Note: J.P. Giglio is one of 65 voters in the AP Top 25. This is his ballot.
The Ohio State bandwagon emptied before you could say “Frank Solich and gamma-Hydroxybutyric acid.” After the Buckeyes’ 12-point win over Solich’s Ohio team, I was one of 14 AP voters to drop the Buckeyes from No. 1 (they’re No. 9 this week).
On two levels, I can understand why the Buckeyes struggled with the Bobcats, who lost their opener at Wyoming and went 6-6 in 2007:
1) They were looking ahead to Saturday’s showdown at No. 1 USC (also my new No. 1).
2) When in-state teams get together, the players know each other or have grown up together and have a tendency to play each other tougher.
The first is a better excuse than the second, but look at what Florida (4) did to Miami in the same boat.
The good news for Fighting Sweatervests is they’ll jump right back to No. 1 with a win on Saturday.
The other big mover is East Carolina (14), which I ranked No. 21 last week. We still don’t know how good either Virginia Tech or West Virginia will be, but after seeing ECU in person, I can tell you that the Pirates are legit.
Finally, you hate to love me, Oregon fans, but I jumped the Ducks (18) past BYU (20) because of the disparity in the two teams’ victories over Washington.
Last week: 2 (off)
Next: No. 9 Ohio State
Believe it or not this is a bad spot for USC. As good as USC looked against Virginia, Virginia is not a good football team. Ohio State is, despite what it showed against Ohio.
But the free world thinks USC is going to win this game. That's not good.
The Trojans need Mark Sanchez to be great again and they need to stop Beanie Wells.
Last week: 3 (beat Central Michigan, 56-17)
Next: @ South Carolina
UGa looked stronger against a decent Central Michigan team. The Dawgs, like Ohio State, lack play-making parts on offense. Stop Knowshon Moreno and it's yet to be determined if Matthew Stafford can win games by himself.
Last week: 4 (beat Cincinnati, 52-26)
Next: @ Washington
Sam Bradford's the best quarterback with the least amount of pub. The Sooners should get a deflated Huskies team after the BYU heartbreaker.
Oct. 11, and Texas, will tell us more about the Sooners.
Last week: 6 (beat Miami, 26-3)
Next: @ Tennessee (Sept. 20)
The Gators are physical for an alleged finesse football team. They didn't score any style points against Miami, but as I said, look how Ohio State struggled in the same in-state situation.
The Gators get another rookie quarterback with Tennessee next week. Gators won this won by 39 last year. Look for another rout.
Last week: 5 (beat SE Missouri State, 52-3)
No matter how many big numbers Chase Daniel puts up, the Tigers are just biding their time until the trip to Nebraska on Oct. 4.
Last week: 7 (off)
Next: North Texas
Weather postponed the Troy game. Maybe the Tigers could play both Troy and North Texas this week. Would it even make a difference?
Last week: 8 (beat Tulane, 20-6)
Next: Western Kentucky
Predictable let down against Tulane, although Tide fans shouldn't be discouraged, Nick Saban's crew took care of business.
The schedule picks up on Sept. 27 with a trip to Georgia.
Last week: 10 (beat Southern Miss, 27-13)
Next: @ Mississippi State
One more week until LSU visits The Plains. Juco transfer Chris Todd might be an upgrade at quarterback, but the Tigers continue to win games with defense and their running game (not a bad formula, by the way).
9. Ohio State
Last week: 1 (beat Ohio, 26-14)
Next: @ No. 1 USC
Where's Terrelle Pryor? Super frosh was conspicuously absent against Ohio. The Buckeyes just don't have enough playmakers, even with Beanie Well, to keep Pryor on the pine.
The defense has to show a lot more than it did against Ohio (254 yards) or USC will win in a walk.
Last week: 12 (beat Louisiana Tech, 29-0)
Next: @ No. 15 USF (Friday)
Great BCS matchup in primetime on Friday — USF's defense vs. Kansas' offense. The Jayhawks would love to repeat their last trip to the state of Florida (the Orange Bowl win over Virginia Tech).
Last week: 13 (beat UTEP, 42-13)
Colt McCoy is cutting down on interception bugaboo, only one, compared to seven TDs, in two games and that makes the Horns dangerous.
12. Texas Tech
Last week: 14 (beat Nevada, 35-19)
Wake me when Texas Tech plays someone.
Last week: 15 (beat Marshall, 51-14)
Next: @ Fresno State
Another great matchup. ECU fans, not to mention BYU/Utah fans, should be pulling hard for the Badgers.
Last week: 21 (beat No. 8 West Virginia, 24-3)
Next: @ Tulane
Name another non-BCS team that plays, or has played defense, the way ECU does. It's a short list.
Only problem for ECU now — the motivational tables are turned. Instead of ECU looking forward to playing N.C. State and Virginia, it's the ACC teams wanting a piece of the Pirates.
15. South Florida
Last week: 9 (beat Central Florida, 31-24, OT)
Next: Kansas (Friday)
Probably shouldn't read too much into the struggle with UCF given the circumstances (see Ohio State, Florida) but the Bulls didn't look like a top 10 team on Saturday. Maybe they were looking forward to Kansas. Either way, they have a shot to move back up on Friday.
Last week: 21 (beat UNLV, 42-21)
Next: @ Utah State
Two down, nine to go before the Utes get BYU in Salt Lake.
17. Penn State
Last week: 17 (beat Oregon State, 45-14)
Next: @ Syracuse
Beating a Pac-10 team is impressive until you realize the same Pac-10 team lost to Stanford.
Last week: 22 (beat Utah State, 66-24)
Next: @ Purdue
In general, Big Ten teams fare poorly against the spread offense but this could be Purdue's Super Bowl. Careful, Ducks.
19. Florida State
Last week: 20 (beat Western Carolina, 69-0)
I'm not sure 69 points was necessary, given the number of fourth-quarter touchdowns, but Jimbo Fisher is trying to prove a point.
We won't find out until Sept. 20 what that point is, though.
Last week: 23 (beat Washington, 28-27)
This year's Hawaii — completely overrated with all offense and no defense.
Last week: Not ranked (beat Washington State, 66-3)
Next: @ Maryland
Usual September shenanigans. Should handle Maryland despite the cross-country trip, right?
22. Wake Forest
Last week: 24 (beat Ole Miss, 30-28)
Next: @ No. 19 FSU (Sept. 20)
In The Swanker they trust. Much-needed bye week before going to Tallahassee. The running game (81 yards vs. Ole Miss) needs to improve or else ...
23. Arizona State
Last week: 23 (beat Stanford, 41-17)
I'm still not sold on the Sun Devils.
Last week: 19 (beat The Citadel, 45-17)
Next: N.C. State
Not the bounce-back statement I was looking for from the Tigers. That might be bad news for the Wolfpack.
Last week: 25 (beat Eastern Illinois, 47-21)
Would lose their spot to Fresno if the Bulldogs knock off Wisconsin.
In: Cal (21)
Out: West Virginia (11)