By Andy Staples
September 15, 2009
NCAA Football Power Rankings
11 TCU Horned Frogs
Last Week: 11
All-everything defensive end Jerry Hughes notched a career-high 11 tackles and 1.5 sacks against Virginia. Even with teams game-planning for him, Hughes can wreak havoc. TCU will take an FCS breather this week before heading to Clemson next week to continue its tour of the ACC.
Last game: Beat Virginia, 30-14
Next game: Saturday vs. Texas State
12 Boise State Broncos
Last Week: 12
Unfortunately for the Broncos, they didn't schedule anyone more difficult than what appears to be a very average Oregon team. That's too bad, because Boise State will remain a permanent fixture at No. 12 unless it loses.
Last game: Beat Miami (Ohio), 48-0
Next game: Saturday at Fresno State
13 Virginia Tech Hokies
Last Week: 13
Take a lesson, Broncos. The Hokies understand the whole risk-reward concept. Yes, they lost to Alabama. But if that's their only loss at the end of a season that also includes non-conference games against Nebraska and East Carolina, they'll be ranked a lot higher than No. 12.
Last game: Beat Marshall, 52-10
Next game: Saturday vs. Nebraska
14 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Last Week: 14
The ACC remains a riddle wrapped in an enigma. Was Clemson a worthy opponent, or should Georgia Tech have won by three touchdowns? Both the 'Canes and the Yellow Jackets have designs on an ACC title, and the team that moves to 2-0 in the conference after Week 3 will be sitting pretty.
Last game: Beat Clemson, 30-27
Next game: Thursday vs. Miami
15 Oklahoma Sooners
Last Week: 15
Idaho State was the perfect opponent for a group of Sooners reeling from the loss to BYU and the injury to quarterback Sam Bradford. Now that Oklahoma has regrouped, it should be able to handle Tulsa. Still, the Golden Hurricane averaged 40.5 points in its first two wins. Sooners quarterback Landry Jones and his mustache will have to be productive to keep pace.
Last game: Beat Idaho State, 64-0
Next game: Saturday vs. Tulsa
16 Cincinnati Bearcats
Last Week: 17
Rutgers was unsettled at quarterback, and Southeast Missouri State was overmatched, but Jacquizz Rodgers and Oregon State should provide a true test for first-year coordinator Bob Diaco's defense. We know the Bearcats can score in bunches. It's less clear if they can keep a prolific offense from scoring.
Last game: Beat Southeast Missouri State, 70-3
Next game: Saturday at Oregon State
17 Houston Cougars
Last Week: --
Keenum and friends were the trendy upset pick going into last week's games. Oklahoma State was coming off a program-defining win and ripe for the picking. Guess who's coming off the program-defining win this week? Fortunately for the Cougars, they have an open date to come down off the high of beating the Cowboys. Then they host Texas Tech in a game that could feature an exploding scoreboard.
Last game: Beat Oklahoma State, 45-35
Next game: Sept. 26 vs. Texas Tech
18 Texas Tech Red Raiders
Last Week: 23
If the Red Raiders wanted to prove the departures of Michael Crabtree and Graham Harrell didn't signal the end of Texas Tech's time on the national stage, this is the week to prove it.
Last game: Beat Rice, 55-10
Next game: Saturday at Texas
19 Oklahoma State Cowboys
Last Week: 5
The Cowboys are too good to pack it in after a loss to Houston. Maybe it was the wake-up call they needed to realize they must take every opponent seriously if they hope to compete for a Big 12 title.
Last game: Lost to Houston, 45-35
Next game: Saturday vs. Rice
20 Nebraska Cornhuskers
Last Week: 24
The Cornhuskers' offense seems to have clicked despite inexperience at several key positions. Led by tackle Ndamukong Suh, the Nebraska defense appears capable of upholding the legacy of Blackshirts past. If both those statements remain true after a trip to Blacksburg, this could be a fun year in Lincoln.
Last game: Beat Arkansas State, 38-9
Next game: Saturday at Virginia Tech
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