Football.com Power Dozen: Georgia Back In Business
Georgia fans can exhale and smile. After the toughest September schedule I can ever remember in college football, the Bulldogs survived with a road loss to our No. 4 Clemson.
The Bulldogs (No. 6) beat two Top-10 teams at home in close games. Todd Gurley's injury is a concern, but it sounds like he'll be back sooner than later.
If Georgia wins out, it's guaranteed to finish in the top four. Oregon and Stanford play each other, so one of them has to lose. And the Bulldogs will get another crack at Alabama in the SEC Championship, or the Tide won't be a Top 5 team. Again, that's assuming Georgia wins out, which it should be able to do.
Meanwhile, Clemson must skate through more than one tough game, while Ohio State isn't guaranteed wins against Northwestern and Michigan.
Outside the top half of our Power Dozen, LSU may be the only team with legitimate national title hopes. The Tigers can get there by winning out, collecting revenge against Alabama and Georgia along the way. Otherwise, your national champion comes down to five teams: Alabama, the Oregon-Stanford winner, Ohio State, Clemson or Georgia.
Oklahoma State, No. 11 in our last poll, wet the bed in an agonizing loss at West Virginia. Oklahoma now takes over as the Big 12 front-runner after knocking Notre Dame out of the AP Top 25.
UCLA also sneaks into our poll at No. 12, barely preventing the SEC from commanding a fifth spot.
Don't look now, but Baylor and Washington have shown up on our radar as well.
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.
|1||Alabama||4-0||0||—||vs. Georgia State||1|
|3||Ohio State||5-0||50||+9||at Northwestern||3|
|8||Florida State||4-0||119||+4||vs. Maryland||8|
|9||Texas A&M||4-1||140||+21||at Ole Miss (Oct. 12)||10|
|10||LSU||4-1||145||+5||at Mississippi State||6|
|12||UCLA||3-0||193||+25||at Utah (Thursday)||—|
Less Than Max Score Of 225: South Carolina (194), Miami (203), Baylor (222), Michigan (222), Washington (223).
Dropped Out: Oklahoma State, South Carolina.
Power Dozen Scuttlebutt
|1||Alabama||The Tide aren't perfect, but LSU might be the only real competition left.|
|2||Oregon||Injury to DAT a concern with Washington, UCLA and Stanford looming.|
|3||Ohio State||Urban Meyer is a quiet 17-0 in Columbus. N'Western is real threat.|
|4||Clemson||Tajh Boyd and friends have two more weeks to pad their stats.|
|5||Stanford||Cardinal offense making huge strides, but can they outgun the Ducks?|
|6||Georgia||Three Top-10 opponents in four games. Will 'Dogs fans get bored now?|
|7||Louisville||May win every game by two touchdowns and still not crack the Top 5.|
|8||Florida State||Showed cracks against BC. Three of next four against Top 25.|
|9||Texas A&M||If Arkansas can hang around, so can others. But can they do more?|
|10||LSU||Tigers always seem to lose one tight, coin-flip game to Top 10 team.|
|11||Oklahoma||Someone must carry Big 12 mantle. Texas, TCU, Ok. St. declared "not it."|
|12||UCLA||Games at Stanford, Oregon in Oct. will define Bruins' season.|
Four of 15 voters, or more than 25 percent, slotted Clemson ahead of Oregon. I have no idea how, but those are the facts. Oregon has won all of its games by at least 39 points and started the year ranked third in the nation in both the AP and Coaches polls (vs. No. 8 for Clemson). The Tigers destroy an unwatchable Wake Forest team and suddenly they're better than Oregon? But I digress. There's a clear consensus for the top half of our Power Dozen with no split larger than three. Louisville and Texas A&M both have splits of five. Thirteen voters have Oklahoma between 9 and 12; one slotted the Sooners in the plus-one spot and one didn't rank them at all. Eight of 15 included UCLA in their Power Dozen.
Voters: Christopher Smith, David Seigerman, Joe Coughlin, Joe Jenkins, John Jackson, Dan Harralson, Chris Wuensch, Ken Pomponio, Matt Natali, Jon Coffey, Veair Green, Bill Gelman, Chris Stephens, Henry McKenna, Eric Russell.