By Andy Staples
September 22, 2009
NCAA Football Power Rankings
11 TCU Horned Frogs
Last Week: 11
Saturday is D-day for the mid-majors. The Horned Frogs must beat Clemson to keep their BCS-bowl dreams alive. With Houston facing Texas Tech, TCU might finish Saturday as the standard-bearer for the non-BCS conferences.
Last game: Beat Texas State, 56-21
Next game: Saturday at Clemson
12 Boise State Broncos
Last Week: 12
Fresno State tested the Broncos for three quarters, but Boise State is much, much better than anyone else on its schedule. That won't bode well for the Broncos' BCS chances. Even if the voters get lulled into moving the undefeated Broncos up in the poll, the computers won't be fooled.
Last game: Beat Fresno State, 51-34
Next game: Saturday at Bowling Green
13 Florida State Seminoles
Last Week: --
So which group of Seminoles will show against South Florida? The one that throttled BYU, or the one that barely escaped with a home win against Jacksonville State?
Last game: Beat BYU, 54-28
Next game: Saturday vs. South Florida
14 Brigham Young Cougars
Last Week: 5
The Cougars don't have much of a chance to lick their wounds. Colorado State is 3-0, and the Rams don't care that BYU failed to show up in a game that could have vaulted it into sniffing distance of the BCS title game.
Last game: Lost to Florida State, 54-28
Next game: Saturday vs. Colorado State
15 Oklahoma Sooners
Last Week: 15
Backup quarterback Landry Jones picked apart Tulsa's defense Saturday, and defensive tackle Gerald McCoy and company skunked a pretty good offense. Now comes word that Sam Bradford has started throwing again. If Miami holds up its end of the bargain and beats Virginia Tech, that meeting on Oct. 3 could be epic.
Last game: Beat Tulsa, 45-0
Next game: Oct. 3 at Miami
16 Cincinnati Bearcats
Last Week: 16
As noted above, the Bearcats deserved to move up. If they keep winning, they will. The most impressive thing about Cincy isn't its offense, which we knew would be good. It's the defense, which replaced 10 starters and didn't miss a beat.
Last game: Beat Oregon State, 28-18
Next game: Saturday vs. Fresno State
17 Virginia Tech Hokies
Last Week: 13
The Hokies also got stiffed because of all the head-to-head madness. Fortunately, they'll get a chance to make a big move by beating Miami. The difference between Miami and Nebraska is the Hurricanes won't give Tyrod Taylor seven days to throw if the game comes down to third-and-goal in the closing seconds Saturday.
Last game: Beat Nebraska, 16-15
Next game: Saturday vs. Miami
18 Houston Cougars
Last Week: 17
Hopefully, the Cougars didn't read too many of their press clippings after their win at Oklahoma State on Sept. 12. Texas Tech hung tough at Texas last week, and while Case Keenum is great, he isn't Colt McCoy.
Last game: Beat Oklahoma State, 45-35
Next game: Saturday vs. Texas Tech
19 Texas Tech Red Raiders
Last Week: 19
A rare sellout means Saturday will be the fourth time in the history of Houston's Robertson Stadium that the crowd will top 30,000. The Red Raiders weren't fazed by more than 100,000 last week in Austin, so don't expect the atmosphere in Conference USA country to rattle them.
Last game: Lost to Texas, 34-24
Next game: Saturday at Houston
20 Oklahoma State Cowboys
Last Week: 19
The Cowboys play this warmup, then take a week off before beginning Big 12 play on Oct. 10 against Texas A&M. That's plenty of time for them to forget the Houston loss and remember that all their goals remain ahead of them.
Last game: Beat Rice, 41-24
Next game: Saturday vs. Grambling State
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