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JP Top 25: Week 3

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Editor's note: J.P. Giglio is one of 60 AP voters.

JP Top 25 archive
AP, USA Today polls

Here you go, Tar Heel fans:

Before the season started, I thought East Carolina and N.C. State were both better than North Carolina, which had issues at receiver and on the offensive line.

After three games, clearly, UNC is the best team in the state and ranked at No. 24 in this week's JP Top 25.

The Tar Heels answered several questions about their offense on Saturday in their 31-17 win over ECU. The receivers made big plays and the line, even without injured center Lowell Dyer, gave quarterback T.J. Yates plenty of time.

Of course, the season doesn't end today but no arguments here on the results so far, the first 3-0 start since Mack Brown's last season.

Big jump for Miami, from No. 19 to No. 5, and Florida State debuts at No. 14, after soundly beating then-No. 3 Brigham Young on the road.

I guess that makes me an ACC homer, but find me a team with a better resume than Miami.

1. Texas
Record: 3-0
Last week: 1 (beat Texas Tech, 34-24)

This week: UTEP

Colt McCoy was sick and the Longhorns offense played like it. The senior quarterback has time to heal. It's UTEP, bye, Colorado and then Oklahoma on Oct. 17.

2. Florida
Record: 3-0

Last week: 2 (beat Tennessee, 23-13)

This week: @ Kentucky

Normally, you look at a division road game, after an emotional win, as a trap but the Gators seem to be immune to such pitfalls. Plus, they beat the Wildcats 63-5 last year.

3. Alabama
Record: 3-0
Last week: 5 (beat North Texas, 53-7)
This week: Arkansas

The Virginia Tech win looks better every week. We won't know much more about the Tide until Oct. 10 when it travels to Ole Miss.

4. LSU

Record: 3-0
Last week: 9 (beat Louisiana-Lafayette, 31-3)

This week: @ Mississippi State

Did something USC couldn't — win at Washington. Georgia and Florida follow this week's exhibition with Mississippi State.


5. Miami

Record: 2-0
Last week: 19 (beat Georgia Tech, 33-17)
This week: @ Virginia Tech

What you do matters as does what the teams you beat do. Miami has two wins over teams in this top 25 and Florida State picked them up with a convincing 54-28 win at BYU.


6. Cal


Record: 3-0
Last week: 7 (won @ Minnesota, 35-21)
This week: @ Oregon

Five touchdowns for Jahvid Best in a road win over a Big Ten team. Business picks up for the Bears, suddenly the team to beat in the Pac-10, with a classic trap game at Oregon, which is proceeded by a home date with USC.


7. Boise State


Record: 3-0

Last week: 8 (won @ Fresno State, 51-34)
This week: @ Bowling Green

The defense looked better in the opener, but again, here's a team that benefits from what another team did. Oregon, which lost at Boise, ended Utah's 16-game winning streak.


8. Ole Miss


Record: 2-0
Last week: 6 (SE Louisiana, 52-6)

This week: @ South Carolina (Thursday)

We have to know more about the Rebels after Thursday because pasting Memphis and SE Louisiana is not much to go on.


9. Virginia Tech

Record: 2-1

Last week: 11 (beat Nebraska, 16-15)

This week: Miami

This program defines winning ugly but there are no pictures on the scorecard. Lost in the Hokies' big finish of 2008, they lost at Miami, and then needed an assist from Georgia Tech to win the ACC title.


10. USC

Record: 2-1

Last week: 4 (lost @ Washington, 16-13)
This week: Washington State

Unfortunately for the Trojans, it's the nature of the Pac-10 that if they lose once, they're out of the national title race. Of course, losing to unranked teams doesn't help their argument, no matter how much talent, or how well they end up playing by November.


11. Ohio State

Record: 2-1
Last week: 12 (beat Toledo, 38-0)
This week: Illinois

Jim Tressel's 29-3 against the Big Ten since 2005, with two losses to Penn State and one to Illinois (in 2007).


12. Cincinnati

Record: 3-0

Last week: 22 (beat Oregon State)

This week: Fresno State

Since you'll never give me credit for actually being right about a team, I'll take this opportunity to point out that I was right about the Bearcats, who could become the first BCS team since Auburn in 2004 to finish unbeaten and not play for the national title.


13. Penn State

Record: 3-0

Last week: 13 (beat Temple)
This week: Iowa

What do we really know about Penn State after wins over Akron, Syracuse and Temple? I know this, they're not the No. 5 team in the country, which is where they're ranked by the proper AP poll.


14. Florida State

Record: 2-1
Last week: Not ranked (won @ BYU, 54-28)

This week: South Florida

The Noles need to have a talk with their schedule-maker. South Florida's got letdown written all over it after an impressive road win, and long trip to BYU.


15. BYU

Record: 2-1

Last week: 3 (lost to Florida State, 54-28)
This week: Colorado State

Still the class of the Mountain West but any time you give up 54 points to an ACC team, you're not as good as you thought you were (or as good as a random AP voter in Raleigh thought you were).


16. Oklahoma


Record: 2-1
Last week: 10 (beat Tulsa, 45-0)
This week: bye

See, FSU, ask Oklahoma for scheduling advice. The Sooners get a bye, and much-needed rest for injured quarterback Sam Bradford, before traveling to Miami next week.


17. TCU

Record: 2-0

Last week: 16 (beat Texas State, 56-21)

This week: @ Clemson

Can the Horned Frogs sweep the orange-and-white (non-green division) ACC teams?


18. Houston

Record: 2-0
Last week: 17 (bye)
This week: Texas Tech

The BCS skies suddenly opened up for the Cougars. If they beat Texas Tech, their two Big 12 wins (Oklahoma State) should be enough to out-pace an unbeaten Boise or any one-loss MWC team. Of course, they have to run the C-USA table, too, which is a complete crap shoot.


19. Michigan


Record: 3-0
Last week: 18 (beat Eastern Michigan, 45-17)
This week: Indiana

Given Ohio State's problems with the spread offense, and Penn State's problems with Michigan, it's not a stretch to think the Wolverines could go from 3-9 to Big Ten champs.


20. Oklahoma State

Record: 2-1
Last week: 20 (beat Rice, 41-24)
This week: Grambling

Good bounce back for the Pokes after a disappointment against Houston. True redemption will have to wait until Texas at Halloween or Oklahoma at Thanksgiving, though.


21. Georgia Tech

Record: 2-1

Last week: 14 (lost to Miami, 33-17)

This week: UNC

Paul Johnson's 0-2 against ACC teams coming off a bye. The good news is there isn't another team on the schedule that gets an extra week to prepare.


22. Georgia

Record: 2-1
Last week: 21 (beat Arkansas, 52-41)

This week: Arizona State

Strange, the Dawgs score 10 points against a weak Big 12 defense and then 93 in two games against the SEC.


23. Pitt


Record: 3-0

Last week: 24 (beat Navy, 27-14)

This week: @ N.C. State

The Panthers held Navy to 129 rushing yards, that doesn't bode well for N.C. State's banged up running game.

24. UNC
Record: 3-0
Last week: Not ranked (beat ECU, 31-17)

This week: @ Georgia Tech

There's no denying the Heels looked good against ECU and played like the best team in this state.


25. Nebraska


Record: 2-1
Last week: 25 (lost @ Virginia Tech, 16-15)
This week: Louisiana-Lafayette

Even in defeat, it's reassuring to see the old Nebraska, with a strong defense and run-based offense.

Next five: Auburn, Kansas, Washington, Oregon, Utah

Out: Utah (16), Oregon State (23)

Comments

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I'm not gonna argue with UNC

I'm not gonna argue with UNC being in the top-25 now...they are 3-0 and have taken care of business so far. However, does that mean I'm sold on them? No, of course not, it's way too early to make that judgement.

Is UNC the best team in the state? I wouldn't declare them as such this early...we just don't have enough information about all the teams in the state to say. We can however say who definitely isn't the best in the state; ECU and Duke.

UNC fan can declare themselves the best in the state all they want...it doesn't bother us. What's really important is which fan base can say that at the end of the season.

Agreed

As of now, we have proven the most.  But it's a 12-game season (hopefully 14) and there's still a lot to prove.  For the moment, I am very pleased with what I've seen.

huh?

I like UNC but the notion that they have "clearly" proven anything at this point is rather bizarre. They were lucky to beat UConn, and ECU has not impressed in any game.

I have no idea if UNC is better than Wake or State at this point and neither should you.

Big Picture

Overall, in the grand scheme of things your statement is correct, that UNC has not clearly "proven anything."

However, they have shown that they have athletes on offense and defense and they responded to questions pertaining to their receivers and OL. The tests to this point may not have been too difficult, but at least they have passed the tests so far.

I agree with Surfer

state college fans can talk about how UNC shouldn't be in the top 25 or they haven't proven anything all they want to.  Matter of fact, that is what I expect from them.   The resume, on this date, looks a hell of a lot better than theirs and thats all that matters at the moment.

actually

I'm a graduate of both schools and I can even use proper grammar.  Thanks.

State college? C'mon man

I don't think any State fans are complaining about UNC being in the top 25 at this point (except for maybe izzy).  Does the resume look better than State's?  Sure does.  A hell of a lot better?  Not so sure.  It's still very difficult to objectively compare the two teams at this point, as neither team has turned any heads with a win or a loss.  This weekend should have the situation coming in more clearly, but even then we will need to get well into conference play before we start annointing anyone.

Good post

Sorry JPG, I know this makes me sound like I won't possibly agree with anything you say, but you're being convinced to quickly.  I honestly do think we are the best team in the state, but we haven't proven it yet.  With a win over GT, I think it's safe to say that we'll probably start out 6-0.  However, as I said before, we could very well end up 9-3 or 8-4 even after a good start, so I don't want to jump to any conclusions until November 28.

sad...

to see a mightly stalwart like JPG fall.  The daily/weekly badgering he gets about being unprofessional and a State homer clearly has influenced his opinions.  You guys clearly won.  But you won with the same feeling that Kim Jong Ill wins.

?

?

ok...

a little strained, sure, but Kim Jong Ill "wins" due to him being a dictator and forcing people to do whatever they want, namely worship him.  so i was saying that your tactics in cajoling JPG to give in and rank you guys, with not that great a resume in my biased opinion, was Kim Jong Ill-esque, and that your ranking was obtained from him by Communist/Occultist style mind tricks.

yeah, its exactly the same...

except Kim jong ill is one man making the masses do his bidding and you are accusing the unc masses of making jpg do what they want.  Kinda like comparing taking a bus to taking a flight out of rdu, totally the same thing.

 maybe the analogy you meant to make is that unc fans are like kim jong ill and jpg is like Hans Bwix from team america.  if he doesn't put unc in the top 10 next week we are going to feed him to the sharks.

I know who he is, I was just

I know who he is, I was just questioning why you said that because that is indeed the all-time worst analogy I have ever heard.

Obligated

I don't see JPG as falling. He was just manning up to his comment a few weeks ago when he was the odd man out by having ECU ranked somewhere around 20 and stating that "he would have company in three weeks', i.e. ECU would beat UNC.

In addition, he has kept UNC out of his top 25, when other polls had them in, until now so he had to provide some justification.

His adoration for State usually comes through so clearly (personally, I do not have a problem with that and in fact I find it quite entertaining), so when UNC does do something good, albeit not major, it is good to see him recognize it.

I don't think that UNC " has won" anything. Perhaps JPG just in fact does have more professionalism than some give him credit for.

JPG is "THE MAN"

Only in politics will you find more bias than you find in sports. Personally,  when people accuse JPG of being a State "homer", I don't buy it. Then again, I am a Pack fan so my own bias may not let me take a totally objective view. Which is the point I am trying to make. When we see bias in others, we often are exposing our own bias.

Ok, no more soap box for today. Once Saturday's games are complete, we will have some solid evidence on which to continue the State-UNC debate. The debate will not be settled by any means, but both teams have an opportunity to provide their fans with fuel for the fire (or douse the fire, at least temporarily).  

JPD

Just about every comment you make is flawless.  I shouldn't agree with a State fan this often.

all good points

and that's what i'm saying; the only folks who have questioned him have been UNCCH fans.  I thought it quite a big deal when he made full disclosure that he indeed graduated from NCSU when the blog first started.  Because up until that point i had never seen anything in his writing that would warrant pigeon-holing(sp?) him.

My "you guys won" comment was not at the team but at the fans as in you finally broke him.  I was doing that more to poke fun and tease.

I thought if you won the ECU game that would be a quality win, but it appears that ECU might be really bad, so i don't know.  HOwever you guys are 3-0.  Fanship aside for the moment, that deserves props at this point.

Since we don't get much BC talk on here...

Not sure if anyone saw this but UNC WR Jheranie Boyd had more yards of offense saturday ( 1 catch-59 yards) than the entire BC team (54 yards). wow...

This issue has not been

This issue has not been resolved yet.

Just curious

What issue are you referring to?

Nice

Way to man up Joe, ref. your comment three weeks ago when you had ECU in your poll around 20 and said that you would "have company in 3 weeks", i.e. implying ECU would beat UNC. We are proud of you.

Correct

Good post...the Heels were solid in the second half on both sides of the ball. Plus, our fans were really into the game and that was a nice change.

Much about UNC's team will be revealed this weekend in Atlanta. In the meantime, I hope someone requries CT to read all of his nonsense following the early games of this college football season. CT bad-mouthed how awful the ACC teams are this year, and really blasted the QBs in this state. Well, things look pretty good at the moment! FSU over BYU...Miami at No 5 in the national ratings...VT trips Nebraska...UNC over ECU, Wake and State are rolling along, etc.

National poll...

has UNC 22 and GT out...these teams need to stop not being ranked when UNC plays them. Oh well, get past GT and it's probably (maybe, hopefully, I pray) 6-0 going into FSU game. What a Thursday night. I'll be to the Hill early and staying late for that one. I love football season!

Nice job.

I think you got it just about right JP. BYU was overrated at #3, but you have to give credit to Fla State for going there and pounding them. Penn State needs to beat someone before they advance. Miami earned their spot. UNC and Pitt are just about right, given how they faired against the competition.

Glad to see Notre Dame is not in your Top 30. I just got back from South Bend after attending a terrific football game. ND's offense is for real, but it's defense couldn't stop a high school team. The only positive thing I can say is that their games will be exciting to watch, if you like shootouts. Yesterday's ND win over Mich State was definitely worth the price of admission.

from South Bend ...

this past weekend to Raleigh, NC this coming weekend.  you are logging your college football mileage early this year, JPD.

Just like voting...

College football attendance should be done early and often!

 

it's a start.

UNC at # 23 isn't great but all they need to do is keep winning and they will climb regardless.

I find it hard to believe the pollsters have taken GT completely out of the top 25 from where they were last week in the middle teens. (see the over all poll to know what I am talking about.)

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About the blogger

Joe Giglio covers the ACC for the News & Observer, where he has worked since 1997.
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