Oct 19

The Top Fan's Top 25

Posted By:Brett Haynes - Greenville, SC  Tags:

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Virginia Tech was the biggest loser in this week's poll after falling to on the road to Georgia Tech, who consequently is this week's biggest gainer. The SEC still has the top two spots in the nation, while the ACC Coastal division alone has three teams in the top 14. The second half of the season is underway....

1. Florida (6-0, 4-0 SEC) (TFPLW: 1) - Even with a close win, I have always said that the national champion is number 1 until they are beaten. Well, the Gators still have not been beaten, so here they are at number 1 still. Tebow's numbers on the year aren't going to blow anyone away, but Florida - in my opinion - is still the toughest team in America to beat. Up next for the Gators is a trip to Starkville to play the Mississippi State Bulldogs. (7:30, ESPN or ESPN 360). * all times EST
2. Alabama (7-0, 4-0 SEC) ( TFPLW: 2) - The Tide played a ball control second half to hang on and defeat South Carolina this past weekend. Alabama sealed the win with a 4th quarter drive based on the running of Mark Ingram, who is becoming one of the top backs in America as a sophomore. For the year he already has 935 yards and eight touchdowns. Up next for the Tide is a visit from Lane Kiffin's Vols (3:30, CBS).
T2. Texas (6-0, 3-0 Big 12) (TFPLW:2) -
Another Red River Shootout is in the books, and Texas - once again - came out on top. Will quarterback Colt McCoy be on the final stage for the Heisman voting? It appears so at this point. His numbers at roughly the season's midway point are 1,537 yards and eleven touchdowns. He is four td passes away from 100 for his career. The 'Horns have a trip to Missouri Saturday night (8:00, ABC).
4. Cincinnati (6-0, 2-0 Big East (TFPLW: 5) - Many folks do not like to give Cincinnati credit because they are new to the top 10. But if you check the facts, then you know this team can play. They are averaging over 40 points per game, and have solid road wins over Oregon State and South Florida. Pitt  and West Virginia are down the road, but this weekend the Bearcats get Louisville at home (3:30, ESPNU).
5. Iowa (7-0, 3-0 Big 10)(TFPLW: 9) - So far, so good if you are a Hawkeye. This program has been waiting for years for the "big one" to come. It looks like 2009 could be that year. At this point, I would say Iowa is the best team in the Big 10 and an outside contender to play for it all. "One game at a time" should be there motto. I'm big on quaterback Ricky Stanzi who has roughly the same numbers as McCoy at Texas - eleven scores and 1,577 yards for 2009 so far. Next up for Iowa is a trip to Michigan State (8:00, Big 10 Network).
6. USC (5-1, 2-1 Pac 10) (TFPLW: 7) - The loss to Washington is absolutely killing this team right now. Otherwise - after wins in Columbus and South Bend - the Trojans could be throwing their name out for numero uno. For now, they will just have to hope and pray that all of these non-SEC teams get beat. Alabama and/or Florida will lose a game as they have to eventually play each other, but the rest will just have to work itself out. Southern Cal's next opponent is Oregon State (8:00).
7. Boise State (6-0, 1-0 WAC) (TFPLW: 6) - Every week it is tricky on where to put Boise. I mean, once again, it is not their fault, but the opponent was lesser. They beat 'em by seven - not a great sign. I dropped them from six to seven, not really a big deal. I hate the blowout aspect, but I thought Boise would at least win by three scores to show their abilities. Up next for the Broncos is a trip to the middle of the Pacific to tangle with Hawaii (11:00, ESPN Gameplan or ESPN 360.com).
8. TCU (6-0, 2-0 MWC) (TFPLW: 10) - The Horned Frogs put up some nice style points in the win over Colorado State. They have cracked the AP top 10, and are 8 in the BCS poll that just came out. ESPN's college Gameday show will feature them against BYU, so they will get some nice national attention there, as well. A little exposure and a shot at some bigger teams is what TCU needs. Next up for the Frogs is the game I am speaking of - BYU in Provo (7:30, TV tba).
9. Miami (5-1, 2-1 ACC) (TFPLW: 11) - Still tough to say what the real deal is with this Hurricane team. They have some impressive wins, but they also lost real, real bad to Virginia Tech. The Hokies are solid, but that game through me off on my opinion of Jacory Harris and company. I watched the Miami-FSU game very close, and know that UM is stacked with athletes and playmakers. But this week they play my Clemson Tigers and I will be watching every play through a microscope, so I will know much more about Miami then. Next up for the 'Canes is a vist from CU (3:30, ABC).
10. LSU (5-1, 3-1 SEC) (TFPLW: 12) - We can't forget about LSU in all of this talk. They held Florida to a very respectable score, albeit their offense could use some help. But if they carry on with just one loss, they should be as talked about as much as anyone amongst the one-loss teams come season's end. Obviously the game at Alabama in three weeks will tell a ton. This week is another game to pay close attention to: Auburn (7:30, ESPN2).
11. Oregon (5-1, 3-0 Pac 10) (TFPLW: 13) - Please Oregon pay attention this week. Your game of the decade is in two weeks, so please do not blow it by losing at Washington - just as USC themselves did! Duck quarterback Jeremiah Masoli is leading his team via the run (218 yards and five scores) and the pass (748 yards and four scores). Up next for Oregon is that dreaded trip to Seattle and the Huskies (3:30, ESPN Gameplan or ESPN 360.com).
12. Georgia Tech (6-1, 4-1 ACC) (TFPLW: 20) - By knocking off #4 Virginia Tech, the Yellow Jackets made a nice jump in my poll here. It was no fluke game, either. The GT offense looked like it knew what it was doing, and the defense played well enough to keep Tyrod Taylor from leading a VT comeback. The Jackets could be serious in future seasons with a couple of solid recruiting classes. As for 2009 and the present, an ACC Coastal crown is up for grabs still, with Miami and VT being the top competitors. Next up for GT is a trip to Charlottesville and a streaking UVA team (Noon, ESPN Gameplan or ESPN 360.com).
13. Oklahoma State (5-1, 2-0 Big 12) (TFPLW: 21) - Ok, so they made a HUGE jump in my poll - shoot me! The Cowboys just trounced Missouri for their 4th straight win and are still unbeaten in the Big 12. I have to give them a bit of respect. In two weeks the Longhorns come to town, so we will see how that goes. This week they go to Baylor. The Bears suck, but are due for a win (12:30, TV tba).
14. Virginia Tech (5-2, 3-1 ACC)(TFPLW: 4) - VT went from being an outside national title contender, to possibly not being an ACC Coastal favorite. Now the Hokies must have GT lose again, or it will be the Jackets (or maybe Miami) that will represent the division in Tampa. So much can happen, but this loss was real bad for many reasons. The ATL can be hard on some teams, and I bet Hokie fans don't want to see I-85 for a long time! Up next is a Thursday night home game against UNC (7:30, ESPN).
15. Penn State (6-1, 2-1 Big 10) (TFPLW: 15) - PSU scored a nice shutout win Saturday over Minnesota. While the win was nice, I still havent seen any kind of dominating performance for me to think this team is all that great. Senior quarterback Darrell Clark has already thrown for 13 touchdowns - pretty impressive. I am looking forward to seeing how they play against Michigan Saturday in the Big House (3:30, TV tba).
16. BYU (6-1, 3-0 ACC)(TFPLW: 22) - Beating San Diego state by ten normally wouldnt slide you up six spots in a poll. But I re-thought my teams 12-25, and this is where BYU landed in the end. Provo will be a city with football fever this week as ESPN's Gameday show arrives to spotlight the matchup with TCU. If not for a loss to Florida State, this game wouldn't just be for the inside track for a MWC title, but rather for an outside shot to play for it all. Still this will be one heck of a game and I cannot wait to see what goes down (7:30, TV tba).
17. Houston (5-1, 1-1 C-USA)(TFPLW: 23) - The Houston jump is due partly for the same reason as the BYU jump, and for what Texas Tech (who Houston beat) did to Nebraska. I kow things change from week to week, and you cant play the who-beat-who-beat-who game, but the Texas Tech win becomes a lot more valid now. How in the world did UTEP sneak in and ruin a dream season?! Up next for the Cougars is a game with SMU (7:30).
18. West Virginia (5-1, 1-0 Big East)(TFPLW: UR) - The Mountaineers have been given little spotlight since the departure of Pat White, who was Mr. Everything in Morgantown for four years. But let's not forget they still have Nowl Devine and a good enough o-line to opne up holes for him. Lately the 'Neers have found their stride with three straight wins. Ranked teams and road trips dot the second half slate, so we will have to keep a close eye on this team. Next up: UConn (Noon, ESPNU)

19. Ohio State (5-2, 3-1 Big 10)(TFPLW: 8) - There are some serious issues to deal with in Columbus. The offense mailny is what has to be on the mind of Buckeye fans. 18 points aganst lowly Purdue (one win coming in) has to make the sweaters a little itchy. Terrell Pryor is being asked to perform in many different pacages, and they have no identity. The D is still good, but there is some fixin' to do as a whole. Next up for Ohio State is Minnesota (Noon, ESPN).

20. Pittsburgh (6-1, 3-0 Big East)(TFPLW: UR) - I am kind of hesitant to jump Pitt up from unranked to number 20, but I am anyway. Pitt's lone loss is to NC State - perhaps the worst team in the ACC, so that isn't a good thing. But wins on the road at Rutgers and Louisville were pretty nice. The clsoing threee games will tell the real story on this team as they get Notre Dame, WVU, and Cincinnati. This week they host South Florida (Noon, ESPN Gameplan or ESPN 360.com).

21. Utah (5-1, 2-0 MWC)(TFPLW: 24) - I feel like half of me has Utah ranked because of what they did last year. I was just looking over the schedule of what they have done this year, and I know already that I am going to be mad at myself for having the Utes in here this high. There are no big wins and the biggest game was a loss to Oregon. I know they have a good program, so I am leaving them here. But games against TCU and BYU will tell a lot more near season's end. Next up is Air Force (4:00).

22. Texas Tech (5-2, 2-1 Big 12)(TFPLW: UR) - The Red Raiders are year in and year out one of the most dangerous teams to play. Nebraska learned that again the hard way coming out on the losing end of a 31-10 home loss. Now the Raiders can lay a whooping on Texas A&M, who just gave up 62 points to Kansas State. If ever there was a time to get some street credit, it is this coming Saturday with a 50-point blowout type game. A&M (7:00, TV tba)
23. Kansas (5-1, 1-1 Big 12)(TFPLW: 16) - In the first game of the season where a semi-decent team was played, the Jayhawks fell to Colorado after giving up 24 second quarter points. I was hesitant to even rank them, but with just one loss, I almost had to. They will get some chances to climb back into the national scene with games against Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Nebraska and Texas remaining, but I just dont know if they have the team to do it. Next up for Kansas is Oklahoma (3:30, ABC).
24. South Carolina (5-2, 2-2 SEC)(TFPLW: 19) - The Gamecocks played respectable ball in Tuscaloosa, but showed that they are still a player or two away from being at the SEC's top level. Still, not a bad showing. Moral victories aside, Vanderbilt now comes to town, so USC needs to regroup and refocus. A good season is still possible, but lose to Vandy and the wheels come off. That won't happen. Vanderbilt (7:00, ESPNU).
25. Nebraska (4-2, 1-1 Big 12)(TFPLW: 14) - There are some wounded souls in Nebraska this Monday morning. After many belived NU was "back" - or at least close to it - after a great showing in Blacksburg earlier this season, TTU came into Lincoln and just crushed souls right and left. Nebraska has some positives going on no doubt, but must mow on through this L and get back on track. A managable slate remains so Nebraska can play one game at a time and still make the Big 12 title game. Up next: Iowa State (12:30, TV tba)

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