No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Ohio State posted very impressive victories over Top 25 teams last weekend to strengthen their national championship hopes and solidify their top rankings.
Alabama rocked No. 22 Penn State without Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram and possible future NFL lineman Marcell Dareus. Alabama’s balance on offense is a defensive coordinator’s nightmare. On its first drive, the Crimson Tide passed all the way down the field for a touchdown and on its next drive running back Trent Richardson scored from 97 yards out. On defense, Penn State drove into scoring position three times and only scored 3 points. That’s a scary thought before you add Alabama’s four takeaways to that performance.
Like Alabama, Ohio State rolled over a Top 25 team in No. 17 Miami. Terrelle Pryor could be one of the best college quarterbacks, not because he puts up huge numbers or sets passing records, but because he knows how to win football games. He also had no turnovers and has not committed one this year.
Unfortunately for Boise State, who didn’t play a down over the weekend, Virginia Tech lost to subdivision powerhouse James Madison. Boise barely scraped by against the Hokies a week ago and this outing by Virginia Tech does not bode well for the Broncos. It will be up to the Broncos to prove they are still a BCS buster threat by beating No. 25 Oregon State in two weeks.
After beating Oregon State 30-21 in week one and jumping two places, the Horned Frogs stay at No. 4 despite a dominating 62-7 win over Tennessee Tech. That being said, the Horned Frogs did what they should have done against a team like Tennessee Tech: win.
TCU got off to a running start against the Golden Eagles, literally and figuratively, as the Horned Frog running backs combined for 270 yards with an average of 6.6 yards per carry. In addition, seven of the nine touchdowns came on the ground as six different runners scored. TCU also scored on a pass from senior Andy Dalton to redshirt freshman Josh Boyce.
The TCU defense also looked impressive as it held the Golden Eagles to just 150 yards and forced five turnovers, four fumbles and an interception, which was returned for a touchdown by senior cornerback Jason Teague.
Something else that impressed me this game was how TCU did not commit a penalty in the second half, which they did eight times, for 75 yards, in the first half. The Horned Frogs will have to continue to commit fewer penalties, especially against tougher opponents, if they hope to maintain their winning ways.
Oregon, at No. 5, had a surprising higher ranking over Texas, Oklahoma and Florida. There is no doubt in my mind that Oregon is a great team, but a 48-13 win over Tennessee does not mean the Beavers are better than the teams they jumped to get to No. 5. This move would have made more sense if Oregon had defeated a ranked team or a borderline Top 25 team.
No. 6 Texas struggled early against Wyoming, which should only worry the Boise State fans, as Texas was able to come back and win 34-7. The Cowboys are better than people give them credit for and should present a challenge for Boise State this weekend.
That being said, Texas looked much better this week compared to last, when the Longhorns played Rice. Their trio of running backs, Cody Johnson, Tre’ Newton and Fozzy Whittaker, looked very impressive and could end up performing some of the best running games in the NCAA.
No. 7 Oklahoma absolutely destroyed Florida State and I’m somewhat surprised the Sooners didn’t jump ahead of both Texas and Oregon to fit into the No. 5 spot. When the Red River Rivalry game is played this fall, I think Oklahoma will beat the Longhorns and solidify a BCS bowl bid.
The fact that No. 10 Florida isn’t ranked before both No. 8 Nebraska and No. 9 Iowa is also absolutely baffling. I know Tim Tebow is gone, but Florida is still a top team without him.
Florida, Nebraska and Iowa all played low Division I schools and dominated their opponents. While all of these schools deserve a Top 10 ranking, I’m surprised No. 11 Wisconsin and No. 15 LSU weren’t ranked higher as both schools have played a tougher schedule through the first few weeks of the season.
Judge Howell is a sophomore broadcast journalism major from Plano.