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Breaking Down AP College Football Top 25 Rankings for Week 12

Reader beware, there are two sets of rankings: The College Football Playoff Committee and the Associated Press rankings. For the second week in a row, both of the top-four teams are the same in each set. Once again, I agree with both rankings (of the top four) for two weeks in a row. We are truly in unprecedented times. Let’s begin our coverage of the AP College Football Top 25 Rankings for Week 12!

Breaking Down AP College Football Top 25 Rankings for Week 10
Credit: Calvin Mattheis/News Sentinel

Breaking Down the AP College Football Top 25 Rankings

1. Georgia

Once again, the Bulldogs sit atop the AP College Football Top 25 Rankings. They are looking to repeat their status as national champions, and quite frankly, I believe they are more than capable. Kirby Smart has possibly surpassed Nick Saban as the premier coach of the SEC and has proven his ability to navigate the waters of college football. Nick isn’t getting any younger and Georgia is clearly on the rise.

2. Ohio State

Is Ohio State the second-best program in the nation? Yes, and that’s according to both the rankings and me. Don’t get me wrong, this team has all the pieces to be national champions, and has had those pieces for years. Yet, the last time the Buckeyes brought home the title was in 2002. Sadly, with the way Georgia looks this year, I don’t think the Buckeyes have what it takes to bring home another trophy.

3. Michigan

Michigan finds itself one spot ahead of TCU, yet the question I ask myself is: who have they faced? Oh, that’s right, their only competition was Penn State. Granted, the season’s conclusion is against Ohio State, which will decide both of their fates for the playoffs. I’ve always said I’m not a believer in the Wolverines, but I’ll believe Big Blue when they finally do something great.

4. TCU

The Horned Frogs have been balling out this year and have been deserving of this ranking for a long time. The Big 12 has been a pretty good conference this year, despite their recent shakeup heading into the season. Make no mistake, there has been no higher power involved with this Texas Christian University team, they have simply performed at the highest level possible.

5. Tennessee

The Vols took out their frustration on Missouri. They handily beat the Tigers, 66-24. On that note, they are proving they can bully the lesser teams. But the aftertaste of their embarrassing blowout loss to the Bulldogs still lingers. Sure, they can dish it out, but Georgia will bully everyone until proven otherwise, Tennessee included. In conclusion, the SEC runs through the gates of Athens, until proven otherwise.

6. LSU

Geaux Tigers! LSU has won once again and is climbing the rankings because of it. It wasn’t long ago that Tulane was ranked ahead of them, and Alabama was rolling its Crimson Tide up and down the football field. Flash forward to now, and the Tigers have eclipsed both the Green Wave and toppled the Crimson Tide. Jayden Daniels and company have been having fun, taking names, and are fun to watch. The perfect trifecta.

7. USC

The USC Trojans have only fallen to the Utes this season but will have a tough two-week stretch to close the year. The PAC-12, as a whole, has been a lot more competitive than anybody thought this year, but USC’s schedule has largely escaped that competition. Yes, I’m aware they beat the Beavers(who are also ranked), but they haven’t faced the gauntlets their conference peers have gone through.

8. Alabama

It certainly is weird to see the number eight in front of Alabama’s name. Yet, somehow we’re here. While fans might think the ecosystem of college football has been disturbed, they need not fret. Nature will always run its course for the better. They might come back with a vengeance next year, but this season has certainly been cemented for them already. Their losses came too late in the season to regain any last hopes for playoff aspiration.

9. Clemson

So what, they beat Louisville, who cares? A bunch of people have beaten the Cardinals, four, this year, to be exact. I hardly think that warrants the Tigers to be within the top 10 teams in the nation. Once again, the AP can’t seem to forget about Dabo Swinney. They nearly lost to Syracuse and got blown out by Notre Dame. This is not the Clemson of yesteryear, nor should they be ranked as such.

10. Utah

The Utes are one of the most hot-and-cold teams this year but have somehow managed to sneak into the elite ten. They can go one week scoring over forty points, like this past weekend, or they can barely survive a close game in which they put a hair over twenty on the scoreboard. For the most part, the offense has carried the team this year, but as the old saying goes, defense wins championships.

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11. Penn State

The Nittany Lions will forever be a top-three team of the Big Ten. However, just because they bullied Maryland, 30-0, does not mean they are the eleventh-best team in the nation. I love Penn State with a fraction of my heart, but this program will always flirt with greatness, but can never secure the deal.

12. Oregon

Oregon is Ore-GONE from the top 10 in the AP College Football Top 25 Rankings! The Ducks fell asleep at the wheel last Saturday and let the Huskies of Washington steal a victory at Autzen stadium. Yes, I hyped up the Ducks when they were dominating teams they should’ve, but now that we have entered crunch time, they have fallen short. Push has come to shove and much like their games with other worthy opponents (like Georgia), they’ve proven they can’t fight hard enough for a victory.

13. North Carolina

The Tar Heels have seemingly won the battle for the best football team in the state of North Carolina. Their Wolfpack peers have fallen out of the rankings this week and the Tar Heels have climbed them, and rightfully so. In addition to their uniform combos, this team has been fun to watch, and are balling. Now, they get the spotlight they deserve.

14. Ole Miss

Ole Miss lost to Alabama, in typical old Ole Miss fashion. The red-hot Rebels lost their steam in a close game to the Crimson Tide. Of note, it was a tight contest, thus proving that the Rebels should still be taken seriously. With that being said, they should finish the season with wins, unless Mike Leach has something to say about that.

15. Washington

Let me get this straight, the Huskies have beaten the Ducks, yet are ranked behind them? I mean seriously folks, outside of a two-game losing streak in the middle of the season, the Huskies have been taking names! Make it make sense to me. Wait, trying to understand the disassociated press’ logic will only rot your brain, so please save yourself. It’s too late for me, my friends.

16. UCLA

Ironically, the Bruins beat Washington earlier this year, yet find themselves behind them on the totem poll. Chip Kelly and company fumbled a victory against Arizona recently, and their rating has reflected that loss. Even though USC is ranked the highest, I’d take any PAC-12 behind them for the conference championship, Bruins included. Hang in there Bruins fans.

17. UCF

The Knights are fighting their way up the rankings and won’t listen to any criticism. In a way, I respect that. They are consistently slept on, due to the bias towards their conference- the American Athletic Conference. However, this week alone they have three teams in the rankings, so now is the time to capitalize on the exposure and improved level of competition. And if there’s one team who wants that smoke, it’s the Knights.

18. Notre Dame

Okay, calm down. They beat Clemson seemingly out of the blue and suddenly everybody thinks the Fighting Irish are back. Listen, they barely survived against Navy last Saturday, 35-32. This is a prime example of the AP getting hot and heavy over a powerful program like Notre Dame and ignoring schools like UTSA, or any other group-of-five school for that matter. Simply put, Notre Dame shouldn’t be here, nor anywhere in a top twenty-five ranking.

19. Kansas State

The Wildcats have been brewing for a while now. Sure, they have their losses this season, but those were in no way humiliating defeats for them. Because of that, I think that’s why they’ve stayed in the rankings. Additionally, the Big 12 is about to undergo a scene change and I’m confident the Wildcats will have a bigger role in this new direction.

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20. Florida State

The Seminoles toppled the Orange this past weekend handily, 38-3. While the Seminoles have been up and coming this year, I think last week’s victory leaned heavily on the fact that Syracuse has been in a freefall ever since their close defeat to Clemson. I’m not saying Florida State doesn’t deserve this ranking, I’m just curious to see how they will close the campaign.

21. Tulane

Once upon a time, this team was the highest-ranked team in the state of Louisiana. Crazy to think about, I know. Believe it or not, that was this year. The Green Wave has finally slowed its rise after being humbled by UCF. A setback, to be sure, but if Tulane wants to prove itself then they must rebound accordingly to be taken seriously.

22. Cincinnati

Is Cincinnati a football town now? They got the Bengals at the professional level and now the Bearcats at the collegiate spot? They just had a narrow victory against East Carolina that put them back in the bottom seeds of the rankings. They didn’t spend too much time outside the polls, as they are back in it this week again. Notably, their season closer is against Tulane. So, buckle up for a wild finish.

23. Coastal Carolina

There’s a new contender for the best football team in Carolina. Newsflash, it isn’t the Panthers! Jokes aside, Josh Norman’s alma mater has an impressive resume this year and holds a 9-1 record. To the uninitiated, the Sun Belt should consider changing its name to the “Fun Belt” and thank me later. Seriously though, go read the article I linked about the Sun Belt and that will tell you all you need to know about Coastal Carolina’s level of competition.

24. Oklahoma State

Don’t adjust your glasses, dear reader. The Cowboys have fallen hard from grace after having their strongest start in decades. The balance of power in Oklahoma, and by extension the Big 12, has taken a huge blow, and the Cowboys look to reap the benefits. However, their destiny is decided by them, not the Associated Press, nor I. They, and they alone can right the ship. So, let’s see what happens next for the Big 12’s resident Cowboys.

25. Oregon State

The Beavers have anchored their spot at twenty-five for two weeks in a row now. This comes after a hearty victory against the California Golden Bears. The USC Trojans have one loss on the season, to the Utah Utes, but nobody seems to remember that the Beavers here gave them a run for their money too. By extension, the Beavers have given everyone in the PAC-12 a run for their money. Somehow, the Associated Press has caught up to this dam-good Beavers team(pun intended).

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