1. TCU Horned Frogs (10-0)
Last Game: defeated Utah, 47-7
Ten games, 10 wins. Great defense, great quarterback, great running back. If the Frogs win out, there really isn’t any reason why they shouldn’t be in the National Championship game.
Next Week: vs. (22) San Diego State
2. Auburn Tigers (10-0)
Last Game: defeated Tennessee-Chattanooga, 62-24
Cam Newton handled the practice game over Chattanooga pretty easily. Now it’s time for a tough opponent in Georgia. If they overlook the Bulldogs on their way to the Iron Bowl, their National Championship hopes could go up in smoke before they get to Tuscaloosa.
Next Week: vs. Georgia
3. Oregon Ducks (9-0)
Last Game: defeated Washington, 53-16
Another great offensive performance, which is just what I like to see: good teams that can rack up some points. Now, let’s see if Darron Thomas and LaMichael James do a good job next week and not overlook the Cal Bears.
Next Week: at California
4. Boise State Broncos (8-0)
Last Game: defeated Hawaii, 42-7
Kellen Moore wins the battle of the great WAC quarterbacks between himself and Bryant Moniz. This is a huge statement because not only did they win but they only gave up seven points to a team led by a quarterback who is one of the nation‘s best. The Broncos are still on upset alert for the remainder of the season.
Next Week: at Idaho (Friday night)
5. Michigan State Spartans (9-1)
Last Game: defeated Minnesota, 31-8 Sparty does a nice job at bouncing right back after getting crushed by Iowa by beating the Gophers. Kirk Cousins continues to play well and the Spartans have a great chance at ending the regular season at 11-1.
Next Week: BYE
6. Ohio State Buckeyes (8-1)
Last Week: BYE
Joe Paterno ended his 400th win speech by saying “let’s go beat Ohio State.” If Buckeyes’ players and fans heard this, it should fire them up a bit for this Saturday’s game. The Buckeyes are looking pretty strong after outscoring their last two opponents by a combined 101-10. They also should be well rested after a bye week.
Next Week: vs. Penn State
7. Utah Utes (8-1)
Last Game: lost to TCU, 47-7
The Utes National Championship went up in smoke on Saturday as they get plastered by TCU by 40 points. Utah fans might not want to read the rest of this but it’s true: the Utes basically have a fraud team. They can beat all the mediocre teams but it seems like once they play a good opponent, they roll over and die.
Next Week: at Notre Dame
8. Nevada Wolf Pack (8-1)
Last Game: defeated Idaho, 63-17
Another great offensive show put on by the Wolf Pack. Colin Kaepernick continues to play great and it should continue over the next couple of weeks against Fresno State and New Mexico State before their big showdown against Boise State the day after Thanksgiving.
Next Week: at Fresno State
9. Stanford Cardinal (8-1)
Last Game: defeated Arizona, 42-17
The Cardinal continue to play great ever since getting thumped by the Ducks last month. Any time a Pac-10 team is 8-1 heading into their 10th game is pretty remarkable considering none of the teams are worth sleeping on (well, maybe Washington and Washington State).
Next Game: at Arizona State
10. Nebraska Cornhuskers (8-1)
Last Game: defeated Iowa State, 31-30 in overtime
Probably one of the most confusing wins I’ve ever seen by Nebraska. Sure, they won, but they really should’ve beaten Iowa State by a lot more than that. If there was ever a confidence-shrinking win, this was it. Let’s be honest: If Iowa State would’ve converted on that fake attempt, the Huskers would be 7-2.
Next Game: vs. Kansas
11. Oklahoma State Cowboys (8-1)
Last Game: defeated Baylor, 55-28
I honestly can’t remember a team that had three players from the three main offensive skill positions that were from the same team that are as good as Brandon Weeden, Justin Blackmon and Kendall Hunter. Not as good as a college football version of LeBron, D-Wade and Bosh but pretty close.
Next Game: at Texas
12. Wisconsin Badgers (8-1)
Last Game: defeated Purdue, 34-13
With three winnable games left, the Badgers are looking to finish the regular season at 11-1, win the Big Ten Championship, and possibly play in the Rose Bowl. The win over the Buckeyes helped their chances of getting there, but the loss to Michigan State dropped the chances a little. With the Spartans getting a bye this week, there could be a four-way tie for the Big Ten Championship heading into next weekend.
Next Game: vs. Indiana
13. LSU Tigers (8-1)
Last Game: defeated Alabama, 24-21
The Tigers put themselves in a small position to still be in the SEC West Championship race. But Auburn only needs to win one more game and they have the division wrapped up. If Auburn happens to fall to both Georgia and Alabama and if LSU can win the remainder of their games, LSU gets the trip to Atlanta.
Next Game: vs. Louisiana-Monroe
14. Temple Owls (8-2)
Last Game: defeated Kent State, 28-10
The Owls are making a little bit of noise, outscoring their opponents 100-10 in their last three games. Coming from the MAC conference, they might not seem very strong, but this team is capable of pulling an upset in a bowl game against whoever they play and should be in the top 25 in any poll.
15. Alabama Crimson Tide (7-2)
Last Game: lost to LSU, 24-21
The loss to LSU pretty much ended their chances at repeating as National Champions and even SEC Champions. The Tide still have a shot at a decent bowl game if they can finish at 10-2 or maybe 9-3 (assuming they lose to Auburn).
Next Game: vs. Mississippi State
16. Iowa Hawkeyes (7-2)
Last Game: defeated Indiana, 18-13
The win over the Hoosiers puts the Hawkeyes in place for a Big Ten Championship. But in my opinion, they do look like the weakest link out of the four top teams. The fact that the Hawkeyes only beat Indiana by five points leaves a few questions but if they can win out and possible beat Ohio State, the Big Ten Championship could be theirs as well as a trip to the Rose Bowl.
Next Game: at Northwestern
17. Virginia Tech Hokies (7-2)
Last Game: defeated Georgia Tech, 28-21
With the win over the Yellow Jackets, the Hokies are in a great position to win another ACC Atlantic Division Championship and get another trip to Jacksonville. Not let’s just hope they don’t stumble against North Carolina or they could be walking on eggshells against Miami in a couple weeks.
Next Game: at North Carolina
18. Central Florida Knights (7-2)
Remaining games against Southern Miss, Tulane and Memphis until the Knights will be crowned the true beasts of the East in Conference USA. Southern Miss looks to be the toughest opponent, so if they can beat the Eagles, then they will mostly become the true beasts of the East in the conference.
Next Game: vs. Southern Miss
19. Missouri Tigers (7-2)
Last Game: lost to Texas Tech, 24-17
The loss to the Red Raiders ended their hopes of a National Championship appearance and a Big 12 North Championship. With the Big 12 Championship looking to be Nebraska vs. Oklahoma State, the Tigers are just playing for a nice bowl game.
Next Game: vs. Kansas State
20. Arkansas Razorbacks (7-2)
Last Game: defeated South Carolina, 41-20
The Hogs’ offense rolled over the Gamecocks in their 41-20 win in Columbia. With a trip to Atlanta pretty much out of reach, the Razorbacks are also one of those hand full of teams that are just looking to play for a decent bowl game.
Next Game: vs. UTEP
21. Arizona Wildcats (7-2)
Last Game: lost to Stanford, 42-17
After getting plastered against the Cardinal, so did their chances of getting a Pac-10 Championship, a National Championship appearance, and possibly a Rose Bowl berth. Now it’s time to focus on the USC Trojans and hope the Wildcats finish with double-digit wins and get a decent bowl game.
22. San Diego State Aztecs (7-2)
Last Game: defeated Colorado State, 24-19
With all the talk about TCU and Utah being the top dogs of the Mountain West, the Aztecs are out to make some noise. Most aren’t aware that if they win out and finish 10-2, they will be crowned Mountain West Champions. It will be tough considering their next game is against the Horned Frogs in Ft. Worth.
Next Game: at TCU
23. Oklahoma Sooners (7-2)
Last Game: lost to Texas A&M, 33-19
The Sooners of a National Championship have been crushed as they lose another tough road game against Texas A&M. However there is still chance to take the South if they win out and if the Aggies lose one more game. If this happens, another Big 12 Championship could once again be coming to Norman.
Next Game: vs. Texas Tech
24. Northern Illinois Huskies (7-2)
Last Week: BYE
The Huskies chances of winning the MAC West rely on their upcoming game against Toledo. Both the Rockets and Huskies remain undefeated in MAC play so the winner of tomorrow’s game will most likely get a trip to Detroit in December.
Next Game: vs. Toledo
25. Mississippi State Bulldogs (7-2)
Last Week: BYE
The quest for a decent bowl continues but the Bulldogs will come to a rocky road when they go to Tuscaloosa this weekend. With the Crimson Tide angry after a loss, this will be no easy task.
Next Game: at Alabama
Individual Player Rankings:
1. Brandon Weeden (Oklahoma State)
2. Bryant Moniz (Hawaii)
3. Dominique Davis (East Carolina)
4. Landry Jones (Oklahoma)
5. Robert Griffin III (Baylor)
6. Kyle Padron (SMU)
7. Ryan Mallett (Arkansas)
8. Mike Hartline (Kentucky)
9. Ben Chappell (Indiana)
10. Ryan Radcliff (Central Michigan)
1. LaMichael James (Oregon)
2. Kendall Hunter (Oklahoma State)
3. Daniel Thomas (Kansas State)
4. Ronnie Hillman (San Diego State)
5. Bobby Rainey (Western Kentucky)
6. Vai Taua (Nevada)
7. Bilal Powell (Louisville)
8. Chad Spann (Northern Illinois)
9. Ed Wesley (TCU)
10. Montel Harris (Boston College)
1. Justin Blackmon (Oklahoma State)
2. Greg Salas (Hawaii)
3. Ryan Broyles (Oklahoma)
4. Kealoha Pilares (Hawaii)
5. Jordan White (Western Michigan)
6. Aldrick Robinson (SMU)
7. Alshon Jeffery (South Carolina)
8. Jeff Fuller (Texas A&M)
9. Marquess Wilson (Washington State)
10. Cody Wilson (Central Michigan)
1. Da’Quan Bowers (Clemson)
2. Brandon Jenkins (Florida State)
3. Josh McNary (Army)
4. Vinny Curry (Marshall)
5. Jonathan Massaquoi (Troy)
6. Justin Houston (Georgia)
7. Logan Harrell (Fresno State)
8. Mana Silva (Hawaii)
9. Chase Minnifield (Virginia)
10. Domonic Cook (Buffalo)
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