Unlike the coaches, I decided to release my ballot for the Bleacher Report Top 25 poll. Here's week one.
1. Florida Gators
A 63-2 win over Charleston Southern doesn't exactly impress, but hey, it's enough to keep the Gators at the top if my rankings for the second consecutive week.
2. Texas Longhorns
The Longhorns are another team that won big over a cupcake last weekend after lighting up Louisiana Monroe. Although that normally wouldn't warrant a jump in the rankings, the Longhorns benefit from Oklahoma's loss and move up to No. 2.
3. Oklahoma State Cowboys
Oklahoma State impressed me more than any team in the country last Saturday. Not only was the offense clicking, the defense was much improved and the Cowboys proved that they can hang with any team in the country.
4. USC Trojans
After being down 3-0 at the end of the first quarter to San Jose State, the Trojans put up 56 unanswered points on the Spartans. True freshman quarterback Matt Barkeley looked good, but he will face a much bigger test this Saturday in Columbus.
5. Alabama Crimson Tide
I was one of the many Alabama doubters this season who thought that the Crimson Tide wouldn't have the offense to make much noise this year in the SEC. I was wrong. The Alabama offense finally got going and was able to plow through Virginia Tech's elite defense fairly easily.
6. Ohio State Buckeyes
If it wasn't for an interception return for a touchdown on a 2-point conversion, Ohio State could have been tied with Navy at 29 with two minutes left in the game at the Horseshoe. Needless to say, they'll have to play better this week with USC coming to town.
7. Ole Miss Rebels
Ole Miss got off to a slow start Sunday night against Memphis and Jevan Snead didn't look like a Heisman sleeper one bit to start the game. But the Rebels got rolling and eventually were able to blow out Memphis 45-14.
8. Oklahoma Sooners
We learned two things last Saturday when Oklahoma faced BYU in Dallas. 1. Oklahoma is a top five team with Sam Bradford. 2. Oklahoma is hardly a top 20 team without Sam Bradford. The next few weeks will be very crucial for the Sooners and they need to find a way to get some wins without their Heisman Trophy winning quarterback.
9. California Bears
Jahvid Best is the best running back in college football. Period. He helped the Bears light up Maryland's defense last Saturday in Berekley and it looks like Cal is finally for real.
10. Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech really didn't look that bad Saturday against Alabama and they kept the game close or were leading it for the first three quarters. Then Alabama's offense came to life and made the Hokies' elite defense look average. That's not good news for Virginia Tech, but an ACC Championship is still very much within reach.
11. Penn State Nittany Lions
The Lions looked great during the first half against Akron, but really struggled in the second half, as they put up no points. They still won 31-7, but Penn State will need to learn how to play two halves before a September 26 home date with Iowa.
12. LSU Tigers
LSU really should move down more spots than this, but I'll give them another chance to prove themselves. They let Washington, a team who would lose to most FCS teams, hang around with them throughout the game and they would have been toast if they were playing anyone who is even halfway decent.
13. TCU Horned Frogs
TCU was off for week one, but it will get its first test this week against Virginia. The Horned Frogs can keep their title as the highest ranked non-BCS team for now, but BYU is creeping up fast.
14. BYU Cougars
I admit I underestimated BYU. While there is no way they would have won if Sam Bradford played the whole game, a win against Oklahoma is still very impressive. Max Hall was outstanding and the BYU defense was equally impressive. If they continue that success throughout the season, they may have a shot at a BCS Bowl.
15. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
A 37-17 win over Jacksonville State is less than impressive, but the Yellow Jackets will receive their first test this Saturday against Clemson. That game will prove which one of these ACC teams is actually for real.
16. Georgia Bulldogs
While a loss to Oklahoma State isn't embarassing by any means, a win would have been huge for Georgia last weekend. The season is far from lost, but any sleeper national title dreams that the Bulldogs had are likely over before they could even begin.
17. Iowa Hawkeyes
The Hawkeyes made history last Saturday, blocking two field goals on consecutive attempts to hold of Northern Iowa 17-16. While UNI is a very good FCS school, the game never should have gotten that close to begin with. The first half was awful for Iowa, but the Hawks started clicking in the second half and should regroup for a win against other in-state rival Iowa State this Saturday.
18. Utah Utes
Although the ended up winning, Utah was in a dogfight all day against in-state rival Utah State. No Top 25 team should be in a dogfight with Utah State. The Utes are safe for now, but they need to play much better in the future if they want any shot at a BCS repeat.
19. Boise State Broncos
I wasn't that impressed with the Broncos' win against Oregon on Thursday. Oregon lost that game more than Boise State won it and the Broncos should have put up much more than 19 points against Oregon's bad pass defense. While quarterback Kellen Moore moved the ball very well, Boise State needs to learn how to turn more of their missed opportunities into points.
20. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
While I still have my doubts about Notre Dame, the Irish looked impressive last weekend, beating Nevada 35-0. While the Wolfpack are hardly a challenge, Notre Dame will have their hands full this week against a much improved Michigan team.
21. Oregon State Beavers
Another team, another cupcake win, this time over Portland State. Again, a 34-7 win over that caliber team isn't saying much, but it's enough to keep the Beavers in the Top 25.
22. Texas Tech Red Raiders
After a 38-13 win in Lubbock, the Red Raiders will get ready to face Rice this weekend. While the Texas Tech offense picked up right where it left off in 2008, the defense needs to improve if they want to make some noise in the Big 12 South.
23. Nebraska Cornhuskers
After a 49-3 victory over Florida Atlantic (are you sensing a trend at all), the Cornhuskers look like a decent team, but they need to prove themselves against a formidable opponent to move up the rankings.
24. Kansas Jayhawks
Like their Big 12 North counterpart, Kansas also beat up on an inferior team 49-3, but they decided to pick on Northern Colorado instead of Florida Atlantic. Either way, a win doesn't really mean much for their ranking.
25. Pittsburgh Panthers
The Panthers hold onto the last spot in the rankings again after beating up on Youngstown State 38-3. Pittsburgh travels to Buffalo to take on the defending MAC champions this week, but will need a better win than that to keep moving up the rankings.
7. Alabama Crimson Tide
While Alabama does lose a lot on offense, the defense will still be stacked. Terrence Cody will lead one of the nation's best offensive lines and Rolando McClain will lead a very talented linebacking corps. The offense should take a step back, but if Alabama can find a quarterback, wide receiver Julio Jones can help to turn that unit into a strength again.
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