Alabama hopped over Texas to assume the Number 2 slot following the Longhorns’ sloppy win in Laramie. The rest of this week’s rankings reflect an upward thrust by the SEC with four teams now residing in the top 10.

1. FLORIDA GATORS/SEC (2-0). They turned the cruise control on in Gainesville and zoomed past another vastly overmatched opponent (56-6 over Troy). The Tennessee – Florida match-up used to be a fantastic SEC battle but the Vols are still on the skids and will offer little resistance this week.
2. ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE/SEC (2-0). The Tide rolled over Florida International, 40-14, but gain little respect this week by taking on North Texas State, another Sun Belt Conference foe.
3. USC TROJANS/Pac-10 (2-0). The Trojans showed just enough offense and a lot of heart to withstand Ohio State and 100,000 screaming Buckeye fans in Columbus. Don’t be surprised if Washington gives USC fits this weekend. Jake Locker is a more mature QB than Terrelle Pryor.

4. TEXAS LONGHORNS/Big 12 (2-0). Colt McCoy struggled against Wyoming in the first half, but Texas managed to survive the Cowboys’ ambush, 41-10. Texas Tech’s Red Raiders invade Austin this Saturday.
5. PENN STATE NITTANY LIONS/Big Ten (2-0). Turned in a solid, if routine, 28-7 win over Syracuse at home. The Temple Owls, now a member of the Mid-American Conference, visit Happy Valley this Saturday. It’ll be a good tune-up for Iowa’s visit on Sept 26.
6. CALIFORNIA GOLDEN BEARS/Pac-10 (2-0). Cal hosted 1-AA Eastern Washington and true to my word, it was a snore, 59-7. The undefeated Minnesota Golden Gophers will present a greater challenge this weekend as they defend their new TCF Bank Stadium. They’ve knocked off Syracuse on the road and Air Force at home to start the season.
7. MISSISSIPPI REBELS/SEC (1-0). Ole Miss was idle last weekend. They take on D-1AA Southeastern Louisiana this Saturday.
8. LSU TIGERS/SEC (2-0). The Bayou Bengals were the first to learn that Steve Sarkisian is reviving the swagger in Washington football, escaping Seattle with a 31-23 win. Vanderbilt will be a breather this weekend in Baton Rouge.
9. BYU COUGARS/MWC (2-0). The Cougars didn’t suffer a letdown from their win over Oklahoma the previous weekend as they crushed Tulane, 54-3. Bobby Bowden and Florida State visit Provo, Utah for the first time in history this weekend in a must-win contest for both teams.
10. MIAMI HURRICANES/ACC (1-0). The Canes take on the Ramblin’ Wreck in the ESPN Thursday night game of the week. Expect them to win at home.
11. OKLAHOMA SOONERS/Big 12 (1-1). You think the Sooners wanted to make a big statement with their 64-0 pasting of Idaho State last week? You think they want to dish out the same treatment to Tulsa this Saturday?
12. OHIO STATE BUCKEYES/Big Ten (1-1). And I thought Terrelle Pryor would be the difference maker in a Buckeye win over USC. He ended up being one of the main reasons the Bucks didn’t win. Had Tate Forcier been leading the OSU offense, they’d still be dancing in the streets of Columbus celebrating a victory over the Trojans.
13. BOISE STATE BRONCOS/WAC (2-0). 48-0 over bottom-of-the-MAC-barrel Miami of Ohio. Snore. Fresno State poses the last of the mild threats on the Broncos’ milk toast schedule for this season.
14. UTAH UTES/MWC (2-0). The Utes struggled on the road at San Jose State late Saturday night, escaping with a 24-14 win over the Spartans. They face Oregon on the road this weekend in their only tough non-conference game of the season.
15. OKLAHOMA STATE COWBOYS/Big 12 (1-1). Oklahoma State choked at home against an explosive, but beatable Houston Cougar squad, losing 45-35. The Pokes will take their frustrations out on Rice this Saturday.
16. TEXAS CHRISTIAN HORNED FROGS/MWC (1-0). The Frogs had little problem in their season opener with ACC doormat Virginia on the road, winning 30-14. They get a free pass this weekend with Texas State at home on Saturday night.
17. CINCINNATI BEARCATS/Big East (2-0). The ‘Cats have racked up 117 points in their first two games, including last week’s 70-3 shellacking of D-1AA Southeastern Missouri State. But the real test comes this weekend with a road game at Oregon State.
18. VIRGINIA TECH HOKIES/ACC (1-1). The Hokies knocked off Marshall, 52-10, and host Nebraska this weekend in one of this week’s best non-conference match-ups. The winner of this game will climb several notches up the power rankings.
19. FLORIDA STATE SEMINOLES/ACC (1-1). The ‘Noles struggled against Jacksonville State at home in a rain storm, winning 19-9. You can be sure they’ll bring their A game to Lavell Edwards Stadium when they take on BYU this weekend.
20. HOUSTON COUGARS/C-USA (2-0). Houston’s upset of Oklahoma State wasn’t as shocking as you might think. Now they get two weeks to reload for another Texas-style shootout with Texas Tech on Sept 26.
21. NEBRASKA CORNHUSKERS/Big 12 (2-0). The Huskers have beat up on two vastly inferior opponents, so it will be fun to see how they handle Virginia Tech on the road this weekend.
22. GEORGIA TECH YELLOW JACKETS/ACC (2-0). The Ramblin’ Wreck will be just that after they visit Miami on Thursday night. Miami looks like a legit top 10 team this year. The Jackets are a legit top 25.
23. KANSAS JAYHAWKS/Big 12 (2-0). The Jayhawks handled a trap game in El Paso last weekend knocking off UTEP, 34-7. Look for them to mow down Duke with similar ease.
24. MICHIGAN WOLVERINES/Big Ten (2-0). Tate Forcier has led the Wolverines to impressive consecutive victories over Western Michigan and Notre Dame. Expect that streak to continue for at least two more weeks with games against Eastern Michigan and Indiana.
25. MISSOURI TIGERS/Big 12 (2-0). The Tigers struggled at home against Bowling Green last week, squeaking out a 27-20 win. They get a breather with D-1AA Furman this week which might just push them out of the power rankings for next week. I don’t look kindly on strong programs that pad their schedules with easy non-conference foes.