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The Power 15 – Week 5

A really interesting weekend when it comes to the national championship picture. With Alabama beating Arkansas & Florida in back to back weeks, it certainly seems like the Tide are cruising towards a 3rd straight undefeated regular season. Alabama is only getting healthier & the defense is going to get better & better & better. If they can stop offenses like Florida’s & Arkansas’s then I’m not sure there is any offense they can’t stop. Nobody in the SEC East is going to battle with them meaning that it will be shocking if Alabama doesn’t wind up 13-0 & in the BCS Championship. It could happen, but I don’t see it.

Ohio St. & Oregon also look pretty good. With Oregon beating down Stanford, I’m not sure there is anyone in the Pac 10 that can hang with the Ducks over four quarters. Ohio St. played it way too close to the vest against Illinois & Terrelle Pryor got a bit nicked up, but Penn St. is proving not to be great while Iowa & Wisconsin now have a loss on each of them. There is still quite a bit of work to do for Ohio St. because they go on the road to both Madison & Iowa St., but it certainly sets up for Ohio St. to go 12-0 like Oregon which would gives us three undefeated teams.

That isn’t even taking into consideration the likelihood that both Boise St. & TCU run the table. The crazy part is that if Boise doesn’t run the table then they likely lose to Nevada who if they are the ones beating Boise St. are probably going to be undefeated themselves. The same is true for TCU. If TCU somehow falters, it will likely be against Utah who themselves could run the table.

The BCS always has a way of working itself out, but we could easily see undefeated teams in Alabama, Ohio St., Oregon, TCU/Utah & Boise St./Nevada. In reality, these are the 7 teams that are of utmost importance on a weekly basis from this point until the last minute of the regular season.

Just Missing Cut: South Carolina, LSU, Wisconsin, Nevada, Utah, Florida St., Missouri, Air Force

RANK TEAM COMMENTS
#1 Alabama beat Florida & it wasn’t even close! The most impressive part might not be the win itself but the fact that Alabama came off a brutal road game against a top-10 Arkansas team to take on another top-10 a week later & brutalize the Gators. Given how Florida has played thus far you could argue Florida simply isn’t that good, but it’s not like Meyer forgot how to coach & Florida doesn’t have talent. I don’t think there is a team even close to Alabama.
#2 Watching the Ducks/Cardinal game I thought Oregon was screwed. They got down 21-3 after 1Q. They were down 31-24 at the half. All Chip Kelly & the Ducks did was outscore Stanford 28-0 in the 2nd half! LaMichael James RAN WILD on Stanford rushing for 257 yards & 3TD. Darron Thomas also ran for 100+ yards while passing for 238 & 3TD. The adjustments Oregon made in the 2nd half were amazing. This team is A LOT more mentally tough than last year’s version.
#3 I’m dropping the Buckeyes a spot after a lackluster 24-13 win over lifeless Illinois. Terrelle Pryor got a little nicked up which is cause for concern, but it also seemed like Tressel played it safe against an inferior team & did just enough to win. The Buckeyes were run heavy with Pryor barely dropping back to pass. If it were me, I’d open up the Ohio St. offense huge because at some point Ohio St. is going to face a brutal run defense & get behind. I don’t know if they beat Oregon right at this minute because of Kelly & the Ducks offense.
#4 The Hogs drop one spot because of how good Oregon looked & that Arkansas was on bye. Despite not playing, a lot more respect has to be handed to Arkansas after seeing what Alabama did to Florida. The Razorbacks could easily argue they should have come away with a win over Alabama. The polls would be hard on them if they beat Bama because they probably wouldn’t have jumped Ohio St. or Boise St., but if Alabama is so far ahead, you could argue the Hogs are #2.
#5 Boise St. hammered New Mexico St. 59-0, but the Aggies might be the worst team in division one! This is where Boise St. starts getting hammered a bit for schedule. While Oregon is beating Stanford & Alabama is beating Florida, Boise St. is beating New Mexico St. It’s just not the same. The good news for the Broncos is that Nevada beat up UNLV & Virginia Tech beat an undefeated NC State squad. Fresno St. won too so at least Boise has a couple of good games left on the slate.
#6 Beating Colorado St. 27-0 is sort of nice because it’s a shutout, but the Frogs have the same problems as Boise St. does. They need style more than anything right now. They still get Utah & Air Force, but BYU sucks so that win won’t matter as much. They were only beating the Rams 6-0 at halftime which seems pretty weak. Right now it definitely looks like Bama, Ohio St. & Oregon are the top teams & if two of those squads finish undefeated, Boise & TCU won’t be in the BCS title game, but let’s HOPE they don’t face each other again. They need to face top-5 opponents in a bowl game.
#7 I can’t bang on Stanford too much. This is a solid football team that is easily a top-10 football team. They murdered Oregon through 1Q and was up on them after 2Q. I don’t know what happened after halftime where they were completely blown out 28-0. It stinks a bit giving up 50+ to Oregon, but the game was in Eugene and Autzen isn’t exactly the easiest place to play. Andrew Luck could have been a bit better, but a lot of defenses are going to give up points to Oregon. Oregon, Stanford & Arizona could make a strong case of being the strongest 3 teams of any conference’s top 3. Even the SEC.
#8 On the surface it seems like a 28-20 win over a Texas squad who was blown out by UCLA in Austin seems a bit weak, but the Sooners have put up a 5-0 record with some pretty significant wins. They’ve beaten Texas, Cincinnati, Florida St. & BYU. The game was never really in question though. Oklahoma dominated in my opinion. Oklahoma doesn’t get Nebraska in the regular season, but it certainly seems like they’ll get them in the Big XII championship. Has there ever been a 5-0 Sooners squad this quiet before?
#9 Beating UL-Monroe 59-0 is nothing to write home about. You really have to wonder how good the SEC is. Florida got hammered by Alabama. Georgia completely sucks. Mississippi got beat by a D2 squad & then beat Kentucky. Vandy got beat by UConn after beating Ole’ Miss. LSU should probably have 2-3 losses. The only teams in the SEC I’m willing to credit are Alabama & Arkansas. At least Cameron Newton got to work on his passing against ULM. Hogs in 2-weeks!
#10 Nebraska had the week off, but I bumped them up a notch into the top-10. Nebraska is actually in somewhat of a bind nationally. They are ranked fairly high, but they don’t have Oklahoma on the schedule unless they get to the Big XII championship game & play the Sooners. Their big in conference test was Texas, but with the Longhorns dropping 2 straight, they don’t look as appealing as they once did. The win over Washington looks pretty sweet now that the Huskies went into the Coliseum & beat USC. How did UW lose to BYU? Nebraska gets Kansas St. this Thursday! Great game!
#11 Wow. Michigan St. is playing inspired football. It certainly was an emotional game with HC Mark Dantonio not being able to be there because of a blood clot, but Sparty completely dominated this game. They won 34-24 despite having more penalty years & being -3 in turnover margin! If Michigan St. played a clean game they might have won by 20+ points! They play at Iowa & at Michigan so there are some hurdles left, but Michigan St. has a shot to be 12-0. This is a very tough football team which is what you expected with Dantonio.
#12 The Wildcats had the week off but the last two weeks have seen an increased presence of the Pac 10 on the national stage which means Arizona has a chance to make significant noise. The win over Iowa is going to look better & better especially if Iowa wins the Big 10. On the other hand, with the emergence of teams like Washington & UCLA, the Wildcats’s schedule starts to look CRAZY tough. Even so, Mike Stoops has the defense playing like the old “desert swarm” days & Nic Foles is a helluva QB. They play at Stanford & at Oregon.
#13 A lot of pundits still want to give Penn St. credit for being a good team, but I don’t see it. I thought Iowa would beat Penn St. convincingly & they did just that beating the Lions 24-3. As the season goes on the loss to Arizona should look better & better as the Wildcats should keep winning. With the emergence of Michigan St., Iowa gets another tough game but gets it at home. Iowa is off next week but play in Ann Arbor the week after. The good news for Iowa is that Michigan plays Michigan St. next week so Iowa gets an extra week. Iowa has the defense to stop Denard Robinson which means Michigan could be looking at 2-straight losses.
#14 It was a horrible loss no question, but frankly the defense is still outstanding. Losing 31-6 is certainly a beating, but to me it says a lot more about Alabama than it does Florida. I think we may have underestimated how difficult the transition from Tim Tebow to John Brantley would be. Then again, Urban Meyer hasn’t completely transitioned the offense to one in which Brantley can dominate. Having Tebow throw jump passes is one thing, but having Brantley do them is another. It’s hard to get away from what’s worked in the past. The Gators avoid both Auburn & Arkansas so they can get to 11-1 which will have them taking another beating at the hands of Alabama.
#15 Watching Miami-FL play Clemson in the noon game this past Saturday had me thinking on the Canes & they weren’t good thoughts. Despite the Hurricanes winning 30-21, they seemed to be a very undisciplined team and I’m not sure Jacory Harris has what it takes to win a national championship. Clemson committed 6 turnovers in the game which really helped out the Canes in their endeavors & still Clemson was in the game late. Maybe Clemson couldn’t under Harris’s skin enough, but you have to think that it’s possibly Virginia Tech & even Florida St. has the shot to beat the Canes. I love the talent, but they have to tighten up the ship before we start talking top-5 status.

Dropped Out

#7 LSU Tigers: LSU should have lost to Tennessee. A crazy penalty against Tennessee late in the game gave LSU the opportunity to score a TD and win 16-14 which seems utterly ridiculous. Les Miles might be around for a long time, but there is no way he’s ever winning another national championship. The SEC is too overran with dynamite head coaches & you could easily argue Miles is the worst of the 12. LSU is 5-0 right now but I still think they finish 4th in the SEC West at 8-4.

#14 Wisconsin Badgers: I don’t think losing to Michigan St. in the long run will be huge, but it does most likely take Wisconsin out of any type of national discussion. They might have 3 more losses on the schedule as Wisconsin still has to travel to Ann Arbor, Iowa City & Columbus. The Big 10 could shake out a lot of different ways, but Wisconsin’s defense has been somewhat disappointing to a degree. Maybe the Badgers can get by Michigan, but Iowa & Ohio St. are exceptionally tough squads. If Wisconsin can’t win with the team they are fielding now, I’m not sure they’ll ever be in the discussion for a national championships.

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October 4, 2010 - Posted by | Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Auburn, Boise St., Florida, LSU, Miami-FL, Michigan St., Nebraska, Ohio St, Oklahoma, Oregon, Power 15, Stanford, TCU

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