College Football Rankings: LSU and South Florida Shake Up the Top 19
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The Football Bowl Subdivision’s Top 19, as well as the On Deck teams and the Teams of Intrigue, did the shake-and-bake as is a tradition in Week One. Three of the 19, including No. 3 Oregon and No. 8 Notre Dame, bit the dust—hard.
Week 1 ends with drama on the gridiron. There are no 0-1 teams in the Top 19. Here’s the rearrangement for Week Two:
- Oklahoma—The Sooners defeated Tulsa, as expected. Oklahoma joins the fans as the team spends Week 2 Saturday watching college football and preparing for Florida State in one of the biggest games of the season.
- Alabama—‘Bama played the rude host to Kent State, a mid-packer in the MAC. Big test in Week 2: The Tide rolls in to newly ranked No. 19 Penn State. Looks like an Alabama cakewalk on paper, but the game is not played on paper.
- Louisiana State—Last week’s Tigers were at the 10 spot due to one distraction after another. After laying 40 on former No. 3 Oregon, LSU is for real and white hot in the hunt for the national title.
- Boise State—The Broncos traveled to Southeastern Conference country to beat always-tough Georgia. The win at a neutral-yeah-right site puts this non-automatic qualifier nuisance squarely in the national championship race.
- Florida State—My apologies for the bump, Seminoles fans. I plead: Week 2 with Charleston Southern. We won’t know anything about your team until No. 1 Oklahoma takes its show to Tallahassee in Week 3.
- Stanford—After issuing a 54-point humbling of lowly San Jose State, the Cardinal traverses the nation to Durham to face Duke in the SAT Bowl fight to the magna cum laude finish. Students: bring your laptop and the syllabus for your favorite course.
- Nebraska—Chattanooga, then Fresno State. Pac 12 Washington visits after a scare at the hands of FCS Eastern Washington. C’mon, Legends leader! Let's play ball! Get ready for the road trip to Wisconsin.
- Wisconsin—C’mon, Leaders legend! Next up: Pac 12 Oregon State after the Beavers suffered a Sacramento State overtime FCS sucker punch. Badgers host the ‘Huskers in the Week 5 interdivisional game of the month.
- Oklahoma State—Lit up Louisiana, the Sun Belt's last-place team, for 61. Nothing much will happen to this Big 12 contender until Week 4, when the Cowboys travel to face Texas A&M, another Big 12 contender. The winner will most likely play Oklahoma for the Big XII ipso facto title.
- Virginia Tech—Va Tech began the Éclair Patrol of its 2011 slate by thumping Appalachian State. Next is a trip to East Carolina, then Arkansas State, then on the road to Marshall. The schedule does not include Florida State, but does include an emasculated Miami Fla. Biggest test? Clemson.
- Texas A & M – The Aggies take the week off after pounding SMU in the I-Wanna-Go-Back Bowl. Oklahoma State arrives in Week Four for a game with BCS bowl automatic qualifier and at-large implications and huge national interest.
- Ohio State—I attended the opener with Akron as a guest of my good friend Ross. The Buckeyes have two quarterbacks and a big tight end who catches anything. We’ll see what Miami, Fla., can do at Sun Life, then it gets tough with On Deck Michigan State in Week 5.
- Arkansas—The Razorbacks draped 51 on an FCS school. Week 2 brings New Mexico from the bottom of the Mountain West to Little Rock. Surely, Arkansas can’t help but look at an SEC West schedule filled with circle games, like, for instance, No. 2 Alabama in Week 4.
- Florida—Howard Schnellenberger completed the Gainesville leg of his retirement lap, barely scoring. Alabama-Birmingham comes to town, then Florida walks into an SEC East gauntlet that is Tennessee, at Kentucky, 'Bama, at LSU and at Auburn. What opportunity!
- West Virginia—My older daughter and I were in Morgantown to see WVU and Marshall barely get in three quarters before a lightning-induced suspension and a storm that was a couple of millibars short of a tornado. Mountaineers look ahead to tornados Maryland and No. 3 LSU.
- Mississippi State—The Bulldogs are the first On Deck team to hit the Top 19 after opening big in Memphis. This week, Mississippi State travels to Auburn. This fellow SEC West school should be in fine humor after almost choking to Utah State.
- South Florida—A Team of Intrigue awakened the echoes, delivering a shocking defeat at Notre Dame. That, of course, is shocking to NBC and the Irish Nation, members of which have not witnessed the Bulls’ ascension in FBS. USF’s next big test is Week 5 at Pittsburgh.
- South Carolina—East Carolina met the Gamecocks in Charlotte, administering a scare to the SEC East’s legit favorite to win the division. Next is a trip to Georgia. Where’s Furman when you need them?
- Penn State—The Nittany Lions got a tune up before the arrival of No. 2 Alabama, absolutely the most challenging game of a 2011 season, ending with back-to-back trips to No. 12 Ohio State and No. 8 Wisconsin.
As I said earlier, there are no 0-1 teams in the Top 19. The exes, No. 3 Oregon, No. 8 Notre Dame and No. 15 Texas Christian all reside On Deck with Michigan State, Baylor, Georgia and Texas. On Deck schools await upsets or the time when they get their act together.
I won’t respond to hate mail, but I will be honored to reply to genuine criticism presented with class.
Teams of Intrigue are: Air Force, Arizona State, Clemson, Maryland or Miami, Fla., Missouri, North Carolina, Pittsburgh and Washington.
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