I miss the days of not having to make wholesale changes of the top 10, but after three weeks of numerous upsets, we have another poll that is very different from the week before. The SEC West is king right now, and there aren’t really any other options at this point.
1. LSU (Last week: No. 1) — The Tigers are all set up for a big game against Arkansas this weekend after blasting Ole Miss 52-3. If you didn’t see the game, you missed LSU taking four knees at the goal line with five minutes left in the contest. I agree — using the word “contest” to describe that game is a stretch.
2. Alabama (Last week: No. 5) — The Crimson Tide didn’t exactly put away Georgia Southern, but I can’t take much stock in a money grab game. It’s hard to get the players motivated, especially the week before the Iron Bowl. And to all of the Alabama fans who are proclaiming “We’re goin’ to the ‘SHIP,” did you not see the last few weeks of games? Don’t count your chickens yet, Bammers.
3. Arkansas (Last week: No. 7) — I wish I had other options. I watched Arkansas struggle with aforementioned Ole Miss for a long time earlier this month, and that stuck with me. But I punish teams for losing late in the season, and the list of teams who haven’t done so continues to shrink. I’ll deliver my predictions later this week, but it’s my full belief that the Razorbacks will not beat LSU.
4. Stanford (Last week: No. 6) — The Cardinal had a bad Week 11 as we all remember, but they quickly moved up to No. 4 when nearly everyone above them lost in Week 12. Is Stanford as bad as they looked against Oregon? Heck no. But that game is probably all the voters need to keep them out of the national title game.
5. Virginia Tech (Last week: No. 8 ) — The folks up in Blacksburg are going to argue the point that they deserve a spot in the BCS Title game as much as anyone, but getting destroyed by Clemson at home is going to hurt them, even if they beat the Tigers in the ACC Championship game. The sad fact is that they play in the ACC, and if you don’t run the table in the ACC, you won’t get anyone’s attention. Sorry, Hokies, but there’s always the Orange Bowl.
6. Oklahoma (Last week: No. 3) — Oklahoma got Griffin’d, plain and simple. They lost to a pretty good Baylor team that features Heisman contender Robert Griffin III, so they’re not going to fall as far in my poll as Oklahoma State. The Sooners have lost a slew of offensive playmakers this year, and while they lost again, I still think they’re a better team than Oklahoma State. We’ll find out soon.
7. Oklahoma State (Last week: No. 2) — Losing late in the season will hurt you … especially if you lose to Iowa State. I know that they had a lot hanging over their heads with the death of their women’s basketball coach in a small, tight-knit community. But you can’t lose to Iowa State, even if it’s in Ames on a Friday night. And on that note, do you think they’ll ever agree to a Friday night road game ever again?
8. Oregon (Last week: No. 3) — After looking virtually unstoppable for months, the Ducks came home and wet the bed against USC. There’s nothing wrong with that Trojans team (aside from the probation that’s keeping them out of a bowl game and possibly the Pac-12 Championship game), but a missed field goal at the end of the game may have cost Oregon a spot in the national title game.
9. Georgia (Last week: No. 10) — This is my way of saying that there isn’t anyone else to put in this spot, because the Dawgs certainly didn’t look like a top-10 team at home against Kentucky over the weekend. If THAT team shows up to the Georgia Dome to play LSU, we may see the Tigers taking knees 55 minutes into the game (again).
10. Kansas State (Last week: No. 11) — Ahh, the Wildcats are back. Despite being a 9.5-point underdog at Texas over the weekend, K-State improved to 9-2 overall with a 17-13 victory over the Longhorns. All that remains for KSU is a home game against Iowa State. A 10-win season for Bill Snyder would be quite impressive.