It's been just a weekend, but a few teams were already given the opportunity to show what they're all about in 2010. Some rose to the challenge, others faltered. It's all reflected in the inaugural Xtra Point Football NCAA Top 25 Rankings.
Each week, our College Football Editor Danny Hobrock will compile a list of the top 25 teams in America with insight and contributions from college football staff writer Jared Levine. Together, Danny and Jared will debate away (likely in a name-calling, poo-slinging manner from which our readers will be spared) until they can come to some agreement as to who belongs where and for what reason.
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 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
Alabama, the defending champs, took care of business in the first week. The absence of Marcell Dareus and possible absence of Mark Ingram hurts, but with so much talent they should be able to manage. We'll see with Penn State visiting Saturday night.
The Broncos deserved to lose that game with over 100 yards of penalties and after allowing Virginia Tech back in it, but that last drive spoke volumes about Kellen Moore and the Boise State offense. The defense came up big when they had to on the final drive as well. Look out, BCS. The Broncos are serious.
Ohio State's first game against Marshall was impressive. They gained 529 yards and gave up 199 yards. Their offense showed that they are more committed to the passing game this year, which could cause some problems for upcoming opponents. Will Miami be able to stop the Ohio State offense? Stay tuned.
Although Texas did not play as well as people thought they would on Saturday against Rice, this week's Wyoming matchup shouldn't be much of a challenge. Texas will look to get Garrett Gilbert more comfortable with the offense this week.
You would think facing Jacquizz Rodgers would have caused some problems for the TCU defense, but they were up for the task, limiting him to just 75 yards. Overall, TCU's defense looked great, allowing 255 yards with 182 yards passing and 73 yards rushing.
The 34 points Florida put up against Miami (OH) was a bit misleading, as the Gators did just about everything they could to let the Red Hawks back in it. I'm betting they get it going in the very near future.
The Hawkeyes' defense dominated against a lesser opponent in Eastern Illinois. Their defense gave up a mere 157 yards, showing how good this unit really is. This is a team that could be a fast riser over the next few weeks with some quality opponents on the docket.
New quarterback Taylor Martinez passed for 136 yards, but it was on the ground where he looked most impressive, putting up 129 yards and three scores. It looks like the Cornhuskers have found their quarterback, but let's hold off on drinking the Kool-Aid until this team faces a higher quality opponent.
72-0, enough said. This victory might have been against New Mexico, but the Oregon offense gained 720 yards, while giving up only 107 yards on defense. This game was not only a tune-up, but also a confidence booster as they head to Tennessee to play in that hostile environment.
The Sooners had a bit of a scare from Utah State, but managed to persevere. Next Saturday's matchup with Florida State will tell us if this is a top five team or if even a top ten ranking is too high.
Some key mistakes allowed UNLV to hang around in the first half. The second half was a different story. John Clay was impressive, as expected, running for 123 yards and two touchdowns. Wisconsin's defense also played well, giving up only 105 yards through the air. It should be another tune up game this week against San Jose State.
Jacory Harris and Co. made it look easy on offense. Harris went 12 for 15 with 210 yards and three touchdowns, tossing two of his three touchdowns to Leonard Hankerson. The defense looked susceptible at points though, with plenty of missed tackles and offsides penalties. Miami will have to improve in these areas if they hope to beat Ohio State on Saturday.
The Hokies lost to Boise State Monday night, but hold off on hitting the panic button. They started off atrociously, but climbed back in it on the play of Tyrod Taylor, who if he keeps playing at the level we saw in the opener could be in the discussion for the Heisman. Ryan Williams scored three times, but couldn't really get it going on the ground. Still, this is a very good offense and a defense that is coming together very quickly. They could make the jump back into the top ten in a heartbeat.
The Florida State offense was all-systems-go in the opener against Samford. Things will get a bit more difficult against Oklahoma, but the Sooners cannot be too eager to field a suspect secondary that let up 341 passing yards to Utah State with the showdown against Christian Ponder and a dynamic FSU passing game a week away.
Ryan Mallet played like expected, leading the offense with 301 yards and three touchdowns. Arkansas's defense gave up a field goal late in the first quarter, but did not give up any points for the rest of game. The Razorbacks will continue with what should be an easy win against the University of Louisiana-Monroe as they move closer to a Week 3 matchup with Georgia.
The Utes make the biggest jump in the poll after a strong showing against Pitt Thursday night. The Panthers took them to overtime, but they clearly outplayed their opponents and Jordan Wynn looks like the real deal.
The USC / Hawaii game was a shootout, with neither offense able to be stopped. Matt Barkley and Marc Tyler were the stars of the show, giving them enough yards and touchdowns to get past the Warriors. The defense needed work, though, so there could be some problems down the road if the defensive shortcomings are not addressed.
Georgia Tech's option offense did its job, but the Yellow Jackets will have to work on passing the ball more effectively if they want to be considered among the elite. Joshua Nesbitt went 1 for 6 passing for eight yards and threw an interception, but he did run for 130 yards and three touchdowns.
Robert Bolden looked good in his debut, but he has a trip to Tuscaloosa looming. If he starts against Alabama, we'll learn a lot about him not only on the field, but by virtue of his coaches' confidence in him to take on the defending champs.
Although they played Louisiana Lafayette, the defense dominated and the offense was solid. Georgia gave up just 128 yards on defense, and the run defense only allowed 14 yards. On offense, it was freshman quarterback Aaron Murray's first start, and it was an impressive one, throwing three touchdowns and running for another. Georgia will need similar outing to beat South Carolina this weekend.
Cam Newton had about a good of a Tigers debut as he could hope for, putting up a total of five touchdowns and 357 total yards. The Tigers put up a total of 608 yards as Arkansas State coach Steve Roberts called Newton, "the best player I have ever seen live," according to ESPN.com.
They beat North Carolina in the Saturday night primetime showdown, but they also let the Tar Heels back in it at the end, and if not for a couple failed passes to the end zone, they would have lost this game to a depleted UNC squad. The end result is what matters, though, and the Tigers managed to pull out a close one.
The offense looked slow in the first half considering they were taking on an opponent from the FCS. In the second half, however, running back Noel Devine and quarterback Geno Smith led a powerful West Virginia offense that gained 400 yards in total.
The Gamecocks looked really good in the opener Thursday night against Southern Miss. The showdown with Georgia next week will be a telling insight.
The Wildcats offense was outstanding Friday night against Toledo and the defense didn't allow a single point. Nick Foles is perhaps one of the most underrated quarterbacks in America and Nic Grigsby could emerge as a top rusher in the Pac-10.
Also considered (in no particular order): Pittsburgh, North Carolina, Stanford, Fresno State, Notre Dame, Michigan, Michigan State, BYU, Houston, Clemson, Oklahoma State
* 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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