Wayne Root's Top 10 In College & NFL


1*) ALABAMA: On his first play back from surgery, Mark Ingram ran for 48 yards. That spells trouble for the entire NCAA Football Nation. On his 3rd play, Ingram broke another run for 50 yards. End of story for NCAA Football Nation. The return of the explosive rusher served to add another dimension to an already-potent offense that put up 62 points for the first time since 1991, racked up its first 600-yard performance since 1989 and undoubtedly gave the rest of the SEC plenty to worry about. Then back on defense again this season, Marcell Dareus smashed thru the line and stopped the RB for a major loss on his first play. More trouble for NCAA Football Nation. This EVERYONE'S PICK AS #1 IN THE COUNTRY...except I do NOT think they'll be there when the season is over. It is a mirage. So I'll put them as #1 with an asterisk (*), but I predict they're going to lose at least one SEC game and wind up out of the top spot. Hence the #1a designation. On the other hand Boise State and TCU may go undefeated and wind up as the first-ever BCS Championship with not one...but two non automatic qualifying conference finalists!

2) TCU: Last week against Baylor, their rival, TCU (3-0) scored touchdowns on its first five drives to build a 35-3 lead before halftime. The Frogs, who finally became BCS busters last year and want to do so again this season, have won 15 of their last 18 games against teams from conferences with automatic BCS bids. TCU is adding some excitement on offense to their already legendary defense. The 11 consecutive completions to start the game were a career high for Dalton, and the second-best in TCU history. TCU plays Friday night at SMU, another former SWC rival. The Frogs have won nine of the last 10 Iron Skillet games against SMU. This team, in my humble opinion, has a great shot at winning out the season- and getting into the BCS National Championship Game with a perfect record.

3) Boise State: A fter a 12-day layoff, the Broncos showed few signs of rust as they rolled up 648 total yards in a 51-6 rout over Wyoming on the road. This week attention is turned to a much better opponent. The ESPN Game Day crew will be in Boise, Idaho, for the Oregon State game, with a national audience tuning in. It's a chance for Boise to make a lasting impression with those who typically don't get to see the Broncos. This is a team that simply can't look solid- the Broncos have to look spectacular. And they have to win brilliantly to seize the attention of a nation. They have to run up the score the rest of the year. My prediction- THEY WILL!

4) Ohio State: The Buckeyes bring back 16 starters from last year's 11-2 team, including talented QB Terrelle Pryor. They should be better on offense and I put the over/under of points scored by Ohio State at 70 this week. They will remain rated high until the Iowa, Wisconsin and Michigan games. 1 loss and they are out of the National Championship game. For once, the Alabama's and Ohio State's of the world have to keep pace with TCU and Boise. I love it!

5) Nebraska: Looking like the old Nebraska, Bo Pelini had the Cornhuskers prepared for a very difficult road game at Washington. Entering as a small road favorite, when the smoke cleared, they left town with an impressive 56-21 victory over the Huskies. The Cornhuskers run game was outstanding and that bolds well as they approach their last season in the Big 12. Their HUGE offensive line opened up holes that John Deere could drive his combines thru as the Huskers ran for almost 400 yards. I lost with my wager last Saturday on Washington. I was betting that Nebraska's freshman QB would be intimidated by the Huskies wild and intimidating home crowd- perhaps the nosiest in college football. So much for that theory. This kid...and this Cornhusker team is for real!

6) Oklahoma: I said they would finish the season as the Number 1 team, but they need to drop down and then rework their fundamentals. Against Air Force they escaped...at home...and gave up a boatload of rushing yardage. Watch the Sooner defense totally take the game away this week as they travel to Cincinnati to play the Bearcats. The Cats give up the most QB sacks in the nation so watch for the Sooners to run one up this week and get back on track. ( Note: They threw away the game tapes of Air Force Tripe-Option from last weeks game). The only thing of concern is the Bearcats have won 33 straight home games.

7) Texas: If a team can escape with a win against Texas Tech at their venue then all the eyes of Texas should be on them. And they are! Their defense looked inspired and totally awesome. They completely shut down the Red Raiders high powered offense by getting three-and-outs or a turnover on nine of the Red Raiders' 15 possessions. How about -14 rushing yards for Texas Tech?  We'll see if they can continue as they play UCLA this week.

8) Oregon: Let's have a quick 3 game review...72-0, 49-13, 69-0. They're ready for their Pac-10 opener this week against Arizona St. The Ducks starters have not even played a full half, but look to this week since the Sun Devils had such an impressive showing against Wisconsin last week, losing by 1 point on the road.

9) Florida: There could be trouble in Gator-land. While their defense is more than very good, their offense is horrible at this point of the season. The longest pass this season from QB John Brantley is 35 yards. Their running back has accounted for 35% of their total offense. Urban Meyer better get on the ball, or Kentucky could hang around and pin an embarrassing loss on them.

10) Arkansas: The Razorbacks  complete my Top 10 because of Heisman hopeful Ryan Mallett. And we'll learn a whole lot more this weekend, as they play Alabama in a showdown of Heisman candidates. Mallett is coming off SEC player of the week after he dominated in his last game. Mallett passed for 380 yards and three touchdowns in a win over Georgia. It was the second-highest passing total in Arkansas history.


1 Alabama
2 Ohio State
3 Boise State
5 Oregon
6 Nebraska
7 Texas
8 Oklahoma
9 Florida
10 Arkansas



1) NEW ORLEANS---Like in the old days of the heavyweight fighters, you cannot take away the belt unless you knock him out. And no matter what one says about Monday's close game, The Saints retain Week Number 2's top spot. They get to ride at the top of the heap for as long as they are undefeated and with Atlanta looming ahead...maybe for another week...unless they don't rise as high as a Falcon.

2) GREEN BAY---Speaking of heavyweight fighters it reminds me of "down goes Frazier...down goes Frazier". Monday night could be the real first test for the Packers. They only got to see a half a game against Vick in week 1 and no one in week 2 as they played the Buffalo Bills. The Bears are all hyped up after their win in Dallas so this will be a very good Monday night game and the Bears "D" will show any missing links on the Packers offense.

3) BALTIMORE RAVENS---A very good team which will not lose many games this season. But it does appear that Cincy continues to know how to beat them. Baltimore almost has a bye week as they are at home against Cleveland this week. I will say this team is as solid in QB and defense as any NFL team at this point in the season.

4) NY JETS---The top of the 1-1 teams. The Jets showed why they may be going all the way this year. This was clearly a great game for the J-E-T-S. The rivalry between the Jets and the Pats is as big as the City itself. Coach Ryan better put it aside as they travel to Miami for another difficult game. But at least they are the underdog in this one!

5) HOUSTON TEXANS---Nice comeback Sunday. The Redskins are kicking themselves (and so is WAR) as they let the Texans back in the game and then watched as the Texans won in overtime. But winning on the road, making a strong comeback and then securing a road win in overtime is what top 5 teams do. Congrats to the Houston organization and players for that win.

6) INDIANAPOLIS COLTS---The Colts can be any number in the top 10 they chose. They played like #10 against Houston and then played like # 1 against the Giants. They get their chance to move up with a blow-out win if they can get it this week against Denver. But Denver believes they can win at home so we'll have to wait on this one!

7) NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS---Not to worry. They have the Coach, the QB and now an outspoken WR named Moss making an incredible one-handed catch in the end-zone for a great highlight show! But they still don't have that much promised defense. The Jets with an average QB really put it to them. They have a laugher game this week to move to 2-1. What's the odds that Moss is quiet this week?

8) PITTSBURGH STEELERS---The Steelers are showing tremendous character without star QB Ben Roethlisberger. They move into the Top 10 after a Falcon win in week 1 and then a win on the road at Tennessee. Is it defense, offense or mirrors. If they win 2 more games then they can have their own QB controversy when Ben is allowed to return. (great for the NFL hype). They get to travel to play the surprise of the league this week as they are on the road against that all impressive 2-0 Tampa Bay squad.

9) ATLANTA FALCONS---They played well in week 1 and with the Steelers winning on the road and are 2-0, the loss there is not that bad. They really bounced back with the Cardinals massacre Sunday as they showed every team in the league that no one can come into their house and steal a victory from them. This team will continue to improve as they have a solid core on both sides of the ball. And their early game of the year is this week against the Saints.

10A) MIAMI DOLPHINS---The fish are 2-0 as they secured a tuff road win in Minnesota last week. This week they have their chance to make more headway as two 2-0 teams are set for a collision as they entertain the Steelers. Many fans outside of Miami were not interested in this team being a top 10 team after 2 weeks but most will start watching to see if they are swimming up or down current.

10B) SAN DIEGO CHARGERS---with KC sitting at 2-0, I'd like to say the Chargers week 1 loss at Arrowhead was expected. But it wasn't. Looking ahead at week 2 with a September coached Norv Turner team had most thinking another early season disaster was upon them. But they quickly took over the game against the Jags by creating T.O.'s and taking full advantage of them. This week they can get back to their September business of losing these easy games on the road as they travel to Seattle.


OTHERS: Some very strong teams that will NOT be sitting the Top 10 bench for very long!!

NY Giants......Older Brother showed Eli why he's Dad's favorite

Dallas Cowboys....A loss at Houston this week could spell F-I-R-E-D  C-O-A-C-H

Minnesota Vikings....Losing at home to Miami is unfortunate....and really bad!!

Tennessee Titans....Losing at home and benching your QB is horrible this early in the year. Collins was no better than Young

Washington Redskins....very impressed how competitive this team is. They will be solid in every game.



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