FanIQ Top 25: Are the Ducks for real?
1. Alabama Crimson Tide: 4-0 (LW: No. 1)
So much for this not being a typical Nick Saban defense. Alabama kept a more-than-capable Ole Miss offensive unit off the scoreboard, allowing just 205 total yards and 11 first downs in the process. Don't blink—they could be 8-0 before you know it; their next four games include Georgia State, Kentucky, Arkansas and Tennessee.
2. Stanford Cardinal: 4-0 (LW: No. 2)
Stanford imposed its will against another inferior opponent, this time with Mike Leach's Washington State Cougars. For four quarters we witnesssed a brutal smackdown when Wazzu had the ball, watching both the starting quarterback and his backup go down with injuries in back-to-back plays. Man, what I'd pay to see the Cardinal square off with Alabama.
3. Clemson Tigers: 4-0 (LW: No. 4)
The Tigers were matched up with the ACC's worst team on Saturday (Wake Forest). The result: a 56-7 win. Simply said.
4. Oregon Ducks: 4-0 (LW: No. 6)
Cal had rolled over dead mid-way through the first quarter, as Oregon found itself up 20-0 in the game's initial seven minutes of play. There was nothing spectacular about the Ducks' offense Saturday night as it finished with just 386 total offensive yards, but the defense forced five turnovers and sent the country's leader in offense (Jared Goff) to the bench.
5. Ohio State Buckeyes: 5-0 (LW: No. 3)
When Ohio State took a 31-14 lead over Wisconsin early in the third quarter, I figured that Urban Meyer would put the dagger through the Badgers by continuing to spread the field and put more points on the board. Instead, he seemed to go away from what worked in the first half and became ultra-conservative (almost Tressel-like), calling far too many designed QB run plays and straying from aggressiveness in opponent territory. Still, the Buckeyes are 17-0 since he's taken over.
6. Georgia Bulldogs: 3-1 (LW: No. 9)
Facing three top-1o teams in the first month of the season is pretty tough and can be tolling, especially when you open with a loss. But Georgia has rebounded nicely with impressive wins over South Carolina and LSU, and is back on track to play Alabama in the SEC Championship game.
7. Louisville Cardinals: 4-0 (LW: No. 7)
Giving Teddy Bridgewater two weeks to prepare for Temple is pretty unfair. I'm setting the over/under of touchdown passes at 5.5, and I'm leaning toward the over.
8. Texas A&M Aggies: 4-1 (LW: No. 8)
Johnny Manziel didn't have the same career day against Arkansas like he did in 2012, but he did combine for over 300 yards and two touchdowns, and led Texas A&M to a much-needed 45 points. The Aggies' defense has some major issues, and it showed against a slightly above-average Razorback offense.
9. LSU Tigers: 4-1 (LW: No. 5)
Zach Mettenberger proved that he's an elite quarterback and showed pro potential with his tight-window passes and downfield ability, but it wasn't enough as the LSU secondary was torn to shreds by Aaron Murray. If the Tigers hadn't given up that final touchdown, we'd be talking about another Alabama-LSU game of the century here in a few weeks (and we still might anyway).
10. Florida State Seminoles: 4-0 (LW: No. 11)
It has yet to be determined whether Florida State is for real or not, especially after its sluggish defensive performance against Boston College last weekend. Playing a Maryland squad that is 4-0 for the first time since 2001 should help prove that.
11. Oklahoma Sooners: 4-0 (LW: No. 12)
Since Blake (Belldozer) Bell has taken over at quarterback, Oklahoma is averaging 43.0 points per game and 322.5 yards through the air. Although he's only started two games, he brings a veteran presence to the field and seems to have a better grasp on the offense compared to Trevor Knight.
12. South Carolina Gamecocks: 3-1 (LW: No. 10)
South Carolina loses Connor Shaw for a few weeks, but this shouldn't hurt a passing game that was already average at best anyway. Dylan Thompson missed some open targets against UCF, but he also had plenty of passes dropped—including a touchdown or two. The Knights were a wake-up call for USC, which could help the Gamecocks against lower-tier SEC opponents the next few weeks.
13. Baylor Bears: 3-0 (LW: No. 14)
Are the Bears the favorite to win the Big 12? Lots of questions could be answered with a win over the Mountaineers this weekend, who come off from a win over the previous-favorite Oklahoma State Cowboys.
14. UCLA Bruins: 3-0 (LW: No. 16)
Utah won't be a pushover, so it's a good thing UCLA got an extra week of preparation.
15. Northwestern Wildcats: 4-0 (LW: No. 17)
College GameDay returns to Evanston for the first time since 1995, making Northwestern's matchup against Ohio State this weekend one of the biggest (if not THE biggest) in program history. Coming off a bye week, the Wildcats are a serious threat to ending the Buckeyes' 17-game winning streak.
16. Miami Hurricanes: 4-0 (LW: No. 18)
South Florida isn't necessarily having its best year, so there's not much we can take from Miami's 49-21 win (which wasn't even that close). The big story here is whether quarterback Stephen Morris (ankle) will be 100 percent and ready to play when hosting ACC rival Georgia Tech this Saturday.
17. Washington Huskies: 4-0 (LW: No. 19)
Keith Price and Co. were able to take care of Arizona with ease, but now all eyes shift to their next opponent—the No. 5 Stanford Cardinal.
18. Florida Gators: 3-1 (LW: No. 20)
Tyler Murphy was 11-of-11 in the first half of Kentucky. He looked like a seasoned game manager with an average of 8.7 yards per attempt, and only made one real mistake the entire four quarters. Florida might be better off with Driskel on the sidelines, after all.
19. Arizona State Sun Devils: 3-1 (LW: No. 21)
It's a pretty good day on the job when you hang 62 points on USC. Taylor Kelly is up to 11 passing touchdowns now, and is coming off his best performance of the year with a 92.5 QBR.
20. Nebraska Cornhuskers: 3-1 (LW: No. 22)
The Cornhuskers will play a must-win game at home vs. Illinois this Saturday.
21. Ole Miss Rebels: 3-1 (LW: No 13)
Hey, you win some and you lose some. And, well, Ole Miss lost to Alabama, 25-0. Today is a new day, however, and the Rebels can't feel sorry for themselves against Auburn.
22. Texas Tech Red Raiders: 4-0 (LW: No. 25)
Texas Tech's next opponent (Kansas) is lacking in many areas. I expect the Red Raiders to exploit those many areas in a big way.
23. Northern Illinois Huskies: 4-0 (LW: unranked)
Jordan Lynch isn't putting up the same ridiculous numbers as he was last year, but NIU is still scoring a ton of points. The Huskies are 2-0 against the Big Ten, and are coming off a 55-24 beatdown of Purdue.
24. Maryland Terrapins: 4-0 (LW: unranked)
The Terps are ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 for the first time since 2010, outscoring their opponents 159-41. We'll see if this means anything after playing Florida State.
25. Fresno State Bulldogs: 4-0 (LW: 24)
Fresno State escaped Honolulu with a five-point after the Rainbow Warriors scored 34 straight second-half points. L.J. Jones' interception at the Bulldogs' 3-yard line as time expired ended any chances of what would have been a detrimental loss.
Dropped from rankings: Oklahoma State (15), UCF (23).
Other receiving votes (in order): Michigan, Oklahoma State, UCF, Missouri, Virginia Tech, Utah, Michigan State, East Carolina, Iowa, Oregon State.
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