College Football Week 3 Poll: Power Ranking New Top 25

The second week of the 2011 college football season produced just one Top 25 matchup—3rd-ranked Alabama vs. 23rd-ranked Penn State according to the AP poll—and No. 22 Missouri at No. 19 Arizona State in these rankings.

Nonetheless, there were a plethora of great games on the gridiron to satisfy even the hungriest college football fans’ appetites.   

From the Longhorns’ comeback over BYU to the Cyclones’ head-spinning and crowd-pleasing upset against Iowa in triple OT—to Ohio State’s slim win over the high-flying Rockets to the two thrillers in the SEC—where Auburn outlasted Mississippi State by seven points and an inch and South Carolina sneaked away against Georgia in Athens, 45-42—Week 2 definitely had something for everyone. 

All of that doesn’t even include the two best games of the weekend.  The Sun Devils came away with an unforgettable 37-30 overtime victory on Friday night.  Then on Saturday evening, Michigan clashed with Notre Dame in Ann Arbor in the Game of the Week and what would become an instant classic. 

While I’ve never been a fan of the Wolverines or the Fighting Irish, it was easily one of the most amazing and fun-to-watch games I’ve seen in recent memory.  It was extremely entertaining and jam-packed with twists and turns.  To top it all off, 21 points were scored in the last 72 seconds of the game.  And oh yeah, it helped my predictions results as well since I picked Michigan. 

My Predictions Results: Since I didn’t pick the Oklahoma State-Arizona game in time, I went with the best game outside of the Top 25 with the aforementioned Michigan and Notre Dame.  My three worst picks were East Carolina over Virginia Tech 41-38 (17-10, VT), Mississippi State over Auburn 41-31 (41-34, AUB) and Oregon over Nevada 39-23 (69-20, ORE).  My three best picks were Michigan to top Notre Dame 30-27 (35-31, MICH), South Carolina over Georgia 38-32 (45-42, S.CAR) and Nebraska over Fresno State 42-21 (42-29, NEB).  My record for Week 1 was 21-2 and 18-2 for Week 2 (39-4 Overall).

Now I present my updated college football rankings for Week 3.  I apologize for the delay by the way.  I left for vacation on Sunday morning. =) 

No. 25 Michigan (Prev. Just Missed Cut): The Wolverines are a long-shot in the Big Ten Legends division, but after an impressive 35-31 victory over the Fighting Irish, Denard Robinson and head coach Brady Hoke might have what it takes to win some important close games.  This Week: vs. E. Michigan

No. 24 South Florida (Prev. 25): The Bulls had no trouble maintaining focus in getting back to business following one of its biggest wins in school history against Notre Dame with a 37-7 smashing of the Ball State Cardinals.  This Week: vs. Florida A&M

No. 23 Florida (Prev. 23): John Brantley had no issue building off the success from the season opener with a 39-0 shutout over the well-dressed UAB Blazers.  This Week: vs. Tennessee

No. 22 Ohio State (Prev. 21): Holy Toledo!  The Buckeyes barely survived the high-flying Rockets of Toledo, 27-22 in a game I labeled as a “potential trap game.”  This Week: at Miami (FL)

No. 21 Mississippi State (Prev. 15): Chris Relf and Dan Mullen will mostly likely take a ton of heat for the last play in the loss to Auburn, but the Bulldogs could have done many different things to prevent the upset.  Don’t count this team out just yet.  This Week: vs. No. 3 LSU

No. 20 Auburn (Prev. NR): The tricky Tigers looked impressive on Saturday.  But don’t count on this program making giant strides down-the-stretch this season.  This Week: at Clemson

No. 19 West Virginia (Prev. 20): Geno Smith and the Mountaineers had fun hitting on all cylinders and bulldozing Norfolk State and the Thundering Herd.  The next two games will put this program to the test.  This Week: at Maryland

No. 18 TCU (Prev. 18): Following a disappointing defeat at the hands of Robert Griffin III and Baylor, the Horned Frogs showed up and overcame the groggy feeling and Air Force’s triple-option on the road in a 35-19 comfortable conference victory.  This Week: vs. UL Monroe

No. 17 Baylor (Prev. 17): Idle; This Week: vs. Stephen F. Austin

No. 16 Arizona State (Prev: 19): Well I was on the mark when I said Friday night’s game would be a fun-to-watch contest that boils down to the final seconds.  I was also right to pick these emerging Sun Devils.  I was wrong however about it being a low-scoring affair, as Arizona State won in overtime fashion, 37-30. 

No. 15 Michigan State (Prev. 14): Kirk Cousins and company didn’t let off the gas in their 44-0 dismantling of the Owls of Florida Atlantic.  They’ll saddle up this week on the road in South Bend.  Keep your eyes out for a potential upset.  This Week: at Notre Dame

No. 14 Virginia Tech (Prev. 11): It was my leap of the week—picking East Carolina to upset the Hokies, 41-38.  I was way off on the score, under the impression that these two teams would be trapped in a shootout with high-powered, overwhelming offenses, but knew the Hokies would have their hands—or whatever a Hokie uses to  pick things up with—against the Pirates of East Carolina.  Saturday will be easy peasy.  This Week: vs. Arkansas State

No. 13 South Carolina (Prev. 16): The Gamecocks showed they had game on Saturday night under the lights in Athens.  Now they have to do battle with Navy.  This Week: vs. Navy

No. 12 Arkansas (Prev. 13): The razor-sharp Razorbacks hammered the New Mexico Lobos, 52-3.  The offense will have to continue to make improvements as it faces Alabama and Texas A&M in early October.  This Week: vs. Troy

No. 11 Nebraska (Prev. 12): Taylor Martinez and company will go toe-to-toe with 25th-ranked Washington.  I love what this Nebraska team can do, but the ‘Huskers are certainly on upset alert this week facing the Huskies, who demolished Nebraska in the bowl game after being bashed by the ‘Huskers earlier in the season.  This Week: vs. Washington

No. 10 Oklahoma State (Prev. 10): The Cowboys kicked Arizona’s ass on Thursday night, 37-14.  Look out for this prolific offensive program that can also play well on defense.  This Week: at Tulsa

No. 9 Oregon (Prev. 9): Quack Attack didn’t take the phrase “style points” lightly, as the Ducks slaughtered the Wolfpack, 69-20.  This Week: vs. Missouri State 

No. 8 Texas A&M (Prev. 8): Idle; This Week: vs. Idaho

No. 7 Wisconsin (Prev. 7): The Badgers stomped the Beavers, 35-0.  Russell Wilson and Wisconsin are dangerous.  But they could be less lethal on the road.  This Week: at Northern Illinois

No. 6 Stanford (Prev. 6): The Cardinal smashed Duke in the mouth, 44-14.  They could have less luck in the desert against an angry Arizona.  This Week: at Arizona

No. 5 Boise State (Prev. 5): Everybody likes Boise State…well, except for the people that don’t like them.  The Broncos face a slightly interesting test on Friday night on the road facing a program that almost knocked off Ohio State.  This Week: at Toledo

No. 4 Florida State (Prev. 4): The ‘Noles have outscored their first two opponents by a combined 86 points.  You won’t see that type of margin this Saturday night under the lights.  This Week: vs. No. 2 Oklahoma

No. 3 LSU (Prev. 3): The real competition starts for LSU.  Back-to-back road games against ranked opponents and that’s just the beginning of an extremely back-breaking schedule.  Whoo, I’m glad I’m not in Les Miles’ shoes.  This Week: at No. 20 Mississippi State

No. 2 Oklahoma (Prev. 2): Theere are a lot of great games on tap in Week 3, but none of them can compete with the grand daddy of ’em all with Boomer Sooner taking on the ‘Noles in Tallahassee.  We’ll find out just how good both of these programs are and perhaps discover one team that will be playing on the big stage in January.  This Week: at Florida State

No. 1 Alabama (Prev. 1): The Tide rolled over Penn State with ease, 27-11.  This Saturday will be a breeze.  This Week: vs. North Texas

Just Missed The Cut: Central Florida, Missouri, USC, Washington, Texas

Verse of This Piece: “Fools don’t care if they sin, but honest people work at being right.”—Proverbs 14:9      

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  • leliorisen

    I am a Badgers fan with no great love for the Spartans. But, seriously, you do not have Michigan State in your top 30??? They may have had a weak opponent this week,but they still pitched a shutout and gave up 1…that is ‘1’ first down the entire game. How do you leave them out?

    • Michael Gartman

      Thanks for the feedback, leliorisen.  I can’t believe I left them out, either.  Rare error from packing it all in too quickly because of a vacation, a long NFL predictions series and management work.  I’ll get it changed.  They’ll be No. 15.  My deepest apologies for the mistake.