After a lackluster week in college football (unless you’re Bo Pelini), the Friday after Thanksgiving gives us an excellent slate of college football. Arizona v. Oregon, Auburn v. Alabama, and Boise v. Nevada. The day after, TCU, Stanford, Wisconsin, LSU, and Ohio St. will all be looking to get wins & style points to position themselves for a BCS bid, possibly a title game if a scenario that involves the Second Coming occurs.
We know that Oregon is dreadful in the computers. We know the SEC schools do really well. Can everyone stay undefeated? Can one of the non-AQs impress enough to get in? And throw in the fact that this is rivalry week, which always adds for an extra bit of chaos and unpredictability. The worst teams can and will challenge teams that normally would be far superior to them (like for example when Ole Miss debuts a quasi triple option offense in a failed attempt to beat LSU. Enjoy Hell, you racist rednecks). Weeks like this make college football a lot of fun.
To the rankings!Four rankers this week: Me, Paul, Dave, and MJ.
- Oregon (3) – two huge final tests for Oregon: Arizona on Friday and then the Civil War (DH)
- Auburn – They have to be careful. While the voters are scared to take out their anger about the Newton saga while they’re willing, if they lose they’ll drop farther than they would normally (perhaps too far to rebound to make it back to the BCS) (MD)
- Boise St. (1) – A win against Nevada and an Oregon-Auburn loss could send Boise to the title game (DH)
- TCU – Utah’s loss to Notre Dame has all but killed the Horned Frogs (MJ)
- LSU – Suddenly, LSU has a quarterback as Jordan Jefferson in his last two SEC games has shined. With a decent offense, LSU can beat anyone in the country. (MD)
- Wisconsin – The Badgers brawn and a Pac 10 team’s finese could make for a fascinating Rose Bowl (DH)
- Stanford – If Harbaugh stays, could a Top 10 appearance by the norm in the years to come? (DH)
- Ohio St. – The Buckeyes wish they could play the first quarter with Wisconsin again! (DH)
- Oklahoma St. – All the Cowboys need to do is win and they in the Big 12 Championship (MJ)
- Alabama – They’re the most balanced & talented team Auburn will face; with home field advantage, it may be too much for the WarPlainsTigerEagleMen (MD)
- Michigan St. – You get the feeling they’re coasting now. A win by Michigan gets them in, but other than that no chance. (MD)
- Arkansas – I’m not sure I buy their chances at an at-large bid, but their pass-heavy offense faces a serious test with the excellent secondary of LSU. (MD)
- Virginia Tech – They’ve helped Boise so far, and with UVA the last ones in the regular season, that’ll keep going on. You have to wonder if they hadn’t made the mistake of scheduling James Madison on a short week, if they’d been in the discussion for something more than an ACC title. (MD)
- Texas A&M – Don’t forget that the Aggies’ three losses have come at the hands of Missouri, Arkansas, and Oklahoma State, three top-15 BCS teams. Two of those losses were by a touchdown or less. (MJ)
- Nebraska – Youngstown’s Bo Pellini was doing his best Woody Hayes imitation on Saturday night (DH)
- Missouri – Just crushing the teams they’re supposed in the Big 12 North. (MD)
- South Carolina – Does the old ball coach have any tricks up his sleeve for the SEC title game? (DH)
- Oklahoma (TIE w/ SCAR) – Knocking their in-state rivals from their lofty perch would be most satfisying (MD)
- Nevada – Probably a lot better than their BCS ranking reflects. They certainly have a shot to knock off Boise State (MJ)
- Arizona – After two losses, Arizona’s due for a win. But it probably won’t come this weekend (MJ)
- Florida St. – If they can’t beat Florida this year, you wonder if they ever will beat Meyer (MD)
- Mississippi St. – You have to feel bad for them. A good team, but in the toughest division imaginable they’re only 5th best. Getting closer to joining the SEC elite though. (MD)
- Iowa – You had a feeling that Iowa used up all its fourth quarter magic last year (MJ)
- Utah – A nice bounce-back against a decent San Diego State team. But getting wrecked by TCU and Notre Dame in back-to-back games showed that the early season rankings reflected the truth after all: Utah is not an elite team (MJ)
- NC State – Just has to get past the Terps to get a berth in the ACC title game and the shot to make it to a BCS bid. (MD)
Others receiving votes: West Virginia, N. Illinois, UCF.