–I’m just going to include a link to the players stats from now on for space purposes. The top three players this week reflect the most consistent performers in the country, while Pryor and Robinson are on the verge of falling out.
1. Cam Newton, Auburn, QB
Last Week vs. Ole Miss: 18/24, 204 yards, 2 TD; 11 att., 45 yards, 1 rec., 20 yards, 1 TD
2. LaMichael James, Oregon, RB
Last Week vs. USC: 36 att., 239 yards, 3 TD
3. Kellen Moore, Boise State, QB
Last Week vs. La Tech: 20/28, 298 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT
4. Ryan Mallett, Arkansas, QB
Last Week vs. Vanderbilt: 27/44, 407 yards, 3 TD
5. Denard Robinson, Michigan, QB
Last Week vs. Penn State: 11/23, 190 yards, 1 TD, 27 att., 191 yards, 3 TD
Dropped Out: Kendall Hunter
Under the Radar Candidates
-Colin Kaepernick, Nevada, QB
–Bryant Moniz, Hawaii, QB
–Terrelle Pryor, Ohio State, QB
–Landry Jones, Oklahoma, QB
–Tyrod Taylor, Virginia Tech, QB
–Matt Barkley, Southern Cal, QB
–Bilal Powell, Louisville, RB
–Kendall Hunter, Oklahoma State, RB
–Andrew Luck, Stanford, QB
–Ricky Stanzi, Iowa, QB
–Greg Salas, Hawaii, WR
–Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State, WR
My Top 25
1. Boise State
12. Ohio State
13. Virginia Tech
14. Michigan State
16. South Carolina
18. Oklahoma State
20. Mississippi State
Oy. The back end of the Top 25 has been a pain to organize all year. It’s a crapshoot after Arkansas. I’m not really keen on ranking Hawaii or UCF, but I certainly wasn’t going to keep Florida State or Miami ranked like some have. The ACC is a conference of bad teams, decent teams playing bad football and one good team. I shuffled back and forth between UCF and N.C. State for the #25 spot. It’s interchangeable if you ask me. N.C. State beat UCF and UCF really doesn’t have a good win to speak of, but I’m looking beyond who they have played. I think they are a solid football team. I also considered San Diego State for the last spot as well.
What about 6-2 Syracuse? They have two bad losses to Washington and Pittsburgh and three of their six wins are against Akron, Colgate and Maine. I will give them props for winning on the road against South Florida, West Virginia and Cincinnati, but there is no way I will rank them before Pittsburgh.
Auburn at #4? There’s no question about what Auburn has proven on the field to this point. I’m not saying they will stay at #4 if they win out, but for now they do. Auburn has a great offense combined with one of the worst defenses in the Top 25, although it has not mattered yet. Oregon’s defense may not be much better, but they are ranked 20 slots higher in total defense and they have a turnover margin of +13.
Why is Virginia Tech so high? Look, they lost to a tough opponent in Boise State by three points to start the year. The loss to James Madison was a fluke. It still happened, but it’s hard to overlook for some. Look past the beginning of the year. They are playing with more confidence now and we all know they were a talented bunch coming into the year.
Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comment box below. You can e-mail me suggestions or questions at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow me on Twitter @JoeSportswriter.