AP College Football Poll 2012: Winners and Losers from Week 14
The Week 14 AP poll proves that losing late in the season will barely hurt teams in the poll.
Seriously, look at the latest AP poll. Florida State, Clemson, Oregon State, UCLA and Michigan either moved down three spots or didn't move at all following a loss.
How does that happen? Meanwhile, teams in the Top 10 are dropping spots despite winning their matchups this past weekend. Makes sense...
With that said, here are the biggest winners and losers of the latest AP poll.
Winner: Notre Dame and the SEC
Notre Dame has it made.
With the season completed for Notre Dame, all the Irish have to do is kick back and ready themselves for a BCS National Championship Game against the winner of the SEC Championship Game. Coming in at No. 1 makes them the biggest winner of all.
But not too far behind them are the two teams that will go at it in the SEC Championship Game, Alabama and Georgia.
With Alabama at No. 2 and Georgia at No. 3, the SEC Championship Game will serve as a play-in game for the national championship.
Loser: LSU and Texas A&M
LSU and Texas A&M both won this past Saturday, yet both schools fell one spot in this week's AP poll.
LSU won 20-13 against rival Arkansas, following a 41-35 win against Ole Miss. Sure, the Tigers haven't blown out their last two opponents, but Ole Miss and Arkansas almost always play LSU close no matter what the records suggest. Heck, an unranked Arkansas team beat LSU in 2007 right before the Tigers won the national championship.
But for the sake of giving the writers the benefit of the doubt, putting Stanford ahead of LSU after it beat Oregon and UCLA is understandable. However, putting it ahead of Texas A&M isn't.
The Aggies just might be the most dangerous team in the country right now. Johnny Manziel is playing lights out, and the Aggies have beaten Alabama (29-24), Sam Houston State (47-28) and Missouri (59-29) in their past three games. Jumping the Aggies after five straight wins? Don't think so.
So because Stanford jumped LSU and Texas A&M, the Cardinal are undoubtedly a winner in this week's poll.
Stanford now is the No. 8 team in the country, and if we're going off of the AP poll alone, Stanford is considered to be the best two-loss team in the country.
Now, if Stanford wins the Pac-12 championship Saturday and wins against the Big Ten champion in the 2013 Rose Bowl, it could finish in the Top Five.
Not bad for a team that just lost Andrew Luck, right?
Wait, this isn't fair.
How did UCLA drop two spots in the poll when Oregon State didn't drop at all? In fact, UCLA went from being ahead of the Beavers at No. 15 to falling behind them at No. 17, despite UCLA being 9-3 and Oregon State being 8-3.
Oregon State, on the other hand, stayed at No. 16 despite losing to Oregon, 48-24. Wasn't Oregon State supposed to keep that close? Heck, isn't that a rivalry game?
The Bruins did lose to Stanford, 35-17, but this team is being represented in the Pac-12 Championship, not Oregon State. The math on this thing just doesn't add up.
Winner: Florida State
Not a bad drop, Florida State.
Despite losing at home against a Florida team, which many believed the Seminoles would beat, Florida State dropped from No. 10 to No. 13 in the polls.
That places the Seminoles in front of two-loss Nebraska and two-loss Clemson. Obviously, Florida State fans are going to be disappointed with falling to Florida, but the Seminoles can still easily finish in the Top 10.
With a win against Georgia Tech in the ACC Championship Game and an Orange Bowl victory, this season is far from over for Jimbo Fisher and EJ Manuel.
Loser: Big East
The Big East has to be up in arms this morning.
The Big East is nowhere to be found in the AP Top 25, and that's not on the voters at all. The blame lies strictly on teams such as Louisville and Rutgers, which dropped games to Connecticut and Pittsburgh, respectively.
Louisville was gaining popularity in the polls until it lost to Syracuse two weeks ago. Now, with the loss to Connecticut, it's apparent that the Big East has no teams that can give Florida State a game in the Orange Bowl (assuming Florida State beats Georgia Tech).
At least basketball season has started, right?
Here again? This is getting old.
Michigan never seems to drop from the polls. The Wolverines have four losses this season in a weak Big Ten, yet they are ranked at No. 21.
In fact, Michigan dropped only one spot after losing to Ohio State. Really, guys?
It's like fighting a useless battle. The writers will continue to vote for Michigan in the Top 25 no matter what. With them continuing to do so, they're leaving out teams worthy of recognition...
Loser: Penn State
Penn State deserves a Top 25 ranking above Michigan and Oklahoma State.
The Nittany Lions have won their last two games and sport an 8-4 record (same as Michigan and one more win than Oklahoma State). Yet they don't receive any love from the voters.
Well, Penn State should have. This is a team full of high-character men who won eight games despite dealing with all of the distractions. Enough can't be said about this group of football players, and they were worthy of a Top 25 ranking.
It's a shame the writers didn't award this team with such an honor.