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Posts from November 2013

The Dirty Poll! Week Thirteen Edition

Rk Team Record LW BCS AP Analysis
1 Alabama 11-0 (7-0) 1 1 1 Well, it’s all come down to one week for a team shooting at a three-peat. The Tide cruised through a bye week (Vs Chattanooga) and now the Iron Bowl, versus Auburn. Alabama’s instate rival had the week off to prepare, and this should be one for the ages. The stakes? Winner goes to the SEC Championship game.
2 Florida State 11-0 (8-0) 2 2 2 After a week filled with off the field controversy, Florida State was lucky to have Idaho on the schedule – a game they won 80-14. The problem; those off field issues aren’t going anywhere. The good news? FSU gets Florida this week, a team coming off a loss to Georgia Southern.
3 Ohio State 11-0 (7-0) 3 3 3 The chips continue to fall, and Ohio State is left hoping for a lucky break. Oregon went down, then Baylor; now a potential Jameis Winston suspension? The Buckeyes have to get through Michigan in the Big House, then Michigan State in the Big 10 Championship game – but they have to feel good about their chances with all the turmoil surrounding the team ranked one spot ahead of them.
4 Oklahoma St. 10-1 (7-1) 8 7 7 Arguably the most impressive win of the college football season happened Saturday night in Stillwater – OK State beat down Baylor 49-17. I wasn’t a huge believer in Baylor, but it’s hard to knock a performance like that. One more win for the Cowboys (over rival Oklahoma) and they’re Big 12 Champs, playing in the Fiesta Bowl.
5 Clemson 10-1 (6-1) 6 6 6 Clemson was irrelevant this past weekend, like they’ve been since that devastating loss to Florida State – beating The Citadel 52-6. The Tigers play South Carolina this weekend, with a BCS berth on the line.
6 Auburn 10-1 (6-1) 7 4 4 If I told you before the season, Auburn would control their destiny to play in the SEC Title game and potentially the Natty, going into the Iron Bowl – would you believe me? I know I wouldn’t. But that’s how big the stakes are this Saturday, against #1 Alabama. A win for the Tigers, and they head to Atlanta, and possibly LA.
7 Missouri 10-1 (6-1) 9 5 5 Missouri continues to control their own destiny to reach the SEC Championship game, but they need one more win to get there. The Tigers knocked off Ole Miss, 24-10 in Oxford, now they get a pissed off Texas A&M and Johnny Manziel. Good luck.
8 Michigan St. 10-1 (7-0) 12 11 11 All they do is win, win, win… Michigan State won again Saturday, beating Northwestern 30-6, clinching a spot in the Big 10 Championship game in the process. The Spartans close at home against Minnesota this weekend.
9 Baylor 9-1 (6-1) 4 9 9 Welp, the wheels sure came off Baylor Saturday night. An offense that couldn’t be stopped all year, came to a screeching halt (sound familiar, Duck fans?) against Oklahoma State. Only thing left for the Bears to do is beat TCU on the road, and hope for an at large bid to a BCS game.
10 Stanford 9-2 (7-2) 10 8 8 Talk about a bounce back, Stanford took their USC frustrations out on Cal 63-13 Saturday. More importantly, the Pac-12 North game of “hot potato” finally ended with Stanford on top, after Oregon fell at Arizona. The Cardinal face Notre Dame this weekend, before they play Arizona State in the Pac-12 Title game.
11 South Carolina 9-2 (6-2) 14 10 10 South Carolina continued their push to upend Missouri in the SEC East, but they need a Tiger loss this weekend if they want to make a trip to Atlanta. The Gamecocks beat Coastal Carolina 70-10, and face instate rival Clemson this weekend.
12 Arizona State 9-2 (7-1) 16 12 13 Your Pac-12 South Champion: Arizona State. It was a wild one in LA Saturday night, the Sun Devils blew a huge lead but eventually beat UCLA 38-33 to punch a ticket to the first Pac-12 Title game in school history. ASU closes with Arizona this weekend, a team fresh off an upset over Oregon.
13 Oregon 9-2 (6-2) 5 13 12 Well, didn’t see this one coming. Oregon was flat out embarrassed, humiliated, punched in the mouth (whatever analogy you want to use) in a 42-16 loss to Arizona. For the first time in four years, the Ducks will not be playing in a BCS game. Hard to let that sink in, if you’re a Duck fan. There’s not enough room to give an opinion on that turd sandwich, listen to GameNight this week.
14 LSU 8-3 (4-3) 17 17 15 For the second year in a row, LSU remains the only defense that somehow, someway slowed down Johnny Football. 34-10 was the final, a huge win over Texas A&M for Les Miles.
15 USC 9-3 (6-2) 13 23 23 USC played Colorado, no one watched, and one 47-29. The Trojans end the season with UCLA at the Coliseum, will a win make Ed Orgeron the next head coach?
16 Texas A&M 8-3 (5-3) 11 21 19 I would like to say Johnny Manziel can kiss his Heisman hopes goodbye, after his 3rd loss of the season, but it appears no one wants to win the award this year. Sadly, even with three losses, if Manziel can beat Missouri this weekend – you have to think he still has a shot.
17 Oklahoma 9-2 (6-2) 18 18 20 Oklahoma won at Kansas State 41-31 this Saturday, bringing up a huge matchup against Oklahoma State this weekend.
18 Wisconsin 9-2 (7-1) 19 15 14 Wisconsin has struggled with perception problems all season, and it’s crazy to think how different that perception would be if they didn’t screwed at Arizona State. Nonetheless, the Badgers won again this weekend, 20-7 at Minnesota. Wisconsin closes with Penn State at home this weekend.
19 UCF 9-1 (6-0) 20 19 17 Central Florida continued their push to an automatic BCS bid, with a 41-17 win over Rutgers. They face South Florida on Friday.
20 Duke 9-2 (5-2) 22 24 24 The dream season continues for the Dukies, after a 28-21 win over Wake Forrest – the Blue Devils area now just one win away from an appearance in the ACC Title game. The team standing in the way; instate rival North Carolina.
21 Fresno State 10-0 (7-0) 15 16 16 Fresno State hopes they bolstered their bid for a BCS game with a 69-28 win over New Mexico. Not only are they battling themselves, they’re also battling Northern Illinois for a higher ranking. The Bull Dogs are at San Jose State Friday.
22 Northern Ill. 11-0 (7-0) 24 14 18 Jordan Lynch is a stud. That is all. Northern Illinois won again, this time 35-17 at Toledo, they play 1-10 Western Michigan Thursday night.
23 Louisville 10-1 (6-1) 21 20 21 Louisville won…. Ah, who cares.
24 UCLA 8-3 (5-3) 15 22 22 Poor UCLA. The Bruins have had a fantastic season in Jim Mora’s 2nd year, but couldn’t knock off a top notch opponent. After a 38-33 loss to Arizona State, all three of UCLA’s losses have come to teams ranked 13th or higher in the BCS. They get the Trojans this weekend, in the battle for LA.
25 Notre Dame 8-3 NA 25 25 She loves me, she loves me not. Notre Dame (for the 4th time) squeezes back in the Dirty Poll after a win over BYU Saturday. The Irish get Stanford, on the road, this weekend.
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Pac-12 One and Done Contestants

You wanted it, and here it is - An update on our Pac-12 Survivor Pool. All picks in bold are last weeks choices, and as you can see, everyone has technically been eliminated. However, we at 1080 The FAN love being nice, so what we're going to do it open it up to you Final Four Contestants and whoever picks the final score in the Pac-12 title game the closest will win the whole thing and get a prize. So stay tuned as 1080's Twitter account will be giving out alerts on this part of the contest. 


Zachary Sharkey 
Has picked: ASU, Oregon, Oregon State, USC, Washington State, Cal, Colorado, Washington, Arizona, UCLA, and Stanford
 
Dustin Chilson 
Has picked: ASU, Oregon State, Stanford, Washington, Washington State, Colorado, Oregon, Arizona, UCLA,USC, and Cal
 
Jordane Lampi 
Has picked: ASU, UCLA, Stanford, Oregon State, Washington State, Oregon, Washington, and, Arizona, USC, and Cal
*remember, this person didn’t pick in week one but they keep picking so I included them again*
 
Ryan Lampi 
Has picked: ASU, UCLA, Stanford, Washington State, Oregon, Colorado, Oregon State, Washington, Arizona,USC, and Cal
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The Dirty Poll! Week Twelve Edition

Rk Team Record LW BCS AP Analysis
1 Alabama 10-0 (7-0) 1 1 1 It was a close call for the top ranked Tide, but they eventually outlasted Mississippi State by a final of 20-7. Bama is somehow allowed to play Chattanooga this weekend, before an Iron Bowl for the ages – winner goes to the SEC Title game.
2 Florida State 10-0 (8-0) 2 2 2 Despite the controversy surrounding the Noles’ this week, they went out and pounded Syracuse 59-3. Their ACC schedule is officially wrapped up, they close the season with Idaho and Florida.
3 Ohio State 10-0 (6-0) 3 3 4 Ohio State improved to 10-0 on the season, with a 60-35 win over Illinois. The Buckeyes welcome Indiana to Columbus this weekend, before traveling to Ann Arbor to close out with Michigan
4 Baylor 9-0 (6-0) 4 4 3 Baylor jumped up to #3 in the AP Poll, but remained #4 in the BCS following their 63-34 win over Texas Tech. Tests still remain for this team, though, with Oklahoma State, TCU and Texas left on the schedule.
5 Oregon 9-1 (6-1) 6 5 5 Funny how things can change in a week. Oregon, after beating Utah 44-21, is once again in the Pac-12 North driver seat after a Stanford loss. The Ducks should be able to navigate through Arizona and Oregon State – but Mariota’s health has to remain a concern. For the 2nd straight week, he totaled negative rushing yards.
6 Clemson 9-1 (6-1) 7 7 7 Clemson played on Thursday, easily beating Georgia Tech 55-31 at home. In true southern football fashion, the Tigers play The Citadel this weekend… Before closing with South Carolina on the road, a game that will have BCS implications.
7 Auburn 10-1 (6-1) 8 6 6 What. A. Finish. No doubt, the end to the Auburn vs Georgia game will be shown on highlight reels for years to come. The implications were huge, as now Auburn can win the SEC West with an Iron Bowl win over Alabama, in two weeks.
8 Oklahoma St. 9-1 (6-1) 10 10 11 Oklahoma State went through some growing plays in the middle part of the season, but the Cowboys are clicking on all cylinders now. They handed Mack Brown his worst home loss during his tenure at Texas, with a 38-13 win. Now – a primetime test we’ve been waiting for, Vs Baylor Saturday night.
9 Missouri 9-1 (5-1) 11 8 8 Missouri had the weekend off, benefiting on the polls because of it. The Tigers remain the top team in the SEC East, but have to get through Ole Miss and South Carolina to get there.
10 Stanford 8-2 (6-2) 5 9 10 Stanford went from Pac-12 North front runner, to potentially the Alamo Bowl with a 20-17 loss Saturday night to USC. The game showed if you have the size and strength, Stanford is a beatable team. The Cardinal close with Cal and Notre Dame.
11 Texas A&M 8-2 (5-2) 9 12 9 Texas A&M had a bye this weekend, but two HUGE games remain: at LSU this weekend, then at home versus Missouri.
12 Michigan St. 9-1 (6-0) 13 13 13 Michigan State clinched their spot in the Big 10 title game, with a clutch 41-28 win over Nebraska in Lincoln this weekend. The Spartans close with Northwestern and Minnesota.
13 USC 8-3 (5-2) NA 23 23 Talk about a turnaround… This USC lost 10-7 to Washington State in LA, let that sink in. Saturday night, the Trojans defeated #5 Stanford 20-17 on a last second field goal. Ed Orgeron might not get the SC job next season, but he’ll get a job somewhere else after what he’s done for this program. USC still has an outside shot at the Pac-12 title game, they’ll have to beat Colorado and UCLA to stay alive though.
14 South Carolina 8-2 (6-2) 12 11 12 It was a clunker, but South Carolina found a way to beat Florida 19-14 Saturday. The Gamecocks still have a chance at the SEC Title, their conference schedule is done, but they need a Missouri loss. Spurrior takes on Coastal Carolina and Clemson to close the season.
15 UCLA 8-2 (5-2) 18 14 14 UCLA played Friday, and beat Washington 41-31 in LA. The Bruins still control their own destiny in the Pac-12 South, with two must-watch games remaining – Vs Arizona State and at USC.
16 Arizona State 8-2 (6-1) 20 17 19 Arizona State won with their defense Saturday, opposed to the normal formula of outscoring their opponent – beating Oregon State 30-17 and forcing 4 interceptions. The Sun Devils remain in the drivers’ seat to make the Pac-12 Title game, but they have to beat UCLA on the road this weekend.
17 LSU 7-3 (3-3) 15 22 18 LSU had the weekend off, and they needed it to prepare defensively to stop Texas A&M and Johnny Manziel. The Tigers were one of the few defenses to figure out the Heisman winner last year, but a win this year would likely keep Manziel from winning the award back-to-back years.
18 Oklahoma 8-2 (5-2) 17 20 22 Oklahoma bounced back from an embarrassing loss to Baylor, pounding Iowa State 48-10 in Norman. Kansas State and Oklahoma State remain on the schedule for the Sooners.
19 Wisconsin 8-2 (6-1) 19 19 16 Wisconsin continued to play tremendous football, beating Indiana 51-3 in Madison this weekend. The Badgers close with Minnesota and Penn State.
20 UCF 9-1 (6-0) 14 18 17 Central Florida barely beat Temple Saturday, paying the price in the polls. The Scarlet Knights still have a strong case for a BCS game, remaining atop the AAC, with their only loss coming to South Carolina.
21 Louisville 9-1 (5-1) 16 21 21 Much like their AAC counterpart UCF, Louisville barely beat Houston 20-13 Saturday. Not much more to say about this garbage conference.
22 Duke 8-2 (4-2) NA NA 25 How about them Duke Blue Devils! After a 48-30 win over Miami, Duke now controls their destiny in the ACC Coastal Division. That is not a misprint. They close with Wake Forrest and North Carolina.
23 Ole Miss 7-3 (3-3) NA 24 24 Ole Miss found their way back into the Dirty Poll, with a 51-21 win over Troy. Strong showing this season, by the team who took home the nation’s #1 recruiting class.
24 Northern Ill. 10-0 (6-0) 24 16 20 Northern Illinois defeated Ball State, 48-27 Thursday night to remain undefeated.
25 Fresno State 9-0 (6-0) 25 15 15 Fresno State had a bye this weekend, the Bulldogs get New Mexico at home on Saturday.
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The Dirty Poll! Week Eleven Edition

Rk Team Record LW BCS AP Analysis
1 Alabama 9-0 (6-0) 1 1 1 Alabama has officially punched their ticket to Atlanta and the SEC Title game; and all but clinched a trip to the Natty – after a 38-17 win over LSU. Only two tests remain for the Tide: Auburn in the Iron Bowl, and their SEC Title game foe. But, with the way this team is playing, plan on seeing them in LA come January.
2 Florida State 9-0 (7-0) 3 2 2 Florida State continues to click on all cylinders, after another dominating 59-3 win over Wake Forrest. The Noles’ only roadblocks remain Florida and the ACC Title game (if you want to call those roadblocks…) As long as they don’t go ‘Clemsoning’ it appears FSU is set for an appearance in the Natty.
3 Ohio State 9-0 (5-0) 4 3 3 Lingering in the wings, is Ohio State. The Buckeyes needed chips to fall in their direction, and an Oregon loss was the first chip. Now – it’ll take a Florida State or Alabama loss if OSU wants a shot at the Natty – if not, they’ll be the first team since TCU in 2010 to go unbeaten and not appear in the Title.
4 Baylor 8-0 (5-0) 5 5 4 Baylor called their Thursday night game the biggest in program history, and they played like it. After the dust settled, the final was 41-12 over Oklahoma. I wasn’t on the banwagon before they romped the Sooners, and I’m not sure if I can jump on board yet. Their final four games will all be tests: Vs Texas Tech, at Oklahoma State, at TCU and Vs Texas. Make it through those? I’m a believer.
5 Stanford 8-1 (6-1) 7 4 5 Well, didn’t see that coming. Stanford DOMINATED Oregon from start to (almost) finish, and the 26-20 final wasn’t an indicator on how this game went. The tests don’t stop with Oregon, though, as Stanford has to travel to LA to officially punch their ticket to the Pac-12 game – against a USC team that’s playing it's best football of the season.
6 Oregon 8-1 (5-1) 2 6 6 Overrated? No. Overhyped? Maybe. Oregon was embarrassed by Stanford, and now has to swallow the fact that the Cardinal kept them out of the Title game for the 2nd straight year. Not all is lost though; if Oregon wins out they’ll make it to a 5th straight BCS game. While there’s still the potential of making the Pac-12 Title game (with a Stanford loss).
7 Clemson 8-1 (5-1) 6 8 8 Clemson had the week off, which hurt because they dropped in all three polls (Dirty, BCS & AP). The Tigers will get a shot at national redemption, and potentially to make a BCS game – when they close the season against South Carolina.
8 Auburn 9-1 (5-1) 8 7 7 Who didn’t see this coming? Auburn is now 9-1, after a 55-23 win over Tennessee at Rocky Top. Their lone blemish remains LSU earlier this season; but the last two games won’t be easy – against Georgia and Alabama (though both games are at home).
9 Texas A&M 8-2 (4-2) 12 11 10 Jonny Manziel is making a serious case for a 2nd straight Heisman trophy – but he can’t afford another loss, in my opinion. A&M beat Mississippi State 51-41 in College Station Saturday. The last two will provide a chance for Manziel to put his name in the history books – at LSU, at Missouri.
10 Oklahoma St. 8-1 (5-1) 11 12 12 Oklahoma State continues to build an impressive resume, after a 42-6 win over Kansas State on Saturday. How’s this for a finish, though? At Texas, Vs Baylor and Vs Oklahoma. Good luck.
11 Missouri 9-1 (5-1) 14 9 9 Missouri remains the front runner in the SEC East, but can’t afford another loss. That won’t be easy, with Ole Miss and Texas A&M remaining on the schedule.
12 South Carolina 7-2 (5-2) 13 10 11 South Carolina had the weekend off, still remaining a game behind Missouri in the SEC East. Florida, Coastal Carolina and Clemson loom on the schedule for the Gamecocks.
13 Michigan St. 8-1 (5-0) 16 16 14 Michigan State had the weekend off as well, in preparation for Nebraska this coming Saturday in Lincoln. The winner – will face Ohio State in the Big 10 Title game.
14 Central Fl. 7-1 (4-0) 17 17 15 Central Florida struggled, but eventually beat Houston 19-14 Saturday. You may think they’re ranked too high, but the only loss on their resume is a close one to South Carolina.
15 LSU 7-3 (3-3) 9 21 18 Poor LSU. Alabama remains their nemesis, after a 38-17 loss in Tuscaloosa. They’ll get a shot at redemption, though, with Texas A&M coming to Baton Rouge in two weeks.
16 Louisville 8-1 (4-1) 18 20 19 Louisville won in a very unimpressive fashion over winless Uconn, 31-10. Teddy Brdigewater’s Heisman hopes are all but done, though he is still expected to be a top-3 pick in the NFL Draft. Louisville remains a game behind UCF in the AAC Conference, with a automatic bid to the BCS on the line.
17 Oklahoma 7-2 (4-2) 10 18 22 Big game whoops lived up to his name once again Thursday night at Baylor, falling to the Bears 41-12. Oklahoma is officially out of the running in the Big 12, as they sit two games behind Texas (yes, Texas leads the Big 12).
18 UCLA 7-2 (4-2) 19 13 13 Myles Jack. Oh my. The Freshman linebacker for UCLA had 8 tackles, and was the Pac-12 Offensive Player of The Week. UCLA had a great win, at Arizona Saturday night, to keep their hopes alive to win the Pac-12 South.
19 Wisconsin 7-2 (5-1) 20 22 17 Wisconsin took a break from Big 10 play, beating BYU Saturday in Madison. Indiana, Penn State and Minnesota remain on the schedule.
20 Arizona State 7-2 (5-1) 22 19 21 The Sun Devils needed a late rally to survive Utah, pulling out a 20-19 win. ASU remains atop the Pac-12 South, with a key game against Oregon State in Tempe this coming weekend.
21 Nebraska 7-2 (4-1) NA NA NA A week after pulling a Hail Mary win out of their you know where… Nebraska got back to their defensive roots, beating Michigan 17-13 at the Big House. Amazingly, the Huskers still have a shot at the Big 10 Title game, but have to beat Michigan State this Saturday in Lincoln.
22 Texas 7-2 (6-0) NA 24 23 The Texas Longhorns are in 1st place in the Big 12. Take a second to let that sink in. After a 47-40 overtime win at West Virginia, Texas is now 6-0 in conference play. But – the meat of the schedule remains: Vs Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and at Baylor.
23 Miami (FL) 7-2 (3-2) 15 23 24 Miami owed all of us two losses, after sneaking past North Carolina and Wake Forrest – and we now have those two losses. After losing to Florida State, the Canes backed it up with a loss to Virginia Tech. Miami now sits behind Duke, Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech in the ACC Coastal.
24 Northern Ill. 9-0 (5-0) 21 15 20 Northern Illinois had the weekend off, still sitting at 9-0 and hoping for a 2nd straight BCS game.
25 Fresno State 9-0 (6-0) 23 14 16 Fresno State started slow, but eventually beat Wyoming on the road Saturday night.
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Olympic Gold Medalist Skier Jonny Moseley

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Damian Lillard .. Points or Assists?

While I don't have the verbose style and prose of my co-hosts Dirt and Sprague, I wanted to post a couple of charts . I spent 2 hours writing a great post and the lovely blog technology we use timed out so will keep this shorter and explain more in a podcast. We are coming up on the year anniversary of the three of us being on the air this Thursday the 7th and during that time we have debated whether the Blazers need Damian Lillard to score or be more of a distributor. In other words, can the Blazers be a playoff team and contender with scoring taking precedence over distributing. Here are a couple of charts

           
Assists  Games Record Percentage Season Over/Under
0-4 19.00 6w v 13 L 32.00% 40.20% -8.20%
5-9 Assists 54.00 21w 32 L 38.80% 40.20% -1.40%
10-14 Assists 9.00 6w v 3 L 67.00% 40.20% 26.80%
           
3 6.00 1 & 5 16.67% 40.20% -23.53%
4 10.00 3 & 7 30.00% 40.20% -10.20%
5 8.00 1 & 7 12.50% 40.20% -27.70%
6 13.00 6 & 7 46.15% 40.20% 5.95%
7 16.00 4 & 12 25.00% 40.20% -15.20%
8 10.00 6 & 4 60.00% 40.20% 19.80%
9 7.00 4 &3 57.14% 40.20% 16.94%
10 4.00 3 & 1 75.00% 40.20% 34.80%
11 4.00 4 & 1 75.00% 40.20% 34.80%

The chart shows the drastic difference in Blazer wins last season when Lillard has more than 8 assists. When he has 8 or more assists the Blazers have a record of 17-9 or .650 which is 25% higher than the season average 

Now for scoring 

Points          
0 - 9 5.00 1 & 4 0.20 40.20% -0.20
10-19points 36.00 10 & 26 0.28 40.20% -0.12
20-29points 36.00 21 & 15 0.58 40.20% 0.18
30-39points 5.00 1 & 4 0.20 40.20% -0.20

The win percentage above the season average is much less for points then it is for assists.. In his 5 highest scoring games last year the Blazers were 1-4. In his 5 most assisted games they were 4-1. The sweet spot for Lillard is scoring 20-25 with 8-10 assists.. A tall order for sure but the priority should be for Lillard to get his team involved early and often and then take over and score. The sign of a great point guard is knowing when those moments occur. 

Portland has much bigger problems, namely on defense and points in the paint (29th in the league) and Lillard is far down on the list of what ails this team. Quite the opposite actually. The sample size is small in terms of his career and the narrative will evolve based on personnel but the history of the league and the numbers show point guards that are distributors are superior to scorers. They are not mutually exclusive, however priority must be assigned. 

Danforth 
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The Dirty Poll! Week Ten Edition!

Rk Team Record LW BCS AP Analysis
1 Alabama 8-0 (5-0) 1 1 1 The top ranked Tide had the weekend off, and it was the perfect time for a bye week -- as the LSU Tigers come to Tuscaloosa this coming Saturday. The past two meetings between these teams have been classics, and this one shouldn't be any different. There's a lot more riding on the line in this one for Bama, a loss could potentially knock them from the National Title race; while LSU will need a win PLUS another Tide loss just to make it to the SEC Title game. One thing is for certain, if the past is any indicator -- this one will be a classic. 
2 Oregon 8-0 (5-0) 2 3 2 Another top ranked team, and another bye week. Fresh off their 42-14 romping over UCLA, the Ducks had the weekend off in preparation for #6 Stanford Thursday night down on the Farm. Everyone had this game circled on the calendar before the season started, and rightfully so. The winner will more than likely represent the Pac-12 North in the conference title game, and a win for Oregon will all but lock up an appearance in the National Championship game. I understand if there’s anger over Oregon being ranked ahead of Florida State, especially after the Noles’ knocked off their second top-10 foe of the season – but it comes down to my opinion of Miami (FL). Just sizing up opponents, I’d say both Washington and UCLA could beat Miami; therefore I don’t put much stock in FSU’s big win Saturday night.
3 Florida State 8-0 (6-0) 3 2 3 The Seminoles now have two wins over top-10 ranked teams (Clemson, Miami) after their big win Saturday night. I fully expected the Noles to jump Oregon in the BCS rankings, which they did, but as I mentioned about – how impressive is a win over Miami? Time will tell, but I don’t expect the Canes to be near the top 10 by the end of the season. The biggest thing going against FSU moving forward; they don’t play a team with a winning record the rest of the season, while Oregon doesn’t face a team with a losing record the rest of the way.
4 Ohio State 9-0 (5-0) 4 4 4 Hey, Ohio State is still playing football! The oft forgotten of the remaining unbeatens, Ohio State rolled once again this weekend, 56-0 over Purdue. It will take a miracle for the Buckeyes to not finish undefeated, due to the dreadful nature of the Big 10 conference -- but they'll need a lot of help if they want to make an appearance in the National Championship game. Even though no one is paying attention, Ohio State will continue to play -- after an off week, they're in Illinois. 
5 Baylor 7-0 (4-0) 5 6 5 Baylor had the weekend off as well, sitting pretty at 7-0 and easily the front runner in the Big 12 conference. They'll get their first true test of the season, though, Thursday night when the 10th ranked Oklahoma Sooners come to town.
6 Clemson 8-1 (5-1) 7 7 8 The Tigers had a nice bounce back week, after struggling to beat Maryland following their humbling loss to Florida State. Clemson took care of Virginia, 59-10 on the road Saturday. The Tigers have this coming Saturday off, before their Thursday night tilt at home against Georgia Tech. 
7 Stanford 7-1 (5-1) 8 5 6 Bye weeks are the common theme of top ranked teams, and Stanford joined the group. After their close, 20-12 win over Oregon State last weekend -- the Cardinal rested up to get ready for #2 Oregon Thursday night. This is quickly turned into one of the best rivalries in the conference -- with National Title implications in three straight meetings. Stanford shocked the world, with a 17-14 OT win in Eugene last year. 
8 Auburn 8-1 (4-1) 10 9 7 Arguably the biggest sleeper team of the season, Auburn continued to roll Saturday, this time 35-17 over Arkansas. The Tigers season will come down to one game – at home vs. #1 Alabama on November, 30th. That is, if they can get through Tennessee and Georgia the next two weeks.
9 LSU 7-2 (3-2) 9 13 10 Another team taking a week off to get ready for their biggest test of the season -- LSU. The Tigers are gearing up for their trip to Tuscaloosa and a date with the #1 ranked Alabama. It'll take a miracle for LSU to make the SEC Title game (a win, plus another Alabama loss) -- but they have something to prove, as Alabama has beaten LSU twice in a row, including a victory in the 2011 National Championship game.
10 Oklahoma 7-1 (4-1) 11 10 12 Oklahoma had the weekend off as well, after beating Texas Tech in Norman last Saturday. The Sooners remain a game back of Baylor in the Big 12, but can take care of that this Thursday; when they face the 5th ranked Bears Thursday night.
11 Oklahoma St. 7-1 (4-1) 13 14 15 Oklahoma State desperately needed a win over a ranked team, and did just that Saturday – handling Texas Tech 52-34 in Lubbock. The Cowboys get a “breather” this weekend when they face off against Kansas.
12 Texas A&M 7-2 (3-2) 12 15 11 The Aggies, in true SEC fashion, played UTEP on Saturday. Not much to break down from this one, Manziel had another incredible game and A&M rolled 52-7. Mississippi State comes to College Station this Saturday.
13 South Carolina 7-2 (5-2) 14 12 13 South Carolina has found new life, a week after pulling off an improbable comeback against Missouri – the Gamecocks rolled Mississippi State 34-16. Spurriors’ group gets the weekend off, before they face Florida.
14 Missouri 8-1 (4-1) 15 8 9 Missouri bounced back nicely, after choking away their first loss of the season, beating Tennessee 31-3. The Tigers remain a game up in the SEC East division – which will likely come down to their season ending game against Texas A&M; they’ll look to stay on track Saturday against Kentucky.
15 Miami (FL) 7-1 (3-1) 6 11 14 After escaping North Carolina and Wake Forrest with wins, things didn’t stack up well for Miami against Florida State this weekend. Down only 21-14 at the half, the Noles blew it open for a 41-14 win. The Canes look to get back on track Saturday, in a game that could decide the ACC Coastal winner – against Virginia Tech.
16 Michigan St. 8-1 (5-0) 19 17 18 How about that defense? I tried to tell you about how good this Spartan defense is, and if you didn’t believe me – a 29-6 beat down of rival Michigan should be all the convincing you need. MSU remains undefeated in Big 10 play, and has the weekend off before facing Nebraska in Lincoln. The winner will have an inside track to face Ohio State in the Big 10 Championship game.
17 UCF 6-1 (3-0) 20 21 19 Central Florida, leader in the AAC conference, had the weekend off. They face off against Houston, Saturday.
18 Louisville 7-1 (3-1) 17 20 20 Louisville had the weekend off, they return to action Friday night taking on a winless Connecticut team.
19 UCLA 6-2 (3-2) 23 19 16 UCLA desperately needed a win, and Colorado came at the exact perfect time on the schedule. The Bruins started slow, but eventually rolled over the Buffs 45-23. They’ll get a surprising (6-2) Arizona team Saturday.
20 Wisconsin 6-2 (4-1) 24 24 21 The Badgers don’t have much of an offense, but you don’t need one in the Big 10. Improving to 6-2 on the season, Wisconsin easily beat Iowa 28-9 on Saturday. A non-conference tilt with BYU looms on Saturday, in Madison.
21 N. Illinois 9-0 (5-0) 21 18 22 Say what you want about Northern Illinois, but Jordan Lynch is an absolute stud. The team is absolutely flawed, but their QB is dominant. A week after having a hand in 6 TD’s, he backed it up with 5 more this weekend in their 63-19 win over Umass.
22 Arizona State 6-2 (4-1) NA 22 23 How’s a 55-21 beat down in Pullman, for a Halloween show? That’s what ASU did to the Cougs Saturday, firmly stating their case as the Pac-12 South’s top team. But – the Sun Devils travel to Utah Saturday, a place that’s proven difficult for opponents this season.
23 Fresno State 8-0 (5-0) 22 16 17 Why a drop in the polls for the unbeaten Bulldogs? Well, they struggled with Nevada… But, a win is a win, and Fresno State looks to be destined as a BCS buster. They face Wyoming, Saturday.
24 Notre Dame 7-2 25 23 24 Notre Dame channeled their inner 2012 Irish, narrowly beating Navy 38-34 in South Bend. This team – somehow, someway, continues to find ways to win ballgames. The Irish face Pittsburgh, on the road, Saturday.
25 Texas Tech 7-2 (4-2) 16 25 25 How quickly a 7-0 start can be forgotten. The Red Raiders were undefeated; having not beaten a ranked team, then came the state of Oklahoma. Last week the Sooners, this week the Cowboys – and both defeated Texas Tech. Kliff Kingsbury will look to keep his team from falling off the rails Saturday, against Kansas State.

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