Greenville, SC - Michigan made a big jump in Brentson Buckner's Harris poll vote after the Wolverines thrashed Notre Dame in South Bend last Saturday 47-21. It was the most points given up by a Notre Dame team at home in 46 years. Buckner continues to rank Ohio State number-one and Southern Cal number-two.
"It was a great performance by Michigan and a performance their program needed," said Buckner. "It was especially impressive because they beat American's Sweetheart team on their home field. It was an impressive performance in all areas of the game. Many people thought they could probably score against Notre Dame, but it was surprising to see them stop Notre Dame offensively.
"Michigan got off to a great start with an interception return for a touchdown. They just took Brady Quinn out of his game. He looked like he was a freshman again. The Michigan speed was the difference. Notre Dame still doesn't match-up with some teams from a speed standpoint and that was apparent watching this game.
"I read over the summer where Lloyd Carr had all his linemen lose 10 pounds in the off season so they would come back with more speed this year. That was obvious on Saturday at Notre Dame. They are just as strong at Michigan, but a step quicker.
"I also thought I saw some of the same plays Ohio State used against Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl in that game. Did Michigan steal some ideas from Ohio State to beat Notre Dame? It sure looked like it, especially some of those long pass plays down the sideline that Ohio State used with Ted Ginn last year."
West Virginia and Louisville are two teams that also continue to impress Buckner. "West Virginia is like watching a track meet. Coach Rodriquez has a great one-two punch in Slayton and White, they might be the best running combination in the nation. When you watch West Virginia play they use the entire field, and they beat the opponent to the corner. It looks like they are playing on a Canadian Football League field, while the opposition is playing on a normal sized field.
"Louisville had a big win for their program over Miami (FL). Miami looked horrible, but maybe Louisville made them look that way. Louisville lost a Heisman Trophy candidate to a broke ankle in Bush, but they have replaced him with talented players.
"As a defensive player, I loved watching the Auburn vs. LSU game. That was a slobber-knocker game! Is that a word? That was a great win for Auburn and they will win a lot of games like that this year. I put Auburn at number-three and they could be in the same situation they were in a few years ago in that they could win all their games and not get in the National Championship game. We will have to see. I didn't drop LSU very far in my poll, they are still a very good team."
In 2005, Buckner became the only active NFL player selected to vote in the new Harris interactive College Football Poll. The Harris Poll's 109 voters include former college players, coaches and administrators, plus some members of the media, and it replaces the Associated Press poll in the formula used by the BCS in selecting teams for the four major bowls at the end of the season.
Following is Brentson's Poll for September 19, 2006:
1. Ohio State
2. Southern Cal
4. West Virginia
10. Virginia Tech
14. Notre Dame
18. Florida State
20. Arizona State
21. Boston College
23. Penn State