|Craig's new Top 25|
|1. USC |
5. Miami (FL)
7. West Virginia
8. Florida State
14. Ohio State
19. Oklahoma State
20. Fresno State
21. Southern Miss
23. Virginia Tech
24. Arizona State
The ACC is panning out to be maybe the toughest conference in college football.
We knew the additions of Miami and Virginia Tech put the ACC right up there with the most competitive conferences in the country on paper, but early on I took a wait-and-see approach.
But when a North Carolina gets ripped by Virginia, then comes back and romps on Georgia Tech – which just beat Clemson – that makes me say, "Hey, the ACC is on to it." I'm really impressed with where this conference is headed.
I really look forward to watching Virginia at Florida State on October 16. Virginia is flying up the ranks.
Tips of the cap
1. Erik Ainge at Tennessee – Unbelievable game. I did not think Ainge, a freshman, could handle the pressure - but he completed 16 of 24 passes for 192 yards with three touchdowns in the Vols' 30-28 victory over Florida in Knoxville. Ainge takes the reins as Tennessee's quarterback from this point forward, although they'll continue to play Brent Schaeffer some.
2. Carnell "Cadillac" Williams and Ronnie Brown at Auburn – The best backfield tandem in the country at one school. Williams and Brown rushed for a combined 152 yards in the Tigers' 10-9 win over LSU. They kept their team in the game till the very end.
3. Maurice Drew at UCLA – I got tired of watching this guy run up and down the field. I kept thinking we were running replays on ABC, but they were new touchdowns. His final numbers: 322 yards (a school record) and five touchdowns.
4. Marshall – The best 0-3 team to start a season in recent memory. As a fan, I appreciate the Thundering Herd's hustle and work ethic. They haven't shied away from anybody.
I ranked Iowa 10th in my preseason Top 25. Now they're gone. Getting ripped this weekend by Arizona State drops the Hawkeyes off my list.
It's too early to say these guys are favorites for anything, but they are in the game:
1. Oklahoma QB Jason White – 17-of-23 for 213 yards and a touchdown pass vs. Oregon
2. USC QB Matt Leinart – 236 yards, two passing touchdowns and one rushing touchdown vs. BYU
3. Texas RB Cedric Benson – 188 yards and two touchdowns vs. Arkansas two weeks ago
4. Purdue QB Kyle Orton – Off week, five touchdowns two weeks ago