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 Ducks – For the second week in a row the Ducks top our power rankings after a 46-27 win over Michigan State in Eugene. The Ducks were down 27-18 in the third quarter and reeled off 28 straight points to close out the game behind Mariota’s 318 passing yards and three touchdowns. Oregon gained almost 500 yards in the contest and that’s with over 70 yards in penalties. The lone bright spot for Sparty was senior wide receiver Tony Lippett who went off for 133 yards and a touchdown.
2. Oklahoma Sooners – Some people had Oklahoma on upset alert after their ho-hum 48-16 win over Louisiana Tech but they turned the corner and beat in-state opponent Tulsa 52-7 in a game where the Sooners forced 4 turnovers and gained 580 yards of offense. Quarterback Trevor Kight looked good throwing for 299 yards and 2 scores and it helps to have a receiver like Sterling Sheppard who caught eight balls for 177 yards and a score. Oklahoma has yet to allow a first half touchdown in 2014.
3. Arizona State Sun Devils – The Sun Devils haven’t played anyone of note yet in 2014 but the two they have played are doing their best to forget the day they played Arizona State. The last opponent, New Mexico, allowed over 600 yards of offense and learned the name of new runningback D.J. Foster who had 216 yards rushing on only 19 carries. Arizona State forced 3 turnovers in the game and it won’t be long before America figures out that one of the best quarterback-runningback duo resides in Tempe.
4. BYU Cougars– Last season the Cougars hung 40 points on the Longhorns in Provo but common sense told us that there would be no way the Cougars scored that many points in the 2014 game in Austin. Our common senses are still watching BYU score on the Longhorns. You only needed to see two series to figure out that the most athletic team on the field wasn’t the one in burnt orange. BYU held Texas to only 82 yards rushing on their way to a 41-7 victory.
5. Baylor Bears – I know, I know, Baylor was playing FCS team Nortwestern State but starting quarterback and Heisman hopeful Bryce Petty was out with a back injury. The Bears never missed a beat as backup quarterback Seth Russell went 16-for-25 for 438 yards and 5 touchdowns. Baylor outgained Northwestern State 720 yards to only 202 yards and freshman wide receiver KD Cannon had 6 receptions, 223 yards and 3 touchdowns.
6. Notre Dame Fighting Irish – The Irish were out gained by 9 yards in the game but did force four turnovers against Michigan last Saturday night. Notre Dame shut out Michigan for the only time in all the seasons that I went back and looked (I stopped in the teens) and quarterback Everett Golson looked good going 23-of-34 for 226 yards and three touchdowns. The passing game and the defense looked very good for Notre Dame but the Irish need to find a way to run the football…fast.
7. Auburn Tigers – San Jose State bowed their backs a little bit in the 1st quarter and connected on a 75-yard touchdown pitch-and-catch but 31 points later the Tigers carried a 38-10 lead into the halftime break and that pretty much broke the Spartan spirit. Auburn as a team rushed for 358 yards and held San Jose State to just 65 yards rushing. Senior runningback Cameron Artis-Payne pitched in with 112 yards and three touchdowns.
8. USC Trojans – Once you get past all of the childish actions of the Southern Cal Athletic Director and College Football Playoff Selection Committee member Pat Haden, the Trojans played a pretty good game and got a huge conference win on the road. Stanford has been the early favorite to win the Pac-12 but USC went on the road and got the 13-10 win despite being out gained by over 100 yards. The Trojans held Stanford scoreless in the second half and did it on the road in a big moment. That is a huge win for USC.
9. Alabama Crimson Tide – The Crimson Tide are the first team that I can remember that carried a quarterback competition into the season but both guys looked good Saturday against Florida Atlantic. Blake Sims went 12-of-14 for 228 yards and two touchdowns while Jake Coker went 15-of-24 for 202 yards and one touchdown. Both quarterbacks had a pretty good time throwing to receiver Amari Cooper caught thirteen passes for 189 yards and a touchdown. Oh yeah and the defense pitched a shutout.
10. Virginia Tech Hokies – You could argue that the Hokies got the best win of the season Saturday night in the Horseshoe against the Ohio State Buckeyes. Over the past couple seasons, Virginia Tech’s offense has been the weak ling on the team but Saturday night the Hokies were 9-of-17 on 3rd down behind the arm of transfer quarterback Michael Brewer. The Virginia Tech defense was also in attendance as they forced the young Buckeye quarterback into throwing three interceptions.
Tune into the Southern Football Report every Saturday morning from 10am-Noon for high school scores from Friday night as well as a preview of all the college football games on Saturday! We’ll be on Live 101.9, Rockin 106.3 and WMGR-AM/WSEM-FM 99.3 this Saturday!