The Top Fan's Top 25 - Week 13
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Wisconsin and Stanford have made really strong impressions on me and are the biggest movers in the latest version of my poll. We are getting down to the nitty gritty, and here is my top 25 for week 13...
1. Oregon (10-0) - The Ducks are on the verge of making history, but it won't be easy. Arizona visits Autzen, and the Ducks also head to Oregon State. If they are truly national title contenders, they will have to win both to get there. Next: Arizona.
2. Auburn (11-0) - Auburn had the week off, and it was well-timed. Besides a grueling schuedule, Auburn is also worn-down from this Cam Newton saga. One of the most anticipated Iron Bowls in recent memory will come to us Friday. Next: at Alabama.
3. Wisconsin (10-1) - I don't want TCU and BSU to be offended. This isn't about them. This is about me having a ten to fifteen year respect for Wisconsin and watching it all come together right now. This team is good. Damn good. They could still win the Big Ten, but it is still a cloudy three way tie right now. Next: Northwestern.
4. Stanford (10-1) - When I thought of moving Stanford ahead of TCU and Boise, I swapped schedules. I thought Stanford would be unbeaten with TCU or Boise's schedule, and I thought TCU or Boise would have one loss with Stanford's (at Oregon). And right now, I feel Stanford is a hot football team. They are the real deal. Next: Oregon State.
5. Boise State (10-0) - Last Friday, Boise absolutely opened a can on a pretty good Fresno State team. I really wish the Broncos were joining the Pac Ten so that they were tested more. I like them opening with Georgia in the Georgia Dome in 2011. Next: at Nevada.
6. TCU (11-0) - The Horned Frogs are floating in a lost medium of the college football universe that I wouldn't wish upon my worst enemy. They can play - really play. But they don't get the chance to play as much as they would like. I hope they get a shot at a "big boy" come bowl time. Next: at New Mexico.
7. Oklahoma State (10-1) - If it weren't for the D not showing up in a loss to Nebraska (the Huskers have scored under 20 five times, yet put 51 on OSU) this team might be in the national title talk. Instead, they are another team that will be left out of a playoff that doesn't exist. Next: Oklahoma.
8. LSU (10-1) - The Tigers don't have anything flashy to make them a hot name. But what they do have is a 10-1 record with the only loss coming close at the best team in the conference. This team is pretty dadgum tough to beat, and bases itself on defense. Next: at Arkansas.
9. Ohio State (10-1) - OSU ripped the heart out of Iowa this past weekend, keeping themselves alive for the Big Ten title. Say what you will about Ohio State, this program is always in the top ten and looking for major hardware. Next: Michigan.
10. Michigan State (10-1) - Another dangerous Big Ten team here in the top ten. I'm telling you, it's a dang good thing the Big Ten is splitting into two divisions and having a conference title game next year, cause this league has many solid programs. Next: at Penn State.
11. Alabama (9-2) - When you have a team such as this Tide team sitting at number 11, you know a playoff is in order. That is more of a compliment to all of the teams in front of Bama than actually Alabama. Bama now faces a huge game with Auburn where they could wreck a rivals' season. Next: Auburn.
12. Arkansas (9-2) - Arkansas went on the road and won against a good Mississippi State team Saturday. Considering the turn around at MSU this year, I will take that as a very nice win - whether it took OT or not. Next: LSU.
13. Virginia Tech (9-2) - As a fan of the ACC, I could just kick VT for their week two loss against James Madison. Getting beat by Boise in the 60th minute is one thing, but losing to JMU is keeping VT out of the top five or so. They have won nine in a row and should get number ten in six days. Next: Virginia.
14. South Carolina (8-3) - I had to laugh when I saw USC hung 56 on Troy in the first half! Wow. I mean, wow! Even in a scrimmage with a high school team that would be tough to do. But now, with their SECCG appearance looming, they must focus for a rivalry game. Next: at Clemson.
15. Nebraska (9-2) - Last week, my most unsure pick of the week (in my 13-2 performance) went to the Huskers. They thanked me by laying an offensive egg at Texas A&M. Ten points would have won them the game. Listen, I know their defense is national title material. But the problem is that the offense simply is not. Next: Colorado.
16. Missouri (9-2) - Outside of a win over then number one Oklahoma, this has been one of the quietest top 15 typeof seasons I can remember! The Tigers are an ok team, but nothing that will set your hair on fire. They now face Kansas at a neutral location. They could still win the Big 12 North, but would need to win and have Colorado beat Nebraska. Next: Kansas.
17. Oklahoma (9-2) - OU was having none of Baylor's big season. The Sooners racked up 462 yards in the beatdown of their conference foe, and now look to score a major bowl as they tangle with in-state rival Oklahom State for the Big 12 South. Next: at Oklahoma State.
18. Texas A&M (8-3) - I have to admit I am a bit shocked that A&M beat Nebaska. The Huskers have offensive woes, but it is more that I am used to seeing TAMU lay an egg whenever the spotlight is on them (trust me, I know the feeling). Now, they can jockey for a major bowl. OSU, I believe, is still the class of the league. Next: at Texas.
19. NC State (8-3) - The Pack are in uncharted waters holding their fate in their own hands with a road game at Maryland ahead. Win, and their loyal legions can follow them down to Charlotte to meet VT in the ACCCG. Lose, and another average bowl will be theirs. Next: at Maryland.
20. Mississippi State (8-3) - Again, progress is clearly being made in Starkville, it's just a matter of how long MSU can hang onto this great coach. Taking a fine Arkansas team into OT is almost as good as a win in my opinion. Next: at Ole Miss.
21. Florida State (8-3) - The 'Noles rallied late to pull away from Maryland for a nice road win. But despite their having a nice season to get back on track, their fate rests in the hands of NC State losing at Maryland. If the Pack wins, FSU is once again an ACC commoner. Next: Florida.
22. Arizona (7-3) - I have had my doubts with this team, but they have hung around. Now though, they have lost two straight, and a third straight (to Oregon) Saturday would send them out of the top 25. A big win vs Iowa early in the year is the lone reason they are still ranked. Next: at Oregon.
23. West Virginia (7-3) - Just when WVU seemed to have little hope for their 2010 season becoming a success, they find themsleves right back in the Big East hunt. Their next game is tough, and a rival, but a win will seriously get them thinking BCS. Next: at Pitt.
24. Iowa (7-4) - The Hawkeyes have had a season full of dreadfully close losses. But such is the sport - I know all too well the feeling with my own team over the last five years. Things could be much better, but the bright spot is that Iowa goes toe to toe with every single opponent they face. Next: at Minnesota.
25. Nevada (10-1) - We will know after this coming week if Nevada is the real deal or a pretender. The Wolfpack host Boise State in what surely has to be their biggest game ever. Check back next week to see if Nevada is still ranked. Next: Boise State.
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