Power Rankings (Week 2)  

Posted by Walter

It's week two for the323 power rankings, and things are still very fluid around here. It's obvious who is number one, but after that there are several claims as to who should constitute numbers 2-10. Some teams may have already peaked at the Power 10, while others are just beginning their ascension. Oh, and if you want to be in our rankings, don't lose. Here's how things are looking after our second week of games.

#1 Ohio State

Walter - Is their any doubt as to who the number one team should be after the Buckeyes laid that beat down on the Longhorns? As great as Ohio State played, I think we saw that Texas and Colt McCoy really aren't as good as we thought. I still think that the young Buckeye defense will struggle with some of the more balanced offenses of the Big Ten (Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State). Still, they are the clear number 1 this week.

Frazier - This is the definition of a no-brainer. They dominated an experienced, athletic Texas team at home. They were bigger, faster (wow!) and stronger than the boys from Austin. Now maybe Texas isn't as good as we might think, but as I've said, they were a top ten team before Vince Young, and they should be now, and the Buckeyes simply made it look easy. Troy Smith was a revelation at quarterback, with accurate, decisive passing.

#2 Notre Dame

Walter - The Irish defense has been outstanding this season. Albeit against two pedestrian looking offenses, you can't argue with results. We all know about the offensive firepower, but an improved pass rush and secondary play has been the difference so far. Still, their showdown with Michigan could be the most interesting game of the week, as Michigan presents the most skill position talent that the Irish have faced this season.

Frazier - They made a Penn St. team that I really liked look completely overmatched. They took advantage of the opportunities given them, and their defense was excellent in a second straight outing. Quinn made some throws that were completely undefendable. Michigan will be a challenge, but I'm not betting against the Irish with the way they played last weekend.

#3 Auburn

Walter - As of right now, there just isn't a whole lot of difference between Auburn and LSU. That will all change on Saturday. Auburn's Kenny Irons has been one of the top tailbacks in the nation and Brandon Cox has been his usual efficient self. But the biggest suprise has been the smothering Auburn defense. They aren't very big (especially at Linebacker) but they are FAST. Very fast. LSU presents their biggest test to date, but Auburn has the team speed to match up with them, and the shutdown corner (David Irons) to lock down star Tiger reciever Dwayne Bowe.

Frazier - Auburn really couldn't look more dominating in its' first pair of games. The defense pitched a shutout last weekend, and Kenny Irons is eventually going to get the recognition he deserves. This team is fast, and lethal, and has look unstoppable so far.

#4 LSU

Walter - While LSU has not played the greatest competition (LA Lafayette, Arizona), all that needs to be said is the combined score of their two wins this season is 90-6. The defense has been outstanding, but the Auburn offense is on an entirely different level. QB Jamarcus Russell has been solid so far this season, although he has the reputation for making poor decisions in big games.

Frazier - Well, they aren't going to win a third straight game 45-3, but any kind of win against Auburn would be huge. We knew the defense would be formidable, but it's the balanced offensive attack that has really impressed. They have excelled in all phases of the game, now they have to do it on a much larger stage.

#5 Georgia

Walter - The Joe Tereshinski injury actually helps Georgia as he has been their worst player thus far. Super frosh Matt Stafford looked shaky in his first collegiate game, but his ability is undeniable and he will certainly improve with more playing time. The bottom line, though, is this: Any undefeated team that shuts out a Steve Spurrier coached team makes the power rankings top 5.

Frazier - Joe T. finally found a way to make this offense click, he broke his ankle. By the time he returns Matt Stafford will have gotten through the freshman jitters, and he will find himself the answer to a Bulldog trivia question. Shutting out a Spurrier-coached team is an ubelievable feat, and makes them the third straight SEC team in the top five.

#6 USC

Walter - The Trojans were off this past week so there isn't much to say that hasn't already been said. USC is still clearly the class of the Pac-10, although Arizona State has looked magnificent under Rudy Carpenter. That Oct. 14 tilt at USC looms larger and larger each week.

Frazier - USC has had an extra week to gear up for Nebraska this weekend, which could be a good thing, or a bad thing with such a young team. Still, I wouldn't want to be the 'Huskers.

#7 Oregon

Walter - I am stubborn. I know this. It's a flaw. Inasmuch, I am still not ready to admit I may have been wrong about the Ducks. Winning at Fresno was impressive, although the way they did it was not. The Ducks had no answer for Dwayne Wright and the Bulldog power running game (which does not bode well for their chances against Adrian Peterson this week), and really should have lost the game if not for a special teams brain fart by Fresno State. Still 2-0 is 2-0, and a road win against Fresno gets you respect around here.

Frazier - I don't have as much bias against the Ducks as the big man. In fact, I kind of like them. Especially the way they gutted out a win against a tough road foe without their starting running back (although it's looking like they might have a two-headed monster at the position). Oklahoma is a tough test this weekend, but it's in the confines of cozy Autzen stadium.

#8 Florida State

- 1 rushing yard against a stacked Miami defense is somewhat excusable, but an anemic attack against Troy is not. The Seminoles did win the game so we can't drop them all the way out of the power 10, but they look like a team without an offensive identity. That's not a good thing.

Frazier - A let down after such a huge road win, and a short week, is certainly understandable. Still, the lack of a running game is a serious concern, although you have to like the way this team eventually pulled itself together. Hopefully they got this sort of performance out of their system, or old Bobby is going to have some sleepless nights.

#9 Florida

- The power rankings are a strange animal because if Florida was to play Florida State tomorrow, the Gators would dominate. Yet, Urban Meyer's crew are ranked behing the Seminoles. The reason is that the Gators have yet to play anybody and FSU has beaten Miami in Miami. Still, the Gators have been playing like one of the best teams in the nation and my bet is they have their first signature win after this weekend (at TN). The defense has been nothing short of stellar (they gave up a TD on their opponent's first possession of the year and nothing since), and Chris Leak has put up the best numbers of any QB in American thus far. I think this is the lowest Florida will be ranked on these rankings for a while.

Frazier - The Gators are the fourth SEC team in the rankings this week, and so far it's been hard to really say which team is the cream of the crop. This weekend will help seperate these teams into more definable tiers. So far Florida has played excellent football, and have blown out the teams they should blow out. A trip to Knoxville will seperate the men from the boys.

#10 Louisville

- Losing Mike Bush is devestating but the Cardinals have yet to feel the sting yet averaging 60 points in their first two games. Miami has been giving up only 11 points per game. Something has to give this week. It will be interesting to see how Lousiville performs against top competition without their best player.

Frazier - What, is Brian Brohm not playing? Arguments about the identity of their best player aside, they are going to need a balanced attack against a fast, physical, swarming Hurricane defense. This game is a real measuring stick for them. A win propels them into the hunt for a BCS game, and the potential for a record-breaking season. A loss leaves them in the second tier of teams for another season. There really is no middle ground when you play in the talent-thin Big East. For the Cardinals, it's now or never.


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