Jeff Dantzler’s Top 25
by Jeff Dantzler
It was an incredible day and night of college football, highlighted by Alabama’s thrilling 21-17 victory over LSU at a raucous Tiger Stadium. Oregon outshot Southern Cal to stay undefeated. Kansas State got a bit of a scare from Oklahoma State and Collin Klein’s wrist. But it was Notre Dame that was five and a half feet under a couple of times, but somehow found a way to edge Pitt. K-State and the Irish both go on the road this week. Bama hosts Texas A&M.
1. Alabama – It was a game for the ages, as Alabama rallied back to top LSU
in a 21-17 Baton Rouge instant classic. LSU missed too many opportunities and
Bama held tough. Then A.J. McCarron hit T.J. Yeldon for a touchdown on a screen
pass that will long be remembered on the capstone. Texas A&M visits Tuscaloosa
Saturday for what should be a dandy.
2. Oregon – Every time the Ducks take the field, they look more and more
impressive. Oregon passed its toughest test of the season, outgunning Southern
Cal in Los Angeles. Chip Kelly has done an excellent job keeping his team focused.
Kenjon Barner had a spectacular performance and is in the midst of the
3. Kansas State – It was a little scary for a while with Oklahoma State, but
the Wildcats pulled away for a huge win. Collin Klein has had a brilliant season
and is the Heisman front-runner. K-State has the best defense in the Big XII.
They’ll be tested at TCU Saturday.
4. Notre Dame – The luck of the Irish is in full tact. Pitt missed a winning
field goal by about three inches. But Notre Dame found a way and survived. It
will be easy for Brian Kelly to push across the message of not looking ahead and
what it means to be the hunted, not the hunter. Now comes a trip to down Boston
5. Ohio State – After a couple of scares – especially that unbelievable escape
in overtime against Purdue – the Buckeyes seem to be hitting their stride. It won’t
take long for Urban Meyer to have Ohio State, ineligible for the postseason this
year, fighting for a Big Ten title and in the picture for the big prize.
6. Georgia – The Bulldogs were impressive in the second half of a 37-10 win
over talented Ole Miss. The Rebels jumped ahead 10-0, but the Dogs came flying
back. The SEC East championship is on the line Saturday night on the plains.
Todd Gurley and Jarvis Jones are special players.
7. Florida – The Gators, downtrodden after a 17-9 loss to Georgia in Jacksonville
survived against Missouri. Florida did just enough offensively and the defense
was superb in a 14-7 win over Missouri. There are a couple of easy ones on
the slate and then the monster showdown with Florida State.
8. LSU – This 21-17 loss to Alabama will sting the Fightin’ Tiger faithful for
a long time. There were just too many missed opportunities for LSU. Zach Mettenberger
played very well, but two missed field goals and getting stuffed on fourth
down will really linger.
9. Florida State – The Seminoles had this past Saturday off, and now are
poised for a stretch run at an ACC Division title and then a potential 10-1 vs. 10-
1 showdown vs. arch-rival Florida. The ‘Noles have the best defense in the ACC.
10. Texas A&M – The Aggies only two losses this season are by three at home
to Florida and by 5 in College Station to LSU. They now head to Tuscaloosa to
take on the Tide. Texas A&M is really clicking offensively. On the heels of a 63-
21 win over Auburn on the plains, the Aggies took down Mississippi State 38-13.
11. South Carolina – After playing one of the most treacherous four-game
stretches of any team in America this season (Georgia, @LSU, @Florida, Tennessee),
and with the devastating injury to Marcus Lattimore, the Gamecocks
needed a week off. Arkansas has won three of four and visit Columbia Saturday.
12. Clemson – The Tigers came out cooking on offense and never looked
back in a big Atlantic Coast Conference win over Duke. Clemson can do it all offensively,
and the Tigers have one of the country’s best big play passing attacks.
13. Mississippi State – It’s been a tough two weeks for Mississippi State.
The Maroon Bulldogs were riding high at 7-0, and then got blistered at Alabama.
Well things didn’t go well at home this past week, as Texas A&M cruised 38-13.
There’s still some heavy lifting to do in November.
14. Louisville – Coming off a thrilling victory over Cincinnati the week
prior, there was some letdown concern. Sure enough, the Cardinals found themselves
in a 7-0 hole to Temple. Then Teddy Bridgewater and co. got it rolling.
They go to Syracuse Saturday. Charley Strong is a hot commodity.
15. Oregon State – Coming off their first loss of the season, a 20-17 heartbreaker
at Washington, the Beavers improved to 7-1 with a 36-26 bounce-back
win over Arizona State. Oregon State goes to Stanford in a major PAC-12 North
showdown. A win keeps Oregon State in the conference race.
16. Boise State – With everything that Boise State lost – record-setting QB
Kellen Morre, first round TB Doug Martin and virtually the whole defense – the
Broncos have been very impressive while pushing their record to 8-1. Boise State
goes to Hawaii Saturday.
17. Oklahoma – Coming off a tough loss to Notre Dame – a game in which
the Fightin’ Irish dominated the fourth quarter – Bob Stoops had his team ready
and they handled tough Iowa State. The bottom line – in their two losses, the
Sooners scored 19 and 13.
18. Stanford – David Shaw has done a nice job keeping the Cardinal in the
upper echelon of the PAC-12. Stanford flat out hammered awful Colorado 48-0.
It is impressive how they’ve played on the heels of that heart-breaking,
controversial loss at Notre Dame. They’ve got a big one against Oregon State this
19. Texas – David Ash had a good day throwing it and Mike Davis had 165
yards receiving and a couple of touchdowns. Texas had lost nine consecutive
games against ranked foes prior to the big win in Lubbock.
20. UCLA – Brett Hundley is a terrific two way threat at quarterback for
the Bruuins. UCLA just clubbed Arizona, as the Wildcats clearly had a letdown
following its upset win over Southern Cal. The Bruins have the PAC-12 Championship
Game in their sights.
21. Louisiana Tech – The Bulldogs ran past the Roadrunners of Texas-San
Antonio 51-27 to move to 8-1 on the year. The only loss is that heart-breaking
59-57 shootout to Texas A&M in Shreveport. Lousiana Tech will have a tougher
go with non-fictional (Necessary Roughness) Texas State on the road.
22. Nebraska – Big Red is happy with a 23-9 domination of Michigan. The-
Wolverines Dennard Robinson sustained an injured hand and that was all she
wrote for Michigan. The Cornhuskers had to do it without Rex Burkhead.
23. Texas Tech – In the midst of a brutal schedule stretch, the Red Raiders
lost for a second straight week. You know Tommy Tuberville and the Red Raiders
wanted this one badly against Texas, but the Longhorns got a nice win in Lubbock.
24. Southern Cal – This Trojan defense has been flat out awful over the last
two weeks. Monte Kiffen has to be going nuts. They get gashed in a comeback
by Arizona. Then this past week, Oregon hung 62 on the Trojans.
25. TCU – The Horned Frogs have been involved in some wild shootouts this
year, like a 56-53 loss to Texas Tech in Fort Worth. But TCU got on the good side
with a 39-38 victory over West Virginia.