Every Thursday during the college football season, I will reveal my new power rankings prior to the next week getting started. Keep in mind that this is not a Top 25 poll but a list of power rankings based on the previous week’s games. Here is the first set of Southern Football Report Power Rankings:
1. Oregon – The Ducks were up 35-6 with a little under 4 minutes remaining in the 2nd quarter and finished the game against the South Dakota Coyotes 62-13. The final score wasn’t what jumped out at me but the efficiency of the Ducks was amazing as they went 7-for-9 on 3rd downs and completed over 70% of their passes as a team. Oregon looked sharp which will definitely help them in Week 2 when Sparty comes to town.
2. Florida State – I know, I know, the Seminoles only beat Oklahoma State by six points and were held to 4-of-14 on 3rd downs. Even with all of that the game was never in doubt as the Seminoles led the entire game and the Cowboys never got within three points of tying the reigning national champions. The Noles didn’t play their best game by a long shot and still controlled the game.
3. Georgia – The game against Clemson was tied at halftime but the Dawgs responded in the second half as well as anyone in the country scoring 24 points on a Tiger defense who was gassed. Georgia put one of the best rushing attacks in the country on display as they went for 328 yards on the ground as a team.
4. Baylor – The Bears played their inaugural game in McLane Stadium on Sunday and it looked like they hadn’t even taken a break since the Fiesta Bowl. Quarterback Bryce Petty went out with an injury and is day-to-day but still threw for 2 touchdowns and over 150 yards before the Bears finished off the Mustangs 45-0. Oh yeah and the defense held SMU to negative rushing yards.
5. Texas A&M – No one outside of the coaching staff in College Station had any idea that the Aggies would walk into Williams-Brice Stadium and do what Texas A&M did to the Ole Ball Coach last Thursday night. Especially on the arm of sophomore quarterback Kenny Hill who set Aggie records for passing yards. Oh yeah, and the Aggies rushed for 169 yards on the usually stingy Gamecock defense.
6. Notre Dame – Well I think it is safe to say that quarterback Everett Golson didn’t forget the Brian Kelly playbook while he was in academic exile. The senior rushed for three touchdowns and threw for two on the Irish’s way to a 48-17 victory over Rice. Notre Dame did have two other rushers go for over 70 yards each and had a lot of receivers step up and make plays. I know it was only Rice but the Irish offense looked very sharp opening weekend.
7. Auburn – The Auburn Tigers did what the Auburn Tigers do, with or without quarterback Nick Marshall who didn’t play in the 1st half due to a suspension. The Tigers rolled up over 300 yards on the ground and converted 9-of-14 3rd downs in their 45-21 win over Arkansas. Quarterback Jeremy Johnson got the start in the place of Marshall and dazzled with his passing ability going for 243 yards with two touchdowns.
8. Southern California – I don’t care who you are or who you play, when you put 700+ yards of offense on the board, it is worth noting. The Trojans had every reason to come out flat and uninterested but instead head coach Steve Sarkisian had his guys ready to play. The quarterback had a career high in passing, the Trojans had a 100 yard rusher and I believe we have found a new star receiver at USC in junior Nelson Agholor.
9. Arizona State – While most of you all were out at the local high school football game last Friday night, the Sun Devils were rolling over Weber State to the tune of 45-14 on the legs of junior runningback DJ Foster who went for 147 and three touchdowns. Arizona State converted 32 first downs while pitching a shutout until late in the third quarter. I know it was Weber State but the efficiency was there for a team who lost the core of their offense from last year.
10. Oklahoma – The Sooners only converted 5-of-13 on third down on Saturday against Louisiana Tech and quarterback Trevor Knight threw both a touchdown and an interception, and Oklahoma still rolled over the Bulldogs 48-16. Louisiana Tech managed to kick a field goal in the closing seconds of the first half to make the score 31-3. Oklahoma will need to get better on third down moving forward but 183 yards rushing helps efficiency a lot.
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