It's time for another weekly edition of college football's Dirty Dozen ranking the Top 12 teams in the country. This week, I was able to watch one of the nation's best teams in person, as I went to the Wisconsin-Fresno State game. After managing to catch some highlights of the Ohio State-USC blowout on TiVo, I think the Badgers have a better than decent shot at winning the Big Ten this year. Wisconsin's massive offensive line is more impressive in person than on TV.
1. Southern California (2-0) Mark Sanchez is doing something I didn't think possible in the off-season. He's increasing his Heisman chances dramatically and fast becoming the favorite to win the award. Of course it helps if you have overall team talent like the Trojans, and boy did it show against outmanned Ohio State. It seems the Buckeyes' struggles against Ohio University the previous week were an ominous sign.
2. Oklahoma (3-0) Last week, I predicted the Sooners would roll at Washington because the Huskies would have very little left in the tank. Hmm. I'd say a 55-14 win qualifies as rolling to a victory. OU looks good, and Sam Bradford looks great. The Sooners have a bye week before an interesting - and potentially dicey - game against TCU.
3. Georgia (3-0) The Bulldogs have fallen a spot in consecutive weeks, despite winning. Part of the reason is that UGA's wins have been of the ho-hum variety, including Saturday's 14-7 victory over South Carolina. This week's game at Arizona State lost a huge amount of luster after the Sun Devils were stunned at home by a below-average UNLV team.
4. Florida (2-0) The Gators had a bye in preparation for Saturday's game at Tennessee. Prediction: Florida 24, Tennessee 13.
5. Missouri (3-0) The high-scoring Tigers are averaging nearly 60 points a game, and Chase Daniel has been spectacular. The 69-17 pasting of Nevada needs to be kept in perspective though. The Wolf Pack was playing its first game without star running back Luke Lippincott, who rushed for nearly 1,500 yards a year ago but tore his ACL in last week's game against Texas Tech and is out for the season.
6. Wisconsin (3-0) The Badgers played well in winning at Fresno State 13-10. However, Wisconsin still needed some Bulldog miscues, a strange coaching decision by Pat Hill late in the game, and three costly missed field goals by Fresno State's freshman kicker to escape. P.J. Hill is a man among boys and can run practically at will behind a massive O-line. He did just that in the first half in Fresno, but was held in check after halftime. Following a bye this week, Wisconsin plays Michigan and Ohio State back-to-back, which will likely decide the Big Ten title.
7. LSU (2-0) North Texas was dismantled as expected, 41-3. The season gets going big-time this Saturday as LSU opens Southeastern Conference play by traveling to Auburn. This is one of those must-see games and I'll be shocked if it's not a close one that's decided in the fourth quarter.
8. East Carolina (3-0) Uh oh. The Pirates could very well be falling into that trap of believing the hype. It looks like I may have bought into the hype as well though, ranking the Pirates seventh a week ago. ECU had to escape at Tulane, beating the Green Wave 28-24 on a Patrick Pinkney TD pass with just over a minute to play.
9. Auburn (3-0) While sitting at Bulldog Stadium watching Fresno State play Wisconsin, the Auburn-Mississippi State score flashed on the scoreboard. It said 3-2. I thought the score was wrong, but sadly it wasn't. I can't imagine sitting through a 3-2 football game. Luckily for Auburn, it won.
10. Texas (2-0) The Longhorns are likely wishing their game against Arkansas had been played rather than postponed. The Razorbacks aren't looking good, and this may have been the week to get that game in. It's been rescheduled for Sept. 27.
11. Oregon (3-0) The Ducks appeared dead in the water at Purdue for much of Saturday's game before coming back to win in overtime. Justin Roper injured what looked like a knee late in the contest. If he's out for an extended period of time, the Ducks could be in trouble. Next up is a tough Boise State squad that is capable of pulling an upset in Eugene Saturday.
12. BYU (3-0) The 28-27 squeaker at Washington last week is forgiven following the 59-0 thrashing of UCLA. The Bruins are a completely different team on the road, and the Cougars took advantage of it. BYU quarterback Max Hall is quietly positioning himself in the Heisman race, though the "quiet" part is more a by-product of the Mountain West's awful TV contract with Versus than with Hall's performance on the field.
Dropped out -- Then-#10 Ohio State.
Moved in -- BYU.
Just missed -- South Florida, Penn State, Alabama.