1. TCU Horned Frogs (11-0)
Last Week: defeated San Diego State, 40-35
The Frogs had a lot more trouble against the Aztecs than first thought. I think fans and other writers are giving this team a bad review just because they only won by five points.
But here’s how I see it: they still won the game, they are still undefeated and San Diego State has a pretty good team (7-3 record, star running back in Ronnie Hillman). I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: if they beat New Mexico (which they will), there is no reason why they shouldn’t be in the National Championship Game.
Next Week: BYE
2. Auburn Tigers (11-0)
Last Week: defeated Georgia, 49-31
So Cameron Newton plays after all and plays very well (again). Now it’s just two more tough opponents in Alabama and South Carolina and they are going to Glendale in January. However I would not be surprised if Alabama does win the Iron Bowl.
Next Week: BYE
3. Oregon Ducks (10-0)
Last Week: defeated California, 15-13
Not the best performance of all time against California, but their defense stepped up and made the stops when they needed to and the Ducks won again. Now they get to go fishing this weekend and then start preparing for the tough Arizona Wildcats the day after Thanksgiving.
Next Week: BYE
4. Boise State Broncos (9-0)
Last Week: defeated Idaho, 52-14
Kellen Moore and his buddies didn’t skip a beat against the Vandals (as expected). Their quest for a spot in the BCS Championship Game continues as they get Fresno State on Friday night. This game could help them a lot because the other three undefeated teams are off this week so that could give the computers and voters a chance to focus more on these Broncos.
Next Week: Fresno State (Friday night)
5. Ohio State Buckeyes (9-1)
Last Week: defeated Penn State, 38-14
A Big Ten Championship and a spot in the Rose Bowl is still in perfect reach for the Buckeyes, but they are going to need three of the undefeated teams to fall soon if they really want to make some noise. The Buckeyes are running out of time, but if they take care of business against Iowa and Michigan, there could be a small chance of a 14th game in Glendale.
Next Week: at (21) Iowa
6. Wisconsin Badgers (9-1)
Last Week: defeated Indiana, 83-20
I’m not sure what to make of this team after their 63-point win over the Indiana Hoosiers. I could say one of two things: A) Wow! 83 points! This team for real!!! Or B) Hmm, 83 points. Most of those were just them running up the scoreboard and wanting to get style points from the voters. Right now it’s a little bit of both and I want to see them play Michigan. That’s going to be a great game to watch.
Next Week: at Michigan
7. Nevada Wolf Pack (9-1)
Last Week: defeated Fresno State, 35-34
Nevada wins their first close game of the year. The last close game they played, they lost to Hawaii. But either way you look at this one, they got it done and move up a spot in my rankings. This team has proven to me that this pistol offense works and they can still put up some points.
Next Week: New Mexico State
8. Stanford Cardinal (9-1)
Last Week: defeated Arizona State, 17-13
The Cardinal needed some defense to pull out a win over Arizona State, something the Cardinal isn’t used to. Regardless, Stanford wins again and remains a one-loss team. Their next game against California could be an interesting one since the Bears only gave up 15 to the high-scoring Oregon offense.
Next Game: at California
9. Nebraska Cornhuskers (9-1)
Last Week: defeated Kansas, 20-3
Arguably their best defensive performance of the entire season in the game against the Jayhawks. Nebraska continues to roll along towards the Big 12 Championship Game. But they shouldn’t overlook the Texas A&M Aggies on the way to Arlington, who just knocked off Oklahoma and Baylor over the past two weeks. With the game in College Station, that just makes it tougher but Nebraska should still be the favorite in this one.
Next Game: at (23) Texas A&M
10. Oklahoma State Cowboys (9-1)
Last Week: defeated Texas, 33-16
Another impressive over a disappointing Texas team. The upcoming game against Kansas should be a blowout win, so if they beat the Jayhawks and if Texas A&M happens to lose against Nebraska, the Bedlam Game should be the Big 12 South Division Championship game. Oh the late-November excitement of college football!!
Next Game: at Kansas
11. LSU Tigers (9-1)
Last Week: defeated Louisiana-Monroe, 51-0
LSU took care of business against a “no-name” squad. Now it’s on to two tougher opponents against in Ole Miss and Arkansas. As the weeks go by, so do the chances of a National Championship game but this team still has high hopes of a decent bowl game.
Next Week: vs. Ole Miss
12. Michigan State Spartans (9-1)
Last Week: BYE
Rest time is over and it’s time for Sparty to get back to work. They get two mediocre teams left in Purdue and Penn State as the insanity of the Big Ten Championship race continues.
Next Week: Purdue
13. Alabama Crimson Tide (8-2)
Last Week: defeated Mississippi State, 30-10
It’s going to be weird to not see the Crimson Tide in the SEC Championship game this year after all the National Championship-repeat and SEC-repeat talk throughout the first part of the season. But the Tide still have high hopes of ending their season on a strong note and what better way to do that than beating Auburn in the Iron Bowl and crushing their National Championship dreams….it could happen.
Next Week: Georgia State
14. Utah Utes (8-2)
Last Week: lost to Notre Dame, 28-3
What a difference a few weeks make. Around Halloween time, we were talking about how Utah could end up in the National Championship Game and two weeks later, nobody even cares about the Utes after they get crushed by both TCU and Notre Dame by a combined score of 75-10 and it’s not going to get any easier against San Diego State who almost beat TCU.
The only positive talk about Utah are two things: at least BYU had a worse season and at least they still get to go to a bowl game.
Next Week: at San Diego State
15. Arkansas Razorbacks (8-2)
Last Week: defeated UTEP, 58-21
Probably the best offensive performance of the season against UTEP as they rack up a season-high 58 points. Now it’s on to two tough games against Mississippi State and LSU before they find out which bowl game they go to.
Next Week: at Mississippi State
16. Virginia Tech Hokies (8-2)
Last Week: defeated North Carolina, 26-10
After a confusing start to the season, the Hokies have answered it with an eight-game winning streak and have a chance to clinch the Coastal Division with a win over Miami this weekend. What a great turnaround after starting the year with confusion.
Next Week: at Miami (FL)
17. Oklahoma Sooners (8-2)
Last Week: defeated Texas Tech, 45-7
The Sooners’ chance of a Big 12 South Championship remain intact as they still need to beat Baylor and Oklahoma State and hope that Texas A&M falls to Nebraska. Two things lead me to believe that they will beat Baylor: they’ve never lost to them and the Bears don’t have much of a defense to control Landry Jones and Ryan Broyles.
Next Week: at Baylor
18. Northern Illinois Huskies (8-2)
Last Week: defeated Toledo, 65-30
The Huskies took care of business against Toledo with a lot of offense. They are now one win away (or one Toledo loss away) from taking the MAC West Championship and getting a spot in the MAC Championship game in the Motor City.
Next Week: at Ball State
19. Missouri Tigers (8-2)
Last Week: defeated Kansas State, 38-28
The only chance of Missouri playing in the Big 12 Championship is if they win out and if Nebraska loses to both Texas A&M and Colorado. This is likely to not happen, but Missouri still has had a decent year despite the losses to Nebraska and Texas Tech.
They will likely enter their bowl game as a 10-2 team.
Next Week: at Iowa State
20. Temple Owls (8-2)
Last Week: BYE
The Owls have played some great football recently, outscoring opponents by a combined 100-10 in their last three games. A win over Ohio on Tuesday night would help their chances of playing in the MAC Championship game. They also have Miami (OH) next Tuesday who is another team that they are trying to hold off for a MAC East Championship.
This Week: vs. Ohio (Tuesday night)
21. Iowa Hawkeyes (7-3)
Last Week: lost to Northwestern, 21-17
The loss to the Wildcats pretty much ended the Hawkeyes’ hopes of a Big Ten Championship. They still hope to end the regular season with a 9-3 record heading in their bowl game. Going 9-3 will be tough considering they have Ohio State next.
Next Week: vs. (5) Ohio State
22. Florida State Seminoles (7-3)
Last Week: defeated Clemson, 16-13
The Seminoles quest for a spot in the ACC Championship Game continues as they look to shake off Maryland this weekend, a team that hanging on to FSU’s feet as they both climb the ladder that leads to a ACC Atlantic Division Championship.
Next Week: at Maryland
23. Texas A&M Aggies (7-3)
Last Week: defeated Baylor, 42-30
The Aggies are hoping and praying that Oklahoma State falls over a giant banana peel the size of Texas if they want to win a Big 12 South Championship.
The only way this will happen is if A&M happens to beat both Nebraska and Texas and if Oklahoma State loses to both Kansas and Oklahoma. If A&M would’ve won against the Cowboys, they wouldn’t have too much to worry and the Aggies would control their own destiny but right now, it looks like the winner of the Oklahoma/Oklahoma State in Stillwater will be for the Big 12 South if Oklahoma also beats Baylor. Sorry Aggies’ fans but it’s true.
Next Week: vs. (9) Nebraska
24. Central Florida Knights (7-3)
Last Week: lost to Southern Miss, 31-21
The loss to Southern Miss really killed the Knights’ momentum on their road to a Conference USA East Division Championship. Now they have to beat both Tulane and Memphis and hope that Southern Miss losses at least one to either Houston or Tulsa.
Next Week: at Tulane
25. NC State Wolf Pack (7-3)
Last Week: defeated Wake Forest 38-3
A win on Senior Day over Wake Forest feels pretty good as they finish with a decent 5-1 home record. If they beat both North Carolina and Maryland, they will be in pretty good shape for an Atlantic Division Championship since they did beat FSU two weeks ago.
Next Week: at North Carolina
Individual Player Rankings:
1. Brandon Weeden (Oklahoma State): 3,391 passing yards, 27 TDS, 10 INTS
2. Dominique Davis (East Carolina): 3,077 passing yards, 31 TDS, 11 INTS
3. Bryant Moniz (Hawaii): 3,374 passing yards, 25 TDS, 7 INTS
4. Landry Jones (Oklahoma): 3,154 passing yards, 27 TDS, 6 INTS
5. Ryan Mallett (Arkansas): 2,967 passing yards, 24 TDS, 8 INTS
6. Alex Carder (Western Michigan): 2,920 passing yards, 25 TDS, 11 INTS
7. Robert Griffin III (Baylor): 3,071 passing yards, 20 TDS, 6 INTS
8. Ryan Radcliff (Central Michigan): 3,036 passing yards, 17 TDS, 16 INTS
9. Mike Hartline (Kentucky): 2,906 passing yards, 22 TDS, 8 INTS
10. Russell Wilson (NC State): 2,814 passing yards, 22 TDS, 12 INTS
1. LaMichael James (Oregon): 1,422 rushing yards, 17 TDS
2. Kendall Hunter (Oklahoma State): 1,356 rushing yards, 16 TDS
3. Bobby Rainey (Western Kentucky): 1,244 rushing yards, 11 TDS
4. Daniel Thomas (Kansas State): 1,168 rushing yards, 14 TDS
5. Bilal Powell (Louisville): 1.207 rushing yards, 7 TDS
6. Vai Taua (Nevada): 1,130 rushing yards, 14 TDS
7. Jordan Todman (Connecticut): 1,176 rushing yards, 9 TDS
8. Ronnie Hillman (San Diego State): 1,098 rushing yards, 12 TDS
9. Lance Dunbar (North Texas): 1,149 rushing yards, 9 TDS
10. Montel Harris (Boston College): 1,129 rushing yards, 7 TDS
1. Justin Blackmon (Oklahoma State): 1,430 receiving yards, 16 TDS
2. Ryan Broyles (Oklahoma): 1,196 receiving yards, 11 TDS
3. Greg Salas (Hawaii): 1,246 receiving yards, 8 TDS
4. Jordan White (Western Michigan): 1,191 receiving yards, 9 TDS
5. Aldrick Robinson (SMU): 994 receiving yards, 10 TDS
6. Alshon Jeffery (South Carolina): 1,087 receiving yards, 7 TDS
7. Kealoha Pilares (Hawaii): 945 receiving yards, 12 TDS
8. Cody Wilson (Central Michigan): 1,028 receiving yards, 5 TDS
9. Juron Criner (Arizona): 982 receiving yards, 6 TDS
10. Marquess Wilson (Washington State): 968 receiving yards, 5 TDS
1. Da’Quan Bowers (Clemson)
2. Ryan Kerrigan (Purdue)
3. Vinny Curry (Marshall)
4. Justin Houston (Georgia)
5. Brandon Jenkins (Florida State)
6. Josh McNary (Army)
7. Jonathan Massaquoi (Troy)
8. Robert Lester (Alabama)
9. Jayron Hosley (Virginia Tech)
10. Mana Silva (Hawaii)