College & NFL Top Tens
WAYNE ALLYN ROOT'S COLLEGE TOP 10...Week 6
1) *OHIO STATE--- There's a new No. 1 team in Ohio State and uncertainty at the top of the rankings for the first time all season, after Alabama's 19-game winning streak ended at South Carolina. Why the *asterisk? Because I don't believe Ohio State will stay here for long. Just as I put an *asterisk next to Alabama each week. I believe TCU, Boise State, Oklahoma and Oregon will fight for the national championship. When the dust clears, it might be a WAC vs. Mountain West championship game: Boise vs TCU! That's my Wild West Frontier Dream as a Nevada and Utah resident!
You could make cases for any of the unbeaten teams near the top of the rankings right now. Oregon won by 20 points on Saturday; TCU shut out Wyoming, 45-0; and Ohio State blew out Indiana. And let's not forget about Nebraska, which crushed Kansas State on Thursday. The Ohio State Buckeyes have waltzed through their first six opponents on the way to becoming No. 1. With a game on Saturday at No. 18 Wisconsin, staying there will be much harder. Not everyone believes the Buckeyes deserve to be No. 1 (including me). Critics point out that by the middle of October, the Buckeyes have played exactly one game away from their home stadium. Also, they haven't tackled anyone currently ranked in the Associated Press Top 25. Could Saturday's Wisconsin game produce beer, cheese and tears for Buckeye fans?
2) TCU---TCU earned consecutive shutouts for the first time in 55 years with a dominating 45-0 victory over Wyoming on Saturday before a crowd of 38,081 at Amon G. Carter Stadium. TCU (6-0, 2-0 Mountain West Conference) shut out Colorado State 27-0 last week. TCU has incredible speed along with the top strength program in the Country. The have over 60 players that can bench over 400 lbs. And lookout if they start to force turnovers. They are not even in the top 10 in that area. BYU draws them this week as an unbelievable 30 point underdog. IO continue to believe this is the best team in the nation. I'll put TCU up against ANYONE.
3) BOISE ST---Just when it looked like the college football world was starting to come around to the fact that schools from outside the "Big 6" conferences could play football with anyone in the country the blowhard elitists of the media had to scramble for another reason for their exclusion from the big BCS party. The reasoning they came up with-- "style points." Meaning that since TCU and Boise play a conference slate that isn't the almighty SEC or have a household name that they better beat all of their opponents by 80 points. And since the first BCS poll comes out this Sunday, maybe Boise will win by considerable margin this week at San Jose State.
4) OREGON---Last week wasn't a pretty win on Saturday, but the Ducks are still 6-0 and have 10 days to regroup before meeting UCLA on Thursday night. WSU went toe-to-toe with the No. 4 team in the country, and with 30 seconds to go in the third quarter, the Cougars were on the 12-yard-line with a chance to pull within a touchdown. Oregon managed to pull out a 20 point win. The Ducks now have what they call an "improvement" week....not a bye. Oh, the politically correct liberals of Oregon.
5) OKLAHOMA---Coach Stoops has led Oklahoma to a 5-0 start on six other occasions, and it's almost always been a good omen. Five of those seasons have concluded with the Sooners playing for the Big 12 title, and four times they've played for the national championship, too. With wins over #23 Florida State and #25 Air Force, Oklahoma joins Alabama as the only two teams in the nation to have beaten two AP Top 25 teams. Oklahoma is coming off a very important bye week with 2 questions that needed to be addressed and answered: Oklahoma's offense is averaging just 4.9 yards per play. And against the Sooner defense, opponents are averaging 5.8 yards per play. Do championship teams routinely give up more yards than they gain? And let us NOT forget that the 4th quarter woes of the Sooners have been embarrassing at best as they continue to let teams make huge comebacks.
6) NEBRASKA---Nebraska looked great last Thursday as they blew out Kansas State 48-13. Nebraska's victory over Kansas State certainly impressed not only many of the national pundits, but also the computer rankings. Last month, Sagarin still had Nebraska ranked in the thirties. But after Washington upset USC, the computers started to show Nebraska a little respect...and this game vaulted the Huskers up to sixth in Sagarin, and up to eight in the Massey rankings. This week it's Texas Time! Texas Coach Brown is 7-1 against Nebraska since 1998, including several of his biggest wins with the Longhorns. On a side note; last year, Texas was a 14 point favorite and now is listed as a 10 point underdog. Can a team be 24 points worst in one year? We'll have to see.
7) ALABAMA---I called it. Not just with South Carolina as my Underdog Game of the Year on Saturday...but with my PreSeason rankings. I said 'Bama would never finish #1 with so many new starters on defense. The superlatives for Alabama were flying like so many footballs: Juggernaut. Unbeatable. Budding dynasty. They get to add one more: under-achiever. Alabama's defense was shredded by...Gamecocks? The big bad running game was a non factor and quarterback Greg McElroy was buried time and again.
That was his first loss since MIDDLE SCHOOL!!! The 19-game winning streak is now gone, along with the national front-runner status that some 'Bama fans had begun regarding almost as a birthright, like back in the Bear Bryant glory days. Getting back on track won't get any easier. The remaining five SEC opponents, like South Carolina, all have bye weeks to prepare for the Tide. This week it's off to play Ole Miss. Roll Tide Roll....but NOT over Bear Bryant's Grave!
8) AUBURN---It was the Tigers' third three-point victory of the season. Auburn hasn't been 3-0 in games decided by three points or less since 2001. Let's see how the next two weeks fare for the Tigers. The Tigers, 6-0 for the first time since going unbeaten in 2004, host fellow SEC West contenders No. 12 Arkansas and No. 9 LSU in back to back weeks. The one constant in Auburn's narrow wins - including a 35-27 victory over No. 10 South Carolina - has been Cam Newton. He ran for 198 yards and four first-half touchdowns. He also passed for 210 yards and was 2-for-3 on the final drive with both completions going for first downs. The stakes get higher for Auburn each week. The Tigers take on 12th-ranked Arkansas and might need to plan on a better performance as the road gets ugly in Hog Heaven. I do NOT think Auburn belongs in this rarified air. I predict a loss along the way, and a drop out of Top 10.
9) LSU---LSU kept its final drive alive with a successful fake field goal, and the Tigers pulled out a 33-29 against No. 14 Florida on Saturday night. In the Swamp! Following a Florida loss the prior week. Florida coach Urban Meyer, meanwhile, will face tough questions after losing consecutive games for just the second time in his six seasons. The Tigers played their most complete game of the season, especially considering the opposition and the venue. It's no accident that it was accompanied by consistent play from the quarterback position, which now is -- and for the foreseeable future -- being manned by juniors Jordan Jefferson and Jarrett Lee. The Tigers prepare for a non-conference game against visiting McNeese State on Saturday night. ( Why Mc State---it's October!!!). In two weeks it's the Gumbo Rebellion as the Tiger's get to play the Tigers in Auburn.
10) UTAH---More proof that the non-BCS schools deserve a shot at the national title. My Mountain West is so good they are bad (in today's vernacular)! Las Vegas oddsmakers said Utah was only six points better than Iowa State. The Utes proved their doubters wrong once again...and then some. Utah's offense exploded for 68 points on the road against Big 12 school Iowa State. The Utes piled up 593 yards of total offense after a slow start to the game. The Utes scored 31 points in the second quarter alone. The Utes continue to prove how powerful their offense is, which was hyped preseason to be Utah's best ever. The Utes are averaging 60 points per game over their last three, 49 points per game overall on the season. The Utes have scored 50 points in three straight games for the first time since 2004 and have outscored their past four opponents 218-54. This Saturday the Utes are traveling a short distance from home. Playing the Wyoming Cowboys after a convincing win against a Big 12 team could be thought of as something of a trap game for the Utah Utes, except this Utah team shows no signs of overlooking or underestimating any opponent. And Utah is 12-14 in Laramie.
10a) I just have to add a 10a with South Carolina. If you can beat the #1 team in America, you get into my Top 10- even if only as an asterisk!
THE A.P.'s TOP 10 FOR WEEK 6
1 Ohio State
3 Boise State
10 South Carolina
WAYNE ALLYN ROOT's TOP 10 NFL TEAMS....WEEK 6
1) NY JETS---The Jets beat Minnesota on Monday Night. Let's remember that they had a 9 point lead at the 3:30 mark in the 4th quarter. Mark Sanchez is doing all that is asked by Coach Ryan. LaDanian Tomlinson is running like he is in his early 20's all over again this season. Two weeks ago they could have had a letdown at Buffalo as that game was sandwiched between a Miami win and a Monday night game vs the Vikings. They are on the road in Denver this week. So far they have avoided TO's and tipped passes so it will be interesting to see how that starts to play out if they begin to lose the pigskin.
2) BALTIMORE RAVENS---Baltimore gets the job done with great defense Ray Lewis style. And with an added bonus of a very good offense this makes this team especially special. Quarterback Joe Flacco has been on fire recently and now that RB Ray Rice got going in week 5, the Ravens' offense is nearly running on all cylinders and they don't look to stop any time soon. They will be tested by New England coming rested off their bye week in a game on the road. This will be a "true" test.
3) PITTSBURGH STEELERS---Many across the NFL are still in shock that the Steelers managed to be 3-1 without Ben Roethlisberger, but now he is back and that makes the Steelers' offense that much more dangerous moving forward. And he is back in time for a delicious matchup against the Cleveland Browns at Heinz Field. Pittsburgh fans are going to be loud and will gladly welcome back their tarnished quarterback. He will be glad to be back. Let's face it, while they may have some moral disdain for his actions, the Pittsburgh fans realize their 32nd ranked pass attack will not suffice. Only Roethlisberger will change that. But even if Ben is rusty, the bread and butter of the Steelers is defense. And they draw Cleveland this week.
4) INDIANAPOLIS COLTS---Do not be enraged that the Colts only beat the Chiefs 19-9. The Chiefs are a good team. Peyton Manning is on fire this season. His lone bad outing came last week against Romeo Crennel, who routinely befuddled Manning while he was the defensive coordinator of the New England Patriots in the early 2000s. If the Colts have one weakness, it is their struggle to stop their opponents running backs. On the season, they have allowed 142.2 yards per game on the ground. They play at Washington this week but the Skins can't run the ball so Indy get a reprieve this week.
5) NEW ENGLAND---It's Brady to Tate......WHO? All eyes will be on receiver Brandon Tate and newly signed Deion Branch now that Randy Moss is gone. The New England Patriots host the Baltimore Ravens in New England's first game without Randy Moss, and in Baltimore's first time back to Gillette Stadium since laying the smackdown on New England 33-14 in the Wild Card round of the 2009 playoffs. Wes Welker has been getting the most looks from Tom Brady this season, but can he carry the offense on his own? No matter what Brady might say publicly, he will miss Moss' ability to make the big plays. So let's hope Coach Bill Belichick is really the guru he says he is!! They haven't won a Super Bowl since Branch left, so maybe he's the good luck charm.
6) ATLANTA FALCONS---The Falcons have balance. Quarterback, running, solid defense and very good coaching. This youthful bunch has chemistry with zero distractions coming out of their camp. They have a road win at New Orleans and sit on top of the NFC South at 4-1. And they benefit from an easy road schedule. This week they travel in their 2nd road contest in a row to take on the Philadelphia Eagles who are making a cross the country run themselves after playing the 49ers. One could say this game will "test" them.
7) TENNESSEE TITANS---Tennessee has 2 things one should look for in an NFL team. A good Coach and a solid running game. Fisher is as good as they get handling QB issues and many distractions. Chris Johnson got going on Sunday running for 131 yards and two touchdowns. He might be warned up now and ready to run like crazy over defenses. Tennessee special teams are an added bonus as well. Let's see how the QB weakness plays out this week as the entire Country will be tuned in to watch the Titans on Monday Night playing in Jacksonville.
8) NEW YORK GIANTS---The Giants played great last week getting a much needed road win at Houston 34-10. Eli may have found everything he needs to become another twinkle in Archie's eye. Second year receiver Hakeem Nicks is making every team that passed on selecting him in the 2009 NFL Draft hate themselves right now. Nicks has 33 receptions for 409 yards and six touchdowns through five games and he looks like the real deal as the Giants' No. 1 receiver. The Giants get the Lions coming off a win and playing hard in every game. The Giants are still capable of "letdowns" so they need to "have each others back" for this contest.
9) KANSAS CITY CHIEFS---The Chiefs break-in the Top 10 with a 3-1 record and with an unbelievable fast solid speedy defense. Surprisingly, they looked sluggish coming out of their bye week and Peyton Manning and the Colts took advantage of that on Sunday. We'll see how long they remain winning games. They travel to Houston where the Texans are coming off an embarrassing loss to the Giants. The Chiefs coaching staff better turn Matt Cassel loose in this Quarterback league or it will be "close games but no cigars".
10) CHICAGO BEARS---Surprise--Surprise! The top of the NFC-North is "da bears". Matt Forte really stepped up his game while quarterback Jay Cutler was out and recovering from a concussion. Jay Cutler has been cleared to practice fully on Wednesday after suffering a concussion causing him to miss last week's game against the Carolina Panthers. This week they catch a win by hosting Seattle at home. The Bears defense is revamped and exciting allowing just 79 points thru 5 games.
OTHERS THAT BETTER START PLAYING BETTER:
1) San Diego....Can't shake the road losses at KC, Seattle and Oakland...but still a good team.
2) Philadelphia....Need to settle the QB issue first.
3) Washington....Beat Indianapolis this week and we'll pay attention to you.
4) New Orleans...Brees is not getting it done and then the Arizona loss???
5) Miami...a very solid 2-2 team in a very tuff division...but can they beat Green Bay this week?
6) Dallas & Minny...1-3? With Favre and Romo at QB? You gotta be kidding me?
8) Green Bay...Concussion to QB Rogers during the Redskins loss could spell trouble!
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