The Top Fan's Top 25 - Week Twelve
Posted By:Brett Haynes - Greenville, SC Tags: Top 25
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Mississippi State goes down to Alabama and the Top 25 is shaken up once again. College football is setting up for one of the wildest and craziest regular seasons in memory. One weekend remains before rivalry weekend and championship weekend set us up for the first ever CFP! Here are my top 25 teams following the games of week 12....
1. Florida State (10-0) - The Seminoles win another close game - this time arch-rival Miami. While 2013 was the season FSU dominated nearly every one on their schedule, 2014 is the year they found a way to win despite their winning streak being in jeopardy six times (so far). All year we have heard how "unimpressive" this team is. Yet here they sit at 10-0 with wins over Oklahoma State, Clemson, Louisville, Notre Dame and Miami. Not a murderer's row, but not a hand full of gimmes, either.
2. Alabama (9-1) - As predicted, the Tide stopped Mississippi State's time at the top of the rankings with a hard-fought home win over the Bulldogs, 25-20. Once again the Alabama defense is one of the nation's best, checking in at just 14 ppg, second nationally. Alabama opened up a 19-3 lead early on before settling in on defense and holding the Bulldogs at bay the remainder of the game.
3. Oregon (9-1) - The Ducks are sitting right where they need to be as we come down the homestretch. Games against Colorado State (home) and Oregon State (away) should both be wins before hosting the Pac-12 Title Game. QB Marcus Mariota (37 total touchdowns) is also where he needs to be in the Heisman race. A win is no guarantee, but as long as he keeps his team in the national spotlight, he has a great chance.
4. Baylor (8-1) - The next few teams are as close as things can get and I do not envy the selection committee for having to choose between them to get the #4 team. I know things will eventually pan out, but Baylor, TCU, Mississippi State and Ohio State are in a dead lock for the fourth spot, and could easily be rearranged 4-7. Baylor gets the nod here. The lone loss is a road scar to West Virginia back in week seven.
5. TCU (9-1) - The Horned Frogs have one of the best resumes on the nation as their lone loss is to a team currently in the top 4 - Baylor (61-58). So as we get into the nuts and bolts of this CFP selection ordeal, are the Frogs going to make the cut? As of right now, I am sliding that Baylor team in just in front of them based on head-to-head (yes, I know it was a wild close game that could have gone either way). TCU is averaging a national 4th best 46 ppg.
6. Mississippi State (9-1) - The Bulldogs fall six spots after the loss on the road to Alabama. If other folks have them at #4 or so, I would have no problem with that, but as of now Baylor gets my nod for the final playoff spot. This is a very solid team and is no mirage. Dan Mullen will get a few serious offers this offseason, I would be suprised if both Florida and Michigan don't ask him for his services. Will he remain in Starkville? We will soon see.
7. Ohio State (9-1) - The Buckeyes are making some serious noise and as we head down the home stretch they have a legit shot at the CFP if they win out. The committee would have a hard time leaving a 12-1 Big Ten Champion Ohio State team out of this thing. The lone loss is to Virginia Tech way back in week two, and the Hokies had a nice win this weekend to help OSU out a bit. Indiana and Michigan don't exactly offer the big-time win they need, though, in the final two games.
8. Georgia (8-2) - The biggest mover of the weekend in this Top 25 was Georgia, who took care of Auburn easily at home. This team is hot right now, and if not for a loss to South Carolina early on, would be right in the thick of the CFP talks. Even with two losses there is still an outside shot as the SEC Title Game will give them lots of exposure and a huge win should they do it. Regardless, a big season is in the making.
9. Ole Miss (8-2) - The Rebels boast the #1 defense in the nation as they are giving up just 11 points per contest. With just two losses - LSU and Auburn by a combined 7 points - this can still go down as one of the great seasons in Rebel history. A New Year's Six Bowl is very likely after things sort themselves out. Arkansas is next before finishing up with rival Mississippi State in Oxford.
10. UCLA (8-2) - The Bruins are hanging around the top ten in the nine spot, but probably won't get too much higher. I like this team, and I'm OK with them in the top ten, but I don't think they are an elite team that is a Top 5 caliber type of team. UCLA has USC and Stanford remaining - tough games but winnable. If they finish 10-2, a #8 or #9 ranking is fitting. QB Brett Hundley has thrown for 17 TDS (4 INTs) and rushed for another seven.
11. Michigan State (8-2)
12. Arizona State (8-2)
13. Kansas State (7-2)
14. Wisconsin (8-2)
15. Arizona (8-2)
16. Georgia Tech (9-2)
17. Missouri (8-2)
18. Auburn (7-3)
19. Utah ( 7-3)
20. Marshall (10-0)
21. Nebraska (8-2)
22. Colorado State (9-1)
23. Duke (8-2)
24. Oklahoma (7-3)
25. USC (7-3)
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