By Andy Staples
October 13, 2009
NCAA Football Power Rankings
11 Oregon Ducks
Last Week: 11
The bye week should give the Ducks a chance to finally get healthy. By the time Oregon gets to Seattle to face steadily improving Washington next week, the Ducks should have quarterback Jeremiah Masoli and free safety T.J. Ward -- who missed the UCLA win -- back at full strength.
Last game: Beat UCLA, 24-10
Next game: Oct. 24 at Washington
12 Miami (Fla.) Hurricanes
Last Week: 12
The Hurricanes, who opened with three consecutive conference games and a visit from Oklahoma, now can enjoy the cupcakes the rest of their power-conference brethren devoured in September.
Last game: Beat Florida A&M, 48-16
Next game: at Central Florida
13 Iowa Hawkeyes
Last Week: 13
After surviving a visit from Rich Rodriguez's cardiac kids, the Hawkeyes travel to Camp Randall Stadium, where a Wisconsin team that hung tough in Columbus still seeks a signature win.
Last game: Beat Michigan, 30-28
Next game: Saturday at Wisconsin
14 Brigham Young Cougars
Last Week: 14
The Cougars need to be careful this week. Though 2-3 San Diego State hasn't had much opportunity to show it yet, the Aztecs are better under Brady Hoke. BYU players must avoid looking ahead to next week's visit from TCU.
Last game: Beat UNLV, 59-21
Next game: Saturday at San Diego State
15 Nebraska Cornhuskers
Last Week: 15
According to this amazing story from Nebraska's official site, the Cornhuskers made one fan's last wish come true by beating Missouri. This week, Nebraska's offense will have to provide a little more help. After Texas Tech backup Steven Sheffield threw seven touchdown passes last week against Kansas State, Ndamukong Suh and company can be sure of one thing: No matter whether Sheffield or Taylor Potts starts for the Red Raiders, Texas Tech will score some points.
Last game: Beat Missouri, 27-12
Next game: Saturday vs. Texas Tech
16 Penn St. Nittany Lions
Last Week: 17
Penn State has allowed just 173.8 yards a game through the air, but Minnesota's combo of quarterback Adam Weber and receiver Eric Decker will test the Nittany Lions' pass defense. Decker leads the Big Ten and ranks ninth in the nation with 114.83 receiving yards a game.
Last game: Beat Eastern Illinois, 52-3
Next game: Saturday vs. Minnesota
17 South Florida Bulls
Last Week: 18
Like the Friday night win against West Virginia two years ago, Thursday's matchup with Cincinnati is another potential milestone game for the Bulls. The winner has the inside track for the Big East title.
Last game: Beat Syracuse, 34-20
Next game: Thursday vs. Cincinnati
18 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Last Week: 24
The Yellow Jackets followed a loss at Miami by winning three straight, but Virginia Tech is not the team Georgia Tech wants to see right now. The Hokies are athletic and coached well enough to contain Paul Johnson's option, and Georgia Tech's defense -- which allowed a total of 75 points in its last two games -- could struggle against the Hokies' rapidly improving offense.
Last game: Beat Florida State, 49-44
Next game: Saturday vs. Virginia Tech
19 Houston Cougars
Last Week: --
The Cougars return to the poll following a one-week banishment as punishment for losing at UTEP. While Houston has designs on bigger things, the Cougars must remember that they still have to beat the little guys. They're 3-0 against BCS-conference teams and 1-1 against teams outside the cartel.
Last game: Beat Mississippi State, 31-24
Next game: Saturday at Tulane
20 Oklahoma St. Cowboys
Last Week: 23
The Dez Bryant-Deion Sanders-NCAA love triangle may seem like a tempest in a teapot, but Bryant could suffer mightily if the NCAA determines Oklahoma State played him while knowing he might be ineligible. Chances are Bryant gets reinstated, but will he be allowed to play this week against Missouri? If not, the Cowboys -- probably still without tailback Kendall Hunter (ankle) -- could have trouble with the Tigers.
Last game: Beat Texas A&M, 36-31
Next game: Saturday vs. Missouri
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