College Football Week 7 Power Rankings

The day started off with a great laugh as ESPN’s College Gameday concluded (see video). No other sport has a character quite like Corso, who riles up the crowd by donning a school’s mascot’s outfit.

With the release of the first BCS standings this weekend, there were three meaningful matchups in determining the race to the National Championship game.

South Carolina faced another Top 10 team for the second straight week, as they visited Death Valley and the LSU Tigers. With the Gamecocks schedule getting tougher as the season moves along, Carolina needed a victory over LSU to keep their perfect season intact.

In South Bend, the surprising Fighting Irish faced a tough one-loss Stanford squad. A victory over Stanford would help Notre Dame’s bid for their first BCS bowl game since 2006. If the Irish can reach the nine-win mark, it should send them to a BCS bowl game.

One of the most storied rivalries in all of college football was renewed when the Red River Rivalry took over Dallas. Both Oklahoma and Texas entered the game with one conference loss and couldn’t afford a second loss if they hoped to take the conference title.

This is the second consecutive week that the previous No. 1 in these power rankings (Oregon (last week) and Alabama (two weeks ago)) is idle…

1. Alabama (6-0)

Result: defeated Missouri 42-10

Next Week: at Tennessee

With the exception of the opening game against Michigan, Bama has yet to play anyone relevant. But down the stretch here, they will play some quality opponents, including road trips to Knoxville and Baton Rogue. The Tide will likely be favorites for the remainder of their schedule but will FINALLY be tested.

2. Oklahoma (4-1)

Result: defeated No. 15 Texas 63-21

Next Week: vs Kansas

The QB duo of Landry Jones and Blake Bell proved to be way too much for the Longhorns. Jones finished the game with 21-37 with 321 yards and two TDs. The “Belldozer” resembled Tim Tebow as he scored all four of his rushing TDs from within the goal line. Jones became only the third Sooner QB to beat Texas three times.

3. Florida (6-0)

Result: defeated Vanderbilt 31-17

Next Week: vs South Carolina

Despite going 2-11 on third down, the Gators managed to take care of Vanderbilt. QB Jeff Driskel broke Tebow’s record for rushing yards by a QB with 177 yards and scored three times on the ground. Driskel threw for only 77 yards with no TDs. His final TD, a 70-yard run, put away the Commodores late in the fourth. A meeting with South Carolina awaits next week which will likely determine the East representative in the SEC title game.

4. LSU (6-1)

Result: defeated No. 3 South Carolina 23-21

Next Week: at Texas A&M

They ain’t lying when they say Death Valley is a tough place to play at night. I’ll be the first to admit, the first half of Saturday’s South Carolina-LSU game wasn’t too exciting.  But the action (and score) picked up in the second half. A key 50-yard TD run by freshman RB Jeremy Hill essentially sealed the Tigers’ victory. The Tigers’ defense stepped up and stopped the Gamecocks running attack.

5. Notre Dame (5-0)

Result: defeated No. 17 Stanford

Next Week: vs BYU

By now, I’m sure most of you are aware of the controversy that surrounded the conclusion of the Stanford-Notre Dame game. Unfortunately for the Cardinal, the outcome cannot change. Notre Dame did what they had to – win the game. The victory was the Irish’s third win over a team ranked in the Top 20 which should translate into a nice ranking in the first release of the BCS standings.

6. Florida State (6-1)

Result: defeated Boston College 51-7

Next Week: at Miami

The Seminoles bounced back quickly from a crushing loss at NC State last week with a convincing victory over Boston College. QB E.J. Manuel shined in the victory, completing 27 of 34, with 439 yards and four TDs. The ‘Noles can’t afford to lose another conference game if they hope to make the ACC title, even though they are still the likely favorite to take the ACC Atlantic division. Next week’s rivalry game against Miami should be an interesting game to watch.

7. Oregon State (5-0)

Result: defeated BYU 42-24

Next Week: vs Utah

I’m not even sure the fans in Corvallis saw this coming…a 5-0 start. It’s not like their schedule has been a cake walk either, with victories over quality opponents in Wisconsin, UCLA, Arizona and now BYU. With QB Sean Mannion lost for the season, it should be an interesting finish to the season which could see a division title on the line in the Civil War game against in-state rival Oregon.

8. Ohio State (7-0)

Result: defeated Indiana 52-49

Next Week: at Notre Dame

For the second consecutive week (and third time this season), the Buckeyes’ offense racked up over 50 points in a game. But the defense looked shaky as they allowed 49 points to a horrible Indiana team. QB Braxton Miller hooked up with his favorite target WR Devin Smith for his only two passing TDs on 60 and 46-yard completions. Ohio State has not lost to Indiana since 1988.

9. USC (5-1)

Result: defeated Washington 24-14

Next Week: vs Colorado

Are the Trojans the best one-loss team? If they can secure a Pac-12 title, they will definitely make a tough argument. USC’s defense was the star of the game against Washington where it held the Huskies offense to 299 yards and produced four turnovers. The Trojans only scores came in the first half which was enough to take down Washington.

10. Texas Tech (5-1)

Result: defeated No. 5 West Virginia 49-14

Next Week: at TCU

There’s something in the water in Lubbock that continues to put the Red Raiders’ offense as one of the most dangerous offenses in the nation. In what was expected to be an offense affair, the Red Raiders shocked West Virginia, exploding for over 650 yards of total offense including 499 passing yards by QB Seth Doege. Doege threw for six TDs with one interception as the defense held the potent Mountaineers offense to only 14 points. Texas Tech’s success will make for a very interesting race for the conference title with four teams sitting at 2-1 in conference play behind 3-0 Kansas State.

Here’s what I’m looking forward to in week eight…

Virginia Tech at No. 14 Clemson (11 a.m., ABC Regional Coverage)

No. 6 LSU at No. 20 Texas A&M (11 a.m., ESPN)

Purdue at No. 7 Ohio State (11 a.m., ABC Regional Coverage)

Michigan State at No. 23 Michigan (2:30 p.m., Big Ten Network)

No. 9 South Carolina at No. 4 Florida (2:30 p.m., CBS)

BYU at No. 5 Notre Dame (2:30 p.m., NBC)

No. 6 Kansas State at No. 17 West Virginia (6 p.m., FOX)

No. 1 Alabama at Tennessee  (6 p.m., ESPN)

No. 12 Florida State at Miami (7 p.m., ABC)

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