College Football's Top 10 Teams for Week 2: Nebraska Is No. 1
The first weekend of college football provided much-needed gridiron action for a pigskin-starved nation.
Nowhere was the beginning of the season more anticipated than in Lincoln, Nebraska, where the Cornhuskers have their eyes focused upon the ultimate prize: winning the BCS Championship Trophy.
Did the Big Red Machine demonstrate the power and balance followers of "King Korn" have hoped to see?
The 10 best teams of the nation will surely be different at year's end than in the beginning, but for our early season purposes, let's take a look at who the cream of the crop is.
The West: Desert Cats Stalk the Pac-10 Title
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The Arizona Wildcats marched into the Glass Bowl and whipped the Toledo Rockets, 41-2.
It was a dominating performance by the men who have designated themselves the "Prime Movers" of the Pac-10 Conference in 2010.
A most impressive road victory for coach Mike Stoops' desert warriors, which also serves as a warning for all future 'Cat opponents.
While coach Mike Riley took his rugged Oregon State Beavers on the road to the Lone Star State for a showdown with TCU, the USC Trojans took traveling in style to a new level in Hawaii.
The Men of Troy have some work to do defensively, but coach Lane Kiffin's offense was downright offensive to the islanders, running up 49 points in a winning effort.
Very impressive performance by the Trojans, but surrendering 36 points will never be satisfactory for a school that prides itself on great defense.
Stanford, Oregon, Arizona State, and California all devoured cupcakes at home, while Washington ventured into the land of Brigham Young and put on quite a show before losing, 23-17.
UCLA and Washington State were punched out on the road by Big 12 hosts Kansas State and Oklahoma State.
The Top Three
No. 1: Arizona Wildcats
No. 2: Oregon Ducks
No. 3: Oregon State Beavers
The South: Seminoles May Be the Fastest Team in the Nation
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Teams from Dixieland are known for speed and skill, so much so that of the previous 12 BCS championships, nine have been won by teams from states located in the old Confederacy.
Florida is home to the ultimate teenage speed merchants, whether blowing past defenders to receive a pass or locking down any potential offensive threat. College recruiters know they must get their share of Sunshine State talent to win on the big stage.
While the Gators of Gainesville look forward to accomplishing the basic center to quarterback exchange in future games, one was left wondering from the first weekend results if the ACC may not be stronger than the SEC in the state of Florida.
The Seminoles of Florida State were impressive out of the gate but now face the powerful Sooners of Oklahoma on the road. There will be no more important game for the Tallahassee flashes all year.
The Miami Hurricanes are traditionally the apex in the team speed area, particularly along the lines and at linebacker. That speed will be tested this week in Columbus, Ohio. If the invaders from Dixie pull off the upset, the Atlantic Coast Conference may have two legitimate BCS championship contenders.
In all of the holiday mayhem, the outstanding performance of Georgia Tech quarterback Josh Nesbitt did not receive appropriate notice. Nesbitt powered the Yellow Jackets to a 41-10 win over S.C. State by rushing for three touchdowns and gaining 130 yards on the ground in 16 attempts.
Nesbitt's counterpart at Auburn, Cam Newton (a former Florida Gator), broke out of the box with a most impressive three-touchdown day with 171 yards rushing and 186 passing while completing nine of 14.
From the looks of things, Florida is wishing they had Newton back on campus.
The Top Three
No. 1: Alabama Crimson Tide
No. 2: Florida State Seminoles
No. 3: Florida Gators
The East: Penn State Is Solid, but How Far Can the Nittany Lions Go?
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Coach Joe Paterno will take his methodical and mechanically sound Nittany Lions into Tuscaloosa, Alabama this coming weekend to challenge another sound, if unspectacular, squad in the Crimson Tide.
Over the years JoePa has developed many great teams but is known primarily for getting the most out of what he has on hand.
Because of his hard work approach, he has won more games than any major college coach who has ever stepped onto a practice field.
The Nittany Lions mowed down the Penguins of Youngstown State, 44-14, on opening day but are likely to find the competition a little bit stronger next time out.
In other Eastern action, Syracuse and Army both triumphed on the road. The Black Knights of West Point overcame a late deficit to overhaul the Eagles of Eastern Michigan, 31-27, while the Orange trimmed the Akron Zips, 29-3.
West Virginia dropped Coastal Carolina, 31-0, while Temple was forced to the limit by 2009 FCS champion Villanova. The Owls escaped the Wildcats in a heart-stopper, 31-24.
In a contest of some passing interest, the Maryland Terrapins burst the Naval Academy's BCS bubble with a shocking 17-14 victory played in the neutral site of Baltimore.
The Top Three
No. 1: Penn State Nittany Lions
No. 2: West Virginia Mountaineers
No. 3: Boston College Eagles
The Mountains: Boise State Is Coming to Conquer the World
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The record shows no team in the nation can match the winning percentage of the Boise State Broncos during the coach Chris Petersen era. "Coach Pete" has won 50 of his 54 games as a head coach.
Whether showing determination and heart to defeat Oklahoma and TCU in Fiesta Bowls, coming back to "will" themselves a victory against Virginia Tech on Labor Day, slapping around with impunity the Oregon Ducks the past two seasons, or just yanking Western Athletic Conference domination away from Fresno State and Hawaii over the course of time, the Broncos have proved their skill and determination on the field with performance results.
Brigham Young won the national championship in 1984 and now have declared themselves to be an independent football team. However, this season they will play in the Mountain West Conference, and that means facing league foes Utah and TCU.
The Cougars began the 2010 season with a bang, tagging the great Jake Locker and his Washington Huskies with a loss, but the schedule is a killer. Immediate road games at Air Force and Florida State and later at TCU, Utah, and Utah State concern even the most optimistic BYU supporter.
While BYU's day in the sun may be short-lived, Utah has a good stretch ahead of them. The Utes do play Air Force, TCU, and Notre Dame in succession, but that is much later in the season.
Coach Kyle Whittingham of Utah would like a little time to enjoy his 27-24 win over Big East favorite Pittsburgh. His Utes were impressive in defeating the highly touted Panthers.
The celebration for the Wyoming Cowboys following this past week's 28-20 victory over Southern Utah was cut short by dreadful news.
The Cowboys suffered tragedy Monday morning when true freshman linebacker Ruben Narcisse died in an automobile accident.
Hearts everywhere will be with the Narcisse family and Wyoming teammates.
The Top Three
No. 1: Boise State Broncos
No. 2: Brigham Young Cougars
No. 3: Utah Utes
The Southwest: Frogs and Cougars Rule the Longhorn State
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One day a quarterback in the Southwest may take the snap and find no one on the other side of the line.
It could happen with the rapid-fire schemes of offensive coordinators in the region. Why bother with having a defense? Just outscore everyone.
No, it was not always so; this area has produced some great defensive players. But that was yesterday, and yesterday is gone.
Purists can still take heart in the purple-clad Horned Frogs of TCU. Here is a team who knows how to play defense and proved it Saturday night in the new home of the Cotton Bowl game.
Facing a talented Oregon State squad coached by former Alabama star defensive back Mike Riley (during the Bear Bryant era), the Horned Frogs contained the Beavers well enough to win, 30-21.
Not many teams in the nation would have beaten the Beavers that night, as tough and hardened a group of players as TCU will meet this season.
Speculation is already rampant as to a possible third consecutive Boise State-Texas Christian bowl game. The question is, will this one be in the BCS title game?
Texas produced an acceptable 17-point road win against Rice, while Oklahoma was pedestrian in turning back Utah State, 31-24.
The Longhorns and the Sooners must improve immediately. Oklahoma will get its chance for national fame this weekend at home against Florida State.
Texas Tech kicked off the Tommy Tuberville coaching era with a 35-27 win over the Mustangs of Southern Methodist, while Baylor and Texas A&M stayed at home to consume cupcakes.
Houston staked its claim as the most potent offense around with Heisman contender Case Keenum playing only in the first half. That was all the sensational quarterback needed to toss five touchdown passes in leading the Cougars to a 68-28 win over the Texas State Bobcats.
The Top Three
No. 1 Oklahoma Sooners
No. 2: TCU Horned Frogs
No. 3: Houston Cougars
The Midwest: Where the Action Is
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The heartland takes a back seat to no region this fall with potential BCS champions falling all over themselves.
No team in the nation was more impressive than Ohio State during the opening week of the season. The Buckeyes held the Marshall Thundering Herd of Conference USA to a paltry 44 yards rushing while rolling to a 45-7 victory.
In fact, the only deficiency of coach Jim Tressel's machine is covering kickoffs; the Herd averaged nearly 25 yards per attempt.
Buckeye faithful hope that does not come back to haunt them this weekend against the Olympic-style sprinters of the Miami Hurricanes, who feature a quarterback who rarely makes mistakes in Jacory Harris.
Michigan broke out of a two-year slump by destroying Connecticut 30-10 behind a dazzling 287-yard rushing attack, while the Wisconsin Badgers stormed past Nevada-Las Vegas, 41-21.
Iowa unleashed a devastating performance on Eastern Illinois, 37-7, and Notre Dame finally showed signs of life with an impressive 23-12 victory over in-state rival Purdue.
Nebraska laid down the law to Western Kentucky, 49-10, and onlookers can expect another act of discipline to be handed out to this week's opponent, Idaho.
The Cornhuskers are imposing with a three-headed quarterback attack that accounted for 247 yards through the air on 17-of-25 passing with no interceptions. The Big Red rolled up 289 yards on the ground to demonstrate their offensive balance.
Loaded for bear, Sooner, or Buckeye as the case may be, if coach Bo Pelini can get the defensive line to close the door to opponents' running backs, 2010 promises to be a great year for the Cornhuskers.
The Top Three
No. 1 Nebraska Cornhuskers
No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes
No. 3 Iowa Hawkeyes
The Top 10 Teams in the Nation Going into Week 2
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WEEK TWO PREVIOUS WEEK
No. 1: Nebraska Cornhuskers ( 1 )
No. 2: Ohio State Buckeyes ( 3 )
No. 3: Boise State Broncos ( 4 )
No. 4: Alabama Crimson Tide ( 5 )
No. 5: Iowa Hawkeyes ( 6 )
No. 6: Florida State Seminoles ( 7 )
No. 7: Oklahoma Sooners ( 8 )
No. 8: Wisconsin Badgers ( 9 )
No. 9: Florida Gators ( 2 )
No. 10: Texas Christian N/R