Rant Sports Official College Football Top 25: Week Eight
Official Rant Sports College Football Top 25: Week Eight
The second college football weekend in October provided a slate of games where conference pretenders started to cast an eye toward the hardwood and the elite survived. In terms of upsets, what the Texas Tech Red Raiders did to the West Virginia Mountaineers in Lubbock should be classified as a felony. Tommy Tuberville’s defense under Art Kaufman’s direction has turned Mike Leach’s old outpost into a dangerous Big 12 locale. Can they maintain this frenetic improvement?
In Baton Rouge, the LSU Tigers and South Carolina Gamecocks battled for national positioning and Les Miles found out he really doesn’t need Playstation numbers from Zach Mettenberger to win. He can rely on freshman running back Jeremy Hill instead.
North to South Bend, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish slugged through the rain with the Stanford Cardinal and a goal line stand kept Brian Kelly’s program undefeated. A review of Stepfan Taylor’s attempt to tie the game in overtime wasn’t overturned and perhaps there’s something to that Irish luck.
The Oklahoma Sooners annihilated the Texas Longhorns in the Red River Shootout, a moniker that befits only the team sporting crimson and white. David Ash may have suffered a broken wrist, Damien Williams scored from 95 yards and Blake Bell is the epitome of a fantasy football touchdown thief.
Mike Riley’s Oregon State Beavers bested the BYU Cougars without their starting quarterback and as is tradition in 2012, celebrated at In-N-Out Burger. I’m not sure there’s a better recruiting pitch to high school athletes at the moment than a coach willing to shell out for Animal Style orders and chocolate shakes.
25. Texas Longhorns
Mack Brown's team sits at a precarious 4-2 with the Baylor Bears headed to Austin next week. It's becoming more difficult for Brown to term the disaster of 2010 a fluke, this is who the Longhorns are under him sans an elite signal-caller.
24. Arizona State Sun Devils
Todd Graham's surprising success in Tempe may explode if the Sun Devils are able to upset the Oregon Ducks. And by explode, I of course mean he'll take his next dream job this winter.
23. TCU Horned Frogs
In the arena of recruiting momentum, Saturday's decimation of the Baylor Bears by Gary Patterson's team means more than losing their quarterback to DWI. That's a statement win for a program in need of some good news.
22. Boise State Broncos
In their final season in the Mountain West, Chris Petersen was supposed to experience rebuilding pains at Boise State. They knocked off the Fresno State Bulldogs and continue their rinse, repeat success.
21. Texas A&M Aggies
Johnny Manziel needed all 59 points on Saturday to silence Louisiana Tech. His sandlot style is fascinating and the LSU Tigers offer a litmus test for the rising Aggies.
20. Cincinnati Bearcats
The Bearcats have yet to lose in 2012 and the only headlines they receive are about Butch Jones accepting a higher-profile job. Between Brian Kelly and now Jones, I wouldn't worry about the next hire if the latter exits.
19. Texas Tech Red Raiders
Holding a Dana Holgorsen offense to fourteen points deserves plenty of praise and though Tuberville appeared a bad fit in Lubbock before, he's probably not itching for an SEC return anymore.
18. Rutgers Scarlet Knights
They might be Greg Schiano's players but Kyle Flood is painting a masterpiece with 6-0 Rutgers. Light up the Empire State Building already.
17. Louisville Cardinals
The Cardinals prevailed over Pitt this weekend but I'm starting to wonder whether Charlie Strong's name coming up daily in coaching conversations affects his locker room.
16. Clemson Tigers
Dabo Swinney's squad will have had two weeks to prepare for the disappointing Virginia Tech Hokies. This is a classic Clemson game; blow out Frank Beamer's team or mind-boggingly lose as only the Tigers can.
15. Stanford Cardinal
Had Stepfan Taylor's review happened under Jim Harbaugh, Brian Kelly would be in the ICU this morning.
14. Oklahoma Sooners
The smirk on Bob Stoops' face as Oklahoma murders Texas is one of the more iconic images of that rivalry over the last decade and a half.
13. Georgia Bulldogs
The dismal performance against South Carolina behind them, Georgia returns to the field against lowly Kentucky. Mark Richt may as well read Joker Phillips his Last Rites.
12. Mississippi State Bulldogs
Dan Mullen is usually a talker and that's why his Lane Kiffin-like personality 180 has me confused. These Bulldogs are underrated and an outside threat to Alabama in the SEC West. What gives?
11. Florida State Seminoles
Fresh off crushing Boston College, the 'Noles face their in-state nemesis Miami. If Al Golden, who I believe is gone at the end of 2012 from Coral Gables, beats Jimbo Fisher, Tallahassee could erupt.
10. South Carolina Gamecocks
The 'Ole Ball Coach couldn't get past Les Miles in Death Valley but hoisting the crystal football in January is still possible. South Carolina's matchup with Florida this weekend might be the biggest game of the year.
9. USC Trojans
There are the Trojans, just hanging around and waiting for one-loss teams to come back to them. Think Lane Kiffin and his staff have already taken a look at the Notre Dame film?
8. Oregon State Beavers
Mike Riley is the best. Nice guy, lifer in Corvallis and an In-N-Out aficionado. I imagine the Beavers locker room is a fun place to be in 2012.
7. Ohio State Buckeyes
Though the Buckeyes won't be participants in Pasadena this season, Braxton Miller is more than capable of winning some Heisman hardware. This team sits outside the elite but they're scoring at will in year one of Urban Meyer's system. That's a boon for those looking ahead to 2013.
6. LSU Tigers
Left for dead when they struggled at Auburn, LSU rode Jeremy Hill to a clutch victory over South Carolina. If the rushing attack looks like that weekly, the Crimson Tide aren't breezing through the SEC West.
5. Kansas State Wildcats
Ames, Iowa is a tricky place to nab victories. Bill Snyder's crew accomplished it though and control their own Big 12 destiny. I don't have any adoring adjectives left for the man.
4. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Drenched and defensive, that's what Notre Dame looked like on Saturday. If you don't think an undefeated Notre Dame is playing for the BCS National Championship no matter their competition, you haven't watched college football very long.
3. Florida Gators
Jeff Driskel's ascendancy under Brent Pease is borderline amazing. He's a weapon under center for the Gators and one they'll need immensely this weekend as Florida welcomes SEC East opponent South Carolina to Gainesville.
2. Oregon Ducks
Chip Kelly's Ducks travel to Tempe on Thursday for one of those Pac 12 delights. It's a prime setup for Oregon's first loss and just as likely that you're flipping the station at the half because the score is De'Anthony Thomas: 32, Sun Devils: 14.
1. Alabama Crimson Tide
The first scare of Alabama's season happened in A.J. McCarron's knee. Rest easy though Tide fans, even if the quarterback missed the remainder of the year, Nick Saban could tab a sorority girl under center and still gain 250 yards of offense. Alabama travels to Knoxville to pay their respects to Derek Dooley's SEC career this weekend.