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Week Four Headlines

Scott Haynes, College Football Senior Editor

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - At least once in a college football season, the rankings are completely turned on end, as teams that looked to be powerhouses fall like dominoes. That's what transpired to close out play in the month of September for many teams, and the fallout could be devastating for some national title contenders.

TOP-TEN SHAKEUP: Very few ranked teams were safe this week and the top-10 saw huge changes, starting with Thursday's action. Fourth-ranked Ole Miss dropped a 16-10 decision to South Carolina, and in the process plummeted all the way to 21st in the nation this week. The Rebels had plenty of company, including sixth-ranked California (now 24th) getting embarrassed at Oregon, ninth-ranked Miami (now 17th) falling hard at Virginia Tech and fifth-ranked Penn State (now 15th) struggling against Iowa once again. Those teams have been replaced by some familiar ones, as Virginia Tech (sixth), USC (seventh) and Ohio State (ninth) are back in, while Cincinnati (10th) rounds things out, earning its first-ever top-10 ranking.

DISTRESSED SIGNAL-CALLERS: Top-ranked Florida had no trouble with up-and- coming Kentucky, blowing out the Wildcats in Lexington, 41-7. However, the victory came at a price, as All-world QB Tim Tebow suffered a concussion in the second half and was taken via ambulance to a local hospital, where he was released Sunday. Tebow is listed as day-to-day and will undoubtedly return to the field at some point, but Florida can ill-afford to lose its All-American field general for any length of time if it is to get through the always-tough SEC and vie for yet another national title.

Kellen Moore and Boise State climbed the national polls to the fifth spot.
The Baylor Bears also suffered an injury to their QB, as super-sophomore Robert Griffin is done for the season with a torn ACL. One of the nation's top duel threats, Griffin suffered the injury in a 68-13 blowout of Northwestern State and it will really cost the improving Bears the rest of the way, especially with Big 12 play starting in earnest on October 10th.

BUCKING BRONCOS: After opening the season with a hard-fought 19-8 win over Oregon, Boise State has blown away the rest of the competition to move to 4-0 on the year and climb the national polls to the fifth spot entering this week's action. On Saturday, the Broncos swamped Bowling Green, 49-14. The win over the Ducks looks more impressive due to the recent improved performances by Oregon. As highly-ranked as BSU is at this time, it could be the Broncos that shake the BCS foundations this year and force themselves into the national championship picture.

PLAYERS OF THE WEEK: Great quarterback play dominated the headlines again across the nation. Russell Wilson (NC State) was masterful in leading the Wolfpack over Pittsburgh, passing for 322 yards and four TDs, while adding 91 yards rushing. Case Keenum (Houston) once again led his team to a thrilling victory, this time over Texas Tech, passing for 435 yards and one TD, while adding the decisive score on the ground in the fourth quarter. Jerrod Johnson (Texas A&M) overwhelmed UAB, passing for 290 yards and three TDs, while matching that effort on the ground with 61 yards and three more scores. Dan LeFevour (Central Michigan) was too much for conference-foe Akron, passing for 197 yards and four TDs, while rushing for 140 yards and two more touchdowns.

Running backs that earned a spot on the list include Darius Marshall (Marshall), who put up 203 yards and three TDs against Memphis, Ryan Williams (Virginia Tech), who rushed for 150 yards and two TDs against previously unbeaten Miami-Florida and finally Andre Anderson (Tulane), who dominated FCS foe McNeese State to the tune of 199 yards rushing and four TDs to help the Green Wave to a 10-point win

Wideout Jeremy Williams (Tulane) caught all 10 completions by Tulane in its 42-32 win over McNeese State, amassing 222 yards and two TDs. Mardy Gilyard (Cincinnati) abused Fresno State to the tune of nine catches, 177 yards and two touchdowns, while Danario Alexander (Missouri) lit up Nevada for nine catches, 170 yards and two TDs last Friday.

Finally, a special teams player makes the cut, as senior Brandon Banks (Kansas State) amassed 303 all-purpose yards (including 90 receiving) in a lopsided win over FCS opponent Tennessee Tech. Banks returned two kickoffs for touchdowns, the first Big 12 player ever to accomplish that feat and the 12th in college football history.

SNEAK PEEK: There are three top-25 tussles this week, with fourth-ranked LSU at 18th-ranked Georgia; seventh-ranked USC at 24th-ranked California; and finally, eighth-ranked Oklahoma taking on 17th-ranked Miami-Florida.

The 4-0 Tigers are quietly going about their business, while the 3-1 Bulldogs have survived a murderous slate to open their season.

The Pac-10 was thought to be either USC's or California's to win, but both teams have suffered losses in-conference in the last two weeks and neither can afford another setback here. It should make for a highly entertaining affair.

Finally, the Sooners are starting to click on all cylinders and that may not be good news for a Miami team that looked like world-beaters in the first couple of weeks of the season, only to suffer a humbling setback at Virginia Tech this past weekend.

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Scott Haynes at shaynes@sportsnetwork.com.
Scott Haynes

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