2010 College Football's Top 10 Teams: Nebraska Has the Guns to Be No. 1
The results from the third weekend of college football provided observers with a clear answer to the question of the Nebraska Cornhuskers being ready for a serious run to win the BCS Title.
Nowhere is the developing season being enjoyed more than in Lincoln, Neb. The Cornhuskers have their eyes focused upon the ultimate prize of winning the BCS Championship Trophy.
Arizona proved they are every bit the stout unit being promoted in this series of articles for Bleacher Report.
If there is a faster and more aggressive defensive unit than "Desert Swarm II," they have not been seen so far this season.
The best teams of the nation will be different in December than in September, but for our early season purposes, let's take a look at who are the top teams in each region, as well as nationally.
The Midwest: Monsters of the Midway
Jamie Sabau/Getty Images
The heartland has potential BCS champions throughout the region.
No team in the country is more impressive than Ohio State. The Buckeyes continue to dominate both lines of scrimmage for 60 minutes, this past Saturday rolling past coach Frank Solich's Ohio Bobcats 43-7.
It appears quarterback Terrelle Pryor is taking Ohio State to the promised land this season.
He completed 16 passes in a row on Saturday to break the all-time Buckeye record in that department. Hang on Sloopy.
With Nebraska heading west to take on the Washington Huskies, it was up to Kansas State and Missouri to keep pace in the unbeaten world of the Big 12 North.
The high-scoring Wildcats of coach Bill Snyder put the clamp on league foe Iowa State and came away with a 27-20 victory.
Mizzou pulled off a last-minute escape from the Aztecs of San Diego State, 27-24.
Michigan won a strange home contest against the Massachusetts Minutemen, 42-37.
The Golden Gophers of coach Tim Brewster fought gallantly against the USC Trojans before bowing, 32-21 in another offbeat out of conference clash.
Wisconsin blocked an extra point attempt to escape Coach Dennis Erickson's Arizona State Sun Devils, 20-19 while Iowa traveled to Tucson in order to face the Wildcats of Arizona.
Northwestern continued their winning ways with a 30-13 conquest of the Rice Owls and Illinois won its second game in a row, this time over Northern Illinois, 28-22.
Michigan State supporters received the stunning news coach Mark Dantonio had suffered a heart attack following Saturday's thrilling 34-31 overtime victory against Notre Dame. Fortunately, for all concerned, the prognosis for full recovery is excellent.
The Top Three
No. 1 Nebraska Cornhuskers
No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes
No. 3 Wisconsin Badgers
The West: The West Shifts into High Gear
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
The West seems to be the home of great quarterbacks and outstanding offenses in 2010.
Stanford, led by quarterback Andrew Luck, eviscerated the outclassed Demon Deacons of Wake Forest 68-24 to gain a measure of revenge for last year's loss in Winston-Salem.
Said Deacon head coach Jim Grobe following the blowout, "we couldn't handle them." Future opponents beware.
One conference foe who looks fully capable of defending themselves against the Cardinal is Arizona.
The Wildcats hosted the powerful Iowa Hawkeyes in a rematch of last year's thriller and came away with an impressive 34-27 victory.
Arizona held Iowa to 29 yards rushing and demonstrated aggressive play all night.
Next up for Coach Mike Stoops' Desert Swarm is coach Jeff Tedford's California Bears. Cal is coming off a scorching defeat at the hands of WAC neighbor Nevada and should be ready for a shootout.
The Washington Huskies entered the season with high hopes for a bowl invitation but things seem much darker now that the Cornhuskers from Nebraska paid them a visit.
Nebraska pounded the Huskies 56-21 to stake their claim as the finest team in America, and no one around Seattle was doubting it.
Coach Bo Pelini's undefeated Big Red Machine is averaging 48 points a game this year and his defense totally dominated Husky All-American quarterback Jake Locker, holding the purple ace to four completions and two interceptions.
Oregon State captured a win over Big East foe Louisville, 35-28, while Oregon defeated another cupcake.
UCLA may be setting the table for a smackdown defensive season. On Saturday, the Bruins hosted the unbeaten and highly touted Houston Cougars with their Heisman Trophy candidate quarterback Case Keenum.
The result? UCLA won going away 31-13.
Keenum was lost for the season after injuring his knee against UCLA. The Cougars also lost backup QB, Cotton Turner, for the season Saturday night with a broken collar bone.
Looks like these Bruins are playing for keeps.
The Top Three:
No. 1 Arizona Wildcats
No. 2 Oregon Ducks
No. 3 Stanford Cardinal
The South: Soul Searching Begins
Brian A. Westerholt/Getty Images
In the confines of the old Confederacy, several important results created a stir during this past weekend's gridiron action.
Ole Miss lost to Vanderbilt, and Georgia bowed to Arkansas as each team dropped to 1-2 on the season.
Tennessee also fell to 1-2 after losing to the Florida Gators, 31-17.
Are the Rebels, Vols, and Bulldogs really in such dire straits?
Florida State seemed to recover from their loss to Oklahoma by trimming the Cougars of BYU, 34-10.
Georgia Tech ran up and down the field for 372 yards rushing in defeating UNC on the road, 30-24.
Quarterback Josh Nesbitt of the Yellow Jackets personally accounted for 104 yards on the ground.
LSU beat back the challenge of Mississippi State 29-7, Alabama easily defeated Duke on Tobacco Road, and Kentucky continued to surprise as Wildcats moved to 3-0 on the season.
Undefeated N.C. State shut down the fading Bearcats of Cincinnati, 30-19 in Friday night action.
South Carolina stifled traditional FCS power Furman, 38-19 behind freshman running back Marcus Lattimore's 97 yards rushing.
Virginia Tech regained some composure and tripped East Carolina 49-27 but Clemson was not as fortunate against Auburn on the road.
The Tigers from South Carolina lost a heartbreaker in overtime to the Tigers of Alabama, 27-24.
The Top Three:
No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide
No. 2 Florida Gators
No. 3 LSU Tigers
The East: Does the Owl Fly Higher than the Eagle?
Hunter Martin/Getty Images
In a region replete with running backs, the stars of West Virginia this past Saturday came from the defensive side of the ball.
Going up against undefeated next-door neighbor Maryland, the Mountaineers unleashed a defensive scheme which put the complicated offense of Terrapin coach Ralph Friedgen on the shelf for nearly three quarters, staking the pride of the Big East Conference to a 28-0 lead on their ACC rival.
Sophomore quarterback Geno Smith of the Mountaineers added a career high four touchdown passes and West Virginia came away with a 31-17 win.
Temple bashed Big East contender UConn, 30-16 and Penn State defeated Kent State 24-0. These two schools of the Keystone State will face each other this week.
Up on the West Point of the Hudson River, The Black Knights shut down the Mean Green of North Texas, 24-0. Army is now 2-1 for the season.
Syracuse jumped on the Maine Black Bears and never let up, winning by the score of 38-14.
Undefeated Boston College took the week off to prepare for their upcoming battle with ACC foe Virginia Tech.
That must have sounded like a good idea to Pittsburgh as they will stand down this week also.
The Top Three:
No. 1 West Virginia Mountaineers
No. 2 Boston College Eagles
No. 3 Temple Owls
The Southwest: Is Oklahoma the Dr. Jekyll-Mr. Hyde of Football?
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Contrary to popular belief, coach Bob Stoops of Oklahoma knows a thing or two about offense.
His philosophy is obvious, get the right person to coach it and get the right people to play it.
Stoops needed all of his knowledge and talent to escape from the feisty Air Force Falcons who rushed for 351 yards against his Sooners this past weekend.
The final score of 27-24 doesn't do justice to how close the game actually was.
In an intrastate grudge match, Tulsa was blasted by undefeated Oklahoma State, 65-28.
Texas gained a measure of revenge for the "game of the year" loss to Texas Tech two seasons ago by striking back at the Red Raiders in Lubbock, 24-14.
Texas Christian continued to live up to their press clippings by devouring the out-matched Baylor Bears, 45-10.
Texas A&M continued to live down to expectations by escaping from Florida International, 27-20.
The Top Three:
No. 1 Oklahoma Sooners
No. 2 TCU Horned Frogs
No. 3 Texas Longhorns
The Mountains: Broncos and Utes Stalk the BCS Title Game
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Another adventure is in store for fans of the Boise State Broncos.
Barely able to enjoy their 51-6 win over the Wyoming Cowboys, this coming weekend features a confrontation with the greatly underrated Oregon State Beavers of Coach Mike Riley.
With that contest in mind, the Utah Utes have hope they may eventually secure a BCS Bowl bid by defeating Mountain West Conference foe TCU and taking down Notre Dame in South Bend.
The Utes have already defeated Pittsburgh this season and don't forget, they are the last team to defeat Alabama, easily dispatching the Crimson Tide in the Sugar Bowl, 31-17 in January 2009.
By bouncing New Mexico 56-14, Utah improved to 3-0 on the season. Undefeated seasons are nothing new to the men from the Bee Hive State, as they've already gone undefeated twice in the past decade.
Will the third time be the charm?
Nevada put everyone on notice they will have to be dealt with in the WAC. The Wolfpack destroyed California, 52-31.
In other mountain action, Colorado defeated Hawaii, Colorado State lost to Miami (Ohio), and Idaho took down UNLV 30-7.
The Top Three:
No. 1 Boise State Broncos
No. 2 Utah Utes
No. 3 Nevada Wolfpack
The Top 10 Teams in the Nation after Week 3
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
WEEK THREE PREVIOUS WEEK
No. 1: Nebraska Cornhuskers ( 1 )
No. 2: Ohio State Buckeyes ( 2 )
No. 3: Boise State Broncos ( 3 )
No. 4: Alabama Crimson Tide ( 4 )
No. 5: Oklahoma Sooners ( 6 )
No. 6: Texas Christian ( 9 )
No. 7: Arizona Wildcats (10 tie)
No. 8: Florida Gators (7)
No. 9: Oregon Ducks (10 tie)
No. 10: Wisconsin (Tie) (8)
No. 10: Iowa (Tie) (5)