By Andy Staples
September 01, 2009
NCAA Football Power Rankings
21 Florida St. Seminoles
Last Week: --
Lest we forget, the Seminoles won nine games last year and beat eventual ACC champ Virginia Tech head-to-head. Quarterback Christian Ponder is back, and so is a lean, mean offensive line. Now, playmakers must emerge on offense, and the defense needs to find a way to replace the pass rush lost when Everette Brown left for the NFL.
22 Cincinnati Bearcats
Last Week: --
Ten new defensive starters will debut in first-year coordinator Bob Diaco's 3-4 scheme when the Bearcats open against Rutgers. But the Scarlet Knights are debuting a new quarterback, and the Bearcats should score plenty with Tony Pike pulling the trigger and Mardy Gilyard running routes.
23 Texas Tech Red Raiders
Last Week: --
Taylor Potts, the new first mate on the Good Ship Leach, boasts a 6-foot-5 frame and an arm NFL teams won't ignore, so it's a safe bet the Red Raiders will keep chewing up yardage and scoring in the 40s and 50s. Unfortunately, they play in the Big 12 South, the toughest division in football.
24 Nebraska Cornhuskers
Last Week: --
The dismissal of I-back Quentin Castille caused a brief temptation to drop Nebraska into the land of Others Receiving Votes, but remember, the Cornhuskers -- unlike most of their Big 12 North brethren -- actually intend to play some defense. Maybe 300-pound defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh will get a crack at the Heisman.
25 Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Last Week: --
Beano Cook and Lou Holtz have predicted the Fighting Irish will play in the BCS title game. In other news, neither believes we have anything to fear from Kaiser Bill. Back in this century, Notre Dame has some nice pieces, especially defensive linemen Ethan Johnson and Ian Williams, receiver Michael Floyd and an offensive line that has been through it all. Unfortunately for Notre Dame's title hopes, Florida, Texas, Oklahoma and USC have pieces like that at every spot on the two-deep depth chart.

Dropped out: none

Andy Staples' Power Rankings also serve as his ballot in the Associated Press Top 25 poll.

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