There's plenty of movement in this week's Xtra Point Football Top 25 Rankings following a weekend of college football in which a couple of teams made statements while others may have been revealed as pretenders early in the season. As a result, a slew of teams make significant jumps with others falling out completely.
After a disastrous weekend, only one ACC squad remains in the top 25. Stanford was this week's biggest winner as they move up to number 15 after being unranked last week. Michigan, Houston and California also make their first appearances in 2010.
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Check back each week for the rankings and a bit of insight into why they shake out the way they do. Also be sure to tune in Fridays for Jared's College Football Preview for the week, and on Sundays, for Danny's College Football Saturday in 500 Words or Less columns.
Xtra Point Football Top 25 2010-11 NCAA Football Rankings
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They manhandled Penn State all night in proving to the world why they're the top ranked team in the nation. Mark Ingram and Marcell Dareus will be back for next week's matchup with Duke. The SEC won't be easy, but at this early point in the season, 'Bama looks good enough to repeat as national champions.
1. Ok, Virginia Tech lost to James Madison Saturday, seemingly taking away from what was supposed to be the Bronco's marquee victory this season. While it doesn't help, the Broncos looked outstanding in the Labor Day night game and if they can continue to play at that level they deserve a shot at the title.
Miami might have played poorly, but you have to respect the Buckeyes' performance. Ohio State won the turnover battle, coming away with four turnovers and giving up none. Terrelle Pryor played good enough, running for 113 yards and a touchdown and passing for a touchdown as well.
The Horned Frogs dominated their matchup against Tennessee Tech of the FCS. TCU pounded the football with nine players rushing for positive yardage. The running backs produced seven touchdowns from six different players.
Wyoming, playing with a heavy heart after the loss of one of their teammates, put up more of a fight than was expected against Texas. Garrett Gilbert got it going more through the air than in the first game and the defense limited the Cowboys to just over 250 yards of offense.
Iowa is flying a bit under the radar thus far with most attention being given to Ohio State and Penn State this week as they took on top 15 opponents. The Hawkeyes, meanwhile, took down in-state rival Iowa State 35-7 as running back Adam Robinson put up 156 yards and a touchdown.
The Ducks' offense for the second game in a row dominated the competition. It was LaMichael James' first game back from suspension and he was more than ready for it, rushing for 134 yards and a touchdown. Oregon scored 45 consecutive points while shutting out Tennessee in the second half. If Oregon continues to play at this level, they'll move up the rankings fast.
The Cornhuskers running game and defense dominated Idaho. The defense picked off Idaho quarterback Nathan Enderle five times and came away with seven sacks. The running game put up 360 yards with quarterback Taylor Martinez rushing for 157 yards and two touchdowns of his own. Running back Roy Helu Jr. added 107 yards and a touchdown.
The Gators just don't seem to have the 'it factor' they had over the past few seasons. Can we chalk it up to a sense of entitlement among the younger players who came to Florida after one or two national championships and with the Gators already considered an elite program? They have work to do if they want to be considered among at the same level as previous Florida squads.
After a shaky first game, Oklahoma showed why they should be considered a top team. The Sooners destroyed Florida State 47-17 with quarterback Landry Jones leading the charge on 30 of 40 passing for 380 yards and 4 touchdowns. Jones made it look easy, spreading the ball around to 12 different receivers.
The Badgers have been underwhelming to start the year, although they've been able to come away with a couple of wins. Running back John Clay rushed for 137 yards and two touchdowns, but quarterback Scott Tolzien struggled, throwing a pick and fumbling three times.
The Utes sat starting quarterback Jordan Wynn against UNLV so he could heal a sprained thumb, but Terrance Cain, who Wynn replaced last season, looked good in his stead. If Utah can continue to build off of their opening week victory over Pitt with wins over Air Force and BYU and a big win over TCU, they could find themselves in good shape for a BCS bowl game. They certainly have the talent to do it.
Ryan Mallet has passed for 301 yards and 400 yards in his first two outings of 2010. He'll have a tougher defense staring him down next week in Athens, but he and the offense are off to a good start. They'll have to do something about those six turnovers in just the first two games, however.
Cam Newton didn't have the game he had in the opener, but he nonetheless led the Tigers to a win over Mississippi State in Starkville on 136 yards and two passing touchdowns and 70 rushing yards. Clemson is a big test next Saturday night.
The Cardinal shut out UCLA Saturday night in a 35-0 rout. Andrew Luck didn't have to put up daunting numbers to do it, either. Give credit to the Stanford defense, as they answered a few questions about their ability to play at a level close to that of the offense. The biggest test will come in three weeks against Oregon.
After a close game last week to North Carolina, LSU put away Vanderbilt 27-3. Quarterback Jordan Jefferson did not play well at all throwing for 96 yards and an interception, but the running game won it for LSU as Stevan Ridley led the way with 159 yards and a touchdown.
The 'Canes killed themselves against Ohio State Saturday afternoon with four turnovers and penalties at the worst moments. The defense contained Terrelle Pryor somewhat and forced field goals instead of allowing touchdowns, but overall this Miami team didn't look like they belonged in the same class as the Buckeyes.
USC looked very sloppy in their first game at the Coliseum this season, committing 13 penalties for 140 yards, bringing their two-game total to 24 penalties. USC might have won the game, but they are not, and should not be, happy with the way they played. "[That's] probably the most miserable 2-0 locker room I've ever been in," head coach Lane Kiffin said.
Marcus Lattimore is and will continue to be a special running back. He may not put up 100+ yards and a touchdown or two every game, but he could carry this Gamecocks team to big things this year and over the next few. By the end of the Georgia game, he had the fans chanting his name. Not bad for a true freshman, huh?
Arizona's rushing game looked good in the win over the Citadel. Nic Grigsby and Greg Nwoko led a rushing game that combined for five touchdowns. Quarterback Nick Foles also played well with 214 yards and a touchdown through the air.
The offense rallied and the defense held to force overtime and eventually a West Virginia win. Geno Smith put up 316 yards passing and threw a touchdown, completing 32 of his 45 attempts, and Noel Devine added 100+ yards and a score.
The Wolverines may have the most explosive player in the entire country in quarterback Denard Robinson. He's carried the Wolverines to a 2-0 start as Michigan looks like they could start with five straight wins before heading into the meat of their schedule with what should be plenty of confidence.
Case Keenum went down with a head injury in the third quarter of Friday night's game with UTEP, but the running game looked good enough to pick up the slack left if Keenum is unable to go against UCLA. Cotton Turner looked good in his place, connecting on nine of ten passes for 69 yards and a touchdown.
Penn State came into this game with high hopes of defeating top-ranked Alabama. In the end, though, they were just outmatched. True freshman quarterback Robert Bolden played like a true freshman, throwing for 144 yards and two interceptions. Meanwhile, the rushing game was non-existent as Evan Royster put up a measly 32 yards on the ground. Penn State will have plenty of opportunity to work their way back up the standings or fall out of it completely as they make their way through the Big Ten.
50+ points in two straight weeks bodes well for the Cal offense. Meanwhile, the defense has allowed just 10 points in the first two weeks, tied for fourth in the nation. They'll face a couple of better offenses over the next two games with trips to Nevada and Arizona, after which we should have better picture of where the Golden Bears are as a team..
That's how we see things shaking out after last week's performance folks. Here's how the major polls view the NCAA Football landscape.
* The weekly NCAA Div I Top 25 Football Rankings put out by Xtra Point Football is NOT a poll. The rankings and comments are the opinions of our College Football Editor, Danny Hobrock with assistance and contribution from staff writer, Jared Levine.
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