FanIQ Top 25: It's a coin flip between Oregon and FSU
1. Alabama Crimson Tide: 9-0 (LW: No. 1)
Former Alabama offensive coordinator and current Colorado State coach Jim McElwain told reporters that a bye week in Tuscaloosa is NOT an off week. “No, no, that is not a week off. Just so everybody knows, far from it. ...He might be the best guy with a BYE or going into a bowl game because you don’t start too early on the opponent. You actually do a great job of quality control of what you’re doing and then working against each other fundamentally to get better. The next week comes and it’s normal."
2. Oregon Ducks: 9-0 (LW: No. 2)
Will the Ducks pay back Stanford and get their second chance at a national championship or will the Cardinal continue to keep them in check? Stay tuned.
3. Florida State Seminoles: 8-0 (LW: No. 3)
With Miami in the back window, here's how Florida State's season ends: at Wake Forest, vs. Syracuse, vs. Idaho, at Florida and a likely rematch with the Canes in the ACC Championship. Undefeated? I think so.
4. Ohio State Buckeyes: 9-0 (LW: No. 4)
Now winners of 21 straight, the Buckeyes are expected to remain unscathed through the regular season and conference championship. Whether they make enough noise to play in the BCS National Championship is up in the air, but Oregon, Florida State and Baylor have to help them out.
5. Baylor Bears: 7-0 (LW: No. 5)
The high-flying Bears will face their toughest opponent of the season this Thursday night when hosting Oklahoma. Bryce Petty faces one of the stingiest secondaries in the country, so we'll see just how good his passing abilities are.
6. Stanford Cardinal: 7-1 (LW: No. 6)
The road to redemption would get a lot easier with a win over Oregon this Thursday night.
7. Auburn Tigers: 8-1 (LW: No. 8)
This one-loss (!!!) Auburn squad travels to Tennessee before hosting Georgia and Alabama at home to end the regular season. The BCS is still very much alive for the Tigers, who have a huge opportunity to dethrone the Tide.
8. Clemson Tigers: 8-1 (LW: No. 9)
Three different quarterbacks saw action during the Tigers' 59-10 blowout victory over Virginia. Hey, might as well start preparing for Tajh Boyd's departure now while they have the opportunity.
9. Missouri Tigers: 8-1 (LW: No. 10)
Instead of coming out flat following its devastating loss to South Carolina last week, Missouri dominated Tennessee from start to finish and put the wheels back on the wagon.
10. Texas A&M Aggies: 7-2 (LW: No. 12)
It was vs. a porous UTEP defensive unit, but Manziel was phenomenal once again. The redshirt sophomore completed 16-of-24 passes for 273 yards and four touchdowns, while adding 67 yards and two scores on the ground in limited action.
11. LSU Tigers: 7-2 (LW: No. 11)
Les Miles can salvage his losses against Georgia and Ole Miss with colossal victories over Alabama and Texas A&M.
12. Oklahoma State Cowboys: 7-1 (LW: No. 14)
The 'boys are back in town. After starting the preseason No. 13 and losing to West Virginia in Week 5, Oklahoma State has crawled its way back into the Big 12 title race. It will need more wins like it had on Saturday vs. Texas Tech to do so, with Texas, Baylor and Oklahoma still on the schedule.
13. Oklahoma Sooners: 7-1 (LW: No. 13)
As I said earlier, the matchup to look for here is Oklahoma's pass defense vs. the No. 1-ranked air raid in the nation. Baylor averages 417.3 passing yards per game, and Bryce Petty loves to look downfield every chance he can get.
14. Miami Hurricanes: 7-1 (LW: No. 7)
We all kind of saw that coming. It's great for college football that Miami is back on the rise, but no one really considered it a real contender or top-10 team. Barring a complete collapse, the Canes will get a second chance at Florida State in the ACC Championship, and a BCS berth is still probable.
15. South Carolina Gamecocks: 7-2 (LW: No. 16)
Remember when Connor Shaw posted a 25.8 QBR in South Carolina's embarrassing loss to Tennessee two weeks ago? Well, he's doing everything he can to make you forget. Since then, the senior dual-threat is 30-of-39 (76.9 percent) for 348 yards, seven touchdowns and no interceptions, and is STAYING IN THE POCKET. Not to mention this body of work is in just six quarters and a double overtime period.
16. Michigan State Spartans: 8-1 (LW: No. 23)
If Sparty can play like it did against not-so-big brother every Saturday from here on out, there's no doubt that it poses as a huge threat to Ohio State. The question won't be with its defense, but whether or not the MSU offense can put up enough points.
17. Central Florida Knights: 6-1 (LW: No. 17)
Other than South Carolina, Central Florida's biggest matchup will be this weekend at home against a 7-1 Houston team. And yes, that includes Louisville. The Cougars have averaged 41.1 points per game this season and their only loss came by a final of 47-46 to BYU.
18. Fresno State Bulldogs: 8-0 (LW: No. 18)
Derek Carr might not win the Heisman, but he's improving his draft stock with every performance. Over his last four games, he's 144-of-208 (69.2 percent) for 1,616 yards (404.0 ypg), 14 touchdowns and one lone pick.
19. UCLA Bruins: 6-2 (LW: No. 19)
Brett Hundley threw for two touchdowns and ran for two more in UCLA's bounceback win over Colorado, a game in which the sophomore quarterback really needed to gain some confidence following two straight beatdowns.
20. Louisville Cardinals: 7-1 (LW: No. 20)
This Louisville-Connecticut matchup has 50-point spread written all over it.
21. Northern Illinois Huskies: 9-0 (LW: No. 21)
Jordan Lynch and Co. gets a weekend off before facing its biggest hurdle of the season in MAC foe Ball State, which has one of the most efficient quarterbacks in the nation and has won six in a row.
22. Wisconsin Badgers: 6-2 (LW: No. 22)
The offense got off to a slow start, but Wisconsin was able to shut down Iowa in a crucial Big Ten showdown.
23. Texas Tech Red Raiders: 7-2 (LW: No. 15)
We'll find out what Texas Tech is really made of this Saturday, and whether Kliff Kingsbury has truly made strides with the program in his first year. A loss to Kansas State would mean three straight, which would basically replicate what the Red Raiders have done every time they start off the season hot.
24. Notre Dame Fighting Irish: 7-2 (LW: No. 25)
The Irish could have folded after losing to Oklahoma at home, but instead have reeled off four straight (albeit not impressively), keeping their BCS hopes alive.
25. Arizona State Sun Devils: 6-2 (LW: unranked)
QB Taylor Kelly accounted for seven touchdowns in Arizona State's 55-21 at Washington State last Thursday night, and the Sun Devils are on track to win the Pac-12 South.
Dropped from rankings: Michigan (24).
Other receiving votes (in order): Georgia, Texas, BYU, Ole Miss, Minnesota, Houston, Arizona, Duke, Nebraska, USC.
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