Buckner Impressed by Irish, Releases New Poll

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Greenville, SC-Like many of the Associated Press and USA Today Coach's poll voters, Brentson Buckner was impressed with Notre Dame's victory at Michigan last week. Buckner, the only active NFL player with a vote in the Harris Interactive poll that will help decide the team who will compete in the major bowls at the end of the year, moved the Irish into the top 10 of his weekly poll.

Buckner's weekly poll and commentary is available on brentsonbuckner.com each Tuesday; go directly to http://www.brentsonbuckner.com/harris.html for the poll and to http://www.brentsonbuckner.com/buckshots.html for Buckner's commentary on Clemson and the Panthers.

"Notre Dame's performance stood out," Buckner, a starting defensive tackle with the Carolina Panthers, said in reference to the poll move. "They went into Michigan as an underdog and were very impressive, especially on defense. They looked prepared on both sides of the ball, and that doesn't surprise me because Charlie Weiss will have a team prepared. From a game preparation standpoint, Notre Dame and Southern Cal are the best teams in the country right now."

Buckner played against Weiss-coached teams many times when Weiss was the offensive coordinator of the Patriots, including the Super Bowl at the conclusion of the 2003 season. "When you went against the Patriots you never felt you were stopping them, they only stopped themselves. What I see he is doing with Brady Quinn, reminds me of what he did with Tom Brady.

"I know I am jumping ahead, but I wouldn't be surprised if Notre Dame ends Southern Cal's winning streak this year (October 15). The game is in South Bend and Notre Dame has two weeks to prepare. You give Charlie Weiss two weeks to prepare and he is going to run something that Southern Cal has never seen before."

Buckner continues to rank Southern Cal number-one, Texas two and Georgia three. "I know Georgia was not impressive last week,
but they did win. Maybe South Carolina is better than we thought. It will be interesting to watch."

Also in Buckner's top 20 are the Clemson Tigers, Buckner's former team, who will take on 13th ranked Miami (FL) this week. More
on the Tigers can be found in Buckner's commentary on the Maryland game, at http://www.brentsonbuckner.com/buckshots.html.

"Where the Panthers are concerned, next week is going to be a big game no doubt," Buckner says regarding this weeks Panthers/Patriots matchup. They are the two-time defending Super Bowl Champions and have added some talent to their team. Tom Brady looked like the 2004 season had not ended against the Raiders last Thursday night.

"We let one get away against New Orleans. That will make this game even bigger."

Following is Brentson's week two top-25:

1. Southern Cal

2. Texas

3. Georgia

4. Virginia Tech

5. Tennessee

6. Florida

7. LSU

8. Florida State

9. Ohio State

10. Notre Dame

11. Purdue

12. Boston College

13. Miami (FL)

14. Louisville

15. Michigan

16. Texas Tech

17. California

18. Clemson

19. Georgia Tech

20. Virginia

21. Iowa

22. Wisconsin

23. Fresno State

24. Arizona State

25. Oklahoma

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