BootPowerRatings™: Week 2

When told SC's defensive game plan for him was called "releasing the hounds," Terrell Pryor wondered if that was a veiled attempt at support for his stance on Michael Vick. As always, TreeBoy is taking no prisoners in this week's BootPowerRatings™.

1. USC 94

On one hand, the Toejams showed some chinks in the armor in their less-than-stellar performance in Columbus, but on the other hand, they did pull out a win in what will probably be the toughest game of their season. All the praise is being heaped on freshman of the week Matt Barkley, but it was Joe McKnight who did all of the dirty work on the final drive. When told SC's defensive game plan for him was called "releasing the hounds," Terrell Pryor wondered if that was a veiled attempt at support for his stance on Michael Vick.

2. California 86

Ted Heads haven't been this excited since they were 30 minutes away from being No. 1 back in 2007 -- and we all know how that turned out. It's not too hard to believe the players may already be looking ahead to their showdown with Big Brother and Uncle Pete in three weeks, but they should focus on the task at hand, starting with their first road game in the Land of a Thousand Lakes. The Gophers have never lost at their new stadium, having been finally freed from The HHH Metrodome, where game footage and their likeness were hijacked for Craig T. Nelson's sitcom "Coach." The BootComputer is on full upset alert for this one.

3. UCLA 80

This week's biggest mover and shaker in the BPR's are none other than the baby blues from Westwood. Led by a stifling defense that kept Tennessee out of the end zone twice in the final five minutes, fUcla is starting to steal headlines from that other LaLa Land school. The news isn't all rosy, as QB Kevin Prince suffered a broken jaw on a vicious sack that sent him to the sideline spitting out pieces of his trachea. The only question now is whether Slick Rick starts true freshman Richard Brehaut or defensive highlight waiting to happen Kevin "With a C not a K" Craft.

4. Oregon State 79

Riley's Rodents were well on their way to "Beaving" it against the Running Rebs, but a last minute drive and field goal saved them from another early season letdown. After having success with the Rodgers brothers, Coach Mike decided to load his roster with multiple pairs of twins, namely Feti and Uani Unga, Anthony and Brian Watkins and Kevin and Keith Pankey. Not wanting any part of this Doublemint perversion, Kevin has since quit the team.

5. Oregon 75

Despite looking overmatched much of the contest, the Quack Attack capitalized on Boilermaker miscues to escape with a two-point victory in Eugene. Understandably, the ground game is still struggling to break out of the shell, but offensive lineman turned quarterback Jeremiah Masoli made the plays when he needed to, sparing Chip Kelly another postgame date with the bottle. No time to bask in the glow of good fortune, as January bowl hopefuls Utah and kal come to town.

6. Stanford 74

**CAUTION: BAD JOKE DIRECTLY AHEAD** When the final gun sounded at BB&T Field, the old adage proved to be untrue, as you really could see the (Wake) forest through The Trees. In what was the biggest turnout for visiting CardinalManiacs since the Rose Bowl, Stanford suffered through a second-half collapse reminiscent of previous regimes that will go unmentioned. No one got a wink of sleep on the flight in, and I'm pretty sure the same is true for the flight home, as young minds were racing with thoughts of what could have been.

7. Arizona State 73

A week off between exhibition games for the Deviled Eggs leaves little to comment on, so instead I will just review the newest album released by Muse this week, "The Resistance." Just kidding, but after obliterating my eardrums with it for the last 24 hours, I can say it certainly does not disappoint. Back on topic, Ass-U's newest linebacker Vontaze Burfict (is that the most original name you've ever heard?) managed to get himself eligible for the season and has worked his way into a starting role already. How long this streak of good fortune lasts is anyone's guess, but my money is on a Blount-like meltdown sooner rather than later.

8. Arizona 70

It's not often a running back gallops 94 yards and doesn't hit pay dirt, but that's exactly what happened to Nic "Who Needs the K" Grigsby as he ran out of steam with just one more yard to go. Nic must have been puffing on the oxygen machine for quite some time afterward, as that was his final carry of the night, missing a chance to pad his stats with 23 minutes of game time remaining. Toting around his pocket edition of "The Quotable Tyrone Willingham," Grigsby offered up this insight during the post-game media blitz: "The coaches give me the ball, and I just try to make a play. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't."

9. Washington 58

Shame on the Purple People Eaters for not storming the field and releasing fury on the uprights after the Dawgs snapped a 15-game losing streak. Maybe they were afraid of getting some kind of unsportsmanlike penalty that would have negated the win? Too soon? Either way, the road just gets steeper as Sark's former employer comes to town this weekend looking to unload a lot of pent-up offensive frustration on what might be the worst pass defense in the conference. Embarrassment ran through the underclassmen on Monday when they showed up for 6 a.m. sprints only to find no one else at the practice field, before finally realizing they're only mandatory after a loss.

10. Washington State 51

Two steps forward, 300 steps back for those hapless Cougs. Any positives they took away from a decent performance in Week One were erased after falling behind 35-0 to Hawaii in Week Two. The final score looked respectable, but seven turnovers and 640 yards allowed made for some ugly film review and tough questions to field afterward. A home date against a moribund SMU program might be the last realistic shot at a "W" this season, so adjust your Survivor picks accordingly. [Editor's note: Despite being moribund, SMU is a seven-point favorite. Guess that says plenty about our Cougars.]


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