The Top Fan's Top 25 - Week Three
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South Carolina and UCLA had big days Saturday as the Gamecocks took control of the SEC East with a bounce-back win over Georgia, and the Bruins picked up a resume-building road win in a drama-filled victory over Texas in Dallas....
The Dawgs and Southern California had perhaps the worst day (along with VT) as these two CFP-contending squads took road losses that will seriously damper any thoughts at making the inaugural playoff...
ACC teams stormed the field twice yesterday, but overall, it wasn't a great day for the league. Yes, Boston College upset USC in Bean Town, and Virginia upset Louisville in Charlottesville, causing fans to go bezerk at both stadiums. But for the conference, the Louisville loss knocks one ACC team from the AP Top 25, and Virginia Tech's loss to East Carolina made for a second ACC team being bumped from the rankings this week. Only FSU, North Carolina and Clemson remain ranked in the major polls, and with the Tar Heels unproven and Clemson set to visit Tallahassee this weekend, could the league have just one ranked team soon? Ouch.
Once again, the college football world left us with a lot to think about....
Here are my Top 25 teams following the games of week three.....
1. Florida State (2-0) - The defending national champions had the weekend off to prepare for Clemson (who also had the weekend off) in an Atlantic Division prime-time game this Saturday. Everyone knows the 'Noles have yet to show dominance so far this season, and if you're a Clemson fan, you hope it stays that way for at least another week. The Seminoles have athletes galore and, of course, Jameis Winston is at QB doing what he does, so they will bust out at some point. The Tigers have pride on the line in this one looking to avenge last year's debacle, and Gameday is in town, as well. FSU gets the spotlight in 6 days.
2. Oregon (3-0) - At this point, I can see why Oregon is getting a lot of #1 votes from our fans over on CFBfanpoll.com. The Ducks are flying high and have a clear Heisman contender in QB Marcus Mariota. The key for Oregon, and I hate to even say it out loud, is that Mariota must stay healthy. If he can play full speed in every game, I think the Ducks have a path to the first CFP. But it isn't just Mariota leading the way. I watched the Michigan State-Oregon game and came away feeling that the Oregon defense is impressive, also. Up next is a trip to Washington State.
3. Auburn (2-0) - I have been wondering what Auburn really has this year and we will finally find out Thursday night. I am excited to have a good Thursday night game to watch as War Eagle hits the road to play Kansas State - about a 13-hour drive from their home. I was at the 2007 version of this game in Auburn, a close Tiger win, and I would expect the same again. Auburn is 5th nationally in points for at 52.0 and we all know they will get their share every time out. After this tough OOC game, the Tigers get La. Tech then their SEC slate.
4. Oklahoma (3-0) - The Sooners handled Tennessee in about the exact fashion I was thinking they would in a 34-10 win at home last night. They had some very good looking plays and didn't give up a bunch of turnovers to let the Vols stay in it. Overall, they looked like a top five team should look in playing a respectable opponent and winning by three TDs. Up next for Oklahoma is the first Big 12 game of the year - a trip to West Virginia. The Mountaineers always have upset potential, so be on the alert, OU!
5. Alabama (3-0) - This ranking right here is hard to explain. The Tide have won three of the last five national titles, and have recruited better than anyone in the nation for the last however many seasons, as well. They also have a genius coach in Nick Saban. So that shows how exciting the playoff is and how it came at the right time when there are four teams that I feel confident enough about that I could rank them ahead of Alabama. The battle for those four spots will be intense! Alabama is cruising right now, but a QB battle also has things a but uncertain. Blake Sims and Jacob Coker are in a fight for the job, and both are playing well.
6. UCLA (3-0) - The intensity inside Jerry's World was so high last night I could feel it through my TV! When quarterback Brett Hundley went down early with an arm injury, UCLA went to Jerry Neuheisel to keep them undefeated. Neuheisel did just that, going 23 of 30 for 178 yards and two TDs, throwing the game-winner to Jordan Payton with three minutes to go. UCLA showed poise and depth to beat a Texas team that was fighting for a first big win under Charlie Strong. I still am unsure if UCLA is a true CFP contender, but they stay firmly in the hunt with this road win. The Virginia upset of Louisville helps their resume, also.
7. LSU (3-0) - Quietly creeping up the polls are the Tigers from the Bayou. LSU opened things up with a hard-fought win over Wisconsin, and has won the last two cupcake games by a combined 87-0 (UL Monroe and Sam Houston). I need to see this team play more - especially QB Anthony Jennings. We all know about Leonard Fournette the freshman running back, but I want to see if Jennings can lead this team to some big things this year. The big games are aplenty, starting next week with a visit from division foe Mississippi State.
8. Texas A&M (3-0) - After starting the season with a bang on national TV in a Thursday night beat down of South Carolina, the Aggies have disappeared into the shadows, with games against Lamar and Rice not exactly garnering many national headlines. Easy wins in both cases, and next up is another easy win as SMU is a short trip away from College Station. TAMU may be the real deal as QB Kenny Hill is mighty, mighty imperssive so far. But the hard games are numerous and the journey will be tough. The CFP is a goal for sure, no doubt about it.
9. Baylor (3-0) - Seems like just a year ago we were going through the same thing with Baylor as they were putting 70 points up week in and week out, but the competition was, um, questionable. This year, the Bears open with four games that just about any good program should win big. The last of those four teams is Iowa State, away, this weekend. The Bears and their fancy new stadium have become a true Top 25 program, but are they Top 10? I really don't know at this point.
10. Arizona State (3-0) - The Sun Devils are the third representative from the Pac-12 to crack my Top 10. They went on the road and beat a very mediocre Colorado team by two TDs - not exactly elite team type of stuff, but a solid road win, none-the-less. The jury is still out on this squad, but it won't be long until they come back in. UCLA makes for a great game with ASU next Thursday, followed by meetings with USC and Stanford. We will know a lot more very soon on this team.
11. Kansas State (2-0)
12. Notre Dame (3-0)
13. Ole Miss (3-0)
14. Penn State (3-0)
15. Georgia (1-1)
16. Stanford (2-1)
17. Michigan State (1-)
18. Ohio State (2-1)
19. BYU (3-0)
20. Utah (2-0)
21. South Carolina (2-1)
22. Nebraska (3-0)
23. Pittsburgh (3-0)
24. Duke (3-0)
25. USC (2-1)
Just Missed: Clemson, Missouri, Wisconsin, North Carolina
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