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Posted on: October 16, 2011 10:58 am

Power Poll Week 7: Bama jumps LSU

There has been a change at the top.

No need to call the office, it's only this week's Power Poll. Alabama leap-frogged LSU for the No. 1 spot after a dominating performance over Ole Miss. You shouldn't be surprised. Dominating is a relative word after the top four teams won by an average of 39.5 points.

If you haven't noticed already, we have officially entered the fashion-show portion of our competition. With the release of the first BCS standings Sunday, it is in everyone's best interests to win by as much as possible.

Humans, as you might have surmised, can still be impressed. The battle among the top four remains a week-to-week, well, battle.

Time to go stylin' boys.


1. Alabama -- Trent Richardson posts career highs in yards (183) and touchdowns (four) against Ole Miss and says it isn't his best game. Heisman likes humble.

2. LSU -- Tennessee could have used too many men on the field again. Tigers get seventh consecutive double-digit win.

3. Oklahoma -- Sooners wake up in second half against half while the rest of the nation falls asleep (9:15 pm ET start).

4. Wisconsin -- Russell Wilson gets his Heisman moment, catching a touchdown pass from Montee Ball.

5. Stanford -- Pluck for Luck: Stanford QB throws for four TDs in second half against Washington State.

6. Oklahoma State -- Nation's highest-scoring offense is held a couple of touchdowns under its average -- and still dominates Texas.

7. Boise State -- Broncos trying to rout their way to the Big East (63-13 over Colorado State). Or are they?

8. Clemson -- Tigers used to tank on days like this, giving up 468 yards and 45 points to Maryland. "The good thing is, it didn't cost us the game," said d-coordinator Kevin Steele.

9. Oregon -- Where does Chip Kelly get these guys? Overcame Arizona State with backup quarterback and tailback.

10. Michigan State -- Izzo and The Flintstones would love this defense: five personal fouls and only 250 yards given up to Michigan.

11. Kansas State -- The Big 12's only undefeated team outside of Oklahoma wins at Texas Tech.

12. Virginia Tech -- Hokies get wake-up call from Wake.  

13. Nebraska -- Bo Pelini spoils win over Ohio State last week by chastising reporter. Good time for a bye week.

14. South Carolina --  Unburdened by his starting quarterback and snarky local columnist, Spurrier cruises to two-point win over Mississippi State.

15. Arkansas -- Pork futures plummet as Hogs watch Alabama, LSU and Auburn all win in the SEC West during bye week.

16. Michigan -- Search teams find remains of Denard Robinson's confidence in wooded area behind Spartan Stadium.

17. West Virginia -- Does a Big East title count if the league no longer exists?

18. Georgia Tech -- (Mike) London calling! Jackets embarrassed by Virginia.

19. Illinois -- The only upset is no Buckeyes were suspended. Illini lose ninth in a row at home to Ohio State.

20. Auburn -- In the South they call it big boy football. Everywhere else games like Saturday's 14-6 win over Florida are anguishing to watch.

21. USC -- Trojans pick up Giant win. Pac-12 South title still in the ballpark after USC beats Cal at AT&T Park.

22. Washington -- Keith Price accounts for more than half of the half a hundred hung on Colorado by throwing four touchdowns.

23. Texas A&M -- Ryan Tannehill throws for six touchdowns. Aggies and Bears combine for 1,161 yards and 11 touchdowns. Just another day in the Big 12.

24. Penn State -- Had to triple check but this it is true: Lions have Big Ten's best conference record (3-0).

25. Houston -- During the bye week, Cougars' conference picks up key Hawaii demographic in merger with Mountain West. 

Category: NCAAF
Posted on: October 15, 2011 3:23 pm

Michigan State wins fourth in a row vs. UM

If this is how the Big Ten is going to be won, we surrender.

Actually, the two coaches surrendered -- to the wind. Michigan and Michigan State took the game back 35 years to a point where Bo and Woody would have been asked to open it up.  It was the wind, for gosh sakes, not an attack by Godzilla.

The Spartans eventually remained the monster in the Legends Division, beating their rivals for the fourth consecutive time.

There they were -- Michigan's Brady Hoke and Michigan State's Mark Dantonio -- playing a Big Ten showdown like it was 1976. They gave in to a 35-mph westerly wind at Spartan Stadium like it was a 12th man on the field.

They went 55 plays between the first and third quarters without a point. Together, they punted the ball seven consecutive times in the first half. They might as well have taken their playbooks and burned them. Hoke and Dantonio were going to let the elements decide it.

Finally, the Spartans broke a 7-7 halftime tie -- against the wind -- with a pair of third-quarter Kirk Cousins passes to Keshawn Martin, then held on. Martin did his best to both win and lose the game. In addition to those two touchdowns, he had three drops and a fumble.

Safety Isaiah Lewis sealed it with a 39-yard yard interception return of Michigan's Denard Robinson.

There's a long way to go but for now the Spartans (5-1, 2-0) have taken control in the Big Ten Legends Division.

Next up: What looks like a Big Ten championship game preview with Wisconsin. 

Category: NCAAF
Posted on: October 14, 2011 5:49 pm
Edited on: October 14, 2011 7:51 pm

CUSA, MWC consolidate into one for football

Conference USA and the Mountain West announced Friday a football consolidation of their combined 22 schools "in one large association."

The plan is for the champion of each conference to then play in a championship game perhaps as soon as 2012. The unique, first-of-its kind arrangement will span five time zones and reach from the East Coast to Hawaii. The arrangement had been discussed by the two leagues for more than a year and even had its own new conference name, at least in this blog.

There are no assurances that the champion of the new consolidation will get a BCS bid moving forward, a high-ranking BCS source said.

The current BCS deal with ESPN extends through the 2013 regular season and 2014 bowls.

"Who knows whether there will even be a BCS [beyond 2013]," said Conference USA commissioner Britton Banowsky. "There are some folks who believe if you play at the highest level you deserve it, regardless if you're champion of a particular conference. We will stand up as one champion and speak with one voice and expect our champion to be recognized at the highest level. "

How long the association stays at 22 schools is up for debate.'s Brett McMurphy reported Friday that the Big East is poised to invite four schools, three of them from Conference USA and the Mountain West -- Boise State and Air Force from the Mountain West, Central Florida from Conference USA and Navy, an independent. 

"I believe Boise and Air Force are gone [to the Big East]," said one source familiar with the Mountain West.

If that's the case, there are plenty of schools left over for the "Big Country". The Mountain West has been around since 1999. The league is currently at eight members, but is losing TCU after this season to the Big 12. It will grow to 10 in 2012 after gaining Hawaii (football only), Nevada and Fresno State from the WAC. The 12-team Conference USA has been in existence since 1995.

The new consolidation could grow and shrink with ease because of its size. The consolidation most likely will debut in 2013, even though 2012 remains possible. There will need to be a change in NCAA legislation allowing the two CUSA championship game participants to play 14 games. CUSA will continue to have its own conference championship game before that champion meets the Mountain West champion.

The current NCAA limit is 13 for regular-season games.

"I don't think it's nutty at all," Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson said of the new arrangement. "It's proactive. It's bold in some way. We're trying to position our members in the best light possible."

On its face, the move seems to be part of a gold rush for an automatic BCS bid that could be up for grabs. The Big East holds one of those six automatic bids through the 2013 season. However, that bid is in danger with the Big East down to six members after the loss of TCU, Syracuse and Pittsburgh.

It is trying to rebuild with the addition of Central Florida, Air Force Navy and Boise State.

"We've got 22, and they're at 6," Banowksy said. "I will tell you there is room for everybody in this college football world."

One industry source said there are only four schools with television appeal among the 22 in the new consolidation. The Big East would be taking two of them, Air Force and Boise. SMU and Houston are the others.

The same source that the Big East's addition of Air Force, Navy, Central Florida and Boise would make up for the loss of Syracuse, Pittsburgh and TCU in terms of football, markets and television appeal.

Thompson said the Air Force and Boise presidents participated in the vote to form the new consolidation.

"They both mentioned they were in contact with the Big East, but did not elaborate," Thompson said.

Banowsky said he does not expect to lose Central Florida, one of the largest universities in the country.

It the modern world of cutthroat college athletics, the Big East's move could essentially keep Conference USA and Mountain West out of the BCS until at least the 2018 season.

"They [Mountain West/Conference USA] could still merge but the value is gone," one source said before Friday's announcement.

"It's all about inventory and it's all about programming" Thompson said. ""Better is better and more is better in the television industry."

Posted on: October 14, 2011 2:14 pm

Son of Weekend Watch List: WV power broker speaks

Admit it, you couldn't get enough of Weekend Watch List so here's Son of ... comin' right at ya. 

No matter what conference West Virginia lands in, Ken Kendrick will be consulted.

The 68-year-old managing general partner of the Arizona Diamondbacks is an alum. Let's just say he has given a few bucks to the university. He is a member of the school's governing board, the WVU Foundation Board of Directors.

Kendrick is a power broker who doesn't flaunt it. Not even when his school is one of those being held hostage in the Missouri-SEC-Big East crisis situation. West Virginia has been mentioned as a prime candidate to join the SEC at the same time the Big East considers it a cornerstone moving forward.

So when there were rumblings this week that West Virginia had received an invitation from the SEC -- turned out to be a false alarm, for now -- it seemed like it was time to pick Kendrick's brain.

His wife Randy is an Auburn grad. They were "front and center" for the Tigers' national championship win in Glendale, AZ. Kendrick believes that given a few years with access to SEC recruits, West Virginia could be on a par with Auburn.

You have to respect his opinion. Kendrick is a close friend of former coach Rich Rodriguez. The Mountaineers, as you might have noticed, haven't been the same since. Since Kendrick took over for Jerry Colangelo in 2004, the franchise has both bottomed out and soared. It went from last in the NL West n 2010 to a division title this year under Kirk Gibson, a likely manager of the year winner.

But his university is near and dear to Kendrick's heart. Here he talks about the various conference realignment issues that face his school



SOWWL: What is your reaction to this latest round of conference shuffling?

Kendrick: "There are a lot of rivalries that are at the cornerstone of sports that are kind of going away. It's part of the revenue streams that can be created.

"I'm in professional sports and revenue streams are what it's all about but something is getting lost in what the college experience should be.

"As a student back at West Virginia, the teams that we played -- Pitt and Penn State, the Syracuses and Virginia Tech -- all of that has kind of gone by the wayside and I'm sad about it."


SOWWL: Will the Big East survive?

Kendrick: "It's hard thing for me to even know other than just from afar. As it loses more and more teams, there is some chance that could happen and that would be sad .

"While they wouldn't be the SEC as it relates to football, which seems to be the driver, they've been pretty darn successful. For it to go away would be very sad for me."



SOWWL: What is the attractiveness of West Virginia to another conference?

Kendrick: "That's a really good question. I think West Virginia is attractive because it's had great success across the sports landscape. Success on the field should be appealing to any conference. We have a very rabid fan base. If you're a Mountaineer fan it's a real, real commitment.

"There isn't any professional sport in the state. West Virginia is the leading institution in the state. There are some downsides. It doesn't have that big city or large population that is more attractive to the media world and the purchasers of media rights.

"That's somewhat of a deficiency for the university ... We're maybe not as desired as some of these schools would be by larger conferences. If results on the field mattered, and they should be, we're a player in many sports."


SOWWL: You were talking about your knowledge of Auburn ...

Kendrick: "If you and I were to make a bet on it, and took all sports and all records, I would bet West Virginia's results would be ahead of theirs.

"I'd think we'd be very competitive [in the SEC]. When we went into the Big East in basketball, we had an era where we weren't as competitive. Once they got into the Big East in basketball, it allowed them to recruit better. The kids were looking at, 'OK, we're going to be playing the best competition.'

"We attracted [Bob] Huggins back, ... I think the potential, not on Day 1, but if you were an SEC team, it will enhance their recruiting opportunity. I think they'd be very competitive in the SEC. But the SEC is clearly the most elite football conference by far. If West Virginia right now today were playing in the SEC, I wouldn't predict them to win the championship.

"But given a few years of competing and recruiting and playing those schools, I think they'll do fine. Why not upgrade the competition if you have the opportunity?"


SOWWL: So what is your preference for West Virginia conference-wise?

Kendrick: "I think I don't have a preference. What I clearly don't want to see is West Virginia in a place where you're not playing top level competition. More likely, we're going to be in a good place no matter how this ends. I think it's unsettling to the whole world of college athletics that this is going on right now."

Posted on: October 13, 2011 10:29 am

Nine months later it's official: Auburn is No. 1!

Did anyone say congratulations?

It's official: Auburn's 2010 national championship. The NCAA said so in a two-page lettter Wednesday announcing that not a darn thing -- besides daddy having his hand out -- had been found in the Cammy Cam Cam scandal. Further, it couldn't find a speck of dust resulting from HBO Sports' report that four former Tiger players took money.

So let me be the first to say it: Congratulations on that crystal football, Gene Chizik. War Damn Eagle? You bet. Be proud, Tigers. Shout it in the streets. You won the 2010 title ... in October 2011. Never mind that even the book stores are running low on championship game gear nine months later. It's taken a while but it was worth it.

Wasn't it?

Until this week my lasting memory of January's championship game was Michael Dyer's rollover and a screen shot of Cecil Newton in the stands. Those of us who have chased ghosts the last few months don't know whether to laugh, cry or go to the mall.

Reputations were ruined, speculation ran rampant, achievements were questioned. The fallout from the allegations has been a sad reflection of modern media. Check that. The media did fine for the most part. The likes of Danny Sheridan should be ashamed. Remember the infamous Bag Man? The oddsmaker -- yeah, I said it Danny -- got it to sound like a Batman villain. Sheridan knew a guy who knew a guy. It got him a lot of national attention. It drove traffic to his website. Newton and Auburn took a beating. Sheridan laughed all the way to the First National Bank of Fabrication.

The NCAA deserves some blame too. The fact that these investigations took 13 months shows how overtaxed the enforcement staff  is. Fifty interviews over 13 months averages out to less than four per month. Not to wave my notebook, but I do that in the average day.

In June the association put out fire with gasoline. Challenged by Chizik, NCAA enforcement chief Julie Roe Lach said: "You'll know when we're finished, and we're not finished." 

Well, now they're done. If those trees die, it will not be in vain. Harvey Updyke was, is and will be a nut job. Allegedly. The championship is legitimate. Scream it from the top of Toomer's. It's a day to celebrate at Auburn. Again. Officially. Today.

Question, though. Have the Toomer's trees ever been rolled at lunch time on a Thursday?

Category: NCAAF
Posted on: October 11, 2011 1:57 pm

National notes: Source of Missouri's indecision

We're starting to get a clearer picture of the momentous decision Missouri has to make.

The school could make as much as $12 million more per year in the SEC according to this Monday Associated Press story

The AP obtained the document that was shown to the school's board of curators last week. It contains details about academics but the juicy stuff is the money. As reported previously, Missouri would face a significant exit fee if it leaves for the 2012 season.  The document pointed out Missouri would make approximately $2 million less in revenue staying in the Big 12 compared to the average SEC school in fiscal 2012 ($19.25 million-$17.16 million).

The real money is in the future where the SEC is two years into its 15-year, $3 billion deal with ESPN and CBS. At issue seems to be how that additional $12 million could be made.

I talked to multiple TV sources who could come up with, at most, an $8 million-$10 million increase for Missouri. That includes the extra money gained from the SEC title game. Also, there is normal yearly escalation in the contract that is currently paying that $19 million per year to SEC members.

The document could be referring to the back end of that 15-year deal. Typically, long-term contracts are "back-ended" where an escalating amount of money is paid at the end of the deal. That's one of the reasons why CBS partnered with TBS and Turner on a new NCAA tournament basketball deal. It was easier to redo the deal than to pay the bigger rights fees at the end of the old contract.

The other possibility is a much-discussed "SEC Network". Technically, that's the description of the current ESPN deal that distributes the conference across multiple platforms. What's being speculated, though, is a new revenue generator -- a bundling of the conference's third-tier rights to form a new cable entity. That theoretically would include one non-conference game from each school.

Each SEC school gets the rights to that one a year to telecast on a pay-per-view basis. The conference would have to negotiate to reclassify those rights so that they could be bundled.

As far as a windfall for the SEC by merely expanding to 14 teams, slow down. I'm told that the increase in revenue would be negligible. Remember, that additional revenue from expansion would be a negotiation. If the parties (ESPN, CBS) can't come to an agreement with the SEC on a new number then the issue goes to arbitration.

ESPN and CBS will rightly argue that they're already in Texas, where the SEC already does well in the ratings. The SEC will counter that it has added value. Big 12 interim commissioner Chuck Neinas said Monday he doubted the $12 million figure, adding that Missouri will be a Big 12 member for 2012-13.

Neinas said for Missouri to gain an extra $12 million per year, the SEC would have to increase their TV revenue by $168 million.

Missouri never seems to be able to do anything privately when it comes to these matters. Remember, it was Gov. Jay Nixon who is blamed by many for touching off this latest round of realignment. There have been dueling "leaks" starting with an anonymous Missouri official last week saying that the Big Ten was the school's first choice.

Monday's AP story seems to counter that by stating how rich Missouri could become by moving. In the end, it points up how divided Missouri is on the subject. There is no clear consensus. Does the SEC want that?

Missouri is obviously concerned about the instability of the Big 12. The league is basically guaranteed to stay together for only the next six years. The SEC could be a lifetime decision.

The Big 12's newest head coach already has some advice for Missouri.

"Stay in the Big 12," TCU's Gary Patterson said. "It's a better fit. Same with me as far as [speculation about] taking jobs. I know what my plusses and minuses are here. Everybody thinks it's going to be a better place if they change conferences."


Is Texas soft?

The question has been asked so often -- accusingly -- over the years that it is part of the Longhorn hater's talking points. But the issue has come up again this week as the depth and breadth of Texas' loss to Oklahoma starts to settle in.

Saturday's 38-point win was the largest for Oklahoma in the Red River series since 2003 and the fifth-largest margin in the history of the rivalry. OU had eight sacks for 84 negative yards, 113 yards in tackles for loss. Texas' 259 total yards was three more than OU had in sacks, tackles for loss and fumble/interception returns.  Defensive end Frank Alexander had a career day with three sacks, four tackles for loss, a forced fumble, a recovered fumble, a quarterback hurry and six total tackles.

"This was my last one," Alexander said. "I wanted to go out with a bang."

"It's not like we were playing the Little Sisters of the Poor, right?" Bob Stoops said.

That's to be debated. Any encouragement Texas got from starting 4-0 had to be diminished as the Horns go into the Oklahoma State game. One Dallas columnist went back to a season preview magazine to one of those quotes from an anonymous coach sizing up Texas before 2011.

"The guys they are taking are good-character kids, and good for them. But they don’t' get a lot of kids who have overcome a lot of adversity. How tough are they?"

We're about to find out. Mack Brown is 13-0 in games immediately following Oklahoma.



Did the state of Florida just detach from the United States?

Seems that way. It's clear that something is wrong in the Sunshine State. There was no team from the state in the top 25 for the first time since 1982. But there are rational reasons. Miami and Florida have new coaches. Florida State has been on a downturn for a decade.

What's new? Nothing much in the SEC. LSU and Alabama continue to be two of the most dominant teams in the country. Florida just got done playing them back-to-back.

"You can't get any tougher than LSU and Alabama," former Auburn coach Pat Dye said.

Miami was hurt by suspensions. It will be hurt by coming NCAA penalties in the Nevin Shapiro case. Florida State is the biggest surprise, rather disappointment. After the hype leading up to the Oklahoma game, the Seminoles have been one of the biggest underachievers of the season.

It will get fixed. All three schools won't be down for long. Florida has tremendous injury problems at quarterback. Miami has lost to Maryland, Kansas State and Virginia Tech by a combined 15 points.


Mike Stoops can now be himself. Expect Arizona's just-fired coach to surface quickly as an assistant somewhere. His name has already been attached to Kansas which is dead last in total defense.

KU would owe sitting coach Turner Gill the $6 million left on his contract if it fired him after this season. In one of the biggest potential boat races of the season, Kansas hosts No. 3 Oklahoma Saturday night.

Bob Stoops said he would be willing to hire his younger brother: "Sure, if I got enough money to. He's going to have a lot of opportunities. I know that."


One more on Arizona: AD Greg Byrne got out ahead of the competition by making the move on Mike Stoops in midseason. If nothing else, he can pursue a successor with a clear conscience without sneaking around behind his coach's back.

That puts Arizona ahead of UCLA, among others, which has a decision to make on Rick Neuheisel.  


TCU AD Chris Del Conte admits that his program's inclusion into the Big 12 gives it a boost in recruiting against in-state big brother Texas. But as Patterson pointed out, the coach was already recruiting against Texas in some instances.

Del Conte, in a strange way, reiterated Patterson's ability to develop players.

"We overanalyze five-star recruits. The greatest player when I was growing up in Taos, N.M. was a giant," Del Conte said. "but he was 5-7 in eighth grade. I was the only guy [back then] who took my shower with my underwear on. It was like, 'Whoa guys, I'm not ready for that.' "



My Heisman top five this week:

1, Tyrann Mathieu, LSU -- Best in this category since Charles Woodson?

2, Andrew Luck, Stanford -- Plays like Peyton Manning. Now, in the NFL.

3, Trent Richardson, Alabama -- Never thought he'd be a workhorse like this.

4, Russell Wilson, Wisconsin -- Look for Russellmania to explode this week against Indiana. 

5, Robert Griffin, Baylor -- Legitimacy of candidacy should be decided this week against Texas A&M. 

Posted on: October 10, 2011 10:02 pm
Edited on: October 11, 2011 10:22 pm

Mike Stoops' temper was bad, losing was worse

It's a bit easier to be screaming, raving sideline madman when you win.

That was the lesson we learned from midseason casualty No. 2 on Monday night. Arizona's Mike Stoops was fired abruptly after 7 1/2 seasons. Ask Woody Hayes or Bob Knight about sideline demeanor. Sure, their personality flaws eventually led to each coach's downfall, but winning allowed them to be enabled for a long time.

Not so much with Mike Stoops. After starting 7-1 last season, he lost his next 10 games against FBS schools, twice to Oklahoma State. The capper came Saturday, losing to previously winless Oregon State.

Stoops maybe could have kept his job a little longer if he cleaned up his sideline act. There were those in the Arizona administration who were definitely upset about it. But the losing was primarily the thing.  Spectacular losing after Arizona went 1-10 since that 7-1 start.  A losing streak so long against FBS competition that the Pac-12 was still the Pac-10 when it started.

Nebraska's Bo Pelini learned. Even Stoops' more accomplished brother Bob learned a long time ago he had to be more corporate on the sidelines. But they won, and continue to win. Like Pelini and his brother, Stoops is a defensive coach at heart. But only five teams are worse defensively this season than this Arizona squad.

When he was hired, Mike looked like the new generation of Stoops brother. He had coached with Bob at Kansas State and Oklahoma. Mike was one of the up and comers when his screaming from the coaches' booth could be heard in the press box during his days at K-State.

Mike got his chance at age 41 in 2003.  Not many coaches get fired after leading their team to three consecutive bowls but it's obvious AD Greg Byrne, who wanted to his stamp on the program.  

Not telling Byrne what to do but he'll probably be looking for a defensive-minded head coach who would bring in a big-name offensive coordinator. Arizona's heritage is defense going back to the days of the Desert Swarm D.

Stoops is still a valuable commodity. In fact, his sideline antics would be more acceptable as an assistant (see Will Muschamp). No sooner had his situation become official Monday when Twitter blew up with Oklahoma fans wanting him back. For the record, there's no opening there. Brent Venables and his defensive staff are doing a fairly good job.

This is an early career-defining hire for Byrne, only 39. He's on a roll having talked hoops coach Sean Miller in off the ledge after Miller's flirtation with Maryland.

Posted on: October 9, 2011 12:10 pm
Edited on: October 9, 2011 12:18 pm

Week 6 Power Poll: Who's No. 1? Ask Florida

Didn't you used to be Florida?

In consecutive weeks, the mighty Gators have been beaten by Alabama and LSU by a combined 79-21. The Tigers did the honors 44-11 Saturday in Death Valley. If nothing else, Florida can be hired as consultants on how to play the Tide and Tigers. First piece of advice: Have a quarterback. The Gators don't, through injury and inexperience.

Elsewhere at the top of the Power Poll, Alabama shut out Vandy. Oklahoma physically intimidated Texas. It's a tough choice but we're going to stick with LSU at No. 1. The Tigers have posted six consecutive double-digit wins and have trailed for only 6½ minutes all season.

1. LSU -- If you want to nitpick, punter Brad Wing did cost his team points by celebrating on his way to the end zone against Florida. If you want to nitpick.

2. Alabama -- Defense could win Vezina Trophy. Second shutout lowers points per game average to seven.

3. Oklahoma -- OU offense 34, OU defense 21. Texas, multiple sins.

4. Wisconsin -- Russell Wilson is a sponge out of the film room too. Soaking up praise during off week.

5. Oklahoma State -- Backup quarterback Clint Chelf threw for 206 yards and two touchdowns against Kansas. Just what Mack Brown needs to get encouraged for this week.

6. Stanford -- Anyone notice Cardinal's D? Giving up barely 10 points per game. That isn't Luck. 

7. Boise State -- By the time Fresno State crossed midfield Friday, it was down by 30 points.

8. Clemson -- No Virginia Tech hangover in easy win over BC is a positive. X-rays on Tajh Boyd's left leg were negative.

9. Oregon -- Key to this week's Arizona State game: Dislocation, dislocation, dislocation -- of LaMichael James' elbow.

10. Michigan -- Halfway through the season, it's time to go all-in on 6-0 Wolverines.

11. Georgia Tech -- Is this Nebraska 1995 or Yellow Jackets, 2011? Tech averaging 46.5 points per game and is fourth nationally in rushing.

12. Kansas State -- If these Wildcats were insects, they'd be gnats be biting your ankles. Fighting Snyders just won't go away.

13. Michigan State -- Spartans and Wolverines meet undefeated for the first time since last year.

14. Illinois -- Time to give Ron Zook his props. Illini are more than a dark horse to win Big Ten.

15. Virginia Tech -- Logan Thomas breaks out, 23 of 25, 310 yards, five touchdowns and game-winning TD run.

16. Nebraska -- Biggest comeback ever? Depends on if that was a smile you saw on Bo Pelini's face after coming from 21 down to beat Ohio State.

17. South Carolina -- Spur Dog may have a quarterback (Connor Shaw). It has only taken seven years.

18. Baylor -- Bears spring steel trap on Steele Jantz.

19. Arkansas -- Tyler Wilson completes 19 in a row against Auburn, third-longest streak in SEC history.

20. West Virginia -- The class of the Big East -- as long the Big East is around. 

21. Arizona State -- What's the opposite of hot seat? Dennis Erickson has established Sun Devils as the clear favorite in the Pac-12 South.

22. Texas -- Can't wait for Saturday's highlight on the Longhorn Network.

23. Auburn -- At least they're consistent. Third time Tigers have given up 38 points this season.

24. Washington -- Almost lost to Eastern Washington in season opener. Now a factor in the Pac-12 North, at least until Oct. 22 trip to Stanford.

25. Houston -- Cougars finally showed some defense to go along with Case Keenum's magic arm. D gets four interceptions and nine sacks vs. East Carolina. 

Category: NCAAF
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or