride so far that hasn't stopped yet. Northern Colorado? UTEP? Duke? and now you get Southern Mississippi and Iowa State? Even the next game at Colroado is pretty easy. A 6-0 start is almost a given for this team before they play Oklaohma (at home). The second half of the schedule is much more difficult. Next: Southern Miss
 
24. Nebraska (2-1) - After the way that game with Virginia Tech went down, I see no reason to bump the Huskers back too far. The game was there for the taking many times for NU, they just couldn't make that one play needed to knock VT out. In the end, Tech made one more play than Nebraska did. Still Nebraska could be primed for a big year in the Big-12 if it takes things one game at a time. I think outside of Texas and maybe Oklahoma, Nebraska is the best team in the league. Beat Kansas and we'll see you in the conference title game. Next: Louisiana-Lafayette (7:00)
 
25. BYU (2-1) - I thought after BYU defeated Oklahoma that maybe they were ready to play with the big boys. The reason I thought that is because it was a low-scoring defensive struggle that they won - something BYU isn't used to. But this past weekend, their defense decided to stay at home as Florida State rolled up 54 points on them. The schedule isn't strong enough to see them climb back up too much, so expect a 10-2 or 11-1 season and pretty decent bowl and ranking. If they could have beaten FSU, who knows. But I guess things are what they are and giving up 54 points (to anyone) doesn't deserve you a national title shot anyway. Next: Colorado State (6:00)
 

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