Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Top 25 - Week Nine

1. Texas Longhorns (1)
Record: 8-0 (4-0)
Coaches Poll: 1
Associated Press: 1
Last Week: Won vs. Oklahoma St. 28-24

Despite an early 14-0 lead, the Longhorns ended up in a showdown with the Pokes, which they survived. Colt McCoy threw for 391 yards, but turned the ball over twice in the fourth quarter.
Up Next: 11/1: @ Texas Tech; 11/8: vs. Baylor

2. Alabama Crimson Tide (2)
Record: 8-0 (5-0)
Coaches Poll: 2
Associated Press: 2
Last Week: Won @ Tennessee 29-9

Even without Mount Cody manning the middle, the Crimson Tide defense was smothering. They limited the Volunteers to 173 yards, with a critical stand after a fumble inside the 10-yard line.
Up Next: 11/1: Arkansas St.; 11/8: @ LSU

3. Penn St. Nittany Lions (3)
Record: 9-0 (5-0)
Coaches Poll: 3
Associated Press: 3
Last Week: Won @ Ohio St. 13-6

While the HD was coming in a bit fuzzy, the Penn St. D, as in defense, was crystal clear. The front seven made the Buckeyes one-dimensional, neutralizing Beanie Wells (2.5 yards per carry).
Up Next: 11/1: BYE; 11/8: @ Iowa

4. Oklahoma Sooners (5)
Record: 7-1 (3-1)
Coaches Poll: 5
Associated Press: 4
Last Week: Won @ Kansas St. 58-35

The Sooners’ offense (528 yards) continues to mask a mediocre defense (550 yards allowed), that isn’t slowing anyone down. They lost a 28-7 lead before the offense pulled away.
Up Next: 11/1: vs. Nebraska; 11/8: @ Texas A & M

5. Georgia Bulldogs (6)
Record: 7-1 (4-1)
Coaches Poll: 8
Associated Press: 8
Last Week: Won @ LSU 52-38

Knowshon Moreno rumbled for 163 yards and Matthew Stafford threw for 249 yards, but the top Dawg was linebacker Darryl Gamble, who returned two interceptions for touchdowns.
Up Next: 11/1: vs. Florida; 11/8: @ Kentucky

6. Southern California Trojans (5)
Record: 6-1 (4-1)
Coaches Poll: 6
Associated Press: 7
Last Week: Won @ Arizona 17-10

The offense did not play their best football (season-low in points), so the defense stepped to the forefront holding the ‘Cats below 200 yards, including a key fourth-and-inches stop in the game’s final stanza.
Up Next: 11/1: vs. Washington; 11/8: vs. Cal

7. Oklahoma St. Cowboys (7)
Record: 7-1 (3-1)
Coaches Poll: 10
Associated Press: 9
Last Week: Lost @ Texas 28-24

There is no way anyone could have watched the Pokes play in Austin without thinking they were very much worthy of their ranking.
Up Next: 11/1: vs. Iowa St.; 11/8: @ Texas Tech

8. Florida Gators (8)
Record: 6-1 (4-1)
Coaches Poll: 7
Associated Press: 5
Last Week: Won vs. Kentucky 63-5

Speedy freshman running backs Jeffrey Demps and Chris Rainey continue to make an impact, this time blocking punts on special teams.
Up Next: 11/1: vs. Georgia; 11/8: @ Vanderbilt

9. Texas Tech (11)
Record: 8-0 (4-0)
Coaches Poll: 5
Associated Press: 6
Last Week: Won @ Kansas 63-21

Texas Tech went to Kansas and showed courage, brains and heart. The offense was spectacular, moving the ball at will and defensively the Red Raiders made more than enough plays.
Up Next: 11/1: vs. Texas; 11/8: vs. Oklahoma St.

10. Utah Utes (12)
Record: 8-0 (4-0)
Coaches Poll: 9
Associated Press: 10
Last Week: BYE

Coach Kyle Whittingham was making the rounds, but their play does their talking for them.
Up Next: 11/1: @ New Mexico; 11/6: vs. TCU

11. Ohio St. Buckeyes (9)
Record: 7-2 (4-1)
Coaches Poll: 13
Associated Press: 13
Last Week: Lost vs. Penn St. 13-6

It is easy to focus on the youth of true freshman quarterback Terrelle Pryor, but their offensive line was dominated by Penn St.’s front seven. The defense was stellar, but it wasn’t enough.
Up Next: 11/1: BYE; 11/8: @ Northwestern

12. Missouri Tigers (9)
Record: 6-2 (2-2)
Coaches Poll: 14
Associated Press: 14
Last Week: Won vs. Colorado 58-0

The Tigers had a cathartic win at the expense of the Buffaloes. Chase Daniel (302 yards, five touchdowns) and Jeremy Maclin get back on track and a Big 12 Title is still within reach.
Up Next: 11/1: @ Baylor; 11/8: vs. Kansas St.

13. TCU Horned Frogs (17)
Record: 8-1 (5-0)
Coaches Poll: 12
Associated Press: 12
Last Week: Won vs. Wyoming 54-7

The Horned Frogs continue to flex their muscles. Sophomore wide receiver Jimmy Young caught five passes for 226 yards and three touchdowns. That’s an average of 45.2 yards per reception.
Next: 11/1: @ UNLV; 11/6: @ Utah

14. Boise St. Broncos (15)
Record: 7-0 (3-0)
Coaches Poll: 11
Associated Press: 11
Last Week: Won @ San Jose St. 33-16

Their win over the Spartans was closer than it should have been—a one possession game midway through the fourth quarter—as Boise St. dominated in yards and time of possession.
Next: 11/1: @ New Mexico St.; 11/8: Utah St.

15. LSU Tigers (10)
Record: 5-2 (3-2)
Coaches Poll: 15
Associated Press: 15
Last Week: Lost vs. Georgia 52-38

For the second time in three weeks, the LSU Tigers were taken behind the woodshed by an SEC East foe and this time it happened on the bayou. Could their defense be overrated?
Up Next: 11/1: vs. Tulane; 11/8: vs. Alabama

16. Tulsa Golden Hurricane (16)
Record: 8-0 (5-0)
Coaches Poll: 18
Associated Press: 19
Last Week: Won vs. UCF 49-19

After blowing a 14-0 lead, Tulsa went into halftime trailing 19-14. How did they respond? With 35 unanswered points. David Johnson threw for only one touchdown but scored two of the Hurricane’s six touchdowns on the ground.
Up Next: 11/1: @ Arkansas; 11/8: BYE

17. Minnesota Golden Gophers (23)
Record: 7-1 (3-1)
Coaches Poll: 20
Associated Press: 20
Last Week: Won @ Purdue 17-6

How about a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T for the Gophers? Believe it or not, Minnesota is going bowling and could even ring in the New Year as well. Kudos to head coach Tim Brewster.
Up Next: 11/1: vs. Northwestern; 11/8: vs. Michigan

18. Brigham Young Cougars (20)
Record: 7-1 (3-1)
Coaches Poll: 17
Associated Press: 17
Last Week: Won vs. UNLV 42-35

Quarterback Max Hall (24-of-31, 245 yards, four touchdowns) and the Cougars are back in the saddle again after their loss to TCU. Winning a Mountain West Title is still within their grasp.
Up Next: 11/1: @ Colorado St.; 11/8: San Diego St.

19. Florida St. Seminoles (NR)
Record: 6-1 (3-1)
Coaches Poll: 16
Associated Press: 16
Last Week: Won vs. Virginia Tech 30-20

The Florida St. defense held Virginia Tech to 243 total yards, forced (and recovered) a pair of Hokie fumbles, and knocked out two Tech quarterbacks (Tyrod Taylor & Sean Glennon).
Up Next: 11/1: @ Ga. Tech; 11/8: vs. Clemson

20. South Florida Bulls (13)
Record: 6-2 (1-2)
Coaches Poll: 23
Associated Press: 24
Last Week: Lost @ Louisville 24-20

For the second time in three games, the Bulls’ defense couldn’t hold on after the offense gave USF a fourth quarter lead. Matt Grothe (30-of-40) threw for 344 yards, but it was all for naught.
Up Next: 10/30: @ Cincinnati; 11/1: BYE

21. Ball St. Cardinals (24)
Record: 7-0 (3-0)
Coaches Poll: 19
Associated Press: 18
Last Week: Won vs. E. Michigan 38-16

Junior signal caller Nate Davis threw for 241 yards and two touchdowns, rushed for 34 yards on three carries and even added a score on a four-yard touchdown reception for Ball St.
Up Next: 11/1: BYE; 11/5: Northern Illinois

22. California Golden Bears (NR)
Record: 5-2 (3-1)
Coaches Poll: NR (28)
Associated Press: NR (27)
Last Week: Won vs. UCLA 41-20

The Golden Bears continue to play well at home, where they are undefeated. Their home perfection was in question until the fourth quarter when Cal scored 24 straight points.
Next: 11/01: vs. Oregon; 11/8: @ USC

23. Michigan St. Spartans (NR)
Record: 7-2 (4-1)
Coaches Poll: 21
Associated Press: 22
Last Week: Won @ Michigan 35-21

This is a new era of Spartans football; one loss does not break a season. Brian Hoyer threw for 282 yards and Javon Ringer ran for 194 yards to lead Michigan St. to their first win over their instate rival in Ann Arbor since 1990.
Up Next: 11/1: vs. Wisconsin; 11/8: vs. Purdue

24. Oregon Ducks (NR)
Record: 6-2 (4-1)
Coaches Poll: 24
Associated Press: 23
Last Week: Won @ Arizona St. 54-20

The Ducks ran for 304 yards and five touchdowns while holding Arizona St. to 333 total yards. Running backs Jeremiah Johnson and LeGarrette Blount each scored twice.
Up Next: 11/1: @ California; 11/8: vs. Stanford

25. North Carolina (NR)
Record: 6-2 (2-2)
Coaches Poll: 22
Associated Press: 21
Last Week: Won vs. Boston College 45-24

The Tar Heels bounced back nicely from their overtime loss at Virginia with a 45-7 run on the Eagles. Junior wide out Hakeem Hicks stepped up with 170 total yards and four touchdowns.
Up Next: 11/1: BYE; 11/8: vs. Georgia Tech

Five to Watch: Connecticut, Maryland, Oregon St., Troy, West Virginia

Dropped Out: Pittsburgh (18), Georgia Tech (19), Kansas (21), Boston College (22), Cincinnati (25)

Photo Credit: SEC Sports Media, UNC Athletic Communications, Texas Tech Athletics