My illustrious preseason predictions are already in shambles. I threw out Oklahoma State as a national championship participant. Ballsy? No, just plain old stupid. Thanks to Houston (...Houston?), I am now down to 50% of my predicted national title game.
The Cowboys and Buckeyes drop out of the top 10 this week. Other than that, no big movements...oh wait, do I hear a Wolverine?
Early on in their game against Troy, it looked like the Gators might be suffering from the classic look-ahead syndrome, as the hated Tennessee Volunteers awaited them the next week.
Then the second quarter came along. Tim Tebow and the Florida offense scored four touchdowns in the second period to lead 35-6 at the half, and ended up pulling away for a 56-6 win. With the piles of bulletin board material the Vols have given Florida throughout the off-season, the score could be just as ugly this week.
The Longhorns also got off to a sluggish start before disposing of Wyoming, 40-14. Colt McCoy threw for three touchdowns in the win. Coach Mack Brown’s bunch has yet to be truly tested. Hopefully for Texas, the first two weeks were enough of a tune-up for this week’s contest at home against Texas Tech. Revenge will weigh heavily on the Longhorns’ minds, after last year’s last-second loss to the Red Raiders. Tech is much weaker this year, and the Longhorns should take care of business in prime time.
Matt Barkley’s coming-out party was not as quite as memorable as I thought it would be, but it was still very strong. Barkley managed the game well and kept the Trojans close the entire game against Ohio State, before leading the offense down the field for the game-winning score with a minute to play.
Barkley trumped his Buckeye counterpart, Terrelle Pryor by a landslide. Pryor should have looked like the more potent quarterback, having a year of starting experience under his belt and playing in front of the home crowd. Instead, Pryor went 2-for-8 in the fourth quarter, while Barkley helped win the game for his team.
Fifteen completions in 31 passes is hardly an overwhelming statistic, but that was Barkley’s stat line in the big win. He proved he won’t hinder this ultra-powerful offense this season, and the best is definitely yet to come from the blue-chip prospect.
Nick Saban rested a few of his better players, including All-American Julio Jones, while the Tide cruised to a 40-14 win over Florida International. The Tide better enjoy wins like this while they last, because the SEC schedule gets into full gear in a few weeks, and that is when the rubber will hit the road.
5. Penn State
Week two of the Greg Paulus era did not end so well for Syracuse, as Penn State shut down the resurgent quarterback in a 28-7 win. Evan Royster ran for two touchdowns, and it was business as usual for the Nittany Lions, who should keep on cruising through the next month and a half until battles with Michigan and Ohio State.
Eastern Washington fell by the wayside, again falling victim to the electrifying Jahvid Best, who through two weeks has run for 281 yards and three touchdowns. The next three games for Cal are at Minnesota and Oregon, and then home against USC. If Best leads the Bears through that stretch unscathed, he will be nowhere but the top of the Heisman race.
The Tigers have looked solid, but not spectacular, through two games, after last Saturday’s 23-9 win over Vanderbilt. The offense has produced 647 yards so far this season, which will probably not be good enough when they face divisional foes Mississippi and Alabama. The Tigers look respectable, for sure, but they desperately need Charles Scott to live up to all the preseason hype he was getting as the feature running back. Scott has 101 yards in two games, while Keiland Williams has 176 yards and might be taking over the starting role for good in the backfield.
8. Boise State
This is quite possibly the most talented Broncos team ever. That is scary, because they have burned up their fair share of scoreboards over the year. A 48-0 shellacking of lowly Miami University showed the Broncos can take care of business no matter who the opponent.
If enough of the upper-echelon teams in the country lose either twice, or once late in the season, an unbeaten Broncos team should have every right to play for the national championship. They would make for a competitive opponent against anyone in America.
9. Ole Miss
The Rebels were off this week, and this week’s foe is Southeastern Louisiana. Uh…check back in a couple weeks for a diagnosis of this bunch.
10. Virginia Tech
Finally, there is a sign of offensive life in Blacksburg. Ryan Williams and David Wilson tore apart the Marshall defense in Lane Stadium Saturday. Williams held his own against Alabama in week one, but truly broke out as a game-breaker against the Herd. The true test of how good both Williams and Wilson are will come this week at home against Nebraska.
12. Ohio State
14. Georgia Tech
19. Oklahoma State
22. Notre Dame
23. North Carolina