By Andy Staples
September 29, 2009
NCAA Football Power Rankings
11 Iowa Hawkeyes
Last Week: --
The Hawkeyes' defensive line manhandled Penn State's inexperienced offensive line on Saturday. After a gimme against Arkansas State, that line should also give Michigan fits.
Last game: Beat Penn State, 21-10
Next game: Saturday vs. Arkansas State
12 Houston Cougars
Last Week: 18
Now comes the letdown for the Cougars. After two consecutive wins against Big 12 opponents, they woke up to realize they still play in Conference USA. Fortunately, they get UTEP and not a team that can upset them like Southern Miss or East Carolina.
Last game: Beat Texas Tech, 29-28
Next game: Saturday at UTEP
13 Oregon Ducks
Last Week: --
So who are the real Ducks, the group that throttled Cal or the one that couldn't move the ball at Boise State? The smart money is on the team that beat the Bears, but it's a safe bet: coach Chip Kelly offers a money-back guarantee.
Last game: Beat Cal, 42-3
Next game: Saturday vs. Washington State
14 Brigham Young Cougars
Last Week: 5
The Cougars bounced back from their loss to Florida State by pummeling Colorado State. Unfortunately, Oregon's win over Cal and the subsequent boost it gave Boise State means the mid-majors' one BCS bowl slot is all but sewn up.
Last game: Beat Colorado State, 42-23
Next game: Friday vs. Utah State
15 Oklahoma Sooners
Last Week: 15
Sooners coach Bob Stoops said Monday he may wait until Saturday to decide whether to play quarterback Sam Bradford against Miami. Bradford, who recovered quickly from his opening-week shoulder injury, would love a tune-up before Oklahoma opens Big 12 play next week.
Last game: Beat Tulsa, 45-0
Next game: Saturday at Miami
16 Nebraska Cornhuskers
Last Week: --
The chaos in the poll this week allowed me to right a few wrongs from last week. One of those wrongs was dropping the Cornhuskers from the poll after a one-point loss at Virginia Tech.
Last game: Beat Louisiana-Lafayette, 55-0
Next game: Oct. 8 at Missouri
17 Miami (Fla.) Hurricanes
Last Week: 10
The Hurricanes must have spent too much time reading all the nice things we wrote about them last week. They won't see anything like that this week, which could be bad news for Oklahoma.
Last game: Lost to Virginia Tech, 31-7
Next game: Saturday vs. Oklahoma
18 Penn St. Nittany Lions
Last Week: 6
Iowa exposed the Nittany Lions' greatest weakness -- an inexperienced offensive line. Fortunately, as the season goes on, that line may improve, and it seems unlikely any team will go undefeated in Big Ten play.
Last game: Lost to Iowa, 21-10
Next game: Saturday at Illinois
19 South Florida Bulls
Last Week: --
Historically, the Bulls tend to sputter after a huge win. They must avoid that in their Big East opener. Redshirt freshman quarterback B.J. Daniels is still prone to mistakes, but it's unlikely the Orange have anyone who can tackle him in the open field.
Last game: Beat Florida State, 17-7
Next game: Saturday at Syracuse
20 Michigan Wolverines
Last Week: 22
Quarterback Tate Forcier is too small and too young to be starting at Michigan, but all the guy does is win football games. Hopefully, his sore right shoulder isn't too sore, because the Wolverines are more fun to watch when he plays. Michigan will need Forcier this week against a Michigan State team desperate for a win to save its season.
Last game: Beat Indiana, 36-33
Next game: Saturday at Michigan State
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