Senior College Football Columnist

Dodd Power Poll: Welcome, Louisiana-Monroe -- don't get too comfortable


It doesn't get much better than this for Todd Berry. (US Presswire)  
It doesn't get much better than this for Todd Berry. (US Presswire)  

Todd Berry's back. Actually, he was never gone.

The Louisiana-Monroe coach is a great guy but he was mostly anonymous. Berry has one of the worst coaching records in Division I -- 35 games below .500, .340 winning percentage in 10 years as a head coach. He was 0-23 against current BCS conference schools. Until Saturday.

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You may have heard that Berry and the Warhawks beat Arkansas. Altered was this week's Alabama-Arkansas game as well as the SEC and national picture. Don't forget the career arc of Berry, a 51-year old veteran coach who in his 30th year and 13th employer got the biggest win of his career.

He is perhaps best known for trying to install a passing offense at Army. Not a good idea.

Louisiana-Monroe now finds itself ranked above Arkansas in the first Dodd Power Poll of the season. Those are words you never thought you'd read. Clarification: The Power Poll is a staple. The Warhawks in it, are not.

1. Alabama

Baloney! Turns out we really didn't give Western Kentucky enough credit. Inconsistent 'Bama couldn't cover 40-point line. Shutout is only the fourth in last 13 games for the Tide. These guys are falling apart!

2. Southern California What happens in Jersey stays in Jersey. Guys' weekend in New York turns into six-fueled romp through the Meadowlands. Yes, I meant six as in the number of touchdown passes for Matt Barkley. On the day USC's quarterback turned 22, Syracuse went down by 13.

3. Oregon How many more of these beatings do we have to endure before Nov. 3? Several. De'Anthony Thomas is averaging 12 yards per touch. Ducks are averaging 12.4 points per quarter.

4. LSU Zach Mettenberger is making them forget old what's-his-name. Six running backs carried the ball against Washington. Archaeologists will one day discover that the Huskies actually led this game for 2 minutes, 45 seconds.

5. Georgia Grown Man Football stomps Missouri. Pencil in Jarvis Jones for defensive player of the year. (Yes, in the second week.) Dawgs broke the chain in the second half outscoring the Tigers 32-10.

6. Florida State A playoff can't come soon enough. That will end the sham of scheduling Savannah State. Don't care if West Virginia dropped you at the last minute, 'Noles. You can find someone better than this punching bag? The two coaches agreed to let the clock run in the second half. Then lightning -- somewhere in the country -- caused the game to be called.

7. Oklahoma A star is born? Damien Williams set an Owen Field record for most rushing yards in an Oklahoma home debut (156 yards) in a rout of Florida A&M. Williams probably faced better competition leading juco running backs in yards last season.

8. South Carolina No Connor Shaw, no problem. Backup Dylan Thompson threw for three touchdowns in a laugher over East Carolina. Steve Spurrier isn't laughing when he says Shaw will return next against Alabama-Birmingham if he's healthy.

9. West Virginia Idle. Busy sharpening knives, er, offense for this week's evisceration of James Madison.

10. Kansas State That was Miami's reputation being dragged through Aggieville after 39-point beatdown. Let's get this out of the way early: Collin Klein can win the Heisman and K-State can win the Big 12.

11. Michigan State Warning to Notre Dame: Spartan Dawgs haven't allowed an offensive touchdown this season. "Until they [opponents] don't have any yards, I don't think we will be satisfied," D-lineman William Gholston said. Might as well aim high.

12. Clemson Without Sammy Watkins, 83 points in two games. With Sammy Watkins? Look the hell out.

13. Ohio State If nothing else, it looks like the nation's next great dual threat quarterback is being bred in Columbus (Braxton Miller). Is it me or does Urban Meyer seem to have experience at that sort of thing?

14. Florida Exhale, Gator Nation. Things are going to be OK. Muschamp and Florida announce they aren't going anywhere with gutty, come-from-behinder at College Station.

15. Texas 'Horns are sneaky good. About the fifth-best story in the Big 12 right now (TV rights deal, Kansas State, West Virginia, Oklahoma State upset.) But Mack Brown is rebuilding Texas into an SEC look-alike.

16. Virginia Tech

The last time the Hokies played two games in a week, (2010) it started 0-2. Beamerball is focused and undefeated after taking out Austin Peay. Special teams had a good day which is a little like saying the sun came up in Blacksburg.

17. Wisconsin What. Was. That? In one horrific afternoon, Montee Ball lost Heisman traction and the Badgers provided significant doubt whether they can get back to the Rose Bowl. Oregon State defense (what?) held Wisky to lowest point total in four years

18. TCU Horned Frog quarterbacks complete NCAA-record 17-for-17 in 56-0 win over Grambling State. Is the pressure off Savannah State?

19. Louisville Teddy Bridgewater may save the Big East all by himself. Just don't put that pressure on him. His career day sunk Missouri State.

20. Louisiana-Monroe Kolton Browning for Heisman.

21. Arizona Oklahoma State seemed like its old self, scoring 38. Unfortunately for Cowboys, so did Rich Rod. For the third time in past 12 games, a Rodriguez-coached team scored at least 59. Remember, Michigan?

22. Arizona State Todd Graham sticks around long enough for Sun Devils to start 2-0 for the seventh consecutive year. Can ASU -- and Graham -- finish?

23. Stanford Even a shadow of the previous Cardinal good enough to start 2-0. The not-Andrew-Luck, Josh Nunes, threw for three touchdowns. USC next.

24. Tennessee Tyler Bray threw four touchdown passes against Georgia State. Justin Hunter caught three of them. Florida is coming to town. It's getting good in Knoxville.

25. Arkansas Sympathy poll position for Hogs. John L. may be gone (in December), but 'Bama is still coming to town this week.

Anyone in need of a credential from all the BCS title games? Dennis Dodd has them. In three decades in the business, he's covered everything from the Olympics to Stanley Cup to conference realignment. Just get him on campus in a press box in the fall. His heart lies with college football.

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