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College Football: Power Ranking the One-Loss Teams Heading into Week 12

Brian LendinoCorrespondent IINovember 14, 2011

College Football: Power Ranking the One-Loss Teams Heading into Week 12

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    As avid fans of college football, we always find ourselves increasingly critical of the weekly edition of the BCS college football rankings.

    Sometimes they get it right. In most instances, we think otherwise.

    LSU and Oklahoma State are both undefeated and on a collision course for the national championship game. But who's next in line?

    There are currently nine remaining one-loss teams, and they rank as high as three and all the way down to 20 in the latest BCS standings.

    Do the polls have them right, though? I think not.

    Stay tuned to see where I shook things up in my ranking of the remaining one-loss college football teams.

9. No. 20 Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles

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    Who's Their Only Loss? At Marshall, 26-20

    Southern Mississippi has completely flown under the radar by playing second-fiddle to Houston in Conference USA, but the Golden Eagles have now moved to 9-1 and sit atop the conference's East division.

    The Eagles have impressive wins at a 7-3 Virginia and at home against SMU.

    They're a good football team that ranks 23rd in total offense, but playing in Conference USA warrants them bottom spot in this rankings, similarly to how it will hinder Houston in its eventual case for a BCS bowl berth.

     

    Remaining Schedule:

    Nov. 17, at UAB (2-8)

    Nov. 26, vs Memphis (2-8)

    Dec. 3, Conference USA Championship (TBD)

8. No. 10 Boise State Broncos

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    Who's Their Only Loss? vs. TCU, 36-35

    How unfortunate for Boise State to experience heartbreak at the foot of a kicker for the second consecutive season.

    The then-fifth ranked Broncos were upset at home by Texas Christian and now find themselves in second place in the Mountain West behind the Horned Frogs with three conference games remaining.

    It's likely the Broncos win out behind the leadership of Kellen Moore and their high-octane offense. But as we've seen in recent weeks, you never know and that's why they play the game.

    Boise's loss forces me to now put the Broncos behind other power conference one-loss contenders and ultimately hinders their chances of making it to a BCS bowl game. 

     

    Remaining Schedule:

    Nov. 19, at San Diego State (6-3)

    Nov. 26, vs. Wyoming (6-3)

    Dec. 3, vs. New Mexico (1-9)

7. No. 8 Virginia Tech Hokies

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    Who's Their Only Loss? vs. Clemson, 23-3

    Virginia Tech possesses a defense as dominant as any in college football, but where they succeed on defense, they occasionally lack on offense.

    My point: In two games against lowly teams, Duke and East Carolina, the Hokies offense failed to register more than 17 points and squeaked out one-score victories.

    Frank Beamer is one of the best coaches in college football and consistently has his team ready for football games. I'm just not convinced this team can hang with any of the teams ranked ahead of them.

    Oh, and if you don't know who David Wilson is, I suggest you look him up.

     

    Remaining Schedule:

    Nov. 17, vs. North Carolina (6-4)

    Nov. 26, at Virginia (7-3)

    Dec. 3, ACC Championship Game (TBD)

6. No. 9 Stanford Cardinal

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    Who's Their Only Loss? vs. Oregon, 53-30

    Stanford has Andrew Luck. Luck is the best player in college football. You can try and deny it, but I'd just suggest you eat your tongue.

    Oregon exploited the Stanford defense with its speed. It's as simple as that.

    The team dropped all the way to ninth in the latest BCS standings and are the lowest one-loss school from a BCS eligible conference. However, from my rankings, you can see that I still think they are a better team than Virginia Tech despite a 23-point loss to Oregon.

    Unfortunately, their Pac-12 championship hopes are in jeopardy pending a meltdown from the Ducks the remainder of the season. 

     

    Remaining Schedule:

    Nov. 19, vs California (6-4)

    Nov. 26, vs Notre Dame (7-3)

    Dec. 2, Pac-12 Championship Game (TBD)

5. No. 7 Clemson Tigers

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    Who's Their Only Loss? at Georgia Tech, 31-17

    Good teams find ways to win football games and that's exactly what Clemson held true this past weekend against Wake Forest—the Tigers needed a field goal in the final seconds to up-end the Demon Deacons, 31-28.

    Clemson has one of the most explosive offenses in all the land, highlighted by the best freshman in the country—Sammy Watkins

    They have huge wins against both Florida State and Auburn and are on the fast track for a spot in the ACC Championship Game as they lead the ACC Atlantic Division.

     

    Remaining Schedule:

    Nov. 19, at North Carolina State (5-5)

    Nov. 26, at South Carolina (8-2)

    Dec. 3, ACC Championship Game (TBD)

4. No. 6 Arkansas Razorbacks

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    Who's Their Only Loss? at Alabama, 38-14

    Arkansas has some serious playmakers on offense in Joe Adams and Jarius Wright who help anchor down college football's 11th-best passing offense.

    The Razorbacks have reeled off six consecutive wins since being trounced by Alabama on the road in Week 4 and have climbed all the way up to sixth in the BCS standings.

    I love this team and how well Tyler Wilson commands his offense.

    Watch out because they'll be a hot pick to upset top-ranked LSU in the final week of the regular season. They'll need that win for a chance to play in the SEC Championship Game.

     

    Remaining Schedule:

    Nov. 19, vs Mississippi State (5-5)

    Nov. 26, at LSU (10-0)

    Dec. 3, SEC Championship Game (TBD)

3. No. 5 Oklahoma Sooners

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    Who's Their Only Loss? vs. Texas Tech, 41-38

    The Sooners have avenged their lone loss to the Red Raiders by scoring a whopping 99 points in two games since their unfortunate defeat.

    Landry Jones is a quarterback as good as any in college football, and even without leading receiver Ryan Broyles, it doesn't seem like this offense is going to skip a beat.

    The defense is dominant as well, but sometimes they just don't need to be because the offense just simply out-scores the opponent.

     

    Remaining Schedule:

    Nov. 19, at Baylor (6-3)

    Nov. 26, vs. Iowa State (5-4)

    Dec. 3, at Oklahoma State (10-0)

2. No. 3 Alabama Crimson Tide

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    Who's Their Only Loss? vs. LSU, 9-6

    You may be freaking out because there are a lot of people who still think that Alabama is the best team in the entire country. They're not.

    I didn't have a problem with them only dropping one spot after their loss to LSU because it was a hard-fought game that really could have either way, but they came out rather flat in their follow up game versus Mississippi State. That's why I have them at No. 2.

    I often question A.J. McCarron leading this offense, but I forget about those inquiries as soon as Trent Richardson starts running the ball.

    It'll be tough for this team to get back to the national championship game, especially if they don't get a chance to play in the SEC Championship.

     

    Remaining Schedule:

    Nov. 19, vs. Georgia Southern (9-1)

    Nov. 26, at Auburn (6-4)

1. No. 4 Oregon Ducks

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    Who's Their Only Loss? vs. LSU, 40-27

    I'm ready to put Oregon back in the conversation of best team in the country after watching them dismantle Stanford on the road. The Ducks looked fast and the Ducks looked good.

    They're the third highest scoring team and employ the fifth-best rushing offense in college football.

    Darron Thomas is maturing and LaMichael James is healthy.

    They may have lost to LSU in Week 1, but people don't realize that they put up the most points on LSU's defense all season and the Ducks didn't even play that good.

    They've reeled off nine consecutive victories since losing to the Tigers and are in position for a spot in the Pac-12 Championship.

    If you were to ask me, LSU-Oregon is a better national championship rematch than LSU-Alabama.

     

    Remaining Schedule:

    Nov. 19, vs USC (8-2)

    Nov. 26, vs Oregon State (2-8)

    Dec. 3, Pac-12 Championship Game (TBD)

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