College Football Power Rankings: Week Three

Molly GraySenior Analyst ISeptember 16, 2008

1. USC

Anyone who saw the game Saturday knows how powerful the Trojans are. Pete and boys had a near perfect game against the No. 5 team in the nation, their only mishap being an interception on the one-yard line in the final seconds of the first half. Careful what you say around USC fans, they just might be holding the National Title come January.


2. Oklahoma

With a decisive 55-14 win at Washington, the Sooners are approaching a BYE week this Saturday, but look for the fury to resume when they play TCU on Sept. 27. Games at No. 7 Texas and against No. 11 Texas Tech look to be the only thing standing between the Sooners and a date with USC in the National Championship.


3. Georgia

Reshad Jones is the man to thank for saving the Bulldog’s record; Jones picked off a pass from Chris Smelley when the Gamecock’s had the ball on Georgia’s three-yard line with less than a minute to go in the game. Georgia travels to Arizona State this weekend, and should expect a much tougher challenge on prime time television.


4. Florida

The Gators return from a week off to face the 1-1 Tennessee Volunteers in a good old-fashioned SEC face-off. Tennessee has a lot to prove to the nation after week one struggles against UCLA, expect a great game from these two.


5. Missouri

The Tigers continued their offensive rampage against Nevada, scoring 69 points to Nevada’s 17. QB Chase Daniels threw for 405 yards and four touchdowns, numbers he should repeat when Buffalo comes to town this weekend.


6. LSU

LSU destroyed North Texas, after an unexpected week off, 41-3. However, things look to get a lot tougher for the Tigers when they visit No. 10 Auburn and their stifling defense. Don’t expect the team to continue their week three 7.7 average yards per carry.


7. Texas

The showdown with Arkansas was postponed giving the Longhorns an extra week to prepare for their upcoming game against Rice, however they are now scheduled to face Arkansas on Sept. 27, a week that they were expecting to have off in preparation for a visit to No. 2 Oklahoma and a face-off with No. 5 Missouri.


8. Wisconsin

Looks as if the Big Ten has a surprising representative as Wisconsin claims the No. 8 spot in the power rankings. They will visit the Big House next weekend, but the anticipated game is going to be week six when the Badgers see No. 13 Ohio State as the Buckeyes try to defend their Big Ten title and recover from their embarrassing blow out to USC.


9. Auburn

In one of the lowest scoring football games in recent memory, Auburn outscored Mississippi State 3-2, with a combined 431 yards of offense between both teams. There were only 20 first downs between the two, and three third-down conversions out of 30 attempts. At least it looks as if the defense will be ready for No. 6 LSU this Saturday.


10. Alabama

With a 41-7 victory over Western Kentucky, Alabama jumps up two spots in the power rankings. But they’ve got tough games ahead, as they travel first to Arkansas and then to No. 3 Georgia.


11. Oregon

For most of the game it looked as if Oregon was going to join the seven other Pac-10 teams that lost this weekend. However, the Ducks managed to outscore Purdue in two overtimes Saturday ending the game 32-26. They face Boise State and Washington State, but their big game comes October 4 against No. 1 USC.


12. Penn State

In a 55-13 win over Syracuse, the Nittany Lions became the nation’s fourth highest scoring team. The Lion’s also out-gained the Orange 560 yards to 159. It doesn’t look as if Penn State will see a tough defense until their game with No. 22 Illinois on September 27.


13. Ohio State

After an embarrassing loss to No. 1 USC, the Buckeyes are facing another Trojan team. Troy comes to Columbus, offering Ohio State a recovery meal before they start Big Ten competition. Look to see a new starting QB in the next few weeks, after starter Boeckman underperformed this past weekend.


14. Brigham Young

BYU annihilated UCLA in Provo this weekend, 59-0. It was the third time the team has met since September of last year, UCLA beat the Cougars in Los Angeles in September and BYU beat the Bruins in the Vegas Bowl in December. This year’s team sure looks to be a BCS Buster but they shouldn’t see too tough of a game for a couple of weeks as they have Wyoming and Utah State coming up.


14t. Texas Tech

Texas Tech beat Southern Methodist 43-7, only giving up a TD in the last minutes of the fourth quarter. Graham Harrell completed 31 of 48 passes for 418 yards five touchdowns in the game and combined with backup QB Taylor Potts for almost 700 passing yards. Next up: Massachusetts, Kansas State.


16. East Carolina

ECU has successfully had their first 3-0 start since 1999, with a 28-24 victory over Tulane. Patrick Pinkney threw a 24-yard TD pass with 1:41 left in the fourth quarter to put the Pirates ahead for the win. Pinkney was 22 of 32 for 260 yards and tow touchdown throws.


16t. South Florida

South Florida came from behind 20-10 at the half to beat No. 13 Kansas 37-34. The win came when Freshman Maikon Bonani made good on a 43-yard field goal as time expired on the clock. Up next: Florida International, North Carolina State. 16t


18. Utah

The Utes are 3-0 after a decisive victory of 58-10 over Utah State. Matt Asaita had three touchdowns on 11 carries for 56 yards. Utah had 29 first downs to Utah State’s eight. The season finale against rival BYU is sizing up to be a great one.


19. Wake Forest

Wake Forest has had a week off to prepare for this week’s battle against No. 24 Florida State. Wake Forest beat Florida State 33-0 two years ago and again 24-21 last year, it looks as if the Seminoles are gearing up for pay back.


20. Kansas

Kansas suffered a devastating loss when Todd Reesing was intercepted with less than a minute left in the game against No. 19 South Florida. The game pleased viewers as the teams put up a combined yards gained of almost 900. KU hosts Sam Houston State next week and should be back in the winner’s circle.


21. West Virginia

West Virginia has had a week to figure out what went wrong against ECU, and they are taking that with them to 2-0 Colorado in hopes of not repeating the upset. With coach Bill Stewart finally signing a contract this week, the Mountaineers should have a clearer path before them.


22. Clemson

The Tigers inch their way back up the rankings with a 27-9 win over North Carolina State. What isn’t comforting for Clemson fans is that starting QB Cullen Harper made several big mistakes in the win including an interception returned for a touchdown on the first play of the game and a fumble in the second half. However, a win is a win as they prepare for South Carolina State.


23. Florida State

Florida State has outscored their last two opponents 115-7. They look to beat Wake Forest for the first time in two years this week when the Demon Deacons come to town.


24. Fresno State

The Bulldogs suffered a heartbreaking loss to Wisconsin when Kevin Goessling missed a 35-yard field goal in the fourth that would have tied the game at 13-13. Fresno State goes frustrated to Toledo next week, but have a chance for a larger victory when they travel to Los Angeles to face UCLA.


24t. TCU

TCU jumps into the rankings with a 31-14 win over Stanford. Ryan Christian scored the go ahead TD in the third on a one-yard run. Steven Coleman intercepted Stanford in the end zone to seal the win. Next up: Southern Methodist, No. 2 Oklahoma.


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