Ranking the Top 25: Week 13


1. Oregon (11-0)Last Week:

2. Auburn (12-0)Last Week: Thought: Auburn’s season flashed before their eyes, but they pulled off a miraculous comeback. Drawing South Carolina in the SEC title game should equal a clear path to the national championship game. Is Cam Newton’s back tired of carrying this team. Their defense was awful in the first half.

3. TCU (12-0)Last Week: Thought: If the top two teams win this weekend, TCU will be headed to the Rose Bowl. Their defense may be the only one in the country that could stop Oregon, but they won’t get a shot. Going to the Big East puts them in a weak AQ conference that should allow them to reach more BCS bowls.

4. Stanford (11-1)Last Week: Thought: The Cardinal are the best one-loss team in America. They definitely deserve a BCS bid despite weak attendance. Andrew Luck is the real deal and Jim Harbaugh may just be the best coach in the country. Their defense has quietly come together and improved each week.

5. Wisconsin (11-1)Last Week: Thought: Despite low scoring affairs early on, the Badgers have delivered knockout blows to teams by amassing an absurd amount of points. They are clicking on all cylinders and will earn the Big 10’s automatic bid based on BCS standing, as unfair as it seems.

6. Michigan State (11-1)Last Week: Thought: As a reward for beating Wisconsin and claiming a share of the Big 10 title, Sparty won’t be going to a BCS bowl. They might be the most unheralded Big 10 co-champ in history. The lousy schedule prevented them from playing Ohio State and didn’t allow for a good way to resolve the three-way time.

7. Ohio State (11-1)Last Week: Thought: As Miami tanks, so does the quality of Ohio State’s wins. No doubt the Buckeyes are good, but they aren’t on an elite level. It will be interesting to see if they land a BCS bid with other deserving teams in the mix.

8. Arkansas (10-2)Last Week: Thought: Ryan Mallet threw for 320 yards and 3 touchdowns to lead Arkansas to a mini upset over LSU. Unfortunately, the Razorbacks let the Alabama game slip from their grasp. If not for that,they would certainly be in position for a BCS bid.

9. Boise State (10-1)Last Week: Thought: Kicker Kyle Brotzman missed a chance to seal the deal at Nevada, and the result was disastrous. Boise State won’t go to a BCS bowl and their best chance ever at a national title game appearance went down the drain. Despite going 10-1, they will find themselves in a mediocre bowl due to WAC tie-ins.

10. LSU (10-2)Last Week: Thought: Despite pulling crazy tricks all the time, Les Miles couldn’t get one out of his sleeve fast enough against Arkansas. If the Tigers can keep a stout defense, their offense will be much improved with Jordan Jefferson as a senior. Next year might be their best shot at a national title for a while. Could this be Miles last season at LSU? Michigan may come calling.

11. Nebraska (10-2)Last Week: Thought: The Huskers won the Big XII North in their final season in the conference. Bo Pelini may have anger issues, but he sure can coach up a team.

12. Nevada (11-1)Last Week: Thought: By virtue of their upset victory Friday, Nevada won the WAC. What a season for the Pistol offense in Reno. Congratulations to The Wolfpack for their biggest win in program history. It was the most entertaining game of the year to watch.

13. Virginia Tech (10-2)Last Week: Thought: Frank Beamer is an excellent coach. How else do you explain losing to James Madison and then finding the focus to win 10 straight and run through the ACC. What a turnaround.

14. Missouri (10-2)Last Week: Thought: Gary Pinkel churned out another quality season in Missouri, but things are going to get tougher. With only 10 teams in the conference, Mizzou will see more of Texas and Oklahoma, less of Kansas, and none of Colorado.

15. Oklahoma (10-2)Last Week: Thought: The Sooners went into Stillwater and took care of business to capture the Big XII South. They draw a tough opponent in Nebraska next. If they make a BCS bowl, it will be a far cry from the near upsets they suffered to Utah State and Air Force.

16. Oklahoma State (10-2)Last Week: Thought: Granted the opponent was Oklahoma, but it has to be disappointing for Cowboy fans to be on the precipice of the Big XII South title at home and not be able to close it out.

17. Alabama (9-3)Last Week: Thought: Nick Saban’s facial expressions during his team’s collapse Friday were priceless. The Tide are a perfect example of how hard it is to repeat, especially when trying to rebuilt a defense on the fly.

18. Texas A&M (9-3)Last Week: Thought: If Ryan Tannehill had played quarterback the whole season, the Aggies might be 11-1 right now. They came very close, and the future looks bright with another season of the accurate quarterback as the signal caller.

19. South Carolina (9-3)Last Week: Thought: With Stephen Garcia reportedly injured, the SEC championship could be a slaughter. The Gamecocks offense may have trouble, and that’s saying a lot against a porous Auburn defense. However, Steve Spurrier is a respected coach for a reason. An upset seems unlikely, though.

20. Utah (10-2)Last Week: Thought: Utah has done well against the Pac-10 in bowl games, and it will be interesting to see how their program develops now that it is part of an AQ conference.10-2 is a very quality season, although both losses were by a wide margin.

21. West Virginia (8-3)Last Week: Thought: Finally! The Big East has a ranked team. The Mountaineers demolished rival Pitt and showed they still have some fight left despite two conference losses. The Big East title is possible, but they need some help.

22. Northern Illinois (10-2)Last Week: Thought: Northern Illinois just ran for 544 yards in a 71-3 rout of Eastern Michigan. Regardless of their 10 wins, that stat alone qualifies them to be ranked.

23. Hawaii (9-3)Last Week: Thought: With the exception of the loss to Colorado, Hawaii has put together a nice campaign for 2010. Their two other losses came against USC and Boise, and they slayed WAC-champion Nevada. The Warriors spread offense is hard to defend, as the Trojans know very well.

24. Florida State (9-3)Last Week: Thought: Jimbo Fisher’s first season was a success, and a BCS bid is within reach. By winning the ACC Atlantic Division, the Seminoles earned a date with Virginia Tech in a winner-take-all scenario. It just feels wrong that Bobby Bowden isn’t a part of this, dadgummit.

25. Navy (8-3)Last Week: Thought: Navy rushes for 302 yards per game, and is one of the three service academies that is bowl eligible. Ken Niumatololo continues a resurgence at Navy that included beating Notre Dame again.