RSD 3's WEEK FOUR TOP 25
Week 4 had some notable victories for teams in the top 25, and one major upset that has shuffled up the rankings. Not to mention, two BCS buster teams that were busted this week and a team that did have the nation’s longest winning streak, though it's now gone. It was an interesting week four that will make week five wild and crazy yet again!
Here's my Top 25 for Week Four!
#25(NR). HOUSTON (2-0) BYE WEEK
NEXT GAME: vs. TEXAS TECH
- The Cougars break into the top 25 thanks to Notre Dame’s terrible performance at home and the loss of Michael Floyd on offense. But it’s not just that; it is the way that Houston beat Oklahoma State in Stillwater. Case Keenum is an extremely impressive QB, and the defense actually played really well against the Pokes. This week will be a great game to gauge if the Cougars are a one-hit wonder team when they play host to Texas Tech, who’s coming off a pretty decent game at No. 2 Texas. If Houston beats the Red Raiders and Case Keenum has a big game, look for him to shoot up some people’s dark horse Heisman boards.
#24(NR). MISSOURI (3-0) W 52-12 vs. FURMAN
NEXT GAME: @ NEVADA
- They came out and jumped on the Paladins early with 42 points in the first half and eased their way to a 40-point victory.
Blaine Gabbert appeared to be back on his game, but the defense giving up over 300 yards through the air against an FCS team is unacceptable.
Jared Perry could be the next big thing at Mizzou as a receiver and will be an important target for Gabbert through the air. Next week is an interesting contest against the Pistol offense at Nevada, where the Wolfpack are very tough to beat.
#23(20). NEBRASKA (2-1) L 15-16 @ #13 VIRGINIA TECH
NEXT GAME: vs. LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE
- The Huskers were probably just two plays away from staying undefeated and getting some huge national recognition for the restoration of the Husker program.
Roy Helu is the real deal in Lincoln, but they have to keep a balanced offense—one that can punch it in when they hit the red zone. Four FGs from the red zone is unacceptable, and two turnovers certainly don’t help either.
They gave this game to Virginia Tech so it is encouraging to know that they can hang in the toughest of environments.
#22(24). NORTH CAROLINA (3-0) W 31-17 vs. EAST CAROLINA
NEXT GAME: @ GEORGIA TECH
- UNC looked stronger in this one against the up and coming Pirates of East Carolina, but it wasn’t the offense that won this game for the Heels, it was the defense that held ECU to just 247 yards of total offense that won it for UNC.
T.J. Yates had his best game of the season, completing 19 of 24 passes for 227 yards and two scores.
What’s more important to Butch Davis is that his QB threw ZERO INTs.
Shaun Draughn looked better on the ground in the offense, and the emergence of Erik Highsmith to compliment Greg Little will be a great asset on offense.
Next week will be a difficult test for UNC, as the Heels travel to Atlanta to take on an angry Georgia Tech team that is none too pleased with their performance on Thursday at Miami.
#21(21). MICHIGAN (3-0) W 45-17 vs. EASTERN MICHIGAN
NEXT GAME: vs. INDIANA
- Scoreline shows a blowout, but it truly wasn’t. EMU was in it the entire first half, until the end of the third quarter when Michigan blew it open with some big runs.
Denard Robinson is an exciting player to watch for the Wolverines and expect him to get more touches at QB.
He has to improve his decision making as a passer, but once he does that he will be a delight for UM fans as a backup to Tater Force.
Carlos Brown had a terrific game and the defense played good enough to win. Next week, it’s a clash of the unbeatens in the Big Ten as Michigan hosts IU. Yes, that’s right, IU is undefeated. Michigan will still tear them to shreds.
#20(22). GEORGIA (2-1) W 52-41 @ ARKANSAS
NEXT GAME: vs. ARIZONA STATE
- There’s another game where I was wrong, yet again.
I had no idea that Joe Cox had five TDs in him for this one, but wow is A.J. Green a playmaker or what? Some of those catches and big plays he made against Arkansas were just jaw-dropping.
The running game still needs to stay consistent but rotating Richard Samuel and Caleb King in the backfield should be a nice change for Mark Richt and the Dawgs.
Rennie Curran needs to make a better effort at getting his D up and ready for big games because they can’t keep counting on their offense to score points against teams from the SEC.
#19(7). BYU (2-1) L 28-54 vs. FLORIDA STATE
NEXT GAME: vs. COLORADO STATE
- This is still a very good BYU team, there’s no question about it. Committing five turnovers will never give you a chance to win a ball game, and Max Hall just got battered by that FSU defense.
On the other hand, the BYU D was torched on the ground, giving up over 300 yards to the Noles. This is a problem for a team that had just a couple starters returning from a year ago.
I will admit, I thought BYU would beat Florida State rather easily, and I was incorrect. BYU still has a shot at the Mountain West title, but the BCS is out of the picture now.
#18(NR). FLORIDA STATE (2-1) W 54-28 @ #7 BYU
NEXT GAME: vs. SOUTH FLORIDA
- There were some people that thought the Noles could compete in Provo against BYU, but there was no one in the world that saw this score coming from FSU.
Forcing a powerful offense like BYU into five turnovers is absolutely unreal and the efficient passing of Christian Ponder was a joy to watch.
The defense was just plain nasty, beating up Max Hall and forcing the dark horse Heisman candidate into three INTs and quite a few sacks.
Now, for FSU, this is great momentum heading into the ACC season. Though next week will be another good test against South Florida—who will be without starting QB Matt Grothe because of a torn ACL.
Take advantage of the Bulls while they are down, Seminoles because once the ACC season starts, you won’t get any more easy Ws.
#17(19). KANSAS (3-0) W 44-16 vs. DUKE
NEXT GAME: vs. SOUTHERN MISS
- Todd Reesing is starting to put up Heisman-type numbers, and if his team continues to win, there’s no reason why he shouldn’t be considered one of the four guys invited to New York.
A big concern for Jayhawk fans is the status of running back Jake Sharp, who left the game against Duke last Saturday with an undisclosed injury.
I think it is safe to say that Reesing and receivers Dezmon Briscoe and Kerry Meier can carry this team by themselves.
Next week’s game could be a trap game for the Jayhawks, as they host an undefeated Southern Miss team that is capable of upsetting Rock Chalk.
#16(16). OKLAHOMA STATE (2-1) W 41-24 vs. RICE
NEXT GAME: vs. GRAMBLING STATE
- Unfortunately for Oklahoma State, it looks like the season they were hoping for this year is not meant to be thanks to their putrid defense.
Giving up 24 points to a Rice team that hadn’t won a game all season is pretty pathetic; but then again, so is only being up by 11 with 12:24 in a game that is not very pretty.
Dez Bryant put this team on his back in this one, with Kendall Hunter out because of an injury.
But I think we are starting to see that Oklahoma State could be a one-hit wonder team almost like Georgia Tech. They’ve got a ton of talent on offense, but it just doesn’t seem to be working this season for some odd reason. They’ve got another tune-up game against Grambling State before they hit the conference schedule.
#15(15). TCU (2-0) W 56-21 vs. TEXAS STATE
NEXT GAME: @ CLEMSON
- There will be tougher games ahead for the Horned Frogs—like next week for example.
But this week, we got to see TCU’s offense at their best—running for 286 as a team, and Joseph Turner going for 129 on the ground. Andy Dalton looked poised in the pocket as always, and the defense is still as nasty as ever.
Next week will be a great test for TCU to see if they truly belong as they go to Death Valley to face a Clemson team that more than likely will be without CJ Spiller, which might be a problem for the Tigers.
Nevertheless, it should be a great matchup to watch in Clemson.
#14(14). OHIO STATE (2-1) W 38-0 @ TOLEDO
NEXT GAME: vs. ILLINOIS
- I was pleasantly surprised by my Buckeyes’ performance this past weekend against an upset-minded Toledo Rockets squad.
Aaron Opelt was having a pretty darn good season up until this point. But for the first time all season, we saw a Buckeye D hungry and flying around to the ball.
Terrelle Pryor finally looked comfortable in the offense for the first time, showing us the option hand-off look and the ability to run with the football, which Jim Tressel has to use to give his team a chance to be successful.
Still concerned with the O-line after Jim Cordle was sidelined for a month and Boom Herron not really breaking out yet this season doesn’t sit well with me.
But this performance from the D and Pryor has to make Buckeye fans feel a bit better. Next week will be a good test at home against Illinois who—if you remember—upset the Bucks two years ago in the same building when OSU was No. 1 in the country.
#13(13). VIRGINIA TECH (2-1) W 16-15 vs. #20 NEBRASKA
NEXT GAME: vs. #8 MIAMI (FL)
- It wasn’t pretty, but the Hokies got the job done against a very good Nebraska team.
Zac Lee had an abysmal game, passing for just 136 yards and two INTs. So, big ups to the secondary from the Hokies, but Roy Helu Jr. did most of the damage on the ground for the Huskers.
In the end, the clutch pass was from Tyrod Taylor to Danny Coale down the sidelines. He then followed that up with a touchdown pass on 3rd-and-goal at the 11 to Dyrell Roberts.
Ice water was rushing through the Virginia Tech veins after this one.
Gotta give credit to the Hokie D though, holding the Huskers to five FGs and no TDs in the game.
Taylor has got to become a more efficient passer if the Hokies want to challenge Miami next week at home.
#12(12). PENN STATE (3-0) W 31-6 vs. TEMPLE
NEXT WEEK: vs. IOWA
- Finally, the season will start to get challenging for the Nittany Lions as they face a battle tested opponent in week four and will actually have to face a decent team for the first time this season.
I have yet to see a good performance from this Penn State team, and it’s not only that they can’t stay balanced, but their offensive line has some serious questions that need to be answered and the secondary has had some problems as of late.
Daryll Clark is getting it done but the rushing game has to catch up, and we finally saw a glimpse of that this past weekend with Evan Royster rushing for 134 yards.
The Hawkeyes come calling this week and they will look to score another upset over their conference foe in Happy Valley, but this time the Nittany Lions have revenge on their minds after losing to Iowa last year, squandering their chance at a National Title.
#11(11). OKLAHOMA (2-1) W 45-0 vs. TULSA
NEXT GAME: @ #8 MIAMI (FL) (SAT, 10/3)
- Maybe this Landry Jones kid will work out in Norman. The freshman threw for six TD passes and over 300 yards in the victory for Boomer Sooner against a decent Tulsa team.
It’s not the offensive output I was impressed with, it was holding Tulsa’s high power offense to under 300 yards that was impressive for me. The schedule works perfectly for the Sooners, as they get two weeks to prepare for the Hurricanes at Land Shark Stadium.
#10(3). USC (2-1) L 13-16 @ WASHINGTON
NEXT GAME: vs. WASHINGTON STATE
- Yes, I predicted Washington to upset the Trojans, but there were a lot of factors in this contest that led to this defeat.
Steve Sarkisian, the new coach of the Huskies, was the offensive coordinator for the Trojans last year. He knows this team. Aaron Corp had no clue what he was doing as quarterback, and Taylor Mays didn’t play.
There were a lot of circumstances that led to this defeat for SC, but three turnovers definitely didn’t help. Lucky for USC, they get to follow up that loss with a game against Washington State, who is still one of the worst teams in the country.
#9(17). CINCINNATI (3-0) W 28-18 @ #25 OREGON STATE
NEXT GAME: vs. FRESNO STATE
- It doesn’t matter what team you are, it is not an easy task to go into Reser Stadium and beat the Beavers at home.
Cincinnati and Tony Pike did just that with a barrage of long distance passes and a punishing defense that held Jacquizz Rodgers to just 73 yards rushing on 20 carries.
The big blow to the D though is the loss of starting LB Curtis Young for 3-6 weeks with a right knee injury. Cincy will have to carry on without him, and they have to do it quickly with Fresno State coming to Nippert Stadium this week.
#8(18). MIAMI (FL) (2-0) W 33-17 vs. #10 GEORGIA TECH
NEXT GAME: @ #13 VIRGINIA TECH
- The Canes came out hungry and firing on all cylinders from the start of the contest against Georgia Tech.
Last season, they gave up over 480 yards on the ground to the Jackets, but this season they made a complete 180 on D giving up just 95 yards on the ground.
Very impressive performance not only from the D, but also, the offense was run to perfection by Jacory Harris. The one-two punch in the backfield with Graig Cooper and Javarris James will be quite a handful for future opponents.
Miami is really starting to be on their way up with these impressive victories and if they can go into Blacksburg and beat Virginia Tech, we might see the Hurricanes challenge for a Top Five spot next week.
#7(9). LSU (3-0) W 31-3 vs. LOUISIANA LAFAYETTE
NEXT GAME: @ MISSISSIPPI STATE
- Jordan Jefferson keeps getting better and better at the QB position and Brandon LaFell and Terrance Toliver have become his go-to guys in the passing game.
The defense looked better in this one against the Rajun Cajuns, but I am still concerned about the rushing attack with Charles Scott. I have yet to see him really have a good game this season like he did last year, but they might not need him as much this year with Keiland Williams and a stronger passing game this season.
That Washington win really looks good now that USC couldn’t go into Husky Stadium and beat UW.
#6(6). OLE MISS (3-0) W 52-6 vs. SE LOUISIANA
NEXT GAME: @ SOUTH CAROLINA (THURS, 9/24)
- The Rebels finally broke out after the week off from the poor performance at Memphis, but still, they played Southeastern Louisiana, a glorified scrimmage for the Rebs.
Nevertheless, Jevan Snead looked much better in this one, and the impressive performance of running back Brandon Bolden was good to see for Houston Nutt.
Ole Miss will need that kind of performance and Greg Hardy at 100 percent for this Thursday when they play an improving South Carolina team.
#5(8). BOISE STATE (3-0) W 51-34 @ FRESNO STATE
NEXT GAME: @ BOWLING GREEN
- We knew at the start of the season that Boise State could throw, but my goodness they pulled out a running game from their back pocket.
Jeremy Avery was phenomenal on the ground and backup D.J. Harper ran for over 100 yards as well.
The defense was gashed by Ryan Mathews on the ground, and that is something that needs to get cleaned up for Chris Petersen.
But thanks to the loss by BYU, Boise is in the driver seat to make their second BCS bowl appearance.
#4(5). CAL (3-0) W 35-21 @ MINNESOTA
NEXT GAME: @ OREGON
- Can we all agree that Jahvid is the BEST running back in the nation? Five TDs, 130 yards rushing against a stout Minnesota D on the road is quite impressive.
Not to mention that Kevin Riley was superb through the air, and the offensive line did a great job protecting Riley and opening up lanes for Best.
The D was even better holding Minnesota under 300 yards of offense. Next week is a big one for the Golden Bears as they travel to the Zoo in Eugene in an important Pac-10 conference battle with Oregon, who is starting to find their identity after getting blown out by Boise State in week one.
#3(4). ALABAMA (3-0) W 53-7 vs. NORTH TEXAS
NEXT GAME: vs. ARKANSAS
- Not too much to talk about with 'Bama after blowing out the Mean Green, but one thing that has to be extremely encouraging for Nick Saban is how balanced his offense is.
They put up 523 yards of total offense, with 263 through the air, and 260 on the ground. Greg McElroy continues to mature as a QB, and his running ability is starting to take shape.
And a message to future opponents: don’t kick to Javier Arenas. That’s just a huge return waiting to happen. Next week though will be a pretty good SEC test against Arkansas at home, who showed they can put up points in bunches.
#2(2). TEXAS (3-0) W 34-24 vs. TEXAS TECH
NEXT GAME: vs. UTEP
- Texas took a while to get rolling in their revenge game against Texas Tech, but Colt McCoy did finally get rolling—even though it wasn’t one of his most impressive games.
The Texas D has to be of concern right now, giving up over 400 yards of offense to the Red Raiders, and it looks like Tre’ Newton is the No. 1 back now in Mack Brown’s offense.
They’ve got to keep getting the ball to John Chiles, who can make plays in space.
#1(1). FLORIDA (3-0) W 23-13 vs. TENNESSEE
NEXT GAME: @ KENTUCKY
- Gators didn’t beat Tennessee by nearly as much as I was expecting, and honestly, I think Tennessee showed us a lot by keeping up with the Gators after Lane Kiffin’s smack talk, but the Gators still have the No. 1 spot nailed down until they get beat.
Next week, they go on the road to face an undefeated Kentucky team who has given them trouble before.
DROPPED FROM RANKINGS: No. 10 GEORGIA TECH, No. 23 NOTRE DAME, No. 25 OREGON STATE
OTHERS RECEIVING CONSIDERATION (IN ORDER): NOTRE DAME, AUBURN, IOWA, WASHINGTON, UCLA, PITTSBURGH, OREGON
BOISE STATE: I don’t care what team you are, it isn’t easy to go into Fresno and beat the Bulldogs and Pat Hill’s home turf. Make it a night game on a Friday evening and that is downright difficult.
Boise State went in and took care of business, and they are the real deal this season. Kellen Moore is a bonafide superstar, and Chris Petersen is a master of a coach.
OLE MISS: Still haven’t seen them prove that they belong this year. Right now, they are basically living off of their preseason hype and the fact that they play in the SEC.
Next week, they finally play some competition on the road against the Gamecocks. Win that one, and you deserve to be there.
MIAMI (FL): Did you see that defense against the rushing attack of Georgia Tech? Did you see Jacory Harris AGAIN go off on offense?
Miami looks to finally be back on the right track, but the determining factor on their season will be their schedule. Their next two games against Virginia Tech and Oklahoma will be massive.
If they can win those two games, you will see Miami (FL) right up there with Texas and Florida.
CINCINNATI: Their huge jump from No. 17 to No. 9 is because of Tony Pike and that sensational offense going into Corvallis and beating a very good Oregon State team.
The defense has been a pleasant surprise for the Bearcats this season as well.
Will they go undefeated?
Boy, there’s a great chance that they do.
Will they make the BCS?
I highly doubt it with their schedule strength, but they have to be considered at least.
USC: The AP poll dropped them all the way to 12, but come on, let’s come back here a second. They didn’t have Matt Barkley, Taylor Mays didn’t play, and Joe McKnight got hurt.
Not to mention, they turned the ball over three times and Washington didn’t. This is still a VERY good USC team, and there’s no reason why they shouldn’t be in the Top 10.
PENN STATE: Plain and simple with the Nittany Lions: they have looked sluggish.
Granted, it is hard to get up for teams such as Akron, Syracuse, and Temple, but STILL…you have to go out and prove you are MUCH better than those teams. Watching replays of those games made me think that this Penn State team still has some major questions on defense and the offense still has to have a consistent rushing game with Evan Royster and Stephfon Green.
VIRGINIA TECH & NEBRASKA: Man, what a battle. You would think the Hokies would move up with a win like that, but the way Va Tech won that one, they deserve to stay where they belong.
The Huskers gave that one to the Hokies and for that reason I feel that Nebraska shouldn’t drop out of the top 25.
They showed that they can go into the hostile environments and compete against the best in the country. I have mad respect for the Huskers now, and I think they can make some noise in the Big 12 this season.
FLORIDA STATE & BYU: FSU proved with their blowout win over the Cougars that they deserve to be in the top 25. Yes, they lost to Miami at home and barely squeaked out a win against Jacksonville State, but FSU is just a few seconds away from now being undefeated! I mean, they lost to MIAMI, who is now one of my top teams in the 25 this week! You can’t be down on the Seminoles for that!
As for BYU, this is still a top 25. This is still the same team that beat Oklahoma in the first week of the season, but their shot at the BCS is now done and over with, unfortunately.
MISSOURI: The Tigers are a top 25 team; they just took a week off after looking pitiful against Bowling Green, of all teams.
NOTRE DAME: Notre Dame I still believe is a top 25 team, but the loss of Michael Floyd and the possibility of losing Jimmy Clausen would be way too much for this team to handle.
The defense hasn’t looked great at all and Michigan State basically gave that game to the Irish this past week. Notre Dame is on the cusp of getting back into the Top 25, but they’ve got to prove they belong now.
AUBURN: I had the Tigers in my Top 25 to start the season, but dropped them out after realizing that their defense probably wasn’t going to cut it this year.
Well, I was right about their defense in a sense, but wow, Chris Todd and the Auburn offense has been sensational under new head coach Gene Chizik. Their win against West Virginia was impressive, but they need to beat someone else in conference to get into the Top 25.
IOWA: Great win at home against Arizona, and I stress that considerably because U of A is a good team, and that Iowa defense played great. That Northern Iowa game is still lurking in the back of my mind right now, though.
They have a huge test this next week at Penn State, and I’m sure it won’t be any easier after what the Hawks did to PSU last season.
WASHINGTON: I know that the AP poll has the Huskies in the Top 25, but let’s just hold up for a second here. This is still almost the same Washington team that went winless in 2008. Yes, the victory against USC was phenomenal, but they have to follow up that victory with another strong performance at Stanford to make it into the top 25.