Joe's Week 12 Top 25

01. Georgia (10-0) SEC (N/A) - We're getting the real Georgia now and they're locked in and focused on finishing the season strong. This is the team we all saw in week 1 against O****n.

02. Ohio State (10-0) B10 (N/A) - Nothing new to say. Just coasting along until they finally play Michigan. Maryland is a good team and could play them tough for a half. They need to stay focused or they could get upset. I think they'll dispatch them early though.

03. TCU (10-0) B12 (+1) - TCU has beaten enough strong teams to move ahead of Michigan now. They're still winning every game close but they've beaten a lot of teams that have been ranked at some point this season and are above .500.

04. Michigan (10-0) B10 (-1) - Unranked 7-3 Illinois this week will be their 2nd toughest opponent this season. The only thing to watch for this week is that they don't overlook them because Ohio State is the week after. I'm sure Harbaugh will prioritize getting a big lead early so he can get his starters out for the 4th quarter.

05. Tennessee (9-1) SEC (N/A) - This is the time of year where the SEC teams schedule their bye-week-by-lower-tier-school games. So naturally they beat Mizzou 66-24. Would have to conclude at this point that Tennessee is really good and Georgia is otherworldly. They're hoping for chaos ahead and behind them because they're out of the CFP otherwise.

06. Clemson (9-1) ACC (N/A) - They still have home games against Miami and South Carolina to finish the season. I'd give them a 75% chance to win both of those before their matchup with North Carolina. If they lose either they are all but out of the CFP regardless of the ACC title game result.

07. Alabama (8-2) SEC (+2) - Knocked off a solid Ole Miss team on the road and ruined any hope Ole Miss had of making the playoffs. Now they get Austin Peay. Yay (/s).

08. LSU (8-2) SEC (N/A) - Why did I swap Alabama and LSU even though LSU won the head to head? Simple. LSU looked like hot garbage against Arkansas and they only beat Bama by 1-point at home. They need to play about 50 times better against Georgia in 3 weeks or they're going to lose 49-7.

09. USC (9-1) P12 (+2) - The Pac-12's only *real* hope at the playoffs (there are other scenarios where a 2-loss UW, O****n, or Utah can make it but they are chaos incarnate on a level CFB has never seen). They got an extra day to rest up and I'm sure they spent part of it watching UCLA fall apart. If USC loses to UCLA the chances are high that they're eliminated from the Pac-12 title game. They would also eliminate Washington. We're all USC fans this week!

10. Utah (8-2) P12 (+2) - Normally we're big fans of Utah but if you want the Huskies to play for the conference title we need them to lose this game. That said - the odds are low for us so go Utes! This is a must-win game for Utah because just like UW the tie-breakers don't go well for them in most cases and they'd be relying on a D**ks loss to OSU. I think they have a good chance at pulling off the upset against a hobbled Bo Nix.

11. Washington (8-2) P12 (+9) - I'm probably going to catch some crap for having Washington this high (and especially above Penn State and Ole Miss) but give me a second to at least explain. The top-5 teams in the Pac-12 have generally shown that they're as good as anyone from 3rd in my rankings all the way down. UW boasts one of the top 3 road wins in college football this season. I don't *feel* like we're the #11 team in the country but whenever I look over the results of the other teams there isn't anything there to suggest they are either. Washington has a top 15 road win, a top 25 home win, a top 15 road loss by 1-possession, and a really bad road loss by 1-possession. Most of the other teams in the top-25 have been blown out, have lost to a really bad team at home, or haven't won any top-25 games. By the way I had UW at 20th so it's not as big of a jump here as I've been higher on us than the national polls or CFP already.

12. O****n (8-2) P12 (-5) - The loss to UW required a re-analysis of this team and, upon review, the win against UCLA is the only thing they have to stand on. Their Pac-12 schedule is backloaded and blood has already been drawn in the first of three. Utah comes to town next with the conference title game appearance on the line and then they have a road game at OSU. If they escape 2-0 they'll deserve a top-10 ranking but after seeing us beat them I don't think they will. Here's hoping... Anyways, UW gets the nod on head-to-head

13. UCLA (8-2) P12 (-3) - I was tempted to drop them further to below Ole Miss and Penn State but they have the strong wins over Utah and UW that are holding them up here. If you disagree with me I ask you this question: What's better - Winning two home games against strong teams and losing to one bad team and one good team or losing two games to good teams and beating only bad teams?

14. Ole Miss (8-2) SEC (N/A) - Kept it respectable against Alabama so we can say they're probably a good team. The problem for them is they have zero wins against ranked opponents. Their strongest win is a 3-point home victory over Kentucky who is 6-4 overall and 3-4 in the SEC.

15. Penn State (8-2) B10 (+3) - They just blanked a decent Maryland team 30-0 which is enough to prove they're a top 15 team. The Big-10 is pretty clearly Ohio State/Michigan on the top tier, Penn State on tier 2, and then everyone else.

16. North Carolina (9-1) ACC (-1) - There's a meme floating around out there that's a perfect summary of this team and their season. They have six wins by one possession or less against unranked teams. Five of those wins are by 3 points or less. The wins over Duke and Wake Forest are decent. The wins over App State (2 points), Georgia State (2 points), Virginia (3 points), and Miami (3 points) aren't. They have a tough game against NC State in two weeks and then they get to be the ACC ritual sacrifice that propels Clemson into the playoff.

17. Florida State (7-3) ACC (+6) - Did you know they had a 1-point home win over LSU early in the season? That is enough to boost them up here to 17th. The losses to Wake Forest and NC State aren't too bad and the loss to Clemson is understandable. FSU is a pretty good team with a tough schedule.

18. Notre Dame (7-3) IND (+3) - Much like North Carolina, Notre Dame is also a truly puzzling team. I'd swear they're coached by Sark with how they play to the level of their opponents. Two of their losses are atrocious but then they have convincing wins over Clemson, North Carolina, and Syracuse. At least Florida State can say they lost to only good teams. I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if they lose to Boston College this week and then wreck USC the week after.

19. Kansas State (7-3) B12 (+5) - Routed Baylor. Another team that's tough to read. The Big-12 is a solid conference where every team is a tough out. That makes TCU's undefeated record all the more impressive. Hard to fault any of the teams for losing 3 games.

20. Oregon State (7-3) P12 (New) - The Beavs are back! I went back and forth over them last week but ended up with them as the first team out. They're definitely a top-25 team and I think they have what it takes to beat the D**ks in two weeks. But they have to get past ASU in the desert first. We're all huge Beaver fans for the next 2 weeks if we want UW to make a major bowl game.

21. UCF (8-2) AMR (New) - They've lost to Louisville and East Carolina and have beaten Tulane and Cincinnati. They actually have just as many top-25 wins as many of the top-10 teams. That's enough to give them the nod as the highest ranked Go5 team.

22. Tulane (8-2) AAC (-9) - A one possession loss to UCF is nothing to be embarassed about. This is a solid team with a road win over Kansas State. They were the best shot the non P5 conferences had at getting someone into a major bowl game so that's over now.

23. NC State (7-3) ACC (-5) - They got absolutely embarassed in a 1-point home loss to Boston College which is what dropped them down here. I had them out but as I've been shuffling around the other 2, 3, and 4 loss teams it was hard to find a reason to move them down any further. They're still a solid team with a good defense. Only Clemson has reached 30 points (and exactly that) against them this season. Everyone else has been held to 21 or less. Want a really weird stat? Their last three opponents have all scored exactly 21 points! If they had an average power-5 offense you'd be looking at a 9-1 team.

24. Oklahoma State (7-3) B12 (New) - Oklahoma State is yet another team that's tough to read. They've played TCU tough (loss), Texas tough (win), gotten shut out and blown out by Kansas State (48-0), and have no wins over currently ranked teams. The 3-point road loss to #3 TCU is the slight edge on other teams they need to move them back into the top-25 for now after their win against Iowa State.

25. Liberty (8-2) IND (-9) - I know you've all been waiting for this one. I had them out, I moved them back in, then I moved them back out, and then finally after deciding to drop Cincinnati they're in. They were about 15 yards away from attempting a game tying field goal on the road at UConn last week but came up just short. Unfortunately with that loss Liberty will have to settle for the "Best margin of victory over BYU" trophy which they beat out Notre Dame, O****n, Arkansas, and East Carolina for. Up next they have a home game against Virginia Tech (wtf is VT doing?) and then they close with a home game against New Mexico State. The BYU and Arkansas wins are enough to hold them in the 25th spot over some of the 4-loss teams below.

Dropped: Kansas (6-4) B12 (25) - Bye bye Kansas, we hardly knew ye. A loss to Texas Tech is not what a top-25 team should be doing. And that being their 4th loss they're almost certainly done being ranked this year.

Dropped: Wake Forest (6-4) ACC (22) - I was pretty high on Wake Forest earlier in the season but wow have they collapsed. They're on a 3-game losing streak and now have to face a Syracuse team of equal strength to them. At least they get them at home. If they can't win this week they're in real danger of finishing with 5 straight losses as they end the season on the road against Duke.

Dropped: Texas (6-4) B12 (17) - I debated leaving Texas in because they have one of the top 3 toughest schedules in the country but I can't shake the feeling that this is a Steve Sarkisian 7-win special that they're running. Aside from the Red River Showdown and their overmatched non-conference opponents they'ved played up or down to the level of every single team. It seems like destiny for Sark to take them up to Kansas and win this week only to throw it all away with a season-ending loss at home to Baylor. Expect Sark's seat to be hot as hell during the post-season.

AAC - 1
ACC - 4
AMR - 1
B10 - 3
B12 - 3
IND - 2
P12 - 6
SEC - 5

-------------JUST OUTSIDE---------------
XX. Cincinnati (8-2) AMR
XX. Texas (6-4) B12
XX. Wake Forest (6-4) ACC
XX. Mississippi State (6-4) SEC
XX. South Carolina (6-4) SEC
XX. South Alabama (8-2) SUN
XX. Illinois (7-3) B10
XX. Duke (7-3) ACC
XX. Minnesota (7-3) B10
XX. Coastal Carolina (9-1) SUN
XX. UTSA (8-2) USA
XX. Troy (8-2) SUN