The Top Fan's Top 25 - Week Four
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The top teams are beginning to seperate themselves as we move into the middle part of the season. Oregon, Florida State and South Carolina were three teams that really caught my eye this weekend with impressive wins. Here is my Top 25 poll following the games of week four:
1. Alabama (4-0) - The Tide defeated Florida Atlanatic 40-7 to stay unbeaten and atop the polls. AJ McCarron has thrown for 810 yards and ten scores so far, and the Alabama defense is second in the nation in ppg at 5.3.
2. Oregon (4-0) - The class of the Pac-12 appears to be wearing green and yellow. Oregon hammered Arizona 49-0 to show that not only can they play offense with the best in the nation, but the defense is among the country's best, too.
3. LSU (4-0) - I predicted this one dead on. I knew Auburn - at home - would give LSU all they wanted. The visitors escaped with a 12-10 defensive struggle win, with no points scored by either team in the final quarter.
4. Florida State (4-0) - A twelve-point win over division rival Clemson puts the Seminoles firmly in the national title talks for the first time in years. A stout defense, accompanied by an offense that can move the ball and continuously pick up first downs, is a deadly combo.
5. West Virginia (3-0) - Early on, it appeared as if WVU was going to mop the floor with Maryland, going up 14-0 halfway through the first quarter. But the Terps fought back and ended up making it a game. In the end, the home team just had too much fire power in a 31-21 win.
6. South Carolina (4-0) - The Gamecock defense is for real, folks - Mizzou never had a chance. This unit is big and strong up front, and fast across the board. If QB Connor Shaw and RB Marcus Lattimore can stay healthy, South Carolina has a legit shot to make a BCS appearance this season.
7. Georgia (4-0) - The Dawgs took care of Vanderbilt at ease, cruising to a 48-3 win 'tween the hedges. Up next is an intense stretch featuring Tennessee, South Carolina and Florida over the next four weeks. If Mark Richt is going to have the big year, the next 28 days will decide it.
8. Kansas State (4-0) - Just the second win by a visiting team in 44 tries in Norman proves KSU is for real. The Wildcats used two Landry Jones turnovers, and a late Collin Klein TD run to get the 24-19 win over Oklahoma. The next two games are winnable before a showdown at West Virginia.
9. Ohio State (4-0) - Well, it wasn't one of those kinds of wins that makes heads turn, but a 29-15 win over UAB moves Ohio State to 4-0. A huge game next week goes down at Michigan State to see if OSU is for real or a pretender.
10. TCU (3-0) - Virginia came into town and left with a 27-6 loss to the Horned Frogs. TCU completes a relatively easy first half of their schedule over the next two weeks, before moving to a brutal second half of the schedule that includes six teams currently in this top 25 poll.
11. Notre Dame (4-0) - A win over Michigan will have the undefeated Irish shoot on up in the two major polls. In this poll, however, I am going to hold 'em back until I see a little more. Are they good? Yes. But I see ten teams listed above that I feel would beat them. We'll see how things play out...
12. USC (3-1) - The Trojans bounced back from the loss to Stanford to take care of business against Cal in a 27-9 win. This is a good football team and it isn't fair to knock on them because they aren't national title contenders yet. They can still play ball.
13. Florida (4-0) - Kentucky proved to be no match for the Gators, who used three second quarter TDs to blow open a tight game. When the dust cleared, Florida had a 38-0 shutout to move to 4-0 and 3-0 in the SEC. Up next is a break to prepare for a visit from LSU in two weeks.
14. Texas (3-0) - The Longhorns had the week off to rest - and it's a good thing! The upcoming slate includes four straight games against teams ranked in this top 25 poll: Oklahoma State, West Virginia, Oklahoma and Baylor. Win all of those, and UT will play the end of the season ranked in the top five. I see them losing at least one of them.
15. Oklahoma (2-1) - After surrendering a super rare home loss to Kansas State, I drop OU nine spots in this poll. They are still a good team, but I see way too many other better teams to have them still up near the top ten. QB Landry Jones was responsible for two late turnovers in this loss.
16. Clemson (3-1) - While the Tiger offense is very capable of scoring on anybody, the defensive line has miles to go. Any good running team is going to move the ball on Clemson, and until that changes, CU will not break through to wear they want to be. Explosive? Yes. Vulnerable? Very.
17. Michigan State (3-1) - A 23-7 win over Eastern Michigan isn't going to scream out at the sports world, but a win is a win is a win. A visit next week from unbeaten and top ten Ohio State will get things shaking in East Lansing once more. But they have to learn how to score (104th nationally, 6.2 ppg last three games).
18. Stanford (3-0) - I should probably give Stanford a little more credit, but there is still plenty of season left for them to prove to me that they are a top ten or better team. They have a huge game on the road at Notre Dame in two weeks after a visit from Washington in six days.
19. Louisville (4-0) - The Cardinals used a TD in each quarter to squeek by Florida International, 28-21. This is hardly an impressive win, but UL is 4-0 none-the-less and has a whole pile of winnable games in front of them. They very well may be unbeaten and ranked in the top five in two months.
20. Nebraska (3-1) - The Cornhuskers opened up a can on Idaho State, erupting for 73 points. NU can get back into the national talks with wins the next two weeks over Wisconsin (home) and Ohio State (away).
21. Oregon State (2-0) - UCLA is no longer unbeaten thanks to Oregon State. The Beavers used QB Sean Mannion's 379 passing yards (two scores) to get the win. With a bye week and a postponed game already, the Beavers have a lot of football left to play. This was the first of an eleven-game-in-eleven-week stretch.
22. Oklahoma State (2-1) - The Cowboys might not play much D, but dangit if they can't light up scoreboards! They rank first in the nation in points for, at 62.3 ppg. They will have to score a lot to win their next one as Texas comes into Stillwater Saturday.
23. Virginia Tech (3-1) - Now that they have their annual early-season loss out of the way, look for VT to go on a massive run to close the campaign. It may have began yesterday, as the Hokies shutout Bowling Green, 37-0.
24. Northwestern (4-0) - The Wildcats have moved to 4-0 with four wins over four very average teams. Syracuse, Vanderbilt, Boston College and South Dakota State have fallen victim to Northwestern, so we really don't know much about the Wildcats just yet. The next three will tell us little more: Indiana, Penn State and Minnesota.
25. Baylor (3-0) - You better take a good look at this Baylor helmet in here, because it probably will not be here long. The Bears travel to West Virginia next weekend, followed by a visit from TCU. If that doesn't get 'em, maybe a trip to Texas the third week from now will. We'll see.
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