Power Rankings (Week 3)  

Posted by Walter

#1 Ohio State

Walter - The Buckeyes started slow against Cincinnati but still ended up winning in a blowout. Not surprising given their matchup with Penn State looming this week (the Nittany Lions beat them last season), but truly great teams show up for every game. Remember the name Jim Laurinaitis, the young Buckeye linebacker playing like a seasoned veteran.

Frazier - Ohio State did what they needed to do on Saturday. They won 37-7, and weren't legitimately tested. They avoided serious injuries which is far more important in this game to this team than whether they started slow or not.

#2 Auburn

Walter - Unbelievable performance by the Tigers defense holding the same LSU offense that hung 45 on Arizona and 43 on Miami in the Peach Bowl to zero touchdowns. For an old school football guy such as myself, the hard hitting, smashmouth game on Saturday was one of the most enjoyable I have ever seen. Auburn's matchup with Florida on Oct. 14 could be even better.

Frazier - Auburn's defense was spectacular on Saturday, as they made big plays all over the field. Irons had a tough day against another great defense, but Cox managed the game well enough to get the win. If their defense plays to its' ability, and the offense is solid and doesn't make mistakes, they will be right in the title hunt.

#3 Michigan

Walter - Never in a million years could anyone predict that Michigan would come up with such an utterly dominant offensive performance. True the Irish defense looked slow and a step behind all day, but if Michigan can continue with that kind of offensive balance they are going to be tough to beat.

Frazier - I'm still worried that the Wolverines of old will reappear, and waste the immense talent that they showed on Saturday. Still, they walked into Notre Dame and simply smacked the #2 team in the country around for four quarters. Harder to have a more impressive win. The offense was electric, and the defense made Brady Quinn look like a freshman, and Charlie Weiss like he was in over his head. Amazing.

#4 USC

Walter - USC's overall performance against Nebraska was nothing special. They always seemed poised to pull away from a Cornhuskers team more concerned with not getting blown out that actually winning the game. Lost, however, was the performance of John David Booty who was outstanding for the third straight week and has a 69% completion percentage, 518 yards, and six TD's without a pick so far this season. If it's possible, the Trojans aren't missing Matt Leinart at all.

Frazier - Booty was excellent, and the USC defense showed that it has the talent to shut down just about anybody. Last year's team would have taken the final step and utterly demolished Nebraska, but it's hard to quibble with such a dominating performance on both sides of the ball.

#5 Florida

Walter - Unlike Oklahoma, the Gators did not let a blown call (the phantom clipping penalty) snatch defeat from the hands of victory. If the season ended today Chris Leak would be in NY for the Heisman ceremony, and the Florida offense has a lot more weapons that it has since Spurrier left town (Harvin, Leak, Caldwell, Wynn). With their defense, the Gators may only lose to Auburn at Auburn, and they'd potentially have an opportunity to avenge that loss in the SEC title game.

Frazier - Chris Leak has shown incredible poise, especially with all the rumblings he's been hearing about Tebow this year. Still, he has been excellent, and combined with an excellent Gator defense, this bunch is going to be a very, very tough out. They walked into a rabid environment, and got out with the win, making the plays down the stretch that needed to be made.

#6 Louisville

Walter - If Bobby Petrino's value was ever questioned, let it be put to rest after he continued to shred a very talented Miami defense with a scarcely recruited RB (Stripling) and a walk-on QB (Hunter Cantwell). The kid Cantwell can play, and at a rocket armed 6'5'' he looks like a potential NFL pick who is more than capable of holding down the fort until the showdown with West Virginia. If Brohm is back for that game, it should still be for a spot in the BCS and the national title game if Louisville wins.

Frazier - If you'd told me that Louisville would dominate Miami in the second half with both Brohm and Bush watching from the sidelines, well, I would have said you're crazy. Absolutely insane. The reason they pulled it off is because of the guy standing next to them on the sidelines, Bobby Petrino. Cantwell looked very solid, and confident in the offense, and his coach put him in a position to succeed. This Louisville program is going to be legit for a long, long time, no matter who is running the plays. An absolutely virtuouso performance. I can't wait for the WVU game, and I can only hope that Brohm is 100% for that clash.

#7 Georgia

Walter - True it was against UAB, but a second straight shutout is impressive. If the Bulldog defense can keep playing this well while Freshman Matt Stafford gets his feet wet, this team may be ready to compete with the likes of Florida, Auburn and LSU prior to 2007 (as I initially predicted). Still, this teams looks likely to start 8-0 and finish 10-2.

Frazier - Another week, another shutout. It's become a matter of pride to the Bulldog defenders, as they simply don't want to get scored on under any circumstances. This is definitely a good thing considering they have an inexperienced freshman running the other side of the ball. Still, Stafford looked solid both running and passing, and a consistent, mistake-free effort from him along with Georgia's defense will give them a shot against anybody. Poor Joe T, he's missing all the fun.

#8 West Virginia

Walter - The Steve Slaton show was awesome on Thursday night, but lets remember that it was against Maryland. This team's schedule is so bad that they don't deserve to play for the national title even if they beat Louisville at Papa John's stadium. Awarding them a place in the national title game for going undefeated does nothing more than penalize other teams for scheduling tough non-conference games instead of the East Carolinas and Marylands of the nation. We all loved OSU-Texas, and USC-Nebraska, to make sure those games happen in the future, West Virginia must be penalized. [OK I will not get down from my soap box.]

Frazier - I'll worry about title implications when/if we get there. For now I'm just enjoying watching this team play any time I get the chance. Like everyone else, I'd love to see them take on some more legitimate opposition. Still, you play the opponents on your schedule, and Slaton and Co. have been pasting that bunch. Remember, this schedule was set years ago, and the Big East defections have caused lots of scheduling issues. I don't think there is a team in America who really knows how good that spread option attack really is, and are hoping that Louisville will prevent them from having to find out.

#9 Oregon

Walter - Oregon is such a phony it's no longer funny. The officials handed them the game on Saturday, and in doing so embarrassed the Pac-10. This team is lucky to be 3-0 (they should be 1-2), and they have angered the football Gods. I say their luck runs out over the next four weeks (at Arizona State, at California, UCLA at home, at Washington State) and the Ducks are FAR removed from national prominence by the time they head into USC on Nov. 11.

Frazier - I am not defending the officials. Oklahoma should have won that game, and if they did, they would be here. But Oregon got an excellent performance from Dixon at the helm, and Stewart had another fabulous, tough, game. It's too bad the effort, and performances of the Duck players has been overshadowed by all the controversy. It's not like they cheated, they got some breaks, just like they did against Fresno St. and they took advantage of them. A lesser team would not have been able to. Bellotti has been a very good coach for a number of years now, and his team deserves credit for hanging tough.

#10 Boston College

Walter - After two straight double OT wins BC finally sneaks into the power 10. Their win against Clemson looks a lot better after they dropped FSU in Tallahassee on Sat. and now the Eagles find themselves in the drivers seat for the ACC title. Unlike other ACC contenders (outside of Clemson) BC can both run and throw the football effectively. QB Matt Ryan is one of the best kept secrets in the nation, and the Eagles enviable depth at RB (LV Whitworth, Andre Callender, and the electrifying freshman Jeff Smith) ensure that they will be a tough game for any opponent. Assuming they don't have a let down this week against NC State (a good bet given coach Tom O'Brien's track record), the BC-Virginia Tech game looms ever larger as both teams could find themselves ranked in the top 15.

Frazier - The 323 is going with the home town team for this last spot. The rule over here is that if you have a loss, you have to actually beat someone to make the power rankings. That's why LSU, which is still an excellent team in theory didn't make it. They lost against the only legit opponent they've played. Oh, and no Notre Dame bullshit, close losses are still losses. No moral victories here. So BC gets the nod, because they beat a quality Clemson team that handled Florida St. at home. The Eagles have been escape artists this year, and their overtime victory over BYU wasn't a brilliant game, but they have shown grit and determination, and have made clutch plays in dire circumstances. Excellent coaching and offensive balance have propelled BC to these lofty heights, although they need to keep improving, and not suffer a letdown after some emotionally and physically draining battles, to remain in such exclusive company.


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