Here we are at the end of the regular season, with just two weeks to go. While there is much national conjecture over those four playoff spots, every coach is trying to maintain his team’s focus week to week. This week is usually pretty lame with the schedule, as all of the Thanksgiving rivalries are on deck.
1. Alabama – The Crimson Tide recorded a second straight shutout, with the help of the zebras against Mississippi State. The Crimson Tide’s regular season non-conference schedule concludes with a visit from The Citadel, then Auburn comes to town.
2. Clemson – The Tigers punched their ticket to the ACC Championship Game with an impressive 27-7 win at Boston College. Clemson is sitting at 10-0 with Duke coming to town, then comes the big one with the Gamecocks.
3. Notre Dame – Even with the injury situation at quarterback, Notre Dame had no trouble with Florida State. Now comes a huge game with Syracuse in Yankee Stadium. Notre Dame is right in the middle of the playoff push.
4. Michigan – The Wolverines pounded Rutgers 42-7 to win for a ninth straight week. Indiana comes to the Big House Saturday as Michigan tries to make it 10-1 with the big showdown against the Buckeyes looming. The Michigan defense is really nasty.
5. Georgia – The Bulldogs got an impressive 27-10 win over Auburn to improve to 9-1 on the season. It’s the fourth straight ranked foe Georgia has taken down. Next up is UMass and then Tech comes to Sanford Stadium.
6. West Virginia – The Mountaineers absolutely drilled TCU 47-10 and look like the best team in the Big XII. They’ll get the chance to prove it at Oklahoma State and then with the Sooners at home. This offense can flat out move the football.
7. Central Florida – The Golden Knights are sitting at 9-0 after a 35-24 win over Navy. Central Florida has a monster showdown with once-beaten Cincinnati Saturday. The winner has the inside track to the American title game.
8. Washington State – The Cougars weren’t threatened at all in a 31-7 win over Colorado, which was extremely impressive. Mike Leach really has Washington State rolling. Arizona comes to town Saturday, as the Cougars try and make it 10-1.
9. Oklahoma – It was a typical Big XII shootout for Bedlam, with the Sooners holding off the Cowboys by one. Kansas comes to Norman, so OU figures to win that one without too much sweat. Then comes a huge trip to West Virginia.
10. Ohio State – The Buckeyes dominated the fourth quarter and pulled away from Michigan State to make it 9-1 on the year. Ohio State had better be careful at Maryland, and not look ahead to the Titanic clash with Michigan that looms.
11. LSU – The Bayou Bengals were plagued yet again by the post Bama hangover blues, and struggled with Arkansas. But LSU was able to pull it out, and the Tigers are 8-2. Rice comes to Baton Rouge and then it’s the finale at College Station.
12. Syracuse – The Orange pounded hapless Louisville 54-23 last Friday and now they have a huge showdown with Notre Dame at Yankee Stadium. This is Syracuse’s best and most successful team in a long time. The Orange will have a lot of fans this week.
13. Utah State – This is a once awful program that has become really good. A 62-24 beat down of struggling San Jose State makes it 9-1 on the year for the Aggies. It’s off to face Mike Bobo and Colorado State in Fort Collins this week.
14. Cincinnati – The Bearcats got a big win over South Florida to make it 9-1 on the season, and now comes the big showdown with Central Florida. These two are both in the midst of outstanding seasons, and a Bearcats win would be one of their biggest ever.
15. Boise State – The Broncos picked up their most impressive win of the season this past Friday, upsetting Fresno State as a rare home underdog. Boise State will try and make it 9-2 at New Mexico Saturday.
16. Fresno State – The Bulldogs from the Valley fell at Boise for their second loss in 10 games. Fresno State will need to bounce back with tough San Diego State coming to town. They might be the best team in California.
17. Boston College – The Eagles hung tough with Clemson for a while, but the Tigers were just too powerful. Boston College goes to Florida State, which is in a bad place and then closes at home with Syracuse.
18. Kentucky – It’s been a rough couple of weeks for the Wildcats, as they couldn’t bounce back from the loss to Georgia and went down to Tennessee 24-7. The Wildcats host Middle Tennessee Saturday.
19. Texas – The Longhorns got a nice 41-34 win over Texas Tech to make it 7-3 on the year. The ‘Horns have a tough one with Iowa State in Austin Saturday. The win in Lubbock was big, as Texas avoided a three game losing streak.
20. Penn State – The Nittany Lions improved to 7-3 with a 22-10 win over Wisconsin. Penn State figures to pound Rutgers on the road Saturday. Then Maryland will come to town. The Nittany Lions are likely looking at Orland if they can avoid the upset.
21. UAB – The Blazers are having a superb season, sitting atop the Conference USA West standings with a 9-1 scored, and perfect 7-0 league mark. They survived against Southern Miss 26-23 and now can really make their mark at Texas A&M.
22. Mississippi State – The Maroon Bulldogs fell to Alabama 24-0, and sure didn’t get any help from the zebras. Mississippi State should bounce back and handle Arkansas, then comes the big Egg Bowl in Oxford.
23. Florida – The Gators season was hanging in the balance, as Florida, riding a two-game losing streak, trailed South Carolina 31-14 in the second half. But the Gators rallied and won 35-31. Idaho comes to town, then they really need it in Tallahassee.
24. Pitt – The Panthers steamrolled the Hokies 52-22 last week and now sit on the doorstep of the ACC Championship Game. Pitt has been one of the surprise teams in college football this season. It’s off to Wake Forest now – the Deacons are coming off an upset win over N.C. State.
25. Tech – Since a loss to second-ranked Clemson, the Yellow Jackets have been hot, winning five of their last six. That option offense is really clicking and the win over Miami was especially big. The Jackets host Virginia Saturday.