TOP 25 NCAA COLLEGE FOOTBALL RANKINGS – WEEK 12
Welcome back for another round ladies and gentlemen. As we enter the backside weeks of the college football season, the playoff picture seems prime for some of our top dogs, but all eyes are on next week when Ohio State plays Michigan. The Bulldogs should run away with the #1 ranking at this point assuming there are no surprising developments. TCU has been battling all season long to stay undefeated and they are almost there, but it looks like they may be wearing down. Hendon Hooker rebounded incredibly well after a tough loss to Georgia last week. Louisville put up a good fight against Clemson that fought off consecutive losses in back-to-back weeks. The Tigers were almost too hungover from the big Alabama win and managed to hold off the hogs of Arkansas.
The battle of California happens this week as USC vs UCLA is set to commence for the first time in Lincoln Riley’s tenure. This must be the week of the PAC-12 because the only two games featuring ranked opponents are the game previously mentioned and Utah at Oregon. Cameron Rising has been electric all season for the Utes and will try to keep the boys rolling against Bo Nix’s inconsistent Ducks. Not too many shockers lined up this week nor were there any epic matchups but let’s see if there are any surprises left as we head into an eventful and loaded Week 12.
1. Georgia Bulldogs (10-0)
Dominated the Bulldogs of Mississippi State 45-19 behind the consistently strong play of Stetson Bennett at the quarterback position. They were almost unanimous in the voting for 1st, with only 1 vote going to Ohio State. The Georgia Bulldogs travel to 24th ranked Kentucky who hope to play the upset card at home, but the Bulldogs are heavy favorites at –22.5 and the Wildcats are struggling after a tough loss to Vanderbilt last week.
2. Ohio State Buckeyes (10-0)
CJ Stroud continues to dominate D1 football as he led the Buckeyes to a 56-14 win over Indiana who had no hope of containing this elite offense. CJ is also distancing himself from the rest of the competition in the Heisman running, as he is the clear favorite. Unless he collapses against Michigan next week, I don’t see anybody passing this stud. It should be another field day for the Buckeye boys as they travel to struggling Maryland with a –27.5 spread as road favorites.
3. Michigan Wolverines (10-0)
– Michigan had a 34-3 complete and total victory at home vs Nebraska this week. Blake Corum has a touchdown in every game this season and over 100+ yards in 8 consecutive games. The Wolverines will have a tougher test next week as they welcome 21st ranked Illinois, with Harbaughs boys opening with a –18 spread as home favorites.
4. TCU Horned Frogs (10-0)
17-10 road win in a massive clash of Texas teams as the Horned Frogs took down the Longhorns behind some strong team play. TCU will travel to Baylor as –2.5 favorites as they hope to keep their undefeated season and playoff hopes alive.
5. Tennessee Volunteers (9-1)
Hendon Hooker answered after a tough loss with 300+ yards passing and 3 TDs as they dominated Missouri at home 66-24. The Volunteers will take on the Gamecocks of South Carolina on the road with a –21.5 spread as Hooker looks to continue their offensive domination.
6. LSU Tigers (8-2)
After a massive win against Alabama, the Tigers answered with a close 13-10 road win against Arkansas Hogs. Brian Kelly’s boys will have an easier matchup this week at home as UAB travels to town who are expected to lose by 14.5.
7. USC Trojans (9-1)
The Trojans dominated Colorado at home 55-17 and enjoyed a long weekend afterwards, as they slowly climbed the rankings, waiting for their chance to enter the top 4. A win against 12th ranked UCLA on the road would do a lot to build that playoff resume and Vegas has Caleb Williams’ squad as –2.5 favorites.
8. Alabama Crimson Tide (8-2)
30-24 battle on the road vs Ole Miss as the Tide edged out the Rebels in this close game. Nick Saban will hope to fine tune his team and maybe get his players some rest as they face Austin Peay who should lose by 60+ points. This is a weird last season matchup for Alabama with Auburn the following week.
9. Clemson Tigers (9-1)
31-16 win at home vs a tough Louisville team that unfortunately saw their star QB Malik Cunningham knocked out of the game late. They open as –19 favorites as they welcome the U into their home for what should be a one-sided matchup. Dabo Swinney needs to get some massive wins to close out the season or their playoff hopes will dwindle away.
10. Utah Utes (8-2)
The Utes crushed Stanford 42-7 as the Cardinal didn’t stand a chance in this road test. They will have a tougher task this week as they travel to 12th ranked Oregon in a massive PAC-12 matchup, as underdogs to boot with a +3 spread.
11. Penn State Nittany Lions (8-2)
Nittany Lions blanked Maryland 30-0 in a dominating home win. They will have another easy week as they travel to Rutgers with an opening spread of -19.
12. Oregon Ducks (8-2)
LOST to 25th ranked Washington Huskies 37-34 as the Ducks came up short at home. They won’t have too much time to dwell on that loss as they welcome 10th ranked Utah in a fierce PAC-12 matchup. Bo Nix and the Ducks open as –3 favorites as they hope to bounce back after dropping 3 spots in the rankings.
13. North Carolina Tar Heels (9-1)
36-34 victory over Wake Forest in a massive shootout as Drake Maye dominated again for the Tar Heels. They will welcome a struggling Georgia Tech squad, who they should beat by 4 touchdowns but open with a –21.5 spread.
14. Ole Miss Rebels (8-2)
Lost 30-24 to 9th ranked Alabama at home. The Rebels put up one helluva fight behind freshman running back Quinshon Judkins who rushed for 135 yards and 2 TDs. Lane Kiffin will have an easier task this week as they travel to Arkansas as the favorite with a –2.5 spread.
15. Kansas State Wildcats (7-3)
A very dominating 31-3 victory to Baylor. They will hope to carry that momentum on the road to West Virginia as they open as –7.5 road favorites, where they will once again be without starting QB Adrian Martinez, who made a brief return this week before once again getting injured on the opening drive.
16. UCLA Bruins (8-2)
Devastating loss at home vs Arizona as the Bruins fall 34-28. Zach Charbonnet still ran for 181 yards and 3 TDs, but the Bruins defense couldn’t handle the Wildcats aerial offense. Not the momentum you need heading into the big rivalry matchup vs 7th ranked USC at home and the line agrees, with the Bruins opening as +2.5 underdogs.
17. Washington Huskies (8-2)
Massive 37-34 victory over 6th ranked Oregon on the road behind some stellar QB play with Michael Penix throwing for 400+ yards and 2 TDs. What a statement PAC-12 win this was. They will have a much easier opponent next week as they welcome Buffalo with a –31 spread.
18. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (7-3)
Beat Navy 35-32, almost blowing a 3-touchdown lead at halftime. The Fighting Irish will welcome Boston College this week in the Shamrock Series that has the Irish –21 favorites.
19. Florida State Seminoles (7-3)
Syracuse stood 0 chance as they were rolled 38-3 in front of their home crowd. Florida State will welcome an inferior team in Louisiana this week, as the Seminoles open as –23.5 favorites in what should be a blowout.
20. UCF Knights (8-2)
38-31 victory over 17th ranked Tulane in an offensive shootout. The Knights hope to keep climbing as they welcome Navy to their home as –16.5 favorites.
21. Tulane Green Wave (8-2)
Tough loss to 22nd ranked UCF 38-31. It should be another offensive shootout as the Green Wave welcome SMU at their home as –3 favorites.
22. Oklahoma State Cowboys (7-3)
20-14 victory over Iowa State. They travel to Oklahoma as +7.5 underdogs as Sanders hopes to push through his shoulder injury again to another victory.
23. Oregon State Beavers (7-3)
38-10 victory at home vs a weak California Bears team. The Beavers will travel to Arizona State as –8 favorites as running back Damien Martinez has been electric for Oregon State.
24. NC State Wolfpack (7-3)
Tough 21-20 loss to Boston College that puts the Wolfpack on the backend of the rankings. They hope to stay in the top 25 as they travel to Louisville as +4 underdogs.
25. Cincinnati Bearcats (8-2)
27-25 victory at home against the Pirates of East Carolina as Ben Bryant threw for another consistent game. The Bearcats will travel to Temple as –17 favorites.