FanIQ Top 25: Bama, FSU controls destiny
1. Alabama Crimson Tide: 10-0 (LW: No. 1)
Even when LSU was thought to be in control, Alabama found a way to dominate. The Crimson Tide quietly imposed their will and had no issues governing all cylinders of the game. Following the win, senior linebacker C.J. Mosley called it "the most satisfying win since the 2011 national championship."
2. Florida State Seminoles: 9-0 (LW: No. 2)
The 'Noles control their own destiny. Win out, and they're in the BCS title game. It shouldn't be too much of an issue with Syracuse, Idaho and Florida left on the regular season schedule, along with a non-threatening ACC Coastal opponent awaiting.
3. Ohio State Buckeyes: 9-0 (LW: No. 4)
Ohio State has to be feeling pretty good about itself right now. Stanford beat Oregon, and although LSU couldn't take care of Alabama, the Tide still have a pretty tough last few games. It's going to take some help (and obviously an unblemished record), but the Buckeyes were partying in Columbus during the bye weekend.
4. Baylor Bears: 8-0 (LW: No. 5)
Baylor stepped up to the plate and hit a first-pitch home run against its first quality opponent of the season. While Bryce Petty and Co. did put up 41 points, it was the Bears' defense that came out and punched Oklahoma in the mouth from start to finish.
5. Stanford Cardinal: 8-1 (LW: No. 6)
Man, that Utah loss really stings. Had Stanford snuck by the Utes a few weeks back, who knows what the national title picture would be looking like right now. Weird things happen in college football, so for now, the Cardinal just need to focus on winning the rest of their games.
6. Oregon Ducks: 9-1 (LW: No. 2)
It's a tough one to swallow, but there's still a lot to play for if you're Oregon. Like I said in the Stanford column, college football is weird, especially in November—and crazier things have happened. Besides, another Fiesta Bowl appearance wouldn't be so bad, would it?
7. Auburn Tigers: 9-1 (LW: No. 7)
Ten games in and Auburn has won as many games as it lost in 2012. That's unbelievable, and a testament to where Gus Malzahn has this program heading. The Tigers have a chance to make history with Georgia and Alabama in the next three weeks, but they'll have to throw the ball more than 10 times to do so.
8. Missouri Tigers: 9-1 (LW: No. 9)
Maty Mauk would not be denied in Lexington, as he threw for five touchdowns — four to Dorial-Green Beckham — in a convincing 48-17 win over Kentucky.
9. Clemson Tigers: 8-1 (LW: No. 8)
Clemson received an extra week to prepare for a hungry Georgia Tech team that currently holds a half-game lead in the ACC Coastal Division.
10. Texas A&M Aggies: 8-2 (LW: No. 10)
Johnny Manziel continues to put up some ridiculous passing numbers, but interception rate keeps getting worse. There's also not a stat for dumb decision-making, and he's been trying to do too much at times—but hey, I guess that's what happens when your defense gives up 41 points to Mississippi State.
11. Oklahoma State Cowboys: 8-1 (LW: No. 12)
We're going to find out a lot about this Oklahoma State program in the coming weeks. A brutal stretch of Texas on the road, home vs. Baylor and at Oklahoma could determine whether the Cowboys are average or BCS caliber.
12. South Carolina Gamecocks: 7-2 (LW: No. 15)
It was just October 19 where Steve Spurrier's Gamecocks were on the verge of dropping out of the Top 25 and their season being a bust. Now they're back among the elite and are a serious contender for the SEC East.
13. Michigan State Spartans: 8-1 (LW: No. 16)
Moving up three spots in the rankings are the Spartans, who didn't even play on Saturday. They can't get too excited and look too far ahead, because a big test in Lincoln this weekend awaits them.
14. UCLA Bruins: 7-2 (LW: No. 19)
Freshman linebacker Myles Jack rushed for 120 yards on six carries as he helped UCLA win at Arizona for the first time since 2003. Brett Hundley is 37-of-49 for 500 yards and four touchdowns since his back-to-back subpar performances in losses to Stanford and Oregon.
15. Fresno State Bulldogs: 9-0 (LW: No. 18)
Despite a slow start, Fresno State was able to reel off 48 straight points in a blowout win at Wyoming. The Dawgs play New Mexico before a big game at San Jose State in the regular season finale, and 13-0 is looking more and more realistic.
16. Central Florida Knights: 7-1 (LW: No. 17)
Believe it or not, but the win over Houston is right up there with Louisville. The Cardinals were ranked inside the Top 10 (wrongly, obviously), but the Cougars are a complete team. UCF is well on its way to a BCS appearance.
17. Wisconsin Badgers: 7-2 (LW: No. 22)
Well, this is odd. Wisconsin makes three Big Ten teams ranked within the Top 17, and Minnesota is well on its way. Had the Badgers beat Arizona State earlier in the year, we'd be talking about an 8-1 team with a seven-point loss to Ohio State and a possible trip to a BCS Bowl. Oh, what one call can do.
18. LSU Tigers: 7-3 (LW: No. 11)
Two costly first-quarter turnovers may have cost LSU its chance to dethrone the king, but it didn't help itself by losing the second half 21-3. The Tigers didn't look very good in Tuscaloosa, but hey, that's what Alabama tends to do to its opponents.
19. Louisville Cardinals: 8-1 (LW: No. 20)
Louisville is a -16.5 favorite to beat Houston, but I expect a much closer game. The Cardinals' defense was shredded by Blake Bortles—a legitimate passing attack—and could have issues defending the Cougars' elite Air Raid.
20. Northern Illinois Huskies: 9-0 (LW: No. 21)
Ball State will be NIU's first test since the season opener against Iowa. Cardinals quarterback Keith Wenning is fourth in the country in passing yards (3,164) and touchdowns (27), so there's no doubt the Huskies will have their hands full.
21. Arizona State Sun Devils: 7-2 (LW: No. 25)
Thirteen fourth-quarter points saved Arizona State from pulling a Stanford, as the Sun Devils were able to take out Utah in Salt Lake City, 20-19.
22. Texas Longhorns: 7-2 (LW: unranked)
Even with running back Jonathan Gray and defensive tackle Chris Whaley dubbed out for the season—joining linebacker Jordan Hicks and quarterback David Ash—Las Vegas only has Oklahoma State at a one-point favorite over the Horns this weekend. The experts know something we don't know.
23. Georgia Bulldogs: 6-3 (LW: unranked)
Aaron Murray has a great opportunity to salvage his senior year with a win over Auburn on Saturday. The Dawgs then play Kentucky and Georgia Tech, and nine wins for a roster full of Injured Reserve asterisks would be quite impressive.
24. Oklahoma Sooners: 7-2 (LW: No. 13)
Everything in me wants to drop Oklahoma out of the Top 25, but I try not to be a reactionist, so I'll do my best to keep in mind that the Sooners did win in South Bend earlier in the year.
25. Duke Blue Devils: 7-2 (LW: unranked)
THE FIGHTING CUTCLIFFES ARE HERE! Duke (!!!) is in the race to represent the ACC Coastal Division for the conference championship game in a few weeks, as long as it can continue its five-game win streak with a monumental victory at home vs. a slumping Miami.
Dropped from rankings: Miami (14), Texas Tech (23), Notre Dame (24).
Other receiving votes: Ole Miss, Miami (Fla.), Minnesota, USC, Nebraska, Ball State, Washington, Virginia Tech, Buffalo, LA-Lafayette.
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