Found October 27, 2013 on Fox Sports:
More rankings chaos ensued Saturday night when Missouri blew a 17-point lead in the fourth quarter at home and gave South Carolina a decent path to the SEC title game. All the Gamecocks have to do now is beat Mississippi State and Florida and root for Mizzou to lose to Tennessee, Ole Miss or Texas A&M. Only then will the Gamecocks be playing in Atlanta. It's also worth noting that Texas Tech lost Saturday as well, leaving us with six undefeated major college football teams. Given that Florida State and Miami play in six days -- and that Alabama, Oregon and Baylor are all on bye weeks, while Ohio State plays Purdue -- we'll enter Week 11 of the regular season with five undeafted major conference teams. Meaning that not much will change in the BCS title race next week. So what's our top 10 look like? And how about our SEC power rankings? Let's dive in. The national top 10 1. Alabama The Crimson Tide have outscored opponents 246-26 since the Texas A&M game. You take away the second half of the Texas A&M game -- or just take away Johnny Manziel from A&M -- and Alabama has dominated on both offense and defense unlike virtually any team we've seen before in college football. 2. Oregon Yes, it was close for a half, but then Oregon took its game to another level, blowing out a good UCLA team late. The Ducks are 8-0 and have won every game by at least 21 points. That's insane. The only real challenge remaining between Oregon and an undefeated regular season? Stanford on Thursday, Nov. 7. 3. Florida State The Seminoles crushed North Carolina State early, extracting substantial revenge for last year's upset 17-16 loss. Now comes the game against undefeated Miami. How big does Las Vegas think the gap is between FSU and Miami? The Seminoles opened at minus-21, and early money immediately pushed the Noles out to a 22.5-point favorite. Yeah, this game isn't going to be close. 4. Baylor The Bears did what the Bears do, crushing an overmatched Kansas team 59-14 -- but don't underestimate what this win means for Baylor. Baylor looked exactly the same on the road this week as it usually does at home. That bodes well for the rest of the season. Now comes the real test for the Big 12's last unbeaten team: Can the Bears run the table in their final five games -- Oklahoma, Texas Tech at a neutral site, at Oklahoma State, at TCU and Texas? Baylor will be favored in all five of these games, but the competition level figures to rise substantially. Watch out for Oklahoma State, which is probably the biggest obstacle left for Baylor. 5. Stanford The Cardinal went on the road and played well, snagging a victory at Oregon State. Now comes an off week and then the Thursday night game against Oregon that can propel that Cardinal back into the BCS title mix. Beat Oregon for a second straight year and Stanford would only need wins over USC and Cal to win the Pac-12 North. 6. Ohio State Just when you thought the Buckeye schedule couldn't get any weaker, the next two opponents, Purdue and Illinois, don't have a single Big Ten win between them. Ohio State's best win in the Urban Meyer era, according to the rankings? That came on the road at Northwestern. Northwestern still doesn't have a Big Ten win, either. This schedule isn't just bad, it's putrid. 7. Miami The Hurricanes survived with another late touchdown in front of a weak home crowd. The last two weeks the Hurricanes have been taken to the brink by North Carolina and Wake Forest. The U's return to prominence is mostly smoke and mirrors. That mirror gets destroyed this weekend in Tallahassee. 8. Missouri Oh, the misery. How in the world did Missouri choke away a 17-point fourth-quarter lead and then allow a fourth-and-15 overtime touchdown conversion as well as miss a 24-yard field goal? It was painful to watch for anyone who didn't happen to be a Gamecock football fan. What a collapse. The amazing irony? Vegas is finally a believer, even after witnessing this unbelievable loss. The Tigers opened minus-12 against Tennessee. 9. Auburn The Tigers rolled over an outclassed opponent -- but could Arkansas, licking its wounds during an off week, be ripe for springing an upset given Auburn's uncertain health at quarterback? We'll see. 10. South Carolina Sure, South Carolina has two losses and got lucky as hell against Missouri. But the Gamecocks also have road wins over two top teams presently ranked in the top 18 -- Central Florida and Missouri. That's two better road wins than anyone else ranked in the top 10 currently has. So they get the battle field promotion. The SEC power rankings (Note: I've pulled Ohio State out, because I don't think the Buckeyes have a legit shot at playing for the BCS title anymore. If that changes, I'll reinsert them. As is, however, it's worth noting that Las Vegas would still have Bama, LSU, South Carolina, Texas A&M and potentially Mizzou all favored over the Buckeyes on a neutral site). 1. Alabama The unquestioned best team in the SEC. 2. Mizzou I've still got them at No. 2 despite the fact Mizzou seems unable to defend a screen pass. 3. Auburn Yes, they lost to LSU by 14. But they beat Texas A&M on the road, which is the best win of any one-loss SEC team right now. 4. South Carolina Road wins over Mizzou and Central Florida help balance out losses at Georgia and at Tennessee. Honestly, after Tennessee's performance against Alabama, is anyone else questioning how in the hell South Carolina lost to the Vols? Also, how lucky is South Carolina that Mizzou doesn't know how to defend a screen pass? 5. LSU The Bayou Bengals were hungover against Furman, which makes complete sense if you've ever been in Baton Rouge on a Saturday night. Who isn't hungover there? But, I'm still angry a week later over the collapse against Ole Miss -- so, I'm dropping LSU further in the rankings. 6. Texas A&M How far can Johnny Manziel carry the Aggies on a weak arm? The Aggies will be 8-2 with two tough road games to finish off, at LSU and at Missouri. The biggest loser from Mizzou and LSU's collapse down the stretch of their last two games? It just might be Manziel's Heisman chances. Johnny needs both of these teams to be as good as possible to give him a national stage to impress voters with his finish -- and A&M needs Manziel healthy to win at LSU and at Missouri. If Manziel's not healthy, then A&M has zero chance to win either of these games. 7. Georgia Anyone else halfway expect to hear that Aaron Murray tore his ACL falling down the stairs on the off week? 8. Ole Miss Hugh Freeze has a bye week before hosting Arkansas on Nov. 9? Good Lord, that just seems unfair. The Rebels should be able to get to 8-4, and if they could pull off the upset over Mizzou, that would run their record to 9-3. That would be a hell of a second season for Hugh Freeze. 9. Florida The Gators are bad. How bad? If Will Muschamp doesn't win the final three SEC games of the year -- Georgia, Vandy and at South Carolina -- then Ron Zook will have a better record after three years in the SEC than Muschamp. Having said that, Tennssee and Vandy were so bad this week that Florida moved up two spots in our SEC power rankings. 10. Tennessee The Vols were totally outclassed against Alabama. Now, Butch Jones has his work cut out for him at 4-4 with four games left at Missouri, Auburn, Vanderbilt and at Kentucky. Given that Mizzou and Auburn will be decent-sized favorites, it looks like the Vandy game will decide whether Tennessee goes to a bowl game or not. 11. Vandy The Commodores were awful on both offense and defense at Texas A&M. Texas A&M scored 56 points despite five turnovers. Now comes a bye week in advance of the final four games at Florida, Kentucky, at Tennessee, and Wake Forest. A third straight bowl trip seems likely given expected wins over Kentucky and Wake Forest, but equaling last year's 8-4 record appears pretty unlikely. 12. Mississippi State This is a bad football team that may not win another game this year. The best chance for a win comes on the road at Arkansas. Win that one, and State could at least enter the Egg Bowl with hopes of pulling an upset to go bowling. 13. Kentucky The Wildcats are going 2-10 this year with just one FBS win over Miami of Ohio. How strong was that win? Miami of Ohio is going 0-12 this year. So, yeah, lots of work to do here. 14. Arkansas Positive: No one scored to extend the 0-104 scoring streak that the Razorbacks are currently in the midst of. Negative: This was because Arkansas didn't play.
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