By Stewart Mandel
September 24, 2008
NCAA Football Power Rankings
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11 Auburn Tigers
Last Week: 13
I'm not sure why my fellow pollsters dropped Auburn five spots for a last-minute loss to a top-five team. What I saw was some long-awaited progress from the offense, with QB Chris Todd throwing for 250 yards and a late go-ahead touchdown.
Last game: Lost to LSU, 26-21.
Next game: Saturday vs. Tennessee.
12 Brigham Young Cougars
Last Week: 14
While QB Max Hall is the undisputed heart of the Cougars' prolific offense, don't overlook the importance of RB Harvey Unga. The sophomore carried 19 times for 95 yards and caught a touchdown pass in Saturday's rout of Wyoming.
Last game: Beat Wyoming, 44-0.
Next game: Oct. 3 at Utah State.
13 South Florida Bulls
Last Week: 15
The Bulls' ugly win against FIU -- sandwiched between games against Kansas and NC State -- is being chalked up as a letdown. It better be. "The mistakes we made offensively ... that's junior high stuff," coach Jim Leavitt said afterward.
Last game: Beat Florida International, 17-9.
Next game: Saturday at NC State.
14 Texas Tech Red Raiders
Last Week: 16
I could sit here and dissect the Red Raiders' 56-14 shellacking of Massachusetts. Or, I could point you to something much more interesting: Tech coach Mike Leach offering dating tips.
Last game: Beat Massachusetts, 56-14.
Next game: Oct. 4 at Kansas State.
15 Kansas Jayhawks
Last Week: 17
In what would have been a clash of Big 12 QBs once upon a time, Kansas' Todd Reesing (23-of-38, 356 yards, two TDs, no INTs) outdueled Sam Houston State's Rhett Bomar (26-of-46, 340 yards, one TD, three INTs) last week.
Last game: Beat Sam Houston State, 38-14.
Next game: Oct. 4 at Iowa State.
16 Ohio State Buckeyes
Last Week: 18
Buy your No. 2 jersey now, Buckeyes fans, while supplies still last. It's going to come in handy the next few years. Now, if only OSU could get No. 2 (Terrelle Pryor) and No. 28 (Chris Wells) on the field at the same time ...
Last game: Beat Troy, 28-10.
Next game: Saturday vs. Minnesota.
17 Boise State Broncos
Last Week: --
A) It's hard to believe Ian Johnson is still in college. B) It's hard to believe the Broncos just scored their biggest win since Oklahoma with Johnson rushing for 40 yards. It seems QB Kellen Moore is Boise's new Big Man on Campus.
Last game: Beat Oregon, 37-32.
Next game: Oct. 1 vs. Louisiana Tech.
18 Wake Forest Demon Deacons
Last Week: 20
Sam Swank was a little off his game Saturday night: The All-America kicker only made four of his seven field-goal attempts. Of course, the Deacons only would have needed two the way their defense absolutely suffocated Florida State.
Last game: Beat Florida State, 12-3.
Next game: Saturday vs. Navy.
19 Clemson Tigers
Last Week: 19
Clemson fans are beginning to turn on QB Cullen Harper (three TDs, four INTs), especially after ballyhooed redshirt freshman Willy Korn came in and went 7-for-7 against South Carolina State. Suffice it to say, Tommy Bowden will be sticking with Harper.
Last game: Beat South Carolina State, 54-0.
Next game: Saturday vs. Maryland.
20 Oregon Ducks
Last Week: 11
Like Superman bursting from a phone booth, freshman QB Darron Thomas ripped off his redshirt against Boise State and led the Ducks to three fourth-quarter TDs. Jeremiah Masoli remains the starter, however, if he recovers from a concussion.
Last game: Lost to Boise State, 37-32.
Next game: Saturday at Washington State.
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