Sep 27

The Top Fan's Top 25 - Week Five

Posted By:Brett Haynes - Greenville, SC  Tags:

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Finally, some shaking up went down in the top 25. The biggest name to fall was Texas. The 'Horns were slaughtered at home by unranked UCLA. Number ten Arkansas also lost, albeit to the number one team in the nation. To me, the most impressive team was Florida. The Gators made quick and easy work of Kentucky, showing that they have weapons all over the field. Here is a look at my top 25 as we head into the fifth week of play...

1. Alabama (4-0, beat Arkansas, 24-20) - The Tide used a late interception and power running from Mark Ingram to rally late in beating Arkansas. I watched nearly every play of this game, and was truly entertained. Alabama spent 57 minutes on the ropes in this heavyweight fight, but in the end the Tide threw the final blow. More than one time I thought the Razorbacks would actually get it done. Yet, when a play had to be made, Alabama's defense snatched an interception that gets no bigger. Next: Florida.

2. Ohio State (4-0, beat Eastern Michigan, 73-20) - I'm not entirely sure what the point of the game is when teams beat their opponent this badly. Oregon has done it a couple of times, and now Ohio State has joined in. I would be much more impressed if the Buckeyes registered a shutout rather than the 70-point milestone, but whatever, I know the fifth stringers have to get in. OSU will win big the next two weeks, and finally play someone good in Wisconsin in three weeks. Next: at Illinois.

3. Oregon (4-0, beat Arizona State, 42-31) - Thanks to site member "CaliforniasGold" for having me dig deeper into this game. The Ducks once again put up big numbers offensively, but ASU showed Oregon may have to do some work on the defensive side if they really are going to win the Pac Ten and maybe play for a national title. (Arizona State actually led by ten late in the second quarter, 24-14, but then Oregon turned it on). Still, I like this Oregon team with so many offensive weapons, and think they could plain and simple outscore most any team out there. Next: Stanford.

4. Florida Gators (4-0, beat Kentucky, 48-14) - I know it was just Kentucky, but the Gators look sharp. This was never a contest and Florida scored in all four quarters. Tim Tebow was such a big name that people forget about the other major recruits scratching and clawing for playing time. Did anyone see freshman Trey Burton??? This guy had six touchdowns in one game - one pass catch and five rushing scores. He also threw a 42-yard completion. Lining up mainly in the wildcat formation, the dude is the next big thing in Gainesville I would think...For those of you who don't like my ranking of the Gators, think of it this way: Florida plays Alabama next week, so they will either lose to the Tide and drop behind you, or win and jump you all, anyway! Next: at Alabama.

5. TCU (4-0, beat SMU, 41-24) - I will have to admit that I wasn't doing back flips over TCU in this game. However, they play all 60 minutes for a reason, and the Horned Frogs ended up winning by three scores. SMU was super jacked up for this one, and they appear to have some good players. It should be noted that TCU has come a long way when people are expecting them to blow someone out. I want real bad to like quarterback Andy Dalton after the running effort he showed me in person last year. But he is playing average. He had 174 yards, and another 43 rushing, but also threw two picks to one touchdown. He will step it up. Teams ranked 4-8 or so are just so close that I hate that I even have to pick a number for them. Next: at Colorado State.

6. Boise State Broncos (4-0, beat Oregon State, 37-24) - This drop of one spot in the poll is no disrespect at all to BSU, but rather I just think the Gators have something going. I enjoyed watching the mad support the Bronco fans have for their team. And the win itself, over an Oregon State program known for big-game upsets, was by all means, decisive enough. It was back and forth, but a big second quarter ultimately was the difference. So being ranked sixth in the country is no slap in the face. It is a fair ranking, and a dang good one to have with so many good programs! Next: New Mexico State.

7.  Nebraska Cornhuskers (4-0, beat South Dakota State, 17-3) - With the Huskers sixth in the two major polls, and my having several compadres on Fans25 that are die-hard NU fans, you would think I would have them higher. Well, I want to, but I can't do it just yet. Are they top ten? I really believe so. But until they play a big-time team and show out, there are just six teams above them that I would probably take in the head to to head right now. The Huskers will certainly get their shot to move up. The year is young. Next: at Kansas State.

8. Stanford Cardinal (4-0, beat Notre Dame, 37-14) - This was a very losable game, and yet Stanford just mowed right on through it, no problemo. This past week at ND, they didn't win with the normal Andrew Luck passing show type of way. Instead, five field goals and a crazy sequence of touchdowns by double platoon player, Owen Marecic sealed this win. He ran one in and then picked one off and ran it in within 13 seconds. It was a different way to win all together, and that is a sign of a good team. We will get to find out in just five days how good they really are as they roll up to Autzen Stadium for a showdown with Oregon! Next: at Oregon.

9. Auburn Tigers (4-0, beat South Carolina, 35-27) - This team has been a few plays better than each of their last three opponents. Mississippi state on the road, and then Clemson and South Carolina at home have given War Eagle three nail-biting victories, but three victories none-the less. Good teams get the job done, pulling out whatever it takes to come out on top. I don't think Auburn wants to play the whole year with games this close, but it may turn out that way, anyway. There are at least three games left that I see as toss ups for Auburn, so you can bet there is lots of stress ahead! Next: Louisiana Monroe.

10. Oklahoma Sooners (4-0, beat Cincinnati, 31-29) - This is one of those spots I just don't feel comfortable with. OU has been played close by Utah State, Air Force and Cincinnati. Not exactly a slate of fear. However, they showed that when they are focused and jacked up they can play, as shown in a beat down of Florida State in week two. OU is a tricky team to figure out, and I will levae them in my top ten. But like I said, I am not really sold on this team yet. Next: Texas.

11. Arkansas Razorbacks (3-1, lost to Alabama, 24-20) - I only dropped the Razorbacks one spot here. Why? Because when you play the best team in the nation an outstanding game, why should you be punished severely? Sure, I didn't move them up. Fine. And I didn't even leave them where they were. But I truly think a drop of just one spot is fair. The Hogs are very solid - just maybe not top five type good. You live by the sword and die by the sword, and qb Ryan Mallett is a classic case. He kept them in it, but then threw the critical pick at the end. Next: Texas A&M.

12. LSU Tigers (4-0, beat West Virginia, 20-14) - WVU is a stingy, tough team to put away. Credit deserved to LSU for getting this game behind them and a W in doing so. The two teams colors were identical it seemed like under the lights, and at times it was tough to tell who was who! The SEC West is looking very strong as these Tigers, Auburn, Bama and the Hogs are all top 15 squads. That is strong. LSU will now face Tennessee in Tiger Stadium and should improve to 5-0. Next: Tennessee.

13. Utah Utes (4-0, beat San Jose State, 56-3) - It didn't help Utah's cause that Miami defeated the same Pitt team on the road by 28 points that Utah had to take into overtime at home. When there aren't that many comparisons to go by, that hurt. Still, after the 53-point beatdown of SJSU, I will keep the Utes in my top 15. They will most-likely remain right here until early November when they face TCU and Notre Dame in back to back weeks. Next: at Iowa State.

14. Wisconsin Badgers (4-0, beat Austin Peay, 70-3) - When I hear the name "Austin Peay" I just cannot help but to laugh. So I can imagine the laughs were a plenty going around Camp-Randall stadium as the Badgers scored on nearly every possession Saturday. This game was actually a yawn as it was way over by halftime - 49-3. Now that I see Wisconsin does in fact have some guys on offense, they need to be watched out for. The Badger schedule heats up now as three of their next four opponents are currently ranked. Next: at Michigan State.

15. Miami Hurricanes (2-1, beat Pittsburgh, 31-3) - The Canes went on the road and made a win at Pittsburgh seem pretty easy. I know the U has the athletes to make some noise, but I am still not 100 percent sold on Randy Shannon at head coach. Another striking problem is Jacory Harris throwing way too many INTs. He needs to quit floating the ball and start putting some zip on it. I will get a big dose of the Hurricanes this weekend as I will see them live and in person at Death Valley. Next: Clemson.

16. Arizona Wildcats (4-0, beat Cal, 10-9) - Back to back now I have the two teams that played a thriller in the desert a couple of weeks ago. Arizona won by the skin of its teeth this past Saturday against the Bears as a game of field goals saw the Wildcats score the only TD with a minute to go. Hey, like I always say, "a win is a win is a win." Arizona now welcomes a good Oregon State team and better be careful. I want to like Arizona, but see lots of potential Ls in their future in Pac Ten play. Next: Oregon State.

17. Iowa Hawkeyes (3-1, beat Ball State, 45-0) - In their old throw back uniforms, Iowa put an old fashioned whooping on the visitors. I always like it when teams go for shutouts in these types of games. I think shutouts send a message and go further than just scoring as many points as possible. Anyway, the Hawkeyes are a good team, and I look forward to seeing them take on the big boys of the Big Ten in the coming weeks. The next four games for Iowa see them play teams that are currently ranked in the AP top 25. Next: Penn State.

18. South Carolina Gamecocks (3-1, lost at Auburn, 35-27) - Just as I included Clemson in my poll based on their performance on the Plains, so too will I for the Gamecocks. Is Auburn just a hair better than the two teams from the Palmetto State? Apparently so. But the difference is small, and to blast either team into the far reaches of the poll universe would be injustice. I see lots of positives going on with this Gamecock program. Alshon Jeffery is an absolute beast at wide-receiver. He is undoubtedly a future NFL player still wearing a college uniform. And I think Garcia and Shaw are both very capable quarterbacks. Steve Spurrier needs to show more restraint on national TV as these two guys want to win just as bad as he does. The Gamecocks will make more noise this season. Next: Idle.

19. USC Trojans (4-0, beat Washington State, 50-16) - Have I been living on the moon? Since when does the Coaches Poll not recognize USC? Anyway, this team appears to be coming together well under Kiffin. That was a nice road win in a thumping of Washington State. Now, they have to keep it up. Big games in the next four weeks include two games against current top ten teams. Washington and Cal are two tricky opponents sandwiched in between. Of course the talent is on the sideline, the question, to me, is can team chemistry become/remain good. Next: Washington.

20. Penn State Nittany Lions (3-1, beat Temple 22-14) - I have been hard-pressed to get the scoop on PSU this year, but I will know a lot more after this coming Saturday, when they travel to Iowa. I have kind of kept Penn State around the #20 spot all year, but that will change next week as they will either move into the top 15, or fall out of the top 25. Just out of respect for Joe Paterno and how he has disciplined, fundamental teams every year, they have been in my top 25. Next: Iowa.

21. Michigan Wolverines (4-0, beat Bowling Green, 65-21)  - The Wolverines looked good once again, but if Denard Robinson is that big of a part of the team, then I still have my concerns. He is a dynamic, game-changing player, but showed he is human when he twisted his leg. With him out, UM still kept rolling, but by then the game was over, anyway. I'm just uncertain what this team would be like without Robinson, and with him getting so much action, we may just find out. The word is that his leg is just fine, so we will find out more next week. Next: at Indiana.

22. Texas Longhorns (3-1, lost to UCLA, 34-7) - I can only imagine the moaning and groaning and whining around the parking lots of the stadium following this game! Not only was Texas almost certainly knocked out of any sort of national championship talk, it showed they are a long way from being that type of team, anyway. UCLA isn't exactly the 2007 Patriots, but they came in and just wrecked UT. Man, I'm just glad I wasn't having to hang out with some old big-dollar UT booster after this game! next: Oklahoma.

23. NC State Wolfpack (4-0, beat Georgia Tech, 45-28) - What? Could it be? An ACC team in the top 25 that is undefeated and actually has an out of conference win? Crazy. Yes folks, here are the Wolfpack. For years I have wondered if this program could break through to big things. It appears they will give it a shot in 2010. QB Russell Wilson is running the offense very well, making use of lots of short passes and keeper runs. It is fun to watch, no doubt! The Pack are looking good right now, but face a regrouped VT squad Saturday. Next: Virginia Tech.

24. West Virginia Mountaineers (3-1, lost at LSU, 20-14) - I was impressed with the 'Neers on Saturday night. That kind of game can turn into a blowout in embarassing fashion. Not only did WVU keep that from happening, but they had a few chances to do some damage. I think this is really a top 25 team compared to some of the teams I see on the edge of the top 25 in the two major polls. By year's end, this team will finish in the top 20. They get a well needed open date this week before facing UNLV in two weeks. Next: Idle.

25. Clemson Tigers (2-1, Idle) - If you don't like my having Clemson in here, start your own poll (no seriously, you can in the forum)! Clemson went 60 minutes and then some on the road at Auburn - who I feel is a legtimate top ten team. With that, and them receiving votes in both polls, here they are at #25 in my version. Call me bias, I don't care. I've been called much worse. This week the Tigers welcome Miami to Death Valley, and I for one will be ready. I have a feeling 80,000 of my friends will be, as well, after the inspiring performance in the road loss. But what happens in the stands is one thing, and what happens on the field is another. Miami looked good against Pitt, and this should be a great matchup of two teams hungry for a big win. We will see in five days if CU is worthy of being ranked or not. Next: Miami.



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