If I had a vote in the AP Poll

Each and every week during the college football season, CN's founder Steve Deace will be breaking down his top 25 and delivering his thoughts on Iowa State as well. Check out what Deace had to say about week two of the college football season right here at CN.

1. Ohio State (2-0)…Notched the season's first big win and thus has earned the penthouse suite.  The Buckeyes won't be tested for two more weeks when they visit Iowa City.  


2. West Virginia (2-0)…The dynamic duo of Pat White and Steve Slaton just continue to pick right up where they left off in the Sugar Bowl. 


3. Notre Dame (2-0)…I thought Penn State was one of the most overrated teams heading into the season, but that was still a very impressive dismantling of the Nittany Lions.  


4. USC (1-0)…The Trojans have had two weeks to prepare for their home-opener against the Children of the Corn.  


5. Auburn (2-0)...It's only week three, but already the Tigers could be playing for the SEC West Division title come Saturday. 


6. LSU (2-0)…After watching the Bayou Bengals' first two games I'm convinced their one of the fastest teams in the country, but they have a tough road schedule beginning with this week's visit to Auburn.


7. Texas (1-1)…That freeze-option, zone read offense just isn't the same without the threat of Vince Young to run in the backfield. 


8. Florida State (2-0)…Don't get overly worked up by the sloppy effort against Troy, that was the classic sandwich game between an emotional win over Miami and showdown this week against Clemson.


9. Tennessee (2-0)…How in the world does the Volunteer defense go from shutting down the balanced Cal offense to getting run over by Air Force's all-ground attack?


10. Florida (2-0)…After pasting a couple of patsies at home, we'll learn more about the Gators when they put on the white jerseys for the first time this week against Tennessee. 


11. Louisville (2-0)…The Cardinals didn't need the injured Michael Bush against hapless Temple, but they definitely could use him this weekend when a Hurricane sweeps through town. 


12. Michigan (2-0)…After pasting a couple of patsies at home, we'll learn more about the Wolverines when they put on the white jerseys for the first time this week against the Irish.


13. Oregon (2-0)…The Ducks survived their first road test and now get to put themselves on the BCS map by avoiding a third loss in two years to the Sooners.


14. Georgia (2-0)…Not injuries, not suspensions, not youth, nor a quarterback shuffle stops Mark Richt's squad from competing each year in the SEC.  


15. Miami, Fla. (1-1)…This is a program in need of a statement win, and it can earn win at Louisville this week.


16. Oklahoma (2-0)…Last year the Sooners went out west and were hammered by UCLA.  Will history repeat itself this week at Oregon? 


17. Iowa (2-0)…A win is a win, but an abdominal injury can dog a quarterback like Drew Tate all season the way a hamstring injury can dog a running back.


18. Virginia Tech (2-0)…Still not sure how good the Hokies are, and it's doubtful we'll learning anything this week considering the opponent is Duke. 


19. Texas Tech (2-0)…The Red Raiders escaped El Paso, barely, and face an even tougher game this week in Ft. Worth. 


20. Nebraska (2-0)…The injury concerns on defense could be the Big Red's undoing in their looming battle with USC.


21. Arizona State (2-0)…The Sun Devils should show up at Colorado this week and blast the Buffaloes.  If they don't it's a sign that yet again they're going to underachieve despite all that talent.


22. California (1-1)…Nice bounce back win for the Bears, who should name the score the score again this week against Portland State.


23. TCU (2-0)…Yet again the Horned Frogs have a chance to run the table, but they must first get past a crucial home game against Texas Tech. 


24. Boston College (2-0)…After a nice overtime triumph over Clemson, the Eagles could be 5-0 heading into a nationally televised clash against Virginia Tech.  But they shouldn't sleep on BYU this week.


25. Rutgers (2-0)…Give some love to the Scarlet Knights, who will be favored to win their next four games. 


Honorable Mention: #26 Pittsburgh (2-0), #27 Georgia Tech (1-1), #28 Texas A&M (2-0), #29 UCLA (2-0), #30 Clemson (1-1). 


The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly


The Good


It wasn't always pretty, but the Iowa State defense again got the stop it needed it preserve a victory.  Actually, given the tension they've had to play through already this season, I would imagine this young group is growing up much faster than they otherwise would.  It was also nice to see Stevie Hicks have his first 100-yard rushing game of the season.  And the Cyclones are 2-0 and let's not lose sight of that.  Penn State isn't 2-0.  South Carolina isn't 2-0.  Texas isn't 2-0.  Are those teams better than the Cyclones?  Probably.  But I'll take an ugly 2-0 over any kind of 1-1 any day of the week.  And considering the strength of the Cyclones' schedule, we should take wins whenever we can get them.  Besides, we all know that regardless of how listless things looked against the Running Rebels that ISU will bring it this week against Iowa. 


The Bad


The passion just wasn't there, and in many cases on offense neither was the execution.  To only throw the ball to Todd Blythe – who was held without a catch – twice isn't the fault of the game plan this time.  It's the fault of an offense that never got on track and simply didn't come mentally prepared to play.  That will happen over the course of the long season, which is why you need a defense to fall back on.  Luckily, the ISU defense was able to do just enough to preserve the ugly victory.  This was simply a sandwich game, much like Florida State's blasé win over Troy and Tennessee's nondescript victory over Air Force.  I don't think fans should overreact to it.  To be honest, this kind of game will be quite the teaching tool for the coaching staff this week in practice.


The Ugly


The biggest problem for the Cyclones continues to be their kickoff coverage, and they just cannot simply afford to give Iowa the ball consistently at the 35-yard line or better this weekend.  If they do, you can forget about a seventh win over the Hawkeyes in nine years, because the ISU defense won't be able to withstand that kind of field position whether Drew Tate plays or not.


(Steve Deace founded Cyclone Nation in 2002.  He can be heard on the radio each weekday from 4-7 p.m. on 1040-WHO, and seen each week on television on Mediacom's "Cy-Hawk Talk: State of the Nations.")


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