The theme of the Week 3 Top 19 college football rankings is: Don't look ahead; stay in the now.
The Top 19
- Oklahoma (1-0)—Important Top 19 rule: a ranked team with the week off cannot fall in rank. Next: the absolutely huge road game against No. 5 Florida State. Since we haven’t seen either in legit action, anything can happen.
- Alabama (2-0)—After a decisive road win at Penn State, North Texas visits. Don’t look ahead too much to the Week 4 meeting with No. 13 Arkansas, Tide. We’ll do that for you.
- Louisiana State (2-0)—Celebrate 2-0 until the alarm goes off this morning. Tigers travel to Starkville for the Thursday night game with Mississippi State to continue the Southeastern Conference West division slugfest.
- Boise State (1-0)—As the Broncos fly from Toledo, the schedule gets ridiculously easy. Flying to Toledo? Not so much. The Rockets almost took Ohio State downtown in Columbus, and will glare red at Boise State's orange and blue.
- Florida State (2-0)—Top ranked Sooners visit Tallahassee for “season opener.” Seminoles will represent the Atlantic Coast Conference in a battle for respect. That's not why we play the game, say Florida State fans.
- Stanford (2-0)—The Cardinal go to Tucson to begin the Pac-12 stretch. We just won’t know until the Week 11 fight with On Deck but North division favorite Oregon. Until then, every game is the national semifinals at Stanford.
- Nebraska (2-0)—Cornhuskers host Team of Intrigue Washington, a dangerous 2-0 Pac-12 squad with something to prove. Run up the score, Nebraska. It's so easy to look ahead at back-to-back Wisconsin and Ohio State. Too easy.
- Wisconsin (2-0)—The Badgers have Northern Illinois and South Dakota, which means they have nothing to look forward to until…don’t say Week 5. The ounce of prevention? Score at will.
- Oklahoma State (2-0)—The Tulsa contest is a road trip—and a road trap. The Golden Hurricane knows Top 10 speed, having faced Oklahoma in the opener and is traveling to Boise State in Week 4.
- Virginia Tech (2-0)—Va Tech’s slate is worse than Boise State for the definition of “autumn breeze.” Next visitor is Arkansas State. Then a bus trip to Marshall. C-mon!
- Texas A & M (1-0)—Idaho visits College Station to play its circle game. For the Aggies, now at third place in the Big 12, every game is its circle game. An example: Oklahoma State, Week 4.
- Ohio State (2-0)—Man, that Rocket hit way too close. The Buckeyes take a deep breath and head for Sun Life to meet Miami, Fla., a talented team with nothing to lose and everything to prove.
- Arkansas (2-0)—Sporting a difficult schedule, the Razorbacks obviously haven’t arrived at the tough part yet. Case in point: Troy of the Sun Belt Conference.
- Florida (2-0)—Fighting for respect in the SEC East, the Gators host Tennessee. Beating the Vols puts Florida on No. 17 South Carolina’s heels. By the way, what? How did that ranking faux pas happen?
- West Virginia (2-0)—After only seven quarters of easy college football, the Mountaineers have a lot to prove at Maryland, then in Morgantown with No. 3 Louisiana State.
- South Florida (2-0)—The Bulls always surprise the pollsters in September, but they’ll have to fight the urge to implode. Maybe head coach Skip Holtz can do something about that. We’ll know when Pittsburgh hosts USF in Week 5.
- South Carolina (2-0)—Two high scoring, heart-stopping games later, the conference schedule continues in Week 4, but not before Navy in Columbia. The Gamecocks will host Florida for the SEC East title in Week 11.
- Arizona State (2-0)—The presumptive Pac-12 South champion, the Sun Devils try to focus on the trip to Illinois. Week 4 brings Southern Cal to Tempe to play a competitive, meaningless game, unless you are Southern Cal and the bell rings every week.
- Texas (2-0)—After an abysmal 5-7 record in 2010, this Longhorn season is filled with Texas Pride games, beginning at UCLA in Week 3 and continuing with a challenging October, also known as Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.
Teams On Deck are schools that keep on winning as they await the eventual upsets that are a hallmark of polls and rankings.
Teams On Deck
- Baylor (1-0)—hosts Stephen F. Austin
- Maryland (1-0)—hosts No. 15 West Virginia
- Michigan (2-0)—hosts Eastern Michigan
- Michigan State (2-0)—travels to Notre Dame
- North Carolina (2-0)—hosts Virginia
- Oregon (1-1)—hosts Missouri State
- Texas Christian (1-1)—hosts Louisiana – Monroe
Have a great Week 3!