Big Ten

See how they stack up: Week 1 college football top 25 rankings

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USA TODAY

See how they stack up: Week 1 college football top 25 rankings

With a wonderful Week 1 in the books, here's my top 25.

1. Alabama (1-0)

The Tide looked otherworldly against another real good team in Florida State. Going to take one heck of a performance to do much of anything against that defense.

2. Clemson (1-0)

Deshaun who? No, the champs aren’t ready to forget Deshaun Watson yet, but his replacement Kelly Bryant led a 56-3 crushing.

3. Michigan (1-0)

In a great weekend for the Big Ten, no one looked better than the Wolverines. The defense looked incredible with 10 new starters. Ten!

4. Oklahoma (1-0)

Baker Mayfield is so good he was almost perfect in Oklahoma’s blowout win, completing 19 of his 20 passes for 329 yards and three touchdowns.

5. Penn State (1-0)

Saquon Barkley was expectedly terrific in a blowout win. He might be the Heisman frontrunner already with a couple other preseason faves struggling.

6. Ohio State (1-0)

The Buckeyes had a tougher test than most with a conference game in the season-opener. Their early struggles were erased by a runaway second half.

7. Auburn (1-0)

The Tigers outgained Georgia Southern 535-78 and had two running backs rack up 136 rushing yards apiece.

8. Wisconsin (1-0)

Another Big Ten contender with a sketchy first half showed why it could run the table with 59 unanswered points.

9. Oklahoma State (1-0)

Mason Rudolph passed for more than 300 yards and three touchdowns. The rest of the Big 12 should #FearTheMullet.

10. Virginia Tech (1-0)

The Hokies have a real good young quarterback in Josh Jackson, who had an answer every time West Virginia punched back on Sunday night. Impressive win in a rivalry game at a rocking FedEx Field.

11. Stanford (1-0)

The Trees lit up Rice through the air in Australia, Keller Chryst just part of the 369-yard, three-touchdown air attack. Oh, and Bryce Love rushed for 180 yards.

12. LSU (1-0)

The Bayou Bengals’ defense held BYU to a negative rushing total while their running back, Derrius Guice, went for 122 yards and two touchdowns.

13. USC (1-0)

A huge game by Ronald Jones helped bail out Sam Darnold. There’s still plenty of reason to have faith in the Trojans, but that effort against a Fleck-less Western Michigan team was concerning.

14. West Virginia (0-1)

The Mountaineers had their issues Sunday night, but that was a very good Virginia Tech team they lost to. And boy can Will Grier air it out.

15. Maryland (1-0)

The Terps probably won’t stay here for long, but that 51-point performance in Austin deserves some love. And they did it while sustaining an injury to their starting quarterback.

16. California (1-0)

Bears quarterback Ross Bowers threw four touchdown passes to give Justin Wilcox a road win against a Power Five team in his first game as head coach.

17. Louisville (1-0)

Despite getting an unexpected challenge from Purdue and fumbling three times, the Cards got a Heisman-esque performance from Lamar Jackson: 485 total yards and two touchdown passes.

18. Florida State (0-1)

The defense managed to look pretty impressive in a losing effort against the best team in the country. Hard to see the Noles staying here for long, though, now that Deondre Francois is out for the season.

19. Notre Dame (1-0)

The Irish destroyed Temple while piling up 606 total yards, 422 of them coming on the ground.

20. UCLA (1-0)

Left for dead once they went down 44-10 late in the third quarter, the Bruins pulled off one of the greatest comebacks in college football history. Josh Rosen my goodness.

21. Duke (1-0)

The Devils piled 60 points on North Carolina Central and held a 524-158 total yardage advantage. Look out, Northwestern, who’s at Duke this weekend.

22. Miami (1-0)

An offensive clinic by the Canes. Malik Rosier threw for three touchdowns, and a pair of Miami backs combined for a monster day on the ground.

23. Tennessee (1-0)

While we were all busy raving about Georgia Tech’s offense, the Tennessee offense was working, too. John Kelly and Marquez Callaway had big nights, and the Vols had no turnovers in that double-OT win.

24. Kansas State (1-0)

Wildcats quarterback Jesse Ertz: 333 passing yards and four, count ‘em, four touchdown passes.

25. Georgia Tech (0-1)

TaQuon Marshall is about to be a star after that sensational night against Tennessee. The Jackets racked up 655 yards of offense and had the ball seemingly the whole game. But turnovers killed them.

Others receiving votes:

Washington (1-0)

Last year’s Playoff team was pretty well stopped by Rutgers’ defense. Rutgers. Still put up 30-plus and came away with a road win.

Georgia (1-0)

Nick Chubb didn’t get to 100 yards and the Bulldogs benefitted greatly from Appy State racking up more than 100 yards of penalties.

Texas Tech (1-0)

Eastern Washington isn’t the easiest FCS foe, but the Raiders smoked ‘em, throwing for 449 yards as a team, with Nic Shimonek throwing for 384 and three touchdowns.

South Carolina (1-0)

The quarterback-wideout combo of Jake Bentley and Deebo Samuel shone for the Gamecocks, who held on for a Power Five win.

North Carolina State (0-1)

Two NC State fumbles immediately led to South Carolina touchdowns, but the Wolfpack went over 500 yards of total offense on the road in the SEC.

Oregon (1-0)

Is that Chip Kelly in a Willie Taggert mask coaching these Ducks? The Quackers went for 77 points and 703 total yards in a rout of Southern Utah.

Washington State (1-0)

Luke Falk and James Williams teamed up in a 31-0 shutout of Montana State. Williams caught 13 passes for 163 yards and a pair of scores.

See how they stack up: Week 12 college football top 25 rankings

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USA TODAY

See how they stack up: Week 12 college football top 25 rankings

With Week 12 in the books, here’s my top 25:

1. Oklahoma (10-1)

Still the team with the best resume in the country, no one can compete with OU’s wins over TCU, Ohio State and Oklahoma State, the latter two coming away from Norman. Baker Mayfield might not be a choir boy, but he’s the best player in the nation.

2. Miami (10-0)

You might think that being down 28-14 to Virginia in the second half was cringe-worthy, but the Canes made up for things by storming back with 30 unanswered points. Now they finally have to go away from South Florida for the first time since almost losing to North Carolina last month.

3. Alabama (11-0)

Tide gonna roll. But this Cupcake Weekend in the SEC has got to stop. While teams in other conferences are slugging it out against rivals, Bama gets to take a day off against Mercer? It’s just not fair. Also, Bama’s schedule is so soft, there’s no way it deserves to be the No. 1 team in the country.

4. Georgia (10-1)

The Dawgs should wrap an 11-1 regular season this weekend against Georgia Tech. But the SEC title game presents a kind of no-win scenario: undefeated Alabama or Auburn, who throttled Georgia earlier this month.

5. Wisconsin (11-0)

You didn’t need Wisconsin to do what it did to Iowa and Michigan to prove it had one of the best defenses in the country — but that sure didn’t help. Stockpiling national love with those two wins, a win in the Big Ten title game figures to make the Badgers a Playoff lock.

6. Clemson (10-1)

Why’d Kelly Bryant have to go and get hurt for that Syracuse game? The Tigers would be No. 1 and the undisputed best team in the country. Still, though, a win over Miami in the ACC title game ought to get the champs back into the Playoff.

7. Auburn (9-2)

Great job pounding Louisiana-Monroe, Tigers. You shall not escape the wrath over Cupcake Weekend in the SEC. That dumb game aside, Auburn and Alabama will meet in a titanic Iron Bowl this weekend with a trip to the SEC title game on the line — and perhaps a Playoff spot, as well.

8. Ohio State (9-2)

Not that pummeling Illinois is any big deal, but the Buckeyes are still alive in this thing and look like a team capable of making some Playoff noise. First, Ohio State has to win The Game and then the Big Ten title game to knock out undefeated Wisconsin.

9. Notre Dame (9-2)

Out of the Playoff chase thanks to that loss at Miami, Notre Dame squeaked by Navy this past weekend. Hope a New Year’s Six bowl game is enough for the Irish. We know it’s not enough for those ND fans. So maybe join a conference? Just saying.

10. TCU (9-2)

The Frogs can still make their mark on the Playoff race, even if they can’t get in themselves. The Big 12 title game will almost surely be TCU’s attempt at revenge on Oklahoma. Unfortunately, if revenge does come, it will probably cannibalize the conference’s Playoff hopes, too.

11. Penn State (9-2)

Why Penn State gave up 44 points to Nebraska, I do not know. What I do know is that probably no one cared because Penn State is going to go down as the most inconsequential 10-2 team of all-time. Such a bummer considering the preseason expectations for both the team and Saquon Barkley.

12. USC (10-2)

Yeah, I guess there’s still a way for USC to make the Playoff, but it’s hard to imagine that madness unfolding, even in the oft-mad college football. The Trojans get the winner of the Apple Cup in the Pac-12 title game.

13. UCF (10-0)

Finally we get our much-anticipated UCF-USF showdown this weekend. Make it count, Knights. This is probably gonna be Scott Frost’s last regular-season game in Orlando.

14. Washington (9-2)

It’s hard to say who has the edge in the Apple Cup, but certainly the stakes are high, with the winner going off to play USC in the Pac-12 title game. Can either team make the Playoff? Well, probably not, no.

15. Washington State (9-2)

Is this it for Mike Leach on The Palouse? He could be a hot candidate this offseason and leave for perceived greener pastures. Winning the Apple Cup would go a long way toward making that happen.

16. Mississippi State (8-3)

A win in the Egg Bowl means a 9-3 regular season for the Bulldogs with their three losses coming against three top-10 teams.

17. Oklahoma State (8-3)

Poor Okie State has been so good all year and had two losses to the two best teams in its conference, and then it went and lost to K-State for some ridiculous reason. The Mullet deserved better in 2017.

18. Northwestern (8-3)

The Cats are the fourth-best team in the Big Ten, simple as that, with wins over Michigan State and Iowa and conference losses to Wisconsin and Penn State. As commendable an effort as you’ll find in a highly competitive league. Plus, Fitz’s team is on a six-game win streak that could end up extending to eight.

19. Stanford (8-3)

Already with a win over Washington, Stanford could close the regular season with two wins over top-10 teams in its final three games. Also Bryce Love is back in the groove after back-to-back 100-yard games.

20. Memphis (9-1)

The Tigers have lost just one game all season, to the best Group of Five team out there. Heck of a season by Memphis.

21. Michigan State (8-3)

A 17-7 win over Maryland couldn't have been the most exciting way for anyone to spend their weekend. Sparty's had a mighty fine season, though, considering how badly things went in 2016.

22. LSU (8-3)

The SEC has seemingly gotten increasingly better as the year has progressed, with LSU and Mississippi State making for a solid-enough middle tier. But remember when LSU lost to Troy? That wasn’t good.

23. South Florida (9-1)

If not for that loss to Houston, USF’s showdown with UCF this weekend would be for Group of Five supremacy. Even without that, though, this should be a highly entertaining affair.

24. Virginia Tech (8-3)

The Hokies have a chance to salvage their tumble at the close of the season with a win at Virginia. But given how well the Cavs played at Miami this past weekend, a VT win is no sure thing.

25. Iowa State (7-4)

I understand the math and all, but can't the Big 12 just suspend its rules and send Iowa State to the title game? We all want to see the OU-ISU rematch. Why are you preventing us from being happy, Big 12?

See how they stack up: Week 11 college football top 25 rankings

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USA TODAY

See how they stack up: Week 11 college football top 25 rankings

With Week 11 in the books, here’s my top 25:

1. Oklahoma (9-1)

The Sooners probably won’t be No. 1 in the Playoff rankings, as the committee will almost surely move Bama up a notch. But OU has an incredible resume, one much better than the Tide’s, with wins over Ohio State, TCU and Okie State. No one in the country can compete with those wins.

2. Miami (9-0)

The Canes are too legit to quit after pulverizing Notre Dame on Saturday night. That signature win teamed with the prior week’s win over Virginia Tech makes that near loss to lowly North Carolina seem like forever ago. Welcome to Miami, indeed.

3. Alabama (10-0)

A great win on Saturday night by the Tide in what seemed like their first actual game of the season. The schedule has been soft as silk, but now Auburn’s status as an SEC juggernaut makes the Iron Bowl a colossal clash.

4. Georgia (9-1)

Knocked off the top of the college football mountain, the Dawgs still deserve to be in the Playoff field, just a one-loss team with that one loss coming to another top team and that still-excellent win at Notre Dame. The resume’s still there, but now the SEC title game will be for all the marbles.

5. Wisconsin (10-0)

Bucky’s sitting pretty after making Iowa look like an FCS team on Saturday — especially impressive considering what Iowa did the week prior. Expect Michigan and Minnesota to provide decent enough challenges, but it seems like Wisconsin’s set up for a Big Ten title-game date with Ohio State.

6. Clemson (9-1)

Miami is the king of the ACC, but thankfully the ACC title game looks to be a Playoff play-in game between the Tigers and Canes. The champs still have as good a shot at this thing as anyone.

7. Auburn (8-2)

Two-loss Auburn in the Playoff? It’s not crazy at all after what the Tigers did to Georgia on Saturday, destroying the No. 1 team in the country and setting up what will be another titanic Iron Bowl meeting with Bama.

8. Notre Dame (8-2)

The Irish’s Playoff hopes sank like a ship in Biscayne Bay thanks to the demolition Miami dolled out on Saturday night. ND’s resume is still fine — two losses to two Playoff-caliber teams. But with no conference title to play for, a two-loss ND team might as well be a six-loss ND team.

9. Ohio State (8-2)

Guess who's still lurking in the Playoff race? It seemed Brutus was dead as could be after getting woodshedded by Iowa last weekend, but then Ohio State put a whooping on Michigan State and everyone’s ears perked up again. Appearing destined for the Big Ten title game, things could get interesting.

10. TCU (8-2)

The Frogs will most likely still get a crack at a Big 12 title — and revenge on the Sooners, who picked em apart on Saturday — but the Playoff might be out of the cards now.

11. Oklahoma State (8-2)

You know who’s still really good despite having losses to the two top teams in the Big 12? Okie State. That was some game between the Pokes and the ‘Clones on Saturday. If only the Mullet could be unleashed on the Playoff. Alas.

12. USC (9-2)

Dramatically overrated in the last batch of Playoff rankings, the Trojans now seem to be the cream of the unimpressive Pac-12 after Washington’s loss. All sorts of madness would have to occur in order for USC — or any Pac-12 team — to land in the final four.

13. Penn State (8-2)

Great job beating up on Rutgers this weekend, Penn State. Now what? With games against Nebraska and Maryland left, will any preseason favorite (outside Florida State, of course) get less attention down the stretch than the Lions?

14. UCF (9-0)

Central Florida is that Group of Five team this year. If it beats USF in the regular-season finale, people you know will be like, “Why shouldn’t UCF be in the Playoff?” And you’ll just have to give them a look and walk away.

15. Washington State (9-2)

Wazzu has to win one game and it’ll play USC for a Pac-12 title. Despite the lack of Playoff stakes, the Cougs winning a conference championship would be a pretty big deal.

16. Washington (8-2)

Of course, standing in Wazzu’s way is Washington, which tripped up against Stanford and could follow up last year’s Playoff appearance with absolutely nothing.

17. NC State (7-3)

The ACC and SEC seemed to have flipped roles overnight. The once-mediocre SEC now has three playoff-caliber teams and a couple other decent ones. The once-awesome ACC now has two of the best teams in the country and then … NC State.

18. Mississippi State (7-3)

The Bulldogs put up one heck of a fight against Bama on Saturday, and if it wasn’t for that ridiculous sequence of play-calling following Bama’s missed field goal, they might have won. Oh well.

19. LSU (7-3)

LSU beat Arkansas on Saturday, which isn’t a terribly difficult thing to do. 2017 will go down as a “what if” year for the Bayou Bengals. As in, what if they hadn’t lost to Troy?

20. Stanford (7-3)

Two of Stanford’s losses have come against ranked teams. It’s now beaten Washington and could beat Notre Dame in two weeks. It has one of the best running backs in America. So shouldn’t Stanford be better?

21. Memphis (8-1)

Since losing at UCF, Memphis has rolled everyone, winning five straight by an average of 47.8-27.2. Good job, Memphis.

22. Arizona (7-3)

The Wildcats are 7-3 this season and have scored at least 45 points in every one of those wins. That includes last weekend’s win over Oregon State, in which Khalil Tate ran for 206 yards and two touchdowns. Dude's good.

23. Northwestern (7-3)

Meow. The Cats are winners of five straight, even if their overtime streak came to an end. The quest for a 9-3 finish is on, with only Minnesota and lowly Illinois left on the regular-season schedule.

24. Michigan State (7-3)

Two losses in three weeks for Sparty, who got absolutely steamrolled by Ohio State this past weekend. Michigan State will likely be rooting for Michigan in The Game as it would figure to wrap its regular season with wins over Maryland and Rutgers.

25. West Virginia (7-3)

The ‘Neers have only lost to Virginia Tech, TCU and Okie State, which is not too bad. But that’s a couple losses too many in the high-flying Big 12.

Others receiving votes:

Virginia Tech (7-3)

Things have bottomed out for the Hokies, who have lost back-to-back road games to Miami and Georgia Tech after a 7-1 start. Without the loss to the Jackets, Virginia Tech’s resume would look real nice. But alas.

Iowa State (6-4)

There was almost another Attack of the ‘Clones this past weekend in a thriller with Okie State. But the Pokes came out on top, sending Iowa State to its fourth loss. That dream Big 12 title game featuring the ‘Clones? A fantasy. Sigh.

Michigan (8-2)

Michigan only has two losses, which means it has to be kinda good, right? Well, it’s lost its only two games against ranked teams and its best win is Florida, so … no, I guess not.

South Florida (8-1)

Way to beat UConn, South Florida.