Sunday, September 21, 2008

Boise State Back In the Top 25

Bearcatmark’s week 4 top 25:

  1. OklahomaTheir last non-conference loss at home was to… TCU, you can bet the Sooners will be ready for this game. The loss of DeMarcus Granger should not do much to derail the Oklahoma Sooners.

  1. USC- As I look at USC’s schedule I am trying to decide who can challenge them at all this year…it’s a tough question. The Pac Ten is down, Notre Dame is not that good; USC should be able to run the table. I think they certainly have the clearest path to the National Title.

  1. Georgia- Good win at Arizona State. Last season the Pac Ten tried to make its case for being as good as the SEC… this season it’s not even close.

  1. Florida- Once again the Gators proved to have Tennessee’s number. Florida started quickly and never gave Tennessee a chance to even be in the game. That is the sign of a very good team.

  1. MissouriCan anyone stop this offense?

  1. Texas Tech- Or this one?

  1. LSU- It is hard not to love Les Miles. The defending national champions got an enormous win on the road against a very game Auburn team. The Tigers get Alabama and Georgia at home this year though they still must travel to “the swamp” in three weeks. As far as the SEC goes they passed the first major test, in typical late game, Les Miles fashion.

  1. The Badgers had a bye this week and now get @Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, @Iowa and Illinois the next five weeks. I cannot imagine them getting through that stretch of games unscathed, but you may notice they get Ohio State, Penn State and Illinois in Camp Randall. That is a huge advantage for the Badgers in the Big Ten race. I think the Badgers are very good and a top ten team. I do not think they are a BCS championship caliber team, but that schedule certainly sets up nicely.

  1. Alabama- The Tide continue to roll on. They looked incredibly impressive this week and already made a good Clemson team look stupid. Georgia is going to have their hands full come Saturday.

  1. Texas- The top ten continues to be dominated by the Big 12 and SEC (4 teams from each conference are there). It is really interesting reading all the articles on how the Big East, ACC and Pac Ten are down this year. In truth all three conferences have not done near as well as they would like, but I think the bigger story is just how good the top half of the Big 12 and the SEC are this year. Both of those conferences are going to be fun to watch.

  1. Auburn- I cannot fault them much for losing a competitive game against a big time LSU team. Even in defeat Auburn showed they are a borderline top ten team this season.

  1. Penn State- The Nittany Lions continue to look dominant. Much like with Wisconsin their next five games will tell the story of the their season, but unlike Wisconsin they have to hit the road against some really good teams. Over the next 5 games Penn State plays Illinois, @ Purdue, @ Wisconsin, Michigan and @ Ohio State. I cannot see them making it through that stretch unbeaten.

  1. South Florida- Though they are the highest ranked Big East team, the Bulls were sloppy this week against a bad Florida International team. They will need a better effort to beat NC State next week.

  1. “one of the” Ohio State Universities (the one in Columbus for those of you keeping score at home) – If the Buckeyes could get steady quarterback play I would feel a lot better about them. The top of the Big 10 looks fairly solid this season, I think the Buckeyes will lose one or two more before it is all said and done.

  1. BYU- Maybe they should be higher, I don’t know. Talk about a team that is living up to the hype. The Cougars are not beating teams they are putting Nebraska of the 1990s beating on teams. Since limping by Washington they have won 59-0 against UCLA and 44-0 over Wyoming. For BYU to get a BCS bid they will have to earn it, because in truth the Mountain west has been every bit as good as the Pac Ten, Big East and ACC this season (in fact the Mountain West stands 5-0 against the Pac Ten). Utah, TCU, UNLV, and Air Force are all tough squads. BYU is going to have plenty of chances to keep on climbing.

  1. Kansas- Recovered from their loss to South Florida nicely against Sam Houston State, but then again they recovered against Sam Houston State. I am really anxious to see Kansas in the Colorado, Oklahoma, Texas Tech stretch that looms in a couple of weeks. The Jayhawks made a living by beating teams they were clearly better than last season…they were very consistent. We will get a better idea of what their level actually is this season.

  1. Illinois- Second major test of the year is this Saturday night in Happy Valley. The defense had no hope of stopping Missouri, but that probably has more to do with how good Missouri is than anything else.

  1. Wake Forest- Lee Corso picked Florida State to win an ACC game for the 5 millionth straight time this weekend… that method has certainly failed him the last few years, but I am sure he got a lot of mileage off of it throughout the 90s. Wake Forest did not let the Seminoles do anything on Saturday. I think that along with Clemson they are the favorites to win the ACC. Wake Forest has to be one of the most well coached teams in America.

  1. Boise State- The Broncos make their triumphant return to the top 25 this week after a big win at Oregon. Boise State controlled the game from start to finish though allowed a late Oregon rally to make the game closer. Ian Johnson is still a Bronco (I swear he has been at Boise State longer than Kevin Frey was at Xavier) and this year's Bronco’s may actually be a better passing team than two years ago when they beat Oklahoma.

  1. Clemson- They were the pre-season ACC favorite for a reason… the talent is there. Now the consistency, that is another question entirely.

  1. Cincinnati- 20-24! Tony Pike was sensational in his debut for the Bearcats in the least flashy of ways. Tony was just plain efficient, when a receiver was open he general hit him and hit him in stride. When on the field, the Bearcat offense was a machine against Miami. If they can get that kind of production from Tony Pike week in and week out there is no reason the Bearcats cannot win the Big East.

  1. East Carolina- Tough loss to North Carolina State, but that’s a rivalry game on the road. They stay in the top 25 on the strength of victories over WVU and VT.

  1. Fresno State- The second WAC team in the top 25, their win over Rutgers is not looking like that much these days, but they also gave Wisconsin all they could handle.

  1. Utah- They have three pretty good wins against UNLV, Michigan and Air Force. That is enough to keep them in the top 25 for the time being.

  1. Vanderbilt- A win over South Carolina and a road win against Ole Miss is good enough to get Vanderbilt in my top 25 for now. I was going to wait a week until they had played Auburn but when comparing them to the long list of toss-up teams I have for the 25th spot I just think their wins stand out more.

The extras (Almost there but not quite…in no order)

Virginia Tech- In my first draft I had them in the top 25, but as I compared them to others I just did not think they quite held up. The win on the road against the Tarheels was very good, but I want to see a little more from this very young team before I move them forward. It is hard to know much about Virginia Tech because they lack experience.

Uconn- I think they are too one dimensional to be a real threat in the Big East. They smacked around Virginia one week and then let Baylor give them all they could handle the next. The defense is generally good, the running game is good, and they seem to always win the close ones, but I want to see them against better competition.

Ball State- They look like the class of the MAC. That offense is really good.

Michigan State- Nice with for Dantonio against the fighting Irish this weekend.

Kentucky- 3-0 with a defense that looks much better. They’ll have plenty of chances to move up.

Louisville- The Louisville team we saw against Kansas State was a completely different team from the team we saw against Kentucky. It was like night and day. Everyone knows Louisville has the talent. Their game against Uconn this week could be a big one in the Big East.

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