Monday, September 3, 2012

CIDSports Top 25 after Week 1 and the Labor Day Weekend

1.) Alabama (1-0)  1 - the resume and conventional wisdom suggests the defending BCS champion with a Week 1 win (41-14) in Arlington, TX over then #13 Michigan, who won the Sugar Bowl last year, makes Bama the right choice.  Next up: vs. Western Kentucky (1-0), who beat Austin Peay 49-10.  Bama beat WKU 41-7 in '08.  The Crimson Tide look to capture third BCS title in four years under Nick Saban.  Game on!

2.) LSU (1-0) 2 - defending SEC champion and BCS runner up, the Tigers opened '12 with a 41-14 win over Dan McCarney coached North Texas.  Next up: vs. Washington (1-0), who beat San Diego St. 21-12.  The Tigers are 2-0 vs. Huskies in series, with 31-23 win @ Washington to open '09.

3.) Oregon (1-0) 3 - the Ducks opened 2012 at home with a 57-34 win over Arkansas State, the Sun Belt defending champion. The Ducks are the reigning Rose Bowl champion over Wisconsin and seeking their fourth straight Pac 12 title.  The Ducks narrowly loss BCS tile in '10. Next up: vs. Fresno State (1-0), who opened '12 as a new member in MWC with OOC win over Weber State 37-10.  Oregon is 6-2 in the series and have won six straight, including 52-21 win '07.

4.) USC (1-0) 4 - popular team nationally coming off NCAA probation (2004 BCS title vacated) and two losses last year in Pac 12. The Trojans opened season with 49-10 win over Hawaii. Next up: vs. Syracuse (0-1) in East Rutherford, NJ and the Orange are coming off a hard fought loss in final seconds at home vs. Northwestern 42-41.  How will trip to East Coast be for Trojans and how will depth play out with NCAA sanctions and scholarship limits?  USC won last year in LA 38-17 over Orange.

5.) Arkansas (1-0) 5 - the John L. Smith era has begun in the interim for the Razorbacks with a 49-24 win over Jacksonville State.  Next up: vs. ULM (0-0), who were 4-8 in '11 out of the Sun Belt. They will open season in Little Rock vs. Razorbacks. Ouch, and Arkansas leads series 9-0, including a 28-27 scare in '08 and a 31-7 win in '10.

6.) Oklahoma State (1-0) 6 - the Cowboys are the defending Big 12 champion and opened the season with a 84-0 win over Savannah State.  Next up: @ Arizona (1-0), who opened the Rich Rodriguez era with a 24-17 win in overtime over Toledo.  Last year in Stillwater, the Cowboys dominated the Wildcats 37-14.

7.) Oklahoma (1-0) 7 - the Sooners opened the season on the road with a 24-7 win @ UTEP.  Next up: vs. Florida A&M (0-1), who lost 17-14 in opener on the road @ Tennessee State.  The Sooners have a bye game in Week 3, before the Big 12 opener. This is first meeting in series.

8.) South Carolina (1-0, 1-0 SEC East) 8 - the Gamecocks rallied in the fourth quarter in the season and conference opener @ Vanderbilt to win 17-13.  RB Marcus Lattimore made his return, but QB Connor Shaw's shoulder is now a concern?  Next up: vs. East Carolina (1-0), who opened the season with a 35-13 win over Appalachian State. South Carolina won last year in Season opener over ECU 56-37.

9.) Stanford (1-0) 9 - the Cardinal held on to beat San Jose State 20-17 in the season opener, after a 57-3 win with QB Andrew Luck last year.  Next up: vs. Duke (1-0), who opened with a 46-26 win over Florida International.  Last year, Stanford won @ Duke 44-14.  Cardinal will host USC in Pac 12 opener in Week 3.

10.) West Virginia (1-0) 10 - the 2011 Big East champions are now in the Big 12 and opened season with an OOC win over in-state Marshall 69-34.  Bye Week, then Week 3 match up vs. James Madison (1-0) in Landover, MD.  James Madison won opener 55-7 over St. Francis (PA).  The Mountaineers beat the Dukes 45-10 in '04 in the only previous meeting.

11.) Wisconsin (1-0) 11 - the Badgers have won back to back Big Ten titles, but came up short in both Rose Bowl match ups. The Badgers season opener vs. Northern Iowa was close with a defensive stop to preserve a 26-21 win in Camp Randall.  Next up: @ Oregon State, who went 3-9 in '11 and saw their season opener with Nicholls State postponed due to Hurricane Issac. Wisconsin is 2-0 in the series and shutout the Beavers in Camp Randall 35-0 last year.

12.) Michigan State (1-0) 12 - the Spartans opened 2012 with a 17-13 win over then #17 Boise State with a strong running game from from RB Le'Veon Bell.  Next up: @ Central Michigan (1-0), who opened with a 38-27 win over SE Missouri State.  MSU is 5-3 in the series and the first game played ever @ CMU.  With Notre Dame in Week 3, could this be a possible trap game for the Spartans?

13.) Georgia (1-0) 14 - the Bulldogs opened the season with a 45-23 win over Buffalo.  Next up: @ #22 Missouri (1-0), who opened season with a 62-10 win over SE Louisiana.  This is a huge SEC East opener for the Bulldogs in what should be a big game for the Tigers, as a new member in the SEC.  The Bulldogs are 9-2 in true road openers and won the 1959 Orange Bowl over Missouri.

14.) Clemson (1-0) 21 - the Tigers are the defending ACC champion opened 2012 with a 26-19 win over Auburn in Atlanta.  Auburn is an 8-5 program under Gene Chizik, other than 2010 BCS title year.  Clemson wins battle of the Tigers again.  The Tigers compete in the ACC Atlantic division with the Seminoles.  Next up: vs. Ball State (1-0, 1-0 MAC West), who beat Eastern Michigan in the conference/season opener 37-26.

15.) Florida State (1-0) 15 - the Seminoles beat Murray State 69-3 in the first of back to back FCS opponents to open season.  WVU had to reduce an OOC game with move to Big 12, so Seminoles were handed another FCS game instead of a monster game with the #10 club. Next up: vs. Savannah State (0-1), who were destroyed by #6 Oklahoma State 84-0 in Week 1.  Games have been postponed by Hurricane this season, so is a human reason warranted here?

16.) TCU (0-0) 16 - the defending MWC champions move the Big 12 in '12 and open the season in Week 2.  The Horned Frogs open the season vs. Gambling State (0-1), who lost at home to Alcorn State 22-21. Week 3 will be Big 12 opener @ Kansas (1-0) for Horned Frogs.

17.) Michigan (0-1) 13 - the Wolverines got beat up in opener vs. #1 Alabama falling 41-14, but the Sugar Bowl champs over Virginia Tech have a lot to play for in Year 2 of the Brady Hoke era.  Next up: vs. Air Force (1-0), who opened with a 49-21 win over Idaho State.  How will the Wolverines rebound in the Big House coming off game with #1 team?  How will style of play of Falcons play be in this match up?  Only other meeting was 1964, when Wolverines won 24-7.  The Wolverines still are a tough match up for most teams not named Alabama.

18.) Virginia Tech (0-0) 18 - open on Labor Day with an ACC Coastal division battle in Blacksburg vs. Georgia Tech at 7 p.m. on ESPN.  The Hokies won the Coastal Division by two games in 2011. They fell short in OT to Michigan in last year's Sugar Bowl.  Week 2: vs. Austin Peay (0-1), who lost @ Western Kentucky 49-10 to open season.

19.) Texas (1-0) 19 - the Longhorns open season with a 37-17 win over Wyoming, as third season rebound begins from 5-7 in '10 to 8-5 in '11 continues for Longhorns.  The Longhorns were BCS runner up in '09. Next up: vs. New Mexico (1-0), who won season opener 66-21 over Southern to launch the Bob Davie era in Albuquerque.  UNM is 0-2 vs. Texas and has dropped 12 straight vs. ranked opponents.  Texas will hit road in Week 3 at Mississippi (1-0).

20.) Nebraska (1-0) 24 - the Cornhuskers open with a 49-20 win over Southern Miss.  The big negative was the MCL injury to senior RB Rex Burkhead, who is a workhouse at RB.  Burkhead is one of the many workhorses in the college game and is questionable for play.  Next up: @ UCLA (1-0), opened Jim Moral, Jr. era on the road with a 49-24 win @ Rice.  The Cornhuskers will get to the Rose Bowl once this season in their quest to play twice in Pasadena in '12 chasing the Big Ten title.

21.) Florida (1-0) 22 - the Gaters open with 27-13 win over Bowling Green and sophomore QB Jeff Driskel has earned the #1 job heading into Week 2.  Next up: @ Texas A&M (0-0), who welcome a move to the SEC West, as well as the beginning of the Kevin Sumlin era for Aggies.  But, Hurricane Issac postponed the road trip to Shreveport vs. Louisiana Tech. Who will be impacted more by match up?

22.) Missouri (1-0) 23 - the Tigers move the SEC with an OOC win over SE Louisiana 62-10, as the Tigers join the SEC East in 2012.  Next up: vs. #13 Georgia (1-0) in the SEC East opener for both teams.  Missouri spent 84 years in the Big 8/12 Conference.  The KU-Mizzu rivalry is gone, but new rivalries to be found in the SEC.  Could this be one of them?

23.) Kansas State (1-0) 25 - the Wildcats opened the season with a 51-9 win over Missouri State.  Next up: vs. Miami-FL (1-0, 1-0 ACC Coastal), who opened the '12 season in the ACC with a 41-32 road win @ Boston College, who they ended the regular season with last year.  Revenge was sweet.  Now, a road trip to Manhatten to avenge a 28-24 loss at home to K-State?  Will the Wildcats be ready to stop the Hurricanes?

24.) Baylor (1-0) nr - the Bears opened the post-Robert Griffin III era with a 59-24 win over SMU.  Bye week next for Bears to get ready for Week 3 game vs. Sam Houston State (0-0), before OOC road trip @ ULM (0-0).  The Bears have senior Nick Florence at QB and finished 6-3 in Big 12 in '11.

25.) Louisville (1-0) nr - the Cardinals opened with a solid 32-14 win over in-state rival Kentucky.  Next up: vs. Missouri State (0-1), who lost 51-9 to then #25 Kansas State.  Week 3 will be a big ACC-Big East match up vs. North Carolina (1-0), who are on are on NCAA probation, but talented opening the Larry Fedora era with 62-0 win over Elon.

*** Note we are releasing our Week 1 Top 25 on Labor Day, before Week 1's final game, played on Labor Day.

Out of Top 25:

- former #17 Boise State (0-1) lost 17-13 @ #12 Michigan State.  Bye week to prepare for Week 3 home opener vs. Miami-OH (0-1).  The Broncos have a lot to play in the MWC, as they begin second and final season, before joining Big East in '13.

- former #20 Houston (0-1), who collapsed 30-13 in home opener vs. FBS newcomer Texas State, who join WAC, with FBS newcomer UTSA in '12.  Next up: vs. Louisiana Tech (0-0), who didn't play due to Hurricane Issac.  C-USA runner-up vs. WAC champion in Week 2!

Top 25 watch list:

- Tennessee (1-0) - who defeated North Carolina State in Atlanta to open the third season of coach Derek Dooley at the Volunteers helm. The Volunteers finished 5-7 in '11, so win over NC State (8-5 in '11), who was coming off a bowl win over now #25 Louisville, is certainly a positive way to begin '12 for Tennessee.  Next up: vs. Georgia State (0-1), who lost home opener vs. South Carolina State 33-6.  The Volunteers open SEC East play in Week 3 vs. #21 Florida, so the Top 25 is in sight in September for Volunteers.

- Ohio State (1-0) - who may be the #1 team in the Big Ten, despite NCAA probation.  Ohio State is coming off their first losing season, since 1988 with a 6-7 record and Gator Bowl loss vs. Florida... OSU will have to earn spot in Top 25 in '12.  The Buckeyes opened the new Urban Meyer era with an opening season 56-10 win over Miami-OH,who were 4-8 in '11.  Next up: vs. Central Florida (1-0), who opened with 56-14 win @ Akron.  UCF will return to the State of Ohio to play the biggest name, sorry Ohio U (1-0), who won 24-21 @ Penn State, for what may have been the best win of Week 1.  How far can Ohio State go in Urban Meyer's first season, while ineligible for conference title?

- Notre Dame (1-0) - the Fighting Irish opened the season in Dublin, Ireland, with a 50-10 win over Navy to kick off the third season of the Brian Kelly era.  Next up: vs. Purdue (1-0), who opened with a 48-6 win over Eastern Kentucky.  Notre Dame has won four straight over Boilermakers in the beginning of three straight games vs. Big Ten (Purdue, @ #12 MSU, #17 Michigan).

Cy-Hawk Series Game winner - Iowa State (1-0) vs. Iowa (1-0) in Iowa City, as the Cyclones take to road, after 38-23 win over Tulsa in the season opener at home, with what fourth year coach Paul Rhoads considers his top ISU team in Ames.  The Iowa Hawkeyes opened in '12 at Soldier Field in Chicago with a 18-17 win vs. Northern Illinois.  ISU has not beat Iowa in Iowa City, since the series best game in 2002, with a 36-31 win.  Last year, the game in Ames went into triple overtime, with the Cyclones winning 45-42... and both teams went on to earn bowl births.  Both starting quarterbacks square off again, Iowa's James Vandenberg and ISU's Steele Jantz.  Iowa State has a very strong linebacker corp, while Iowa has their youngest team under Kirk Ferentz, now in his 14th season.  This is the 60th meeting in the series.  President Barack Obama will be in Iowa City for Fryfest on Friday, ahead of Iowa's home season opener.

FCS wins (4) over the Top 124 in College Football:

- C-USA Memphis (0-1) fell to Tennesse-Martin 20-17 in season opener, after a 2-10 season and welcoming in the Justin Fuente era.  Fuente is a 35 year-old, first-time head coach, who was co-OC at TCU.  Next up: @ Arkansas State (0-1), the defending Sun Belt champion.

- Big East Pittsburgh (0-1) lost to Youngston State 31-17 in opener of the Paul Chryst era, when Todd Graham bolted after one year for ASU.  Next up: Thursday night Big East opener @ Cincinnati (0-0).  Tough turnaround for Panthers, while Bearcats await season/conference opener. UC won last year @ Pitt 26-23.

- WAC Idaho (0-1) lost 20-3 to Eastern Washington 20-3 in opener, as six year coach Robb Akey rebuilds after 2-10 season in '11.  Next up: @ Bowling Green (0-1).

- Sun Belt Middle Tennessee (0-1) lost 27-21 to McNesse State in opener, as seven year coach Rick Stockstill rebuilds, as well after 2-10 season in '11.  Next up: Florida Atlantic (1-0), who narrowly missed a FCS loss themselves pulling off a 7-3 win over Wagner in fourth quarter.  Sun Belt opener for both Blue Raiders and Owls.

Plenty of near misses for other FCS programs in Week 1, but only four victories.  Nichols State @ Oregon State was postponed, due to Hurricane Issac.

Breakdown of OOC records in Week 1 by conference and Notes:

SEC - 9-2, 1-1 vs. ACC, 3-0 vs. 4-0 vs. FCS, 2-0 vs. MAC; South Carolina leads SEC West and Texas A&M opener postponed!

Big Ten - 10-2, 3-1 vs. MAC, 2-0 vs. MWC, 3-0 vs. FCS

Big 12 - 9-0, 4-0 vs. C-USA, FCS but no BCS wins...

Pac 12 - 8-3, 0-1 vs. BYU, 2-2 vs. MWC, as Cal and Colarado fall! 2-0 vs. FBS; Oregon State opener postponed and new coaches go 3-1.

ACC - 7-1, 1-1 vs. SEC, six wins vs. FCS opponents; Miami-FL in first place in Coastal division! ACC Game on Labor Day

MWC - 5-5, 0-1 vs. Big 12, 2-2 vs. Pac 12, with Nevada and Colorado State wins! 2-0 vs FCS.

C-USA - 2-10, 1-0 vs. MAC, 1-1 vs. FCS, 0-4 vs. Big 12, 0-1 vs. Pac 12, Big Ten, Sun Belt, WAC, Big East... Big East - 5-2, Temple is back! 0-1 vs. Big Ten, 1-0 vs. SEC, 2-1 vs. FCS...

Independents - 1-0, BYU vs. Washington State, while Notre Dame beats Navy and Army opens Week 2 @ San Diego State.

MAC - 3-8, UMass joins from FCS, while Ball State beats Eastern Michigan to lead MAC West; 0-2 vs. Pac 12, SEC, 0-1 vs. C-USA, Big East, 2-0 vs. FCS

WAC - 4-2, newcomers UTSA and Texas State from FCS win openers 1-0 vs. Sun Belt, C-USA, 2-1 vs. FCS; Louisiana Tech opener postponed.

Sun Belt - 4-5, 0-1 vs. Pac 12, ACC, SEC, WAC, 1-0 vs. C-USA, 3-1 vs. FCS.

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