College Gridiron 365 Sweet 16

College Gridiron 365 Power Rankings

The top five ranked teams remain unchanged from last weekend, but Georgia Tech, Pittsburgh, Oklahoma State and Utah all choked. It all comes down to this Saturday to see which two teams will be slugging it out for the national championship in Pasadena on January 7. We know it will be the winner of the SEC title game vs. Texas–unless the Longhorns pull a choke job of their own against Nebraska. If that happens, either TCU or Cincinnati could be elevated to instant national title contender status, and Cornhusker Nation will be in a state of euphoria.

1. FLORIDA GATORS/SEC (12-0). The Gators put the exclamation mark on the final regular season game of Bobby Bowden’s career, dominating the Seminoles, 37-10. Florida will play Alabama for the SEC title this weekend.
2. ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE/SEC (12-0). The Tide struggled in a tough rivalry game against Auburn (26-21) after RB Mark Ingram was lost to an injury late in the first half. Up next: Florida in Atlanta.
3. TEXAS LONGHORNS/Big 12 (12-0). The Longhorns struggled but prevailed against Texas A&M on the road, 49-39, thanks to a standout performance by Heisman candidate QB Colt McCoy. The Cornhuskers are the only team standing in Texas’ way of playing in the national championship game.
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4th and inches …

Fresno State vs. Wyoming
The Bulldogs’ rushing game will shred the Cowboy defense, but Wyoming should find a way to prevail.

Rutgers vs. UCF
The Scarlet Knights will simply out-joust the Knights in Saint Pete.

Southern Miss vs. Middle Tennessee
The Blue Raiders have been on a roll the last half of the season and will continue rolling right over Southern Miss in the Big Easy.

BYU vs. Oregon State
This has all the makings of a high scoring shootout but the Beavers will persistently gnaw away at the Cougar defense for the win.
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CG365 Sweet Sixteen – Preseason Rankings

If there ever was a sure thing in college football, it would be Alabama’s hold on the top spot after this weekend’s round of season openers. Other than that, expect at least a few changes because eight ranked teams are set to go head-to head, beginning this Thursday when Pitt seeks revenge in Utah. The other three marquee match-ups are TCU vs. Oregon State and LSU vs. North Carolina this Saturday, and Virginia Tech vs. Boise State on Labor Day.

1. Alabama Crimson Tide. Defending national champions. Until someone defeats them, they deserve to remain on top. Returning 8 starters on offense, but only 2 on defense … don’t worry, Tide fans, Saban is a master at reloading quickly from his depth chart. Next: Sept 4 vs. San Jose State.

2. Ohio State Buckeyes. Fourteen starters return and Terrelle Pryor seems to be reaching his potential after the Bucks’ impressive New Year’s Day win over Oregon in the Rose Bowl. Ohio State is still the team to beat in the Big Ten. Next: Sept 2 vs. Marshall.
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CG365 Sweet Sixteen – Week 1

Oregon jumped 16 spots on the strength of their 72-0 dismantling of New Mexico. Admittedly, the Ducks were vastly underrated in my preseason poll. Florida, Oklahoma, and Texas all dropped slightly after anemic performances in their season openers. Boise State moved up to #2 after outlasting fellow Super 16 member Virginia Tech, 33-30. The Broncos have  a red carpet stroll to an undefeated season with nothing but Western Athletic Conference foes and a jittery Oregon State squad (0-1) remaining on their schedule.
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CG365 Sweet Sixteen – Week 2

Michigan and Stanford cracked into the Super 16 while Florida State and Virginia Tech took the humble tumble, leaving Miami as the lone ACC entry. The conference roll call finds the Big Ten leading the pack – whether or not you include Nebraska – which already has one foot out the Big 12 door and looking forward to their new conference next August. The Pac-10 boasts three slots; and the Big 12 and SEC have two, including Alabama in the pole position.

#1 You can’t ask for a more impressive performance  early in the season, than a  24-3 win against previously ranked  Penn State. Trent Richardson is evidence of the Tide’s abundant depth at the skill positions. Next game: at Duke.
#2 The Buckeyes handled a very good Miami team with kid gloves last weekend. I got the impression that this Ohio State squad is going to be a monster to contend with at the end of the season. Next foe: Ohio University.
#3 Boise State had a bye but Virginia Tech’s loss at home to Division 1-AA James Madison University took the shine off the Broncos’ Labor Day evening win over the Hokies. Next opponent: at Wyoming, Sept 18.
#4 TCU has a solid win over Oregon State in their 2010 portfolio and last week they added a real masher (yawn) 62-7 over Tennessee Tech. Next up: Baylor.
#5 The Ducks shook off a slow start and wet feathers last week in Knoxville to down Tennessee, 48-13. They are an amazing sight when they get into their flight mode. Next game: Portland State.
#6 Nebraska dispatched another overmatched opponent at home (Idaho, 38-17) and will venture out west to Seattle to try and contain Jake Locker and the Washington Huskies this weekend.
#7 The Hawkeyes registered a solid 35-7 victory over instate rival and Big 12 punching bag Iowa State. Now a potential Rose Bowl Game preview looms this Saturday as Iowa’s defense faces a stiff road test vs. Arizona & QB Nick Foles.
#8 The Longhorns of Texas corralled the Cowboys of Wyoming last weekend, 34-7. The ‘Pokes are actually a pretty solid team with a scrappy signal caller in Austyn Carta-Samuels. Next:To Lubbock for the Big 12 season opener vs. Texas Tech.
#9 The Gators got their offense clicking last week in a 38-14 domination of South Florida. The defense also looked stalwart for the second game of the season. Next up is Southeastern Conference foe Tennessee in Knoxville.
#10 Wooey Pig Sooey! Arkansas took the Ryan Mallett show on the road to Louisiana- Monroe last week and marched out with a 31-7 win. Mallett is averaging over 550 yards passing after the first two games. Next game: at Georgia.
#11 The Sooners looked like a completely different team in last week’s 47-17 shellacking of Florida State. This Saturday they’ll host the Air Force Academy – the top rushing team in the nation with 423 yards per game.
#12 The Badgers have logged blue collar victories the first two weeks over teams they should be steamrolling. It happens every year. They’ll get a stiff test at home this weekend when Arizona State visits Madison.
#13 Arizona toyed around with Citadel last week, 52-6. They aim to prove to the college football world that they are not posers when they entertain the #7 Iowa Hawkeyes Saturday night in Tucson.
#14 Suddenly Michigan is relevant to the college football scene again, thanks to Heisman frontrunner Denard Robinson. Their road win at Notre Dame had its stumbles, but it was still an impressive win. Nextup: D-1AA Massachusetts.
#15 The ‘Canes fought Ohio State valiantly, but couldn’t overcome the four picks Jacory Harris tossed. Still, Miami is the best of the ACC for the time being.  They’ll gladly enjoy a bye weekend to get ready for a road trip to Pittsburgh on Sept 23.
#16 Stanford handed UCLA a humiliating shutout (35-0 in Pasadena) and it looks like they’ll challenge Oregon and Arizona as the class of the Pac-10 this year. The Cardinal welcome Wake Forest to Palo Alto this weekend.

CG365 Sweet Sixteen – Week 3

The Iowa Hawkeyes fell to #17 and Texas A&M bolted into the Sweet 16. The top five remain unchanged. Best games this week include #1 Alabama at #9 Arkansas and Oregon State at #3 Boise State. More >