College FB Power Rankings: Oregon Earns Top Spot
Les Miles may have carved a niche for himself as the craziest coach in the modern era, throwing deep into the end zone in the waning moments to defeat Auburn with one second remaining.
On further review, though, it wasn't THAT crazy, as the pass was caught with four seconds left and LSU had a timeout.
The end result was a 30-24 victory for LSU over Auburn—and a disappointing end to a game Auburn controlled throughout.
In Seattle, the Oregon Ducks put up the most impressive offensive showing since the golden years of Tommy Frazier and Nebraska, amassing over 440 yards on the ground.
Oregon is on track to capture the Pac-10 title with a win over USC next week.
In Alabama, Tennessee was shell-shocked 41-17, while Florida throttled an upstart Kentucky team that couldn't stop Tim Tebow.
Missouri stayed on track for a rematch with Oklahoma by burying Texas Tech 41-10. The blowout both ended Graham Harrell's hopes of a Heisman and reestablished Chase Daniel as a candidate.
Speaking of Oklahoma, the Sooners were less than impressive in a victory over Iowa State—a win that will drop them in the weekly power rankings.
The No. 1 team in the BCS, Ohio State, narrowly held on against Michigan State for a 24-17 win—further proof that the Buckeyes aren't one of the best teams in college football.
With Boston College taking the week off and USC destroying Notre Dame, the power rankings are a shell of what they were a week ago.
Before I raise eyebrows with my own picks, let's review the work of two ESPN analysts:
5. ASU — 4. LSU — 3. Oregon — 2. BC — 1. OSU
5. BC — 4. Oklahoma — 3. Oregon — 2. LSU — 1. OSU
8. West Virginia
6. Ohio State
4. Boston College
This Week: 38-0 over Notre Dame
Next Week: At #1 Oregon
USC put an old-fashioned butt-whooping on the Fighting Irish—but then again who hasn't done that this season?
Many people accurately pointed out that the Trojans are finally getting healthy, and a win in Oregon next week would salvage their season after the loss to Stanford.
Number 9: Missouri (6-1)
This Week: 41-10 over Texas Tech
Next Week: vs. Iowa State
The Tigers absolutely ripped the Red Raiders, establishing themselves as a legit power—and the assumption is they'll face Oklahoma in the Big 12 Title Game.
If Tony Temple is available, the Tigers might even be the favorite going
into that one.
The Tigers still have to knock off unbeaten Kansas, but they've looked dominant in their victories this season.
Number 8: West Virginia (6-1)
This Week: 38-13 over Mississippi St.
Next Week: at Rutgers
WVU ran early and often, coasting to a 31-0 lead as they dominated the Bulldogs on Saturday.
The Mountaineers will continue to wonder "what if" with regards to the USF loss—but they can creep back into the title talk as long as they win out.
After today's impressive performance, it's not out of the question.
Number 7: Kentucky (6-2)
This Week: 45-37 Loss to Florida
Next Week: vs. Miss. St.
Andre' Woodson may be the best QB in college football, but Tim Tebow proved he's unstoppable.
The Wildcats simply couldn't handle the Florida offense.
No matter how they finish, though, Kentucky will have a season to remember. They've finally become contenders.
Number 6: Ohio State (8-0)
This Week: 24-17 over Michigan State
Next Week: at Penn State
Ohio State put up a less-than-impressive showing Saturday, building a big lead only to watch it slip away.
I'm happy the Buckeyes finally play some real teams in the next month, starting with Penn State next week. Until they get some big wins, they're unworthy of the top spot.
This Week: 17-7 over Iowa State
Next Week: Bye
OU falls from the top spot they held last week after a lackluster victory over one-win Iowa State. That's all there really is to say about the Sooners.
Number 4: Boston College (7-0)
This Week: Bye
Next Week: At VA Tech (Thursday night)
BC is still somewhat unproven, with their signature win coming over Georgia Tech—but if they can win Thursday night on the road, they'll move up to at least No. 2 in my mind.
Number 3: Florida (5-2)
This Week: 45-37 over Kentucky
Next Week: at Georgia
The Gators might be the best two-loss team in college football history. They suddenly lead the SEC East after watching three teams above them fall—and the stars may align for another UF SEC title.
Number 2: LSU (7-1)
This Week: 30-24 over Auburn
Next Week: Bye
Les Miles' madness has paid off two out of three times—and as a result LSU should be No. 2 when the BCS polls come out Sunday.
I tend to agree, mainly based on the Tigers' brutal schedule. If LSU wins out, they'll probably play for a national title.
This Week: 55-34 over Washington
Next Week: vs. USC
Let me go ahead and throw out the criticism here:
The Ducks haven't beaten a ranked team other than Michigan. Also, the Cal loss looks worse every week (Longshore injury factor).
HOWEVER, the manner in which Oregon wins only gets more impressive.
Their dazzling running attack was on full display Saturday, and the Ducks now have two Heisman candidates in Dennis Dixon and Jonathan Stewart.
If Oregon wins out (beating USC, Arizona State, UCLA, and Oregon State), how can you keep them out of the title game?
As it stands, the Ducks are playing the best football in the land—even despite two key injuries. Their offense is amazing.
As I'm 100 percent sure criticism will ensue, I won't respond to any of it. Just remember these rankings in December—when the Ducks and LSU Tigers are 10-1, Ohio State has lost at least once, and Florida creeps back into the Top 5 before meeting LSU in Atlanta.
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