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The Dirty Poll! Week Three Edition

Not much changed in the “Dirty Poll” from week two, to week three. Only one departure to report – Nebraska was bounced after their embarrassing 2nd half performance against UCLA. Word on the street in Lincoln is Bo Pelini’s days are numbered. His potential replacement? How about former Husker QB and current Oregon offensive coordinator Scott Frost? The move would make sense for both sides.

The newcomer to the poll is Texas Tech, who beat an (AP) ranked team in TCU on Thursday. 

Rk Team Record LW AP Analysis
1 Alabama 2-0 (1-0) 1 1 Something you haven’t heard about an Alabama team in awhile: defense is a concern. Granted the Crimson Tide passed their first true test of the season, getting revenge against A&M and Manziel with a 49-42 win at Kyle Field. But the defense gave up 628 total yards of offense, the most ever against an Alabama defense. Ever. That had to be an encouraging sign for potential titles contenders that run the spread (Clemson, Oregon, Florida State). The good news for Bama: they can win with offense. “Game Manager” AJ McCarron was dominant, throwing for 334 yards, 4 TD’s and no INT’s. The Crimson Tide welcome in Colorado State this weekend, before another ranked opponent (Ole Miss) comes to Tuscaloosa.
2 Clemson 2-0 (0-0) 2 3 It was an off week for Tahj Boyd and the Clemson Tigers, but they remain in the 2nd position based purely on their opening weekend win over Georgia. One of the perils of playing in the ACC – Clemson doesn’t have another ranked team on the schedule until October, 19th when Florida State comes to town. The Tigers open their conference schedule Thursday night, when the travel to take on NC State.
3 Oregon 3-0 (0-0) 3 2 What a performance. The Oregon Ducks handed Tennessee their worst loss since 1910, and piled up the most yards against an SEC defense in the past decade. After falling behind 7-0, Oregon rattled off an unbelievable 59 consecutive points. Desperately want to move them up a slot, but I have to see a win over a ranked team before I can do so (that opportunity will come, October 12th @ Washington). The Ducks have this weekend off, before Cal comes into Autzen stadium. The bye week should provide ample time to get this Lyerla/ Helfrich squabble figured out.
4 Florida State 2-0 (1-0) 5 8 I was almost ready to jump off the Jameis Winston bandwagon, when I saw the Seminoles only led Nevada 17-7 at the half in Tallahassee. Then the second half came, and Florida State walked away with a 62-7 win at Doak Walker. That Winston kid? He had 3 incompletions and 2 touchdowns. The Freshman phenom now has more TD passes this season than incompletions. FSU has three more snoozers on the schedule (and should be 5-0) for their trip to Clemson on October, 19th.
5 Ohio State 3-0 (0-0) 4 4 No Braxton Miller? No problem for the Buckeyes, as they ran right through Cal (in what appeared to be an Ohio State home game) 52-34. Offense isn’t the issue for Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes, it’s the defense. They gave up 34 points, 503 total yards, and let a freshman QB throw for 371 yards and 3 TD’s. If the Buckeyes want to compete for a National Title, hell even make it out of the Big 10, they have to play better on the defensive side of the ball. They get one more tune up this weekend in Florida A&M, before back-to-back matchups against ranked opponents: Vs Wisconsin/ @ Northwestern.
6 LSU 3-0 (0-0) 6 6 LSU is once again quietly flying under the radar this season, after another dominating win (45-13 over Kent State). Are they a legit National Title contender? No one really knows, and we won’t for one more week as the Tigers should open a can up at home against Auburn this weekend. The first true test comes the following week: when Les Miles and Co. travel between the hedges to take on Georgia.
7 Stanford 2-0 (0-0) 7 5 Another win. Or I should say; another unimpressive win for the Cardinal. 34-20 over Army? Seriously? This was a 20-13 game at the half. Say all you want about their dominant defense, and unbeatable front 7… But if Stanford wants to be taken seriously as a title contender, these early season games need to be blowouts. Lucky for us, we can answer the contender or pretender question this weekend, when Stanford takes on Arizona State down on the Farm.
8 Louisville 3-0 (0-0) 8 7 I was a believer. Louisville had played two inferior opponents, and rolled right through them like a dominant team should – all the while Teddy Bridgewater was looking like a serious Heisman contender. Then this weekend happened. Louisville faced Kentucky (who, sadly, could be the toughest opponent on their schedule) and looked like a team that doesn’t belong with the big boys. I know Kentucky is a joke – but this was their opportunity to show what an elite offense should do against arguably the worst defense in the SEC (see, Oregon). The result? A 27-13 win, with Bridgewater only completing 16 passes for 250 yards and one TD. If Louisville goes undefeated, they’ll be in a BCS game. But the Cardinal can kiss a chance at the Natty goodbye.
9 Oklahoma St. 3-0 (0-0) 10 11 Apparently it will take more than a slandering Sports Illustrated article to knock the Cowboys off stride. They looked impressive again, albeit against Lamar (wait, who?). Oklahoma State has this week off, before opening up Big 12 play at West Virginia, September 28th.
10 Georgia 1-1 (1-0) 11 9 Georgia had a much deserved weekend off, after opening the season with Clemson and South Carolina. The Bulldogs finally get the tune up game they deserve this weekend, against North Texas. But the fun and games will be short lived – LSU comes to town on September 28th.
11 UCLA 2-0 (0-0) 16 13 I picked UCLA to win the Pac-12 South before the season began, and the Bruins made me feel like a genius this weekend. A dominating, and I mean DOMINATING win at Nebraska has made me a firm believer in the Bruins as potentially the 2nd best team in the conference. The Huskers held a 21-3 lead in the first half, before UCLA closed the game on a 38-0 run. Most importantly, Brett Hundley finally had a chance to show the nation what he’s all about – and put his stamp on the early season Heisman race. Three more winnable games loom for the Bruins (Vs New Mexico State; @ Utah; Vs California) before they travel to Stanford and Oregon on back-to-back weekends in October.
12 South Carolina 2-1 (1-1) 13 12 South Carolina seemed a little shell shocked after falling to Georgia, but the Cocks’ were able to fight through a lack-luster effort to knock off Vanderbilt 35-25 for their first SEC win of the season. The schedule is a cake walk for the next two months, which should result in South Carolina being right back in the title hunt. Their next six opponents? Central Florida, Kentucky, Arkansas, Tennessee, Missouri and Mississippi State.
13 Texas A&M 2-1 (0-1) 9 10 Lots will be made about Johnny Manziel’s performance against Alabama’s defense. Hell, he piled up 562 yards of offense and scored 5 touchdowns. But don’t lose sight of his two interceptions; one thrown in the endzone, the other returned for a TD – which were the difference in A&M’s 49-42 loss. Failing to knock of Alabama could officially end Manziel’s Heisman campaign – but he’ll put up monstrous numbers, as A&M only has one ranked team on the slate from now until the end of November.
14 Michigan 3-0 (0-0) 12 15 Whew. Here I am, bragging about my sleeper pick in Michigan… Then they go out and nearly lose to Akron at the Big House? C’mon now, Wolverines. Being (un?) biased, I’ll chalk this laugher of a performance up to motivation – as Michigan was coming off a big win against Notre Dame. Lucky for Big Blue, the Big 10 is a terrible, and I mean terrible conference. Their next four opponents? Uconn, Minnesota, Penn State and Indiana. Which should equate into a 7-0 start.
15 Miami (FL) 2-0 (0-0) 14 16 It was an off week for my other sleeper pick, Miami – just simply due to attrition they dropped a slot in the rankings. The Canes’ won’t be going anywhere anytime soon, as they face Savannah State this weekend down in Miami.
16 Washington 2-0 (0-0) 15 17 My question regarding the Huskies: was their win over Boise State more about the Broncos being overrated, or the Huskies being for real? Well, Boise struggled at home with Air Force; and the Huskies struggled with Illinois this weekend. It was a good win, considering Sark’s struggles on the road – but if the Huskies want to be taken seriously not only in the country, but in the Pac-12 – this is a game they should have dominated. Want a crazy stat? This was the Huskies first non-conference road win, since Jake Lockers’ debut at Syracuse in 2007. Washington has two more tune up games, against Idaho State and Arizona, before we find out who they really are; in a 3-game stretch against Stanford, Oregon and Arizona State.
17 Oklahoma 3-0 (1-0) 17 14 A change at QB served the Sooners well, behind bruiser Blake Bell the offense finally got rolling – like we normally expect in Norman. Granted it was a 51-20 win over Tulsa, but the Sooner offense put up a total of 50 points in their first two wins. Boomer Sooner has three “tests” looming – at Notre Dame, Vs TCU, then the annual classic against Texas.
18 Northwestern 3-0 (0-0) 19 18 A lesson I continue to re-learn every weekend; the Big 10 is terrible. Northwestern is the 3rd highest ranked team from the conference, and they came away with a 38-17 win over Western Michigan – after trailing at one point, 10-3, in the 1st half. The Wildcats close up shop on their non-conference slate this weekend against Maine, before a showdown (?) at home against Ohio State October 5th.
19 Ole Miss 3-0 (1-0) 23 21 Ole Miss has turned the nation’s #1 recruiting class into a 3-0 start to the season. But probably the most important thing that happened this weekend was the Rebels likely putting the final nail in Mack Browns coffin with a 44-20 win over the Longhorns, including a 27-0 shellacking in the 2nd half. Ole Miss has the week off, and they’re going to need it – before they travel to Tuscaloosa to take on #1 Alabama on September 28th.
20 Florida 1-1 (0-0) 20 19 “Pretender” Florida had the weekend off, to lick their wounds from a dreadful performance against Miami. They welcome Tennessee, who’s fresh off the ass-kicking of a lifetime, into the Swamp this weekend.
21 Baylor 2-0 (0-0) 21 20 Baylor had a bye as well this past weekend, so no furthering of the Lache Seastrunk for Heisman campaign on the ‘Dirty Poll.’ The same can’t be said for next week’s poll – the Bears take on LA-Monroe this weekend… Can Seastrunk top 200 yards in the 1st half?
22 Arizona State 2-0 (0-0) 24 23 Well… I can now safely say I’ve seen everything. The end to the Wisconsin, Arizona State game was probably the strangest ending to a game I’ve witnessed. That being said, I was greatly disappointed in the Sun Devils. This was a chance for them to send the nation, and the Pac-12 a message by beating a vastly overrated Wisconsin team at home. In the end, they lucked out – which is why the Devils only moved up two slots from a week ago, despite beating a ranked team. We’ll find out all we need to know about this team Saturday, when they travel down to the Farm to take on Stanford.
23 Wisconsin 2-1 (0-0) 22 24 Poor Wisconsin. I’m still not a believer, but they should have beaten Arizona State (see above). But – the ref malfunction should have never happened. That was arguably the worst late game, clock management I’ve ever seen. Just kick the damn field goal, Anderson! Because of the devastating nature of their loss, I kept the Badgers in the top 25. Their run may be short lived, after a home date with Purdue this weekend – the Badgers travel to Columbus to take on the Buckeyes.
24 Texas Tech 3-0 (1-0) NA 25 The Red Raiders… Winning with defense? That was the case this past Thursday night, when they out-slugged TCU for a 20-10 win. Kingsbury is the hottest coaching name in the country right now, and a 3-0 start to his career is only going to continue to stoke the flames. Texas Tech has four more “should win” games looming, before they travel to Norman to take on the Sooners, October 26th.
25 Notre Dame 2-1 25 22 There’s the Notre Dame I know and love! Play like crap for the majority of the game, but somehow, someway, find a way to win the ballgame. That’s precisely what happened in the Irish’s 31-24 win over Purdue Saturday night. Next up: the Notre Dame welcomes Oklahoma to South Bend this Saturday.

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09/16/2013 2:05PM
The Dirty Poll! Week Three Edition
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