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Tuesday, October 12, 2010
College Football Power Rankings
College Football Power Rankings - Week 6
RK (LW) TEAM REC PTS COMMENT
1 (3) Ohio State (14) 6-0 492 Jim Tressel secured his 100th win as Ohio State head coach as the Buckeyes beat Indiana 38-10. Terrelle Pryor stayed away from running the ball against the Hoosiers, turning in a career-high 334 passing yards with three TDs and no INTs.
2 (2) Oregon (4) 6-0 479 Washington State hung around for as long as it could before the Ducks swept it aside 43-23. LaMichael James scored three TDs for Oregon, which endured a scary moment when RB Kenjon Barner left the game after a collision.
3 (4) Boise State (2) 5-0 462 The Broncos ended their nonconference slate with a 57-14 rout of Toledo and even gained a spot in the AP Top 25 poll thanks to Alabama's loss. Now if only Oregon and Ohio State would help Boise with a loss ...
4 (5) TCU 6-0 425 Andy Dalton won his 35th game as a starter, most among active FBS quarterbacks, passing for 270 yards and three touchdowns in TCU's 45-0 rout of Wyoming.
5 (7) Nebraska 5-0 424 Eat your heart out, Eric Crouch, Tommie Frazier, Turner Gill, Scott Frost, etc. It's probably premature to list Taylor Martinez alongside other Huskers QB greats, but his 241 rushing yards in a win over Kansas State are the most by a Nebraska QB.
6 (6) Oklahoma 5-0 405 Oklahoma was off after its Red River Rivalry win over Texas. The Sooners are back in action this weekend against Iowa State.
7 (8) Auburn 6-0 377 The most frenetic of Saturday's action was reserved for the SEC West. Auburn almost wasted Cam Newton's virtuoso first-half performance by allowing Kentucky to erase a 17-point deficit. But Wes Byrum's field goal as time expired kept the Tigers unbeaten.
8 (1) Alabama 5-1 346 A streak of 29 regular-season games without a loss came to an end as the Tide couldn't muster any more magic against a committed and determined Gamecocks team. The streak will have to start all over again, beginning against Ole Miss on Saturday.
9 (19) South Carolina 4-1 342 Steve Spurrier said fate was at play in South Carolina's historic win over top-ranked Alabama. Belief and confidence can be a powerful combination, and the Gamecocks have plenty of both. Can they maintain their level of play?
10 (10) Utah 5-0 301 The Utes scored 31 unanswered points in the second quarter to roll past Iowa State 68-27. In its last season before joining the Pac-10, Utah has more wins against BCS schools than any other non-AQ school (21).
NCAA Football Power Rankings
Last Week: 2
Oregon Ducks (6-0)
A reader noticed my concern last week about Oregon's total yards allowed and sent me an interesting stat. The Ducks actually gave up fewer yards per play than Alabama. (Because Oregon runs plays so quickly, the other team also has an opportunity to run more plays -- hence more yards.) Since Alabama is out of the picture for the moment, let's compare the Oregon defense to fellow top fivers TCU, Boise State and Ohio State, which rank 1-2-3 in the nation in total defense. TCU allows 4.2 yards per play, Boise State allows 4.0 yards per play and Ohio State allows 4.1 yards per play. Oregon allows 4.6 yards per play. So while it isn't quite as stout as the other elite defenses, Oregon's defense is not the liability its total yardage stat makes it out to be. With the Ducks running the nation's most explosive offense, the defense is plenty good enough to keep Oregon ahead of anyone else on the scoreboard.
Last game: Beat Washington State, 43-23
Next game: Oct. 21 vs. UCLA
Last Week: 3
Ohio St. Buckeyes (6-0)
Miami's shellacking at the hands of Florida State -- at home, no less -- seriously harmed the credibility of the Buckeyes' signature win to this point. Fortunately, Ohio State has a chance to earn back that credibility by dominating in Madison this week. But if Ohio State struggles, it may be time to drop the Buckeyes back below Boise State.
Last game: Beat Indiana, 38-10
Next game: Saturday at Wisconsin
Last Week: 4
Boise St. Broncos (5-0)
Nothing Boise State does from this point will impress certain voters. Those people believe the Broncos are a curiosity. Still, if Boise State can keep scoring 50 while holding opponents below 20, the sheer dominance could help overcome the strength of schedule argument for more open-minded pollsters. The Broncos might also get some help from Virginia Tech and Oregon State, the two AQ-conference teams on their schedule. Virginia Tech's loss to James Madison harmed the Hokies' and the Broncos' credibility, but the Hokies haven't lost since. The Beavers, meanwhile, went on the road and beat previously undefeated Arizona last week. If Oregon State challenges for the Pac-10 title, it will only help Boise State.
Last game: Beat Toledo, 57-14
Next game: Saturday at San Jose State
Last Week: 5
TCU Horned Frogs (6-0)
The Horned Frogs aren't going to get their due credit because of the Mountain West's television contracts. Almost no one gets The mtn., and the average college football fan -- or poll voter -- doesn't think to flip to Versus to watch games. Unless the AQ-conference teams at the top of the poll all lose, TCU may not rise higher than No. 4 because of its absence from the ESPN family of networks.
Last game: Beat Wyoming, 45-0
Next game: Saturday vs. BYU
Last Week: 6
Nebraska Cornhuskers (5-0)
It was on the same week last year that Ndamukong Suh entered the national football consciousness with a Thursday-night freak show highlighted by his pretzel-twisting of Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert. This past Thursday, Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez entered the national football consciousness with a 241-yard, four-touchdown rushing performance complemented by a ridiculously efficient passing night (5-of-7 for 128 yards and one touchdown). The difference? Martinez could actually win the Heisman Trophy because he plays quarterback, one of the three positions most Heisman Trophy voters recognize. A big game against Texas would put Martinez in the thick of the Heisman race.
Last game: Beat Kansas State, 48-13
Next game: Saturday vs. Texas
Last Week: 7
Oklahoma Sooners (5-0)
Of the remaining undefeated AQ-conference schools, the Sooners have the easiest path to an undefeated regular season. Obviously, they'd need to beat Nebraska in the final Big 12 title game, but Oregon, Ohio State and the SEC schools have tougher roads. Bob Stoops complained at the start of the season that the Sooners should follow their counterparts' example and schedule more cupcakes, but Oklahoma's challenging out-of-conference schedule (Florida State, Air Force, at Cincinnati) could make the Sooners more attractive at the end of the season if the Big 12 is as mediocre as it appears.
Last game: Beat Texas, 28-20
Next game: Saturday vs. Iowa State
Last Week: 8
Utah Utes (5-0)
The Utes just keep coming. Iowa State was supposed to offer the plucky Mountain West upstart a challenge. Utah scored 68 on the Cyclones. Remember when you read here last week that the Utes would find ways to get the ball in sophomore Reggie Dunn's hands? Saturday, Coach Kyle Whittingham let Dunn return a kickoff for the first time. Dunn took it 100 yards for a touchdown.
Last game: Beat Iowa State, 68-27
Next game: Saturday at Wyoming
Last Week: 10
Auburn Tigers (6-0)
The Tigers survived a scare from Kentucky on Saturday. Now comes the grind. They'll get Arkansas on Saturday, followed by LSU the following week. The only saving grace is that both games are at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Win both, and Auburn probably cracks the top five.
Last game: Beat Kentucky, 37-34
Next game: Saturday vs. Arkansas
Last Week: 17
South Carolina Gamecocks (4-1)
South Carolina fans are a lot like Chicago Cubs fans -- only more downtrodden and with a greater appetite for sweet tea vodka. They assumed when quarterback Stephen Garcia took an inexplicable safety against Alabama on Saturday that the wheels would fall off. They didn't. South Carolina recovered. Now, the faithful believe the Chicken Curse will strike in Lexington in a classic letdown game. That's possible, but if the Gamecocks realize what's at stake, they won't slip. South Carolina is good enough this year to win the SEC East -- and maybe the entire conference. If the Gamecocks believe that, they may ward off the curse.
Last game: Beat Alabama, 35-21
Next game: Saturday at Kentucky
Last Week: 1
Alabama Crimson Tide (5-1)
Alabama lost more than a game Saturday. It also lost its aura of invincibility. (Not to mention receiver Julio Jones, who broke his hand, and right tackle D.J. Fluker, who injured his groin.) Teams will no longer fear the Crimson Tide, and that will make Alabama's opponents tougher to beat. Still, it would be foolish to say South Carolina provided the blueprint for beating Alabama. It's only a blueprint for teams with a dominant tailback, a pair of 6-foot-4 receivers and an athletic defense that can cover receivers for six seconds a play. LSU is the only team remaining on Alabama's schedule that fits that description. Of course, Tigers coach Les Miles likes to draw his own blueprints.