The Top Fan's Top 25 - Week Twelve
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1. LSU (11-0, 7-0) - Defeated Ole Miss, 52-3 - Last week: 1 - The Tigers are three wins away from another national title. But all three of these upcoming games will be games as hard as LSU has ever played. Arkansas is hot, Georgia is hot, and if they make the BCSCG, that opponent will be hot. A crystal football is there for the taking, but it must be done. Next: Arkansas.
2. Alabama (10-1, 6-1) - Defeated Georgia Southerm 45-21 - Last week: 3 - Well, for all of you that argue a playoff would take away from the importance of regular season games, here is Alabama right back beside LSU three weeks later. I guess that "game of the century" really meant a lot, huh? Despite missing three FGs and losing that game, the Tide can very possibly appear in the national title game by beating Auburn Saturday. Next: at Auburn.
3. Arkansas (10-1, 6-1) - Defeated Mississippi State, 44-17 - Last week: 5 - Razorback fans have to see this coming week as the longest ever. If I were a fan in Hog Country, I would be counting down the minutes and seconds to Saturday's game at LSU. A possible shot at an SEC and national title are up for grabs. Next: at LSU.
4. Virginia Tech (10-1, 6-1) - Defeated North Carolina, 24-21 - Last week: 8 - The Hokies' rushing attack is very strong between RB David Wilson (1,442 yards, 7 TDs) and QB Logan Thomas (387 yards, 9 TDs). The D is starting to tighten up, as well, although they allowed UNC to come back and give them a scare Thursday night. This is one of the hottest teams in America right now, and if they win Saturday, they will get a rematch with the only team to have beaten them. Next: at Virginia.
5. Stanford (10-1, 8-1) - Defeated Cal, 31-28 - Last week: 11 - QB Andrew Luck is fifth nationally in QB rating at 167.4. He has just shy of 3,000 yards passing and 31 TDs. Good numbers, but not great. But he leads his team well - well enough to see them in the Pac 12's first ever title game. Next: Notre Dame.
6. Georgia (9-2, 7-1) - Defeated Kentucky, 19-10 - Last week: 10 - After the first two weeks of the season, people were all over UGA Coach Mark Richt. I am among those that thought he had been figured out. But Richt growled back with nine straight wins, and his Dawgs are now a win away from the Sugar Bowl. Next: at Georgia Tech.
7. Oklahoma State (10-1, 7-1) - Lost to Iowa State, 37-31 - Last week: 2 - I hate to punish the Cowboys too bad, but Iowa State isn't exactly college football royalty. Dropping the Cowboys five spots is fair, and with luck this team will work their way back to a top two or three finish by the time the bowls have played out. Some think they could still get into the BCS Title Game, but I dont know. Next: Oklahoma.
8. Houston (11-0, 7-0) - Defeated SMU, 37-7 - Last week: 9 - The Cougars will probably stay stuck around this eighth spot until after the bowl games when they get a crack at an actual real opponent. They have steamrolled everyone they have played, but I think most teams in this top 25 would have done the same thing. Next: at Tulsa.
9. Michigan State (9-2, 6-1) - Defeated Indiana, 55-3 - Last week: 14 - The Legends Division champions have sealed their trip to Indianapolis where they await either Penn State or Wisconsin. MSU has been one of the top teams in the nation the past couple of seasons. Now, they need to win a major bowl. Next: at Northwestern.
10. USC (9-2, 6-2) - Defeated Oregon, 38-35 - Last week: 18 - I may be jumping the gun on this lofty ranking for USC. After all, it was a missed FG by their opponent that was the ultimate decider. But, the Trojans went on the road and put themselves in position to win by leading in the fourth quarter. Like they say, "you make your own luck!" Props on a big win. Next: UCLA.
11. South Carolina (9-2, 6-2) - Defeated Citadel, 41-20 - Last week: 12 - They didn't win the East, but considering that the QB and RB the Gamecocks had to start the year are both gone, this season has gone ok. Arch-rival Clemson is up next in what is always a war. This year, it will be nearly impossible to pick a winner. Next: Clemson.
12. Oregon (9-2, 7-1) - Lost to USC, 38-35 - Last week: 4 - A missed FG stands between an avaerage bowl and perhaps the biggest game of the season. But it just wasn't meant to be in a loss to USC. Oregon has become a perennial national factor, but their fans realize now just how hard it is to finish the season number 1. Next: Oregon State
13. Oklahoma (8-2, 5-2) - Lost to Baylor, 45-38 - Last week: 6 - The Sooners are the proud owners of seven national titles. But they haven't won one since 2000. They are ranked in the top five nearly every preseason due to their seat at the college football round table, but for the past ten seasons, something has gone wrong enough each year for them not to live up to the preseason rank. This program will get another one, though. It's just a matter of time. Next: Iowa State.
14. Michigan (9-2, 5-2) - Defeated Nebraska, 45-17 - Last week: 19 - And speaking of schools with a lot of national titles, how about Michigan and their eleven crowns?! They just dismantled five-time champ Nebraska in a beat down. The 2011 Wolverines are a solid team under first-year Head Coach Brady Hoke, and I see no reason 2012 shouldn't see them as a preseason top ten team (Denard Robinson is a junior). Next: Ohio State.
15. Boise State (9-1, 4-1) - Defeated San Diego State, 52-35 - Last week: 15 - Boise will apparently start play in the Big East in 2012. Still not sure. But if they do, they will have more than one chance a year to show what they've got. If thy schedule two good OOC games, the Big East schedule will bring them anohter two or three good games. Five tough games are better than one. I know their fans agree. Next: Wyoming.
16. Wisconsin (9-2, 4-2) - Defeated Illinois, 28-17 - Last week: 16 - Before the season, I seriously thought Wisconsin was a national title contender. Russell Wilson has mad talent, and he showed it for several weeks. The loss killing this team is Ohio State as OSU just isn't that good. Michigan State is the other, and the Badgers can possibly get a rematch with them. This weekend's game is for the Leaders Division title, by the way. Next: Penn State.
17. Penn State (9-2, 6-1) - Defeated Ohio State, 20-14 - Last week: 23 - The Nittany Lions have put themselves in a playoff of sorts for the Big Ten title. It starts this weekend as they play the Badgers. Win that and it is off to Indianapolis to face Michigan State. PSU is not going to make many highlight reel plays, but the defense is among the best in America. Next: at Wisconsin.
18. Clemson (9-2, 6-2) - Lost to NC State, 37-13 - Last week: 7 - Talk about stinking up the place! The Tigers of Clemson threw any hope of making a national impact straight out the window in an embarassing loss to NC State. Totally dominated from the start, Clemson's loss showed that a true team leader isn't there. This should never have happened. Dabo better right the ship or an 8-0 start will see them finish 9-5. Next: at South Carolina.
19. Baylor (7-3, 4-2) - Defeated Oklahoma, 45-38 - Last week: 20 - I am still on the fence with Baylor. The win over Oklahoma was nice, but that is the only win in recent Baylor history I know of that made some noise. They lost to a Texas A&M team I am not about, and Oklahoma State took them out behind the woodshed. A nice season, but I am not sold. Next:
20. West Virginia (7-3, 3-2) - Idle - Last week: 21 - The Mountaineers are still in the hunt for a Big East crown, but they will need some help. They have Pitt and South Florida ahead to play, but neither of those are among the two Big East schools listed ahead of them. They do have the head to head with two of the three teams they are battling it out with and have played already. This is too complicated to explain....Just win. Next: Pitt
21. TCU (9-2, 6-0) - Defeated Colorado State, 34-10 - Last week: 22 - The Horned Frogs' offense has been showing out this year, ranking 12th nationwide at 40.4 ppg. Another Mountain West Championship is their's, but a shot to finish in the top 15 would be nice with a win and then a nice bowl win. Then, we can all sit back and see the Horned Frogs end up in some new conference! Next: UNLV.
22. Virginia (8-3, 5-2) - Defeated Florida State, 14-13 - Last week: unranked - Don't look now, but for the first time since...well, I don't even know, the UVA Cavaliers are in the top 25. The 'Hoos went on the road and beat FSU in their own house to get to eight wins. Mike London has done an excellent job in year two. Saturday they host VT, with a trip to the ACCCG on the line. Next: Virginia Tech.
23. Nebraska (8-3, 4-3) - Lost to Michigan, 45-17 - Last week: 17 - Husker fans are starting to grumble. Coach Bo Pelini's squad was ran off of the field for the second time this year, and that doesn't sit well in Lincoln. Losing close is bad. Losing bad is not good. The Huskers can go to a good bowl still, but things hvae been brighter. Next: Iowa.
24. Rutgers (8-3, 4-2) - Defeated Cincinnati, 20-3 - Last week: unranked - With a game at UConn upcoming, the Scarlet Knights are right in the thick of the Big East race. The prize is a good one: a trip to the BCS. Rutgers ranks ninth nationally in points against at just 16 per game. The rushing attack is terrible, though, and defenses are able to make this team one-dimensional. Next: at UConn.
25. Auburn (7-4, 4-3) - Defeated Samford, 35-16 - Last week: unranked - This season has been night and day from 2010 for Auburn fans, but a win Saturday could make them feel nearly the same. They could knock their arch-rival out of the national title hunt, which is almost as good as a title itself! Next: Alabama.
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