Published Wednesday, September 5, 2012 AT 8:53 AM / Updated at 9:01 PM
Sam McKewon’s Top 25, Week 1
Sam McKewon Omaha World-Herald

This is not remotely official. I don’t have an AP vote or anything this year. I just thought, me to you, you’d just really want to know what I thought. And I had some time to kill.

1. USC (Beat Hawaii 49-10): There’s no law that mandates you drop a team that pummeled its opponent just because the No. 3 team pummeled what’s perceived to be a better opponent. If the Trojans hadn’t played lights out from start to finish, perhaps Alabama gets this No. 1 spot. But USC was terrific.

2. Alabama (Beat Michigan 41-14): The Tide’s offensive line is as advertised, and Michigan’s screwy offensive plan played right into Nick Saban’s hands.

3. LSU (Beat North Texas 41-14): The Tigers finished with 316 yards rushing.

4. Oregon (Beat Arkansas State 57-34): Led 50-3 at halftime and let up on the gas.

5. Florida State (Beat Murray State 69-3): Outgained the Racers 606-156.

6. Georgia (Beat Buffalo 45-23): Gave up too many big plays, but remember the Bulldogs are missing several defensive starters due to suspension.

7. Oklahoma (Beat UTEP 24-7): This game could not have encouraged Sooner fans.

8. Arkansas (Beat Jacksonville State 49-24): The Razorbacks’ defense was awful in the first half, leading only 35-21 at halftime.

9. South Carolina (Beat Vanderbilt 17-13): And did it with a hurt quarterback.

10. Michigan State (Beat Boise State 17-13): And did it with a bad quarterback

11. West Virginia (Beat Marshall 69-34): Will try to go for 80 points vs. James Madison.

12. Clemson (Beat Auburn 26-19): I’m not sure why people were stunned Clemson won this game.

13. Texas (Beat Wyoming 37-17): The Longhorns shook off a slow start with a solid ground game.

14. Ohio State (Beat Miami Ohio 56-10): Good foe in Central Florida coming up.

15. Nebraska (Beat Southern Mississippi 49-20): Tougher test at UCLA

16. Oklahoma State (Beat Savannah State 84-0): Tough one, huh?

17. Virginia Tech (Beat Georgia Tech 20-17): Lucky to win. The Hokies major in lucky wins.

18. Kansas State (Beat Missouri State 51-9): Close game until the third quarter.

19. Wisconsin (Beat Northern Iowa 26-21). The Badgers took their foot off the gas pedal, rare for them.

20. Michigan (Lost to Alabama 41-14): Kersplat.

21. TCU (No game): The Horned Frogs kick off their season.

22. Florida (beat Bowling Green 24-14): Gators play at Texas A&M this week.

23. Stanford (Beat San Jose State 20-17): The Spartans are better than you might think.

24. Louisville (Beat Kentucky 32-14): Shawn Watson had the offense rolling in game one.

25. BYU (Beat Washington State 30-6): I watched the whole game and left impressed by the Cougars’ physicality.

About Sam McKewon

Sam McKewon covers Nebraska football for The World-Herald. Got a tip, question or rant? Good. Email him at And follow him on Twitter at @swmckewonOWH. And call him at 402.219.3790.


  1. Gumpa says:

    I will just say it again. Hogwash on the love for the SEC. I can’t deny that they are great down there. I’m just saying … 5 of the top 9 teams in the country are from the SEC? I just dont want to hear it. I cant wait till I can be correct in saying that Nebraska and the B1G have a few teams that could beat the 3-4-5 teams in the SEC. It may already be true, but I cant quite say it yet. I would not want to sound like a homer. :)

    1. A Fan says:

      Nebraska and the B1G have a few teams? The B1G has a few teams. Nebraska has one.

      Nebraska already played one of the 3 – 5 teams in the SEC (South Carolina)… and we got drilled.

      You are homer.

      1. Homer Sampson says:

        The South Carolina game was last season, BTW. And, fyi, they got a total gift last week vs Vandy. That non-call pass interference call in the last couple minutes was horrendously bad. Huskers looked very good Saturday. But we don’t know how good SoMiss is, so it may be more/less impressive in about a month. And I am a homer.

        1. A Fan says:

          That’s right, we don’t know how good, or bad, Southern Miss is. We’ll find out how good Nebraska is this Saturday against UCLA. They’re a better team, IMO, than Southern Miss. And it’s on the road.

  2. Juan Dangler says:

    Sam, it would be a fun read if you could give us your Top 25 with comments every week.

    1. Paul says:

      Here, here! I second JD.

      1. Stanthehuskerfan says:

        Agreed. Sam you are a great beat writer and a better friend of the huskers. I tell you what, sometimes i think about all this top 25 huey and think its the most. Truly i havent had to eat my veggitables as a kids BUT NOW!? you betcha i am drinking the cornbread and love my skers GOOOOO BIIIIIG REEEEEEDDDD!!!…….

    2. Chuck Norris Husker says:

      And a third… The ayes have it.

    3. Sam McKewon Sam McKewon says:

      You’ll get it.

  3. Here’s what I love Sam. Your first paragraph, you are absolutely right. Without knowing it, I absolutely did want to know your opinion of the top 25. When I read that, I couldn’t care less that you don’t have a vote. I see your top 25 as one of the more thorough, grounded, yet passion-based of its kind and because of that my gut says your accuracy would exceed many of your peers. One question – in your opinion, now that the season has begun how much is a ranking a reflection of performance seen vs. your projection of potential & likely outcome by the end of the season?

    Thanks btw for forcing me to learn the word raconteur in your last article. I looked at my wife and said that I’m pretty sure I depend on Sam to teach me a new word of the week. Keep up the great stuff. Your articles enhance the collective intelligence of husker nation.

    1. marv says:

      Reflection of perfromance vs projection. – Great question.

      In my opinion polls should be a power ranking. How good is the team, not how they will finish. Just becasue VaTech goes 11-1 doesn’t mean they are better than a 10-2 Georgia. Projecting how a team will finish is even more dangerous for preseason polls. I fear too many AP voters try and project for their early season polls and it gives these teams a head start. Vote on how good the team is based on what you see, not how they can walk through a cupcake schedule.

  4. MDGsker says:


    Why does your ballot follow, almost exactly, the same talking heads’ ballots in the AP and at ESPN? These guys do no research, the same teams are typicaly overaratted every year, and they often favor certain conferences. I would expect an actual thought out ballot with your own opinions, not a standard AP ballot where you just add a few thoughts. What gives?

    Side note: This is exactly why everyone is thrilled that these polls will be meaningless in 2 years when the playoff committee is created.

  5. HuskerDog/Colo. says:

    Greetings from the Rocky Mts.! Home of the beefalows & mighty CSU Ramies! Penn eteniary St is on a 112 game losing streak thanks to li’l Frankie! Actually more loses if you factor in regular losses ’98 – ’11!. Does li’l Frankie get an extra V for the loss @ PSU in ’02? Lets hope Taylor “Martini’s” performance wasn’t a fluke – remember Okie State two years ago!!!