The Tigers beat the defending champs like a loose piñata. Their defensive line accounted for six sacks on Auburn’s Clint Moseley, who was the latest quarterback victim in LSU’s season-long target practice. Ranked third nationally in total defense, the Tigers won without star corner Tyrann Mathieu. The victory also marks the fifth win against a ranked opponent. If they get number six, in two weeks at Alabama, then they solidify themselves as the favorites for the BCS title. (Next: Idle)
2. Alabama (8-0): beat Tennessee 37-6
The Crimson Tide was tied at halftime with Tennessee, but its dominant running game led by Trent Richardson wore the Vols down. Quarterback A.J. McCarron threw for a career-high 284 yards. When looking ahead to the colossal Nov. 5 matchup of the nation’s top two teams, consider this—for getting most of the well-deserved hype for their defenses, both ‘Bama and LSU are averaging over 39 points per game. Between two common opponents (Tennessee and Florida) the score differential looks eerily similar:
Both teams get a bye this week to prepare for what some consider the “National Championship in November.” (Next: Idle)
3. Stanford (7-0): beat Washington 65-21
Stanford, which boasts a capable offensive line and physical defensive front, may be the nation’s only team who can beat the LSU/Alabama winner. The Cardinals are built from the inside out, meaning they focus more plays based off their line play than spreading the ball quickly to the outside. Unlike Oregon’s 2010 national runner-up team, Stanford’s line looks like it can handle an SEC defense. Also, a once-in-a-decade quarterback like Andrew Luck makes them competitive against anyone in the country. But he isn’t the only star in the backfield. (Next: @ USC)
4. Oklahoma State (7-0): beat Missouri, 45-24
After two straight uncharacteristic games where he didn’t throw for over 300 yards, Brandon Weeden got back on track by throwing for 338 yards and three scores. Though star receiver Justin Blackmon left the game early with an injury, tailback Joseph Randle took over as the team’s playmaker. Randle ran 14 times for 138 yards and had four total touchdowns. Now the Cowboys turn their attention to Baylor, where the offense tailored for shootouts can match guns with Robert Griffin III. (Next: vs. Baylor)
5. Boise State (7-0): beat Air Force, 37-26
Though the 3-4 Falcons gave Boise a close game, Kellen Moore and company did not fold. Moore completed 23-of-29 for 281 yards and three touchdowns. The Broncos should have relatively little challenge to win out (although pundits jinxed them last year with the same prediction) and be in a BCS bowl game at the very least. If they expect to sneak in to the national title hunt, they’ll depend on still undefeated teams like Stanford, Oklahoma St., and Clemson to lose somewhere along the line. (Next: Idle)
6. Clemson (8-0): beat North Carolina, 59-38
The Clemson offense just never stops going. Ranked fifteenth in both passing offense and total offense, the Tigers are led by first-year starting quarterback Tajh Boyd and dynamite freshman receiver Sammy Watkins. However, the defense remains an issue as Clemson continually gives up big points. The run defense better step up, as the Tigers travel to Atlanta to play the Yellowjackets, who run the ball as well as anyone in the nation. (Next: @ Georgia Tech)
7. Oregon (6-1): beat Colorado, 45-2
Saturday’s blood bath that filled Folsom Field looked more like a Japanese horror film than a college football game. The Buffs looked lost as they couldn’t understand how to stop Oregon’s rushing attack, which ranks as the best in the Pac-12. Even when CU scored it was Oregon who was in the endzone.
Without starters Darron Thomas and LaMichael James, the Ducks offense rolled easily, albeit over an injured and slow CU defense. (Next: vs. Washington St.)
8. Arkansas (6-1): beat Ole Miss, 29-24
The Razorbacks will take an ugly win against a 2-5 Ole Miss squad. That’s just one of the facts of life in the nation’s premiere conference: to win any way you can against great competition. Besides, Bobby Petrino’s ball-club only has the one loss to Alabama and is still in the hunt for the SEC title game, though they need some help. (Next: @ Vanderbilt)
9. Oklahoma (6-1): lost to Texas Tech, 38-41
The previously top-ranked Sooners lost their first game in Norman for the first time since 2005. Against Texas Tech? Not even Tech head coach Tommy Tuberville saw that one coming. Oklahoma’s national title hopes are cooked, but they can still win the Big 12 if they run the table, meaning they need to beat two undefeated teams in Kansas St. and Oklahoma St. (Next: @ Kansas St.)
10. Kansas State (7-0): beat Kansas, 59-21
Coach Bill Snyder has the Wildcats playing like the old days, earlier in his coaching career. After retiring in 2005, the 72-year-old coach returned last season as the program was suffering. Though they are one of the few undefeated teams left, some of the unimpressive wins leave a lot to be desired. A 10-7 win over Eastern Kentucky and three Big 12 wins by one score prove that KSU must get better as Oklahoma, Oklahoma St., and Texas A&M loom on the schedule. (Next: vs. Oklahoma)
Michael William Krumholtz Jr. was born in a suburb of Dayton, Ohio. This is his fifth semester on the CU Independent sports staff.
He has never gotten the chicken pox, became a Connect Four champion by the ripe age of 11, and drinks red wine straight from the bottle.
Don't try to look him up on Facebook. It won't be him
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