Forget about the Oregon Ducks knocking on the door of the College Football Playoff. You beat Ohio State in Columbus, you’ve pretty much kicked that door down.
Thanks to a 35-28 road win over the Buckeyes that elevated both the Ducks and the Pac-12 — if only Larry Scott could see you now! — on the national stage, the Ducks (2-0) were the unanimous pick to debut at No. 1 in The Denver Post’s first Best of the West College Football Top 25 poll for 2021.
Locally, CU (1-1) opened at No. 8 in the poll, just behind Air Force (2-0), after the Buffs’ heartbreaking 10-7 loss at Empower Field at Mile High this past Saturday to heavily-favored Texas A&M.
CU’s defense proved more than up to the task on a national stage, despite the Aggies’ fourth-quarter comeback. We’ll find out Saturday if a young offense can take a step forward when the Minnesota Golden Gophers (1-1) visit Folsom Field in a massive “swing” game for both programs.
CSU’s rough start — two home losses, the latest a 24-21 setback to woeful Vanderbilt — was reflected by the pollsters, who unanimously slotted Steve Addazio’s Rams (0-2) at No. 25 on their ballots. CSU will try to save some face this weekend at Toledo (1-1), visiting a Rockets roster that had a lead at Notre Dame this past weekend before falling late, 32-29.
The Denver Post Best of the West College Football poll each Monday ranks the top 25 FBS programs from the Front Range to the Pacific Ocean, as culled from the Pac-12, Mountain West and BYU.
The rest of the latest rankings follow, with in-state squads listed in bold:
THE DENVER POST BEST OF THE WEST TOP 25 POLL — SEPT. 13
|1. Oregon (2-0)* (3)||—||vs. Stony Brook|
|2. UCLA (2-0)||—||vs. Fresno State|
|3. Arizona State (2-0)||—||at BYU|
|4. Nevada (2-0)||—||at Kansas State|
|5. BYU (2-0)||—||vs. Arizona State|
|6. Fresno State (2-1)||—||at UCLA|
|7. Air Force (2-0)||—||vs. Utah State|
|8. CU (1-1)||—||vs. Minnesota|
|9. Boise State (1-1)||—||vs. Oklahoma St.|
|10. San Diego State (2-0)||—||vs. Utah|
|11. Utah (1-1)||—||San Diego State|
|12. Stanford (1-1)||—||at Vanderbilt|
|13. Utah State (2-0)||—||at Air Force|
|14. USC (1-1)||—||at Washington State|
|15. Oregon State (1-1)||—||vs. Idaho|
|16. Wyoming (2-0)||—||vs. Ball State|
|17. San Jose State (1-1)||—||at Hawaii|
|18. California (0-2)||—||vs. Sacramento State|
|19. New Mexico (2-0)||—||at Texas A&M|
|20. Washington State (1-1)||—||vs. Southern Cal|
|21. Washington (0-2)||—||vs. Arkansas State|
|22. Hawaii (1-2)||—||vs San Jose State|
|23. Arizona (0-2)||—||vs. No. Arizona|
|24. UNLV (0-2)||—||vs. Iowa State|
|25. CSU (0-2)||—||at Toledo|
*First-place votes in parenthesis