Four weeks in and we start to see the tiers develop:
1) LSU -- We like Frank Okam, but he is no Glenn Dorsey. LSU was clearly the better team in a win that was more lopsided than the final score might indicate, despite the announcers' desperate attempts late in the game to declare that South Carolina had "made a statement" that they could "play with LSU." Right.
1A) USC -- The Trojans may have a more difficult schedule than in other Pac-10 years. We like what we see from Washington, Cal and Oregon--though the Huskies need to get back on track.
3) OU -- The Sooners are thus far untested, like 2003. Texas has not looked super in non-conference, like 2003. Texas has a young and untested CB that may be lined up man-to-man on a more experienced OU reciever, like Cedric Griffin was 2003. We're really hoping we aren't due for a 60-something to 13 loss again.
4) WVU -- The start of the second tier. Teams we think are really good but have had at least one weak moment this season. The Mountaineers are obviously fast and well-coached, and we'll see how that defense does on the road at South Florida this weekend. That preseason pick of the Bulls to win the Big East will make us look brilliant if they pull off the upset on Saturday. Fortunately for West Virginia, South Florida no lolnger has the ability to sneak up on anyone as they have begun to make a national name for themselves.
5) Florida -- The end of the second tier. The Gators struggled at Ole Miss, which was a combination of Florida not playing its best game ever and Ole Miss really showing up strong. Luckily we'll find out where Florida belongs in two weeks when they visit Death Valley.
6) Texas -- The Horns beat Rice, and we reward the Horns. Homerism? Of course, as always. But they finally did what they were supposed to do against a lesser opponent. Texas could jump a few more spots with impressive wins in the next two weeks. Or it could go the other way. But it's clear that the tone for the rest of the season will be set this weekend and next.
7) Ohio State -- Call us believers. Maybe not in a title run, but this could be a BCS squad--largely because someone from the Big Ten has to be.
8) Cal -- Probably should be ahead of Texas. The Bears will get their big test next week at Oregon. A win there would clearly place Cal in position as the best chance that "The Field" of the Pac-10 has to take down the monster.
9) EMPTY -- Whom to put here? Wisconsin? Struggled with Iowa. Oregon? Struggled with Stanford. Boston College? Struggled with Army (Go Navy!). Clemson? They seem to be awfully good, but boy the ACC is bad. We'll wimp out and leave this spot blank for the week.
10) Kentucky -- Two tough victories over two pretty good teams...though Louisville just lost at home to a 37 point underdog. And the Arkansas win was the piggies' second loss in a row. Regardless, reasserting themselves as the best team in Kentucky was an emotional game, and to refocus after that and beat a fired-up Arkansas team on the road is impressive. They may not stay here for long but it's fun to believe. (side note: over-under on the percentage chance that Houston Nutt finishes the season in Fayetteville?)