College Football Power Rankings: Oregon Ducks Debut at No. 1

Mark ScacewaterAnalyst IOctober 17, 2010

Darron Thomas has Oregon Number 1...for now
Darron Thomas has Oregon Number 1...for nowSteve Dykes/Getty Images

On the eve of the inaugural 2010 BCS rankings, I find it prudent to release my own power rankings that I feel will be more relevant than the BCS rankings. Obviously, Ohio State's semi-shocking loss last night shakes everything up, but their loss just gives the article I have wanted to do for several weeks now more credibility.

Oregon is the clear-cut number one team in the nation. Their offense is superior to every other Division 1 offense, and they have shown the ability to come back in three different games and not just win, but destroy their opponent.

Boise State is a solid team, but the loss by Oregon State (to Washington in Double Overtime 35-34) last night hurts their credibility just a bit.

The same can be said about TCU's credibility. Nonetheless, both Boise and TCU are teams that will have a major say in the final BCS standings should they each win out. The question is, can they play for the BCS national championship?

The next four teams provide a jumbled mess and none of these teams have really distinguished themselves from the pack just yet: LSU, Auburn, Michigan State, and Oklahoma. Auburn's win was nice, but Arkansas doesn't play any defense and their starting QB was out for much of the game.

LSU is the luckiest team in the history of the world, while Michigan State is still a bit of a mystery. Oklahoma's win over Texas looks better after yesterday, and for that reason they will be given the third spot.

Without further ado, here are my initial top 5 power rankings:

1. Oregon Ducks: (6-0) The Ducks have an amazingly efficient offense, are quick to score not just on offense, but on defense as well. They have several decent wins (Stanford, Arizona State) but nothing overly noteworthy yet.

That's just how their schedule is this season. An early date with Tennessee was supposed to provide that marquee out of conference game, but Tennessee is awful.

Future dates with UCLA, USC, Cal and Washington will provide competition, but Oregon should run the table and go undefeated as long as they stay healthy. Averaging almost a point a minute, the Ducks are fun to watch. Moreover, they boast one of the better players in the nation in RB LaMichael James.

2. Boise State: (6-0) The Broncos finished strong last season and are blowing out overmatched teams week after week this season. The problem with Boise at the end of the day is their SOS, or strength of schedule.

They cannot conceivably play in the national title game if any two power conference teams stay undefeated.

There is just no way San Jose State, Wyoming, and New Mexico State can compete with an SEC schedule of opponents like Arkansas, Auburn, Mississippi State and Florida.

I think Boise simply needs to join a BCS conference if they want to be in national title consideration.

Yes, they defeated Oklahoma in a BCS bowl several years back, but as long as they are blowing out weakling after weakling this is going to be a never-ending problem.

3. Oklahoma: (6-0) The Sooners are a bit of an enigma because of their weak schedule thus far. They will probably beat Missouri next week in a tighter than expected game, but Oklahoma needs to establish themselves with some signature, blowout wins.

Until that happens, Bob Stoops and company will continue to sit behind Boise State and Oregon.

4. Auburn: (7-0) Auburn is fun to watch, as is star quarterback Cam Newton. Is Auburn good enough to beat Alabama AND beat the SEC East champion? Sadly, it can happen this season.

In a season where the SEC East is as bad as the Ivy League, Auburn is now the favorite to represent the SEC in possibly...gasp...the BCS national championship. But Auburn has to get past LSU and Alabama first.

5. Michigan State: (7-0) Although the polls have the Spartans lower, I like this team. They have a gutsy head coach, a determined team, and a smart quarterback.

Aside from doubling up Michigan, their defense was impressive yesterday against the "Zookster" and Illinois, only giving up 6 points. The 10 point win over Wisconsin now looks really good, so State gets the nod over TCU and LSU.

Michigan State will be an interesting case for the BCS should they go undefeated this season.

On the Outside Looking In: 6) LSU  7) TCU