FanIQ Top 25: With Stanford loss, Oregon back on track
1. Alabama Crimson Tide: 10-0 (LW: No. 1)
"That's not the kind of football we need to play if we're going to be the kind of team we're capable of being…" said Saban, following Alabama's 20-7 win over Mississippi State. "We won the game, but we didn't really beat the other team, if that makes any sense." This was the first time since Texas A&M that the Tide looked vulnerable, but I'll make the bet that they'll respond against Chattanooga.
2. Florida State Seminoles: 10-0 (LW: No. 2)
I know Florida State's schedule isn't very overwhelming, but we can't toss aside this statistic: The Seminoles have outscored its opponents 527-111 this season. Not good enough for you? How about this one: They don't allow anyone to have a heartbeat, winning the first half 293-55, and that includes giving Boston College 17.
3. Ohio State Buckeyes: 10-0 (LW: No. 3)
Urban Meyer is about to have some serious road rage, because has been Baylor his tail the last few exits and just keeps getting closer. Ohio State's defense gave up 35 points and 420 total offensive yards to the second-worst team in the Big Ten in Illinois. It's a good thing the Buckeyes have a weapon like Carlos Hyde in the backfield, who put the game away with two 50-plus-yard runs in the final four minutes of play.
4. Baylor Bears: 9-0 (LW: No. 4)
Following Art Briles' monstrous 10-year contract extension, Baylor found itself in an unfamiliar position, down 20-7 in the first quarter to Texas Tech. But hey, 13 points is like an autumn breeze for the Bears' offense, as Bryce Petty and Co. finished the game on a 56-14 run.
5. Oregon Ducks: 10-1 (LW: No. 6)
Oregon loses to Stanford; Utah and USC beats Stanford; Utah loses to Oregon; Oregon better than Stanford? It literally makes no sense, but that's how rankings are toward the end of the year. If the Ducks can win out, they'll represent the Pac-12 in the Rose Bowl. It's not the BCS National Championship, but it's a nice consolation prize.
6. Auburn Tigers: 10-1 (LW: No. 7)
Just in case you didn't get to see how Auburn beat Georgia (which would be pretty remarkable if you haven't by now), here it is. The Tigers get a bye week before battling Alabama for the SEC West, and wow, the Iron Bowl just got really interesting.
7. Missouri Tigers: 9-1 (LW: No. 8)
Coach Gary Pinkel has stated that quarterback James Franklin is set to return from injury and will start this weekend at Ole Miss, but Maty Mauk —who has done a formidable job in his place—is still expected to see the field. It's very important for Franklin to be 100 percent and to return to his pre-injury form if the Tigers want to beat the Rebels and then Texas A&M.
8. Clemson Tigers: 9-1 (LW: No. 9)
Tajh Boyd's final home game in a Clemson uniform comes in a tune-up game versus The Citadel before traveling crosstown in attempt to get his first career win against South Carolina.
9. Stanford Cardinal: 8-2 (LW: No. 5)
I'm sure it's not exactly how David Shaw saw his season panning out following a win over Oregon, but if the Cardinal can handle Cal this week and then wipe out Notre Dame in the season finale, there's a solid chance they'll still get into a BCS game.
10. Texas A&M Aggies: 8-2 (LW: No. 10)
The legend of Johnny Manziel still has some intrigue to it. If he can lead Texas A&M to monumental road wins at LSU and Missouri, it would be very difficult for the Sugar Bowl to pass on him (even with a 10-2 Auburn squad). We'd also be talking about a possible two-time Heisman winner, and Archie Griffin is the only player to ever do that (1974-75).
11. Oklahoma State Cowboys: 9-1 (LW: No. 11)
Before the season began, I threw a fit about the media's choice of Oklahoma State to win the Big 12 title. Although the Cowboys have already exceeded my expectations, I won't admit defeat just yet. A win against Baylor will shoot them into the BCS and change my mind.
12. South Carolina Gamecocks: 8-2 (LW: No. 12)
I'm not sure exactly why South Carolina struggled against a very depleted, one-dimensional Florida starting roster, but it did. But at this point, a win is a win, and the Gamecocks kept their SEC East hopes alive. Now they're huge Johnny Manziel fans, needing a Texas A&M win against Missouri in Week 14.
13. Michigan State Spartans: 9-1 (LW: No. 13)
Sparty's defense was far from its normal superhuman self, but it did force five turnovers and put the offense in good position to hang 41 on Big Ten Legends contender Nebraska.
14. UCLA Bruins: 8-2 (LW: No. 15)
The Bruins could have packed things up and left camp after losing two straight to Stanford and Oregon. Instead, they have fought through two tough wins and are now in position to win the Pac-12 South.
15. Fresno State Bulldogs: 10-0 (LW: No. 15)
Fresno State is expected to do what it does best against 3-7 New Mexico on Saturday—win.
16. Central Florida Knights: 8-1 (LW: No. 16)
Thanks to the clutchest reception you will see all year, Central Florida was able to hold off upset-hungry Temple and is still on path to for the BCS.
17. Wisconsin Badgers: 8-2 (LW: No. 17)
Saturday will mark the first time Wisconsin has played a ranked opponent since Northwestern on October 12, and that's proved to be a fluke. Minnesota isn't the most intimidating opponent, but is ranked for the first time since 2008 and should put up a good fight.
18. LSU Tigers: 7-3 (LW: No. 18)
A BCS bowl is out of the question for LSU, but a win over Texas A&M this weekend could at least make the pain go away for a little while.
19. Northern Illinois Huskies: 10-0 (LW: No. 20)
I may have been wrong saying that Ball State would be Northern Illinois' most difficult opponent. According to the Las Vegas Lines, the Huskies are only a -2.5 favorite on the road at Toledo this Wednesday night. #MACtionUpset?
20. Arizona State Sun Devils: 8-2 (LW: No. 21)
Now riding a five-game win streak, the Sun Devils could basically seal their Pac-12 Championship Game fate by beating UCLA (and then Arizona at home next week).
21. Louisville Cardinals: 9-1 (LW: No. 19)
Las Vegas Lines projected Louisville to beat Houston by at least 16 points. The Cardinals won 20-13 and Teddy Bridgewater was unimpressive. It may be unfair because they won, but this is the reason for the drop. High expectations can be a downfall.
22. Oklahoma Sooners: 8-2 (LW: No. 24)
Destroying Iowa State is cool and all, but Oklahoma isn't the first team to do it. Finding pay dirt against a hot Kansas State squad could help salvage the Sooners' season.
23. Duke Blue Devils: 8-2 (LW: No. 25)
With the decisive 18-point win over Miami (Fla.), Duke (yes, Duke), controls its destiny. If the Blue Devils can take care of Wake Forest and North Carolina, they will play Florida State in the ACC Championship. Who needs basketball?
24. USC Trojans: 8-3 (LW: unranked)
Since Lane Kiffin was fired, USC is 5-1 and is coming off its first Top-25 win in over 700 days. I'm not sure if Ed Orgeron has earned the job, but he definitely deserves to be in the conversation.
25. Ole Miss Rebels: 7-3 (LW: unranked)
Back in the Top 25 is Ole Miss, which is currently on a four-game win streak. There's a good chance the Rebels could ruin Missouri's BCS hopes this weekend.
Dropped from rankings: Texas (22), Georgia (23).
Other receiving votes: Minnesota, Toledo, Cincinnati, Louisiana-Lafayette, Texas, East Carolina, BYU, Boise State, Georgia, Ball State.
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