A FANTASTIC way to start out the 2009 season in college football came to an end last night in Tallahassee, FL in a wild contest where Miami went into Doak Campbell and upset the formerly 14th ranked Florida State Seminoles. There are some major changes made to my Top 25 just because at first, I hadn’t seen any of the teams and was making predictions based purely off what I thought So there will be some big movers and big sliders in this week’s edition, but it should settle down here after this week. Here’s my Week 2 Top 25 including my preseason rankings (that don’t look too good now haha) and my Heisman Race and Bottom 10! ENJOY!
4. OKLAHOMA STATE
6. OLE MISS
7. VIRGINIA TECH (Before Darren Evans was hurt)
8. GEORGIA TECH
10. OHIO STATE
14. FLORIDA STATE
16. PENN STATE
18. NOTRE DAME
20. NORTH CAROLINA
21. EAST CAROLINA
23. BOISE STATE
25. MICHIGAN STATE
1(1). FLORIDA (1-0) W 62-3 vs. CHARLESTON SOUTHERN
NEXT: vs. TROY
- No surprise here from the Gators, as they thrashed CSU easily but the only disappointment for Gator fans is that they failed in their run to cover the 70 ½ point spread they had. Tebow looked great, the speed was phenomenal, and everything appears to be right in Gainesville. Next up are the Troy Trojans, who just lost at Bowling Green this past week.
2(2). TEXAS (1-0) W 59-20 vs. LOUISIANA-MONROE
NEXT: @ WYOMING
- First stringers looked great in the first half against the Warhawks and another solid performance from Colt McCoy was a great start for the Horns. Jordan Shipley had a great game with 180 yds and a TD, but the rushing game needs to catch up with the aerial attack. A trip to Wyoming before the night game against Texas Tech the following week should keep Texas players on their toes.
3(4). OKLAHOMA STATE (1-0) W 24-10 vs. #15 GEORGIA
NEXT: vs. HOUSTON
- Okie State was a bit sluggish out of the gate, but the Pokes turned it on against a stout Georgia team. Zac Robinson didn’t look great through the air, but Dez Bryant did with just 3 catches. The running back tandem of Kendall Hunter and Keith Toston will be a lot of trouble for future opponents. The one thing that stood out from this contest was how well Oklahoma State’s defense played, giving up just 257 yds of total offense to the Bulldogs. Holding A.J. Green to just 52 yards on 4 receptions is pretty darn impressive. The Houston Cougars are next up for the Pokes and don’t sleep on Houston. Case Keenum bring a prolific passing offense into that matchup.
4(5). USC (1-0) W 56-3 vs. SAN JOSE STATE
NEXT: @ #8 OHIO STATE
- The Matt Barkley era at USC took some time to fire up, but once he started turning around and giving it to Stefon Johnson and Joe McKnight, then everything started to open up for the freshman, throwing for 233 yards and 1 score to lift the Trojans over the Spartans of SJSU. Defense was extremely strong giving up just over 100 yards of total offense, but that was San Jose State. Next week, we will see if USC can defend the Trojan honor in the ‘Shoe against a revenge-minded Buckeye squad.
5(9). ALABAMA (1-0) W 34-24 vs. #7 VIRGINIA TECH
NEXT: vs. FIU
- The loss of Glen Coffee didn’t appear to halt the Bama offense one bit and the running ability of Greg McElroy was something I didn’t expect at all. Not to mention, the junior QB threw for 230 yards and a score against the vaunted Va Tech defense. Didn’t see much of Julio Jones in this one, but expect him to break out next week against FIU. To go along with the strong performance on offense, the Tide defense gave up just 155 yards of total offense to Virginia Tech. Wow. That linebacking core with Rolando McClain could be the best in the country.
6(11). CAL (1-0) W 52-13 vs. MARYLAND
NEXT: vs. E. WASHINGTON
- Anybody else doubt that Jahvid Best is one of the best running backs in the nation? He needed just 10 carries to get to 137 yards and Kevin Riley looked unreal in the opener against Ralph Fridgen’s Terps. Riley threw for 300 yards and 4 TD’s against the Maryland defense and the balance has to be extremely encouraging to Jeff Tedford, with 298 through the air and 244 on the ground. Defense was pretty good, and that’s all Cal needs it to be. Folks, look out. The team from Berkley could break out this season.
7(6). OLE MISS (1-0) W 45-14 @ MEMPHIS
NEXT: vs. SE LOUISIANA (9/19)
- This seems to be a theme this week. Teams getting off to slow starts in their debuts. Ole Miss was just ordinary in the opener at Memphis. Jevan Snead took a while to get going and so did the Wild Rebel offense. It was a very balanced attack from Houston Nutt, rushing for 174 and throwing for 175 so that’s encouraging. But what isn’t was how close this game truly was. It was 17-7 at the half, and if it wasn’t for a late INT return for a TD by Fon Ingram, it would have been 10-7 at the break. There wasn’t one score in the 3rd quarter, and 2 Snead INT’s don’t make me feel that great about Ole Miss. To compound the negativity, Greg Hardy left the game for 10 minutes before returning after injuring his left leg. Let’s hope that doesn’t continue to hamper the All-American DE. A week of rest should definitely benefit the Rebs before they are back on the grind.
8(10). OHIO STATE (1-0) W 31-27 vs. NAVY
NEXT: vs. #4 USC
- People are going to go on and on about how the Buckeyes don’t deserve to be ranked in the top 10 with just a 4 point win against NAVY of all teams. First off, the Buckeyes had this one in hand from start until probably around the 6:15 mark in the 4th quarter, when the conservative Jim Tressel decided to go for it on a 4th and 1 play on the Midshipmen 15 yard line, and failed to pick it up with Boom Herron on the ground. The ensuing 85 yard TD pass by Ricky Dobbs cut the lead to 8, and a Pryor INT followed by a quick Dobbs TD run had the lead down to 2, with just 2:23 to go. Enter LB Brian Rolle to save the Bucks with an INT on the 2-point conversion returned for a Buckeye lay-up to close it out. The next thing is, this Navy team is by no means bad at all. Yes, the Middies are known for running on the ground, but Ricky Dobbs is probably just as good of a passer as he is a runner. So Pittsburgh, Wake Forest, and Notre Dame…don’t be shocked if Navy stays with you till the end. Bucks have the showdown with USC coming up this Saturday and it’s another chance for the Bucks to prove they belong and that the Big Ten is still a top conference.
9(11). LSU (1-0) W 31-23 @ WASHINGTON
NEXT: vs. VANDERBILT
- Don’t be alarmed Tiger fans, Washington is a much better team than you had expected. An 8-point victory in Seattle isn’t bad at all. Jordan Jefferson looked poised in his first start of 2009 but the running attack of Charles Scott and Keiland Williams wasn’t as strong as anticipated. What is disturbing is LSU gave up over 300 yards through the air from Jake Locker and the Huskies. Okay maybe you can be concerned LSU fans. The defense wasn’t great, the offense was just ordinary. Still, Washington should surprise some people in the Pac-10 this year so that’s not an easy win to get there. Vandy is next up for the Bayou Bengals and that should keep Les Miles busy.
10(8). GEORGIA TECH (1-0) W 37-17 vs. JACKSONVILLE STATE
NEXT: vs. CLEMSON (THUR, 9/10)
- Rushing attack was all it was built up to be in Atlanta for the Jackets as 95 from Dwyer and 93 from Nesbitt make Georgia Tech fans happy. One name you might not see is sophomore Roddy Jones, who didn’t play against Jacksonville State. Coach Paul Johnson said he would have played if needed, and his wrist injury isn’t much of a problem. One thing that Ga Tech can’t do is turn the ball over 3 times again. Cause if they do that against Clemson, the Tigers will have a chance to upset Tech at home this coming Thursday.
11(23). BOISE STATE (1-0) W 19-8 vs. #19 OREGON
NEXT: vs. MIAMI (OH)
- Another game where I thought there would be a boatload of points, but wow the Boise State defense was nothing short of brilliant. The score line from this game doesn’t show how much the Broncos dominated the Ducks in this one. The atmosphere from Boise was absolutely electric and the stripe out was a beautiful sight. Kellen Moore was as good as advertised and Austin Pettis broke out as the Broncos #1 receiver. Boise doesn’t have another test until they play in Fresno next week so the Redhawk game will be a good tune up before the contest against the Bulldogs.
12(NR). BYU (1-0) W 14-13 vs. #3 OKLAHOMA
NEXT: @ TULANE
- **I would first like to apologize to BYU for not having them in my preseason Top 25. I thought the loss of 9 starters on D would be too much for the Cougars to handle in ’09. No one expected this one and if you predicted it, you are probably lying. BYU might have gotten the lucky draw with injuring Sam Bradford, but still Oklahoma had the 2 headed rushing attack of Chris Brown and DeMarco Murray, and even they couldn’t get going against a BYU defense that has just 2 starters returning from a year ago. Max Hall was efficient and magnificent through the air against a much improved Oklahoma defense and the emergence of Dennis Pitta as Hall’s #1 target makes it that much easier for Max slinging the rock. Not having Harvey Unga definitely hurt the Cougars rushing attack, but if they can get him back, look out for BYU as a BCS buster team for 2009.
13(3). OKLAHOMA (0-1) L 13-14 vs. BYU
NEXT: vs. IDAHO STATE
- Let’s face it; this team isn’t top 10 material if they don’t have Sam Bradford. As much as you would like to believe Lou Holtz when he says that this Landry Jones kid can quarterback the OU offense, he can’t. They could rely on the running attack, but the O-line certainly didn’t help Brown or Murray’s cause this past week. 2 warm up games and a bye week before the trip to Miami to take on the Canes should be long enough for Bradford to heal that shoulder of his and for Landry Jones to get his feet wet at the QB position.
14(16). PENN STATE (1-0) W 31-7 vs. AKRON
NEXT: vs. SYRACUSE
- PSU looked dominant against the Zips but I’m still not convinced that this team is Top 10 material. The 6’5 Derek Moye had a great game at receiver for Daryll Clark and Clark’s 353 yards passing and 3 TD’s were more than enough for the Nittany Lions defense. Expect Graham Zug to also break out in the passing game for the Lions and Evan Royster and Stephfon Green to continue to improve. What doesn’t help Penn State’s cause is that They won’t have a challenge until the end of November when they play Iowa at home. Note to Joe Paterno, try to beef up the non conference schedule a bit.
15(7). VIRGINIA TECH (0-1) L 24-34 vs. #9 ALABAMA
NEXT: vs. MARSHALL
- The offense looked pretty sluggish against the power and quickness against Alabama, but Beamer Ball still managed to get a TD on special teams and the defense was just decent. I still think this team will challenge for the ACC title, but the loss of Darren Evans might be too much for Virginia Tech to handle. Tyrod Taylor needs to improve his passing ability, but the emergence of freshman Ryan Williams might be exactly what this team needs in the backfield. The road won’t get any easier for the Hokies. After the Marshall game, back to back contests in Blacksburg against the newly AP ranked Huskers and Miami Hurricanes should keep Virginia Tech more than busy.
16(17). TCU (0-0) BYE WEEK
NEXT: @ VIRGINIA
- TCU had an off week and a chance to watch Virginia lose at home to of all teams WILLIAM AND MARY, BY 12 POINTS! So let’s face it, TCU will keep its Top 20 ranking after this upcoming week. That’s all that needs to be said.
17(18). NOTRE DAME (1-0) W 35-0 vs. NEVADA
NEXT: @ MICHIGAN
- We knew the Irish offense was going to be pretty good this season, but wow I had no idea the Irish defense would be this good. Yes, they gave up over 300 yards of offense to Nevada, but the big goose egg on the scoreboard means more to Charlie Weis than number of yards. Holding the pistol offense of Colin Kaepernick to just 149 yards through the air is an accomplishment in itself. Clausen was up to the task with 318 yards and 4 TD’s, and the breakout game of Michael Floyd will ease the tension of Golden Tate having to be the #1 receiver for another year. We will see for sure next week if the Irish are up to the task as ND heads to Ann Arbor to showdown with their rivals from the Big Ten.
18(20). NORTH CAROLINA (1-0) W 40-6 vs. THE CITADEL
NEXT: @ CONNECTICUT
- The duo of Shaun Draughn and Ryan Houston was too much for the Bulldogs to handle in the opener for the Heels as UNC routed The Citadel with ease. TJ Yates performance wasn’t encouraging, with just 118 yards passing, a completion percentage below 50%, and 2 INTs, but the running game picked up the slack for Butch Davis and UNC. Keep an eye on Da’Norris Searcy returning punts and kicks for the Tar Heels, as he could become one of the most dangerous return men since Devin Hester.
19(NR). MIAMI (FL) (1-0) W 38-34 @ #14 FLORIDA STATE
NEXT: vs. #10 GEORGIA TECH (THUR, 9/17)
- I won’t say that it was a shocker, but it definitely was not expected by Miami to go into Doak and knock off the 14th ranked Seminoles. Yeah the way they did it was suspect, almost giving up a TD in the final ticks, but the standout game from Jacory Harris and Travis Benjamin was just what Randy Shannon was looking for. Defense will need to be better next week against the option attack of Georgia Tech. The week off before the Thursday night showdown with Ga Tech could be just what Randy Shannon and the Canes need to knock off the Jackets.
20(15). GEORGIA (0-1) L 10-24 @ #4 OKLAHOMA STATE
NEXT: vs. SOUTH CAROLINA
- The beginning of the game looked encouraging for the Bulldogs with a long TD drive and a Joe Cox TD pass, but it was downhill from there for Georgia. The defense really didn’t do too bad at all. Holding the crazy ridiculous offense of Okie State to 24 points and just 307 yards of total offense is actually pretty darn good. The problem was the poor play on O and Joe Cox. Let’s put this in perspective, it was his first start ever in a Georgia uniform, but you’ve got to better than 15-30 passing. Next week the Gamecocks come calling Between the Hedges, so we will see if the Dawgs can rebound.
21(13). KANSAS (1-0) W 49-3 vs. NORTHERN COLORADO
NEXT: @ UTEP
- KU looked good against the Bears and Todd Reesing looked even better. I still look at the guy and think, how does he continue to get it done? He’s just 5’11 200 lbs. and doesn’t look like a QB at all. But the one characteristic that sets him above the rest is his ability to win. The guy just wins football games and it’s that simple. He was great on the ground and through the air, and his buddy in the backfield Jake Sharp ran for over 100 yards. No, Dezmon Briscoe didn’t play, but he was just suspended for the game, but that gave Kerry Meier a chance to step up at receiver and boy did he. Over 100 yards receiving will give Reesing another option to throw to. Next up is a trip to El Paso to take on the Miners, and Kansas better not underestimate UTEP. They’ve been known to spring an upset or 2 at home.
22(NR). CINCINNATI (1-0)W 47-15 @ RUTGERS
NEXT: vs. SE MISSOURI STATE
- I never thought I would see the day this season that we would see a Big East team in the top 25, but wow here’s another team that lost almost their entire defense but that didn’t stop them. Holding Rutgers under 300 yards on offense was a win in itself, but wow Tony Pike could be someone to watch out for as a guy that could see his NFL Draft stock go WAY up this season. Pike passed for over 300 yards and 3 TD’s along with his favorite receiver Mardy Gilyard bringing in 90 yards and a TD. Along with that, the rushing attack gained over 160 yards on the ground. It was a perfect game for Cincy and they have a chance to really make themselves known in 2 weeks as they travel to Corvallis to take on the Beavers September 19th.
23(NR). MISSOURI (1-0) W 37-9 vs. ILLINOIS
NEXT: vs. BOWLING GREEN
-Wait, wasn’t this the team that just lost their starting QB of 2 years? You are absolutely correct. Wasn’t this a team that gave up over 30 points a game last year on defense? Again, you are correct. Doesn’t this team have a sophomore starting at QB? Again, you would be right. I never saw this one coming. Blaine Gabbert could be the next great QB in the Gary Pinkel era at Mizzou. His 319 yards passing and 3 TD’s ravaged an Illinois team that was picked as a sleeper in the Big Ten by most media personnel. What was even more impressive was that they held the Flying Illini offense to just 9 points the entire game! WOW. Look out Big 12, you might have thought that this was the year to take the Tigers easy again, but you are mistaken. Mizzou will challenge once against for the North division title in the Big 12.
24(14). FLORIDA STATE (0-1) L 34-38 vs. MIAMI (FL)
NEXT: vs. JACKSONVILLE STATE
- The offense wasn’t the problem for Bobby Bowden last night. 404 yards of total offense and a great performance by Christian Ponder wasn’t either. It was the defense and the mind numbing long pass plays they gave up the entire game. Not to mention, they gave up 386 yards through the air to Jacory Harris, who set a record for the most passing yards given up by the Noles in this heated rivalry. It just seemed like the defense just had plays where they stoped thinking and forgot they were in man coverage. Whatever it was, Bowden needs to fix it soon. In 2 weeks the Noles will travel to Cougar country to take on 12th ranked BYU. The secondary and passing defense better be ready for that aerial assault because Miami’s passing offense is nothing compared to what Max Hall will bring.
25(21). EAST CAROLINA (1-0) W 29-24 vs. APPALACHIAN STATE
NEXT: @ WEST VIRGINIA
- ECU looked less than stellar this past Saturday at home against the Armanti Edwards less Mountaineers of Appalachian State. What most people don’t realize is ECU was up 29-7 in the 3rd quarter before App State finally turned it on with 21 unanswered in the 4th to come close, but fall short. The defense wasn’t the problem, only giving up 246 yds, but 2 Patrick Pinkney INTs were disturbing. The pressure really heats up now for the Pirates as 2 road games to Morgantown and rival North Carolina will be huge tests for this sleeper team from the C-USA. Can they do it?
TEAMS RECEIVING CONSIDERATION: MICHIGAN STATE, IOWA, OREGON, OREGON STATE, UTAH, NEBRASKA, PITTSBURGH, CLEMSON, WEST VIRGINIA, BAYLOR, MICHIGAN, UCLA
HEISMAN RACE TOP 5 (IN ORDER)
1. TIM TEBOW, FLORIDA
2. COLT McCOY, TEXAS
3. JAHVID BEST, CAL
4. DEZ BRYANT, OK ST
5. TODD REESING, KANSAS
OTHERS RECEIVING CONSIDERATION: SAM BRADFORD, OU; KENDALL HUNTER, OK ST; JONATHAN DWYER, GT; DARYLL CLARK, PSU
THE BOTTOM 10!!
My favorite part of the rankings goes from 10-1 recapping the worst in college football! This weeks’ theme: One word descriptions!
10. WASHINGTON STATE (0-1)
- Defense? Still not there in the Palooze. Giving up 39 points at home to Stanford isn’t a good way to start the season.
9. SMU (1-0)
- Awesome! SMU finally got a victory. Guess who they beat? Stephen F. Austin. For that, they stay in the bottom 10.
8. SYRACUSE (0-1)
- Close. Greg Paulus’ debut in the Orange wasn’t bad, but they way the lost wasn’t great either.
7. MIAMI OH (0-1)
- Zero. That’s how many points the Redhawks scored in their opener at Kentucky. No rest for the weary as next week’s game at the Smurf Turf will be fun to watch.
6. LOUISIANA MONROE (0-1)
- Ugly. The only word to describe the 59-20 shellacking they took from Texas.
5. VIRGINIA (0-1)
- Really? Losing at home to WILLIAM AND MARY? Is that even possible? Yep, it sure is.
4. EASTERN MICHIGAN (0-1)
- Vision. Maybe they couldn’t see their 27-14 loss to Army because the Black Knights were wearing their camo uniforms? Ehh, probably not.
3. WESTERN KENTUCKY (0-1)
- YES! WKU finally got into a conference! Way to start the season off right, losing 63-7 to Tennessee.
2. NEW MEXICO STATE (0-1)
- Embarrassment. Losing to the formerly #2 team of the bottom 10 Idaho at home is awful.
1. BALL STATE (0-1)
- Disaster. The new non-Nate Davis Era starts with a loss to the formerly #1 team of the Bottom 10, North Texas. Cheers, Muncie.
There you have it! Week 3 is coming up with the big one in Columbus looming. Enjoy the pigskin everyone!