By Andy Staples
October 26, 2010
NCAA Football Power Rankings
11 LSU Tigers
Last Week: 7
LSU Tigers (7-1)
Neither the Tigers' defense nor the magic of Les Miles could slow Auburn's Newton on Saturday. Fortunately for LSU, the Tigers will have two weeks to prepare for Alabama's tailback tandem of Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson. It will be interesting to see if Miles attempts to settle his quarterback situation during the bye week. Jarrett Lee was the darling leading up to the Auburn game, but embattled starter Jordan Jefferson seemed to move the ball better Saturday. Will Miles choose one, or will he continue to go with the hottest hand?
Last game: Lost to Auburn, 24-17
Next game: Nov. 6 vs. Alabama
12 Stanford Cardinal
Last Week: 12
We knew the Cardinal were smart. They waited to play their worst game until Washington State showed up at Stanford Stadium. Though Stanford had the game in hand, allowing two touchdowns in the final four minutes is troubling. We'll see this week if that was only a hiccup. Washington got destroyed last week by Arizona, but the Huskies can sneak up on a team that doesn't come ready to play.
Last game: Beat Washington State, 38-28
Next game: Saturday at Washington
13 Arizona Wildcats
Last Week: 13
Things looked bleak when starting quarterback Nick Foles went down with a knee injury against Washington State on Oct. 16. But backup Matt Scott, the player Foles replaced as starter in 2009, stepped in against Washington and threw for 233 yards and two touchdowns while also rushing for 65 yards. Arizona coach Mike Stoops said Foles is questionable for Saturday's visit to the Rose Bowl, but Stoops declined to tip his hand as to which quarterback will start.
Last game: Beat Washington, 44-14
Next game: Saturday at UCLA
14 Oklahoma Sooners
Last Week: 4
I didn't think we'd have a Disgrace to the University e-mail this week because almost all the mail I'd received had informed me of my stupidity in reasonable, rational, intelligent ways. It was inspiring. Then, on Sunday, Kevin in Norman decided to take issue with my description of the fans rushing the field at the end of the Oklahoma-Missouri game. Here is what he wrote, unedited: "Guess the hook and latter play that was commented on was not a trick play. and even if a loss is going to occur, to allow fan's on a field during regulation play, guess that is acceptable to all sports writters. well if any players would have been hurt only the Oklahoma player would be acceptable to writters like yourself, so you'd have something to write about and guess laugh at the down-fall of a player." Aside from the fact that this sounds an awful lot like Derek Zoolander's "investigatory journalists" rant, Kevin -- who obviously has never seen The Play -- doesn't seem to understand that a large, muscular athlete covered head-to-toe in pads will win any collision with an (likely) inebriated college student. That, and the fans were nowhere near the players while Oklahoma's final play unfolded. As for the Sooners, they should recover from the loss. They'll be favored in the rest of their games, and more than likely, they'll get another crack at Missouri in the Big 12 title game.
Last game: Lost to Missouri, 36-27
Next game: Saturday vs. Colorado
15 Nebraska Cornhuskers
Last Week: 17
The Cornhuskers may have dropped from the national title picture with their loss to Texas on Oct. 16, but their Big 12 title hopes are alive and well. That will change this week for either Nebraska or Missouri in the game that should decide the Big 12 North. Saturday's winner won't clinch the title, but its path to Cowboys Stadium will be fairly clear.
Last game: Beat Oklahoma State, 51-41
Next game: Saturday vs. Missouri
16 South Carolina Gamecocks
Last Week: 15
You'll get this week's Sign of the Apocalypse when your issue of SI arrives in the mail, but here's a bonus: If South Carolina beats Tennessee on Saturday, the worst the Gamecocks can expect is to face Florida for the SEC East title on Nov. 13. Depending on what else happens -- Georgia beating Florida being the key event in a chain reaction of SEC East mediocrity -- South Carolina might have a chance to clinch the East against Arkansas on Nov. 6.
Last game: Beat Vanderbilt, 21-7
Next game: Saturday vs. Tennessee
17 Arkansas Razorbacks
Last Week: 18
With the Razorbacks' three best offensive weapons (quarterback Ryan Mallett and receivers Greg Childs and Joe Adams) sitting out Saturday's second half with injuries, Arkansas tailback Knile Davis carried the load. Davis rushed for 176 yards and three touchdowns against Ole Miss. Hopefully, Davis saved something for Vanderbilt, because the Hogs may need him to carry the offense again. Coach Bobby Petrino said Monday that Mallett (shoulder), Childs (ankle) and Adams (ankle) are "day-to-day," and Petrino did not know if any of the three would recover in time to play against the Commodores.
Last game: Beat Ole Miss, 38-24
Next game: Saturday vs. Vanderbilt
18 Iowa Hawkeyes
Last Week: 14
The Hawkeyes can't sulk for too long over their loss to Wisconsin, because they're about to get a visit from the Big Ten's only undefeated team. For his sake, Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz had better spend extra practice time addressing fake kicks. Iowa was woefully unprepared for a Wisconsin fake punt late in Saturday's fourth quarter. Meanwhile, Michigan State has won a game with a fake field goal (Notre Dame) and clawed back into one with a fake punt (Northwestern).
Last game: Lost to Wisconsin, 31-30
Next game: Saturday vs. Michigan State
19 Florida St. Seminoles
Last Week: 19
The Seminoles can take a commanding lead in the ACC Atlantic Division with a win in Raleigh, but N.C. State can slide into the driver's seat by knocking off the Seminoles. Florida State is coming off its worst game -- a sloppy win against Boston College -- while N.C. State is coming off an overtime loss to East Carolina. It's on a Thursday, so expect something wild to happen.
Last game: Beat Boston College, 24-19
Next game: Thursday at N.C. State
20 Oklahoma St. Cowboys
Last Week: 20
With apologies to Dennis Green, the Cowboys are who we thought they were. There's no shame in having a prolific offense and a porous defense, but that won't win a conference title. The good news is that Oklahoma State remains in the thick of the Big 12 South title race. If the defense can improve, the Cowboys still have a chance.
Last game: Lost to Nebraska, 51-41
Next game: Saturday at Kansas State
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