Each week our publisher, Steve Deace, publishes his top 25 college football rankings based on how he thinks the teams should be rated at this moment. In addition, he offers up five thoughts on the season thus far.
1. USC (1-0)…I still think the Trojans may have some issues on
defense before all is said and done, but with all of that firepower on offense
they're No. 1 until somebody knocks them off.
(1-0)…The Buckeyes might have been
the most impressive team overall in Week 1, absolutely dominating an underrated
in-state rival despite playing their second and third-string quarterbacks.
(1-0)…By far the Longhorns were
the only Big 12 team that played a complete football game last weekend. But now they face a stern test in
Columbus in what could turn out to be college football's
game of the year.
4. LSU…The Tigers are supremely talented and were
originally my pick to go to the Rose Bowl opposite USC. However, one has to wonder what impact
the tragic circumstances of Hurricane Katrina will have now that their schedule
has been re-arranged.
(1-0)…The Bulldogs absolutely
dismantled an overrated Boise State team, although it was ranked foe nonetheless. D.J. Shockley was dazzling in his debut,
and the defense was tenacious.
6. Virginia Tech (1-0)…It wasn't always pretty, but a gritty conference
road win at N.C. State is the type of opening victory that can be a
catalyst to something special later on.
(1-0)…The Volunteers played down
to the level of the opposition, but that opposition was underrated. Many forget that UAB was in a bowl game
last year and is one of the favorites in Conference
(1-0)…The Gators beat a bowl
champion in the debut of Urban Meyer, and they did it by limiting
Wyoming to only 14 points. That's a good omen for a program that
has struggled on defense recently.
(1-0)…It was downright ugly, but
when you're the Seminoles you take any win you can get over your green and
orange nemesis to the south. Still,
some serious work needs to be done to develop that offense.
Georgia Tech (1-0)…Going on the
road against a team with a 15-game winning streak as an underdog to start the
season and then winning comfortably makes a statement. The Yellow Jackets are ready to take the
(1-0)…True, they were playing one
of the worst teams in Division I-A that was furthered depleted by 13 suspensions
(including eight starters), but give the Hawkeyes credit for taking care of
business and showing eye-popping depth.
(1-0)…Meet the new defense, same
as the old defense. True, the
Wolverines were playing a very capable Northern Illinois rushing offense, but even Bo Schembechler
described their effort as "atrocious" on national television. The offense, on the other hand, could be
as explosive as any in college football.
(1-0)…It's always tough to open on
the road with a win, and it's always tough to hold BYU to just three points in
Golden Eagles did both.
Notre Dame (1-0)…No team turned
more heads than did the Irish, who absolutely demoralized a ranked
Pittsburgh club before halftime on their own field. I'm guessing Charlie Weiss is salivating
while watching Michigan's defensive game film.
(0-1)…The defense was as
advertised, but the offense was far from stellar. Yet it was the special teams that really
cost the Hurricanes in Tallahassee.
(1-0)…On the road against one of
the elite programs in the country, the Horned Frogs found a way to get it done
in Norman despite shooting themselves in the foot several times. Look out BCS.
Purdue…Boilermakers haven't played
a game yet, but should rout Akron on Saturday.
(1-0)…Much like beating
Ball State, demolishing Temple doesn't send hearts aflutter. A more realistic exam comes Saturday
night when LSU comes to Tempe.
(1-0)…The Cardinals didn't look
like national title contenders on Sunday, but it's tough to open up on the road
against an instate rival, and that Bluegrass series has always been a close
Clemson (1-0)…Tommy Bowden is the
Rasputin of college football. You
just can't kill that guy off. Every
time he's written off, his Tigers respond like they did against Texas
Tech…Get your calculators ready,
the Red Raiders about to post video game numbers the next three weeks.
State…The Bulldogs have some
competition as BCS-buster in TCU.
(1-0)…The Bruins are one of my
dark-horse teams this year and they took care of business on the road in their
opening victory over San Diego State.
Wisconsin (1-0)…That was a solid
win for the young Badgers, who overcame an early 20-7 deficit to beat a solid
Bowling Green squad in a high-scoring affair.
(1-0)…The defense looked terrific
and Brodie Croyle didn't get hurt, so that's a good weekend for the Crimson
The game this week is
all about the Cyclones. Both teams
are taking a huge step up in the quality of opposition this week, but we know
the Hawkeyes are up to the challenge given their body of work over the last
three years. The burden of proof is
on Iowa State, which shot itself in the foot with several user
errors against what should have been an undermanned
Illinois State squad.
Were they looking ahead?
Were they overrated? Are
those errors correctable in five days? Are the Cyclones ready to be a ranked
team that is a conference contender, or are they still content with the
Independence Bowl? We get the
answer to that on Saturday. But I
will say this, what transpired against the Redbirds isn't reminiscent of
anything we've seen from this team during spring preparations and practice thus
far, which is probably why Dan McCarney felt like puking in
Regardless of what
happens against Iowa, the Cyclones are still a solid favorite in the
Big 12 North, which wasn't exactly stellar against terrible opponents in the
Less than 40,000 folks
showed up at Arrowhead to watch the Titanic tilt between
Missouri and Arkansas State.
Apparently the Show Me State wants to see more before anteing up.
Texas is carrying the banner of weakened Big 12 pride
with it to Columbus on Saturday night. But it won't be enough. Ohio State just doesn't lose night games at the Horseshoe and
win this one in the fourth quarter.
Oklahoma is already in trouble. They still have to play at UCLA,
Texas, at Nebraska, Texas A&M, and at Texas Tech. Can you say Alamo Bowl?