Week 12 of the 2013 college football season was a great one, with a number of thrilling results shaking up the order in the latest Associated Press Top 25 Poll.
The Week 13 rankings are going to be critical toward deciding a national champion, as there are just three Saturdays left in the regular season.
Let’s take a look at how the Top 25 looks, compare the results to Bleacher Report’s official poll and recap the top action from this past weekend.
Alabama remained on top and is in prime position to make a third straight championship run. The Crimson Tide didn’t explode offensively, but they held the Mississippi State Bulldogs to just 197 yards in the 20-7 victory.
Florida State continues to show why it is the favorite to dethrone the Tide, as the No. 2 Seminoles obliterated Syracuse, 59-3. Quarterback Jameis Winston completed 19 of 21 passes for 277 yards and two touchdowns before sitting out the second half of the contest.
Baylor once again decimated a quality opponent, as the No. 3 Bears took down Texas Tech this past week. The Red Raiders stood no chance against star quarterback Bryce Petty, who scored five times in the 63-34 blowout.
With the win, Baylor managed to leapfrog No. 4 Ohio State, which sets up an intriguing finish to the season—especially if each of the top four squads remain undefeated.
OSU fell despite continuing an undefeated run that began back at the start of the 2012 campaign. The No. 4 Buckeyes took care of business against Illinois in a 60-35 rout but may need some luck if they are going to be in the national title hunt.
They lost ground after a win and only have Indiana and Michigan prior to the Big Ten title game, which makes their chances of challenging for the national title slim.
Stanford was the big story of the week, as the former-No. 5 Cardinal dropped the ball against USC after picking up a huge win against Oregon last week. The Trojans fought hard to earn a 20-17 win over their Pac-12 rival and destroyed any hope now-No. 10 Stanford had of making a championship appearance.
With the win, the Trojans moved from unranked to No. 23 in the polls.
USC head coach Ed Orgeron explained that a shift in his team’s preparation and attitude was the reason it was able to pull an upset, according to USCTrojans.com.
"We wanted to work hard and prepare with the belief that we would win," he said. "That's what the belief was this week. Not in a cocky way, but these guys believed they would win and that's a good feeling."
Oregon moves into the Top Five again thanks to Stanford’s shortcomings. The No. 5 Ducks flew to a 44-21 win over Utah and are now in position to make a quality BCS bowl game.
No. 6 Auburn made things interesting with a win over former-No. 25 Georgia. It was perhaps the most exciting game of the week and ended in thrilling fashion. The Tigers proved that they are for real ahead of the season-ending Iron Bowl showdown with the Crimson Tide on Nov. 30.
Clemson, Missouri and Texas A&M round out the Top 10 this week, although the Clemson Tigers were the only team to actually play, with the Mizzou Tigers and A&M Aggies on a bye.
Which team has the best chance at dethroning Alabama?
Other notable results this week were No. 11 Oklahoma State’s win over Texas and Duke’s nail in Miami’s coffin.
The Longhorns went from No. 23 to unranked after their loss to the Pokes in that critical Big 12 battle. The former-No. 24 Hurricanes finally dropped from the rankings after their embarrassing loss to the No. 25 Blue Devils.
Ole Miss is the only other team to move into the Top 25 this week, as the Rebels dispatched the Troy Trojans in convincing fashion.
With these latest rankings in hand, it is time to officially start getting excited for Week 13 of the college football season. It promises to be an epic one and is likely to once again shake up the polls significantly.