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NCAA POWER-25 WEEK 13 2015

The regular season is finished and after the first 6-7 teams, the rankings get really dicey as you could make an argument for any of a number of teams for each slot. When compiling these rankings I tried to take the entirely of the season into consideration.

RANK TEAM COMMENTS
#1 Computer Hope Nobody will have Michigan St. as the #1 team in the nation, but no team in the nation has 3 better wins than at Ohio St., v. Oregon and at Michigan. You can argue Ohio St. might be the best team in the nation & no team in the country right now is hotter than Oregon. The Ducks would be the most dangerous playoff team if they had the chance. Michigan can play with anyone. The one loss was by 1 point on the road to Nebraska. It hasn’t always been pretty but the Spartans are 11-1 & Big 10 East champions. They deserve this.
#2 Computer Hope On paper the Sooners deserve to be here. Their best 4 wins include road wins over Baylor, Tennessee & Oklahoma State! Throw in a win over TCU & Oklahoma’s best 4 opponents have a combined record of 37-10! The only problem I have with Oklahoma is that the big named teams they’ve beaten (TCU, OK State & Baylor) haven’t beaten anyone & the Tennessee win was a long time ago. How good is the Big XII? With that said, Oklahoma has won 7 straight games by an average score of 52-19. They are DESTROYING teams.
#3 Computer Hope The ACC is a bit watered down but Clemson’s top 2 wins over Notre Dame & Florida St. set them a part. They struggled a bit with South Carolina & their overall body of work isn’t quite as strong as Michigan St.’s or Oklahoma’s, but the Irish & Seminoles are a combined 20-4 & Notre Dame will argue it should be 12-0. A win over North Carolina will also give Clemson a win over an 11-2 Tar Heel squad. Their next best wins are road games over Louisville & Miami-FL. I have no problem with them being #1 at the end of the year.
#4 Computer Hope The #1 team based solely on the eyeball test, but when looking at resumes, it’s hard to give Alabama the nod over the above 3. Their biggest win might really be a road game over Mississippi St., a team that was just hammered by Ole Miss who gave Alabama their only loss. The Tide’s next 3 best wins are Wisconsin, Arkansas & LSU. They get Florida in the SEC championship game & the Gators were WAXED by Florida State! Let’s face it, the SEC hasn’t been that great this year. The Tide’s toughest tests are coming up.
#5 Computer Hope Will the real Ohio St. please stand up? If Ohio St. played against Michigan St. the way they played against Michigan this past week, then the Buckeyes are going 13-0 without question & going into the playoffs as the #1 overall seed! Michigan is a tremendous defensive football team & Ohio St. ran for almost 400 yards in a 42-13 rout in Ann Arbor! If Clemson or Alabama lose this weekend then expect Ohio St. to crash the playoff party & don’t be surprised if they don’t win back to back national championships!
#6 Computer Hope People doubted Iowa all season long but they went into Nebraska and took care of business beating the Cornhuskers 28-20 to complete the perfect 12-0 regular season. You might argue that Iowa hasn’t played a tough schedule but going 12-0 against ANY schedule is extremely difficult. Ask Alabama! I’ve seen Iowa play multiple times this year & they are for real. Their biggest test is coming up in the Big 10 championship as Michigan St. will be the toughest game they have yet. If the Hawkeyes win they’ll leave no doubt behind.
#7 Computer Hope A missed 2-point conversion & a last second FG are what separates the Irish from a 12-0 season. There aren’t too many teams in college football who could lose their starting QB in Week 2 & still go into the final week of the season very much a part of the playoff picture, yet the Irish did just that when Malik Zaire went down & DeShone Kizer stepped up. And that was a week later after losing their starting RB Tarean Folston. How would Clemson look had they lost Deshaun Watson & Wayne Gallman after their first 2 weeks?
#8 Computer Hope I wouldn’t let the 52-42 final over Oregon St. fool you. The Ducks were up 31-7 at halftime & cruised. This is probably the most dangerous football team in the nation & you can bet that the head coaches of the final 4 playoff teams are breathing a sigh of relief that Oregon is 9-3. The Ducks end the season winning 6 straight games. QB Vernon Adams in those 6 games is 112/169 (66%) for 1865yds & 21TD to 4 interceptions. Oregon averaged 45PPG in those 6 games. They can’t play a lick of defense, but you can’t outscore them.
#9 Computer Hope The loss to Ohio St. in the Big House is ugly but Ohio St. played the best game of the year against the Wolverines & you can easily argue that Ohio St. is the best team in the nation when they are playing at their highest level. Michigan saw that so the results were expected. The Utah loss is a mile away & Big Blue should have beaten Michigan State who I have ranked #1. Michigan should win their bowl unless they draw Oregon which means Jim Harbaugh will finish 10-3 in his first season. That’s a hell of an accomplishment.
#10 Computer Hope Like Michigan St. & Iowa, there is nothing pretty about the way in which Northwestern wins football games, but win games they did. Their only losses came against Michigan & Iowa. Those were ugly losses showing that the 2015 Northwestern Wildcats don’t discriminate ugliness between wins & losses. At the end of the day you have a Northwestern team that is 10-2 with wins over Duke, Stanford, Penn St., Wisconsin & Nebraska. Kirk Ferentz is the Big 10 coach of the year, but Pat Fitzgerald did an amazing job.
#11 Computer Hope The Notre Dame win was outstanding even if I don’t believe the Cardinal are the better team. What can you say about Stanford? The team has been a real treat to watch this year. Christian McCaffery has had a season up there with some of Tim Tebow’s monster seasons & Kevin Hogan has been tremendous as a senior. The Northwestern loss killed Stanford which goes to show you that Week 1 games are important. If Stanford wins the Pac 12 championship & is 12-1, I think they get into the playoffs over 11-1 Oklahoma!
#12 Computer Hope It’s exceptionally difficult to place Ole Miss because their season has been a Jekyl & Hyde show. They have by far the most impressive win of the season, beating Alabama in Tuscaloosa & their season finale drubbing of Mississippi St. was A LOT more impressive than you think. But then they have losses to Florida & Memphis? The loss to Arkansas was INSANITY and maybe we look at the Rebels a bit more differently if they are 10-2 instead of 9-3. Hugh Freeze has to figure out how to take the next step with this program.
#13 Computer Hope I feel like 13th is WAY TOO low for North Carolina. I’ve been watching them all year long and I love the trio of QB Marquise Williams, RB Elijah Hood & WR Ryan Switzer, but the Tar Heels haven’t played ANYONE and the loss to South Carolina looks worse than Oklahoma’s inexplicable loss to Texas! The Heels have a chance to prove the doubters wrong if they can beat Clemson in the ACC title game. I’m not sure it’ll be enough to vault them into the Final-4, but it would certainly turn some heads. Now schedule better!
#14 Computer Hope The trio of Big XII teams under Oklahoma is difficult to rank. They haven’t beaten anyone save each other while throwing in West Virginia & Texas Tech. West Virginia’s best out of conference win came against Maryland, but the Terps suck. Texas Tech did beat Arkansas, but I think the Razorbacks would beat Tech by 30 if they played now. TCU ranks highest here. They are 10-2 & lost to Oklahoma by a single point. Given the injuries, the losses on defense, & Trevone Boykin struggling, this 10-2 season has been outstanding.
#15 Computer Hope If you haven’t guessed it yet, I’m ranking TCU, Oklahoma St. & Baylor based on how close they have come to beating Oklahoma. Everything I’ve said about the Big XII applies to Baylor. Their big wins have come against West Virginia, Oklahoma St., & Texas Tech, but the wins are insular and overall the teams need to do a better job of scheduling. Oklahoma gets it right because they had the road game in Knoxville, but Baylor, TCU & Oklahoma St. haven’t followed suit. Even Texas Tech is scheduling SEC opponents!
#16 Computer Hope I think Oklahoma St. & Mike Gundy deserve a lot of credit this season. It might look like a down year because the Cowboys got hammered by Oklahoma in the last game of the season which determined the Big XII championship but with 2 road games against West Virginia & Texas Tech, I didn’t expect OSU to get anywhere near a 10-2 record. What makes it hard to swallow is staring out 10-0. It’s almost impossible to feel good about a season when you lose your final 2, but Oklahoma St. should be very proud this year.
#17 Computer Hope I haven’t ranked Florida St. too much this year. Part of the reason is their loss to Georgia Tech which looks horrible, but the other part is their affiliation with the ACC. It’s hurt North Carolina all season & would hurt Clemson if the Tigers weren’t 12-0, but the 27-2 waxing of SEC East champ Florida looks good on the resume. Lost in this season is how amazing RB Dalvin Cook has been. The guy is averaging 8ypc for crying out loud! If FSU beats GT & is 11-1 with a loss to Clemson, how different do we look at them?
#18 Computer Hope The Badgers are almost an afterthought at 9-3 as they are behind 12-0 Iowa & 10-2 Northwestern, but Wisconsin’s only losses on the season are to Alabama (11-1), Northwestern (10-2) & Iowa (12-0)! Those teams are a combined 33-3! Northwestern is my lowest rated team at #10 so the Badgers could make a tremendous case for #11. The losses to Iowa & Northwestern came by a combined 10 points. Talk about missed opportunities! What’s even more amazing? Corey Clement carried the ball only 29 times! Bad luck baby!
#19 Computer Hope Arkansas took care of business in the season finale against Missouri, beating the Tigers 28-3 to end the season 7-5. Arkansas didn’t finish as hot as Oregon or Oklahoma, but they won 5 of their last 6 and were 6-2 in their last 8 with one of those losses coming against Alabama & the other being a 1 point loss to Mississippi State. Alex Collins had a tremendous year picking up for Jonathan Williams’s injury. If not for insane losses early on to Toledo & Texas Tech, the Hogs could be 9-3. I wouldn’t want them in a bowl!
#20 Computer Hope The defense is for real & the Gators have one of the best D-lines in college football if not the best, but they were exposed against Florida St. in their 27-2 loss in the Swamp. Florida’s fate was essentially sealed when they lost Will Grier. Treon Harris simply isn’t the QB Grier is and when you add in the fact that Grier really took control of this team in the Ole Miss win, his loss proves even more critical. One thing is for certain, McElwain was a TREMENDOUS hire & Florida will win a championship while he’s there.
#21 Computer Hope Ridiculous to think what might have been for Tennessee. The Vols end the season 8-4 with a 5-game winning streak. They are 6-1 in their last 7 with their only loss coming on the road against Alabama by 5 points. Their four losses were to Oklahoma (11-1), Florida (10-2), Alabama (11-1) & Arkansas (7-5). Two of those teams are going to the playoffs! It’s also worth pointing out that those 4 losses came by a combined 17 points! The Vols should be the odds on favorite to win the SEC East next year which could mean playoffs.
#22 Computer Hope The Trojans put on a clinic beating UCLA 41-20 to win the Pac 12 South. JuJu Smith, Justin Davis & Cody Kessler were on their A game & it showed. Defensively the Trojans forced 3 turnovers & sacked Josh Rosen three times. I feel bad ranking the Trojans at #22 but their best win probably was the win this week against UCLA, but they can prove quite a bit if they take down Stanford in the Pac 12 championship game. Making Clay Helton the full time HC was a huge step in the right direction. This was a solid year.
#23 Computer Hope Lucky for Les Miles that the Tigers beat Texas A&M 19-7 to end the season & probably keep his job. Lucky for LSU that they were kept from their own stupidity in firing Miles in the first place. I’ve been fairly critical of Miles & I think tactically he’s the worst coach in the SEC West, but unless you know for sure you can get a championship caliber HC, you probably have to stick with Miles. In Miles defense though, he hasn’t had a legit QB since Matt Flynn. If Miles wants to win the West, he needs a QB that can get the job done.
#24 Computer Hope The 38-27 loss to Ole Miss in Starkville was especially ugly and I can’t help but wonder what the Bulldogs would have looked like had Josh Robinson not left a year early for the NFL. The Rebels took away Dak Prescott’s ability to run & Mississippi St. paid for it. That’s a tough way for Prescott to go out, but he’ll get a bowl game to redeem himself. The big question with Mississippi St. is wondering if some other big time program to lure Dan Mullen away from his current position. At this point it look like Mullen is staying put.
#25 Computer Hope At 7-4 the Mountaineers are an unlikely top-25 team. Their best wins are Texas Tech, Texas, Iowa St. & Maryland with all 4 games being in Morgantown. On the other hand, the only losses West Virginia has suffered have been at the hands of Oklahoma (11-1), TCU (10-2), Baylor (9-2) & Oklahoma St. (10-2)! Their strength of defeat is 40-7! At some point Dana Holgorsen is going to come under fire for going 8-4/9-3 every season. That’s a tough nut to crack. I love West Virginia in the Big East. Not so much in the Big XII.

DROPPING OUT

NAVY MIDSHIPMEN (previously #22): The loss to Houston did the Middies in. Navy still has the Army game to get to 10-2 & with a bowl win the Midshipmen could have a banner year at 11-2. I still hope Keenan Reynolds still gets an invite to New York City for the Heisman ceremony.

WASHINGTON ST. COUGARS (previously #23): Losing QB Luke Falk was a disaster & Washington St. paid the price losing to Washington 45-10. If Falk comes back for the bowl appearance then Wazzou should get to 9-4 & I would think they’d jump back into my top-25.

UCLA BRUINS (previously #24): The Bruins were 1-2 in their last 3 and 4-4 in their last 8. Injuries on defense and breaking in a true freshman did UCLA in. They still went 8-4 but blew a huge opportunity to win the Pac 12 South and play for the Pac 12 championship game which could have meant a trip to the Rose Bowl.

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December 6, 2015 - Posted by | Alabama, Arkansas, Baylor, Clemson, Florida, Florida St., Iowa, LSU, Michigan, Michigan St., Mississippi, Mississippi St., Navy, NCAA, North Carolina, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Ohio St, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St., Oregon, Power 25, Stanford, TCU, Tennessee, UCLA, USC, Washington St., Week 13, West Virginia, Wisconsin

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