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Football.com Power Dozen: Michigan Debuts

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Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner, right, more than made up for his gift-wrapped pick-six by accounting for five touchdowns in a 41-30 win against Notre Dame, vaulting the Wolverines to No. 11 in our Power Dozen. Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images.
Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner, right, more than made up for his gift-wrapped pick-six by accounting for five touchdowns in a 41-30 win against Notre Dame, vaulting the Wolverines to No. 11 in our Power Dozen. Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images.

Much of the Devin Gardner talk will revolve around his horrific end zone decision to avoid a safety, but give up a pick-six that kept Notre Dame in the game late.

But Gardner accounted for five total touchdowns as the Wolverines hung 41 in an 11-point win against the Fighting Irish, jolting numbers against a stacked defense. Ohio State may not sail through the season unbeaten and untested after all as Wisconsin (2-0) and Northwestern (2-0) look like solid teams in the Big Ten as well.

While Michigan debuts at No. 11 in our Power Dozen, Miami got no such love from voters despite dumping Florida, 21-16. The Gators dominated most of the game, but five turnovers handed the win to the Hurricanes. It wasn't enough, though, and Miami now is our second team out.

The number of SEC contenders continues to thin as South Carolina and Florida dropped out of our Power Dozen, reducing the conference's share from half to one-third. Texas A&M is in danger this week if Alabama can extract revenge in a major way.

No. 5 Stanford fell in our poll for a second consecutive week despite the Cardinal opening its season with a comfortable win against David Fales and San Jose State as voters elevated Clemson to No. 4 in a sign of respect for the ACC. The Top 5 continues to enjoy a sizable margin over the rest of the field.

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 (1-0) 0 at No. 8 Texas A&M 1
2 Ohio State (2-0) 39 +39 at Cal 2
3 Oregon (2-0) 47 +8 vs. Tennessee 3
4 Clemson (2-0) 61 +14 at N.C. State 5
5 Stanford (1-0) 70 +9 at Army 4
6 Louisville (2-0) 101 +31 at Kentucky 7
7 LSU (2-0) 114 +13 vs. Kent State 9
8 Texas A&M (2-0) 119 +5 vs. No. 1 Alabama 8
9 Georgia (1-1) 135 +16 vs. North Texas 10
10 Florida State (1-0) 148 +13 vs. Nevada 12
11 Michigan (2-0) 172 +24 vs. Akron
12 Oklahoma State (2-0) 183 +11 vs. Lamar

Less Than Max Score Of 225: South Carolina (191), Miami (207), Oklahoma (217), Wisconsin (221).

Dropped Out: South Carolina (6), Florida (12).

Power Dozen Scuttlebutt

Rank Team Buzz
1 Alabama Tide excels with extra time to prep, but needs better OL play vs. Aggies.
2 Ohio State Braxton Miller (knee) should take his time. Buckeyes OK this week.
3 Oregon Competition gets quarter-step better each week, but started at bottom.
4 Clemson Two INTs for TDs should give defense confidence.
5 Stanford Cardinal slayed decent San Jose State team with workmanlike effort.
6 Louisville Bridgewater (76.7%, 9 TDs, 1 INT) feeling himself, waves off punt team.
7 LSU New OC makes Odell Beckham a star; D glitches in second quarter.
8 Texas A&M Allowed a combined 59 points to Rice and Sam Houston State.
9 Georgia We can drop big-game Murray bashing. Bulldogs control SEC East.
10 Florida State Clemson, Miami have signature wins. Seminoles' sked a cruise in Sept.
11 Michigan Wolverines manhandle NFL-caliber Notre Dame D-Line.
12 Okla. State Could be best of mediocre Big 12 as Texas, TCU have lost.

Comparing Rankings

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

Football.com Range

Alabama again is our unanimous No. 1 after Ohio State picked up a single first-place vote last week. Voters hardly disagreed on the Top 5. Louisville will continue to pose a challenge as they humiliate lesser teams out of necessity. Texas A&M's defense has been atrocious against bad teams, leading one of our voters to exclude them from the Top 12, while six others trust Johnny Football and company enough to rank them in the Top 6. Three voters ranked one-loss Georgia ahead of LSU, while two excluded the Bulldogs altogether.

Team High Low
Alabama 1 1
Ohio State 2 5
Oregon 2 6
Clemson 3 6
Stanford 3 7
Louisville 3 10
LSU 6 10
Texas A&M 5
Georgia 7
Florida State 8 12
Michigan 9
Oklahoma State 8

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