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JP Top 25: Week 4

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

JP Top 25 archive
AP, USA Today polls
Pollspeak (how everyone else voted)

1. Texas
Record: 4-0
Last week: 1 (beat UTEP, 64-7)
This week: bye

Pardon the Horns while they put their Oklahoma hats on this weekend. They need OU to beat Miami to make the Big 12 look better, since Houston is doing its best to make it look inferior to C-USA.

2. Florida
Record: 4-0
Last week: 2 (won @ Kentucky, 41-7)
This week: bye

Tim Tebow's concussion will be rehashed a million times before the Gators' next game, Oct. 10 at LSU. Give credit to the SEC — obviously they didn't predict Tebow's injury but they knew LSU was a big game and built in extra rest for their champs, kinda like the ACC letting Virginia Tech play Duke after Miami.

3. Alabama
Record: 4-0
Last week: 3 (beat Arkansas, 35-7)
This week: @ Kentucky

The Tide's offense has scored at least 34 points in each of the first four games, it had only six such games all of last season. The national luster is off that Ole Miss matchup next Saturday but it's still as meaningful in the SEC West.

4. LSU
Record: 4-0
Last week: 4 (won @ Mississippi State, 30-26)
This week: @ Georgia

Far from impressive in Starkville but what are the alternatives?

5. Virginia Tech
Record: 3-1
Loss: vs. Alabama

Last week: 9 (beat Miami, 31-7)

This week: @ Duke

How many teams, ACC or otherwise, would have the patience to redshirt a talent like Ryan Williams and could afford to wait for his production (492 yards, 8 TDs in four games)?

6. Houston
Record: 3-0
Last week: 18 (beat Texas Tech, 29-28)
This week: @ UTEP

For Houston's sake, I hope they have a copy of ECU's media guide and they've read the part about a C-USA team starting 3-0 with a pair of wins over BCS teams. Five of the Cougars' next seven games are on the road but their unbeaten hopes may well come down to a Halloween home date with Southern Miss.

7. Boise State
Record: 4-0

Last week: 7 (won @ Bowling Green, 49-14)
This week: California-Davis

What are you supposed to do with Boise? For the love of Bill Snyder, they're playing UC-Davis this week. But they beat the one Pac-10 team (Oregon) that stoned up to play them and it just so happens that Oregon has knocked off ranked opponents, Utah and California, in consecutive weeks.

The better Oregon plays, the better Boise looks and based on Boise's schedule, that's all the Broncos have going for them from here on out.

8. USC
Record: 3-1
Loss: @ Washington
Last week: 10 (beat Washington State, 27-6)
This week: @ Cal

The Pac-10 favorite went from USC to Cal back to USC in a span of a week and all the Trojans did was beat Wazzou. Still, the Trojans are only 8-4 in their last 12 conference road games (compared to 11-1 at home).

9. Ohio State
Record: 3-1
Loss: USC
Last week: 11 (beat Illinois, 31-0)
This week: @ Indiana

The Buckeyes last two wins are by a combined score of 68-0, over Toledo and Illinois, but still back-to-back shutouts.

10. TCU
Record: 3-0
Last week: 17 (won @ Clemson, 14-10)
This week: SMU

A TCU fan requested that I rank the Horned Frogs before Boise State. Given the strength of the Mountain West, that will happen sooner than later if the Frogs keep winning, but two ACC road wins (over Virginia and Clemson) are not enough to jump Boise. Not yet.

11. Cincinnati
Record: 4-0
Last week: 12 (beat Fresno State, 28-20)
This week: Miami, Ohio

Who's the best team in Ohio? Could be the Bearcats, whose offense slowed down this week but have road wins over a Big East (Rutgers) and Pac-10 team (Oregon State).

12. Miami
Record: 2-1
Loss: @ Virginia Tech
Last week: 5 (lost @ Virginia Tech, 31-7)
This week: Oklahoma

I thought Miami would start 2-2. The Canes will have to beat Oklahoma to prove me wrong.

13. Oregon
Record: 3-1
Loss: @ Boise State
Last week: NR (beat Cal, 42-3)
This week: Washington State

Let's be honest, Oregon's players could have told rookie coach Chip Kelly to pound sand after the embarrassing opener and the suspension of their 1,000-yard rusher but they rallied to beat Purdue, ended Utah's 16-game winning streak and slaughtered Cal. Impressive.

14. BYU
Record: 3-1
Loss: Florida State
Last week: 15 (beat Colorado State, 42-23)
This week: Utah State (Friday)

Look, I get that the Cougars were smoked by FSU but I wonder how many of the other AP voters realize that they beat Oklahoma, which somehow is ranked ahead of the Cougars in the proper AP poll?

15. Iowa
Record: 4-0
Last week: NR (won @ Penn State, 21-10)
This week: Arkansas State

It's difficult to reconcile the Hawkeyes, they needed two blocked field goals in the final minute to beat Northern Iowa at home but they beat Penn State going away in the second half at Happy Valley. Maybe Kirk Ferentz just has Penn State's number. The home date with Michigan looms large on Oct. 10.

16. Oklahoma
Record: 2-1
Loss: vs. Brigham Young
Last week: 16 (bye)
This week: @ Miami

Oklahoma's resume consists of home wins over Tulsa and Idaho State. Sorry, that's not No. 8 in my book. We'll know more about the Sooners, and Sam Bradford's gimpy shoulder, Saturday night.

17. Michigan
Record: 4-0
Last week: 19 (beat Indiana, 36-33)
This week: @ Michigan State

No doubt there was some dubious officiating in their three-point win over Indiana, but the Wolverines surpassed their 2008 win total on Saturday. They still owe Sparty one from last year.

18. Oklahoma State
Record: 3-1
Loss: Houston
Last week: 20 (beat Grambling, 56-6)
This week: bye

The Pokes visit one of the 17 remaining unbeaten teams in major college football on Saturday and perhaps the weakest.

19. Georgia Tech
Record: 3-1
Loss: @ Miami

Last week: 21 (beat UNC, 24-7)

This week: @ Mississippi State

Strange, 35 voters didn't rank the Yellow Jackets last week (I did), yet Miami moved up to No. 9 based on their win over GT.

I'm not going to try to make any sense of that, but I do know after seeing them in person, the Jackets are good. Man, their kicker is bad, though. They left a lot of points on the table on Saturday, which didn't hurt them against UNC but will down the road.

20. Georgia
Record: 3-1
Loss: @ Oklahoma State
Last week: 21 (beat Arizona State, 20-17)
This week: LSU

The better Georgia looks, the better Oklahoma State looks and the better Houston looks. Mark Richt could use a win over LSU in Athens on Saturday.

21. South Carolina
Record: 3-1
Loss: @ Georgia
Last week: NR (beat Ole Miss, 16-10)
This week: S.C. State

I didn't think I was hallucinating when I saw South Carolina in person and thought they had a strong defense. Then the Gamecocks gave up 41 points to Georgia and I started to second-guess.

A 10-point outing against Ole Miss confirmed my first thought and your first thought is always right (there I just saved you $21 on a Malcolm Gladwell book).

22. South Florida
Record: 4-0
Last week: NR (beat Florida State, 17-10)

This week: @ Syracuse

No idea what to make of the Bulls, other than they beat Florida State without their ninth-year starter at quarterback (Matt Grothe), whose career was cut short by injury and his replacement (B.J. Daniels) looked good against the up-and-down Noles.

23. Kansas

Record: 4-0
Last week: NR (beat Southern Miss, 35-28)
This week: bye

The Jayhawks rumbled with their basketball team, Sharks-vs-Jets style, and then took care of a good Southern Miss team. A win over a good team is more than Ole Miss or Penn State can claim.

24. Nebraska
Record: 3-1
Loss: @ Virginia Tech
Last week: 25 (beat Louisiana-Lafayette, 55-0)
This week: bye

We'll know more about the Cornhuskers after a trip to Mizzou and a visit from Texas Tech in consecutive weeks

25. Cal
Record: 3-1
Last week: 6 (lost @ Oregon, 42-3)
This week: USC

Wins over a Big Ten team (Minnesota) and an ACC team (Maryland) are more impressive than anything Ole Miss or Penn State can claim, hence their position in the last slot.

Out: Ole Miss (8), Penn State (13), Florida State (14), Pitt (23), UNC (24)

Next five: Auburn, UCLA, Notre Dame, Missouri, Ole Miss 

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One more foot-in-mouth comment

Canes finally meeting expectations 9-18-09
gvillegatr: look out
Fri, 09/18/2009 - 10:27 — gvillegatr
here come the Canes! nobody will stop the Canes this season. who's going to beat 'em when they easily have the coolest and best QB in the league by a land slide.

quit worry folks, the ACC is back in the main stream!

loser

some of you guys kill me when you (find the time) go back and look for old posts to post. 

everyone of us have said something that didn't come to fruition or simply wasn't true. 

fact of the matter is, Miami's offense isnt designed to play in a dadgum monsoon.  anyone with half a brain would know this or realize it one.  on the other hand, VT's lunch pail crew is totally designed to mush through mud and the sop.

Ouch, I've been called a loser

No, I've actually just been copying/pasting any ridiculous comments to notepad as they come along.  Digging through archived posts would be insane, and I certainly wouldn't have time for that.  This way is pretty easy, for it's not hard to spot an over-the-top comment when they get posted.

 And no, not everyone posts comments with ridiculous predictions.  Sure everyone is wrong from time to time,  but not everyone is so adamant about their false predictions.

 Oh btw, are you still so certain that ECU and UConn are as tough as SC and Pitt?  You were ripping apart anyone that disagreed with you before the season, but now you're all upset when somebody calls you out for being wrong.  Okay...

Riduculous comments

Max, copy this one to your notepad:

Yes, ECU and Uconn looked much tougher than SC (didn't see the Pitt game) and actually GT didn't really look that good. IMO.

whoa

its even more scary to cut and past something.  are you married?  or just a  guy with a job and too much time on his hands?  I guess you have enough posts to write whats his nuts (DUKE fan) memoirs??  loco.

as far as ECU/UConn and Pitt/USC ... everyone was defending their own teams combo of non conference opponents.  so way to single me out ... again!  I'm still not so sure you are right.  no matter though.  I've posted a ton of material on this site, so I guess two ,maybe three, call outs is still hitting at a great pace!

 

No Lineup Changes for Pack

No Lineup Changes for Pack 9-07-09
caldwellheel: max, keep spouting that drivel.....
Mon, 09/07/2009 - 22:09 — caldwellheel
...you will give up on it after the Panthers take NCSC to the woodshed.

O'Brien wants preseason change 9-07-09
sasrkc: ncsu tough schedule
Mon, 09/07/2009 - 22:46 — sasrkc
You should have just moved up Murray St and Gardner-Webb the first 2 games of the season. Count these as your pre-season. They will beat you too.

Also, I believe pjtarheel called me delusional for saying that the Pack will be 3-1 after week 4. You guys should take note from Marvin Austin...it would be best for you to talk all this smack after the games have actually been played, unless you like having to pull your foot out of your mouth.

Count one, two, then spin the wheel

Count on Texas and Fla to stay on top and throw the rest up in the air, shuffle the cards, use whatever analogy you want to use. After the top two, the rest will rise and fall as upset after upset upsets numbers 3 through 25.

That is, of course, that Tim Tebow isn't lost for a significant period of time. I have heard all the pros and cons about whether Tebow should have been in the game when he got plastered and I am convinced. Keeping him in the game was a massive blunder uncharacteristic of Urban Meyer.

I am having trouble accepting Michigan (who could have lost to Indiana and barely beat a mediocre Notre Dame team) and Iowa (who should have lost to Northern Iowa and beat a Penn State team that has beaten no one) as Top 20 teams. But that is representative of the current state of college football, where just about anyone can be anyone on a given day. Not that it is a bad thing, it sure makes for some interesting games.

Hijackers

Ken will ask N.C. State about the clock issues.

— JPG

yea

i heard him.

 

Btw, this poll looks exactly right after four games into the season.

Lil' help from the local sports guy?

Hey JP, a little off the subject, but how about looking into that clock issue at the end of the half of the NC State game?

We've been looking for an explanation, but can't even find it referenced. From what we understand, it appears the Big East crew completely blew it.

More can be found here:
http://www.statefansnationforums.com/topic.php?id=183&replies=5#post-2274

But to summarize, the relevant rule states (provided by whit25 over on SFN):
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
NCAA Rules Committee 2009-2010 Major Changes --

e. Starts on the Referee’s Signal
For each of the following reasons, the game clock is stopped. If the next play begins with a snap, the game clock will start on the referee’s signal:

...4. To complete a penalty....

There's 16 listed, but #4 is the one that interests us.

You can see the whole document by going here--
http://www.ncaa.org/wps/ncaa?key=/ncaa/ncaa/sports+and+championship/football/playing+rules/index

and clicking on "2009 full listing of rules changes"
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Since the called penalty called was a "false start" (though there was not one - refs blew that too), then the play was officially blown dead, pre-snap.

Therefore, the qualifying condition of "If the next play begins with a snap..." never occurred. Thus, the clock should not have been started.

If that is correct, then that was a HUGE miss by the officials, potentially costing the Wolfpack points and the game. An explanation and apology should therefore be forthcoming from the Big East officiating crew.

TOB has taken a lot of heat on the boards for bad clock management, even the game announcers got on him a bit.  Some of us out here believe TOB played it perfectly, and that it was the officials that mismanaged the game clock.

Perhaps we are missing something?  If we are, and starting the clock was indeed the correct move, then there are a lot of confused fans that would appreciate an explanation.

Help us out.  If nothing else, its a good excuse for another article that will be sure to draw hits. 
Thanks JP.

While waiting for an official answer...

I took a look at the rule change language and think the refs may have gotten it right. To paraphrase the document, the referee's signal starts the clock if the next play starts with a snap. The clock stopped to "complete a penalty", so the next play starts with the referee's signal if the play starts with a snap (as opposed to a kickoff, perhaps).

My guess is that coaches are confused by this rule, which may have also been the issue before the half at the UNC/Ga Tech game where Paul Johnson almost had a stroke right before our eyes.  Although there is no excuse for coaches not to know the rules, the way the rules are presented, I have to admit I am not sure my interpretation is correct.

I really got a kick out of this statement at the end of that section of the document:

   

RATIONALE:  Simplifies the various clock rules by economy of language and the removal of apparent exceptions.

That is simplification only a lawyer or Congressman can love.

Guess I am wrong

Not the first time and definitely not the last.

to add...

i rewatched the torrent of the game last night.  With 30+ seconds to go and 2nd and Goal, RW throws an incompletion and the clock is stopped at 25.  Then they run a play and the offsides penalty is called (A deadball foul), the clock runs a little bit of course to 23.  So they reset the clock.  You can hear the official blow his whistle and the clock starts running.  That' when the dumas (doo mah) announcers start talking about how the team is acting so nonchalantly and their's clock mismanagement.  With 8 seconds left, TOB is livid and calls a timeout, but they only reset the clock to 5 seconds.  Eight seconds would have AT LEAST given us a chance to run one play for the end zone.  Referees totally messed up.  You don't start the clock after an incompletion + deadball foul.  So it should have been 3rd and goal, on the 7/8 with 25 seconds left.  Good, hard fought win though

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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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