Jeff Dantzler's Top 25 Teams in College Football
by Jeff Dantzler
This past Saturday was a huge “upset alert” October day. All of the remaining unbeaten teams that didn’t play on Tuesday night (Boise State beat Louisiana Tech on Tuesday) had to go on the road. Missouri and Michigan State got romped. Auburn and Oregon kept those precious top two spots though. A Duck national title showdown with Auburn or Alabama would be some kind of game. Oregon and Auburn are putting up huge offensive numbers.
1. Auburn – So much for the upset alert, as the Tigers shook off some early big plays from Ole Miss. Great running attacks don’t slump, and Auburn has a powerhouse backfield. Up next is Chattanooga and then come the big two with arch-rivals Georgia and Alabama.
2. Oregon – The quack attack was clicking on all cylinders yet again, as Oregon ran past Southern Cal at the Coliseum. LaMichael James is right there in the Heisman Trophy race. He just gashed the Trojan defense.
3. Alabama – What a huge showdown coming up with LSU on Saturday. Both the Crimson Tide and Bayou Bengals had open dates after big rivalry games. This is Nick Saban’s second trip back to Baton Rouge, and Bama should prevail thanks to a vastly superior offense.
4. Texas Christian – The Horned Frogs have a great defense and the offense is really clicking. Andy Dalton is an outstanding quarterback. Gary Patterson has built a great program in Fort Worth, and defense has been the backbone.
5. LSU – It was a much needed open date for the Fightin’ Tigers after a tough loss in a battle of unbeatens at Auburn. Now comes LSU in a virtual elimination game in the fight for the SEC West. LSU wants this so badly with Nick Saban coming back.
6. Nebraska – Big Red was rolling early in Lincoln, as Nebraska jumped all over undefeated sixth-ranked Missouri. Roy Helu Jr. was the star of the day, running for a school record 307 yards. The Cornhuskers are really sniffing that Big XII title in their last year in the league.
7. Stanford – Jim Harbaugh has done some kind of job on the farm. Stanford has lost only to Oregon, and the Cardinal continues to put up major numbers. Stanford passed an upset alert game at Washington with flying colors.
8. Utah – It was a great game in the Mountain West, as the “Runnin’ Utes” held off Air Force 28-23. Kyle Whittingham has done a fantastic job at Utah, keeping it rolling. He inherited Urban Meyer’s program in 2005 and has had one perfect season. Utah is sniffing another one.
9. Boise State – The Broncos had just over 30,000 on hand for a Tuesday night WAC game against Louisiana Tech. Boise of course came out on top, even though the extremely accurate Kellen Moore actually threw an interception.
10. Missouri – It was a brutal two-game stretch for the Tigers, facing traditional superpowers Oklahoma and Nebraska in back-to-back weeks. The win over the Sooners is one of the biggest in school history. On the heels of that celebration, Nebraska really jumped on the Tigers.
11. Michigan State – Off to the best start since their glorious 1966 season, the Spartans came crashing down to Earth with a crushing loss at Iowa. Michigan State escaped at Northwestern and the Spartans were never in it in Iowa City. The Big Ten title is still within reach if Michigan State can rebound.
12. Oklahoma – It was easy against Colorado for the Sooners, who bounced back from their loss to Missouri. The Big XII South is upside down. The other two threats to OU’s dominance of the division are Oklahoma State and Baylor.
13. Wisconsin – The Badgers, coming off of outstanding back-to-back wins over Ohio State and Iowa got an open date. This could be an 11-1 year. At Purdue, Indiana at home, Michigan in Ann Arbor and a home finale with Northwestern shapes up nicely for Wisconsin.
14. Arizona – The Wildcats had a tough time with UCLA but were able to hold off the Bruins. Arizona has lost only once and Oregon awaits, so the Wildcats could get a piece of the PAC-10. Mike Stoops has righted the ship.
15. Oklahoma State – The Cowboys got a big time bounce-back win after the tough loss to Nebraska, topping Kansas State 24-14 in the little apple. Oklahoma State has an outstanding offense and the Cowboys are right in the thick of the Big XII South race.
16. Ohio State – No problem for the Buckeyes who rolled past hapless Minnesota. The Golden Gophers were once a power, but are now one of the worst major programs in the country. Ohio State has been strong against Purdue and the Gophers since losing to Wisconsin.
17. Arkansas – The Razorbacks blew out Vanderbilt after a shaky start with the Commodores. Since that track meet loss to Auburn, the Hogs have beaten Ole Miss and Vandy. Big ones with South Carolina and LSU will determine Arkansas’level of success.
18. Iowa – What a great showing from the Hawkeyes, who blasted Michigan State at Kinnick Stadium. Iowa did a great job bouncing back from a heartbreaking loss to Wisconsin, a game Iowa should have had.
19. South Carolina – A defensive touchdown early in the second half got the Gamecocks cranked up, as they took care of Tennessee. Marcus Lattimore is a dynamo at tailback and the receivers are big and talented. They are closing in on that elusive SEC East title.
20. Baylor – This is one of the great stories of 2010. Baylor had quietly put together a very nice season, but exploded onto the national landscape with a rare win over Texas. The Longhorns have lost the last two weeks to Iowa State and Baylor. Robert Griffin is a great tailback.
21. Mississippi State – Dan Mullen has the Maroon faithful upside down in Starkville. Mississippi State took care of Kentucky 24-17 and that caps off quite an accomplishment. MSU also beat Georgia and Florida, going a perfect 3-0 vs. the SEC East.
22. Virginia Tech – There’s a battle of the Tech’s in Blacksburg, as the Yellow Jackets take on the Hokies on Thursday night. Virginia Tech has done a great job turning things around after losing to Boise State and James Madison to start the season. The Hokies are sitting pretty in the ACC Coastal.
23. Nevada – It was an easy night for the Wolfpack and their powerful “Pistol” offense. Nevada rolled past Utah State. This is the last team with a legitimate shot at knocking off undefeated Boise State.
24. Florida – The Gators pulled off yet another win over Georgia, making it 18-3 over the past 21 years. Florida’s offense found life. Getting Chris Rainey back from suspension was big. The Gators control their destiny in the muddled SEC East.
25. Southern Cal – The Trojans hung tight with Oregon – for a while. But the Ducks blew it open in the fourth quarter. Monte Kiffin is one of the great defensive coaches in history, but non pro style offenses give him fits.