College Football Top 25 Week 11: TCU New No. 1, LSU 5, Alabama and Oklahoma Fall
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Tyler Stimson votes in the ESPN-U NCAA College Football Top 25 poll. This is his individual ballot, not a prediction of what the top 25 will be in the AP or Coaches polls.
1. TCU (10-0)
Won @ Utah 47-7
TCU just had one of the most impressive wins I've ever seen. When was the last time someone beat a top five team by 40 points on the road this late in the season?
TCU has won 21 straight regular season games with its only loss in that span coming to Boise State, 17-10, in last year's Fiesta Bowl. For now, they are ahead of Boise State. They have the best defense in the country and a very underrated offense. They made a huge statement with 40-point road win over a top five team. No other undefeated team can point to a single win as impressive.
2. Boise State (8-0)
Destroyed Hawaii 42-7
Right now, the Broncos are playing like the best team in the country. They've only had one close game, and that was against a top 20 team, 2,400 miles away from home.
Boise State has won 22 games in a row—their last loss was to TCU in 2008. Their regular-season winning streak is 33. Boise is in good position to make the title game if Oregon or Auburn fall before the end of the season.
3. Oregon (9-0)
Beat Washington 53-16
This game followed the usual Oregon pattern: lull your opponent to sleep, making them think they have a chance, then unleash a fury of offensive and defensive firepower. The Ducks have the most explosive offense in college football.
Despite my ranking of No. 3, they are in the driver's seat for the national championship race. If they win out, they're in. Oregon is one team that controls its own championship destiny.
4. Auburn (10-0)
Beat Chatanooga 61-24
Auburn is starting to really come together as an offense. Their defense really needs some work. They've been awful in the first three quarters. Their conference, the SEC, has not defeated any non-conference team ranked in the top 25.
Auburn is in control of their championship destiny. Win out, and they will be in. If they beat Alabama, I will have them No. 1. Auburn may have had a "tough" schedule, but it has been extremely favorable.
They got LSU, South Carolina and Clemson at home, and barely came away with victories. They also got Arkansas at home. They get Alabama on the road, but after a bye week.
5. LSU (8-1)
Beat Alabama 24-21
The "Mad Hatter" pulled it off again. A trick play on 4th-and-1 led to the decisive touchdown for LSU. LSU needs a lot of help to win the SEC West. They'd need Georgia and Alabama to beat Auburn. They've pulled out several miraculous victories out of the jaws of defeat. They have one of the best defenses in college football.
6. Stanford (8-1)
Beat Arizona 42-17
Their only loss is to Oregon. And they just dominated a Washington team that has beaten Oregon State and USC.
7. Wisconsin (8-1)
Won at Purdue 34-13
Wisconsin's only loss is to Michigan State. The Badgers have more signature victories than anyone else with one loss. They are a legitimate sleeper threat to make the BCS title game.
But it would probably take five of the six teams ahead of them losing. And with TCU-Utah and Auburn-Alabama coming up, they might need just three more upsets to slide into the title game.
8. Ohio State (8-1)
Won at Minnesota 52-10 last week
The Buckeyes have been dominant in every game except their loss to Wisconsin. But then again they really haven't faced any quality teams except Wisconsin up to this point.
But with a final three games of Penn State, Iowa and Michigan, Ohio State's schedule gets a lot tougher. If they survive unscathed, they have an excellent chance to go to a BCS bowl yet again.
9. Utah (8-1)
Lost to TCU 47-7
The Utes were totally and utterly obliterated by TCU. It's as simple as that. TCU is playing like the best team in the country. The Utes had an awful, awful game. But the credit should go to TCU.
10. Nebraska (8-1)
Survived against a scrappy Iowa State team 31-30
Nebraska has to be kicking themselves for losing to Texas. If they survive that game, they are probably No. 3 in the BCS standings right now with an excellent chance of making the BCS title game. They are ranked behind a Utah team that just got shellacked because Utah beat Iowa State 68-14.
11. Oklahoma State (8-1)
Beat Baylor 55-28
They might have the best offense in the country. Their only loss is at Nebraska. Their defense is certainly a work in progress though.
12. Alabama (7-2)
Lost @ LSU 24-21
The schedule got to Alabama. Having to face six straight SEC opponents, all of them coming off of byes, is too much for this Crimson Tide team to handle. The expected offensive progress with nine returning starters has not been there this year, and their defense has struggled (relatively).
13. Iowa (7-2)
Survived @ Indiana 18-13
Iowa has two very close losses to two top 16 teams. They still Ohio State at home and are very alive in the Big Ten title race.
14. Arkansas (7-2)
Won @ South Carolina 41-20
Arkansas' only losses are very competitive games to Auburn and Alabama. Ryan Mallett is having more than an impressive season. He is playing like the second best QB in the SEC behind Cam Newton.
15. Michigan State (8-1)
Beat Minnesota 31-8
They are still in the thick of things for the Big 10 title race.
16. Virginia Tech (7-2)
Survived against Georgia Tech 28-21
I know they lost to an FCS team, but that was a week after a heartbreaking loss to Boise State. And James Madison would have beaten a lot of top 25 teams that week. Since then, they've won seven in a row. They are the runaway favorites to win the ACC.
17. Nevada (8-1)
Beat Idaho 63-17
This is a great team with one close road loss in a turnover-filled game at Hawaii.
18. Arizona (7-2)
Lost 42-17 @ Stanford
Stanford clearly established itself as the second best team in the Pac-10, but Arizona still has an oppurtunity to throw a wrench into everything if they can upset Oregon in three weeks.
19. Missouri (7-2)
Lost to Texas Tech 24-17
After beating Oklahoma, Missouri has lost two in a row.
20. Oklahoma (7-2)
Lost @ Texas A&M 33-19
Oklahoma was one of a myriad of top 25 teams to lose in upsets this week.
21. San Diego State (7-2)
Beat Colorado State 24-19
San Diego State's only losses are at Missouri and BYU by six points combined. Both games were lost due to some questionable calls. This is a legit, top 25 caliber team. It gave Missouri a much tougher game than Oklahoma did.
22. Mississippi State (7-2)
Had a bye
Mississippi State has won six games in a row, including victories over Georgia, Houston, Florida and Kentucky. Now they play at Alabama with a week of rest. We will learn a lot about Alabama and Mississippi State this next week.
23. South Carolina (6-3)
Lost to Arkansas 41-20
Does anyone want to win the SEC East? It looks like it will come down to Florida versus South Carolina.
24. Penn State (6-3)
Beat Northwestern 35-21
Penn State's turnaround has been impressive. They scored 35 straight points to come back and win this game, giving Joe Paterno his historic 400th win. There are a lot of teams that could be in this spot.
But Penn State has won three in a row and is looking like a different team then the one who was 3-3 three weeks ago.
25. Texas A&M (6-3)
Beat Oklahoma 33-19
Their three losses are at Oklahoma State by three, Arkansas at home by seven and in one blowout home loss to Missouri 30-9.
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