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 11-20 and 21-25.
1. LSU 6-0
Previous Rank: 1; Last Game: W 41-11 Florida; Next Game: @ Tennessee
Spencer Ware ran for 109 yards and two touchdowns as LSU had no trouble with an undermanned Florida team. The Tigers got off to a great start when Jarrett Lee hit Rueben Randle for a 46-yard touchdown on their second play of the game. Randle finished with 127 receiving yards to lead LSU. The Tiger defense was even more impressive against 3rd-string quarterback Jacoby Brissett and his banged up teammates. Jeff Demps did not gain a yard on his two carries and Chris Rainey contributed only 52 yards. Florida had only 213 yards and Brissett threw two interceptions. His biggest play was a 65-yard completion to Andre Debose to cut the score to 27-11 but that was as close as Florida would get in the 2nd half.
2. Oklahoma 5-0
Previous Rank: 2; Last Game: W 55-17 Texas; Next Game: @ Kansas
The Red River Rivalry didn’t look like much of one as Oklahoma exploded for 28 2nd quarter points to run away and hide from the Longhorns. The Sooner defense scored three touchdowns and forced a total of five turnovers while limiting Texas to 36 rushing yards on 45 carries. Texas’ only touchdown in the first three quarters was Fozzy Whittaker’s 100-yard kickoff return that briefly stopped the bleeding in the 2nd quarter. Landry Jones was impressive with 367 yards passing and three touchdowns. Ryan Broyles had nine catches for 122 yards and a score and Kenny Stills added two touchdowns for the Sooners. Demontre Hurst, David King and Jamell Fleming scored the defensive touchdowns for Oklahoma in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th quarters, respectively.
3. Alabama 6-0
Previous Rank: 3; Last Game: W 34-0 Vanderbilt; Next Game: @ Mississippi
The Crimson Tide’s #1 ranked defense showed how dominant it can be in a shutout of the Commodores Saturday afternoon. Vanderbilt was held to 190 yards, eight 1st downs and converted only 1-10 3rd down attempts while turning the ball over twice. A.J. McCarron had the best game of his career with 237 yards and four touchdown passes. Trent Richardson contributed 107 yards and a score for the Tide and DeAndrew White hauled in two of McCarron’s touchdown passes. The Tide have dominated each of their six games this season and Mississippi and Tennessee should not offer much resistance in the next two weeks. The game of the year looms on November 5th when Alabama hosts LSU.
4. Wisconsin 5-0
Previous Rank: 4; Last Game: W 48-17 Nebraska October 1st; Next Game: vs Indiana
The Badgers had the week off following their big win over Nebraska as they prepare for the balance of their Big Ten schedule. The Badgers have yet to be challenged this season with the 31-point margin over the Cornhuskers the closest game they’ve been in to this point. Wisconsin has the #3 ranked scoring offense and defense and Russell Wilson has joined the Heisman conversation with his outstanding season. Indiana travels to Camp Randall before Wisconsin goes to Michigan State and Ohio State in consecutive weeks, their first true road games of the year.
5. Boise State 5-0
Previous Rank: 5; Last Game: W 57-7 Fresno State; Next Game: @ Colorado State
Kellen Moore proved his struggles against Nevada were a one game fluke as he welcomed Geraldo Boldewijn back to the lineup and the Broncos rolled the Bulldogs on their home turf. Boldewijn caught two touchdown passes, Matt Miller led the team with 78 yards and a receiving touchdown and Moore finished 23-31 for 254 yards and those three touchdowns. Doug Martin and D.J. Harper combined for three touchdowns on the ground but the story of the game was the Bronco defense. Fresno State gained most of its 270 yards late as Boise State held them without a 1st down until the final play of the 1st quarter and the Bulldogs did not cross midfield until the 3rd quarter. Devon Wylie’s 79-yard punt return to open the 4th quarter was the only score for Fresno State and broke a string of 111 straight points scored by the Broncos in the past three games with the Bulldogs.
6. Stanford 5-0
Previous Rank: 6; Last Game: W 48-7 Colorado; Next Game: @ Washington State
Max Bergen returned a blocked field goal for a touchdown to open the scoring and Andrew Luck’s 370 yards and three touchdowns were too much for Colorado. The Buffaloes ran for only 60 yards and struggled to stay on the field, converting only 2-13 3rd down attempts. Ryan Hewitt grabbed two of Luck’s touchdown passes and Griff Whalen caught the third to go with a game-high 92 receiving yards. Colorado lost leading receiver Paul Richardson to an injury and Tyler Hansen struggled without his big-play threat and any semblance of a running game. So far the loss of defensive leader Shayne Skov has not hurt the Cardinal as Chase Thomas has stepped up to lead the defense.
7. Oregon 4-1
Previous Rank: 7; Last Game: W 43-15 California; Next Game: vs Arizona State
The Ducks won and lost big in the same game as they used a dominant 2nd half to put away the Bears yet lost LaMichael James to a dislocated elbow in the 4th quarter. James had 239 yards and a touchdown before the gruesome injury took him out of the game and likely the next couple at least. The Oregon offense struggled outside of James’ brilliance for much of the 1st half but broke out in the 2nd half behind two Darron Thomas to DeAnthony Thomas touchdown passes. Lost in the hoopla of James’ injury and the offensive explosion was the Duck defense shutting California out in the 2nd half and allowing only one touchdown for the game. Kenjon Barner, DeAnthony Thomas and Tre Carson are expected to get the bulk of the carries with James out and Darron Thomas will need to play much better and find some reliable receivers to overcome a tough Arizona State team this week.
8. Oklahoma State 5-0
Previous Rank: 8; Last Game: W 70-28 Kansas; Next Game: @ Texas
The Cowboys exploded for 35 1st quarter points and scored 56 unanswered in the 1st half behind Brandon Weeden’s five touchdowns. Backup quarterback Clint Chelf threw two touchdowns as well and the duo combined for 494 yards. Hubert Anyiam and Justin Blackmon each caught two touchdown passes and the defense forced four Jayhawk turnovers. Oklahoma State had 600 yards of offense and overtook Oregon as the #1-ranked scoring offense. The schedule gets more difficult with three of the next four games against ranked conference opponents and the fourth being a tough trip to Columbia to face Missouri.
9. Clemson 6-0
Previous Rank: 9; Last Game: W 36-14 Boston College; Next Game: @ Maryland
Tajh Boyd threw for 283 yards and a touchdown while adding another score on the ground and Clemson proved to be too much for the Eagles. Andre Ellington added 117 yards rushing and a touchdown and Chandler Catanzaro outscored Boston College himself with five field goals. The Tigers held Boston College to 258 yards while piling up 500 of their own. After a tough run through three consecutive ranked conference opponents, Clemson faces an easier upcoming schedule with Maryland and North Carolina before a tricky game at Georgia Tech. That game may be revisited in the ACC championship as well to determine the ACC representative in the BCS.
10. Michigan 6-0
Previous Rank: 11; Last Game: W 42-24 Northwestern; Next Game: @ Michigan State
The Wolverines overcome a slow start to dominate Northwestern in the 2nd half and come away with their 6th consecutive victory. Trailing 24-14 at halftime, Denard Robinson led the Wolverines back with two 2nd half touchdown runs as Michigan outscored the Wildcats 28-0 in the half. Robinson added two 1st half touchdown passes to help overcome three interceptions. Dan Persa led Northwestern with 331 yards passing but could not find the end zone despite 32 completions. Freshman Ibraheim Campbell had two of Northwestern’s interceptions but the defense allowed 541 yards and Michigan converted an astonishing 14-17 3rd down attempts as well as their only 4th down try while dominating the time of possession at nearly 38 minutes to 22. An intrastate battle awaits as the Wolverines travel to East Lansing to face Michigan State.
BSE 2011 Preseason Poll
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