I came into the week thinking that if Alabama beat LSU the Tide would climb back over Florida State to take over the top spot. I was wrong. Alabama did win, but it's still behind Florida State in the rankings.
Though it is extremely close.
However, while the top two teams remain the same this week, that doesn't mean there isn't plenty of change in the top ten. That's what tends to happen when two our your top ten teams lose to other teams ranked in the top ten. So how do things fall this week?
Let's get to it.
1. Florida State
As I mentioned already, Florida State's margin over Alabama is incredibly narrow, and I don't know that it's going to stay here even if it wins out. That Florida game to finish the regular season and whoever it plays in the ACC Championship just won't be worth as much as possible Alabama wins over Auburn and the SEC East champ, which will likely be Missouri or South Carolina, both of whom are ranked in our top 20.
Essentially the reason Alabama is behind Florida State right now is because it's beating its opponents by about 30 points per game. Which is a lot. It's a real lot. But Florida State is beating its opponents by about 40 points per game, so it's a lot, but it's not enough.
Welcome to the top three, Baylor! According to our rankings you are in prime position to be the angriest fan base when you're left out of the national title game. But, don't worry, there's a four-team playoff next season, and you guys are always going undefeated, so you'll no doubt be back in that discussion next season.
4. Ohio State
Here's something to think about, Ohio State. Had you not chosen to play in that Gator Bowl, you could be looking at consecutive national titles this season. Because last year you would have played Notre Dame, a game in which you likely would have been favored. And had you won that game you'd be getting a lot more respect from people right now. But you chose to play in that Gator Bowl.
I so narrowly avoided embarrassment right here. Yes, Stanford beat Oregon on Thursday night, but it's edge in these rankings over the Ducks is minute. Remember, my formula doesn't take into account head-to-head results, but instead it looks at your entire performance in the season to that point. And if it weren't for Stanford's strength of schedule advantage this season, Oregon would be ranked fifth right now, just ahead of Stanford.
Well, Oregon, you wanted Alabama, and on Thursday night you got Alabama West. And you've now lost two straight to Alabama West, so you may want to rethink that whole wanting Alabama thing. Instead you should want a Rose Bowl berth so you can play the Big Ten instead.
I still think Mizzou is going to lose to Texas A&M at the end of the season and miss out on the SEC title game, but it's not because I don't think the Tigers are good or deserve to be where they are right now.
The Tigers have no shot at getting an ACC title, but a BCS at-large berth is still very much in play, so you should expect to see a lot of Clemson fans rooting against teams like Fresno State and Northern Illinois.
9. Oklahoma State
I really don't think you're this good, but I don't know how much lower I'd rank you right now if I were basing this on nothing more than my opinion, either.
Sometimes coaching changes work wonders. I'm not saying, I'm just saying.
11. Michigan State
You know how I know that my ranking system is better than the BCS? BECAUSE IN MY SYSTEM MICHIGAN STATE IS RANKED AHEAD OF NORTHERN ILLINOIS AND FRESNO STATE.
12. Northern Illinois
13. Fresno State
The Knights are now firmly in the driver's seat for a conference title and BCS berth because Houston was the toughest opponent remaining on their schedule, and I just don't see this team losing any of its last four games.
15. Texas A&M
There are so many Big Ten teams that are criminally underrated right now because of the narrative surrounding the conference, and Wisconsin is certainly one of them.
18. South Carolina
20. Arizona State
21. Ball State
Ball State's game against Northern Illinois on Wednesday night is HUGE. I recommend watching it after you're done watching Illini basketball.
LSU is the best three-loss team in the country! Congrats, LSU!
I was prepared to go on a rant about the fact that a team that's 8-2 in the Big Ten with wins over teams like Northwestern, Nebraska and Penn State can't even crack the top 25 in the AP Poll or the BCS standings, and then I did my rankings and Minnesota was ranked 25th. So I probably shouldn't go on that rant, right?
29. East Carolina
Really wishing NIU had to play Buffalo this season. And NIU should feel the same way, because it would really help their SOS.
34. Texas Tech
36. Ole Miss
Somebody on Twitter was mad at me for ranking both East Carolina and Buffalo above his beloved Ole Miss. Well, I just hope he sees this so he can realize I've ranked Duke and Houston higher than the Rebs too.
39. Georgia Tech
You know, at least Rich Rodriguez's teams improved every season....
Just Outside: Notre Dame, Virginia Tech, BYU, Oregon State, North Texas
And Illinois?: The Illini fall to 92nd this week, behind South Alabama but ahead of both Kentucky and Arkansas.
The Bottom Ten (from worst to terrible)
1. Georgia State
2. Southern Miss
3. Miami (Ohio)
6. New Mexico State
9. Western Michigan
As always, you can read about The Best Worst Ten over at Eye on College Football.
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