Despite poor performance, Huskers move up

The new USA Today Coaches Poll is out. Based on the lackluster performance of the Huskers yesterday against South Dakota State, there were perhaps some who thought Nebraska might stay the same in the polls, but very few who thought they would move up. Well, they actually did move up. Where to and how did the rest of the top 25 make out?

With the convincing defeat at the hands of UCLA yesterday, Texas, which was fourth in last week's Coaches Poll was expected to take a nice nosedive, perhaps finding themselves out of the top 10. Had Nebraska beaten South Dakota State convincingly, that would have certainly put Nebraska up yet another notch. Texas did indeed take the nosedive, plummeting all the way to 16th.

The Huskers won but they didn't put the Jackrabbits away. Point of fact, they struggled the entire game trying to move the ball on the ground, notching a season-low 205 yards on the ground. And the Husker defense, sans Suh, showed that the loss of Nebraska's all-everything DT continues to illustrate a glaring difference between how good life was with him and how much they are struggling now that he's gone. Perhaps it was because the game wasn't on national or even regional TV which saved the Big Red from a downward turn on the charts as the Huskers not only didn't drop, but they moved up that one notch to #6.  

Conversely, Florida handed Kentucky a convincing loss, true freshman quarterback Trey Burton scoring a team-record six touchdowns for the Gators in their 48-14 win over the Wildcats. But despite that blowout victory, they remain behind Nebraska at #7, jumping up one from #8.

And Wisconsin hung 70 on Austin Peay, 35 of it coming in the second quarter alone, and 49 coming in the first half. But again, that was good enough to get them only one notch better in  today's poll, the Badgers now finding themselves go from 10th to 9th.

Nebraska struggled, but they weren't the only ones to find themselves in dog fights with teams they were supposed to beat.

Kansas State trailed Central Florida almost the entire game until they were able to mount a comeback in the fourth quarter and pull out a 17-13 victory at home.

Oklahoma struggled yet again with an opponent they were expected to manhandle, the team giving up 17 points to the Bearcats in the final quarter, just barely clinging to a 31-29 victory when it was all said and done. However, like the Huskers, the Sooners moved up a notch and waved  as Texas was dropping like a rock. OU is now ranked 8th in the country.

Arizona actually moved up two notches, despite struggling  with Cal, trailing all the way up to the final two minutes of regulation when Arizona QB, Nick Foles hit Juron Criner for a three-yard touchdown pass to take the lead and the 10-9 victory.

Their two-rung step up the ladder from 16th to 14th came as a result of the Texas loss, but also South Carolina's loss to Auburn. The other USC was 15th prior to the weekend, but now finds themselves 22nd across the land. Auburn jumped up three spots, going from 14th to 11th.

Penn State had all it could handle from a game Temple team which had a 13-9 lead going into the half. But two field goals in the third and a rushing touchdown in the fourth, helped the Lions escape with a 22-13 win at home. The Lions held ground in this week's poll, remaining at 20th.

Dropping out of the poll was #21 West Virginia, who lost to then #12 LSU. The Tigers are now ranked 10th. Coming into the poll at 25th is Nevada, who beat BYU 27-13 at BYU.

At the top of the food chain, Alabama remains number one, and even gained two first place votes after their victory over Arkansas. The Razorbacks dropped from 11th to 15th stemming from the 24-20 loss to the Crimson Tide at home.

Despite Ohio State's 73-20 drubbing of Eastern Michigan, they lost a first place vote, but remain second in the polls.

Next Week

Nebraska has a bye-week as they prepare for the conference opener against Kansas State in Manhattan. But here is what the rest of the top 25 has to face this coming week:

1.       Alabama (57) 4-0 hosts #7 Florida

2.       Ohio State (2) 4-0 at Illinois

3.       Boise State 3-0 at New Mexico State

4.       Oregon 4-0 hosts #13 Stanford

5.       TCU 4-0 at Colorado State

6.       Nebraska 4-0 bye

7.       Florida 4-0 at #1 Alabama

8.       Oklahoma 4-0 vs. #16 Texas

9.       Wisconsin 4-0 at #21 Michigan State

10.   LSU 4-0 hosts Tennessee

11.   Auburn 4-0 hosts Louisiana-Monroe

12.   Utah 4-0 bye

13.   Stanford 4-0 at #4 Oregon

14.   Arizona 4-0 bye

15.   Arkansas 3-1 bye

16.   Texas 3-1 vs. #8 Oklahoma

17.   Miami (Fla.) 2-1 at Clemson

18.   Iowa 3-1 hosts #20 Penn State

19.   Michigan 4-0 at Indiana

20.   Penn State 3-1 at #18 Iowa

21.   Michigan State 4-0 hosts #9 Wisconsin

22.   South Carolina 3-1 bye

23.   Missouri 4-0 bye

24.   Oklahoma State 3-0 bye

25.   Nevada 4-0 at UNLV



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