Nebraska could threaten Oklahoma

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Craig James
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Craig's new Top 25

Last week's rank in parentheses.
1. Oklahoma (1)
2. Miami (2)
3. USC (7)
4. Florida State (10)
5. Georgia (4)
6. Michigan State (6)
7. LSU (9)
8. Washington State (5)
9. Ohio State (12)
10. Michigan (14)
11. Texas (13)
12. Nebraska (16)
13. Virginia Tech (3)
14. Oklahoma State (18)
15. Purdue (8)
16. Mississippi (20)
17. Iowa (15)
18. Bowling Green (-)
19. Tennessee (17)
20. Auburn (11)
21. Florida (22)
22. Georgia Tech (25)
23. Pittsburgh (-)
24. TCU (24)
25. Kansas State (-)

OUT:
Wisconsin (19)
Utah (21)
Arkansas (23)

I'm somewhat jumping on Nebraska's bandwagon now after watching them in recent games, including the 28-0 rout of Iowa State over the weekend. I've been watching how the Huskers are dominating. They're physical, and they're doing it with defense. Their special teams are opportunistic; they block kicks and score touchdowns. This could be a Nebraska team that's going to challenge Oklahoma in the Big 12 championship game.

For many weeks now, we haven't had a team from the North appear to be capable of challenging the Sooners. I think Nebraska definitely is the team to beat up there now, and that's good for college football. Wouldn't it be awesome (unless you're a Sooner fan) if Nebraska knocked off OU in the Big 12 championship game and turns the BCS standings upside down? I think the Huskers are capable.

Tip of the cap

Just one this week ... well two, sort of. Bobby Bowden again, this time for passing Joe Paterno on the all-time wins list for Division I-A coaches. Being able to be around his son Terry, and to see how the family pulls for each other in all they've been through – the good and the bad – and the enduring that he's had to deal with, I'm just really happy for him. The man has made such an impact on hundreds of kids – not just the stars – but hundreds of players have learned life lessons from Bobby Bowden. He is a class act who has been very kind to many people.

He's very deserving of the all-time wins record, and I get the feeling he'll do it for as long as he can, or as Terry says, as long as he can play for a national championship. I'm happy for Coach Bowden as well as for his wife. Without a good wife, he'd have never made it. Ann Bowden gets a big Tip of the Cap.

Heisman update
Oklahoma QB Jason White's still the guy (19-of-28, 248 yards, three TDs in a 34-20 win at Colorado), and I'll keep Pittsburgh WR Larry Fitzgerald No. 2 (tied Charles Rogers' NCAA record of 13 consecutive games with a TD reception in a 34-13 win over Syracuse). But I'm keeping a close eye on USC QB Matt Leinart (19-of-29, 354 yards, four TDs in a 43-23 win over Washington).

Leinart's numbers are better than Carson Palmer's were at this time last year.

Through eight games:
Leinart, 2003: 148-of-237 (62.4%), 2175 yds, 21 TD, 7 INT, 162.9 rating
Palmer, 2002: 195-of-314 (62.1%), 2429 yds, 18 TD, 8 INT, 140.9 rating


This race is nowhere near decided. If the Trojans keep winning, and Leinart keeps posting these kinds of numbers, he's got a great chance to sneak in there, especially if White stumbles.

Wouldn't it be something if the successor to the previous Heisman winner took home the trophy?

Send Yahoo! Sports analyst Craig James a question or comment for potential use in a future column.