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The 2011 college football regular season has come to an end. All the games are done and the conference champions have been determined and now get a look at how the voters for the AP and USA Today Coaches Poll set the rankings. The LSU Tigers completed their undefeated season with a dominant win in the SEC Championship Game and are the nation's top team by a long shot.
LSU not only went undefeated this season, but eight of their 13 wins came against teams that finished ranked in the top 25. They beat the nation's No. 2 team, Alabama, and now will likely get a rematch against the Crimson Tide in the BCS Championship Game. Alabama was the only team to give the Tigers a close game.
The Tide's only loss came in an overtime game to the dominant LSU Tigers which secures them in the second spot in the rankings. There's a chance, albeit slim, that the Oklahoma State Cowboys (3) will leapfrog Alabama and earn a shot at LSU in the BCS Title Game. The Bowl Selection show is Sunday evening at 8 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. MT.
Oklahoma State broke a nine-game losing streak to their rivals, the Oklahoma Sooners, to win the annual Bedlam Game and secure the Big 12 Title. The Cowboys beat the Sooners 44-10.
The other big shake up at the top of the polls was the surprise loss by the Houston Cougars to the Southern Miss. Golden Eagles, 49-28, in the Conference USA Today Championship Game. The Cougars lost their chance at a BCS Bowl game and fell to 18 in USA Today rankings.
The final week in the Pac-12 was highly predictable. The Oregon Ducks romped the UCLA Bruins 49-31 in the first-ever Pac-12 Championship Game. The Ducks finish the season ranked fifth in the USA Today Rankings and head to the Rose Bowl to face the Wisconsin Badgers. The Badgers beat the Michigan State Spartans in another thrilling game between these two Big Ten competitors.
The top of the USA Today Coaches Poll is:
The AP rankings have the same top three with LSU, Alabama and Oklahoma State. The margin between the second and third spots, however is small. The Crimson Tide have 1,418 points compared to 1,400 for the Cowboys. That leaves the slightly door open for Okla. St. going to the BCS Championship Game. 22 AP voters switched from Alabama to Oklahoma State at No. 2.
The top of the AP is (full ranking here):
It didn't look like the Stanford Cardinal will have to fret anymore about the BCS. Stanford moved up to 4th in the latest rankings, and if they hold that position they will clinch an automatic spot in the Bowl Championship Series. This will ensure two Pac-12 bowl bids in the premier BCS for the second straight season, which should again improve the overall profile of the conference.
Likely to join Stanford in the BCS mix is the Oregon Ducks, who are overwhelming favorites against the UCLA Bruins in the inaugural Pac-12 championship game. Oregon will clinch their bid in the Rose Bowl if they triumph on Friday night, earning the automatic bid from the Pac-12 championship game. There's an outside chance that UCLA could win andn get to the Rose Bowl, but don't consider it a likely option.
To discuss BCS rankings click here. See below for the full rankings.
3. Oklahoma State
5. Virginia Tech
7. Boise State
11. Kansas State
12. South Carolina
13. Michigan State
21. Penn State
23. West Virginia
24. Southern Miss
The USA Today coaches' poll for week 14 of the college football season gives us LSU and Alabama atop the mountain once again, setting up a likely SEC BCS National Championship Game, though there are some interesting story lines setting up behind them.
Virginia Tech, Stanford, and Oklahoma State complete the top five this week, though the Cardinal trail the Hokies by only two points. Should be interesting to see where they all get placed in the BCS bowls.
Houston, Oregon, Boise State, Michigan State, and Arkansas complete the top 10, while the majority of the poll didn't budge from last week. Southern Mississippi, Florida State, and Cincinnati all re-join the top 25 this week as well.
Here's the complete USA Today coaches' poll for Week 14:
Week 13 of the college football season saw plenty of bad blood spilled in rivalry games all over the country, but we did not see any of the upsets that created such havoc with the rankings last week. The Week 14 USA Today Coaches Poll and AP Poll surely reflect that stability at the top of the college football rankings with the LSU Tigers (1) easily handling the previously third-ranked Arkansas Razorbacks and staying on top of the pile.
Arkansas fell to no. 6 in the AP poll with the loss while LSU remains in firm control of the rankings with only the SEC Championship Game against the Georgia Bulldogs next week standing in the way of their undefeated season and a trip to the BCS Title Game.
In the Iron Bowl, the Alabama Crimson Tide had no problem beating the Auburn Tigers by the score of 42-14. Alabama stays at the second spot in the polls and will almost certainly get their chance to face LSU again. Aren't you excited to see how the kickers do?
Elsewhere at the top of the ladder the Stanford Cardinal outclassed the Notre Dame Irish and are ranked no. 4 while the Virginia Tech Hokies had an impressive 38-0 win over the Virginia Cavaliers. The Hokies jumped to the fifth spot in the AP with the win.
In the Pac-12, the Oregon Ducks trounced Oregon State 49-21 in the Civil War game. The USC Trojans proved their control over the Pac-12 South Division with a 50-0 stomping of the UCLA Bruins. We won't get to see the Trojans in the postseason however, due to sanctions. And in the Apple Cup, Washington beat Washington State, 38-21, in a game that had little meaning outside the state.
The top ten of the AP now looks like this: LSU (1), Alabama (2), Oklahoma State (3), Stanford (4), Virginia Tech (5), Arkansas (6), Houston (7), Oregon (8), Boise State and USC tied (9).
Read more: Dennis Erickson Out At ASU?
The Arizona St. Sun Devils played the Oregon Ducks pretty tough over a month ago. That seems like a lifetime ago, as ASU has collapsed down the stretch with three straight conference losses and are now on the outside looking in on the BCS rankings. Any hopes for an at-large bid collapsed after those those three losses, and they can only hope to find their way back to the BCS race by getting to the Pac-12 title game and upsetting the North representative (likely Oregon, possibly Stanford).
Oregon tumbled to tenth while Stanford rose up to sixth. If ASU somehow gets to the title game and scores the upset, the Sun Devils could knock the North team completely out of the BCS race, since it's possible a loss to lowly ASU would tumble them out of the top 14. It's not likely, but you can't count out any potential scenario.
4. Oklahoma State
5. Virginia Tech
7. Boise State
11. Kansas State
12. South Carolina
14. Michigan State
19. Penn State
22. Notre Dame
23. Georgia Tech
To discuss ASU football, check House of Sparky.
After losses from Oklahoma State, Oregon, and Oklahoma, the SEC West has taken complete control of the AP Poll this week as LSU, Alabama, and Arkansas take over the top three spots in the poll as well as a commanding lead in the points as well.
The Stanford Cardinal were the biggest winners this weekend after taking care of Cal in the Big Game, moving from No. 8 to No. 4 in the poll this week. Oklahoma State fell to No 5. Virginia Tech moved up to No. 6, Boise State and Houston are at No. 7 and 8, while USC's victory over the Ducks dropped them to No. 9 and USC No. 10, marking the third Pac-12 team to make the AP this week.
Oklahoma fell to No. 12 after losing to the now No. 21 Baylor Bears, while Clemson fell to No. 18. Georgia Tech and Virginia find themselves back in the top 25 after falling out last week at No. 24 and 25 respectfully.
Here's the full top 25 for week 13:
After a high flying weekend that saw a number of top team's tumble this weekend, it looks like the SEC West is the place to be as LSU, Alabama, and Arkansas take over the top three spots of the USA Today/Coaches Poll for week 13.
Virginia Tech and Stanford benefitted the most from losses from Oklahoma State, Oregon, Oklahoma, vaulting up to No. 4 and No. 5 respectfully this week. Still, the Hokies are more than 100 points behind Arkansas, and aren't necessarily considered national title contenders as the top three have pulled away so far form the rest of the field.
Oklahoma State's loss to Iowa State dropped them from No. 2 to No. 6, while Houston, Boise State, Oregon, and Michigan State round out the top 10. Oklahoma fell from No. 5 to No. 11, Clemson fell from No. 8 to No. 17, while Baylor and Virginia jumped back into the top 25 at No. 23 and 25 respectfully.
Here's the full USA Today coaches poll top 25 for Week 13:
Upsets galore in college football in Week 12 have decimated the BCS standings and the AP and USA Today College Football Coaches Poll will certainly reflect that. The rankings reflect the defeat of previously undefeated Oklahoma State Cowboys who fell from the no. 2 spot in the polls to sixth after a stunning overtime loss to Iowa State.
That wasn't the only top-ranked team in college football to fall this week. The Oklahoma Sooners, previously no. 5, fell to a very good Baylor Bears team. The Sooners are now ranked no. 11 in the USA Today Coaches poll. The AP poll will be released later on Sunday and we will provide those results immediately after they are available.
The fun didn't stop there as the door to the BCS Championship game that opened for the Oregon Ducks was slammed shut by Matt Barkley and his USC Trojans who have come on strong late in the season but are ineligible for postseason play due to sanctions. Oregon is now ranked ninth after snapping a 21-game win streak at Autzen.
Even the Clemson Tigers (fell from 8 to 17) were embarrassed 37-13 by N.C. State. That makes a total of four teams in the top ten that lost in this week of upsets.
At the top of the heap, the LSU Tigers and Alabama Crimson Tide both easily rolled over their cupcake opponents (Mississippi and Georgian Southern) and seem headed for a rematch in the BCS Championship Game. But first LSU has to get through Arkansas next week and Georgia in the SEC Championship Game. The fun is far from over.
Here's the top five from the USA Today Coaches Poll with the full ranking here. We will post the AP rankings shortly.
LSU (1), Alabama (2), Arkansas (3), Virginia Tech (4), Stanford (5).
On two consecutive Saturdays, the bowl game hopes of the Arizona State Sun Devils have gone from bad to worse. After dropping out of the BCS Top 25 following a loss to UCLA, ASU lost all hope of re-entering the rankings after Saturday's surprising loss to the Washington State Cougars and their freshman quarterback Connor Halliday.
The Week 12 BCS Rankings are out, and only two Pac-12 teams remain among the Top 25. Following Saturday's showdown in Palo Alto, the Oregon Ducks have claimed the No. 4 spot previously held by Stanford, while the Cardinal slide down to No. 9. Although this is a huge blow to Stanford, there is still a chance that Oregon may find their way into the National Championship Game to represent the Pac-12.
Stanford remains in the mix as a candidate for the Fiesta Bowl in Tempe, along with Boise State, Houston and Alabama.
Here is the full Top 25:
2. Oklahoma State
8. Virginia Tech
10. Boise State
12. South Carolina
13. Kansas State
15. Michigan State
20. Southern Miss
21. Penn State
25. Florida State
For news and coverage related to all things Arizona State, you can always visit House of Sparky.
Categorized under the list of not incredibly shocking news is the news that LSU is the unanimous No. 1 in the country according to voters for the AP Poll in week 12, but what is a bit more shocking is the fact that the AP hasn't had a unanimous No. 1 since Texas back in 2008, which says a lot about Les Miles' program this season. There were also a handful of stunning upsets this weekend in college football, though the team that made the most of their opportunity were the Oregon Ducks, jumping up to No. 4 this week.
Alongside LSU and Oregon, Oklahoma State (2), Alabama (3), and Oklahoma (5) round out the top 5. With the loss Stanford falls to No. 8 this week in the AP, and possibly out of the BCS conversation, while another field goal snafu cost Boise State another undefeated season, dropping them all the way to No. 10. Georgia moved to No. 13 after topping Auburn, though Penn State fell to No. 21 after falling to Nebraska, who use the win to rise up to No. 17. Arizona State missed the rankings now for the second straight week.
Cincinnati, Georgia Tech, Auburn, and Texas all lost their spots in the top 25 this weekend, though Florida State, Norte Dame and Baylor creep their way back into the top 25 in the last three slots respectfully.
Another exciting week for college football is in the books and now we will look at how the polls and rankings shake out. The USA Today Coaches poll is first up on Sunday morning with the AP poll set to drop later in the day. We'll update those rankings as they are released but it's pretty obvious that LSU will stay on top and Oklahoma State will jump to the second spot thanks to Stanford losing to Oregon.
The big shake up this week at the top of the college football rankings comes with the decisive beating the Oregon Ducks put on the Stanford Cardinal on the road. The Cardinal blew their shot at a possible BCS Championship bid and now will likely not even get a chance to win the Pac-12 Conference title. The Ducks won in a 53-30 blowout and were rewarded with a jump in the polls to No. 4 while the Cardinal fall to No. 9. Oregon's only loss came in Week 1 to LSU.
The other top undefeated team, Boise State, also fell but this time in the final seconds. The Broncos, thanks to a very favorable pass interference call, had a chance to beat TCU with a field goal but for the second-straight year couldn't put the ball through the uprights when it mattered most. Boise State fell to No. 11 in the USA Today Coaches Poll with the loss.
Those results leaves the LSU Tigers (1) and Oklahoma State Cowboys (2) as the only undefeated teams other than the surprising Houston Cougars who jumped to the ten spot. Both the Tigers and Cowboys took care of business against much lesser opponents and are headed for New Orleans BCS Championship Game meeting.
The Cowboys, however, will still have to go through rival Oklahoma on December 3 in the next huge college football game. Should the Cowboys fall, we could see a rematch between LSU and Oregon in a battle of offense vs. defense. That could be fun.
The only other ranked team in the Pac-12, USC, beat Washington 40-17. The Trojans, however, don't get ranked in the USA poll because they aren't bowl eligible due to sanctions. The Arizona State Sun Devils blew their chance to retake the Pac-12 South with their embarrassing loss to Washington State. Needless to say, the Devils aren't ranked.
Here's the top five in the USA Today Coaches Poll. The AP poll will be released later Sunday and we will provide those updates at that time.
The Arizona St. Sun Devils lose to an underwhelming UCLA Bruins team in Pasadena this Saturday night. Shocker, I know. This sort of stuff tends to happen. This should probably end any hopes they have of earning a BCS at-large bid, particularly with no big name opponents left on their conference slate.
ASU probably can find their way back into the BCS rankings, but they'll need to somehow find their way to the Pac-12 Championship Game in December. Right now the Sun Devils don't control their destiny, as UCLA now leads the South Division in the standings. ASU needs to win out and hope for a loss from the Bruins to regain hope--and UCLA does still have a road date to USC left on their schedule. Then if they get to the Pac-12 championship game and win, they'll earn their ticket to Pasadena. Tall order, but there is still an order for them to get to where they want to go.
It's far from over for the Devils, but these rankings are unlikely to make much difference to them from here on out.
Click here for a comprehensive detailed look at the BCS standings on SB Nation. Team rankings are below.
2. Oklahoma State
5. Boise State
10. Virginia Tech
12. Penn State
13. South Carolina
14. Kansas State
17. Michigan State
21. Georgia Tech
22. Southern Miss
For more on ASU football, hit up House of Sparky.
After the Arizona State Sun Devils were shocked by the UCLA Bruins Saturday night, their standings within the AP and USA Today polls this week evaporated, falling out of the top 25 in both of the polls. There were a lot of moves made within the polls this week though, let's take a closer look at some of them.
In the USA Today/Coaches Poll LSU held on to the top spot after taking out previous No. 2 Alabama Saturday night in Tuscaloosa, followed by the Stanford Cardinal, who used their win over Oregon State to move into the second spot. Oklahoma State and Alabama round out the top five followed by Boise State (6), Oklahoma (8), Arkansas (9), and Virginia Tech (10) as the rest of the top 10.
No. 9 Nebraska fell hard in the rankings, dropping 12 spots to No. 17 after their big loss to Northwestern. Previous No. 21 West Virginia lost to Louisville 38-35 to fall off the board as well, while previously unranked TCU and Auburn joined the top 25 this week at 24th and 25th respectfully.
USA Today, Week 11
As for the AP Poll, Oklahoma State fended off Kansas State Saturday night to take over as the reigning No. 2 in the country this week, followed by the Stanford Cardinal at No. 3.Alabama's loss dropped them to No. 4., Boise State remained at No. 5 to round out the top five, while Oregon sits right outside at No. 6, with Oklahoma, Arkansas, Clemson and Virginia Tech filling out the top 10.
Nebraska, West Virginia, and Arizona State all took tumbles down the rankings this week as well in the AP, while Auburn just made the cut, though TCU didn't.
AP Poll, Week 11
After a wild and crazy day of college football the polls and rankings for Week 11 will be out soon. The LSU Tigers (1) are clearly on top of the world with their thrilling overtime defeat of the Alabama Crimson Tide. The battle between undefeated top ranked teams lived up to the dramatic hype even if the scoring was stiffed. We'll know later in the day on Sunday how the AP Poll and USA Today College Coaches Poll ranks all the teams. In the mean time, we have the Sagarin computer rankings to chew on.
While we are waiting for the Week 10 college football rankings and polls to be released, we will recap some of the big action with the ranked teams. It was an exciting week and not just with the Tussle In Tuscaloosa.
The remaining undefeated top teams all managed wins even though the Oklahoma State Cowboys needed 52 points and some late heroics to beat the Kansas State Wildcats.
The Stanford Cardinal and Andrew Luck were pushed a bit by the Oregon State Beavers but a big third quarter put that game away and keep Stanford undefeated heading into next week's big game against the Oregon Ducks. If Stanford beats the Ducks and runs the table as expected, they would have to be considered a BCS Championship Game contender.
The other undefeated team theoretically in the hunt for BCS Title is Boise State. They rolled over UNLV 48-21 but once again will rightly be penalized for their easier schedule.
The biggest upsets of the day for ranked teams were formerly ninth-ranked Nebraska falling to Northwestern, 28-25 and the formerly 13th-ranking Michigan Wolverine losing to un-ranked Iowa, 24-16.
Elsewhere in the Pac-12, the Ducks answered more questions about their quality with a sound road win over the Washington Huskies, 34-17. USC easily defeated the hapless Colorado Buffalo, 42-17, and the Arizona Wildcats lost their home coming game to Utah, 34-21.
The Arizona State Sun Devils lost a one-point game to the UCLA Bruins thanks mostly to three missed field goals and several other blown opportunities. We will have to wait and see if the loss pushes the Sun Devils out of the top 25 rankings. We suspect they will hang around.
The Sagarin computer ranks the top ten this way:
1 LSU 9-0
2 Alabama 8-1
3 Oklahoma State 9-0
4 Oklahoma 8-1
5 Boise State 8-0
6 Stanford 9-0
7 Oregon 8-1
8 Texas 6-2
9 Texas A&M 5-4
10 Arkansas 8-1
It was a heartbreaker of a loss for the Arizona State Sun Devils in more ways than one. Besides being handed a rough last-minute loss by the UCLA Bruins on Saturday, the two teams are now locked in a tie for first place in the Pac-12 South. From here on out, both teams will be hoping that the other team's season gets spoiled.
ASU still has a chance to make the Pac-12 Championship Game, and are still hoping to make the top three in the conference. If they should happen to finish at number three, they would be in line for a spot at the Bridgeport Education Holiday Bowl. Prior to the UCLA loss, they were projected to play in the Valero Alamo Bowl, and they still have a good chance of making it there. If they drop another game, they may have to settle for the Hyundai Sun Bowl.
These last few weeks of the season will be crucial, and you can bet that the Sun Devils will be watching the scoreboard to see what UCLA and the other Pac-12 teams are doing from week to week. Every win and loss directly impacts ASU's bowl game possibilities.
Your 2011 College Football Bowl Schedule can be found right here.
We're on the waining side of the regular NCAA football season, and with only a few games left on the docket it's time to look ahead at which teams could be playing in bowl games this holiday season. Just which bowl game will the Arizona State Sun Devils be playing? It's starting to look like the Alamo Bowl may be the place to be.
SB Nation's Bill Connelly wrote up some bowl projections for all the major college conferences, setting up Arizona State very nicely. Connelly sees the Sun Devils and Stanford Cardinal going at it for the Pac-12 championship, as he is predicting the Oregon Ducks to fall to Stanford in Palo Alto two weeks from this Saturday on November 12. Connelly eventually predicts a national championship game with Alabama and Stanford, making the Sun Devils in the Alamo Bowl a good fit this year.
ASU has meetings with UCLA, Washington State, Arizona and Cal left on their schedule, a group of games they most definitely could go undefeated in. Connelly sees them finishing with a 9-4 record though, and taking on the Kansas State Wildcats on December 29 down in San Antonio, TX. Should be fun to see how it all pans out.
For more on the Sun Devils, head over to House of Sparky.
The Arizona St. Sun Devils are making some upward traction in the polls this week. This includes SB Nation's own blogpoll, which jumps them up two spots from 22nd to 20th after a thorough beatdown of the hapless Colorado Buffaloes. It mirrors their results in almost every other poll.
How much higher can ASU fly? They don't have really many impressive opponents left--up next comes UCLA (their Pac-12 South 'competitor'), and then Washington State, Arizona, and Cal. There's a decent shot that none of them go to bowl games. This would mean ASU has got to turn up the points in order to win each and every one of those contests by a wide margin.
Really, if ASU wants to make a big leap up the rankings, they'll have to win the inaugural Pac-12 Championship in December by upsetting either Oregon or Stanford, which would mean the Rose Bowl regardless. So the Sun Devils don't really have to worry too much about the polling from this point forward.
The Arizona St. Sun Devils continue their steady ascent up the BCS ladder after a routine pummeling of the Colorado Buffaloes. ASU is now up to 19th, the third best ranked Pac-12 team in the conference behind the Stanford Cardinal and the Oregon Ducks, both of whom have the best odds of making a BCS bowl come the final ranking.
Arizona State doesn't have many tests left on their schedule to boost their resume enough to win the at-large bid. The hardest game left on their schedule is probably the UCLA Bruins in what amounts to a de facto Pac-12 South title game. So it's not likely they will move up any higher on the computers. ASU's likeliest scenario to getting into the BCS is simple as can be; win the Pac-12 South, then upset the Pac-12 North winner to get to Pasadena. An at-large bid would require many more upsets, so we'll rule that scenario as highly unlikely right now.
3. Oklahoma State
5. Boise State
9. South Carolina
12. Virginia Tech
14. Kansas State
16. Penn State
17. Michigan State
19. Arizona State
23. Georgia Tech
24. West Virginia
25. Southern Mississippi
For more on Arizona State football, head to House of Sparky.
The Sun Devils moved up three spots to No. 20 in the polls this week, marking the fourth Pac-12 school in the poll. The top five remained the same this week, highlighted by Stanford's triple overtime thriller over USC to keep them in the No. 4 spot. Oklahoma State (No. 3), Alabama (No. 2), and LSU (No. 1), all retained their spots from last week.
Clemson, Michigan State, and Kansas State all fell out of the top 10 with losses, while Georgia Tech and Auburn made their way up the list after being unranked last week, moving up to No. 22 and No. 25 respectfully.
As for the rest of the Pac-12, Oregon moved to No. 6 this week, while USC only dropped one spot to No. 21 after almost taking out the Cardinal at the Coliseum. Washington just missed the top 25, receiving 52 votes.
The college football rankings are out for Week 10 and the polls certainly show some movement. The AP poll will be released later in the day. The USA Today Coaches Poll is out and gives us a picture of where the best teams in college football stand.
At the top of the pile, LSU (1) and Alabama (2) both had a bye week in advance of their big meeting next week in Tuscaloosa. The Oklahoma State Cowboys (4) handled their business against a good Baylor team, 59-24.
In the game of the weekend, Andrew Luck used all his special powers to survive a Triple Overtime game, giving Stanford (3) the 56-48 win over UCS (20). The Cardinals jumped over the Cowboys with the win to take the third-spot in the Coaches Poll while the Trojans aren't ranked due to their compliance troubles.
The big upset in the top teams was the Clemson Tigers (previously no. 6) falling to Georgia Tech, 31-17. The polls punished the Tigers by dropping them to 12th.
There were two more games featuring top teams squaring off and in both cases we saw blowouts. The Michigan State Spartans got pummeled by the Nebraska Cornhuskers, 24-3. Michigan State fell to 16 while Nebraska jumped to no. 9. And Oklahoma avenged their loss from last week by putting it to the Kansas State Wildcats, 58-17. The Sooners are ranked 7th now while the Wildcats fell to 19th.
In the Pac-12, the Oregon Ducks started slow but turned on the jets in the second half and ran away from Washington State, 43-28. The Ducks are now no. 6 in the Coaches Poll. And of course, here in Arizona we saw ASU pummel Colorado and as a result they climbed two spots to 18th.
The AP poll will be released later in the day. We'll provide an update when it comes out.
The Arizona St. Sun Devils are making methodical moves upward in every major college football poll, including the Internet one featuring our SB Nation blogger. ASU was ranked 22nd overall by this week's blogpoll, a three spot leap from last week.
Can Arizona State keep on rising? There aren't many upset possibilities left on the schedule. ASU plays Colorado next, which by all indications should be an easy victory. They then battle UCLA, the only serious threat remaining in their division to capture the South, and if they do that, they should clinch a spot in the conference title game in December. However, with few remaining difficult opponents on the schedule, the Sun Devils might rise, but they won't be drastic leaps. Only an upset in the Pac-12 title game of Oregon or Stanford would really elevate them up; until then they'll probably be hanging outside the top ten or fifteen.
The Arizona St. Sun Devils are a distant third behind the Oregon Ducks and the Stanford Cardinal in the Pac-12 BCS rankings, but they're in there after a series of upsets helped bring them up. The bye week was the best thing to happen to them, as ASU came from the periphery of the rankings to jump all the way up to #21 in the newest BCS standings without having to play a single snap.
Arizona State could be poised to keep on leaping up as the rest of their schedule is fairly simple. With USC and Oregon out of the way, the Sun Devils don't have many difficult contests remaining. Colorado, UCLA, Arizona, Washington State and Cal are all on the docket, all of which should be fairly winnable football games. Their toughest test would come in the Pac-12 Championship game.
Here are the full rankings.
1. LSU 2. Alabama 3. Oklahoma State 4. Boise State 5. Clemson 6. Stanford 7. Oregon 8. Kansas State 9. Oklahoma 10. Arkansas 11. Michigan State 12. Virginia Tech 13. South Carolina 14. Nebraska 15. Wisconsin 16. Texas A&M 17. Houston 18. Michigan 19. Penn State 20. Texas Tech 21. Arizona State 22. Georgia 23. Auburn 24. Texas 25. West Virginia
For more on Arizona State football, head to House of Sparky.
After some big upsets over Oklahoma and Wisconsin sent ripple effects through the top 25, the AP Poll for week 9 of the season has some new faces on it, as well as some old ones in new places.
LSU, Alabama, Oklahoma State, Stanford and Boise State round out the top five, while Stanford’s rout of the Washington Huskies helped out their cause a lot, moving them from No. 7 to No. 4. Oregon’s dismantling of Colorado ensured them to move up as well, jumping up two spots from last week to No. 7 in the country, while Clemson moved from No. 8 to No. 6.
Arizona State didn’t even have to play and they got bump up in the rankings, jumping up one spot to No. 23 in the nation as they get ready to host a severely struggling Colorado Buffaloes team next Saturday.
Texas Tech, USC, Penn State and Cincinnati all rode big wins into the top 25 again this week, with Texas Tech jumping all the way to No. 19 after stunning Oklahoma, who dropped to No. 11. Wisconsin fell from No. 4 to No. 12, while Michigan State rose to No. 9.
When LSU plays Alabama next week, it will mark the first time in SEC history that a No. 1 and No. 2 in the AP Poll square off agains each other in the regular season. Can’t wait.
3 Oklahoma State
5 Boise State
9 Michigan State
10 Kansas State
14 South Carolina
15 Virginia Tech
16 Texas A&M
19 Texas Tech
21 Penn State
23 Arizona State
25 West Virginia
Finally, after weeks of all the top teams winning, we see some upsets to the powerhouses in college football. You better believe those losses at the top of the rankings are reflected in the polls as well. The big upsets came to the (previously) third-ranked Oklahoma Sooners who fell to Texas Tech, 41-38 and (previously) fourth-ranked Wisconsin Badgers who were defeated by the Michigan State Spartans (15), 37-31. The USA Today Coaches poll dropped the Sooners to no. 9 and the Badgers fell to no. 11. The AP poll is coming later in the day.
Those losses opened the the door for Stanford (3), Oklahoma State (4), Boise State (5), Clemson (6), to climb and they did. At the top of the college football rankings we saw the LSU Tigers (1) handily beat Auburn 45-10 and the Alabama Crimson Tide (2) rolled over Tennessee 37-6. The Tigers and Tide face each other in two weeks on November 5th, we can't wait.
In the Pac-12, the Arizona State Sun Devils had a bye week and climbed five spots to 20th in the coaches poll. The Stanford Cardinal proved they can not only beat good teams but destroy them. The pro-style offense in Palo Alto ran all over the Washington Huskies, 65-21.
The Oregon Ducks (7) had an easy time beating the Colorado Buffalo 45-2 who will travel to Tempe next week to face the rested Sun Devils.
Other upsets to ranked teams this week includes formerly 11th-ranked West Virginia falling to Syracuse in a big way, 49-23. Georgia Tech, previously no. 20, fell to Miami and Illinois, previously no. 23, lost to Purdue. All three teams were of course punished in the polls.
The full USA Today Coaches Poll is available here. AP rankings for Week 9 will be posted later once they are released.
Arizona State football coach Dennis Erickson was on with Gambo and Burns early this afternoon, and the two KTAR-AM hosts reviewed Saturday’s loss to Oregon with Erickson.
"There’s no question in my mind, we can beat them," Erickson said when asked if he learned enough about the Ducks to correct the mistakes that cost the Devils, and beat them next time.
"But we had our opportunity. Who knows what’s going to happen in the next six weeks? But we’ll see. I think we learned a lot from that game. I think we felt like we had a chance to win and we were positioned to win."
There may not be a next time this year. Oregon must go to Stanford in a battle of what figures to be top-10 teams later this season and win, and before that beat a very much improved Washington team on the road in Seattle before earning a spot in the Pac-12 championship game.
ASU is in grand position to represent the Pac-12 South in that title game.
The Devils clearly caved in to the magnitude of the game and were affected by mental mistakes and key penalties, with the atmosphere at Autzen Stadium also more than they could handle, apparently.
"You get in a game like that, nobody has penalties on purpose," Erickson said. "We will talk about that (Tuesday) when we have our team meeting."
The good news is DE Junior Onyeali will be back for the Colorado game on Oct. 29, a game that means a lot to the sophomore from Denver. It’s a game the Devils should win handily the way the Buffaloes (1-6) have played this season.
Regarding the Oregon game, Erickson isn’t into moral victories. "We could have won the football game had we did some things right that we didn’t do… we didn’t do the little things that we needed to to win."
The Arizona St. Sun Devils might have lost to the Oregon Ducks, but they are still in good position to make the postseason. At 4-2 and some of their easiest opponents ahead, ASU is in great shape to finish in the top part of the conference.
Mark Schlabach and Brad Edwards, ESPN's bowl experts, currently have ASU positioned in the Valero Alamo Bowl against the Texas A&M Aggies. This seems to be contingent on Stanford ending up in the Rose Bowl game and Oregon ending up with a BCS at-large berth, which if you think about it for a minute (just a minute), probably won't end up happening.
Ted Miller isn't quite as optimistic, believing that there won't be a second BCS at-large berth, which would drop ASU a spot down from the Alamo Bowl to the Holiday Bowl in San Diego.
Let's take a look at Arizona State's schedule.
|UC Davis||Thu 09/01||W 48 - 14|
|Missouri||Fri 09/09||W 37 - 30|
|@ Illinois||Sat 09/17||L 14 - 17|
|USC||Sat 09/24||W 43 - 22|
|Oregon St.||Sat 10/01||W 35 - 20|
|@ Utah||Sat 10/08||W 35 - 14|
|@ Oregon||Sat 10/15||L 27 - 41|
|@ UCLA||Sat 11/05||TBA|
|@ Washington St.||Sat 11/12||TBA|
|California||Fri 11/25||8:15 PM MST|
With USC and Oregon out of the way, ASU will face Colorado, UCLA, Washington State, Arizona and Cal after their bye week. The Sun Devils should be favored in every game and have a good shot at finishing with the third best record in the conference.
Of course, ASU can foul up all the bowl projections if the Sun Devils can pull off an upset in the Pac-12 championship game and earn a Rose Bowl berth.
To talk about ASU football, head to House of Sparky.
For the second straight week there was no change in the top 10 of the AP College Football Poll, though there were some important changes within the top 25 for week eight of the season, including the Arizona State Sun Devils almost dropping out of the polls.
After falling to the Oregon Ducks in Eugene by the score of 41-27, Arizona State nearly found themselves out of the top 25 for the first time in a couple of weeks, and will look towards their meeting with the Colorado Buffaloes to get back on track next weekend. As for the Ducks, they remained in ninth in the rankings this week, as did the rest of the top 10; including Stanford at seventh.
LSU, Alabama, Oklahoma, Wisconsin and Boise State round out the top five, though the big news of the polls was Kansas State moving up to 12th, the highest they've been ranked since the preseason of 2004. Washington (22) and Georgia (24) were both unranked last week, making the top 25 for the first time this season.
The USA Today Coaches poll is out for Week 8 and once again the best college football teams in the country took care of their business. (The AP rankings are again delayed this week but should be released soon.) LSU, Alabama and Oklahoma outscored their non-ranked opponents 137-31 proving once again how little parity there is in NCAA athletics.
In a flurry of blowouts, the LSU Tigers beat the Tennessee Volunteers, 38-7. Alabama Crimson Tide defeated Mississippi Rebels, 52-7 and the Oklahoma Sooners handled the Kansas Jayhawks 47-17 to complete the top three domination.
At home, the Arizona State Sun Devils were competitive for three quarters but let the game get out of hand in a typical flurry of Oregon Duck points. The Devils were ranked 18th going in and dropped to 25th in the coaches poll while the Ducks were No. 9 in the country and came out tied for eighth in USA Today.
No. 7 Stanford were a bit slow getting started but like most talented teams, they took over the second half and put away Washington State, 44-14. They remain fifth in the coaches poll.
The USA Today Coaches poll still puts Oklahoma on top with LSU (2) and Alabama (3) next. The rest of the top 10 are Wisconsin (4), Stanford (5), Oklahoma State (6), Boise State (7), Clemson (8t), Oregon (8t), Arkansas (10). ASU fell to 25th and Pac-12 brother, Washington appeared in the rankings at 24 thanks to their 5-1 record. We'll see how long that lasts once the Huskies face Stanford, Oregon and USC.
The AP Rankings will be added once they are released.
The AP poll was a few hours late this week thanks to a missing ballot. The AP ultimately decided to go with 59 votes instead of 60 but claim it won't have an impact. The top ten in the AP ranking remain unchanged from last week with LSU on top after their win over ranked Florida.
Alabama (2) and Oklahoma (3) don't move which is a little surprising considering the quality of the Sooners win over Texas (formerly ranked 11th) while Alabama got their "W" over Vanderbilt. Wisconsin, Boise State, Oklahoma State, Stanford, Clemson, Oregon and Arkansas round out the top ten.
The ridiculously slow AP has yet to release the rest of the top 25 ranking for this week. It seems safe to assume Arizona State will climb a few spots from their 22nd ranking with the big road win over the Utah Utes. This sets up a big opportunity next week when ASU travels to Oregon to face the Ducks in a marquis college football match-up.
We'll update the rest of the AP to 25 ranking once the AP decides to release them. Explain again why we put so much stock in what the AP thinks?
[Update, 10/09/11 11:38 AM MST ]
The full rankings from AP is finally out. Arizona State is ranked 18th.
It was a fairly routine week of college football and the rankings from the AP and USA Today Coaches polls reflect that. The LSU Tigers should stay on top of the AP poll after beating Florida, 41-11. Alabama Crimson Tide rolled over Vanderbilt, 34-0, and should hang on to the second spot. In a disappointing rivalry game (for the fans), the Oklahoma Sooners detroyed Texas in the Red River Rivalry, 55-17.
In the Pac-12, the Oregon Ducks beat the California Golden Bears 43-15 but lost star running back LaMichael James with a dislocated elbow. They held at No. 9 in the Coaches Poll. The Stanford Cardinals are ranked No. 5 after they easily handled Colorado, 48-7.
As we well know, the Arizona State Sun Devils were 24th in the Coaches Poll and 22nd in AP rankings coming into this week. After a very impressive thumping of the Utah Utes on the road they jumped to 20th. ASU travels to Oregon to face the Ducks next week in a game that will be visited by ESPN's College Game Day show.
The USA Today Coaches Poll has Oklahoma (1), LSU (2), Alabama (3), Wisconsin (4) and Stanford (5) with ASU rising from 24 to 20. Oregon stayed at the nine spot.
The Arizona St. Sun Devils are currently at 22nd in the AP Poll, and could be poised to leap further up with some stumbling by the teams ahead of them. If ASU beats Utah, here's who they need ahead of them to fall to get on moving.
#19 Illinois Fighting Illini at Indiana Hoosiers, 11:30 AM PT/2:30 PM ET, Big Ten Network. This is the game Ron Zook tends to lose. Be on the look out for Illinois to fall apart in humiliating fashion against the worst their conference has to offer.
Missouri Tigers at #20 Kansas St. Wildcats, 12:30 PM PT/3:30 PM ET, ABC/ESPN/ESPN3. Kansas State is ranked? Yeah, I don't trust this one for a second. Missouri could spring the upset here because that Tigers offense does have explosive potential.
Miami Hurricanes at #21 Virginia Tech Hokies, 12:30 PM PT/3:30 PM ET, ABC/ESPN/ESPN3. Miami is so strange at everything this year. I wouldn't trust them to do anything, which is why they'll probably beat the Hokies.
Everything's coming up Sun Devils. You know, if they can beat Utah and everything.
To further discuss ASU football, check out House of Sparky
This week in Pac-12 football was fairly uneventful. The two of the three AP ranked teams won and the third didn't play. At the top was the Stanford Cardinal (6) who easily took care of the UCLA Bruins, 45-19 but fell to the seven spot thanks mostly to Wisconsin's big win over Nebraska. Andrew Luck continued his brilliance with three touchdowns and a 193 passer rating with an incredible 85 percent (23-27) completion percentage.
The Oregon Ducks (9) had the weekend off ahead of their Thursday game at Cal. They remain ranked ninth.
At home, the ASU Sun Devils got the win over the Oregon St. Beavers but were far from impressive in doing so. Brock Osweiler threw the ball away three times and was sacked four times but he also threw for two touchdowns and went 24-37. Most importantly, the Devils took control of the game and got the win, 35-10.
The Sun Devils were 25th going into the game and emerge 22nd thanks to the win.
USC fell out of the top 25 ranking last week after they were beat by ASU. They showed their defensive weakness by giving up a ton of points to the Arizona Wildcats in a shootout win (48-41). The biggest surprise was the Pac-12 South contender Utah losing to Washington and falling to 0-2 in the conference.
The USA Today's Coaches Poll has Stanford (4), Oregon (9) and Arizona State (24).
It was an upset-free week of college football at the top of the rankings. AP poll leader LSU Tigers (1) took care of Kentucky while the Oklahoma Sooners (2) destroyed poor Ball St. Completing the top three domination, Alabama Crimson Tide (3) had the toughest opponent in the Florida Gators (12) and came through with a big win (38-10). With these results to mull over, the AP bumped Alabama up to No. 2 putting them one spot higher than Oklahoma based on the quality of their win. LSU stays on top.
The Boise St. Broncos (4) easily rolled over Nevada but dropped to the fifth spot while Oklahoma State (5) had a bye week and are now ranked sixth. Those moves come thanks to the big win from Wisconsin who jumped to fourth in the AP poll.
The Badgers jumped from seventh to fourth thanks to the 48-17 beating they put on the Nebraska Huskers who were ranked eighth and are now 14th in the AP Poll.
These moves put the AP top 5 as LSU (1), Alabama (2), Oklahoma (3), Wisconsin (4), and Boise State (5). After that comes Oklahoma St. (6), Stanford (7), Clemson (8), Oregon (9) and Arkansas (10). (Here's the full AP top 25 list.)
The USA Today Coaches Poll tells a different story. They rank Oklahoma (1), Alabama (2), LSU (3), Stanford (4) and Wisconsin (5) at the top of their ranking.
College football rankings for Week 5 are out and we have a new king of the pile. The AP poll moved the LSU Tigers to the number one spot while USA Today Coaches Poll has them second. LSU had the big win of the weekend with an impressive 47-21 victory over West Virginia who came into the game ranked 16th and left 22nd. The Oklahoma Sooners (2) got down early but managed to pull ahead of the Missouri Tigers and finish with a 38-28 win while Alabama (3) did their thing with a 38-14 win over previously 14th-ranked Arkansas (18).
In the Pac-12, Oregon (9) took care of the poor Arizona Wildcats while Stanford (6) had a bye week but dropped a spot behind Oklahoma St. (5). ASU knocked USC out of the rankings and took over No. 25 in the AP poll but isn't ranked by the Coaches Poll. ASU was the only unranked team to beat a ranked team this week.
The win over Pac-12 South division rival Southern Cal will be a signature moment for the Sun Devils season but only if they can follow it up with consistent play in the next few weeks. ASU played a very good game on both sides of the ball and more importantly didn't do anything to shoot themselves in the foot.
Read More: ASU Dominates USC, 43-22
The Devils had just six penalties (Dennis Erickson said one was on him) and no turnovers. They didn't even hurt themselves with the kicking game which was a nice treat. Not only did ASU snap an 11-year losing streak to USC but did so in convincing fashion that should (we hope) build confidence moving forward.
ASU hosts the lowly Oregon State Beavers (0-3, 0-1) next week and then follows that up with a big road game in Utah (2-1, 0-1) which very well could decide the Pac-12 South Division.
Arizona continued their ridiculous schedule with their third top-10 ranked opponent in three weeks. Predictably, they were run off the field by the score of 56-31. The Wildcats travel to Los Angeles next week to face USC.
The Week 4 College Football rankings are out and as expected the AP and USA Today Coaches Polls were not kind to the Arizona State Sun Devils coming off their loss to the unranked Illinois Illini. The Coaches poll dropped the Sun Devils from the 18 spot to roughly 27 while AP has them falling from 22 out of the top 25 to an estimated 36th.
At the top of the heap, the best teams retain their hold with Oklahoma locking up the number one spot in the nation thanks to their win over Florida State. Both AP and USA Today have the Sooners at No. 1 while AP has LSU No. 2 and Alabama No. 3 and the Coaches Poll has those reversed.
The ASU Sun Devils certainly can come back into the the rankings with a couple of big wins. While losing on Saturday to Illinois was a disappointment, it by no means signals the end of the season. With a big Pac 12 South game next week against No. 23 USC, the focus turns from rankings to fixing the protection scheme and preventing a repeat of the six sacks allowed by the offensive line.
Elsewhere in the Pac 12, Stanford is No. 5 in the college football rankings in both polls thanks in part to their convincing win over the poor Arizona Wildcats who have a ridiculously hard schedule. The Oregon Ducks at 10th in AP and 13th in USA Today after they put a beat down on Missouri St. USC climbs to 23 in the AP ranking with their 3-0 record. No other Pac 12 teams are sniffing a spot in the top 25.
For more on ASU football, head to House of Sparky.
It took awhile for SB Nation pollsters and various other Internet college sports writers to warm up to the The Arizona St. Sun Devils. But a Friday night national TV appearance tends to boost your profile, especially if you win.
In beating the Missouri Tigers, ASU showed they could play very strong offense to complement their imposing defensive profile, and that Brock Osweiler could be a competent Pac-12 level quarterback that could manage the pass-heavy ASU offense.
The Sun Devils are 21st in the rankings in their first week in the poll. The highest ranking was 10th, courtesy of Tom Fornelli of CBS Sports. They also received ten rankings of 15th or more. ASU will be tested very quickly to hold onto those rankings, with a road date to Illinois followed by a critical late night matchup in Tempe against the USC Trojans.
The poll is below.
For more on ASU football, head to House of Sparky.
After a huge win over the previously ranked Missouri Tigers, Arizona State has cracked the top 25 in the latest Associated Press college football poll, moving up to 22nd in the nation overall.
State's thrilling OT victory proved to the rest of the country that the Sun Devil's are more than just some flashy new jerseys, they have some serious talent that is ready to compete against elite competition week in and week out. Brock Osweller looked sharp after throwing 353 yards an three touchdowns against the Tigers, including one to Jamal Miles in overtime to seal the Tigers fate. They blew out UC Davis in their first game of the year, and now prepare for a road test against the Fighting Illini next Saturday at Memorial Stadium.
The Sun Devils join Oregon (12) and Stanford (6) as the three Pac-12 schools that made the AP top 25, while Oklahoma, Alabama and LSU make up the top three, with the Sooners getting 32 of the first place votes.
The Week 3 NCAA college football rankings are out and there were some expected movers and surprising changes. At the top of the poll, the usual suspects took care of business with the exception of the Oklahoma Sooners (1) who had a bye week. The Alabama (2) Crimson Tide rolled over Penn St. while LSU (3) took care of their patsy, Northwestern St. At home, Arizona State University earned national acclaim by defeating the higher-ranked Missouri Tigers. Mizzou fell out of the top 25 in the USA Today Coaches Poll while the ASU Sun Devils jumped to 18 (23 last week).
Arizona State did not look like a top class team in their win over Mizzou but at the end of the day, they got the win. The offense put up nearly 500 yards and Brock Osweiler garnered some national attention for his play. Unfortunately, the defense allowed 500 yards and were completely befuddled by the Tigers spread offence.
Beating a higher ranked team, however, is always enough to earn a climb and it's not like ASU was the only college football team this week who struggled on defense.
The Sun Devils will try and keep their place in the top 20 next Saturday when they take on unranked Illinois on the road. ASU will be favorites in this game but will need to clean up a few things if they hope to win on the road and impress the voters.
Pac-12 school Oregon and Stanford were also ranked in the top 25. The Ducks stay at 14 and the Cardinal hold firm at the six spot according the the Coaches Poll. The University of Arizona Wildcats who were smothered by Oklahoma State is not ranked and likely won't be all season.
The college football rankings for the first week of the NCAA Football season have been released. The top of the USA Today Coaches Poll has the usual suspects: Oklahoma (1), Alabama (2) and with their big win over Oregon, LSU is the third spot. In the Pac-12, Stanford stays at six while Oregon drops to 14 with their loss. At home, the Arizona State Sun Devils move into the 23rd spot on the list while the University of Arizona Wildcats remain unranked.
In the AP Poll, Arizona State falls out of the top 25, but is the top of heap for "others receiving votes" which puts them right at the door step. Here's the full AP college football rankings with analysis. The Arizona Wildcats are nowhere to be found in either poll.
Arizona State easily handled their first opponent, UC Davis and while that was fully expected, the way they went about their business was impressive. The Sun Devil offense moved the ball with ease and the defense recorded sacks and held the Aggies to only a few scoring chances.
Things take a sharp turn in a new direction this week with the 19th-ranked Missouri Tigers coming to town. The Tigers won their Week 1 game against Miami Ohio by a score of 17-6. Most felt the Tigers were unimpressive in the victory over a small school and Mizzou also suffered a few key injuries.
An Arizona State win over Mizzou on Friday in a nationally televised game has to be worth several spots in next week's college football rankings while a loss would probably move them out of the top 15. Elsewhere in the Pac-12, Stanford and Oregon both have easy weeks with Duke and Nevada respectively. The big match to watch with huge implications in the Pac-12 South race will be USC vs. Utah at 4:30 p.m. PT on Saturday.
The Arizona St. Sun Devils were hovering on the edge of the top 25 before the season started (ranked 28th in the AP Poll, 26th in the Coaches Poll), and a convincing opening-week victory against the UC Davis Aggies seemed to show that the team is moving toward being one of those favored teams.
But despite several upsets in the top 25, it might be tough for ASU to move up. Oregon is ranked too high to drop completely out of the rankings after losing to LSU, and despite an unimpressive victory over Minnesota, the USC Trojans will probably hang onto its top spot because they did beat an FBS opponent (ASU was playing an FCS team). So it'll entirely depend on how far Georgia falls after losing to Boise State and Notre Dame after getting punked around by South Florida.
ASU might penetrate the top 25 in the Coaches Poll, but they'll probably have to beat Missouri to move through in the AP rankings. Don't make any bets on it though.
ASU is nowhere to be found on the new Top 25 AP Poll, which was released Saturday. The Sun Devils, who have received consideration as a borderline top-25 program this year by some outlets (most notably by Sports Illustrated, who recently ranked ASU No. 17) have also been found absent in several rankings.
The Sun Devils have suffered several key injuries this offseason to players such as cornerback Omar Bolden, wide receiver T.J. Simpson and (most recently) linebacker Brandon Magee. All three players, who were originally slated to be significant veteran contributors on a promising 2011 Sun Devil squad, have been lost for the season. These injuries are doubtless reflected in their ranking (or lack thereof) in the AP Poll.
The Sun Devils are still capable of having a great season. They still have top defensive player Vontaze Burfict, and a deep receiving corps for Brock Osweiler. ASU recently welcomed back running back Deantre Lewis, who has been dealing with a gun shot injury over the past several months. Lewis is arguably the Sun Devils' most explosive player and is a great addition to ASU's ground game.
The Pac-12 has three teams in the top 25: Oregon (No. 3), Stanford (No. 7) and USC (No. 25). Though ASU doesn't play Stanford this year, the Sun Devils will get a shot at USC on Sept. 24th and Oregon on Oct. 10th. ASU will also face No. 20 Missouri in the second game of the season on Sept. 9th.
Arizona State is ranked 17th in Sports Illustrated's Top 25 rankings, one of the highest rankings for the Sun Devils amongst the preseason polls. They rank just ahead of TCU (No. 18) and ahead of good programs such as Ohio State (No. 19), USC (No. 20) and Missouri (No. 22).
The Sun Devils have had a fairly brutal offseason, losing key contributors such as cornerback Omar Bolden, wide receiver T.J. Simpson and linebacker Brandon Magee. The Arizona State team that appeared to have so much promise at the end of the 2010 season- a squad that emerged victorious 30-29 against arch rival Arizona in the double overtime season finale thriller- seems to have lost a little of its potential due to injuries.
Sports Illustrated doesn't seem to think so, however. Perhaps the guys at SI are looking at how close the Sun Devils played good teams last season (losing by a combined five points to Wisconsin, USC and Stanford) or at the depth at several positions on the roster. They may be extremely bullish on starting quarterback Brock Osweiler, who had two huge games in his two starts at the end of the season .
We won't know what Sports Illustrated find most compelling about the Sun Devils. What we do know, though, is that all of the points listed above are (or in Osweiler's case, could be) extreme positives for a talented team. The Sun Devils will get an opportunity to show us all if they deserve their No. 17 ranking early on in the season (Sept. 9th), when they take on No. 22 Missouri at home.
The evidence of Arizona State's status as the preseason darling continues to poor in. Ranked 26th in the first USA Today College Coaches Poll, the Sun Devils have been picked to win the Pac-12 South and are generally considered the third-best team in the conference behind Oregon and Stanford.
Sports Illustrated's weekly Top 25 ranking of college football teams would seem to agree with the rest. SI has ASU 23rd on their list behind only the Ducks (3) and Cardinal (5). They seem to have gotten bored with plain old rankings so this year SI is going to get hip and cute on us.
Oklahoma, Alabama, Oregon top 2011 preseason Top 25 - Andy Staples - SI.com
So to spice things up this season, each week's rankings will have a different theme. This week, I'm ranking each team alongside its corresponding musical act.
ASU's musical theme is Bob Marley:Bob Marley:
Marley's music evokes images of tanned hardbodies sweating in the summer heat. Sounds like an Arizona State cheerleading practice. And just as Legend plays in every college dorm room in America, every college football pundit has the Sun Devils penciled in somewhere in the Top 25.
A major conference team that returns that many starters has to be good. Doesn't it? This group has yet to prove that, but it certainly has some nice pieces. Still, one question remains. Aside from linebacker Vontaze Burfict, are the Sun Devils a little too chill to take advantage of a wide-open Pac-12 South? We'll see.
Speaking of the wide-open Pac-12 South, SI has Utah listed 25th. Can the Utes make a run at a conference title game in their first year in the conference? That would be kind of rude, wouldn't it.
The argument for ranking Utah this high doesn't sound all the convincing either, "USC isn't eligible for the Pac-12 title game. That leaves Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, UCLA and Utah. Someone please make a convincing argument why the Utes can't win the division. I'm waiting."
As with everything in life, we'll just wait and see what happens next. We're chill like that here in the AZ.
The 2011 college football preseason rankings are out and the ASU Sun Devils are knocking on the door of the top 25 while the UA Wildcats aren't too far behind.
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