Power Dozen: Big Names Tumble
Joe Jenkins called it "Reality Czech Saturday."
The inevitable attrition-laced college football weekend arrived a few weeks before Halloween, sending three teams tumbling.
Stanford, Georgia and Oklahoma suffered big upsets as the number of true national championship contenders shrunk.
Of those three, Stanford is the only team to remain in our Power Dozen, and barely so, falling seven spots to No. 12, holding off Baylor and Missouri for now.
A wounded Georgia could not overcome perhaps the most significant slew of injuries faced by any legitimate contender and suffered a second loss. The Bulldogs can only hope for an SEC Championship, but its BCS title chances are gone, and even emerging from the SEC East seems like a tall task at this point.
Oklahoma, though, got embarrassed. The Sooners clubbed the Longhorns with ease the last two seasons, but instead of putting the Mack Brown era out of its misery, OU allowed Texas to galvanize and punch its defense right up the gut for 36 points in three quarters. Last week's No. 11 didn't even get one vote in the plus-one slot.
For just the second week this season, Oregon prevented Alabama from being a consensus No. 1. The Ducks collected two of the 14 first-place votes after whipping Washington in the second half.
The SEC (4), ACC (3) and Pac-12 (3) make up almost the entire Power Dozen. The Big 12 doesn't have representation, while Ohio State (Big Ten) and Louisville (American Athletic) are clear solo acts.
With Oregon-Stanford diminished just a bit, Clemson-Florida State perhaps is the most significant regular-season game remaining (though Alabama-LSU can make a strong case). All due respect to Miami, but we'll know who controls the ACC after this weekend.
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.
|2||Oregon||6-0||27||+23||vs. Washington State||2|
|3||Clemson||6-0||51||+24||vs. No. 5 Florida State||3|
|4||Ohio State||6-0||53||+2||vs. Iowa||4|
|5||Florida State||5-0||83||+30||at No. 3 Clemson||6|
|6||LSU||6-1||96||+13||at Ole Miss||10|
|7||Texas A&M||5-1||106||+10||vs. Auburn||9|
|9||UCLA||5-0||139||+18||at No. 12 Stanford||12|
|10||Miami||5-0||150||+11||at North Carolina||—|
|11||South Carolina||5-1||180||+30||at Tennessee||—|
|12||Stanford||5-1||183||+3||vs. No. 9 UCLA||5|
Less Than Max Score Of 225: Baylor (196), Missouri (198), Georgia (219), Auburn (223), Virginia Tech (223).
Dropped Out: Georgia, Oklahoma.
Power Dozen Scuttlebutt
|1||Alabama||More stealth than usual; running game picking up steam.|
|2||Oregon||Now we know they can do it against good competition.|
|3||Clemson||Defense hasn't allowed more than 14 points since win against Georgia.|
|4||Ohio State||Buckeyes' 18-game win streak hardly in jeopardy vs. Iowa.|
|5||Florida State||Chance to seize control of ACC with win at No. 3 Clemson.|
|6||LSU||Most complete Tigers team in years grinds through Gators.|
|7||Texas A&M||Harlem Globetrotters toy with Ole Miss before outgunning them late.|
|8||Louisville||Failure to impress on national TV hides smothering defense.|
|9||UCLA||Bruins must face two best Pac-12 teams in back-to-back road games.|
|10||Miami||Riding early win vs. Florida all the way to November.|
|11||South Carolina||New life in crowded SEC East, but schedule not letting up.|
|12||Stanford||Execution-oriented team couldn't get it done in red zone late.|
The consensus at the top includes a smaller group, but remains firm. Only two voters have LSU outside No. 5-7 and one voter has Texas A&M outside 5-8. Louisville marks the real variance: one Top-5 vote, three at No. 6, four as low as No. 9 and one who dropped the Cardinals from the Power Dozen altogether. Louisville gets another half-decent opponent on national TV this week in UCF, but should continue to befuddle voters if it wins. The bulk of Miami votes slot them ninth or 10th, though one voter has the Hurricanes in the top half of his Power Dozen and one excludes the team altogether. South Carolina landed on every number between nine and unranked, while just two voters kept Stanford in their Top 10. Five dropped the Cardinal from the Power Dozen.
Voters: Christopher Smith, David Seigerman, Joe Coughlin, Joe Jenkins, Dan Harralson, Chris Wuensch, Ken Pomponio, Matt Natali, Jon Coffey, Veair Green, Bill Gelman, Chris Stephens, Henry McKenna, Eric Russell.