2 weeks are in the books and it’s official: The 3 Power Rankings voters agree on almost nothing about the OVC right now.
There does seem to be 3 clear tiers emerging: A top tier, a middle tier, and Austin Peay, all alone at the bottom for the 2nd straight week.
Here’s our Week 2 Power Rankings.
Note: This week, CB (me!) is the only commenter.
1. JSU – 28 points (Last Week: 1)
CB – 2, BS – 1, TV – 1
Boy, that Arkansas loss looks a little less impressive. JSU struggles to get past Chattanooga, and #10 Arkansas loses to Louisiana Monroe. To be fair, JSU was without Washaun Ealey, who was suspended, but that’s not even my biggest concern. It’s the rush defense that let the Mocs tally over 240 yards on the ground; 80 more than they allowed against Arkansas. I did notice that the Gamecocks second quarterback, Cody Blanchard, got fewer plays than in week 1.
2. TTU – 26 points (Last Week: 2)
CB – 1, BS – 2, TV – 2
They’re 2-0, and the offense looks great. Just 2 weeks in, and Da’Rick Rogers is leads the team in receiving yards for the first time this season, and Tre Lamb looks crisp. The defense is a bit of a question mark, and we’ll see what happens when they face stiff competition. Next up for the Golden Eagles is against Oregon, so here’s to hoping everyone comes back in one piece.
3. EKU – 21 points (Last Week: T4)
CB – 3, BS – 3, TV – 3
I’m…curious about the Colonels. They didn’t look overwhelming in a 24-17 win over Morehead State, although they ran the ball well, and stopped the Eagles run cold. But Morehead did pass for over 300 yards, and that Colonel defense that forced 4 turnovers against Purdue only managed one against Morehead. I still think the Colonels are one of the favorites to take the crown, but I think the gap between them and the rest of the conference is even smaller than we originally thought.
4. Murray – 15 points (Last Week: T4)
CB – 5, BS – 6, TV – 4
It’s last season all over again. Murray can sling the ball all around the field, but that doesn’t matter if the Racers can’t stop teams from doing the same. They couldn’t against Central Arkansas, and were then plagued with self-inflicted wounds from 3 red-zone picks to untimely penalties. I think the Racers can beat anyone in the OVC, but I also think they could lose to most everybody in the OVC. Consistency is the issue going forward.
T5. UTM – 12 points (Last Week: 3)
CB – 4, BS – 8, TV – 6
I love the headline from UT Martin’s sports department: “Football Team Runs Into Rock’Em, Sock’Em Defense At Northern Illinois.” Perfect. Without a doubt this was a let down after their Week 1 win, but to put it bluntly, Northern Illinois is this much better than Memphis was. UTM’s defense wasn’t bad, and the offense passed for over 280 yards. This kind of loss against a good FBS team isn’t that bad, in my opinion. If there’s a team outside the top-3 I think has a chance to make a run at the conference crown, I’m picking the Skyhawks at this point.
T5. EIU – 12 points (Last Week: 6)
CB – 6, BS – 5, TV – 7
The offense appears to be for real. But much like the Racers, there’s some serious question whether this team has enough stops in them on defense. But I think it’s impossible to look at this team compared to last year and not see how improved they are. Dino Babers has done a magnificent job so far, and I only think it’s going to get better with time, much like this team.
7. TSU – 11 points (Last Week: 7)
CB – 7, BS – 7, TV – 5
Turnovers was the story of this game. Tennessee State was allowed Jackson State to pass all over them, but the Tigers defense forced 6 fumbles (3 they recovered) and picked off their quarterback twice in a rout. It’s hard to place a team 7th after a resounding win, but this one seems closer than the final score. If they can force turnovers week-in and week-out, they’ll be a top tier team by season’s end.
8. SEMO – 10 points (Last Week: 8)
CB – 8, BS – 4, TV – 8
It’s great to see the young quarterback Scott Lathrop get a win under his belt, even if just against Mars Hill College. They still haven’t developed much of a passing attack, which I think is going to cause some problems when they get into conference play, but Lathrop has proven he can help move the football on the ground. 5 interceptions, though, remind us that Lathrop is still young, and does need time to develop.
9. AP – 3 points (Last Week: 9)
CB – 9, BS – 9, TV – 9
Week 1: Jake Ryan is 2-10 passing. Week 2: Ryan 8-21. Those numbers should get much better as AP begins play against FCS opponents.