Ranked matchups will bring tectonic shifts (cont.)

Tuesday September 28th, 2010
NCAA Football Power Rankings
21 Oklahoma St. Cowboys
Last Week: 21
The Cowboys should be emboldened this week after watching Texas flop against UCLA. It remains to seen if Oklahoma is an elite team, but Oklahoma State should be encouraged that a division title isn't an unrealistic thought. The Cowboys have been under the radar all season, but their offense has been one of the nation's most productive. If that can translate into Big 12 play, Oklahoma State could be in for a fun season.
Last game: Beat Tulsa, 65-28
Next game: Thursday vs. Texas A&M
22 USC Trojans
Last Week: 22
This week's Disgrace to the University makes USC a two-time winner. I'm honestly not sure if our honoree, Bob from Amherst, Mass., is a practitioner of cutting-edge, avant-garde, stream-of-consciousness hate-mailing or if he simply never learned punctuation or capitalization. Take a deep breath and judge for yourself. Bob writes: "how come a nebraska and boise team that does not play one ranked opponent and a iowa team that lost to arizona and a wisconsin team that almost lost to umass! ar being treated more fairly than a usc team riddled with distractions but an undeafeated season so far and who was #1 in the country a couple of years ago i have decided that college football is bs and its all billionaires that dont care about football trying to get richer." Everybody got all that? Most USC fans, who are accustomed to much better football, would agree that USC has been treated fairly this year. That said, the Trojans remain undefeated heading into a revenge game against Washington, and they seem to be getting better. If they keep improving, they won't be down this far much longer.
Last game: Beat Washington State, 50-16
Next game: Saturday vs. Washington
23 North Carolina St. Wolfpack
Last Week: --
The ACC's lone undefeated team still has plenty of room for improvement. The Wolfpack left a lot of points on the field Saturday against Georgia Tech. NC State will need to score those points against a Virginia Tech team still fighting to reclaim its dignity after a loss to James Madison.
Last game: Beat Georgia Tech, 45-28
Next game: Saturday vs. Virginia Tech
24 Michigan Wolverines
Last Week: --
OK, I give up. You've got your ranking, Wolverines. Now don't blow it by losing to Indiana. We're getting close to the point of the season during which, in 2009, Michigan did its best Toonces the Driving Cat impression. Let last week's tweak of quarterback Denard Robinson's knee serve as a warning to you. You have one of the nation's premier playmakers. You also have other offensive players good enough to make plays. Use them, too. Don't let Robinson get himself broken in half.
Last game: Beat Bowling Green, 65-21
Next game: Saturday at Indiana
25 Michigan St. Spartans
Last Week: --
The Little Giants can cause a big shakeup in the Big Ten pecking order if they can beat the Badgers. Wisconsin's running game should provide a tough test for linebacker Greg Jones and the Spartans' defenders. If they can pass, they'll prove they can play a role in how the Big Ten is decided this season.
Last game: Beat Northern Colorado, 45-7
Next game: Saturday vs. Wisconsin

Next five: Air Force, Nevada, Missouri, Oregon State, West Virginia

Andy Staples' Power Rankings also serve as his ballot in the Associated Press Top 25 poll.

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