Official Rant Sports College Football Top 25 – Week 10
College Football Top 25 - Week 10
The weekend of college football was filled with huge games between Top 25 teams that helped clear up some of the big questions while muddying some others going into the final month of the season. The top four teams all escaped with wins against very tough opponents, but there was plenty of upheaval up and down the rankings.
One team, the West Virginia Mountaineers, fell out of the Top 25 after their third straight loss. Geno Smith and company just couldn’t match the TCU Horned Frogs who escaped Morgantown with a thrilling 39-38 double-overtime victory. The rest of the teams from last week stay in the Top 25, though many of them have fallen from where they were last week after tough losses.
The BCS race continues to heat up heading into the home stretch with the top four undefeated teams looking poised to all run the table and put the BCS system into a monumental bind in its farewell season before going to a playoff format next season. If the teams that have yet to lose this season continue to win, expect to hear about plenty of controversy at season’s end as two worthy teams find themselves on the outside looking in.
So how does the Rant Sports College Football team see the top 25? Which teams are too high? Which teams are too low? How do the top four unbeatens pan out? We count down the top teams in college football after the jump. Let us know what you think in the comments!
25. Texas Tech Red Raiders
The Texas Tech Red Raiders hosted the Texas Longhorns in one of four match-ups between Top 25 teams this weekend, but couldn't get their offense clicking. They would fall at home to the rival Longhorns 31-22. Seth Doege had a quiet day and the Raiders couldn't find the endzone when they got into the red-zone. They were forced to settle for field goals all day long, which cost them the win in the end.
Tech will be looking to bounce back next week as the Kansas Jayhawks come to town. Kansas has been down all season which should make them prime candidates for the Raiders to get a win against. With three losses in Big 12 play, Tech is out of the Big 12 title race, but there's plenty of pride left to play for if you're Tommy Tuberville and company.
24. Boise State Broncos
The Boise State Broncos saw their BCS busting campaign likely come to an end as they fell to the San Diego State Aztecs in a Mountain West Conference showdown 21-19 in Boise. The Broncos failure to get it done at home results in their second loss of the season and may keep them from even winning their conference title. It has been a disappointing season for the Broncos, who have not been performing at the level we've come to expect from them.
Boise State won't have much time to feel sorry for themselves, however, as they head way out west to face the Hawaii Warriors on the islands. That can be a difficult trip to make for any team with plenty of distractions associated with playing "in paradise," but the Broncos will need to work extra hard to re-focus themselves. Will the Broncos dip now that their goal of a BCS bowl has been dashed?
23. Rutgers Scarlet Knights
The Rutgers Scarlet Knights was on bye this week, but move up a spot as they work to improve on their first loss of the season from the week prior. Rutgers still controls their own destiny in the Big East race with a perfect conference record and a showdown with the Louisville Cardinals looming.
Next week, the Knights welcome the Army Black Knights, who have struggled this season to a 2-7 record. They should give Rutgers a perfect opportunity to bounce back before heading into the home stretch of their Big East schedule as they try to win out and make a BCS bowl.
22. Louisiana Tech Bulldogs
The Louisiana Tech Bulldogs continued their march through the WAC against the UTSA Roadrunners with a 51-27 win. Tech's high-flying offense did not meet much resistance against their overmatched conference foe. Colby Cameron continues his excellent play this season with a 348-yard, three touchdown performance.
Next week, Tech travels to face the Texas State Bobcats in another WAC game as the Bulldogs look to secure a WAC title and make a final push for a possible BCS bowl. Tech will need to continue to put up impressive numbers to move up the rankings.
21. Mississippi State Bulldogs
The Mississippi State Bulldogs hosted the Texas A&M Aggies in the "Snow Bowl" as they tried to bounce back from the beatdown they took at the hands of the Alabama Crimson Tide. Instead, they got another one from Johnny Manziel and the Bulldogs got overwhelmed 38-13. The Bulldogs defense, which was considered one of the best in the country two weeks ago, has given up more than 30 points in back-to-back games which has resulted in a two-game losing streak.
Next week, things won't get much easier as the Bulldogs travel to Death Valley to take on the LSU Tigers. The struggling State offense will need to figure things out under heavy duress as LSU looks to start a new winning streak at home.
20. USC Trojans
The USC Trojans hosted the Oregon Ducks and were looking to play spoiler for Oregon's BCS title game aspirations while giving themselves the inside track to the Pac 12 South division title. The game turned into a shootout where the Trojans defense couldn't find any answer for the Ducks' offense and key mistakes from the Trojans' offense doomed USC's chances and they fell 62-51. Matt Barkley was impressive, but couldn't make enough plays to match Oregon.
The Trojans are now against the wall if they hope to compete in the Pac 12 South race. Next week, the Trojans host the Arizona State Sun Devils who are far from an easy win this season. The Trojans defense will need to pick itself up off the mat and find some confidence after looking porous on Saturday.
19. UCLA Bruins
The UCLA Bruins are the lone new team in this week's rankings after blitzing the Arizona Wildcats 66-10 at home on Saturday. The game was over in a hurry, as UCLA ran out to a 42-3 halftime lead and didn't let up in the second half. Jim Mora has gotten some great games out of his young club, but will need to get some consistency out of them to stay in the Top 25.
This is UCLA's third trip into the Top 25 this season but they've quickly fallen back out with a bad loss following their big wins. Next week, UCLA travels to take on the Washington State Cougars who are still looking for their first conference win of the Mike Leach era. UCLA should be able to win handily, but will need to come in focused to avoid a big letdown.
18. Texas Longhorns
The Texas Longhorns have been struggling on defense this season, leading the Big 12 in missed tackles. They were able to rise up, however, on the road against Texas Tech and kept the Red Raiders out of the end zone en route to a big 31-22 road win. The Longhorns' offense continued to play strong, as they have all season, but Mack Brown was pleasantly surprised by his defense's strong performance.
Next week, the Longhorns return to Austin to take on the Iowa State Cyclones. Texas should be able to secure the win at home against the Cyclones, who are without their top defensive player and coming off a tough loss to the Oklahoma Sooners.
17. Nebraska Cornhuskers
The Nebraska Cornhuskers traveled to East Lansing and pulled out an exciting last-second win against the Michigan State Spartans 28-24. Bo Pelini's team found a way to pull out the W scoring with less than a minute to play and breaking the hearts of Spartan fans everywhere. The win keeps Nebraska's hopes alive for a Big Ten title game appearance.
Next week, Nebraska hosts the Penn State Nittany Lions, who have played exceptionally well despite the horrible circumstances they found themselves in before the season started. They aren't eligible to go to a bowl game or the Big Ten title game, but State doesn't mind playing the spoiler for the Huskers.
16. Stanford Cardinal
The Stanford Cardinal opened up their quarterback competition this week against the Colorado Buffaloes and may have found a new signal caller in young Kevin Hogan. Josh Nunes started the game, but failed to lead an offensive scoring drive in the first quarter. Hogan came in and led the Cardinal to touchdown after touchdown, ending with a 48-0 blowout of the Buffs.
Hogan has raised questions about who will start the rest of the way, starting next week at home against the Oregon State Beavers. Stanford have a rough stretch to try and make it the Pac 12 Championship, and Hogan looks like the guy who adds a spark to the Cardinal offense.
15. Oregon State Beavers
Oregon State was looking for a bounceback win after their first loss against the Washington Huskies. They hosted Arizona State, who held tough for more than a half before the Beavers pulled away, winning 36-26 at home. Cody Vaz stepped in for the struggling Sean Mannion and won his third straight start in relief.
Next week, the Beavers travel to take on Stanford at the The Farm in a huge matchup that could determine the Pac 12 North challenger to Oregon. Oregon State will have a new quarterback to prepare for, but their defense this season has looked up to the challenge.
14. Texas A&M Aggies
Texas A&M traveled to Starksville to take on Mississippi State as they continue their inaugural run through the SEC. Thanks to the outstanding play of Johnny Manziel, they look like they're going to make the transition just fine. The Aggies took it to the Bulldogs for a 38-13 win in the Snow Bowl.
Next week, the Aggies continue their SEC tour with a trip to Tuscaloosa to take on the vaunted Alabama Crimson Tide. It will be the biggest test for Johnny Football since the Aggies took on LSU in a game that the freshman signal caller finally looked like a freshman. He will have to be better this time around if the Aggies are to pull off an upset.
13. South Carolina Gamecocks
The South Carolina Gamecocks were off this week as they watched the rest of the SEC beat up on each other. They needed the extra time to figure out what they'll do with their offense after losing Marcus Lattimore for the season in their win over the Tennessee Volunteers. Connor Shaw will need to take on more of the offensive production going forward for the Gamecocks to continue a very good season.
Next week, South Carolina host the Arkansas Razorbacks in a SEC tilt. South Carolina needs the win to keep pace in the SEC East race and has to hope for Florida and Georgia to stumble down the stretch.
12. Oklahoma Sooners
The Oklahoma Sooners traveled to Ames, Iowa, and dispatched Iowa State 35-20 to continue their winning streak on the road against the Cyclones. Landry Jones had an excellent day as he got some help from his receivers who went up and battled which allowed the Sooners to pull away down the stretch.
Oklahoma returns home next week to take on the Baylor Bears. Oklahoma's defense will get tested against the high-scoring Baylor offense, but should be able to slow them down enough for Jones and the Sooners' offense to pull away in Norman.
11. Louisville Cardinals
The Louisville Cardinals weathered an early onslaught from the Temple Owls before storming past them in a 45-17 blowout win for the last unbeaten team in the Big East. Teddy Bridgewater was superb in leading the Cardinals past the upstart Owls, keeping Louisville on the verge of the Top 10.
Charlie Strong will try to keep his team focused as they travel to face the Syracuse Orange next week in the Carrier Dome. Louisville controls their own BCS destiny and will just need to keep winning some very winnable games. They won't break into the national title picture even if they go undefeated because of the lack of respect the Big East gets nationally. They can push their way into a BCS bowl, however, with a strong finish to the season.
10. Ohio State Buckeyes
The Ohio State Buckeyes continue to win in spite of their NCAA sanctions for first-year coach Urban Meyer. Heisman-hopeful Braxton Miller continued to make big plays for OSU as they ran over and past the Illinois Fighting Illini 52-22. Miller accounted for three total touchdowns in the blowout as Buckeyes continue to roll.
The Buckeyes have a bye next week to prepare for their final two games of the season. They have two more games to go to secure their perfect season against the Wisconsin Badgers and Michigan Wolverines. While they can't play for a bowl game or conference title, Urban Meyer is still sending a clear message to the rest of college football and the Big Ten in particular.
9. LSU Tigers
LSU hosted Alabama in the rubber match between these two national powers. LSU looked like they might pull off the upset, but couldn't keep the Tide from scoring late and lost in Death Valley 21-17. Zach Mettenberger played his best game of the season, throwing for nearly 300 yards, but couldn't push his team past Alabama.
With the second loss of the season, LSU falls out of the national title picture and the SEC title picture as well. They will host the Mississippi State Bulldogs next week who are on a two-game slide as they try and start a new home winning streak. Les Miles will have to keep his team fired up even though they won't be able to reach another BCS title game.
8. Florida Gators
The Florida Gators were licking their wounds after losing a tough game to the Georgia Bulldogs when they hosted the Missouri Tigers. They looked like they were still recuperating from the loss, playing slow and uninspired football for most of the day. They pulled out the 14-7 win on the strength of their defense, who had four interceptions on the day.
Florida sits at the top of the SEC East for now, but will have to watch the SEC race from the outside next week as they play a non-conference game against the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns. Florida will try and come out with a bit more fire to avoid another slow start against a dangerous mid-major.
7. Clemson Tigers
The Clemson Tigers went on the road to take on the Duke Blue Devils in an ACC showdown. The game was over quickly, however, as Clemson rolled off 42 points in the first half en route to a 56-20 blowout win. The win keeps Clemson neck and neck with the Florida State Seminoles for the ACC Atlantic division. They will need the Noles to slip up, however, if they are to get a shot at the ACC championship.
Next week, Clemson hosts the struggling Maryland Terrapins who are struggling to keep their team upright. They've lost countless players to injury this season, and have been hit particularly hard at the quarterback position. It should be a an easy win for the high-powered Tigers as they continue to press FSU in the ACC.
6. Florida State Seminoles
Florida State was off this week but was able to move up a few spots with other members of the Top 10 struggling. The Seminoles have the inside track for the ACC Atlantic division crown, holding the tie-breaker over Clemson. EJ Manuel continues to be a dynamic playmaker for Jimbo Fisher as the Noles try and make it back to another BCS bowl.
Florida State takes to the road next week for a big ACC test in Blacksburg against the Virginia Tech Hokies. While VT hasn't played up to their potential this season, they can't be overlooked as they try and play spoiler to the FSU hopes of winning the ACC. Manuel will need to bring his best to keep the Noles from slipping up.
5. Georgia Bulldogs
The Georgia Bulldogs started slow on Saturday following their emotional win over their rival Florida the week prior. The Ole Miss Rebels jumped out early on the Bulldogs before Aaron Murray responded with four touchdown passes leading Georgia to the 37-10 blowout win.
Mark Richt will take his team to face the Auburn Tigers on the road next week. Georgia controls its own fate in the SEC East and will look to take care of business against a down Auburn team to move closer to a SEC title game appearance.
4. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish looked to enter the easiest stretch of the schedule all season after pulling off the upset of Oklahoma in Norman. They may have taken it too easy, however, on the Pitt Panthers who took the Irish to the limit, building a 14-point lead late in the game. Everett Golson rallied ND, however, forcing overtime late in the game before scoring the winning touchdown in triple-overtime, giving Notre Dame a 29-26 win.
It wasn't pretty, but they found a way to get the job done. Next week, Notre Dame travels east to take on the Boston College Eagles in another rivalry game. BC will be looking to spoil the season for their rivals, so ND will need to come out sharper from the start to avoid another scare.
3. Kansas State Wildcats
The Kansas State Wildcats hosted a Big 12 showdown with the Oklahoma State Cowboys in a game that many people pegged as the key to Collin Klein's Heisman Trophy campaign. The Wildcats jumped out ahead early and never looked back, but did it with only one touchdown from their Heisman-candidate quarterback. Defense and special teams were the difference for Bill Snyder as the Cats coasted to a 44-30 win.
K-State has just one more game against a ranked opponent the rest of the way when they take on Texas at the end of the season. Next week, the Cats travel to face TCU against a Horned Frog team that has toppled some giant offenses this season. Klein will need to bounce back from a wrist injury and have a bigger game than this week if the Wildcats hope to keep their winning ways going.
2. Oregon Ducks
The Oregon Ducks traveled to Los Angeles to try and solidify their position as the team to beat on the west coast and take the mantle officially away from the USC Trojans. The Ducks offense was unstoppable in the the Coliseum with Kenjon Barner setting school records on both sides (most rushing yards in Oregon history, most rushing yards allowed in USC history). Oregon would out-duel the Trojans 62-51 and set themselves up for the home stretch of their BCS run.
With the USC hurdle overcome, Oregon prepares for their home-stretch Pac 12 run. They travel to Berkeley next week to take on the Cal Bears, who have been struggling this season. A focused Oregon team should continue to roll up the points in bunches and press for a spot in the BCS National Title game.
1. Alabama Crimson Tide
The Alabama Crimson Tide has been destroying teams this season and haven't been tested much late in games. They found themselves in a tough one on Saturday as they traveled to play the LSU Tigers in Death Valley. The found themselves down late before AJ McCarron led the team on a late drive down the field, efficiently dissecting the Tiger defense and scoring the winning touchdown on a screen pass to T.J. Yeldon with less than a minute to go.
Next week, the Alabama defense will face a different kind of test as Johnny Manziel leads Texas A&M into Tuscaloosa on a warpath to play spoiler to Alabama's campaign to repeat as BCS champs. Nick Saban will be drilling his team this week on staying disciplined and containing Johnny Football to keep his team focused on another National Title run.