Baylor celebrates cracking our new batch of power rankings, or another successful offensive outburst. Photo: USA Today Sports
Not much changed with the top half of our power rankings this week, our second week cooking up the power rankings with each member of the staff having a vote. In fact, our top six teams remained unchanged in the order, although Alabama gained a bit more strength when it comes to first-place votes this week. We do see some changes in the bottom of the poll though, along with some new faces. The power rankings were delayed in posting this week, but will regularly be posted on Mondays.
1. Alabama (6 first-place votes)
Alabama maintains their footing on the top of the major polls as well as our power rankings. This past weekend Alabama had no problems with overmatched Georgia State, and this coming weekend the Tide roll in to Kentucky. Alabama's most impressive win of the year continues to be the victory at Texas A&M, which is arguably the best win any team on our power rankings this week has this season. What also helps Alabama's cause is the week one opener against Virginia Tech starts to look a little better each week the Hokies pull together a win.
2. Oregon (2 first-place votes)
This week Oregon picked up the only first-place votes not awarded to Alabama by our staff. The Ducks continue to pile up the offensive stats, a feat only rivaled by Baylor it seems, but the Oregon defense has allowed just 11.8 points per game (second fewest in the nation). Oregon has posted 55 points or more in each of their first five games and this week heads to Washington for their biggest challenge of the season to date. Oregon has won six straight meetings with the Huskies and their last loss on the road in the series came in 2003.
Clemson maintains their position as the team on standby in the national championship hunt, at least according to our staff. The Tigers have been thriving through the air with Tajh Boyd throwing 14 touchdowns to just two interceptions, and the defense has held all but one opponent (Georgia) to 14 points or fewer this season. Clemson hosts Boston College this weekend and then preps for a big one against Florida State next weekend.
Stanford lost a first-place vote in our rankings this week, but still manages to sit tight in the fourth spot. The Cardinal have struggled to put up much in the passing game, ranked 97th in passing offense, and the defense has not been as lock-down as some may believe, but this team continues to find ways to win. Coming off a close win against Washington, the Cardinal now head to Utah before a Pac 12 Championship rematch with UCLA in Palo Alto next weekend.
5. Ohio State
Ohio State extended their nation-long winning streak to 18 games with a hard-fought victory against Northwestern last weekend. The Buckeyes are averaging 46.8 points per game and holding opponents to 19.2 points per game, which includes the 30 given up to the Wildcats Saturday night. Already 2-0 in Big Ten play, it looks as though the Buckeyes should be on a fast track for Indianapolis at the end of the conference schedule. They have off this week and host Iowa and Penn State the following two weeks.
A very strong case can be made for Georgia being the top one-loss team in the country right now. Georgia's only loss came on the road against Clemson, a 38-35 setback, and the Bulldogs have defeated South Carolina and LSU. At the time the games have been played, all three were top ten teams. While Tennessee provided a scare last weekend, Aaron Murray and his depleted offensive unit found a way to win. How the injuries affect this team moving forward will be crucial to watch, but this week Georgia hosts No. 25 Missouri.
7. Florida State
An argument can be made that Florida State has yet to play any real competition, but the play of freshman quarterback Jameis Winston and the defense have caught the eye of our staff, making their debut in the power rankings this week. After sinking Maryland to the tune of 63-0, the Seminoles appears to be in top form in the ACC. Florida State even gets a week off to prepare for their road game at Clemson next week. Will Winston be able to handle his first real test in hostile territory? Or will it be a bit of a dose of reality for the freshman stud?
LSU's drops a spot in our rankings, but is still a clear top ten according to our votes. A close loss at Georgia is certainly nothing to be ashamed of two weeks ago and it would not be considered a shock to see a rematch in the SEC Championship Game later this season, but a blowout of Mississippi State was not much to convince our staff to put them ahead of Florida State this week. This weekend the Tigers host Florida in one of the games of the week, so that could easily change next week.
Can anybody slow down this Baylor offense? The Bears have put up 70 points in each of their last three games and were one point shy of that mark in the season opener. Through four games Baylor has outscored their opponents 282-65 and the Bears have already outscored the entire 2012 seasons of 31 different schools. Baylor's next targeted victim is Kansas State, losers of two straight Big 12 games. Baylor could practically bury the defending Big 12 champs in the standings this weekend.
10. Texas A&M
Like with Georgia, a strong case can be made that Texas A&M is the best one-loss team in the country. The only loss this season came at the hands of Alabama in what turned out to be a one-score game. Johnny Manziel continues to be one of the best shows in the game and this week that show hits the road against Ole Miss after a bye week. The Aggies have been vulnerable on defense, but they have the offense to overcome it against most schools. Expect plenty of points scored this Saturday night.
Texas A&M tied with Oklahoma and Miami for the final spot but was placed on more ballots than the Sooners and Hurricanes to break the tie.