College Football: Power Ranking All 124 Teams

Joe PenkalaCorrespondent IOctober 2, 2012

College Football: Power Ranking All 124 Teams

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    Another week of the college football season has come and gone and we are now starting to get a better sense about which teams are contenders and which are pretenders in 2012. 

    As has been the case all year, another upset occurred as Washington came from behind to defeat Stanford in a close, defensive game. This week was also full of offensive explosions and fireworks, none more memorable then Geno Smith's eight touchdown passes for West Virginia.

    With plenty of football left to play, here is a look at this week's power rankings of all 124 FBS teams. 

No. 124- No: 85

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    No. 124: Massachusetts

    No. 123: Idaho 

    No. 122: Tulane

    No. 121: Memphis

    No. 120: Southern Miss

    No. 119: UAB

    No. 118: Navy

    No. 117: Eastern Michigan

    No. 116: Army

    No. 115: Colorado 

    No. 114: Wyoming

    No. 113: UNLV

    No. 112: New Mexico State

    No. 111: Buffalo

    No. 110: Florida Atlantic 

    No. 109: Colorado State

    No. 108: UTEP

    No. 107: South Alabama

    No. 106: Akron

    No. 105: Texas State

    No. 104: Rice

    No. 103: Houston

    No. 102: Florida International

    No. 101: Western Michigan

    No. 100: New Mexico 

    No. 99: Bowling Green

    No. 98: North Texas

    No. 97: SMU

    No. 96: Marshall

    No. 95: Arkansas State

    No. 94: Boston College

    No. 93: Kansas

    No. 92: Syracuse 

    No. 91: Kentucky  

    No. 90: Central Michigan

    No. 89: UTSA

    No. 88: Troy

    No. 87: Indiana 

    No. 86: Miami (OH)

    No. 85: Hawaii

No. 84- No. 51

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    No. 84: Temple

    No. 83: Vanderbilt

    No. 82: Pittsburgh 

    No. 81: Illinois 

    No. 80: Air Force

    No. 79: San Diego State

    No. 78: Ball State 

    No. 77: UCF

    No. 76: East Carolina

    No. 75: Kent State

    No. 74: South Florida 

    No. 73: Arkansas 

    No. 72: Middle Tennessee

    No. 71: Maryland 

    No. 70: Louisiana-Lafayette

    No. 69: Connecticut 

    No. 68: Auburn

    No. 67: Penn State

    No. 66: Western Kentucky

    No. 65: Minnesota 

    No. 64: San Jose State

    No. 63: Duke

    No. 62: Iowa

    No. 61: Utah

    No. 60: Northern Illinois 

    No. 59: Washington State

    No. 58: Nevada 

    No. 57: Tulsa

    No. 56: North Carolina

    No. 55: Georgia Tech

    No. 54: Virginia 

    No. 53: Cal 

    No. 52: Fresno State

    No. 51: Louisiana-Monroe 

No. 50: Wake Forest

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    At 3-2 this year, the Demon Deacons have shown flashes of greatness and then also flashes of mediocrity. This past week, Wake Forest lost a tight game to Duke and will want desperately to get that taste out of its mouth this week against Maryland.

    If the Demon Deacons can get things straightened out on defense, the offense is good enough to ensure that this team gets to a bowl game. 

No. 49: NC State

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    NC State and Miami were tied late in the fourth quarter, but a deep touchdown pass cost the Wolf Pack the game and pushed them to 3-2 on the year. 

    While the offense and defense are doing OK, many expected more out of Mike Glennon.

    If Glennon is unable to perform to the standards he set for himself last year, NC State could be in trouble. 

No. 48: Wisconsin

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    It was only a matter of time before the Badgers would get burned walking the tightrope they have been on. This past week, the Badgers held a big lead on the road against Nebraska but could not hang on.

    With all of the turnover that the Badgers had with players and coaches leaving this past offseason, they look lost on the field and appear to be a team that will not be a factor in the Big Ten race.

No. 47: Ole Miss

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    There are a couple of different ways to describe Mississippi's loss to Alabama. For the Rebels, things could have been better and could have been worse but they gave the Tide a battle.

    This week the Rebels take on Texas A&M and will try to rebound with a solid win. If the offense can step things up a notch, this game against the Aggies will be much closer then some may expect. 

No. 46: Purdue

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    Purdue returned to action this past week and its offense erupted for 51 points. The bad news is that the defense gave up 41 to Marshall.

    With the win, the Boilermakers move to 3-1 and kick off conference play this week against Michigan. While the offense appears to be in tip-top shape, the defense must improve or the Boilermakers will be in trouble all year long. 

No. 45: Missouri

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    After getting beat up by SEC teams early this year, Missouri got back on track last week with another out-of-conference win. Despite the success out of conference, Missouri has a lot to prove as it has five consecutive SEC games coming up on the schedule.

    If the Tigers are unable to be competitive in the SEC, this will be a long year for them.

No. 44: Oklahoma State

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    The Oklahoma State offense is not having a hard time moving out with stars like Justin Blackmon and Brandon Weeden but the defense is still letting the Cowboys down.

    This past week the Cowboys played a great game on offense but a last-minute touchdown by Texas was the difference in the loss. The Cowboys now have a week off to regroup and get ready for more conference play, but ultimately the defense will be the key for them. 

No. 43: Virginia Tech

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    This is simply not going to be Virginia Tech's year. With a late lead over Cincinnati, the Hokies failed to shut the door and the Bearcats stormed back for a last-minute win.

    The loss pushes Virginia Tech to 3-2 and searching for answers. Next up on the Hokies' schedule is a road game against North Carolina, and if they continue to stumble like they have early this year, this will be a season they want to forget about quickly. 

No. 42: BYU

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    The two-game slide that the Cougars were on has come to an end as they shut out the Hawaii Warriors 47-0. With the win, the Cougars were able to get back on track with their offense, and the defense remained solid. 

    The Cougars have a big game coming up this week as they take on Utah State, and the game should be a good one.

    As long as the BYU offense continues to improve, it should win this game. 

No. 41: Toledo

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    One MAC school making noise early on is Toledo.

    The Rockets are off to a 4-1 start and their offense is humming along early this year. 

    This past week Toledo went on the road and took care of business against Western Michigan. With Central Michigan up next on the schedule, the Rockets hope to be able to defeat another Michigan school and move to 5-1. 

    As long as the offense keeps going at this rate, they could end up going to the conference title game. 

No. 40: Arizona

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    The Wildcats got off to a hot start this year, but two straight losses to the Oregon teams have dropped them back to Earth and down to a 3-2 record. 

    While Rich Rodriguez has Arizona running wild on offense with his spread attack, he has also brought the weak defense that he has exhibited in the past. 

    If the defense cannot slow down other teams, this offense will be under a lot of pressure to keep up.

No. 39: Tennessee

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    Tennessee got started on its rough patch of the schedule on Saturday, and while the offense showed up and scored 44 points, the defense surrendered 51 points to Georgia.

    With Tyler Bray at quarterback, the Vols are going to put up points, so the defense needs to be up to the challenge.

    The tough part of the schedule continues as the Vols have to stay on the road to take on Mississippi State.

No. 38: Utah State

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    Utah State appears to be picking up right where they it off last year, starting the season 4-1.

    While the Aggies are not taking on a lot of difficult teams so far, they are beating the teams that they should.

    This week the level of competition takes a jump up as they play BYU. If the Aggies can take down BYU on the road, they will really start to turn some heads around the nation. 

No. 37: Iowa State

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    After a tough loss to Texas Tech ended their undefeated season, the 3-1 Iowa State Cyclones will have to forget the loss quickly and focus on TCU.

    While the Cyclones have looked good at times, the offense has been inconsistent, and that could cost them against the Horned Frogs. Depending on which offense shows up this coming week will depend on how they do against TCU. 

No. 36: Michigan

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    The Wolverines had this past week off and they are hungry to get back on the field and get the taste of the Notre Dame loss out of their mouths. 

    At 2-2, the Wolverines need a win against Purdue to start building momentum if they want to have a shot at the Big Ten title.

    As they return to the field, it will be interesting to see how coach Brady Hoke handles Denard Robinson after his brutal game against the Irish.

No. 35: Miami

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    Much like Ohio State, Miami is putting together a great season early and is doing so very quietly. This past week, the Hurricanes defeated NC State 44-37 on a last-minute touchdown heave.

    At 4-1, the Hurricanes are off to a great start and are doing much better than expected.

    If the Hurricane offense can continue to click the way it has, Miami could be in for a great season and may become a contender in the ACC. 

No. 34: Arizona State

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    Arizona picked up a huge win this past week as it went on the road and took down Cal. With the win, the Sun Devils are now 4-1 and still have yet to lose a game in conference.

    With an offense that can put up a lot of points and a defense that has performed well for the majority of the year, the Sun Devils are quietly getting the job done and could make some noise in the Pac-12 race. 

No. 33: Ohio

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    While the Bobcats are 5-0, their performance against Massachusetts left something to be desired. The offense continued to produce like it has all year but the defense struggled as it allowed 34 points.

    The schedule the rest of the way is shaping up nicely for the Bobcats, but unless the defense gets its act together, there will be a game that costs them a special season. 

No. 32: Baylor

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    What an offensive week for the Baylor Bears. They put up 63 points on the road against West Virginia. The bad news game is the defense gave up 70.

    It is clear that the Bears have an incredible offense, but the defense is still brutal, as Geno Smith made evident by tossing eight touchdown passes.

    If the Bears hope to have any impact in the Big 12 this year, their defense must get better or it won't matter how many points the offense scores. 

No. 31: Louisiana Tech

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    The Bulldogs are off to a great start this year and are 4-0 on the season. Coming up this week, they look to make it 5-0 as they take on an overmatched UNLV team. 

    After the game with UNLV, Louisiana Tech will be playing its make-up game against Texas A&M that was postponed at the start of the year. A win over the Aggies would truly validate the Bulldogs.

No. 30: Texas Tech

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    The hot start by the Red Raiders is about to be tested this week as they take on Oklahoma. Last year Texas Tech took down Oklahoma on the road, and this week the Red Raiders will be able to stay home and host the Sooners.

    Already off to a 4-0 start, a win over Oklahoma would be a huge confidence boost and would keep them in the thick of things of the Big 12 race.

No. 29: Michigan State

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    It is clear that the Michigan State Spartans have taken a huge step back on offense this year. Andrew Maxwell is still getting comfortable in his first year and the wide receivers are not help him out that much.

    While the defense is strong and can make impact plays, the Spartans need to do what they do best, run the ball.

    This past week, the Spartans lost a huge game at home against Ohio State. The only bright side is that the Buckeyes are outside of their division in the Big Ten. Only time will tell if they can turn things around. 

No. 28: Texas A&M

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    After an early loss to Florida, Texas A&M seems to be getting comfortable and has won three straight games, including a blowout win over Arkansas this past week. 

    Coming up this week the Aggies head on the road to take on Ole Miss. A win would be another stepping stone as they continue to transition to the SEC.

No. 27: Boise State

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    This is definitely not the same Boise State team people have been use to over the past few seasons.

    In the past two weeks, the Broncos have struggle to defeat both BYU and New Mexico. More concerning is one week the offense struggles but the defense is solid, and the next week the defense struggles but the offense is solid. 

    If the Broncos hope to have any success this season, they need to find balance on both sides of the ball. 

No. 26: Cincinnati

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    The Bearcats continues to climb the ladder, and this week they did it with a dramatic win in the last minute against Virginia Tech.

    So far this year, the Bearcats have shown consistency on both sides of the ball and look tough to beat. With the Big East being down, the only challenge that Cincinnati will likely face is when it takes on Louisville. The winner should win the conference.

No. 25: Northwestern

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    No team may be more surprising this season than the Northwestern Wildcats. So far, they are off to a 5-0 start but the hot start will be put to the test as they head on the road to play Penn State this week.

    As we close in on the half way point to their season, the offense has been strong and the defense has been surprisingly good this year. 

    If this continues, the Wildcats will have a great chance of ending their bowl win drought. 

No. 24: UCLA

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    After a tough loss to Oregon State at home, UCLA bounced back this previous week and earned a needed conference win over Colorado. In the win, both the offense and defense seemed to get back on track and ready to go.

    At 4-1. the Bruins now set their eyes on their second straight road game, this time against Cal. Cal will provide a much bigger challenge so the Bruins will need to bring their best to go to 5-1. 

No. 23: Rutgers

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    After having last week off, Rutgers returns to play at home and takes on Connecticut. The Scarlet Knights are coming off of a great win over Arkansas and are 4-0 on the season.

    While not many people are taking notice of Rutgers, if they keep putting together solid performances, they could quickly climb the ladder in the Big East race. 

No. 22: Nebraska

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    After an early season loss to UCLA, Nebraska has responded with three straight wins to push them to 4-1, including a comeback win at home this past week against Wisconsin.

    With an offense that is explosive, Nebraska has their sights set on going to the Big Ten title game. This coming week's game against Ohio State will go a long way in showing if the Cornhuskers are ready for that next step. 

No. 21: Mississippi State

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    Dan Mullen has the Bulldogs going in the right direction as they are 4-0 now on the season. With this past week off, Mississippi State had time to rest up and prepare for their road trip to Kentucky. 

    With such a great start to the season  it will be interesting to see if they can sustain this success against tougher competition and elevate themselves in the SEC rankings. 

No. 20: Washington

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    After an early season loss to LSU took Washington completely off the radar, they have come back up with a win over Stanford on Thursday night football. 

    The surprising part about the Huskies this year is that will the offense has been good, the defense has been great at times. 

    Coming up this week the Huskies head on the road for a night game against Oregon and will try to break a streak of dominance that is close to reaching a decade. 

No. 19: Oklahoma

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    This past week the Sooners had the week off and are hoping to get things together after losing to Kansas State the last time they were on the field.

    Landry Jones returned this year for his senior season and is hoping to lead this team to a conference title and possibly more. Right now, it appears he may come up short on that goal unless they turn things around quickly. 

    With a road game against Texas Tech up next on the schedule, the Sooners offense and defense will both be tested. 

No. 18: Oregon State

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    One of the biggest surprises of the year is the 3-0 start that Oregon State has gotten off to including road wins over UCLA and Oregon State.

    Early this year, the Beavers defense has been playing outstanding and the offense is not far behind. 

    If the Beavers continue to play this well, they may become a factor in the Pac-12 race but they will need a huge effort from both units. 

No. 17: Stanford

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    After having a week off after beating USC, the Cardinal completely screwed things up for themselves by losing to Washington which is even bigger considering it is a loss in the division.

    Against the Huskies this past week, Stanford struggled all night on offense and failed to score any offensive touchdowns. While the defense played well, the offense failed to carry their end of the bargain

    Next week Stanford has a game against Arizona and if the offense continues to play this poorly, they could be in trouble once again.

No. 16: USC

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    USC doesn't appear to be playing up to their talent level but Trojan fans are hoping that a bye week will help cure whatever ailments they may have.

    With an early loss already under their belts, the Trojans know they are not out of this yet, especially with the loss being outside of their division in the Pac-12. 

    It the Trojans can kick things up into high gear like many believe they can, the Trojans will quickly start to rise in the rankings. 

No. 15: TCU

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    TCU is now 4-0 with their win over SMU and are about to head back into conference play. While it wasn't a dominating performance, the Horned Frogs came out and got the job done against the Mustangs and now set their sights on Iowa State.

    Over the next couple of weeks, the Horned Frogs will have time to ease back into conference before the schedule truly begins to pick up. 

No. 14: Louisville

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    Teddy Bridgewater and the Cardinals endured a monsoon against Southern Miss and still found a way to get the job done and earn a win. 

    As the Cardinals get ready to start conference play, they appear to be in top form and will be hard to beat.

    With the lack of strength in conference, Louisville should be able to cruise through conference play but will be challenged against the Cincinnati Bearcats. 

No. 13: Clemson

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    One week after losing to Florida State, Clemson showed some maturity by moving forward and shifting their focus to Boston College. 

    Despite some lapses by the defense, the Tigers still dominated this game with their offense and walked out with a 45-31 road victory.

    This coming week the Tigers come home and will be taking Georgia Tech. With the loss to the Seminoles, all that Clemson can do is continue to win and keep the pressure on Florida State.

No. 12: Texas

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    The Texas offense continues to surprise as they went out on the road and took down Oklahoma State 41-36 and won on a last minute touchdown. 

    David Ash has been extremely impressive so far this year and the Longhorns are feeding off of his success. If Ash is able to continue to perform at this level, the Longhorns could be a serious threat in the Big 12. 

No. 11: Notre Dame

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    This past week Notre Dame had the week off and now they return to play with Miami coming to town. 

    Two weeks ago against Michigan, the Irish were able to control play with their defense and then also leaned on the running game to run the clock out.

    With the Hurricanes coming to town to renew an old rivalry, the Irish need to be more explosive on offense because they cannot count on six turnovers like the Wolverines handed them. 

No. 10: Florida

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    Florida had this past week off and it is a good thing because next up on the calender is a game against LSU. While Florida is off to a great start this year, this game will show how far the Gators have come so far this year.

    Early on in the season, the Gators have had great balance between a solid offense and a stingy defense and they will need both at their best if they hope to beat LSU.

No. 9: Ohio State

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    Very quietly, Ohio State continues to roll and this time they won a huge game on the road against Michigan State. The win pushes the Buckeyes to 5-0 and they are looking great under Urban Meyer

    Despite not being bowl eligible this year due to NCAA sanctions, the Buckeyes appear to be building and looking like they are playing every week like it is their bowl game.

    Look for Ohio State to continue to roll and continue to be the spoiler in the Big Ten. 

No. 8: South Carolina

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    The Gamecocks offense continues to roll along after another win, this time on the road against Kentucky but the team as a whole did struggle early. With Marcus Lattimore back in the offense, this team is a lot more balanced and effective than last year. 

    South Carolina now faces Georgia, LSU and Florida over the next three weeks and this will provide them with a huge challenge. While going undefeated in that stretch would be ideal, the Gamecocks will likely go 2-1 at best during this point of their schedule. 

No. 7: West Virginia

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    West Virginia welcomed themselves to the Big 12 by having an offensive explosion on Baylor. This past week, Geno Smith threw for eight touchdowns and the Mountaineers finished the game with 70 points. 

    While lighting up the scoreboard was nice, the defense also allowed 63 points in this epic shootout. 

    As West Virginia continues to run through conference play, the defense must get better because Smith cannot continue to put up the kind of numbers he did this past week. 

No. 6: Kansas State

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    Kansas State is now proving that last year was not a fluke. Two weeks ago the Wildcats went into Norman Oklahoma and earned a huge road win. This past week's win over Kansas was nice but was certainly not a huge test. 

    With Iowa State up next, the Kansas State Wildcats need to remain focused on that game because the following week is another road trip, this time to play West Virginia. 

No. 5: Georgia

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    It is a good thing that the offense came to play this past week because the Georgia defense got aired out. Against Tennessee, the Bulldogs won 51-44 and while the win is nice, Georgia has some things to work on.

    So far this year, the Bulldogs offense has been on track all year long but the defense has shown so weaknesses.

    Going forward, the Bulldogs offense must keep the pace up as they wait for the defense to find their footing. 

No. 4: LSU

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    LSU finished their out of conference schedule up with a victory over Towson. Much like the Crimson Tide, the Tigers have a tough road leading up to their game and play SEC opponents like Florida, South Carolina, Texas A&M and then Alabama.

    LSU has looked great at times this year but in games like the one against Auburn, the Tigers have faulted and the offense has looked largely unimpressive.

    If the Tigers hope to defeat the Tide and gain a measure of revenge, the offense must start clicking. 

No. 3: Florida State

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    One of the best parts about the road win over South Florida is that the Seminoles showed that they have matured as a team and have the ability to focus on each week's opponent. 

    The Seminoles are now 5-0 and the schedule is their friend. Going forward, the Seminoles have a very light schedule and really do not play a team that should challenge them until the final week of the year against Florida and then a potential ACC title game. 

    This could be the year that Florida State lives up to the hype. 

No. 2: Oregon

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    The first road test that the Ducks faced resulted in a win over the Washington State Cougars. With the win, the Ducks move to 5-0 and start to prepare for rival Washington.

    With the Huskies up next on the schedule, the Ducks will look to continue the dominance they have had over them for almost the past decade.

    As long as the defense continues to be as solid as it has been this year and the offense continues to pick up steam, the Ducks will be heading to Southern California undefeated and ready for battle.

No. 1: Alabama

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    The Crimson Tide are now at 5-0 and the schedule is going to start to pick up as we enter the months of October and November.

    Coming into 2012, many believed that the Alabama defense may take a small step back but that has not been the case. 

    Over the next few weeks, the Tide take on Missouri, Tennessee, Mississippi State and then LSU. This stretch will determine if Alabama has what it takes to defend its national title.