The Top Fan's Top 25 - Week Thirteen
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A bit of a slow weekend has gone by setting us up for Rivalry Weekend. The battle for the first ever CFP berths are still up for grabs with two big weekends to go! Here are my Top 25 teams following the games of week 13....
1. Florida State (11-0) - Once again FSU did what they have done all year: found a way to win a close game. Say what you want (and more than enough people are), but the Seminoles are 11-0 and have won every game they have played the last 27 times out. Jameis Winston continues to be the most successful person alive with less brain power than your average first grader, somehow pulling magic out of his helmet time and time again - just enough to escape with a W. But since the 'Noles didn't run BC out of the stadium, don't be surprised if FSU slips to 4 in the CFP poll out Tuesday.
2. Alabama (10-1) - The Tide are in 1-0 mode now in pursuit of the national title. If they go 1-0 four times, they will add another trophy to an already stacked trophy case in Tuscaloosa. Up next is a home date with Auburn where Alabama cannot wait to shake the ghosts of last year's "Kick 6" loss in Jordan-Hare. This rivalry is fierce and not a single record or stat matters leading up to kickoff. But as the season comes to a close, Nick Saban once again has his team in the thick of the national title talks. This makes six times in eight seasons as HC that Saban has been alive for a national title as the season wound down. Not bad.
3. Oregon (10-1) - Is this the year? Is the year that Oregon finally brings home the trophy they have craved in Eugene for years? We all know Oregon played for the national championship in 2010 (lost to Auburn), and the program has become a perennial contender for the game's top prize. In 2014, they must defeat arch-rival OSU on the road, and then win the Pac-12 Title Game (which they should/could host) and they will become an inaugural member of the CFP. Who knows what will happen, but the Ducks are sitting in a comfy pond...for now.
4. Baylor (9-1) - The Bears continue to cruise as they sent Oklahoma State home with a 49-28 loss yesterday from their swanky new stadium. The nation's top-ranked offense (51 ppg) can pretty much wrap up a CFP berth if they can defeat Texas Tech and Kansas State at home the next two weekends. Nobody knew back in week six that Baylor's thrilling 61-58 win over TCU would be the difference in who won the Big 12...but it looks like that might become the case.
5. TCU (9-1) - As just mentioned in the previous capsule, the 61-58 game between the Bears and Horned Frogs back in week six would/could eventually earn the winner a CFP berth. Let me emphasize "could." Not only is the loser ranked ahead of the winner (in the CFP rankings), but neither is ranked ahead of Mississippi State who holds the #4 ranking. Still a long ways to go (two games), but a damned-good TCU team will need help to make the playoffs.
6. Mississippi State (10-1) - After a loss to Alabama, the Bulldogs still remain in the CFP rankings top 4. It blows my mind that teams such as this MSU team can lose and drop just a couple spots, while Florida State WINS and drops in almost the same manner. Regardless, MSU is still alive for a national title, and while they are a solid team, I see them as a pretender as far as a national crown. I can list several (well, five, I guess) teams that I think would take this team on a neutral field.
7. Ohio State (10-1) - Folks in Columbus are still in disbelief that they lost to a very mediocre Virginia Tech team back in week two. That is the only blemish on the schedule and all that is keeping this team from having an almost ensured spot in the CFP (granted they beat Michigan and win the B1G championship trophy). Urban Meyer's team had Indiana hang with them this past weekend, but eventually his Buckeyes pulled away for a 42-27 win at home.
8. Georgia (9-2) - Stacked with talent, nobody really knows what to do with Georgia. One minute they are smoking Clemson straight out of Sanford Stadium, the next minute they are losing to South Carolina on the road. One minute Todd Gurley is breaking NCAA records, the next minute he is hurt or off the team for scandals. One minute they are waxing Auburn, the next minute they are losing to an average Florida team. What is this team? Who are they? I know they can hang with the best and lose with the rest. Not sure what that means, but they remain #8 this week.
9. UCLA (9-2) - After a dismantling of arch-rival USC this past weekend to move to 9-2, can I finally be on the UCLA bandwagon without people giving me a hard time about it? The funny thing about this #9 ranking is that I have no idea if it will even come with any real hardware. The PAC-12 South is a jumbled mess and I have no idea who will face Oregon at this point. Regardless, the Bruins are #9 in my poll again this week.
10. Michigan State (9-2) - The Spartans smoked Rutgers 45-3 to get to 9-2, and a clear second place to Ohio State in the B1G Eastern Division, who beat them 49-37 a few weeks ago. The CFP is probably out of the question now, but MSU can still show the nation they are one of the top programs in the land with a strong finish and bowl win. A winnable game against Penn State on the road is all that remains for MSU in the regular season for 2014.
11. Arizona State (9-2)
12. Kansas State (8-2)
13. Wisconsin (9-2)
14. Arizona (9-2)
15. Georgia Tech (9-2)
16. Missouri (9-2)
17. Auburn (8-3)
18. Oklahoma (8-3)
19. Minnesota (8-3)
20. Louisville (8-3)
21. Colorado State (10-1)
22. Marshall (11-0)
23. Clemson (8-3)
24. LSU (7-4)
25. Ole Miss (8-3)
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