The Top Fan's Top 25 - Week Three
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1. LSU Tigers (3-0, 1-0) - defeated Mississippi State, 19-6 - Last week: 2 - Auburn's loss is LSU's gain as the Bayou Bengals and their tenacious defense claim the top spot in my poll. They dominated Mississippi State in a low scoring road game last Thursday night, with the defense limiting the Bulldogs to just 52 rushing yards. The offense will come around. Next: at West Virginia.
2. Alabama Crimson Tide (3-0, 0-0) - defeated North Texas, 41-0 - Last week: 3 - While we are talking about strong defenses, we better praise the Tide's brick wall. They rank second nationally in points against, and just recorded a shutout this past weekend. At running back, Eddie Lacy has been a great compliment to Trent Richardson, averaging 10.9 yards per touch to Richardson's 6.3. Richardson has the TD lead, though, eight to three. Next: Arkansas.
3. Oklahoma Sooners (2-0, 0-0) - defeated Florida State, 23-13 - Last week: 5 - The Sooners went into Tallahassee, Florida and showed that they, too, like Alabama and LSU, can play a little D. They held FSU to just 27 rushing yards. That is dominant. FSU got 216 through the air, but it was not enough. The Sooners are on the path to the national title game as Bama and LSU must play each other. Next: Missouri.
4. Boise State Broncos (2-0, 0-0) - defeated Toledo, 40-15 - Last week: 4 - Here is where Boise State kind of gets stuck in neutral. Though I know they are a very good team, there are no wins in the foreseeable future that would boost them into my top two. I like this program, and I think Kellen Moore is a legit Heisman contender, but I never know what to do with them.
5. Wisconsin Badgers (3-0, 0-0) - defeated Northern Illinois, 49-7 - Last week: 6 - QB Russell Wilson is going to find himself in the Heisman talk before too long. So far he has 719 yards passing and eight touchdowns. He has also rushed for another touchdown and 110 yards. This past weekend the newest Badger went for 347 yards and three scores in dismantling NIU. Next: South Dakota.
6. Stanford Cardinal (3-0, 1-0) - defeated Arizona, 37-10 - Last week: 7 - Since the theme has changed from defense to Heisman talk, this brings up QB Andrew Luck, who will have some company in his race for the trophy. His numbers are barely better than those of Russell Wilson at UW, and Kellen Moore is sure to post huge numbers, also.
7. Nebraska Cornhuskers (3-0, 0-0) - defeated Washington, 51-38 - Last week: 9 - I have the Huskers this high, but I am still somewhat holding out judgement on them. I am not doubting, I just don't have much to go off of so far. I know the D is solid, and the QB play is going to be good - that's a good start. Taylor Martinez accounted for three scores against Washington. Next: at Wyoming.
8. Virginia Tech Hokies (3-0, 0-0) - defeated Arkansas State, 26-7 - Last week: 10 - I have never seen a team with such a long, odd slate of OOC games to start the season. This road trip (yes, road trip) to Marshall is the fourth game VT must play before ACC play even gets underway. Junior running back David Smith has done a lot of the damage in 2011 for VT, with 388 yards and four scores. Next: at Marshall.
9. Oregon Ducks (2-1, 0-0) - defeated Missouri State, 56-7 - Last week: 11 - The famous Duck O is really starting to get going now. After LSU limited them to 27 in the opener, Oregon has posted 125 points in two games. We might as well insert QB Darron Thomas into the Heisman race - his numbers are among the best out there (741 yards and ten scores). Next: at Arizona.
10. Florida Gators (3-0, 1-0) - defeated Tennessee, 33-23 - Last week: 13 - With Auburn and FSU losing, and South Carolina needing a fourth quarter score to beat Navy, the Gators jump the Gamecocks and move up into my top ten with a nice win over rival Tennessee. They won convincingly, leading 30-13 as the fourth quarter began. Next: at Kentucky.
11. South Carolina Gamecocks (3-0, 1-0) - defeated Navy, 24-21 - Last week: 12 - This was almost nightmare part two for South Carolina versus Navy. The Gamecocks trailed the Midshipmen by four as the last period began, but Marcus Lattimore scored with 12 minutes to go, and the defense held on from there. Next: Vanderbilt.
12. Arkansas Razorbacks (3-0, 0-0) - defeated Troy, 38-28 - Last week: 14 - Arkansas got into a shootout with Troy, and eventually pulled away. After an early 24-7 lead, the Trojans stormed back with 28 points to put a little scare into this game. But Arkansas proved too much in the end. Two top ten (AP) teams are up next for the Hogs. Next: at Alabama.
13. Oklahoma State Cowboys (3-0, 0-0) - defeated Tulsa, 59-23 - Last week: 15 - Despite losing OC Dana Holgorsen to become the head coach at West Virginia, OSU continues to rack-up huge numbers, offensively. The Cowboys are averaging 52.4 points per game so far in 2011. We will know a lot more about this team following this weekend. Next at Texas A&M.
14. Florida State Seminoles (2-1, 0-0) - lost to Oklahoma, 23-13 - Last week: 8 - Like I said, FSU is just not quite ready to play at a nationally elite level. They played with Oklahoma for three quarters, but in the fourth quarter OU was able to put the Seminoles away when they needed to. FSU is strong, but they arent quite national title strong. Next: at Clemson.
15. Texas Longhorns (3-0, 0-0) - defeated UCLA, 49-20 - Last week: 16 - I predicted before the season started that Mack Brown would not have a repeat of 2010's losing effort. So far, so good. His team went out to UCLA and beat the pants off of the Bruins. Texas talk dominates the airwaves concerning their potential move to another conference, but the football team needs a bit of attention, too. Next: at Iowa State.
16. Texas A&M Aggies (2-0, 0-0) - defeated Idaho, 37-7 - Last week: 17 - I have yet to give A&M the love that the AP and Coaches polls are giving them (7th and 8th, respectively). After this weekend, when they host a very good Oklahoma State team, I will know if I am right or wrong. If they beat the Cowboys, they will jump several spots in this poll. Next: Oklahoma State.
17. West Virginia Mountaineers (3-0, 0-0) - defeated Maryland, 37-31 - Last week: 18 - This win over Maryland should go a long way in building confidence for Coach Holgorsen's first team. The Terrappins are a tough opponent on the road, and so hats off to the Mountaineers. I lost this pick. The Mountaineers now face a stiff test from one of the nation's best. Next: LSU.
18. Auburn Tigers (2-1, 1-0) - lost to Clemson, 38-24 - Last week: 1 - I just cannot get over the treatment of Auburn in the national polls. Yes, they lost to Clemson, but they are also 2-1 and beat a very good Mississippi State team just a couple of weeks ago. Just wait, when it is all said and done, Auburn will finish 2011 ranked in the top 25. Next: Florida Atlantic.
19. Baylor Bears (3-0, 0-0) - defeated Stephen F. Austin, 48-0 - Last week: 20 - The Bears are in uncharted waters wth a ranking of 17 AP and 19 Coaches. The Bears can thank most of their success to an offense that scores in bunches. They are sixth nationally, scoring 49 points per game. Next: Rice.
20. Michigan Wolverines (3-0, 0-0) - defeated Eastern Michigan, 31-3 - Last week: 23 - Don't look now Michigan fans, but you are undefeated and ranked in all of the major polls. Not only that, but QB Denard Robinson (884 yards and eight scores combined passing and rushing) looks to be the real deal and is a Heisman contender. Next: San Diego State.
21. TCU Horned Frogs (2-1, 1-0) - defeated Air Force 38-17 - Last week: 21 - TCU fans are getting through this season the best they can until a new slate of games awaits them in 2012. No matter what happens with the Big East situation, the schedule will be wide open to lock in many big games. Next: Portland State.
22. USC Trojans (3-0, 0-0) - defeated Syracuse, 38-17 - Last week: 24 - Apparently Coach Lane Kiffin has this Trojan team rolling. The offense is being led by QB Matt Barkely who has 892 yards and nine scores already in 2011. It makes me wonder just how many guys can possibly be in a single Heisman race. Next: at Arizona State.
23. Clemson Tigers (3-0, 0-0) - defeated Auburn 38-24 - Last week: unranked - The Tigers went down early, and it looked like Auburn was about to give CU an old-fashioned woodshed beating that would have spelled disaster for third-year Coach Dabo Swinney. But Swinney's team responded, and a 31-3 run lifted Clemson to victory. Next: Florida State.
24. Illinois Fighting Illini (3-0, 0-0) - defeated Arizona State, 17-14 - Last week: unranked - After taking out then ranked Arizona State, Illinois finds themselves still unbeaten and now getting some love in the national polls. I am certainly not ready to throw the Illini into the national title conversation, but this does appear to be a bit better team than is normal for Illinois. Next: Western Michigan.
25. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (3-0, 0-0) - defeated Kansas, 66-24 - Last week: unranked - This is a surprise team to be seen in here, but after waxing Kansas by 38 points to remain unbeaten, here is GT. The Yellow Jackets are wounded after some offseason happenings see the program in hot water, but their 2011 football team is apparently not worried about all of that. Next: North Carolina.
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