FanIQ Top 25: Slow week shows little change in rankings
1. Alabama Crimson Tide: 3-0 (LW: No. 1)
For those of you thinking Alabama is beginning to slip? Forget about it. Colorado State head coach Jim McElwain is the former offensive coordinator for the Tide and a very good friend of Nick Saban's. Believe me, Bama could have rolled the Rams 52-6 if someone else were the coach.
2. Stanford Cardinal: 3-0 (LW: No. 2)
Stanford slammed the door shut from the get-go against Arizona State, dominating the line of scrimmage and leaving the field at halftime with a 29-0 lead. The Cardinal were outscored 28-13 the following 30 minutes, but that literally means nothing. David Shaw got his huge lead and went into conservative mode against a very good Sun Devil offense—but he was always in control of the game.
3. Ohio State Buckeyes: 4-0 (LW: No. 3)
"Ohio State had no business playing FAMU," said most of the United States, after the Buckeyes embarrassed the FCS squad, 76-0. Unfortunately, it did have business with FAMU. Ohio State was supposed to play Vanderbilt, which decided to back out last second. And it's not like the Rattlers left empty-handed—they were paid $900,000 to make the trip to Columbus.
4. Clemson Tigers: 3-0 (LW: No. 4)
The Tigers were sloppy and at times didn't look like a Top 25 football team, but got the job done in a tough atmosphere. It's not easy winning inRaleigh—just ask E.J. Manuel.
5. LSU Tigers: 4-0 (LW: No. 5)
He may have poor character and some major off-field issues, but Jeremy Hill can ball. He took 25 carries for 183 yards and three touchdowns to follow up his 117-yard, two-touchdown performance off just 11 rushes in the game vs. Kent State. LSU is a completely different team than we've seen in past years with OC Cam Cameron, but we'll find out exactly how dangerous it is this weekend in Athens.
6. Oregon Ducks: 3-0 (LW: No. 6)
Oregon has scored 66, 59 and 59 points in its first three games of the season. California has allowed 44, 30 and 52 to Northwestern, Portland State and Ohio State, respectively, while putting up at least 30 points of its own in each performance. Is an over/under of 115 combined points too low?
7. Louisville Cardinals: 4-0 (LW: No. 7)
So, FIU is really, really bad. Like, 126th (dead last in FBS) in average points scored (5.8) and 125th in points allowed (46.8) bad. Is it too late for the Panthers to have a mulligan with Mario Cristobal?
8. Texas A&M Aggies: 3-1 (LW: No. 10)
Johnny Manziel is on pace to throw for 3,684 yards, 36 touchdowns and 12 interceptions, while adding 1,020 yards and 12 scores on the ground. That's just for the regular season.
9. Georgia Bulldogs: 2-1 (LW: No. 8)
It wasn't until the 7:11 mark in the third quarter that Georgia broke a 21-21 tie with North Texas. The Bulldogs are still the favorite in the East, but if they play LSU like they did the Mean Green, that could change very quickly.
10. South Carolina Gamecocks: 2-1 (LW: No. 9)
Steve Spurrier had an extra week to prepare for this weekend's road matchup with UCF, and he needed it. The Knights are a very good team and this could be a trap game for South Carolina if it doesn't come out playing big-time SEC football right out of the gates. Good thing for the Gamecocks: Spurrier is 7-1 coming off a bye while with this program.
11. Florida State Seminoles: 3-0 (LW: No. 11)
Florida State is currently No. 5 in the country in points scored (52.3 per game) and No. 3 in scoring defense (8.7). Freshman quarterback Jameis Winston has just 14 incompletions in 64 attempts (78.1 percent) with 10 total touchdowns. The Seminoles are hungry for another BCS appearance.
12. Oklahoma Sooners: 3-0 (LW: No. 13)
The Sooners had an extra week to prepare for a huge game at Notre Dame this weekend, and they're looking for revenge after being embarrassed at home 30-13 last year.
13. Ole Miss Rebels: 3-0 (LW: No. 14)
Ole Miss is 3-0 for the first time since 1989 and are officially ranked for the first time since 2009, and had an extra week to prepare for Alabama in Tuscaloosa. The Rebels played the Tide very tough last season and are obviously much-improved in 2013. This is a very interesting matchup.
14. Baylor Bears: 4-0 (LW: No. 19)
While the Bears are playing lights-out right now, they're likely playing their coach into a huge contract with a different team. Baylor is scoring an NCAA-best 69.7 points per game and have only allowed a total of 23 points to their opponents, including a 70-7 win over LA-Monroe last week—yes, the same team that upset Arkansas in 2012.
15. Oklahoma State Cowboys: 3-0 (LW: No. 16)
Not like they needed it, but the Cowboys had an extra week to prepare for a very underwhelming West Virginia team this Saturday.
16. UCLA Bruins: 3-0 (LW: No. 17)
UCLA ran its first offensive play with 10 players on the field to honor the late Nick Pasquale, a freshman wide receiver that passed away after being hit by a car a few weeks ago. It was a very special, mesmerizing moment, to say the least.
17. Northwestern Wildcats: 4-0 (LW: No. 15)
Both Northwestern quarterbacks struggled to find any consistency against Maine, combining for 10-of-17 passing for 122 yards, a touchdown and an interception. It's a rarity to see the Wildcats struggle on offense (especially vs. an FCS school), but it's nice to see the defense step up and take two scores of its own.
18. Miami Hurricanes: 3-0 (LW: No. 18)
Two weeks ago, I wrote an article on how stupid it is that teams like Miami, Oklahoma State and Florida State put Savannah State on their schedule. I also predicted that the Hurricanes would win 80-0. They won 77-7 with a running clock in the fourth quarter.
19. Washington Huskies: 3-0 (LW: No. 20)
Washington ripped Boise State, won a tough one in Champaign against Illinois, and blanked Idaho State. The Huskies have looked very impressive to start the 2013 campaign and will be tested by a strong 3-0 Arizona squad this weekend before heading to No. 5 Stanford on October 5.
20. Florida Gators: 2-1 (LW: No. 21)
Junior quarterback Jeff Driskel was lost for the season in the 31-17 win over a stingy Tennessee team, but I consider this a great thing for a stagnant offense in need of a huge boost. Driskel has never performed to his five-star expectations, and backup Tyler Murphy actually looked pretty good in his place.
21. Arizona State Sun Devils: 2-1 (LW: No. 12)
A second-half surge wasn't enough to overcome a 29-point halftime deficit, but it shows that Todd Graham knows how to make adjustments and that the Sun Devils are still good enough to win the Pac-12 South. Even David Shaw said that Arizona State is without doubt a Top-25 team.
22. Nebraska Cornhuskers: 3-1 (LW: No. 22)
Even though Nebraska looked terrible against UCLA (for a quarter, at least), there's no reason it can't rebound with its conference schedule. The Huskers get Northwestern, Michigan State and Iowa at home, and Michigan hasn't proven anything the last two weeks.
23. Central Florida Knights: 3-0 (LW: No. 23)
Like South Carolina, UCF got an extra week to prepare for what could be a colossal matchup. The Knights are coming off an impressive win over Penn State in Happy Valley, and get the Gamecocks at home. If UCF gets the win here, watch out Louisville—we could have a new AAC favorite.
24. Fresno State Bulldogs: 3-0 (LW: No. 24)
Who doesn't love football on Friday? The Fresno State-Boise State game was without doubt the most exciting of the weekend, featuring a 460-yard, four-touchdown performance from Bulldog quarterback Derek Carr. With the win, Fresno State is the favorite to be the best non-AQ team.
25. Texas Tech Red Raiders: 4-0 (LW: unranked)
Looking at their schedule, the Red Raiders could very well be 7-0 before taking on some of the conference's top teams. The fast start is a nice surprise for Kliff Kingsbury and Co. in his first year as a head coach.
Dropped from rankings: Michigan (25)
Other receiving votes (in order): Maryland, Michigan, Georgia Tech, Wisconsin, Arizona, Notre Dame, Missouri, Utah, Michigan State, Minnesota.
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