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NCAA POWER-25 WEEK 11 2015

#1 Computer Hope Alabama basically went through the motions on offense & still managed to destroy a good Mississippi St. 31-6 in Starkville. Dak Prescott is a tremendous QB and the Tide sacked him 9 TIMES and picked him off once as the Bulldogs went pass heavy after getting down big in the 1st half. RB Derrick Harvey ran for 200+ yards including a couple of big TD runs of 74 & 65 yards. I’m becoming more & more convinced this is the best defense Nick Saban has had while at Alabama. No one can touch them right now.
#2 Computer Hope I watched most of Clemson’s 37-27 win over Syracuse this past weekend. The Orange would make little pushes in the 2nd half & they closed the gap to 34-27 early in the 4th quarter, but you never got the impression that Clemson was struggling. The defense got tremendous pressure on the Syracuse QB & you were left wondering how the Orange were making positive yardage. The ACC stinks to be sure, but Clemson’s record is pretty solid. They are 10-0 and 6-0 against bowl eligible teams. Solid.
#3 Computer Hope Here is where the rankings get all fuzzy. If you believe in Clemson, then it’s hard to rank the Irish too low because ND lost to Clemson in Clemson 24-22 in a monsoon. I would have liked to have seen ND rack up more style points against Wake Forest in their 28-7 win, but the Irish went ground & pound behind Josh Adams & DeShone Kizer. Adams ran for 141 yards & a TD on just 17 carries. It gives Notre Dame formidable experience behind CJ Prosise when Prosise comes back from injury. Adams is a stud.
#4 Computer Hope We saw Florida do this with Vanderbilt a week or two ago & this week we saw TCU struggle with Kansas. Teams on championship runs get into games like the one Oklahoma St. had with Iowa St., but the contenders find a way to win those games while pretenders fold under the pressure. Oklahoma St. never led against Iowa St., until the very end when Jeff Carr caught a TD pass from JW Walsh to give OK State the 35-31 win. Teams of destiny find ways to win close games that should win. OK State did that.
#5 Computer Hope It’s amazing that Buckeyes RB Ezekiel Elliott isn’t getting more Heisman buzz. The 6’0/230lbs junior is on pace for almost 2000 rushing yards & 22TD & he plays for an extremely high profile team that is 10-0 & defending national champions! Elliott tore it up against this past week against Illinois going for 187yds/2TD in Ohio St.’s 28-3 win over the Illini. I think the road win over Illinois is more impressive than at first glance, but Ohio St. was playing to get to here. Michigan & Michigan St. await.
#6 Computer Hope Close wins over Minnesota & Indiana don’t look amazing on the surface, but Ohio St. & Michigan didn’t blow through the Hoosiers & Gophers either so the fact that Iowa keeps rolling is an impressive feat that shouldn’t be lost. This week against Minnesota, Leshun Daniels tore it up for 195 rushing yards & 3TD. CJ Beathard played flawless football & Jordan Canzeri got some run time. Akrum Wadley didn’t even play. Iowa can’t look past Purdue this week to Nebraska as the Boilermakers aren’t horrible.
#7 Computer Hope Oklahoma went into Baylor & gave the Bears a 44-34 loss that was probably the 2nd most impressive win of the season behind Alabama’s win over LSU. The fact that it was a road game for the Sooners would allow you to even argue that the OU win was bigger than Bama’s win over LSU. The scary part about the Sooners is that they are a top-25 defensive team. That’s scary considering how amazing QB Baker Mayfield has been playing & even with that said, you can argue OU is a running team. This might be the 2nd best team in the nation.
#8 Computer Hope In their last 6 games, Arkansas is 5-1 with road wins over Tennessee, Mississippi St., and LSU along with a road win over Auburn. The one loss was a road date against Alabama where the Hogs were bested 27-14. The back-to-back road wins over Ole Miss & LSU might be the best 2-week span of any team in the nation. RB Alex Collins & QB Brandon Allen have been on fire the last few weeks. Arkansas might be the hottest team in the country and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them win out & finish 9-4.
#9 Computer Hope The Big XII is tough to gauge. It’s hard to hammer the Bears too hard for losing to Oklahoma 44-34 given how on fire the Sooners are right now. Oklahoma could give Alabama a game meaning Baylor could be the 3rd best team in the nation. Not only that, but Baylor was playing a true freshman QB making his 2nd ever start. You can forgive them for losing. The one problem with Baylor is that the defense gives up almost 30PPG & they have Oklahoma St. & TCU coming up. I think a 9-3 season would disappoint.
#10 Computer Hope Beating Kansas 23-17 at home? EEEEEEEKKKKKKKK! Trevone Boykin was hurt so maybe you can give TCU a pass because it didn’t have their Heisman Trophy QB running the offense. This is a different Frogs team than we’ve seen in the past. The defense simply isn’t a Gary Patterson special & TCU is relying completely on their dominant offense & when that goes awry you beat a team like Kansas 23-17. I still think the Big XII is tricky. Right now I think Oklahoma is for real & we are waiting for the others.
#11 Computer Hope I said before the beginning of the season that I thought at a certain point in time, the SEC West coaches were becoming so good that Les Miles was going to be exposed as a second tier coach. That’s been in the making for awhile, but Miles has built up some patience with the LSU fanbase & the recruiting is ridiculous for LSU so that keeps him afloat. Leonard Fournette has kept him safe this season but Arkansas & Alabama might have exposed that plan. It’ll be interesting to see if Ole Miss and Texas A&M follow suit.
#12 Computer Hope Speaking of hot teams, Wisconsin has won 5 straight games, outscoring their opponents 150-75! The Badgers look like an incredible football team when Corey Clement is running with the rock. If Clement is healthy when Iowa comes to Madison, we might be looking at an 8-1 Wisconsin team with their only loss coming in the season opener against Alabama. How could you not rank them in the top-5 or top-6? It’s not impossible for Wisconsin to win the West. They need Iowa to lose out, but it’s possible.
#13 Computer Hope It looks like Treon Harris might not be the answer Florida was looking for when starting QB Will Grier was suspended. In his 2 starts, Harris has beaten both Vanderbilt & South Carolina, but his play has hardly been inspiring. In those 2 games, Harris is 31/57 (54%) for 414yds along with 1TD to 3INT! The Florida St. game in Gainesville doesn’t look so hot now & Florida could be 10-2 when taking on Alabama which is likely going to be very embarrassing if Harris does get better…….a lot better!
#14 Computer Hope Seems high for the Vols considering Tennessee is 6-4, but hindsight is a beautiful thing. Tennessee’s 4 losses have comes against Alabama (9-1), Arkansas (6-4), Florida (9-1) and Oklahoma (9-1). That’s a combined 33-7! In those 4 losses, Tennessee was outscored by a total of 17 points! The Vols have a best case record of 10-0. They are on a 3 game winning streak & have won 4 of their last 5. They are likely to win out & finish 8-4. If Lady Luck was smiling on Tennessee, they could be 10-0 & ranked #1.
#15 Computer Hope There isn’t a less sexy 9-1 team than Michigan St. right now. The 24-7 win over Maryland this week was brutal to watch. Connor Cook looked awful. Michigan St. couldn’t run the ball very well. They committed 3 turnovers & 7 penalties. The defense showed a great effort but we are talking Maryland. Sparty should have dominated. Still, the Michigan & Oregon wins keep looking better & better. If Michigan St. wins in Columbus this weekend they could wind up Big 10 champs at 12-1. Seems incredible.
#16 Computer Hope It was amazing watching how fast Oregon’s offense was against Stanford this past weekend. Oregon scored on 6 different drives en route to their 38-36 win over the Cardinal and their average drive lasted 1 minute & 25 seconds! Stanford dominated this game statistically & held the ball for over 42 minutes, but Oregon forced 3 Stanford turnovers which stalled drives & never really let the Cardinal get going. Oregon now has a shot at winning the North if Stanford loses again & Washington St. loses. They’ve won 4 straight.
#17 Computer Hope A 48-41 double OT win in Bloomington wasn’t pretty, but playing Indiana is an ugly proposition so I’m sure Jim Harbaugh and the Wolverines were happy to get out of the Hoosier state with a win. QB Jake Rudock had the best game of his season against IU throwing for 440 yards & 6TD! Opposing teams might have trouble stopping the Indiana offense, but Indiana’s defense has no problem handing out career days to the opposition’s skill players! It’s simply for Michigan. Win your last 2 & win the Big 10 East.
#18 Computer Hope The 38-36 loss to the Ducks crushed any opportunity Stanford might have had for a playoff spot. It even put into jeopardy their ability to win the Pac 12 North. They need to beat California to ensure a division championship. It seems like a game they’ll win but you never know. The Cardinals can still certainly play spoiler. If they win out they almost certainly doom Notre Dame’s hopes of making the playoffs. Not only that, but they will be in position to finish 12-2 with a Rose Bowl win.
#19 Computer Hope The 27-24 win over Colorado wasn’t pretty, but USC did manage to sack the Colorado QB 6 times, which is the 2nd time in as many weeks as the USC defense has recorded 6 sacks in a game. USC now ranks 13th in the nation in sacks and I think the high-flying hyper-aggressive defense is the key to USC making good on their tremendous talent. The wins have always been pretty but they can still win the South if Utah slips. Oregon this week & UCLA in the season finale will show what USC is made of.
#20 Computer Hope The ACC sucks, but the Tar Heels are starting to really turn it on. They’ve won 9 straight games but Carolina has put the hammer down the last couple of weeks beating Duke & Miami-FL in Chapel Hill by the combined score of 125-52! They’d have to lose their final 2 to lose the Coastal to Pittsburgh. That’s the good news. The bad news is that UNC has been a fairly lucky team & they don’t inspire confidence with a ball-hawking defense. That said, this team might not get tested again until Clemson.
#21 Computer Hope The 37-30 loss to Arizona doesn’t make a ton of sense, but to be honest, I think the Pac 12 is deeper & better than it has played out this season. The conference is full of good competitive teams so losing a close game isn’t brutal. The Utes drop to 8-2 but get to close out the season with 2 home games against UCLA & Colorado. If they win those 2 games & USC drops a game against either Oregon or UCLA, then Utah wins the South & gets a chance at a Pac 12 championship. No playoffs though.
#22 Computer Hope I think #22 is too low for Navy, but I’m not sure what to do with the Middies. Oddly enough, I thought long & hard about where to place Navy in relation to North Carolina. I think UNC deserves to be ranked higher, but on the other hand, Navy’s one loss came to Notre Dame whereas UNC lost to South Carolina! Navy should get by Tulsa this week, but if Houston gets by UConn, it sets up a showdown between 9-1 Navy & 11-0 Houston. If Navy gets to 12-1, they could make the playoff decision interesting.
#23 Computer Hope Northwestern hasn’t been winning games convincingly, but they’ve won 3 straight games against Nebraska, Penn St. & Purdue and are now 8-2 with their only losses coming against Michigan & Iowa. When you look at those losses, Northwestern  could probably be ranked higher. The Wildcats have a tough test coming up against Wisconsin in Madison. The wins over Stanford & Duke are long gone. Northwestern needs a solid win. They can’t win the West but 10-2 is still a great season for them.
#24 Computer Hope Since the INEXPLICABLE opening week loss to Portland St., the Cougars are 7-2 with their only losses coming to California & Stanford by 8 total points. Wazzou also has wins over Oregon, Arizona, Arizona St., and last week UCLA. Those wins are more than solid resume builders. The season finale in Seattle could be tricky but Wazzou could be 9-3. No matter what though, Washington St. can’t win the Pac 12 North. Still, Washington St. could end the season 10-3 & I think the Pirate would be thrilled!
#25 Computer Hope I have Houston quite a bit lower than most power rankings, but the Memphis win was supposed to be big, but it lessened when Navy blew the Tigers out. Navy beat Memphis by 25. Houston beat Memphis by 3. Yes, Houston is undefeated, but Navy’s one loss came in South Bend against Notre Dame. Does anyone really believe Houston could win a road game against Notre Dame? Houston has a tricky test at UConn this week. The Cougars are coming off 2 close wins. They should be careful!


TEMPLE OWLS (previously #19): The 7-0 start was amazing, but Temple is now 1-2 in their last 3 including last week’s 44-23 loss to South Florida. I really like this team. I love Matt Rhule as HC and I think this team gets after it defensively. Temple can still win the AAC East, get to 10-2 and potentially win the AAC with an 11-2 record. A bowl win would give the Owls an extraordinary 12 win season!

UCLA BRUINS (previously #21): The loss to Washington St. was brutal and probably cost them a chance at the Pac 12 South. UCLA finishes the season on the road against both Utah & USC. Two losses mean a 7-5 season which would be a HUGE disappointment. On the other hand, 7-5 isn’t brutal for a true frosh QB in a big time division in a big time conference.

MISSISSIPPI ST. BULLDOGS (previously #23): I love the Bulldogs but who have they really beat this year? Their best win might be Auburn. They’ve played 3 other big time teams: Alabama, Texas A&M & LSU. All 3 losses.

WEST VIRGINIA MOUNTAINEERS (previously #25): It was either West Virginia or Washington State and I couldn’t take WVU over the Cougars given who Wazzou has beaten this season. All you can really hope for at this point is for the Big XII to get some amazing bowl opponents so we can see exactly what this conference is made of.


November 17, 2015 - Posted by | Alabama, Arkansas, Baylor, Clemson, Florida, Houston, Iowa, LSU, Michigan, Michigan St., Mississippi St., Navy, NCAA, North Carolina, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Ohio St, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St., Oregon, Power 25, Stanford, TCU, Temple, Tennessee, UCLA, USC, Utah, Washington St., Week 11, West Virginia, Wisconsin

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