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SQ College Football Top-25 Power Rankings: Week 12

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Mayhem has been the theme of this college football season, and it continues to uphold. See who climbed up the ladder in our latest power ranking.

This season has been nothing short of wild. With upsets coming week in and week out, there’s no telling who will end up in the top-4 when it’s all said and done. With Georgia and Notre Dame getting absolutely demolished by Auburn and Miami, respectfully, the top-four has seen two new teams climb into the top-4 this week. But which two teams took their places? Did Miami finally get its just rewards? What about Auburn, even though it has two losses? Find out below to see who our writers voted in as the best teams in college football.

25. Virginia Tech

Previous Rank: 17

“In what ended up being a back-and-forth affair, Virginia Tech couldn’t quite hold up against Georgia Tech. Ultimately it was the Hokies defense that let them down. The Yellow Jackets only completed two passes all day, but they were two huge touchdown passes that went for 60 and 80 yards. Those two costly plays on top of a dropped pass in the end zone on the team’s last possession sealed the fate for the now 7-3 Hokies. Virginia Tech will look to rebound this weekend against Pit.” - Sean Berger 

24. USF

Previous Rank: 22

“What was expected to be a blowout win against Tulsa this week turned into a fight to stay alive for the Bulls. USF came out strong, leading 21-7 after the first quarter, but was only able to put up six points over the final three quarters of the game. In his final home game, quarterback Quinton Flowers threw for 142 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for 119 yards. He’s now one of just seven players in FBS history to throw for 7,000 career yards and rush for 3,000 yards. USF looks to a huge matchup against UCF next weekend to determine a spot in the American Athletic Conference Championship.” - Sean Berger

23. Michigan State

Previous Rank: 16

“With a win over Ohio State, the Spartans could have seized control of the Big Ten East and a ticket to Indianapolis. However, that was not the case as Michigan State got rocked by the Buckeyes in Columbus. Brian Lewerke and the offense couldn’t get anything going, as he posted a dismal QBR of 11.5 and turned the ball over three times. On the ground, things weren’t much better. LJ Scott led the team with 30 rushing yards, as Michigan State totaled 64 yards on the ground on the afternoon. With two bottom-tier Big 10 teams left to finish the regular season (Maryland, Rutgers), the Spartans should close out the regular season strong.” - Colton Spaur

22. West Virginia

Previous Rank: 23

“Big things were expected of Will Grier when he became the starting quarterback of West Virginia this past season, and it’s safe to say he has delivered. Grier notched his ninth 300-yard passing game of the season as the Mountaineers took down Kansas State this past weekend. It was also the sixth time in which he went over 350 passing yards. Grier has proven to be the perfect fit to run this offense, and West Virginia couldn’t be more happier to have him for at least one more season.” - Sean Berger

21. LSU

Previous Rank: 19

“Derrius Guice had a huge day running the ball against Arkansas last week, rushing for 147 yards on 21 carries. Although it was just his fourth time eclipsing the century mark in a game this season, Guice added three scores to ensure a Tigers victory. Despite a bit of a lackluster season, draft buzz is still building for Guice and he could still very well be a first rounder. Since missing the game against Troy, the back has averaged 123 yards per game and 6.21 yards per carry. The stellar back could have a couple more big games with Tennessee and Texas A&M remaining on the schedule.” - Sean Berger

20. Memphis

Previous Rank: 21

“Memphis is getting hot at the right time. After a bye week, the Tigers will come into this weekend’s contest against SMU having won five straight and a chance to make it to the American Athletic Conference Championship. Amid coaching carousel rumors, Mike Norvell has had this offense firing on all cylinders thanks to stud quarterback Riley Ferguson. Ferguson leads all Group of Five quarterbacks with 27 touchdown passes. It’s sad that he’s gone so unnoticed this season because this is a guy who has a bright future ahead of him.” - Sean Berger

19. Mississippi State

Previous Rank: 19

“Nick Fitzgerald and the Bulldogs hung in with heavyweight Alabama until the very end, but Jalen Hurts delivered the knockout punch with 25 seconds left to keep the Crimson Tide’s undefeated season alive. The Bulldogs were up seven in the fourth quarter until Hurts led ‘Bama on two long touchdown drives, as Mississippi State’s defense finally caved in. With Arkansas and Ole Miss left on the schedule, Alabama was the Bulldog’s last chance to boost their resume with a quality win. If the Bulldogs can win out the remainder of their games, they’ll reach double-digit wins for the first time since 2014.” - Colton Spaur

18. Stanford

Previous Rank: Not Ranked

“With three losses, Stanford actually has zero chance of reaching the Playoff. That didn’t stop the Cardinal from playing spoiler last weekend, beating Washington, and essentially sealing the Pac-12’s fate as it regards to a Playoff spot. With the win, Stanford beat the final one-loss team in the Pac-12. Bryce Love danced to 166 yards and three touchdowns against one of the nation’s best defenses. Stanford still has an opportunity to reach the Pac-12 title game and a New Year’s Six bowl if it wins out, but that is the Cardinal’s ceiling for the year.” - Ryan Neu

17. Michigan

Previous Rank: 20

“The Wolverines have yet to post a signature win, but they’ll have two opportunities to finish the regular season. This week, Michigan travels to Madison to take on the undefeated Badgers before hosting J.T. Barrett and the Ohio State Buckeyes. Jim Harbaugh’s squad has proven they can shut down opposing offenses, as they are currently ninth in the nation in scoring defense (16.4 points/game). The question is, can Michigan’s defense produce against top-tier competition? We’ll find out in the next two games.” - Colton Spaur

16. Washington

Previous Rank: 9

“Whatever slim hopes Washington had of reaching the playoff were erased Friday night as they fell to Bryce Love and the Stanford Cardinal 30-22. With every team in the Pac-12 having at least two losses, it appears that the conference will be left out of the College Football Playoff. The Pac-12 North division is up for grabs, however, as three teams have two conference losses each. The Huskies will try to stay in the division hunt, as they host Utah this Saturday night.” - Colton Spaur

15. Washington State

Previous Rank: 18

“Wazzu has a week off to prepare for its biggest game of the year: the Apple Cup. If the Cougars win, they’ll face off against USC in the Pac-12 title game. If they lose, either Stanford or Washington will. Head coach Mike Leach and quarterback Luke Falk have the offense humming, so it’ll be up to the defense, ranked 38th in scoring defense, to step up and secure the victory against the Huskies at the end of November.” - Ryan Neu

14. UCF

Previous Rank: 13

“It’s unfortunate that even if it goes undefeated and wins the American, UCF will almost certainly not get a look at a Playoff spot. The Knights have the best scoring offense in the country, seven different players with two or more rushing touchdowns, and a defense that has proven itself capable of keeping opposing offenses out of the end zone. UCF still has two important games left on its schedule: a home game against USF and, if they win, the American conference title game against, likely, Memphis. If they win both, the Knights will be the Group of Five’s New Year’s Six representative, but a Playoff berth is too much to ask.” - Ryan Neu

13. USC

Previous Rank: 14

USC is now the top-ranked Pac-12 team in the AP poll, but that’s not great news because the Trojans are only ranked No. 12 at the moment. They may fare better in the new CFP rankings Tuesday night, but with just two games left to play including the Pac-12 title game, they don’t have a ton of opportunities to make up lost ground. Quarterback Sam Darnold and running back Ronald Jones II are starting to find a groove that could make them dangerous as an opponent moving forward, but it might be too late for USC to jump back into the Playoff race. Then again, if chaos continues to reign, you never know.” - Ryan Neu

12. TCU

Previous Rank: 8

“With a loss to Oklahoma, TCU is most assuredly eliminated from playoff contention, but even worse might miss out on a chance to go to the Big 12 title game. The loss puts the Horned Frogs in a three-way tie with Oklahoma State and West Virginia for second place in the conference. Luckily, TCU holds the tie-breaker over both schools, but can’t afford to slip up against either Texas Tech or Baylor.” - Sean Berger

11. Penn State

Previous Rank: 15

“After two consecutive heartbreakers for the Nittany Lions, Penn State got back in the win column with a 35-6 victory over Rutgers. On the bright side, the Penn State defense returned to its earlier season form, holding Rutgers to just 200 total yards and six points. However, Saquon Barkley’s struggles continued as he has failed to reach 100 rushing yards in his last three games and in five of his last six contests. Penn State is still putting up points despite his struggles, but they are too predictable without Barkley’s effectiveness on the ground.” - Colton Spaur

10. Oklahoma State

Previous Rank: 12

“The Cowboys sure know how to keep things exciting. Their offense is one of the most explosive in the country, and their defense is one of the most porous. Quarterback Mason Rudolph is pouring on the statistics. He leads the nation in passing yards, is third in yards per attempt, and is tied for fourth in passing touchdowns. Running back Justice Hill is liable to go off against any opponent. He rushed for 134 yards and three touchdowns against Iowa State this weekend. Oklahoma State likely is out of Playoff contention, but it will still get a New Year’s Six bowl game and will put on a show for us.” - Ryan Neu

9. Notre Dame

Previous Rank: 3

“Undefeated Miami and their turnover chain dominated Brian Kelly and the Fighting Irish, dropping Notre Dame to 8-2 on the year and out of the playoff picture. Star running back Josh Adams was limited to just 40 rushing yards on the night and the Notre Dame offense couldn’t do anything right. Miami forced four Notre Dame turnovers and limited the Irish to eight points on the evening. Notre Dame will look to remain in the mix for a New Year’s Six Bowl as they close the season with two tough contests in Navy and Stanford.” - Colton Spaur

8. Ohio State

Previous Rank: 11

“Is it too little, too late? The Buckeyes massacred Michigan State, 48-3, and potentially got some help from Auburn knocking off Georgia, but to reach the Playoff, Ohio State absolutely needs to win out and grab the Big Ten championship. Then it needs help. What sort of help isn’t particularly clear because we never know for sure what exactly the committee is looking for (last year Penn State was the Big Ten champion and had a head-to-head win against Ohio State, but the Buckeyes got in instead). Chaos certainly couldn’t hurt Ohio State’s case. The more top teams lose between now and December 3, the better chance the Buckeyes sneak in.” - Ryan Neu

7. Georgia

Previous Rank: 2

“The Bulldogs were on top of the world. After a 40-17 drubbing at Jordan-Hare Stadium, the Bulldogs’ playoff hopes are now in jeopardy. Although the loss was Georgia’s first of the season and to a quality team, the fact that the loss was by 23 points tarnishes Georgia’s resume. With a win in the SEC title game, however, the Bulldogs can climb right back into the top four. They’ll first have to close out the regular season with two wins, as Kentucky and Georgia Tech are left on the slate.” - Colton Spaur

6. Auburn

Previous Rank: 10

“Auburn is halfway toward throwing the entire college football landscape into complete and total chaos. The Tigers mauled No. 1 Georgia Saturday, 40-17 and set up an even more exciting Iron Bowl than usual in two weeks. Both Auburn and Alabama have walkover games this week in anticipation of their fateful matchup that will decide the SEC West division. If Auburn takes down the Tide, and then Georgia again in the SEC title game, it will almost assuredly become the first-ever two-loss team to reach the Playoff. It would also create a significant amount of confusion about which teams will join it on New Year’s Day. If you like craziness, root for the Tigers over the coming week.” - Ryan Neu

5. Wisconsin

Previous Rank: 6

“The Badger defense played spectacular football on Saturday, holding an Iowa offense that scored 55 points a week ago against Ohio State to just 66 total yards. Wisconsin held the Hawkeyes to less than one yard per carry, five first downs, and forced three turnovers to help the Badgers remain undefeated. Iowa’s only points came from Josh Jackson’s two pick-sixes, as he now has five interceptions in the past two games alone. With the win, Wisconsin clinches a spot in the Big Ten title game, which will probably pit the Badgers against Urban Meyer’s Buckeyes.” - Colton Spaur

4. Clemson

Previous Rank: 5

“Thanks to some crazy upsets, Clemson now has a chance to repeat as national champions. The Tigers have certainly benefited from other teams falling in front of them, but have also played well the past few weeks. A stout defense has carried this team all season, but the offense has stepped up when it has needed to. Running back Travis Etienne rushed for two touchdowns against Florida State this past weekend, while quarterback Kelly Bryant added a rushing score of his own. If Clemson makes the Playoff as a four-seed and Alabama as a one-seed, can you imagine the intensity of that game?” - Sean Berger

3. Miami

Previous Rank: 7

“The U is back! Miami routed a strong Notre Dame team and is now starting to look as formidable a Playoff contender as any. The Hurricanes held one of the nation’s top offenses to just eight points and held an offense that averages more than 300 rushing yards per game to just 108 yards on the ground. If quarterback Malik Rosier can continue to take care of the ball, and the defense can keep swarming and stifling opposing offenses, the Canes could take down defending champion Clemson in the ACC title game and claim a spot in the Playoff.” - Ryan Neu

2. Oklahoma

Previous Rank: 4

“It’s time to give Baker Mayfield his Heisman already. Mayfield had yet another big day against a top-ranked opponent, throwing for 333 yards and three touchdowns on just 27 attempts and rushing for 50 yards as well. Mayfield leads the FBS in yards per attempt and completion percentage, is second in passing yards, third in passing touchdowns, and has thrown just five interceptions. He is the engine that keeps this Oklahoma team going. So long as he continues to play like a Heisman winner, the Sooners will be tough to take down.” - Ryan Neu

1. Alabama

Previous Rank: 1

“Alabama survived. That’s the best way to put it when it comes to looking at this past week’s performance against Mississippi State. But the Crimson Tide do what good teams do; they found a way to win. Quarterback Jalen Hurts looked poised and undaunted when he drove the offense down the field on the final possession of the game. That type of demeanor is what wins you national championships. Should Alabama fans be worried about playing Auburn in the Iron Bowl? Yes, but now we know this team can be clutch when it matters most.” - Sean Berger

Edited by Robert Hess.

When was the last time the Miami Hurricanes won a national championship in football?
Created 11/17/17
  1. 1989
  2. 1996
  3. 2001
  4. 2004

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