The Marksman's NCAA Football Top 25 Week Five: USC Still on Top

Kenneth Julian IIICorrespondent ISeptember 23, 2008

1. USC (1)

Nothing that happened this week has questioned their place at number one.

2. Georgia (3)

That was a really good win against a pretty good team in Arizona State. This team has the look of a team that can take on their tough schedule.

3. Oklahoma (2)

They still look good, but Georgia has the best win between the two. Next week against TCU will be a tough match. If it is not, then look for them to move up.

4. Missouri (4)

I do not care who you are playing—when you complete 20 passes in a row you are on fire, and Chase Daniel is just that. This team can and will score on anyone.

5. Florida (5)

They are really starting to come together. One more defensive performance like that and you would have to move them up. All this considering the offense is not working at full potential.

6. Texas (6)

This team keeps on winning by beating the team they are supposed to with cold efficiency. They refuse to be stopped on offense, and Colt McCoy is having the season of his career.

7. LSU (10)

Looks like the Tigers have found a QB. But before everyone jumps on the bandwagon, let's see if Jarrett Lee can do this for more than one week.

8. Penn State (9)

They are moving the ball with ease, as well as playing defense as well as anybody. This is and will be a scary team to play, especially in Happy Valley.

9. Wisconsin (8)

They are still under the radar, but they are getting it done on offense. Defensively they are not healthy, but they are playing well.

10. Alabama (12)

This team is a Georgia win away from being in the top five. They are also an Ole Miss loss away from being ranked 20.

11. Ohio State (7)

Troy is a tougher team then most people will give it credit for (watch the LSU game). With that said, there needs to be better execution in order for this extremely talented team to move up.

12. Wake Forest (11)

They take care of business even when things are not going their way. That is what a good team does. This defense may be the best in the ACC.

13. BYU (13)

They did what they were supposed to do in stomping Wyoming. Now it seems that this offense is humming, which could be dangerous for the rest of the suddenly powerful Mountain West Conference.

14. Texas Tech (14)

This week there was a lot of crisp execution—now the only thing left is to show they can do it against some real competition.

15. Auburn (16)

The game was in their grasp, and they could not make the one last play to get the win. LSU is more talented than them, and they still played well enough to win the game. That Miss. St. game is looking worse and worse.

16. South Florida (15)

These games against in-state opponents on the road seem to be killers. FIU played like it was their Super Bowl. But being the better team they are, the Bulls weathered the storm. The talent distance and closeness of the game between these two have to give the Bulls some worry though.

17. Kansas (19)

As long as South Florida has a better or the same record, you would think they would have to be ahead of them. But since the game was so close, maybe it was just an off game by Kansas and they are the better team.

18. Oklahoma State (18)

I cannot wait for the Cowboys to play someone with a pulse. But they cannot look past the Troy game this week.

19. Michigan State (NR)

The defense has gotten a lot better since that Cal loss, and the offense is ripping people to shreds on the ground. RB Javon Ringer has to be mentioned for Heisman consideration.

20. Utah (24)

Forget the Michigan game with all the penalties and dropped interceptions—this Air Force game was their best win. It showed they can make the plays at the end of the game to win.

21. TCU (NR)

They are quietly having the second-best season in the MWC. A win against Oklahoma and there is a serious three-way conversation about the Mountain West.

22. Nebraska (23)

The Cornhuskers are making plays on offense, and the defense is playing well. The key will be to see how they respond in a close, hard-fought game.

23. Tulsa (NR)

QB David Johnson is playing out of his mind (and they thought Tulsa would have questions at QB). Considering that was the only question on a team that was Conference USA's best offense, this might be a really tough team to face. The defense is playing well also.

24. Vanderbilt (NR)

They are 4-0. They beat a pretty good Ole Miss team and a South Carolina team that is decent. They are doing it all on defense and making plays. That offense will need to come around eventually though.

25. UConn (NR)

They are doing it the old-fashioned way: running the football, making little to no mistakes in the passing game, and great defense. This team is playing really well and is a tough out.


Coming In Hot

Virginia Tech, Ball State, Georgia Tech, Miami, Boise State

If Ball State had not lost WR Dante Love for the season they would be in my top 25. I would like to see how they fare without him.

Boise State should probably be there as well, and in fact I would have no problem with any of these teams in the top 25 except Miami—they have a little more to prove, but they as of now they are red hot defensively.

Slowly Approaching

Navy, Pittsburgh, UNLV, Arkansas State, Colorado, Northwestern, Louisville, Clemson, Western Michigan

UNLV is looking for their fourth win this week against Nevada, while Arkansas State is looking for theirs as well against Memphis. Both teams have wins over BCS conference schools in Arizona State and Texas A&M.

Northwestern is undefeated and looking for win number five against Iowa. They would have been hot if they had beaten a team of merit.

Clemson is clawing their way back to credibility, and a win over a suddenly tough Maryland team should do that.

Standing Still

Ole Miss, Air Force, Iowa, Illinois, FSU, UNC, Cal, Arizona, Fresno State, Boston College, Troy, Central Michigan, South Carolina

Don't count out FSU, Cal, Arizona, and South Carolina just yet. FSU and the Gamecocks have what look to be really good defenses, and the Bears and Wildcats have potent offenses that can get these teams back in the upper echelon of their conferences.

Ole Miss is just standing still just outside of the top 25, along with North Carolina, Illinois, Iowa, and Fresno State.

Boston College needs to show just a little more to get some upward movement. Troy is a big win away from crashing into the hot zone.

Fading Fast

East Carolina, Oregon, West Virginia, Kansas State, Notre Dame, Tennessee, Houston, Arizona State

Considering that West Virginia is on the list, East Carolina's wins are not looking that great, save for the Virginia Tech game. This is still a good team that will challenge for the C-USA title.

Notre Dame, Kansas State, and Oregon need serious defensive help, while Tennessee needs to get that offense in gear. The Irish could stand to lessen the picks thrown by Jimmy “Sunshine” Clausen.

Arizona State is not that far away from the top 25, but they need to show more mental toughness, and better execution.

Weekly Beef With the Coaches

Overall the coaches seem to be giving rather fair grades this year. But of course there are some quirky things about the poll this week that have me a bit puzzled.

LSU won the game with a touchdown in the final minute of the game. I do not understand how that justifies Auburn being dropped seven spots in the polls. I actually moved them up a spot. Ironically, I think they are in the right spot finally.

Texas Tech is probably not better than Alabama, Penn State, BYU, or Ohio State. At least they have not proved that they are.

How is Oklahoma State not in the top 25? I understand that I took the maverick approach with UConn and Tulsa, but the Cowboys should be up there.


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