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 four of the college football season right here at CN.

1. Ohio State (4-0)…It's going to be a wide open season.  The Buckeyes have to be the least dominant top-ranked team a third of the way through a season that I can remember. 

 

2. Auburn (4-0)...No need to go all out against Buffalo, arguably Division I-A's worse team.  This week is one of the few tricky road games on the schedule, a trip to face South Carolina and the old ball coach.     

 

3. Michigan (4-0)…Had to be expect a bit of a letdown coming off the big win over the Irish, but the Wolverines continue to prove week after week they are the real deal on defense.  

 

4. USC (3-0)…The young Trojans are still a work in progress, but it's difficult to see who in the Pac-10 is going to beat them since all the top conference contenders must come to the Coliseum.    

 

5. West Virginia (4-0)…Workmanlike effort on the road in a win over a stubborn East Carolina team, and they get this week off.  

 

6. Florida (4-0)Chris Leak is quietly putting together a Heisman campaign in his senior season, but someone might want to let the Gator fans in on the secret.

 

7. Louisville (4-0)…This program has some impressive depth, dominating a Big 12 team on the road despite being without four starters, including their starting quarterback and running back.   

 

8. LSU (3-1)…The fast Tigers have another warm-up act this week against lowly Mississippi State before a trip to the Swamp.

 

9. Texas (3-1)…Despite the loss to Ohio State, the Longhorns still look like the class of what is otherwise a mediocre Big 12 thus far.    

 

10. Notre Dame (3-1)…Most of the Irish's fortunes in their comeback was Michigan State just being Michigan State, but give them credit for testicular fortitude nonetheless.  That could turn out to be a multi-million dollar BCS win when you look at their rest of their schedule.   

 

11. Georgia (4-0)…Not really sure how good the Bulldogs are, but Colorado deserves credit for still playing hard despite the rocky start.    

 

12. Oregon (3-0)…The Ducks have had two weeks to prepare for a talented Arizona State squad licking its wounds after a blowout loss in Berkley. 

 

13. Tennessee (3-1)…Well what do you know, the Volunteers are finally going to play a road game this week, albeit in Memphis.

 

14. Iowa (4-0)…As expected, the Hawkeyes slept-walked for most of the trip to Champaign, but you can bet they will be ready for the biggest game at Kinnick Stadium since October 19th, 1985. 

 

15. Virginia Tech (4-0)…These guys haven't played anybody yet, but they'll get their first test versus an underrated Georgia Tech team this week.   

 

16. Oklahoma (3-1)…After taking out their instant replay frustrations out on Middle Tennessee State the Sooners get a week off.  Maybe they'll finally move on now and get on with the rest of the season?

 

17. Clemson (3-1)…Don't look now, but the Tigers will be favored in every game but one the rest of the way.  They've got a real shot at the ACC title and their first bid in the BCS.  

 

18. TCU (3-0)…Could the Horned Frogs run the table?  This week's home game against Brigham Young represents one of their few challenging games left.  

 

19. California (3-1)…It looks we're seeing the real Golden Bears now, they just weren't quite ready for the spotlight in that first game in Knoxville. Look at this week at Oregon State, though.

 

20. Boston College (3-1)…The Eagles finally got caught playing with fire late in games in an upset loss at N.C. State.   

 

21. Florida State (3-1)…A bye week should help the Seminoles get healthy and continue working on their offense.   

 

22. Rutgers (4-0)…It's a Renaissance year for the Scarlet Knights, who are off to their best start since the peanut farmer was trolling around the White House, but now they face three straight road games. 

 

24. Boise State (4-0)…This is another non-BCS team that has an excellent shot to go undefeated.  The Broncos will be favored in every game the rest of the way. 

 

24. Texas Tech (3-1)…Now that All-American wide receiver Jarrett Hicks has been reinstated by the NCAA look for the offense to kick it up a notch.

 

25. Nebraska (3-1)…Somebody has to represent the Big 12 North.

 

Honorable Mention: #26 Georgia Tech (3-1), #27 Purdue (4-0), #28 Missouri (4-0), #29 Texas A&M (4-0), #30 Wake Forest (4-0).

 

 

The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

The Good—For about 12 minutes midway through the first half the Cyclones found their mojo against the best team on their schedule.  They took a roundhouse from Mike Tyson and then got back up off the mat to hit the defending champs right back.  If they can play (and coach) with that type of aggressiveness and toughness for 60 minutes the rest of the season they will win the Big 12 North. 

 

The Bad—Freshmen giveth, and freshmen taketh away.  The Cyclones probably wouldn't have beaten Toledo in the opener without his two sacks late in the fourth quarter.  Yet his ill-advised – or "stupid", as Dan McCarney described it – blow to the head penalty on a rare three-and-out for the ISU defense gave the Longhorns back the momentum for good and took away an leverage the Cyclones had in their quest to make it a four-quarter game. Also, is Texas that good up front on both sides of the line of scrimmage or are the Cyclones that soft?  Probably a little bit of both. 

 

The Ugly—ISU still hasn't scored a touchdown in the second half of a game this season.  That statistic is just inexplicable and inexcusable.   

 

(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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