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Joe's Week 11 Top 25

Getting these posted up now but will have to come back and fill in the descriptions later.

Crazy day in college football again. Back to back highly entertaining weeks where UW doesn't play on Saturday has been awesome. I wouldn't be surprised if ESPN picks up the game for the 6:00PM slot so they can hold all the late eyeballs. Gameday will also be an interesting choice as there are about 5 games of equal quality but only a couple with real playoff implications. UW @ O****n will be a top-25 matchup. Alabama plays at Ole Miss which will likely be #10 vs. #13-15 but Ole Miss isn't really talked about as a contender. UCF @ Tulane will be a top-25 matchup but also with no playoff impact. TCU @ Texas is TCU's most likely remaining chance to pick up a regular season loss and will be a top-25 matchup. And lastly North Carolina @ Wake Forest is a top-25 matchup but also has no current CFP impact (UNC is a strange team... a lot of 3 point or less wins). My money is on them picking TCU @ Texas for Gameday. If I had to rank the Gameday choices (and odds) it would be:

1. TCU @ Texas - 65%

2. UCF @ Tulane - 20%

3. Bama @ Ole Miss - 10%

4. UNC @ Wake - 3%

5. UW @ O****n - 2%

Rankings:


01. Georgia (9-0) SEC (+2) - The way Georgia has played this year I wasn't sure how they would look against Tennessee. Pretty clear now that they were just going through the motions against lesser competition most of the season. They also got some key guys back that they lost early in the season. Expect them to be the undisputed #1 team in every poll/ranking/metric now.

02. Ohio State (9-0) B10 (N/A) - It's funny everyone is crediting the wind with Stroud's awful performance against Northwestern but last I checked the wind was just as bad at Husky Stadium on Friday and Penix still went off. Ohio State just had a bad game. It happens. That was their only bad game this season so you can forgive it. Georgia had more close calls than this. The only thing keeping them from being in contention for #1 is their SOS which we've now talked about ad nauseum. 3 weeks until Michigan.

03. Michigan (9-0) B10 (+2) - No Michigan players were jumped this week. Nothing else of note to say about them. 3 weeks until Ohio State. Don't expect Illinois in 2 weeks to be within 3 scores of them.

04. TCU (9-0) B12 (+2) - I've said this in a couple places now online but will echo it in my rankings - I'm not sure if the Big-12 is the toughest conference in CFB this year or the most average. 8/10 teams have been ranked at some point in the year and one of the unranked teams, Iowa State, is sitting on four losses by 3 points or less and another by a touchdown. Everyone in the Big-12 is a quality opponent unlike the bottom of the other power-5 conferences. TCU's run through them has been exceedingly impressive but, again, they're winning in close contests. I do think Texas has what it takes to beat them this week and put an end to their CFP hopes.

05. Tennessee (8-1) SEC (-4) - The Tennessee that we saw on Saturday was not the same Tennessee we've seen all season. Whether that's due to Georgia being that darn good or Tennessee not rising to the moment or some mixture of both is the million dollar question. Their resume still says top 5 team so at 5 they shall sit.

06. Clemson (8-1) ACC (+1) - Okay this is a weird one for me. Clemson has actually had a really tough schedule and they've struggled through it but managed to reach 8-0. This stretch of three games ending in a road game at Notre Dame had danger written all over it. I had every intention of moving Clemson down a little but when I went back and looked at the schedules of every other 1 and 2 loss team it didn't make sense to put them behind anyone else. They're not the dominant Clemson that we've come to expect but they're still damn good. So somehow Clemson loses and moves up one spot this week thanks to Alabama. Fancy that.

07. O****n (8-1) P12 (+1) - I think UW is the 2nd strongest team O****n will face all regular season. Yes, I think UW is stronger than UCLA but the secondary injuries were just brutal in the early season. As others have pointed out they've had an easy schedule since Georgia and have blown out almost everyone. I still haven't forgotten that WSU game though which is why they're below Clemson. If Bo Nix comes out as strong against the Huskies as he has the rest of the season expect him to be one of the Heisman finalists. This season looks like its setting up perfectly for O****n to become the first Pac-12 team to go undefeated in conference place. The icing on the cake will be their 49-13 loss to Georgia in the first round of the CFP though.

08. LSU (7-2) SEC (+3) - Losses to FSU (6-3) by 1-point and Tennessee by a billion (40-13). Wins over Alabama by 1-point and Ole Miss by half a billion (45-20). It's been a solid first season for Kelly. I don't like the guy at all but mad respect for going for 2-points and the win at home. Nobody does that at home. The book has it in gigantic bold letters that you kick the PAT at home and lean on the crowd. LSU being back is good for college football. They keep Alabama in check and we get all-time games like last week's.

09. Alabama (7-2) SEC (-5) - There's no shame in a 1-point loss to LSU or a 3-point loss to Tennessee but Alabama is firmly out of the CFP hunt and would need LSU to lose out in order to make the SEC championship game. This probably feels like a nightmare to Alabama fans who have probably purchased vacation homes in all the CFP cities at this point because of how much time they spend there. So why is Alabama ahead of so many 1-loss teams? Because they would destroy all of them.

10. UCLA (8-1) P12 (N/A) - UCLA was cruising against ASU and then all of the sudden it looked like they might go down just like UW did. But Yankoff and Jones ripped off 53 yards rushing on 6 attempts and, with the aid of a personal foul on ASU, sealed the game with a touchdown to go up 2-scores. I'm surprised they didn't lean more on DTR at the end but it worked out for them. Up next is Arizona at home who can put up points on anyone. UCLA had better not look ahead to USC the week after.

11. USC (8-1) P12 (-2) - Had Cal not thrown a stupid interception at the end of the first half to let USC go up 20-7 instead of 13-7 this easily could have been a Cal victory. The defense is bad and not getting better. I swapped USC and UCLA in the rankings because as much as they have the talent advantage they are not putting it to great use. If USC is the Pac-12's best shot at the playoffs I think the playoff chances are toast in week 12 (Notre Dame).

12. Utah (7-2) P12 (+5) - Utah fans have to be looking back at week 1 and agonizing over why Wittingham chose to pass at Florida instead of just running 3 or 4 times for the win because they'd be in the driver's seat for a CFP berth if they didn't lose that game. The road to 7-2 hasn't been pretty but with Utah's style of play it never is. Their focus for the week is to get past Stanford quickly and keep Rising healthy. The road trip to O****n in 2 weeks looms large. Lose that and they're out of the conference race. Win and they've still got an outside chance to play for the conference.

13. Tulane (8-1) AAC (+1) - A win earlier in the season over Kansas State has held them up in my rankings for a bit. They get a chance to really firm up their position with UCF this week.

14. Ole Miss (8-1) SEC (+1) - The last coach and team I would want to be right now is Lane Kiffin and Ole Miss. They get Alabama after a loss. Good luck! This week we find out if Ole Miss is legit or has just been riding a soft schedule.

15. North Carolina (8-1) ACC (+1) - Possibly the strangest one loss team you'll ever see. Nothing about their place indicates they should have this record but they just keep winning. They beat 4-5 Miami by a field goal, 3-6 Virginia by a field goal, 4-5 Georgia State by a touchdown, got blasted off the field at home by Notre Dame, and for whatever the hell reason went on the road to Appalachian State and beat them by a field goal. If they can beat Wake Forest and NC State they'll be dark horse CFP candidates. If they lose both.. it doesn't change much; they just need to beat Georgia Tech to guarantee themselves a berth in the ACC championship against (probably) Clemson.

16. Liberty (8-1) IND (+3) - Liberty went into Arkansas as 14.5 point underdogs and beat them. It's not a win that'll make waves around college football but it'll certainly get them into the CFP rankings on Tuesday. It would be a crime at this point to leave them out. Their only loss is, again, by 1 point at Wake Forest on a 2-pt conversion attempt to win the game in regulation.

17. Texas (6-3) B12 (+3) - I had Texas picked to lose to Kansas State and they alllllmost let them back into the game. Big win for Sark/Texas and now they get TCU at home. There are no easy weeks in the Big-12. Keep a close eye on that game because if Texas wins the Big-12 is out of the playoffs.

18. Penn State (7-2) B10 (N/A) - Right on pace for that 10-2 finish with wins over zero ranked teams. Weeeeee. What a crap year for the Big-10 eh?

19. NC State (7-2) ACC (+3) - I had NC State and Wake as a toss up so no surprise here seeing the home team come out on top. It should be smooth sailing for the next two weeks until they close at North Carolina.

20. Washington (7-2) P12 (+4) - This week is our best and only remaining chance to get a win over a team that will be ranked at the end of the season (expecting OSU to not be). The schedule has lived up to its billing as being on the softer side although we didn't expect MSU to be so bad. Here's hoping the Auburn opening is a distraction for the D**ks but considering how much they hate us I doubt it. I won't say the season hangs on this game but it certainly goes a long ways towards how successful a season feels at the end.

21. Notre Dame (6-3) IND (New) - Okay no joke it is impossible to pick the final 5 teams in the rankings and feel like you've made the right choice. The Clemson win was big enough to give ND the nod for the time being because most of the other 3-loss teams just haven't beaten anyone good.

22. Wake Forest (6-3) ACC (+1) - Tough loss to NC State but they don't get time to dwell on it as they have the toughest closing schedule in the ACC. Wake is a good team but so are several other ACC opponents this year. Their final three opponents are a combined 20-7. Ouch.

23. Florida State (6-3) ACC (New) - They had a 1-point win at home against LSU in week 2 that looks like a monster victory now. Since then they haven't been given much credit but their losses are to 6-3 Wake Forest, 7-2 NC State, and 8-1 Clemson. If they can win at Syracuse this week it'll be a successful season.

24. Kansas State (6-3) B12 (-11) - Lose to TCU -> Blow out Oklahoma State -> Lose to Texas -> Blowout Baylors??? That's what I expect to see this week at least. Their third loss was to Tulane so they have three losses to top-25 teams but 0 wins against current top-25 teams.

25. Kansas (6-3) B12 (New) - Kansas started off on fire against the easier part of the schedule and then hit a 3 game losing streak against tougher conference opponents. A decent win over Oklahoma State is enough to put them in the last spot in.

Dropped:

Illinois (7-2) B10 - Okay I had a chance to watch them in that loss to Michigan State and they're just not good. They average well under 30 points per game (24.7) and their SOS is abysmal. They have zero games against current or at kickoff top-25 teams. Not wins. Not losses. Games. That's insane for a power-5 team!!!

Syracuse (6-3) ACC - They're on a 3-game losing streak and in desparate need of course correction. FSU at home is going to be a tough out. Winner gets to sit in the bottom of the top-25 and loser is probably out for the season.

Oregon State (6-3) P12 - I didn't want to drop them after their close loss to us in Husky Stadium but they just don't have anything on the resume that puts them ahead of the other 3 loss teams. They're a solid team but Boise State, Fresno State, and Montana State as a non-conference schedule is not going to cut it.

By Conference:

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