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[author image=”https://www.the3pointconversion.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/image1-3-e1464196614536.jpg” ]Allen Fields, Bronx, NY [/author]
1) Alabama Crimson Tide (10-0): def Mississippi State Bulldogs 51-3
The Crimson Tide once again asserted their dominance over another SEC opponent. The offense looked really good but the defense was the story. Except for a couple of plays, the Bulldogs struggled to move the ball. It’s downright scary how good the defense has been playing. Good luck trying to score points on them. They locked up the SEC West and another trip to Atlanta.
2) Ohio State Buckeyes (9-1): def Maryland Terripans 62-3
The Buckeyes jump all the way to No. 2 in my poll after thrashing the Terripans and benefitting from teams losing in front of them. They have found a rhythm and are rolling. Both the running and passing game had success. This is the second straight week the offense has scored 62 points. Not to be outdone, the defense has only given up three points the last two games. Perfect timing with Michigan State and Michigan to end the regular season.
3) Michigan Wolverines (9-1): lost to Iowa Hawkeyes 14-13
Why only drop one spot after a loss? It was to a conference opponent on the road and other teams losing helped. The Wolverine offense was awful, just plain ugly in all facets when they had the ball, including a safety that was huge. The defense was actually good but could not stop the Hawkeyes game winning field goal drive. They can still make the college football final four if they win out.
4) Clemson Tigers (9-1): lost to Pittsburgh Panthers 43-42
Another team losses and only drops one spot, see Michigan. The Tigers are still behind the Wolverines because they lost at home and stay ahead of Louisville because they beat them head to head. Clemson fell behind early, came back to seemingly take control of the game but could not seal the deal. Quarterback Deshaun Watson threw a couple of costly interceptions and the defense gave up too many big plays, especially on the ground. That combination proved too much to overcome. They are still in good shape for the playoffs if they win out.
5) Louisville Cardinals (9-1): def Wake Forest Demon Deacons 44-12
The Cardinals could not capitalize on three teams losing in front of them only playing a half of football. They played an awful first half. They committed four first half turnovers but luckily Wake Forest could not capitalize, only kicking four field goals. So being down 12-3 at the half was a blessing. Louisville found themselves in the second half and ended up with an easy victory. They still have plenty to play for.
6) Washington Huskies (9-1): lost to USC Trojans 26-13
The Huskies take the biggest drop after their loss. Losing at home to a ranked Trojans team does not seem so bad but the score did not tell the whole story. They were dominated in the trenches on both sides of the ball, shocking to say the least. Quarterback Jake Browning and running back Myles Gaskin picked a bad time to have their worst games of the season. The defense could not get enough stops, getting gashed by the running game late. What a let down after sitting pretty in the playoff picture. A New Year’s Day bowl game is still reachable though.
7) West Virginia Mountaineers (8-1): def Texas Longhorns 24-20
The Mountaineers gave up a ton of yards but managed to keep the Longhorns out of the end zone enough to get the win. On the other end, they struggled to generate big plays against a defense giving up yardage and points. The offense and defense do just enough to get the job done. There is nothing about them that jumps out at you but the Mountaineers play solid fundamental football.
8) Wisconsin Badgers (8-2): def Illinois Fighting Illini 48-3
The Badgers had an offensive explosion, scoring 48 points and somehow, it still was not pretty. Just the way they want it. The running game set the tone, pounding the Illini defense and dominating the time of possession. The passing game was quiet but that’s normal. The defense was outstanding, creating four turnovers and countless pressure on the quarterback. A hard hat performance that will go largely unnoticed.
9) Penn State Nittany Lions (8-2): def Indiana Hoosiers 45-31
The Nittany Lions used a big 4th quarter to comeback and kept the winning streak going against the Hoosiers (now at six). Running back Saquon Barkley scored two late touchdowns to help secure the win. The defense bent but did not break. Putting the game away with a fumble recovery for a touchdown as Indiana was attempting to drive and tie the game.
10) Oklahoma Sooners (8-2): def Baylor Bears 45-24
Last week-Not ranked
Welcome back to my Top 10. The Sooners used the ground attack to set up play-action and it worked to perfection. Running backs Joe Mixon and Samaje Perine each had 100 yards rushing. They controlled the clock and line of scrimmage. The defense did it’s part in containing the Bears high powered offense. A Big 12 title is theirs to lose.