Monday, September 14, 2009

TBDPITL: My Week Two Top 25 Ballot

by HD Handshoe

I am a voter in TBDPITL weekly poll.

Here is my official week two ballot.
My week one rank for each team in parentheses.

1--FLORIDA (1)

Everyone including me agrees the Gators are legit, and even though they still haven't played anyone, they've thrashed both cupcakes they've played, so they remain at the top.

2--USC (3)

After pulling off the comeback in Columbus, USC moves up one spot from No. 3 last week. If Tressel had some bucknuts, Ohio State and USC would be flip-flopped this week.

3--TEXAS (2)

Texas was No. 2 last week, but after struggling to pull away from mighty and unranked Wyoming until late, they drop to make room for USC. This week, the Longhorns host No. 19 Texas Tech, while USC plays unranked Washington. A solid win over the Red Raiders could easily vault Texas back up to the No. 2 slot, or depending on how the Florida/Tennesse game goes, the No. 1 position may be up or grabs.


Another week, another win, another step towards stealing the 2009 Heisman away from Tebow and McCoy for Jahvid Best. I'm on the Bear bandwagon.

5--PENN STATE (10)

Steady she goes. Much like Florida, Penn State has played nobody yet, but they won both games rather easily. I have them here just ahead of BYU, but barely.


BYU is not like most other mid-majors, aka BCS Busters. They were a powerhouse program years ago and they have won a national title. If they can run the table, this could be the year the BCS comes tumbling down and we may inch ever-so-closer to a playoff.

7--ALABAMA (7)

The Tide have a very talented running back crew in Mark Ingram, Trent Richardson, and Roy Upchurch, but I'm still not sold on new QB Greg McElroy. Bama was only leading FIU 20-14 at home in Tuscaloosa late in the third. Even though they did pull away in the fourth for the 40-14, color me under-impressed with their overall performance in that game.


I was really high on QB Josh Nesbitt and running back Jonathan Dwyer before this game, as evidenced by my No. 5 ranking of GT. After watching the game, I still think they are both pretty solid but the GT defense let them down, allowing 27 unanswered points. The Yellow Jackets kicked two late field goals and escaped at home with a 30-27 win over Clemson, but still drop three spots this week.


LSU could have moved up with a better home performance against Vandy, but the game was much closer than I expected, so the Tigers hold steady at No. 9 this week with the, albeit somewhat unimpressive, win.

10--OHIO STATE (8)

Tressel-ball does it again. If Tressel wasn't scared and conservative, the Buckeyes could have ran away with this game. Instead, they turned true freshman Matt Barkley into a SoCal folk-hero, and drop two spots in the poll. Had they won, as I believe they should have, Ohio State and USC would be flip-flopped this week.

11--BOISE STATE (14)

The Broncos pounded the Redhawks from Miami (OH) 48-0 and move up three spots this week. They go on the road to play Fresno State this week. The Bulldogs gave away the "W" last week, almost beating Wisconsin in Madison. This could be a great game that propels BSU into the top 10, or sends their BCS hopes down the drain.

12--OLE MISS (11)

Mississippi was jumped by Boise State and BYU after having a bye in week two. They only lose one poll position however because of the loss suffered by then-No. 5 Oklahoma State. Their next three games are all near locks, so by the time the October 10th game vs. No. 7 Alabama gets here, they could both be top 10 or maybe even top five.

13--OKLAHOMA (12)

The Sooners won big over Idaho State, 64-0, but it was Idaho State. They too lose one spot this week after Boise and BYU jump up and OK State slides after their loss to Houston. If Bradford can't come back soon, and be 100%, OU might not be here for long.


Tyrod Taylor played better, but it was the VT running game that led the Hokies to victory this past Saturday. Va Tech rolled over Marshall 52-10. David Wilson and Ryan Williams combined for 329 yards rushing and four touchdowns. But, it was lowly Marshall, and I'm not on the Taylor bandwagon like I was before the Alabama loss so they slip one spot this week. Next week they host No. 15 Nebraska so somebody's moving up and somebody's moving down.

15--NEBRASKA (18)

Could it be that Nebraska football is on it's way back? I'd say, so far so good under second-year coach Bo Pelini. I am pulling for them, but then I may be biased slightly, seeing as how Pelini was a defensive captain for the 1992 Ohio State Buckeyes. He has a young team, but he has some talent there. We'll know a lot more this week as the Huskers travel to Blacksburg to take on No. 14 Virginia Tech.

16--TCU (20)

After a week one bye, TCU jumps four spots from 20 to 16 after defensively manhandling the Virginia Cavaliers in Charlottesville. The game was not close at all, so don't be fooled by the 30-14 final score. Virginia scored two garbage time touchdowns in the last 4:15 of the fourth quarter. Their next five games all are winnable, so they could easily be 6-0 and in the top ten possibly when they meet No. 6, BYU on October 24th, in Provo. That should be one heck of a matchup, regardless of the records.


The Bearcats made a huge statement for the second week in a row, unleashing a 70-3 beatdown on SE Missouri State. In my preseason poll, Cincy wasn't even ranked, then after disposing of Rutgers on the road last week debuted at No. 24. Now, I know this week they played at home vs. a cupcake, but I am sold that Brian Kelly's team is going to score a lot of points no matter who they are playing and they are now my new favorites to win the Big East.


It took a late FG for Oregon State to survive a scare from UNLV and pull out the 23-21 win. That was very disappointing and even though a win is a win, an ugly win, or a win when you really could have, and maybe should have lost, does count against you in my book. For that reason, the Beavers drop from 15 to 18 on my ballot this week.


I did not have Texas Tech in my preseason, nor my week one poll. After last weeks 55-10 blowout over Rice, in which Taylor Potts passed for 456 yards and seven touchdowns, I may have, now admittedly, sold the Red Raiders a bit short. That being said, they may not stay here very long, or they may end up in the top 10 very soon. This week, they play at No. 3 Texas and the following week, they travel to Houston to take on a Cougar team that just upset then-No. 5, Oklahoma State. I have Houston as my No. 26 team, but they are ranked No. 21 in this weeks AP poll. The dust will settle in the next two weeks. Who'll be left standing?

20--KANSAS (22)

Kansas has played two cupcakes thus far, but so has UF and PSU, so I'm certainly not going to penalize the Jayhawks for it. Todd Reesing has over 460 yards and three touchdowns and tailback Jake Sharp has been solid, rushing for 227 yards and three scores. Their schedule remains soft until their October 24th game at Oklahoma. They could certainly arrive in Norman undefeated. Look for the stats and wins to continue to pile up until then.


There is no team that has been a bigger disappointment so far this season than the Cowboys. Even with their three-pronged attack of QB Zac Robinson, WR Dez Bryant, and RB Kendall Hunter, OK State was anything but "OK" as they were upset 45-35 in Stillwater, by Case Keenum and the Houston Cougars of Conference-USA. I had them at No. 4 this past week and considered dropping them completely out of the top 25. Regardless of what they do next week, they still might exit the poll either way after the upcoming Houston-Texas Tech game, and a few other games involving almost top 25 teams on my radar.


OK, so this is not easy to say as a Buckeye fan, but I do try to be objective, sometimes. Tate Forcier has looked very very good in his first two games. I didn't take much away from the WMU game, but I fully expected Notre Dame to blast the Wolverines last week, and I was wrong. Michigan's defense still needs a lot of improvement, but DickRod has the offense looking good and Forcier looks legit as of right now. I previously had UM unranked, but they make the top 25 this week after a solid win over the then-No. 17 Fighting Irish.

23--UTAH (23)

The Utes moved into my top 25 last week after a handful of ugly performances and a few upsets. They are now 2-0, but they have not looked great in either win over teams that most top 25 teams would roll over. Last week, they onlt beat SJSU by 10, a team that USC buried 56-3 the week before. They stay here for now, but if they don't show more in the next couple of weeks, win or lose, they will probably drop from the rankings. I almost dropped them this week and maybe I should have in favor of Houston. Hindsight is 20/20.

24--Northwestern HOUSTON (NR)

I noted above that hindsight is 20/20. I'm noting it again here. The last I saw, Northwestern was winning their game over EMU in the fourth quarter by 14 points. I assumed the rout was on and the game was over, and I ranked NW at No. 24 when I submitted my ballot. I didn't see the final score until afterwards. Northwestern nearly lost to Eastern Michigan and had I known that, they would not have made the poll. So even though I ranked them on my TBDPITL ballot which can't be changed until week three, I'm hereby changing my No. 24 ranking from NW, to Houston. The Cougars dazzled the nation last week, pulling off the biggest upset to date over Oklahoma State. This week they host Texas Tech. Talk about a potential shootout. If Houston wins that game, they're easily heading for the my top 15, or higher.

25--MIAMI-FLA (25)

The Canes had a bye week after their huge win over the Seminoles last Monday night. Jacory Harris is a star in-the-making and the Hurricanes are loaded with tons of young talent and a good coach in Randy Shannon. I thought about dropping them since they had a bye, but with their brutal schedule (next three games: Georgia, Va Tech, Oklahoma), this will very likely be the last week for them as a ranked team in 2009.

Dropped out:

Michigan State, North Carolina, Notre Dame


Texas Tech, Michigan, Houston

Almost in:

West Virginia, Missouri, Pittsburgh, UCLA, Baylor, Arkansas

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