The top-10 looks a bit different this week with Oklahoma and Texas sliding a little further down, Iowa sliding way down and Arkansas busting through to No. 9 from No. 15. There was no movement in the top-5, as all five teams were impressive in taking care of business. If I had to pick the most dangerous top-5 team that people may not be talking much about, I would have to take Oregon. I understand that besides playing Tennessee in Knoxville in primetime, which they convincingly won 48-13, the Ducks haven’t had the stiffest competition. But there’s definitely something to be said when a team has the discipline to shut out two out of their three opponents while scoring 72 and 69 points, respectively. The Ducks have a couple tough games in the coming weeks as they go on the road to face Arizona State this week and play Stanford at home the following. This should let us know a little more about the Ducks and if they’re for real, which I think they are.
Arkansas fended off a fierce comeback by Georgia last Saturday and beat the Bulldogs 31-24 after blowing a two-touchdown lead in the fourth quarter. The Bulldogs tied the game with 3:55 left in the fourth quarter on a three-yard touchdown run by Washaun Ealey. After Arkansas went three-and-out on the ensuing possession, Georgia got the ball back with a chance to get in position to attempt a potential game-winning field goal, but were halted at midfield after a helmet-popping sack of quarterback Aaron Murray. Razorbacks’ quarterback Ryan Mallet then showed the nation why he is a potential Heisman Trophy candidate. He led his team on a three-play, 73-yard drive capped off by a 40-yard touchdown strike to Greg Childs that put the Razorbacks ahead for good. This win was enough to propel Arkansas into my top-10, but it could be a very short stay as they welcome the defending national champions and No. 1 Alabama into Fayetteville this Saturday. Mallet is one of the top quarterbacks in the league, but I’m not sure if the rest of his team has enough to get past the top-ranked Crimson Tide. Nonetheless, this should be a very good early season matchup between these two SEC powerhouses.
Stanford has really impressed me thus far, which is why I ranked them at No. 12 ahead of Wisconsin and South Carolina. I just think they are better than Wisconsin and South Carolina on both sides of the ball and have been more impressive in their victories. They do have two tough road tests in a row, though, as they go to Notre Dame and to Oregon in consecutive weeks. They should be able to take care of business against the Irish, but have their hands full at Autzen Stadium on October 2, where the Ducks are 32-4 since 1997.
Week 4 will provide us with some great matchups between ranked teams as well as teams on the brink of the top-25. Here are a few to keep an eye on (the rankings are from my poll):
All games on Saturday, September 25
No. 1 Alabama at No. 9 Arkansas, 3:30pm
No. 14 South Carolina at No. 16 Auburn, 7:45pm
Oregon State at No. 3 Boise State, 8:00pm
No. 22 West Virginia at No. 15 LSU, 9:00pm
California at No. 11 Arizona, 10:00pm
Submitted by Steve Giles