By Stewart Mandel
October 21, 2008
NCAA Football Power Rankings
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11 Utah Utes
Last Week: 12
Utah Utes (8-0)
The 2008 Utes looked a whole lot like the undefeated 2004 Utes in their rout of Colorado State. QB Brian Johnson spread the ball out to a plethora of different weapons -- eight different players combined for 327 rushing yards.
Last game: Beat Colorado State, 49-16.
Next game: Nov. 1 at New Mexico.
12 LSU Tigers
Last Week: 13
LSU Tigers (5-1)
A week after getting blitzed by Florida, LSU's defense put on a clinic against South Carolina. The Tigers sacked QB Stephen Garcia six times, forced a fumble and a late-game interception and allowed just 42 yards in the second half.
Last game: Beat South Carolina, 24-17.
Next game: Saturday vs. Georgia.
13 Boise State Broncos
Last Week: 15
Broncos freshman QB Kellen Moore continues to shine. Breaking open a 10-7 halftime lead against Hawaii, Moore threw third-quarter TD passes of 12 and 16 yards, finishing 25-of-33 for 256 yards with three TDs and no picks.
Last game: Beat Hawaii, 27-7.
Next game: Friday at San Jose State.
14 TCU Horned Frogs
Last Week: --
Did you watch the BYU-TCU game? Did you see> that defense? Dear lord are they fast. Leading the charge: Defensive lineman Jerry Hughes, who sacked Cougars QB Max Hall four times and forced two fumbles.
Last game: Beat BYU, 32-7.
Next game: Saturday vs. Wyoming.
15 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Last Week: 25
Playing for the first time in a month, QB Josh Nesbitt made several big plays against Clemson, including the go-ahead 24-yard touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas with 5:22 left. He doesn't pass often, but he's effective when he does.
Last game: Beat Clemson, 21-17.
Next game: Saturday vs. Virginia.
16 Pittsburgh Panthers
Last Week: --
The X-factor in Pitt's past two wins over USF and Navy: field-stretching freshman Jonathan Baldwin. After barely seeing the field his first three games, the touted 6-foot-5 receiver has caught touchdown passes of 52 and 60 yards.
Last game: Beat Navy, 42-21.
Next game: Saturday vs. Rutgers.
17 South Florida Bulls
Last Week: --
As Matt Grothe goes, so, too, do the Bulls. After throwing for just 125 yards in USF's loss to Pittsburgh, the junior QB rebounded to throw for 248 yards and three TDs while running for 72 yards and a score against Syracuse.
Last game: Beat Syracuse, 45-13.
Next game: Saturday at Louisville.
18 Boston College Eagles
Last Week: --
The good news: BC has thrust itself back into the ACC title mix with a defense that ranks fourth in the country and held Virginia Tech to 240 yards. The bad news: Second-leading tackler Brian Toal is out for the season after breaking his leg.
Last game: Beat Virginia Tech, 28-23.
Next game: Saturday at North Carolina.
19 Florida State Seminoles
Last Week: --
The 'Noles have yet to notch a truly "big" win, but they're starting to elicit more confidence than they have in several years. Their defense ranks third nationally, and QB Christian Ponder has cut down on his mistakes from earlier in the year.
Last game: Beat NC State, 26-17.
Next game: Saturday vs. Virginia Tech.
20 Missouri Tigers
Last Week: 11
Well, it's pretty clear the Tigers' defense is not cut out to stop the Big 12's elite offenses (they've sunk to 100th nationally in yards allowed). The good news is Missouri's next four opponents are Colorado, Baylor, Kansas State and Iowa State.
Last game: Lost to Texas, 56-31.
Next game: Saturday vs. Colorado.
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