Week 12 of the college football season gave us a little bit of everything. We received our share of blowout wins (Bama, Clemson, etc) to go along with some games that went down to the wire. We also saw the return of some players (Justin Herbert, Oregon QB) while some teams finally took a visit to the winning category (Georgia Southern). For the first time since the college football playoff first began in 2014, all of the top 10 teams from the previous rankings won their games this past weekend (Yeah, Alabama and Clemson played FCS schools but that’s besides the point).
Checkout our top 25 rankings heading into week 13.
1. Bama (11-0): What’s new for Nick Saban’s squad this season? The Alabama Crimson Tide are 11-0 this season with their last regular season loss coming to Ole Miss back in September of 2015. The one negative about this team is their strength of schedule. With two near losses coming at the hands of Texas A&M and Mississippi State (Two of the best squads they’ve played all season) I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Tide struggle at Jordan-Hare Stadium when they visit Auburn.
2. Miami (10-0): The biggest surprise of the season has got to be emergence of the Miami Hurricanes. The Canes have won 15 straight dating back to last season behind a suffocating defense (Toledo has the most points of any opponent during that span) that has brought the swag back to Miami with their iconic ‘Turnover Chain.’ A date with Clemson awaits Miami in the ACC Championship with the winner punching their ticket to the college football playoff.
3. Clemson (10-1): No Deshaun? No problem. Dabo Swinney continues to prove his worth to the Clemson program as he’s engineered his young team to a 10-1 record with a chance to win the Palmetto Bowl over South Carolina before playing Miami for the ACC Championship.
4. Wisconsin (11-0): Wisconsin is one of the only undefeated teams in the country but they aren’t receiving much love from the polls. Why? Because many feel as if their strength of schedule is too weak to warrant a top three ranking. If Wisconsin continues to win behind the running of Heisman contender Jonathan Taylor, then there’s no way the committee will snub them. Especially if they have to meet Ohio State in the BIG Championship game.
5. Oklahoma (10-1): When you have the best player in the country, your team’s guaranteed to win more games than they’ll lose. That’s exactly the case with Oklahoma who’ve used their phenomenal offense (#1 Offense in the country) to offset their horrendous defense on their way to a 10-1 record. Their loss to Iowa State also didn’t look as bad after the Cyclones went on to beat TCU.
6. UGA (10-1): I believe that Georgia is the best one-loss team in the country. They’re only down at #6 because they lost horribly a week ago at Auburn after being the #1 team in the country for a couple of weeks. Kirby Smart’s team will still have a chance to make the CFB playoff if they can beat either Alabama or Auburn in the SEC championship.
7. Auburn (9-2): Auburn is such a hard team to figure out. In their 9 wins they’ve looked as dominant as any other team in the country behind the running of Kerryon Johnson complimented by a suffocating defense. This is the best Auburn team that Gus Malzahn has had in town since the 2013 team that almost defeated Florida State for a national championship.
8. Notre Dame (9-2): Notre Dame has the most difficult road of any title contender because they don’t play a conference championship game meaning they’ll need a load of help from teams dreaming of last week upsets (South Carolina, Pittsburgh).
9. USC (10-2): Sam Darnold and the USC Trojans were media darlings all summer long after finishing last season as the hottest team in college football. After 2 losses they’re possibly out of the playoff race unless something crazy happens, but it’s college football.. anything can happen.
10. Ohio State (9-2): In the past twelve months, college football fans have experienced some stunning losses from Urban Meyer’s Ohio State team. They were shut out in the playoff last year against Clemson, then followed that up with horrible losses to Oklahoma and Iowa this season. In all, they still have a chance to win the BIG 10 and if they were to do so against an undefeated Wisconsin team, the Buckeyes could squeak into the college football playoff conversation.
11. TCU (9-2): As great as a coach as Gary Patterson is, his TCU team’s just have never quite gotten over the hump with this team being no different. They looked very impressive early on especially following a win against Oklahoma State but then they fell to Big 12 frontrunner Oklahoma and the Big 12’s temporary cinderella team, the Iowa State Cyclones.
12. Penn State (9-2): Saquon Barkley is still a top Heisman candidate due to his performance on the ground this season. However, his team has underperformed in a few contests which have caused them to lose twice (They also narrowly escaped Iowa). When this team is behind Barkley and their ferocious defense they are still one of the nation’s best and can prove that come bowl season.
13. UCF (10-0): The UCF Golden Knights are the one undefeated team in the country that nobody seems to even know about. QB McKenzie Milton has 31 total touchdowns on the season and they’ll need him to play bigger than ever when they play USF this weekend. With a win they’ll clinch a spot in the AAC conference championship game with a chance to go to a New Year’s Six bowl game.
14. Washington St. (9-2): Outside of one disappointing loss to Cal, Washington State has quietly built one of the best resumes in college football behind the arm of Luke Falk. With only one rusher over 500 yards on the season, it’s easy to see why they have two losses on the season as defenses simply just have to focus on stopping the Cougars passing attack. Nonetheless, they have a date with Washington coming up that has Pac 12 championship game implications on the line.
15. Washington (9-2): The 2017 Washington Huskies can be viewed as a disappointment due to the fact that they will miss the playoffs unlike the 2016 team. However, their two losses came by a combined 14 points so they could easily be undefeated. The Huskies still have a chance to win the Pac 12, but first they’ll need to defeat Washington State at home.
16. Mississippi St. (8-3): Dan Mullen continues to work his offensive magic behind the strong play of quarterback Nick Fitzgerald who has 29 total touchdowns on the season. The bulldogs have proved to be a steady force in the SEC west behind Alabama and Auburn with their only losses coming to the aforementioned pair along with Georgia.
17. LSU (8-3): Ed Orgeron and his staff have done a great job in his first season as head coach by putting the Tigers in position to win football games and fans can see that his future should be bright. That is as longs he can defeat teams like Troy and hopefully get a win against Alabama (Yeah right).
18. Michigan St (8-3): The Michigan State Spartans have tallied huge wins against Iowa and Michigan this season but they lost they marque matchups in Notre Dame and Ohio State. They didn’t just lose those games they lost big as they were outscored 86-21 in those two losses alone. This squad is still young and could be a force come bowl season and in the 2018 season.
19. Memphis (9-1):
20. Stanford (8-3)
21. Northwestern (8-3)
22. Boise St (9-2)
23. Oklahoma State (8-3)
24. USF (9-1)
25. VT (8-3)