These rankings reflect the opinion of the Boise Sports Examiner and are not a representation of the Associated Press poll or the polls that make up the BCS rankings. Click the links for teams 1-10 and 11-20.
21. Clemson 3-0
Previous Rank: NR; Last Game: W 38-24 Auburn; Next Game: vs Florida State
Clemson finally knocked Auburn from its lofty perch, handing the other Tigers their first loss after 17 consecutive wins. Tajh Boyd broke open a tie game at the half, connecting with Sammy Watkins on two 3rd quarter touchdown passes. Boyd finished with 386 yards and four touchdowns in an outstanding effort. The defense allowed 237 rushing yards to Auburn but kept them out of the end zone in the 2nd half. The Tigers now turn their attention to a wounded Florida State team in a crucial ACC Atlantic division matchup.
22. Michigan 3-0
Previous Rank: NR; Last Game: W 31-3 Eastern Michigan; Next Game: vs San Diego State
The Wolverines knocked off their 2nd directional Michigan school of the season, sandwiched around a big win over Notre Dame to crawl back into the rankings. Denard Robinson ran the ball 26 times for 198 yards and a touchdown and threw for two scores. The Eagles threw for only 29 yards against Michigan and turned the ball over twice. The Wolverines now look forward to a matchup between new Head Coach Brady Hoke and his former team San Diego State, led by star sophomore running back Ronnie Hillman. The Aztecs will be extra-motivated to knock off their former mentor so this could be a short stay in the top 25 for Michigan.
23. Michigan State 2-1
Previous Rank: 14; Last Game: L 31-13 Notre Dame; Next Game: vs Central Michigan
The Spartans laid an epic egg against a much-maligned Notre Dame team searching for its first win of the season. They gave up a kickoff return for a touchdown to freshman George Atkinson III and Kirk Cousins’ only interception was returned 82 yards to set up another score. The Spartans could not run the ball at all, finishing with only 29 yards on 23 attempts. Cousins had a solid game passing but 12 penalties and struggles on 3rd down were Michigan State’s undoing. They look to rebound against another directional Michigan school as well.
24. Georgia Tech 3-0
Previous Rank: NR; Last Game: W 66-24 Kansas; Next Game: vs North Carolina
The Yellow Jackets absolutely bombarded the Jayhawks as they ran up 768 yards of total offense in the easy win. 604 of those yards came on the ground. Orwin Smith led the Jackets with 157 yards and a touchdown and also caught two passes for 108 yards and another score. Tech completed only four passes all night but two went for touchdowns of at least 52 yards in a four minute span of the 3rd quarter. Six different Yellow Jackets scored touchdowns on the ground in the merciless slaughter. Tech now opens conference play against North Carolina, still searching for an identity following their coaching change and off-field issues of the past two years.
25. Ohio State 2-1
Previous Rank: 16; Last Game: L 24-6 Miami (FL); Next Game: vs Colorado
Ohio State was embarrassed by Miami on the road as their offense was completely inept in their first big test of the season. Three games before they expect to get some talented reinforcements back from suspensions, quarterback Joe Bauserman was a miserable 2-14 passing for 13 yards and his counterpart Braxton Miller threw one interception and fumbled as well. It amounted to only 209 yards of offense for the Buckeyes while Lamar Miller piled up almost that many (184) on the ground for the Hurricanes. Ohio State gave up two 1st quarter touchdown passes from Jacory Harris to Allen Hurns and never recovered.
Fell out of the poll: Arizona State (19), Auburn (20), Mississippi State (25)
As usual, comments are welcome and appreciated.