Another week, and more nonsense in the race for the "4." Last weekend saw 10 teams lose and 3 of those teams were ranked in the Top 10. This will likely cause quite a stir as a few teams that were hypothetically "out" of the running may sneak inside the Top 15 this evening. For the time being though, these are my current Top 10:
1) Alabama Crimson Tide (9-1):
From how Saturday's game started in Tuscaloosa, it sure looked like the Tide would blow out Miss St. It was not the case though, as Alabama couldn't pull away after halftime and it ended a close game. There's a lot of hesitation to put the Tide in the #1 spot, but there's still plenty of room for doubt with the 'Noles as they have yet to play anyone of worth this season [L/W 4]
2) Florida State Seminoles (10-0):
Well I gave it away in the above statement, but there's a lot of hesitation to put the 'Noles in the #1 spot this season simply because they haven't had anyone "difficult" on their schedule all season. However, this team took a lot of criticism last year with the same argument and they ended up winning it all, so... [L/W 2]
3) Oregon Ducks (9-1) :
Oregon could really sneak up on everyone now that Arizona St has lost 2 games this season. Yes, there still is a chance that the Ducks might drop the PAC12 Championship game, but don't count your chickens just yet [L/W 3]
4) TCU Horned Frogs (9-1):
Ho-ly crap that was a close one in Lawrence last week! BUT, they still were able to pull out a victory and that's a HUGE plus for TCU as they now look to knock of Texas this Thursday night and continue their run to the College Football Playoff [L/W 5]
5) Mississippi St. Bulldogs (9-1):
Winning in Tuscaloosa isn't easy by any stretch of the imagination, and there didn't seem to be a lot of confidence behind the Bulldogs last Saturday as they took their first hit of the season. HOWEVER, they are still a one loss team in the dangerous SEC West and they can still make it into the SEC Championship game. [L/W 1]
6) Baylor Bears (8-1):
A key bye week for the Bears as they were able to sneak up the rankings (even if it was only by one spot). Thing is, they still have one last hurdle in the Kansas State Wildcats to clear. [L/W 7]
7) Ohio State Buckeyes (9-1):
A clutch victory over Jerry Kill's Gopher team last weekend pushes the Bucks one spot closer to a spot in the playoff. Two relatively simple games in Indiana and Michigan remain until the B1G Championship game means that Ohio St can certainly root for chaos up top... [L/W 8]
8) Ole Miss Rebels (8-2):
The Rebels are slowly working their way back into the conversation as they anticipate the Egg Bowl in two weeks. A win over Mississippi St could certainly vault them close to the Top 4, but they would still need some help from Auburn against Alabama to make it to the SEC Championship Game. [L/W 10]
9) Georgia Bulldogs (8-2):
Uh...right. Raise your hand if you counted out Georgia...
It's okay. Really. I'll wait for the rest of you... [L/W NR]
10) Michigan State Spartans (8-2):
Go right through for MSU, watch them come back into the Top 10! While there's a very good chance they will not make it to the B1G Championship game, there IS a chance they will play in a Top-Tier bowl game this post-season. [L/W NR]
Having said all that, here's where everyone would be slotted to go...
Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic (Jan 1) ~ Ohio State Buckeyes vs Ole Miss Rebels
Last week, Ohio St really looked solid playing in a tough game against the Gophers. Putting their defense against Bo Wallace makes me really excited as I think they would have a FIELD DAY with him all game long. Sure it's not the Top 4, but it sure would be nice to watch Ohio St beat an SEC team for once... (I'll give you Arkansas, and that's about it)
Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl (Dec 31) ~ Michigan State Spartans vs Georgia Bulldogs
A re-match from the 2012 Outback Bowl CLASSIC as the Spartans and Bulldogs may both get snuffed out of their conference Championship games. I just don't think it would take 3 overtimes to decide the winner this time around.
Capital One Citrus Bowl (Jan 1) ~ Wisconsin Badgers vs Missouri Tigers
This game would intrigue the heck out of me as both teams could be the bridesmaids in their Conference Championship games. Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon is just too much fun to watch though, and I really wouldn't mind a Wisco beat down of the Tigers.
Outback Bowl (Jan 1) ~ Nebraska Cornhuskers vs Auburn Tigers
Here are two teams that thought they would be in a different position after last weekend. Alas, tis the beauty of college football that sends teams through emotional roller coasters crazier than anything you'll find at Cedar Point. The Nick Marshall show in Auburn would have to out-run Ameer Abdullah in Tampa Bay, but something tells me the Huskers would stand up well to the Tigers (the Auburn ones, not the Missouri ones. You have to remember there are 3 Tigers, 2 Bulldogs, and the Cocks).
National University Holiday Bowl (Dec 27) ~ Minnesota Golden Gophers vs USC Trojans
From last week:
Tax Slayer Gator Bowl (Jan 2) ~ Iowa Hawkeyes vs LSU Tigers
Two inconsistent teams could either provide a REALLY good football game, or a disaster for the B1G. Something tells me it'll end up being the latter of the two.
Foster Farms Bowl !??! (Dec 30) ~ Maryland Terrapins vs Arizona Wildcats
First of all, this used to be the San Francisco Bowl. But the naming rights were bought out last week and it now will be called the Foster Farms Bowl. Not sure if Foster's Farm is as nice as Old MacDonald's, but that's beside the point. If this game ends up happening, I don't like Maryland's chances...at all.
New Era Pinstripe Bowl (Dec 27) ~ Rutgers Scarlet Knights vs Boston College Eagles
Also from last week:
Quick Lane Bowl (Dec 26) ~ Penn State Nittany Lions vs Virginia Tech Hokies
As Penn St is bowl eligible already, this game could be an interesting match-up between a team that upset the Buckeyes this season, and a team that ALMOST followed suit.
Zaxby's Heart of Dallas Bowl (Dec 26) ~ Illinois Fighting Illini vs Louisiana Tech Bulldogs
Now to be honest, I really don't know what to think about the fiasco that is the Michigan Wolverines, Northwestern Wildcats, and the Illini. Fitzy and the Cats won their way back into a potential bowl birth last weekend against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, and we thank them dearly for that. But I'm not sure they're going to beat a pretty good Purdue team on the road this week. But then again, I don't have a lot of confidence that either Michigan or Illinois will win this week either. All I do know, is that one of these 3 teams will get in (barely). ESPN's B1G Fanboy Brett McMurphy slotted the Illini here, and Michigan in the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl...so we'll go with that!