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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Walker-Sports Top 25 Poll:Who Doesnt Love UGA?

The week is done, and for once Georgia actually did something to deserve their rank (congrats to them). Elsewhere, with SEC action kicking off, that almost guarantees there will be some movement in the Top 25. Let’s see how things shook out.

1)Georgia Bulldogs: They went on the road across the country and beat a good ASU team. And why the score was 27-10, the win was much more impressive than that. The Georgia Bulldogs made a statement and their defense dominated the opposition.

2) USC: The Trojans enjoyed a week off, and for all intents and purposes they can put it into cruise control till January when they play in the BCS Championship game. The key will be maintaining focus and not allowing a mishap like they had against Stanford last season.

3) Oklahoma: The Sooners rested this weekend, and are gearing up for another tough Big 12 schedule. Although Stoops won’t admit it, it is my belief that he has a very special team on his hands this season. Let’s just hope they can avoid their annual pitfall to Oklahoma State.

4) Florida Gators: What a show the Gators put on at Neyland Stadium in Tennessee. I knew they Gators could beat the Vols, but they way they dismantled that team was very impressive. That is why they managed to jump the Mizzu Tigers in this week’s poll. Impressive wins are always rewarded.

5) Missouri Tigers: The Tigers got the big win last weekend against Buffalo, but it looks like some of their players may be reading too many of their own press clippings. The Tigers had a very sloppy game that saw three fumbles by their wide outs. This is a talented team, but they will need to tighten up if they want to survive the Big 12.

6) LSU: Gutsy Gusty Gutsy performance this weekend against Auburn. Hell, scoring 26 points against that team was impressive in its own right. LSU may be the quietest big name player in the title hunt today. They are playing very good football, and largely have been overlooked by most. The win over Auburn gives them the leg up on a trip to ATL to play for the SEC Championship.

7) Wisconsin: The Badgers are about to go one a one month stretch that will determine their entire season. If they win all their games, they will factor into the national title race. If they lose even two of them, then it’s back to the Capital One Bowl. At Michigan, followed by home games against Ohio State and Penn State. All three games are anything but a give men (yes I realize Michigan is on that list). October could be a big month in Badger country.

8) Texas: Okay they destroyed another mediocre school from the state of Texas. I’m beginning to think that Mack Brown is taking all his scheduling hints from the king of the Ohio Cup Jim Tressel and OSU. Texas rolled Rice, next week they take on a horrible looking Arkansas team. The test for the Longhorns begins in two weeks when they face the Sooners, and turn around and have to play Missouri the following week. That could make or break the Longhorns season.

9) Alabama: I cannot believe Nick Saban made this turnaround this quickly. I don’t like the guy but he is a helluva coach. A balanced attack that is explosive on offense and special teams, and a defense that knows how to go out and find the ball. Saban is making me a believer that his Alabama team could factor into the SEC Championship race.

10) Texas Tech: The Red Raiders are here because I cannot demote them for having the most cupcake schedule in the world. In all honesty this is a team that still barely cracks the top half of the Big 12. Another big win over UMass (I didn’t know they played football) and now the Red Raiders are ready for a reality check in the Big 12 season.

11) South Florida: There is a disturbing trend with this team they give up way too many points late in games. Last week they gave up 9 points in about 3 minutes in the fourth and all of a sudden a lock game becomes a close one. Lucky for the Bulls, they play in the Big East and WVU has proven they can’t beat anyone.

12) BYU: Another week and another shutout victory. The most impressive part of this BYU team may be their defense which now has back to back shutouts. They are just waiting to play cross state rival Utah and then punch their ticket to crash the BCS. The Rose Bowl committee should be looking at this team.

13) Penn State: Much like Alabama, this years Penn State team is a squad I am gaining confidence in. Granted beating Temple is something that any Div IA school should be able to do. PSU opens its Big 10 schedule next week, against Illinois. From then on it will be full throttle for the Lions who will need to win each week to keep pace with the Badgers.

14) Auburn: They may have lost to LSU at home, but one thing Auburn can take away from Saturday’s football game is they have settled on a QB. Chris Todd actually had a good day at QB. Now Auburn will have to build on that and put last week’s game behind them. There is still a lot of football left to play on the season.

15) Ohio State: Terrelle Pryor is looking to make his impact be felt immediately at Ohio State. He got the first start of his career only four games into his freshmen season, and more importantly he got the win. With Beanie Wells’ health still in question Pryor gives the Buckeyes more options on offense due to his athleticism. Granted a 28-10 win over Troy is not what you expect from OSU, it is a building block.

16) Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons placed their mark on the 2008 ACC season by knocking off FSU in Tallahassee. What’s even more impressive is how the Deacons did it, they were held to just 59 yards on the ground, and their normally reliable kicker was horrible missing 4 attempts. Yet somehow they came away with the win.

17) Utah: It took a late TD run with 58 ticks left on the clock to keep Utah’s magical season alive. They have not been able to blow out teams the way BYU has, but somehow the Utes are finding away. Maybe they can recapture the glory of their 2004 run to a BCS game.

18) Clemson: Finally we saw the Clemson team that was ranked inside the top 10 in all the preseason polls. Too bad the Tigers had to step down and play a Div IAA team, to get the blow out victory. The Tigers travel to Wake Forest next weekend; this could be an interesting game and will have a long term affect on the ACC standings.

19) Kansas: QB Todd Reesing is the hero of this Jayhawks team, and they will go as far as his arm can take them. That being said, they probably will not finish higher than fourth overall in the Big 12. Just not enough firepower out in Kansas this season.

20) Illinois: Lying dormant this past weekend, Illinois could be facing a rude wakeup call next week when they take on a hot PSU team. Illinois may not be the cream of the crop this year, but they can play spoiler to plenty of Big 10 teams. Do that enough and they could luck up and be in a BCS game again like they were last year.

21) Fresno State: 55-54, last one out turn off the lights. That was the story last weekend when Fresno St. took on Toledo, in one of the highest scoring football games you will find anywhere. I like the Fresno team, they just have toughness about them, and I love that they will go anywhere to play anyone.

22) TCU: Every couple years TCU pops up with a surprising season, and this year could be one of those. Next week they have the chance to play spoiler against the Oklahoma Sooners. The result of that game could vault TCU into the top 15 or drop them from the poll, it could be very interesting.

23) Vanderbilt: Undefeated… Ranked in the Top 25? This is not your typical Vandy team. After a 24 year drought Vandy is here, and they are ready to stay, well at least for one more week. A game against Miss St. next week should allow Vandy to remain ranked till the hit the meat of their SEC schedule.

24) Boise St.: They got their first road win against a BCS team this weekend and now they are back in the top 25. Once again Boise seems ready to make their typical run. While it is doubtful this one will have the magical ending they experienced a couple years ago, it is always fun to watch them play on that blue turf.

25) Oregon: The Ducks are accepting all applications for QB’s who have any experience at the D-I level. Oregon dropped a home game to Boise St. last weekend and now they are trying to find their way. Injuries appear to be ready to decimate this team once again.

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