Deep Mountain West trumps Pac-10 and Big East (cont.)

Tuesday September 16th, 2008

NCAA Football Power Rankings
21Illinois Fighting Illini
Last Week: 25
The Illini are a bit bewildering, aren't they? Somehow Juice Williams threw for three times as many yards against Missouri (451) than against Louisiana-Lafayette (147). The one bright spot last Saturday: RB Daniel Dufrene (19 carries, 126 yards).
Last game: Beat Louisiana Lafayette, 20-17.
Next game: Sept. 27 at Penn State.
22Utah Utes
Last Week: --
Utah Utes (3-0)
In hindsight, the Utes' most impressive conquest wasn't Michigan (now 1-2) but UNLV, the same team that knocked off Arizona State last weekend. Utah beat the Rebels 42-21 two weeks ago before pasting Utah State last weekend.
Last game: Beat Utah State, 58-10.
Next game: Saturday at Air Force.
23TCU Horned Frogs
Last Week: --
Playing in storm gusts of more than 30 mph by game's end, the Horned Frogs let Stanford hang around for three quarters before Steven Coleman made an interception in the end zone early in the fourth. TCU pulled away from there.
Last game: Beat Stanford, 31-14.
Next game: Saturday at SMU.
24North Carolina Tar Heels
Last Week: --
Perhaps the Tar Heels are ready to contend for an ACC title sooner than anticipated. Sophomore QB T.J. Yates looked like a savvy vet while carving up Rutgers' defense, and WR Brandon Tate (four catches, 138 yards) has become an explosive threat.
Last game: Beat Rutgers, 44-12.
Next game: Saturday vs. Virginia Tech.
25Fresno State Bulldogs
Last Week: --
While the Bulldogs didn't pull out the victory against Wisconsin, their defense turned in another outstanding performance. Wisconsin star P.J. Hill got his 112 yards on 26 carries, but he had to work for it. Fresno allowed 304 total yards.
Last game: Lost to Wisconsin, 13-10.
Next game: Saturday at Toledo.
Dropped out: Arizona State, Cal, UCLA, Tennessee.

Don't see your team? Click here for complete rankings of Nos. 26-119.

Stewart Mandel's Power Rankings also serve as his ballot in the Associated Press Top 25 poll.
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