Things can always change in college football. That’s what makes it exciting and heartbreaking. Stanford fans are disappointed after the Cardinal’s loss to USC, and Baylor fans are thrilled that their team is now in the top 5.
The regular season is almost over, but there’s still plenty of time for changes. Get ready for a thrilling end to a great season!
1. Alabama (10-0, Last week: 1)
Alabama beat Mississippi State last weekend, but it wasn’t a typical Crimson Tide win. They only won by 13 points, and after throwing only three interceptions all season, quarterback AJ McCarron threw two on Saturday. Alabama is still the nation’s best team, but it’s not invincible. Teams will use that as motivation to try and upset the Tide.
2. Florida State (10-0, Last week: 2)
After beating Wake Forest 59-3 on November 9, Florida State beat Syracuse by that same lopsided score last weekend. Jameis Winston completed 19 of 21 passes for 277 yards and threw two touchdowns with no interceptions, all in the first half. In terms of dominating opponents, Florida State and Alabama are in a class all by themselves. A national championship matchup with those two teams would be a lot of fun.
3. Ohio State (10-0, Last week: 3)
Ohio State might not be in the national championship picture right now, but the Buckeyes are playing like a team that could win it all. They took down Illinois 60-35 last weekend, and have now won 22 straight games. You never know what can happen with the BCS standings, and if Ohio State continues winning easily, it could find itself in the top 2 by the end of the regular season.
4. Baylor (9-0, Last week: 6)
Welcome to the top 5, Baylor. The Bears’ latest high-scoring win came against Texas Tech, in a game in which Baylor went over 60 points for the sixth time this season. The Bears aren’t just a gimmick team that scores a lot of points. They’re for real, and good enough to play in a BCS bowl.
5. Oregon (9-1, Last Week: 5)
Oregon got a solid Pac-12 win over Utah last weekend. The Utes aren’t in the BCS top 25, but they did beat No. 9 Stanford earlier this season, so the Ducks should feel good about the win. They have a good chance of getting to the Pac-12 Championship Game because of Stanford’s loss to USC, so Oregon’s season can still end with a BCS bowl. But it needs to monitor quarterback Marcus Mariota, who is dealing with a left knee injury.
6. Clemson (9-1, Last week: 8)
At this point, it looks like Clemson will remain in the lower half of the top 10 for the rest of the regular season. Unless, of course, the Tigers stumble in their matchup against Number 10 South Carolina. If Tajh Boyd can lead Clemson past Citadel and South Carolina, the Tigers should find themselves playing in a marquee bowl game to wrap up a great season.
7. Auburn (10-1, Last week: 7)
Last week, Auburn was part of the greatest ending to any college football game this season. Down 38-37 against then-Number 25 Georgia and facing a 4th-and-18, QB Nick Marshall's desperation pass was deflected by a defender and landed in the hands of receiver Ricardo Louis, who scored the game-winning touchdown with less than 30 seconds left. The Tigers now get a week off before their regular season finale against Alabama.
8. Missouri (9-1, Last week: 9)
The Tigers didn’t play last weekend, and will look to continue their stay in the top 10 by taking on Number 24 Ole Miss on Saturday. This could be a trap game for Missouri, as Ole Miss has already beaten a top 10 team this season. Number 12 Texas A&M is last on Missouri’s regular season schedule, so the Tigers should consider it a great accomplishment if they can win their remaining games.
9. Stanford (8-2, Last week: 3)
By losing to USC, Stanford dropped out of the top 5, and its chances of winning the Pac-12 took a huge hit. Now, Stanford must win its remaining games and hope other teams lose to have a shot at moving back up the rankings. Otherwise, the Cardinal will be stuck at the bottom of the top 10.
10. South Carolina (8-2, Last week’s ranking: 10)
South Carolina finished off its SEC schedule with an important win over Florida that kept its hopes for an appearance in the SEC Championship Game alive. Now, South Carolina must wait to see how SEC East leader Missouri does in its last two conference games.
How would you rank the top college teams in the country? Who should be in the top 10 heading into week thirteen? Let us know in the comments section below!
Photo: Devin Chafin #28 of the Baylor Bears runs for a touchdown against Tanner Jacobson #20 of the Texas Tech Red Raiders at AT&T Stadium on November 16, 2013 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)