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Football.com Power Dozen: Calm Before The Storm

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It took some of the top teams until the fourth quarter to put away bad opponents, but no one of note lost this weekend before conference play starts in earnest. Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images.
It took some of the top teams until the fourth quarter to put away bad opponents, but no one of note lost this weekend before conference play starts in earnest. Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images.

I won't regurgitate the widespread panning of last weekend's schedule.

It's enough to say our Power Dozen is unchanged, and for good reason. In all likelihood, this won't happen again. There are multiple opportunities to move up or down every week.

Alabama, a unanimous No. 1, has a big edge because we don't pile on any points for each voter's top-ranked team, but I have a feeling the Tide's edge is deceiving. If Alabama so much as struggles with Ole Miss this week and Oregon collects another blowout, I imagine the gap will shrink to less than 30 points.

Georgia still must play Florida and perhaps the SEC West champion, but the Bulldogs' near-weekly run of Top-10 foes ends after they host LSU on Saturday. Win, and the Bulldogs likely leapfrog Florida State (No. 8) and Louisville (No. 7) in our poll. Since LSU is No. 6, a one-loss Georgia team could be just outside the Top 5. Since Oregon and Stanford have yet to play, one of them has to lose. Run the table and the Bulldogs get another shot at Alabama. So, Georgia fans, if you knock off LSU and take care of business the rest of the way, you'll have a very good chance to make the national championship game.

The converse? An LSU win sets up the Tigers to control their SEC West fate. Beat Georgia on the road? Ole Miss and Florida don't look so tough. The Tigers are a more balanced team than Texas A&M. Bottom line: The winner of this game is in the best position of any SEC team to knock off Alabama.

Ohio State gets an interesting test in Wisconsin, a ranked team with a good rush offense. Urban Meyer was adamant Braxton Miller is the clear, full-time starter when he returns to health, but word isn't bond among college football coaches. Will the Buckeyes find plays for Kenny Guiton as well? How Meyer handles the quarterback situation could determine how much of a challenge the Badgers present.

Methodology: First-place votes equate to zero points. Voters rank their Top 13 to help differentiate marginal teams. Teams ranked 2-13 get a point total equivalent to their rank. If a team is not ranked in a person's Top 13, they are automatically assigned 15 points. The lowest aggregate score is ranked No. 1, second-lowest No. 2 and so forth.

Rank Team Record Score Gap Next Prev. Rank
1 Alabama 3-0 0 vs. Ole Miss 1
2 Oregon 3-0 36 +36 vs.Cal 2
3 Ohio State 4-0 49 +13 vs. Wisconsin 3
4 Clemson 3-0 62 +13 vs. Wake Forest 4
5 Stanford 3-0 68 +6 at Washington State 5
6 LSU 4-0 91 +23 at No. 9 Georgia 6
7 Louisville 4-0 118 +27 at Temple (Oct. 5) 7
8 Florida State 4-0 124 +6 at Boston College 8
9 Georgia 2-1 130 +6 vs. No. 6 LSU 9
10 Texas A&M 3-1 143 +13 at Arkansas 10
11 Oklahoma State 3-0 172 +29 at West Virginia 11
12 South Carolina 2-1 195 +23 at UCF 12

Less Than Max Score Of 225: UCLA (196), Oklahoma (206), Miami (215), Michigan (221).

Dropped Out: None.

Power Dozen Scuttlebutt

Rank Team Buzz
1 Alabama Tide have gotten by on talent. Need better team play to beat Ole Miss.
2 Oregon Dominant, unnoticed defense gets chance to shut down Cal air game.
3 Ohio State Will Braxton Miller be rusty? Back to the bench for Kenny G.?
4 Clemson Tigers can sleepwalk until Oct. 19. Should start watching FSU tape.
5 Stanford No shot against Oregon unless it can learn to play full 60 minutes.
6 LSU Strap it up. Play five ranked SEC teams in next seven weeks.
7 Louisville Will get passed in the polls by a one-loss team if UGA wins.
8 Florida State Can't say "See: Clemson" because Maryland has emerged.
9 Georgia Third Top-10 opponent in four games. Rest of season should seem easy.
10 Texas A&M Arkansas can run, a problem for the Aggies if the Hogs didn't stink.
11 Okla. State Irony as QB J.W. Walsh crushes the coach who recruited him as OC.
12 South Carolina Blake Bortles on the road may be tougher than next two SEC foes.

Comparing Rankings

Team Football.com AP Coaches
Alabama 1 1 1
Oregon 2 2 2
Ohio State 3 4 3
Clemson 4 3 4
Stanford 5 5 5
LSU 6 6 6
Louisville 7 7 7
Florida State 8 8 8
Georgia 9 9 10
Texas A&M 10 10 9
Oklahoma State 11 11 11
South Carolina 12 12 13

Football.com Range

Again, not much movement here. I'm a bit surprised the Tide remains a unanimous No. 1 after a blah performance against Colorado State, but personally I couldn't justify demoting an Alabama team that won by 25 points. Stanford and LSU each improved their low end by beating decent conference foes Arizona State and Auburn with ease. At the bottom end, Texas A&M was in every Power Dozen with the exception of one voter, who placed them in the "plus-one" slot. Likewise, every voter but one slotted Oklahoma State between 10 and 12.

Team High Low
Alabama 1 1
Oregon 2 4
Ohio State 2 5
Clemson 2 7
Stanford 3 6
LSU 5 8
Louisville 6 11
Florida State 7 11
Georgia 7 10
Texas A&M 6
Oklahoma State 10
South Carolina 10

Voters: Christopher Smith, David Seigerman, Joe Coughlin, Joe Jenkins, John Jackson, Dan Harralson, Ken Pomponio, Matt Natali, Veair Green, Bill Gelman, Henry McKenna and Eric Russell.