- Friday, 20 September 2013 02:00
- Author: Jeff Dantzler
Top 10 Non-SEC
It was a wonderful Saturday of college football, including some PAC-12 – Big Ten showdowns. Oregon, UCLA and Arizona State flew the flag of the PAC with pride, notching impressive victories, with the latter two coming against their Rose Bowl rival league. The ACC has been a big story, with Clemson and Miami notching impressive wins. Who is going to beat Oregon? Who will be the next coach at Texas and Southern Cal?
1. Oregon – It was a shaky start for the Ducks, but boy, oh boy, did they turn it on. Oregon’s offense has to be considered the best in the entire land. What is so crushing to their foes is how quickly they can score. They can change games so quickly.
2. Clemson – The Tigers will be on upset alert as they get North Carolina State on Thursday night at Carter-Finley. Chad Morris is a hot ticket at offensive coordinator. Sammy Watkins is electric. The Tigers defense looks much improved over last year.
3. Florida State – Jameis Winston is off to an incredible start for the Seminoles. He is a big time star behind center. The Seminoles play a joke of a home schedule. After taking care of Nevada, they don’t do any heavy lifting with Bethune-Cookman coming to the Capital.
4. Ohio State – Give the Buckeyes a lot of credit for going out west and rolling Cal with Kenny Guiton at quarterback. He stepped in for an injured Braxton Miller and had a great game. FAMU comes to Ohio Stadium where two famous bands will do battle.
5. Oklahoma State – Since beating Mississippi State in the season-opener, the Cowboys feasted on Texas – San Antonio and Lamar. They open league play Saturday at West Virginia. Mike Gundy’s team may be the best in the Big XII, which has ten teams.
6. Stanford – It was a cross-country trip for the Cardinal and noon kickoff on the Hudson. Stanford was slow starting but got things together for a 34-20 win. David Shaw has kept things rolling on the farm. The heat gets turned up this week with a visit from Arizona State.
7. Washington – There was no letdown for Steve Sarkisian’s Huskies. They opened newly renovated Husky Stadium with a blowout of Boise State. After an open date, Washington flew to the Midwest and handled Illinois at Soldier Field.
8. Louisville – The biggest problem for the Cardinals is that Charley Strong’s name will continue to pop up for major program jobs. Louisville has a good stable of running backs and Teddy Bridgewater is a fine quarterback.
9. Miami – Give the Hurricanes a ton of credit. Florida pushed them all over the field, but Miami got the turnovers and won the game. Miami hosts Savannah State Saturday and then goes to South Florida. So it will be 4-0 for Al Golden’s team when October rolls around.
10. Oklahoma – Blake Bell had a superb performance in the Sooners 41-20 win over Tulsa. Oklahoma is 3-0 and taking this Saturday off. All of the Crimson and Cream’s attention is focused on South Bend where Notre Dame awaits the following Saturday.
The SEC had a showcase Saturday with Alabama and Texas A&M going toe-to-toe in a shootout. But the win and game that gave the league the most reason to celebrate was Ole Miss’s overrunning of Texas in Austin. This week, Florida hosts Tennessee, with both coming off of losses in their most recent games. LSU and Auburn meet on the plains, and the War Eagle Tigers are believing in Gus.
1. Alabama – The Crimson Tide showed tremendous patience in College Station. You know how bad Alabama wanted the win over Texas A&M. And falling behind 14-0 with Kyle Field on fire made it a tough challenge. But Bama responded in grand fashion.
2. LSU – The Fightin’ Tigers are absolutely roaring. Yes they lost a ton of talent, but LSU, like Alabama has re-loaded better than anyone. LSU heads to Auburn this week and then Athens. Zach Mettenberger is playing great, and the Tigers always have backs.
3. Texas A&M – It was a great start and a terrific comeback attempt against Alabama, but the Aggies defense is terrible. They flat out could not stop Alabama. The key now is to not think that the season is over. But the SEC Championship Game is a longshot now.
4. Ole Miss – Holy smokes is Oxford rocking. The Burgundy Room, City Grocery and The Library had to be on fire with the Rebels rolling past Texas. Ole Miss is right in the thick of things and Hugh Freeze could be on the Longhorns shortlist.
5. Georgia – After a tough loss at Clemson, the Bulldogs bounced back in strong fashion with a 41-30 win over South Carolina. Georgia needed the open date. North Texas shouldn’t be too much trouble and then the Bayou Bengals come to town.
6. South Carolina – It was a nice bounce-back win for the Gamecocks, taking care of Vanderbilt 35-25. South Carolina has a favorable schedule until the Gators come to call. They have a shot to reverse what has happened with them and Georgia the last two years.
7. Florida – The Gators are just kicking themselves for all those turnovers in the loss to Miami. Florida had all week to stew over a game it flat out blew. Coming off an open date and with Tennessee coming back from Oregon, the Vols are in trouble.
8. Auburn – The Tigers are on the move. Nick Marshall gets better and better and is an outstanding athlete. Auburn’s wins over Washington State and Mississippi State are impressive. It’s an uphill battle at LSU, but these two have played some great ones through the years.
9. Mississippi State –Dan Mullen is a fine coach. But the clock management down the stretch against Auburn was absolutely awful. This was a game that Mississippi State let get away. Tidings can change so quickly in the mighty SEC.
10. Missouri – There is a very good chance that Missouri could be undefeated when making the school’s first trip to Athens. The Tigers could be one of the most improved teams in the SEC. Mizzou can score. The first half of the schedule is easy, the second, treacherous
11. Arkansas – It says so much about the power of the SEC that a perennial middle-of-thepack program could go out and hire a coach who led Wisconsin to three straight Rose Bowls. Brett Bielema has the Hogs looking better than expected with a fine running game.
12. Vanderbilt – it’s been a tough schedule for the Commodores. A loss at home to Ole Miss to open the year really stung. Vandy showed a lot of spunk to fight back at South Carolina, but the Gamecocks just had too big a lead.
13. Tennessee –When the Vols led 7-0 at Oregon, I’m sure many of the Tennessee faithful were ready to put Butch Jones name next to General Neyland’s. It turned into the program’s most lopsided loss since 1910, and now they get the Gators in Gainesville. Uh-oh.
14. Kentucky – The Wildcats hung around with Louisville and there are signs, including a couple of good young backs, that Kentucky could be on the upswing. But this looks like a year where three or four wins is the high end mark