Every Wednesday during the college football season, I revealed my new power rankings prior to the next week getting started (I’m a day late, I know). Beginning next week I will start unveiling them on Wednesdays. Keep in mind that this is not a Top 25 poll but a list of power rankings based on the previous week’s games. Oh yeah, and go SEC. Here is the first set of Southern Football Report Power Rankings:
1. LSU Tigers – It was just another Saturday night in Baton Rouge as the Tigers knock off the number 3 team in the country giving the Bayou Bengals their 5th win over a top ten team at home in the last five years. LSU gave up an 80 yard touchdown drive in the 1st quarter but put the clamps down on the Ole Miss offense from that point forward and held Bo Wallace and company to only 313 yards of offense in the game. LSU committed 4 turnovers in the ball game and only forced one, but the one they forced ended up being the one that sealed the 10-7 victory. The win got the Tigers over .500 in conference play and they have this week off before the Crimson Tide make their biannual trip the bayou.
2. Alabama Crimson Tide – In what used to be one of the marquee matchups in college football, the Crimson Tide rolled into Knoxville, cigars in tow, to take on the Tennessee Volunteers who were fresh off of a 34-3 beat down by Ole Miss. Before the popcorn had gotten good and warm the Tide jumped out to a 27-0 lead and superstar wide receiver Amari Cooper had two long touchdown receptions. The Orange-clad Vols did score 17 points to get within 10 points before Alabama put the game away with a 76 yard touchdown drive to close out the 3rd quarter. The Tide have a bye week this week before they make the trek to Baton Rouge to play LSU.
3. Kansas State Wildcats – I was very interested in this game because Texas & Kansas State do have an interesting history. Each team has beaten the other late in the season to thwart a title run while also both teams have stomped on the other when they are having a down year. Texas has been such an odd team this year with their split personality performances but Kansas State has been a model of consistency. The Wildcats came in with one of the top dual threat quarterbacks in Jake Waters. The Texas defense shut down Waters in the rushing game and for the most part kept th e Wildcats in check but offensively the Longhorns just didn’t have the horsepower as they were shut out on the road 23-0.
4. Michigan State Spartans – Can Michigan do anything right? Their head coach Brady Hoke, who is on one of the hottest seats in America, gave his team captain a spear before the game in an attempt to fire up his team. Well, his team decided to take that spear and plant it on the field in front of the Spartan team during pregame warm ups; not a smart move. Never in the game did Michigan State look out of control or in a situation where the Wolverines would mount a comeback. Michigan State scored two touchdowns in the 3rd quarter to carry a 28-3 lead into the 4th quarter. The final minute was where things got interesting as the Spartans decided to punch another touchdown in with less than 30 seconds left. Spartan head coach Mike Dantonio said after the game that he felt his team ‘needed to put the dagger in them’.
5. Miami Hurricanes – When I told someone over the weekend that I really liked what I saw from Miami on Thursday night, they laughed at me until I showed them some stats from the box score. The Hurricanes flat out ran over the Hokies in Blacksburg for a whopping 364 rushing yards as a team in their 30-6 victory. The only problem I had with Miami’s game plan was it seemed at times that they were literally trying to run runningback Duke Johnson to death. Johnson carried the ball 29 times for 249 yards and was the leading Hurricane receiver with 2 receptions. Backup runningback Gus Edwards carried the ball 20 times for 115 yards and 2 touchdowns.
6. Arizona State Sun Devils – The Sun Devils were fresh off of their unlikely win over perennial Pac-12 favorite Stanford the week before and also got their starting signal caller, Taylor Kelly, back from injury. They traveled up to the Evergreen State to take on the Huskies of the University of Washington who are no slouch defensively as they boast three of the top defenders in the country on defense. None of that mattered as Arizona State forced three turnovers and scored 14 points in the 4th quarter on their way to a 24-10 Pac-12 victory. Kelly threw for 180 yards and two touchdowns in his first game back in a game so windy that the ESPN television feed was knocked out on multiple occasions.
7. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets – It was just a few weeks ago when Georgia Tech was undefeated and looking to make some noise in the ACC Coastal division but then proceeded to drop two straight games. Some had written off the Jackets as an ACC contender but then they swarmed into Pittsburgh and slapped 56 points on the board against Pittsburgh. This would have been a much closer game had Pittsburgh not turned the ball over six times but when you turn the ball over against Georgia Tech’s style of offense, you will lose and you will lose big. Stat of the game for me was that five different players for the Yellow Jackets scored a rushing touchdown.
8. Wisconsin Badgers – Before the season began we had no idea what to expect from Maryland in their first season as a member of the Big Ten but we did know that they were going to be a veteran team with one of the best wide receivers in the country. Well I’m sure their optimism completely vanished after Badger runningback Melvin Gordon scored his third rushing touchdown just before halftime. Wisconsin completely dismantled the Terrapins as they rushed for over 3o0 yards and kept Maryland out of the end zone until the final minute. The Badgers held Maryland to under 200 yards of total offense in their 52-7 rout.
9. TCU Horned Frogs – One of the most pleasant surprises this college football season has been the emergence of TCU’s offense as well as the superb play of quarterback Trevone Boykin. Historically, TCU always has a really good defense but the explosive, high tempo offense led by Boykin is a real treat to watch. Saturday, the Horned Frogs took Texas Tech back behind the proverbial wood shed and completely annihilated them to the tune of 82-27. Boykin tossed 7 touchdown passes and over 400 yards in the beat down. Boykin’s favorite receiving target was Deante Gray who caught four passes for 165 yards and two touchdowns.
10. Georgia Southern Eagles – It’s no secret here in Georgia (especially if you’re on twitter) that the Georgia Southern and Georgia State student bodies don’t care a whole lot for one another. The Panthers have yet to beat an FBS opponent and the Eagles were hellbent on not being the first. Georgia State took a early three point lead after hitting a 44 yard field goal but would never see it again as the Eagles ran off with a 69-31 win in the Georgia Dome. Georgia Southern star runningback Matt Brieda showed why he is the man at Georgia Southern with his 201 yard, four touchdown performance against the Eagles’ in state conference rival.
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