By Andy Staples
September 01, 2009
NCAA Football Power Rankings
11 TCU Horned Frogs
Last Week: --
Sorry, Horned Frogs. You didn't do anything wrong to deserve that slight drop. It was more a case of reconsidering the potential dominance of Alabama's defense. Of course, defensive end Jerry Hughes and company should prove plenty tough. A schedule that includes September games at Virginia and at Clemson should earn the Frogs the respect they deserve.
12 Oregon Ducks
Last Week: --
The Ducks begin the season Thursday with a revenge game at Boise State. Last year against the Broncos in Eugene, Oregon quarterback Jeremiah Masoli took a vicious late hit to the chin that caused a concussion and knocked him out for the final three quarters of an Oregon loss. Think Masoli wants a little payback?
13 Boise St. Broncos
Last Week: --
If the Broncos beat the Ducks, their schedule is soft and creamy the rest of the way. With Mountain West favorites TCU and BYU playing far more difficult schedules and likely to lose at least once, Boise State would find itself in prime position to make a BCS bowl.
14 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Last Week: --
We'll know quickly whether the rest of the ACC can figure out coach Paul Johnson's Flexbone. The Yellow Jackets face Clemson and Miami on consecutive Thursdays and then North Carolina on Sept. 26. Chances are, the Yellow Jackets will remain a frustrating change-of-pace for which opponents will need time to prepare.
15 Georgia Bulldogs
Last Week: --
This feels like 2005 all over again for the Bulldogs. The stud quarterback is gone, but the Bulldogs are better on both lines of scrimmage and deeper overall. Georgia started that season laying in the weeds and ended up winning the SEC title. Don't be surprised if new starting quarterback Joe Cox -- known affectionately in the blogosphere as "The Ginger Assassin" -- does his best D.J. Shockley impression and leads Georgia to a win in Stillwater on Saturday.
16 Penn St. Nittany Lions
Last Week: --
Several veteran Big Ten-watchers made an excellent point after watching Joe Paterno's session at Big Ten media days last month. When Paterno trumpets his team, it's usually not that good. When he poor-mouths, he expects big things. He poor-mouthed this year. The Nittany Lions have question marks at receiver and on the offensive line, but maybe the answers won't be so difficult to find.
17 East Carolina Pirates
Last Week: --
The Pirates might be the trendy BCS-buster pick if their out-of-conference schedule wasn't so hard. They play at West Virginia and North Carolina in Weeks 2 and 3, and they'll get a visit from Virginia Tech in November.
18 California Golden Bears
Last Week: --
It wasn't a huge surprise that Golden Bears coach Jeff Tedford named Kevin Riley the starterting quarterback. Still, having a settled starter should allow star back Jahvid Best and the rest of the Cal offense to enjoy some consistency after last year's Riley-Nate Longshore merry-go-round.
19 Oregon St. Beavers
Last Week: --
Oregon State has practiced a package that would occasionally place burner Jacquizz Rodgers at quarterback. You know what that means. Wild Beaver. Make it happen, Mike Riley.
20 Utah Utes
Last Week: --
Utah Utes (0-0)
Though Utes coach Kyle Whittingham has yet to make announcement, it appears junior college transfer Terrance Cain will get the nod to replace departed Brian Johnson at QB. Now comes the test for Whittingham's recruiting. As the most accomplished of the non-BCS set, can the program Whittingham and Urban Meyer built begin reloading like some of the BCS-conference big boys?
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