There was a lot of shuffling in my poll this week with South Carolina taking down Alabama, Florida State embarrassing Miami (FL), Michigan State bringing Michigan back down to reality and the Cardiac Cats pulling out yet another nail-biter against Florida. Ohio State took over the No. 1 spot with Oregon coming in at a close second and Boise State staying within striking distance at No. 3. I dropped Alabama down to No. 8 just ahead of No. 9 South Carolina. Yes, I know that South Carolina beat Alabama last weekend, but I can’t discount where both teams were ranked last week and I still think Alabama is the best team in the country. Ohio State took over the No. 1 spot, but if Oregon would’ve performed a little better against Washington State they would’ve been my top team. The Buckeyes could have a short stay at the top, though, as they go to Camp Randall Stadium this Saturday to face No. 18 Wisconsin, which is always a tough place to play.
I was really impressed with Nebraska this past Thursday when they went to Kansas State and totally dominated the Wildcats. I think they have a real shot at going undefeated and possibly playing in the national championship mostly due to their freshman quarterback, Taylor Martinez and their stifling defense. Martinez has been a real bright spot for the Cornhuskers so far. He already has 737 yards rushing and has gone over 125 yards four times this season, including a 241-yard performance against Kansas State. His throwing ability is still developing, but his legs make up for what his arm lacks. The Cornhuskers have a tough three-game stretch coming up, though, as they face Texas, Oklahoma State and Missouri in consecutive weeks. If they can get through those games unscathed, it should be smooth sailing all the way to the national title game.
Florida State is finally playing like the team I thought they were in the beginning of the season (I did predict they would be a top-10 team by the end of the season). Jacory Harris couldn’t shake one of his poorest performances of the season (19-for-47, 225 yards and one interception) and the Seminoles took advantage of his mistakes. They jumped out to an early lead and never let up, scoring 45 points on one of the better defenses in the country. Junior running back Jermaine Thomas scored a career-high three touchdowns (two rushing, one receiving) all in the first 21 minutes. The Seminoles defense is playing well too. The same unit that allowed 47 points to Oklahoma in Week 2 has only allowed a combined 47 points in their other five contests.
Here are a few intriguing games to keep an eye on this weekend (all games on Saturday, Oct. 16):
Illinois at No. 12 Michigan State, 12:00pm
No. 21 Missouri at Texas A&M, 12:00pm
Texas at No. 4 Nebraska, 3:30pm
No. 11 Arkansas at No. 7 Auburn, 3:30pm
No. 16 Iowa at Michigan, 3:30pm
No. 1 Ohio State at No. 18 Wisconsin, 3:30pm
Submitted by Steve Giles