College Football Rankings Week 12: Bleacher Report's Top 25

Tyler Piccotti@@SYRTylerPContributor IIINovember 10, 2013

College Football Rankings Week 12: Bleacher Report's Top 25

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    John David Mercer-USA TODAY Spor

    Week 11 of the college football season started with a bang Thursday night, as Baylor and Stanford won key conference games to shake up the national pecking order.

    The Saturday slate proved to be just as entertaining, as LSU and Alabama renewed their fervent rivalry.

    How did these games shake up the Bleacher Report Top 25? Well, here's a breakdown of the results.

    Poll voters: Chris Bello, Eric Bowman, Phil Callahan, Andrew Coppens, Bill Eichenberger, Michael Felder, Sean Frye, Sanjay Kirpalani, Hunter Mandel, Max Rausch, David Regimbal, Patrick Runge, Barrett Sallee, Alex Sims and Marc Torrence.

    Each voter submitted an individual Top 25, and every first-place team was given 25 points. The second-place team received 24, and so on. The teams are ranked according to total points.

    *All times are ET

Others Receiving Votes

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    Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

    Georgia: 18

    Ole Miss: 14

    Duke: 8

    Ball State: 7

    Oregon State: 5

    Texas Tech: 3

    Nebraska: 2

    Virginia Tech: 2

    East Carolina: 1

    Louisiana-Lafayette: 1

    Pittsburgh: 1

25. Minnesota Golden Gophers

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    Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Rank: Unranked

    Week 11 Result: Win, 24-10, over Penn State

    Week 12: Bye

    Overall Record: 8-2

    Poll Points: 19

    The Golden Gophers rode their highly potent ground attack to a victory over the Nittany Lions. They churned out 195 yards on the ground.

    In addition, the Minnesota defense successfully shut out Penn State in the second half to carry the squad.

    The Gophers now enter their bye week and these rankings with four straight victories.

24. Texas Longhorns

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    Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Rank: Unranked

    Week 11 Result: Win, 47-40, over West Virginia

    Week 12: vs. Oklahoma State, Saturday, Nov. 16 at 3:30 p.m.

    Overall Record: 7-2

    Poll Points: 49

    It was by no means easy, but the Longhorns escaped Morgantown with an overtime victory. They remain undefeated since the start of Big 12 play and sit atop the conference standings.

    Next week, Texas faces its toughest test in over a month. In order to beat the Cowboys, the Longhorns simply need to execute on offense.

    Saturday's 47-point outburst was a good sign in that regard, and they won't even need that many if the defense can again force multiple turnovers.

23. Miami Hurricanes

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    Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    Previous Rank: No. 15

    Week 11 Result: Loss, 42-24, to Virginia Tech

    Week 12: at Duke, Saturday, Nov. 16, at 3:30 p.m.

    Overall Record: 7-2

    Poll Points: 64

    Wet conditions and an unstoppable Logan Thomas worked to hand the Hurricanes a second loss in as many weeks. Thomas carved through the Miami defense the entire game, finishing with 366 passing yards and a pair of touchdowns.

    As odd as this sounds, the Hurricanes will need to be on their toes next week against Duke. The Blue Devils have won five games in a row and are actually tied with Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech and Miami in the ACC loss column.

    Although the Blue Devils are inconsistent, they can score at will when they are clicking. The Miami defense needs to assert its dominance early, or else Duke can continue its surprising run.

22. Arizona State Sun Devils

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    Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Rank: No. 25

    Week 11 Result: Win, 20-19, over Utah

    Week 12: vs. Oregon State, Saturday, Nov. 16, at 9:30 p.m.

    Overall Record: 7-2

    Poll Points: 67

    Utah already proved itself as an upset specialist by beating Stanford a few weeks ago, and it nearly did the same against the Sun Devils. However, two fourth-quarter touchdowns from Taylor Kelly propelled Arizona State to a nail-biting victory.

    The win allowed the Devils to keep control of the Pac-12 South as the season winds down.

    However, they should be on high alert against Oregon State. Although he was very sloppy against USC, Sean Mannion has put together one of the best seasons for any quarterback in college football. If the Sun Devils can rattle him, they can slow down the Beavers attack and avoid a crucial loss.

21. Oklahoma Sooners

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    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Previous Rank: No. 10

    Week 11 Result: Loss, 41-12, to Baylor

    Week 12: vs. Iowa State, Saturday, Nov. 16, at 12 p.m.

    Overall Record: 7-2

    Poll Points: 99

    Oklahoma entered its game against the Bears with momentum, but the offense sputtered in the subsequent rout. Blake Bell had his worst game since a loss to Texas, tossing two interceptions and only one touchdown.

    The good news for the Sooners is a showdown with Iowa State, which currently resides in the Big 12 basement. The Cyclones have one of the worst defenses in college football and allow 37.8 points per game.

    Bell and even Brennan Clay should have a field day in this one.

20. Wisconsin Badgers

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    Mike McGinnis/Getty Images

    Previous Rank: No. 21

    Week 11 Result: Win, 27-17, over BYU

    Week 12: vs. Indiana, Saturday, Nov. 16, at 12 p.m.

    Overall Record: 7-2

    Poll Points: 108

    The Badgers went to their bread-and-butter ground attack to hold off the invading Cougars. They rushed for 229 yards, 147 of which came from James White.

    More importantly, Wisconsin has won four games in a row and could run the table with a relatively easy conclusion to its schedule.

    The next foe is Indiana, a team that gives up plenty of points. The Hoosiers need to contain White and the other Badgers backs to have any chance at an upset. Otherwise, Wisconsin will run away with a fifth straight victory.

19. Northern Illinois Huskies

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    Jim Rogash/Getty Images

    Previous Rank: No. 20

    Week 11 Result: Bye

    Week 12: vs. Ball State, Wednesday, Nov. 13, at 8 p.m.

    Overall Record: 9-0

    Poll Points: 109

    A bye week gave the Huskies a few extra days to prepare for a crucial game against Ball State. The winner will have the inside track to an appearance in the MAC title game.

    More importantly, the Huskies need a victory to preserve any hopes of a BCS return.

    On paper, this game has all the makings of an offensive shootout. Quarterbacks Keith Wenning and Jordan Lynch should both put up big numbers in what will be an extremely entertaining contest.

18. Louisville Cardinals

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    Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

    Previous Rank: No. 19

    Week 11 Result: Win, 31-10, over Connecticut

    Week 12: vs. Houston, Saturday, Nov. 16, at 7 p.m.

    Overall Record: 8-1

    Poll Points: 112

    Louisville easily handled the Huskies like most expected, but Teddy Bridgewater had a quiet game. The junior only completed roughly half of his passes but still managed to throw for 288 yards against an inept Connecticut squad.

    The Cardinals can now prepare for American Conference heavyweight Houston. The Cougars like to throw the ball, so expect a heavy dose of quarterback John O'Korn.

    If the Cardinals can withstand this aerial attack, they should have enough firepower to emerge victorious.

17. UCF Knights

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    Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Rank: No. 22

    Week 11 Result: Win, 19-14, over Houston

    Week 12: at Temple, Saturday, Nov. 16, at 12 p.m.

    Overall Record: 7-1

    Poll Points: 116

    The Knights avoided potential BCS disaster by barely holding off the Cougars at home. William Stanback's two rushing scampers proved to be the difference, as the two teams were nearly even in terms of offensive production.

    However, this week's game against Temple should be nothing short of a blowout. The Owls have one of the worst offenses in the country, and the Knights should be able to capitalize with a couple of takeaways.

    Even after an extra week to prepare, Temple will be no match for one of the nation's surprise teams.

16. Fresno State Bulldogs

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    Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Rank: No. 16

    Week 11 Result: Win, 48-10, over Wyoming

    Week 12: Bye

    Overall Record: 9-0

    Poll Points: 122

    The Bulldogs fell behind early against the Cowboys, but they rallied for a convincing victory. Derek Carr continued his magical season, throwing for 360 yards and four touchdowns.

    Fresno State appears to be in the best position of all non-BCS schools to earn an at-large bid.

    The Bulldogs have a bye this week before two very winnable games against New Mexico and San Jose State to conclude their 2013 campaign.

15. LSU Tigers

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Previous Rank: No. 12

    Week 11 Result: Loss, 38-17, to Alabama

    Week 12: Bye

    Overall Record: 7-3

    Poll Points: 131

    A fumble at the goal line by J.C. Copeland was just the first of a number of LSU mistakes that led to a crushing loss to rival Alabama.

    Despite a gutsy performance from Zach Mettenberger, the Tigers managed only 284 total yards.

    They now have an extra week to recover before another tough contest against Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M. Close losses against Ole Miss and Georgia will be the two biggest nails in the championship coffin.

14. Michigan State Spartans

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    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    Previous Rank: No. 17

    Week 11 Result: Bye

    Week 12: at Nebraska, Saturday, Nov. 16, at 3:30 p.m.

    Overall Record: 8-1

    Poll Points: 135

    The Spartans offense may not be among the college football elite, but the defense has been outstanding since a 17-13 loss to Notre Dame back in September. Michigan State has only allowed 51 points in five games since that point.

    However, a showdown with Nebraska will likely put an end to that dominant streak. The Cornhuskers' Ameer Abdullah has rushed for more than 100 yards in six straight games entering Week 11.

    If he and the rest of the Huskers offense can control the tempo and put enough points on the board, they can grind out a victory.

13. UCLA Bruins

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    Previous Rank: No. 18

    Week 11 Result: Win, 31-26, over Arizona

    Week 12: vs. Washington, Friday, Nov. 15, at 9 p.m.

    Overall Record: 7-2

    Poll Points: 162

    The Bruins jumped out to a decent lead but barely held on for a key conference victory over the Wildcats. Myles Jack provided the deciding score with a 66-yard touchdown run late in the game.

    UCLA can control its own destiny in the Pac-12 South, but first it needs to beat Washington next week. If the Bruins can contain the duo of Keith Price and Bishop Sankey, they will do exactly that.

    Of course, that's not as easy as it sounds, as the Huskies have exploded on offense of late.

12. South Carolina Gamecocks

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    Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Rank: No. 14

    Week 11 Result: Bye

    Week 12: vs. Florida, Saturday Nov. 16, time TBD

    Overall Record: 7-2

    Poll Points: 205

    South Carolina is one of the best teams that no one seems to be talking about. Although the loss to Tennessee was a devastating blow, the Gamecocks rebounded with a huge double-overtime victory over Missouri and a thrashing of Mississippi State in back-to-back games.

    Another dominant performance should be in the works this week as the sputtering Florida Gators come to town. All the Gamecocks need to do is win the battle up front and force Tyler Murphy to be the hero.

    The Gators simply do not have enough offensive weapons to beat South Carolina on their own.

11. Oklahoma State Cowboys

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    Richard Rowe-USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Rank: No. 13

    Week 11 Result: Win, 42-6, over Kansas

    Week 12: at Texas, Saturday, Nov. 16, at 3:30 p.m.

    Overall Record: 8-1

    Poll Points: 213

    While Kansas may be a doormat in the Big 12, the Cowboys played well in their Week 11 victory. Quarterback Clint Chelf led the way with 265 yards and three scores. Justin Gilbert came through for the Cowboys special teams with a 100-yard kickoff return as well.

    The huge victory will be a big confidence boost before next week's tilt with Big 12 leader Texas. Neither offense is particularly explosive, which means the game will come down to the two quarterbacks.

    If Chelf can get into a rhythm, the Cowboys will keep their conference hopes intact.

10. Texas A&M Aggies

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    Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Rank: No. 11

    Week 11 Result: Win, 51-41, over Mississippi State

    Week 12: Bye

    Overall Record: 8-2

    Poll Points: 219

    Another week, another offensive explosion for Johnny Manziel. The reigning Heisman winner put up nearly 500 yards of total offense and five touchdowns to carry the Aggies past the Bulldogs. He already has more passing touchdowns than he did last season, and he is well on his way to surpassing his 2012 yardage total.

    While Manziel is rolling, the Aggies will end the regular season with two roadblocks against ranked SEC opponents following their bye. The first game is on the road against LSU.

    After a shaky first performance against the Tigers last season, Manziel will have extra motivation to come out strong and leave Death Valley with a victory.

9. Missouri Tigers

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    Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Rank: No. 9

    Week 11 Result: Win, 48-17, over Kentucky

    Week 12: Bye

    Overall Record: 9-1

    Poll Points: 267

    Not surprisingly, the Tigers made quick work of Kentucky.

    Dorial Green-Beckham was on the receiving end of four Maty Mauk touchdowns, and the entire team showed immense discipline by only committing two penalties.

    Missouri is still in control of its SEC destiny heading into a bye this week. Victories over Ole Miss and Texas A&M are the only things standing in the way of a trip to Atlanta.

8. Auburn Tigers

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    Previous Rank: No. 8

    Week 11 Result: Win, 55-23, over Tennessee

    Week 12: vs. Georgia, Saturday, Nov. 16, time TBD

    Overall Record: 9-1

    Poll Points: 269

    The Tigers were sluggish to start, but they used a 28-point second quarter to surge past the Volunteers. They churned out an astonishing 444 yards on the ground, 214 of which came courtesy of quarterback Nick Marshall.

    Before Auburn faces Alabama in the season finale with a trip to the SEC title game potentially on the line, it must first vanquish Georgia. The Bulldogs defense is one of the worst in the SEC, which means the Tigers should score plenty of points.

    If they can pressure Aaron Murray into a few mistakes, they should continue their resurgence.

7. Clemson Tigers

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    Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Rank: No. 7

    Week 11 Result: Bye

    Week 12: vs. Georgia Tech, Thursday, Nov. 14, at 7:30 p.m.

    Overall Record: 8-1

    Poll Points: 274

    Clemson remains in the BCS hunt as it enters the final push of the 2013 season. The bye week provided some much-needed rest for the Tigers before they play two very important games against Georgia Tech and South Carolina.

    In theory, the Tigers should easily take care of business against Georgia Tech. However, Paul Johnson's bunch will very much stay in the hunt for the ACC Coastal title with a surprising victory.

    If Clemson can counter the option and force Vad Lee to throw the football, though, the Tigers will cruise.

6. Oregon Ducks

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    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    Previous Rank: No. 3

    Week 11 Result: Loss, 26-20, to Stanford

    Week 12: vs. Utah, Saturday, Nov. 16, at 4 p.m.

    Overall Record: 8-1

    Poll Points: 287

    For the second consecutive season, the Ducks ran into a wall against Stanford and saw their national championship hopes dashed. Oregon only possessed the ball for 17:26 as it struggled to stop Tyler Gaffney and the Cardinal ground attack.

    Luckily, the Ducks defense can bounce back against the Utes, who boast a rushing average that ranks No. 67 in the country.

    Expect an angry Oregon front seven to contain Bubba Poole and the rest of the Utah backfield.

5. Stanford Cardinal

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    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    Previous Rank: No. 6

    Week 11 Result: Win, 26-20, over Oregon

    Week 12: at USC, Saturday, Nov. 16, at 8 p.m.

    Overall Record: 8-1

    Poll Points: 320

    If it hadn't lost to Utah four weeks ago, Stanford would be considered an odds-on favorite to reach the national title game following an emphatic victory over Pac-12 rival Oregon.

    Running back Tyler Gaffney pounded out 157 rushing yards, and the Cardinal defense kept the high-powered Ducks offense off the board through the first three quarters.

    This will be reason for optimism against the Trojans, who rank 66th in the country in scoring. Shayne Skov and the burly Stanford front seven should power the Cardinal past an improved USC squad.

4. Baylor Bears

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    Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Rank: No. 5

    Week 11 Result: Win, 41-12, over Oklahoma

    Week 12: vs. Texas Tech, Saturday, Nov. 16, at 7 p.m.

    Overall Record: 8-0

    Poll Points: 328

    Baylor dominated the Sooners in nearly every aspect, scoring 41 points and holding Oklahoma to 237 yards of total offense. The only bad news to come from the game were injuries to Lache Seastrunk and Glasco Martin.

    Still, the Bears now have to feel confident before facing off against Texas Tech. The Red Raiders allowed five rushing touchdowns and 291 yards on the ground against Kansas State, a disastrous performance for any defense.

    If Seastrunk is healthy enough to play and freshman Shock Linwood can get off to another quick start, the Bears will run away with another victory.

3. Ohio State Buckeyes

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    Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Rank: No. 4

    Week 11 Result: Bye

    Week 12: at Illinois, Saturday, Nov. 16, at 12 p.m.

    Overall Record: 9-0

    Poll Points: 342 (1)

    Oregon's loss is Ohio State's gain, as the Buckeyes are bound to leapfrog the Ducks in the BCS rankings. It's easy to forget that they haven't lost a game since the 2011 season, and an easy final stretch should allow that streak to continue into postseason play.

    The first opponent during that stretch run is Illinois.

    The Fighting Illini have one of the worst rushing attacks in the Big Ten, so expect the Buckeyes defense to stuff the run and force quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase to make plays.

2. Florida State Seminoles

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    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Previous Rank: No. 2

    Week 11 Result: Win, 59-3, over Wake Forest

    Week 12: vs. Syracuse, Saturday, Nov. 16, at 3:30 p.m.

    Overall Record: 9-0

    Poll Points: 360 (2)

    The Seminoles continued their rampage toward the BCS title game with a demolition of the Demon Deacons. The real story was the defense, which forced six interceptions and a total of seven turnovers.

    That dominance should continue against Syracuse. The Orange are one of the most inconsistent squads in the country, capable of shutting down an opponent one weekend and then losing 56-0 the next (as it did against Georgia Tech in October).

    If the Seminoles can nullify the Syracuse backfield, quarterback Terrel Hunt will hand them a few interceptions and an easy victory.

1. Alabama Crimson Tide

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    Previous Rank: No. 1

    Week 11 Result: Win, 38-17, over LSU

    Week 12: at Mississippi State, Saturday, Nov. 16, time TBD

    Overall Record: 9-0

    Poll Points: 371 (12)

    Those concerns about how well the Tide would handle the athletic LSU front seven? Completely unwarranted. T.J. Yeldon was unstoppable, gashing the Tigers for big gain after big gain.

    That opened things up for AJ McCarron, and Alabama rolled as the game wore on.

    Nick Saban and Co. now have to look toward Mississippi State, which gave Texas A&M a run for its money. Granted, the Aggies defense isn't on the same elite level as Alabama's. The Bulldogs are prone to struggle on offense, and the Tide will cruise as long as they can shut down Dak Prescott.