1. Alabama Crimson Tide, 2-0 (1) – The Tide rolled over Penn State Saturday night. Mark Ingram’s injury hasn’t slowed down a balanced, powerful offensive attack. Trent Richardson ran especially well, totaling 144 rushing yards and averaging 6.5 yards per carry. Alabama should have no trouble with Duke, but the schedule gets tougher with a trip to Arkansas followed by a visit from Florida. Last week: Defeated Penn State, 24-3. This week: at Duke (1-1).
2. Ohio State Buckeyes, 2-0 (2) – The Buckeyes dominated Miami. Take away special teams and the game was a blowout. However, the Hurricanes were clearly faster than Ohio State. So while the Buckeyes have brawn, they don’t seem as fast as advertised. The Buckeyes have four easy games before traveling to Madison to battle Wisconsin on October 16. Last week: Defeated Miami (FL), 36-24. This week: vs. Ohio (1-1).
3. TCU Horned Frogs, 2-0 (4) – TCU throttled Tennessee Tech, but now they have an in-state battle with the Baylor Bears. The Bears have an underrated quarterback in Robert Griffin III. His ability to pressure defenses with his arm and legs will be a legitimate test for the Horned Frogs’ defense. On the flip side, the Baylor D will need a miracle to stop TCU’s offense. Last week: Defeated Tennessee Tech, 62-7. This week: vs. Baylor (2-0).
4. Oklahoma Sooners, 2-0 (5) – The Sooners answered their critics with an impressive, lopsided victory over Florida State. Now Oklahoma’s defense has to prepare for a completely different offense with Air Force’s triple option. The last time the Sooners played a Mountain West opponent was in week 1 of last year when BYU shocked everyone with a 14-13 win. Last week: Defeated Florida State, 47-17. This week: vs. Air Force (2-0).
5. Boise State Broncos, 1-0 (3) – The Broncos enjoyed a bye this past week, but had to be disappointed with Virginia Tech’s loss to James Madison. Boise State’s big win doesn’t look as big anymore, and the BCS formula will punish them. This week Boise State can take out its frustrations on Wyoming. Last week: Bye. This week: at Wyoming (1-1).
6. Florida Gators, 2-0 (6) – The Gators had a difficult time with South Florida in the first half, but pulled away in the second and covered the spread. Like the week before, Florida had too many troubles with center snaps. But the Gators have a load of talent. This week they travel to Tennessee as 15 point favorites. Last week: Defeated South Florida, 38-14. This week: at Tennessee (1-1).
7. Nebraska Cornhuskers, 2-0 (7) – The Huskers handled another cupcake at home, beating Idaho easily enough. The schedule gets much tougher this week with a road trip to Husky Stadium to take on the Washington Huskies. Taylor Martinez has been spectacular so far. The Husker defense is one of the best in the country. But this will be the Huskers’ first real test of the season. Last week: Defeated Idaho, 38-17. This week: at Washington (1-1).
8. Texas Longhorns, 2-0 (8) – The Longhorns were good enough against Wyoming, but Texas hasn’t been impressive in their two wins. The running game looks solid, but life after Colt McCoy might be more challenging than pollsters expected. Oddsmakers have caught on. Texas opened as only a 4 point road favorite at Texas Tech and the line has come down to 3 points. The last time Texas traveled to Lubbock the Red Raiders spoiled the Longhorns season. Last week: Defeated Wyoming, 34-7. This week: at Texas Tech (2-0).
9. Iowa Hawkeyes, 2-0 (10) – The Hawks beat up their in-state rival, Iowa State. Even though Iowa hasn’t played a quality opponent, they’ve taken care of business in impressive fashion. Jewel Hampton adds another element to a surprisingly efficient offense. The defense looks even better than last year. But the Hawks have to travel to Tucson, Arizona this week. A match-up with the Wildcats should be a good measuring stick game for this team. Last week: Defeated Iowa State, 35-7. This week: at Arizona (2-0).
10. Oregon Ducks, 2-0 (11) – The Ducks had a tough first half at Tennessee and then took it to the Volunteers in the second half. The offense is potent even without Jeremiah Masoli. The Ducks feature a punishing ground attack. Oregon has to be the early season favorite to be the Pac 10’s representative in Pasadena. This week the Ducks play an FCS school, which smells like a blowout. Last week: Defeated Tennessee, 48-13. This week: vs. Portland State (1-1).
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11. Wisconsin Badgers, 2-0 (17) – The Badgers didn’t look outstanding against San Jose State, but good enough to win. However they came nowhere near covering the spread. Wisconsin gets Arizona State at home this week, which looks to be their toughest opponent thus far. For ASU, this will be their first game against an FBS school this season. Last week: Defeated San Jose State, 27-14. This week: vs. Arizona State (2-0).
12. USC Trojans, 2-0 (14) – The Trojans have struggled in their first two games of the season, though they won them both. Lane and Monte Kiffin get another middle-of-the-road non-conference opponent when they travel to Minnesota to take on the Golden Gophers. Minnesota looks to rebound from their humiliating loss to FCS school South Dakota. Last week: Defeated Virginia, 17-14. This week: at Minnesota (1-1).
13. LSU Tigers, 2-0 (15) – The Tigers got a battle from Vandy. LSU led only 10-3 going into the 4th quarter, but then pulled away with 17 unanswered points. This week LSU gets to play its first home game of the season against Mississippi State. The Bulldogs just about pulled off the upset against Auburn, so they might have enough to challenge LSU. The line opened with the Tigers as 9 ½ point favorites but has come down to 7 at most sites. Last week: Defeated Vanderbilt, 27-3. This week: vs. Mississippi State (1-1).
14. South Carolina Gamecocks, 2-0 (22) – The Gamecocks have come out of the gates strong. Picking up a win against a good SEC East team was a huge victory for South Carolina. Steve Spurrier got a terrific effort from Marcus Lattimore, who ran for 182 yards and the game’s only two touchdowns. The Gamecocks get a patsy this week and then travel to Auburn for what should be a great game. Last week: Defeated Georgia, 17-6. This week: vs. Furman (1-0).
15. Arkansas Razorbacks, 2-0 (18) – The Razorbacks have beaten Tennessee Tech and Louisiana-Monroe by a combined score of 75-10. The schedule gets much tougher. This week Arkansas travels to Georgia and then follows that up with a home showdown against Alabama. Is Arkansas prepared to play a team as good as Georgia? Are they looking past Georgia to Alabama? The game started as a pick but the Razorbacks are now 2 ½ point underdogs. Last week: Defeated Louisiana-Monroe, 31-7. This week: at Georgia (1-1).
16. Stanford Cardinal, 2-0 (21) – The Cardinal looked solid against a disorganized UCLA team. Andrew Luck wasn’t as sharp as he’s been in the past, but he’s a surprisingly good scrambler. The defense scored a shutout. This week Stanford welcomes Wake Forest for a Pac 10-ACC battle. The combined IQ of players on the field should be through the roof. Last week: Defeated UCLA, 35-0. This week: vs. Wake Forest (2-0).
17. Auburn Tigers, 2-0 (24) – The Tigers scored a tough road win in Starkville over Mississippi State. The offense was held down but the defense stepped up. The Tigers from Auburn welcome the Tigers from Clemson in an SEC-ACC battle this week. Then Auburn has another home game against a solid South Carolina team. Last week: Defeated Mississippi State, 17-14. This week: vs. Clemson (2-0).
18. Michigan Wolverines, 2-0 (NR) – How good is Denard Robinson? The sophomore signal caller is breaking all kinds of records at Michigan, even one he set the week before. And Rich Rodriguez should personally thank the young man for saving Rodriguez’s job. Without Robinson the offense would look much more ordinary. The defense has been good enough, but injuries in the secondary might catch up with the Wolverines. Probably not this week, though, as Michigan hosts FCS school UMASS. Last week: Defeated Notre Dame, 28-24. This week: vs. Massachusetts (2-0).
19. Utah Utes, 2-0 (NR) – The Utes followed up their dramatic win over Pittsburgh with a sound beating of UNLV. It looks like Utah will maintain their winning ways. Their next 5 games are against New Mexico, San Jose State, Iowa State, Wyoming and Colorado State before traveling to Air Force on October 30. If you’re a Utes fan, stand up and cheer now. Last week: Defeated UNLV, 38-10. This week: at New Mexico (0-2).
20. Miami Hurricanes, 1-1 (9) – Miami’s upset bid fell short at the Horseshoe. If not for special teams the Hurricanes would’ve been blown out. Jacory Harris struggled against an elite defense. The U gets a bye this week. Then they travel to Pittsburgh for a Thursday night showdown with the Panthers. Last week: Lost at Ohio State, 24-36. This week: Bye.
21. West Virginia Mountaineers, 2-0 (NR) – The Mountaineers were far from impressive against Marshall. They used some late game heroics to pull out an overtime win against their in-state opponent. This week they line up against a Maryland team that can run the ball effectively. Last week: Defeated Marshall, 24-21 (OT). This week: vs. Maryland (2-0).
22. Georgia Bulldogs, 1-1 (13) – The absence of A.J. Green was important in the Bulldog’s loss at South Carolina. Georgia was never able to get into the endzone, and ultimately lost a good game to the Gamecocks. This week Bobby Petrino and Arkansas come calling. This should be a close game between two cross-division SEC teams. Last week: Lost at South Carolina, 17-6. This week: vs. Arkansas (2-0).
23. Penn State Nittany Lions, 1-1 (16) – Penn State was overmatched against Alabama. A true freshman quarterback playing at the defending national champions is a good recipe for a loss. The Nittany Lions gave good effort, though. They’re still one of the better teams in the Big 10. They get an easy opponent this week in the Kent State Golden Flashes. Last week: Lost at Alabama, 24-3. This week: vs. Kent State (1-1).
24. Oregon State Beavers, 0-1 (25) – The Beavers followed up their week 1 loss to TCU with a bye. The Rodgers brothers lead the Beavers’ attack this week against the Louisville Cardinals. The Beavers opened as 14 point favorites but have been bet up to 18 or 18 ½ points, depending upon the sportsbook. Oregon State might be looking past Louisville; the Beavers have to travel to Boise State the week after. Last week: Bye. This week: vs. Louisville (1-1).
25. Florida State Seminoles, 1-1 (19) – The Seminoles got chopped in Norman by a talented Oklahoma squad. What happened to Florida State’s vaunted offense? The Seminoles managed only one legitimate, first quarter touchdown (minus the last play of the game). But there’s no shame in getting roughed up by Oklahoma, so we’ll keep FSU in the Top 25. The ‘Noles host the BYU Cougars and hope for no post-Oklahoma hangover. Last week: Lost at Oklahoma, 47-17. This week: vs. BYU (1-1).
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