By Andy Staples
September 08, 2009
NCAA Football Power Rankings
11 TCU Horned Frogs
Last Week: 11
The Horned Frogs have had all summer to prepare for a team that lost its opener to William and Mary. That's bad news for the school Thomas Jefferson founded.
Last game: Idle
Next game: Saturday at Virginia
12 Boise State Broncos
Last Week: 12
The Broncos beat an Oregon team that was far worse than advertised. Now begins the cavalcade of creampuffs. Unless something dramatic happens, expect to see Boise State in this slot for the remainder of the season.
Last game: Beat Oregon, 19-8
Next game: Saturday vs. Miami (Ohio)
13 Virginia Tech Hokies
Last Week: 6
The Hokies' defense got overwhelmed by an Alabama offense that may just be a juggernaut. The good news? Tailback Ryan Williams is a stud, and there isn't a team in the ACC that can steamroll like the Crimson Tide.
Last game: Lost to Alabama, 34-24
Next game: Saturday vs. Marshall
14 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Last Week: 14
Woe unto Clemson's Kevin Steele, who faces every defensive coordinator's worst nightmare Thursday. With just five days to prepare, the Tigers will have to stop Georgia Tech's flexbone. Good luck with that.
Last game: Beat Jacksonville State, 37-17
Next game: Thursday vs. Clemson
15 Oklahoma Sooners
Last Week: 3
It isn't a total nightmare scenario for the Sooners. According to coach Bob Stoops, quarterback Sam Bradford could be back in two to four weeks, meaning he might be ready as early as the Oct. 3 game at Miami. At that point, the Sooners still won't have played a Big 12 game. Backup quarterback Landry Jones and his mustache should be adequate for now.
Last game: Lost to BYU, 14-13
Next game: Saturday vs. Idaho State
16 Penn State Nittany Lions
Last Week: 16
The Nittany Lions looked strong against Akron on Saturday, and if they can guard Greg Paulus out to the three-point line this week, they should roll to 2-0. Whoops, wrong sport. On Saturday, Paulus will get a true welcome back to football from a different breed of Big Ten team than the one he faced last week.
Last game: Beat Akron, 31-7
Next game: Saturday vs. Syracuse
17 Cincinnati Bearcats
Last Week: 22
Bearcats coach Brian Kelly has always wondered what might happen if he had a returning starting quarterback. On Monday against Rutgers, he found out. Tony Pike threw for 362 yards and three touchdowns, and Cincy crushed the Scarlet Knights.
Last game: Beat Rutgers, 47-15
Next game: Saturday vs. Southeast Missouri State
18 Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Last Week: 25
The Fighting Irish looked fantastic against Nevada. Judging by Michigan's season-opening improvement, Notre Dame will be tested on Saturday. I've harped on the fact the Irish aren't as deep as some of the elite teams, but one thought struck me while watching highlights from the Nevada win. How many teams in the country have a pair of receivers as good as Michael Floyd and Golden Tate? Not many.
Last game: Beat Nevada, 35-0
Next game: Saturday at Michigan
19 Oregon State Beavers
Last Week: 19
Beating Portland State didn't prove much, but it did prove the Rodgers brothers (James and Jacquizz) have returned healthy after an offseason spent rehabilitating injuries. Things in Corvallis should get interesting in the next few weeks when Lyle Moevao, last season's starting quarterback, finally gets healthy. Will Sean Canfield keep the starting job?
Last game: Beat Portland State, 34-7
Next game: at UNLV
20 Utah Utes
Last Week: 20
Utah Utes (1-0)
The Utes can't afford to give up too many 96-yard runs like the one Utah State's Robert Turpin ripped off last Thursday. Still, junior college transfer Terrance Cain looked comfortable leading the offense. He'll get another tune-up against San Jose State before Utah travels to Eugene to face Oregon in an attempt to bolster its BCS-buster credentials.
Last game: Beat Utah State, 35-17
Next game: Saturday at San Jose State
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