If Week 12 of the season were a diet, we all got a little fatter from college football in Week 12, and nobody feels good about it.
In what has become an unfortunate college football tradition, “the week before rivalry week” was just that for a lot of teams across football. There were a couple of good games, but a lot of lackluster ones as the schedule favors next week’s slate of games of this week’s.
That all said, we do have a new set of FanBuzz power rankings after Saturday’s action, so let’s dig in.
1. Alabama — SEC, 11-0
LW: 1 — Result: W, 56-0 vs. Mercer
FCS cupcake? Alright.
Iron Bowl next week. It’s an important game, apparently.
2. Oklahoma — Big 12, 10-1
LW: 2 — Result: W, 41-3 at Kansas
FCS cupcake? Yep, 1-10 Kansas was simply outma…
Wait no, Kansas is actually a Big 12 team… Okay, we’ll allow. But try to behave next time, Baker Mayfield.
3. Miami — ACC, 10-0
LW: 3 — Result: W, 44-28 vs. Virginia
Miami has a really bad habit of playing up or down to the level of their competition. Made for great television last week with all of the hype against Notre Dame, but made for weird looks this week when they were struggling massively with the Hoos for three quarters.
4. Clemson — ACC, 10-1
LW: 4 — Result: W, 61-3 vs. The Citadel
Poor Citadel. This was just mean.
5. Wisconsin — Big Ten, 11-0
LW: 5 — Result: W, 24-10 vs. Michigan
This game took some time to develop, which is typical of a day game in sub-freezing weather like this one. Wisconsin looked really good, but how will the committee evaluate this kind of win against a solid opponent like Michigan? Will they think it was a good performance, or will they have wanted something more considering the rest of Wisconsin’s resume from this season?
6. Auburn — SEC, 9-2
LW: 6 — Result: W, 42-14 vs. Louisiana-Monroe
A bit of a hangover game for Auburn after last week’s big win over Georgia. An early pick and several punts in the first two quarters meant that this game was just 14-7 at halftime… not exactly what you would expect against a 4-6 Monroe team.
7. Georgia — SEC, 10-1
LW: 7 — Result: W, 42-13 vs. Kentucky
Good example of how an underdog needs touchdowns, not field goals, early in the game. Kentucky looked incredible in the first quarter, but only getting field goals — and an awful roughing the punter penalty — meant that the Bulldogs were eventually able to shrug it off, as they eventually ran all over Kentucky in the second half.
8. TCU — Big 12, 9-2
LW: 11 — Result: W, 27-3 at Texas Tech
TCU was without starting quarterback Kenny Hill, which could have lead to some Big 12 chaos as a five-way tie for second place in the Big 12 was — and technically still is — in play. However, TCU didn’t need much from their offense, as their defense limited Texas Tech to just three points and 327 yards.
9. Central Florida — AAC, 10-0
LW: 9 — Result: W, 45-19 vs. Temple
Temple put up a fight early before Scott Frost’s team was able to take control with another 40-plus point performance from the offense. It’s ridiculous how good the UCF offense has been this season.
UCF has the chance to clinch an undefeated regular season next week against rival USF. Incredible considering that UCF went OH-AND-TWELVE just two years ago.
10. Ohio State — Big Ten, 9-2
LW: 13 — Result: W, 52-14 vs. Illinois
It took about 12 minutes for Ohio State to take a 28-0 lead… that’s really all you need to know about this game.
11. Notre Dame — ACC adjacent, 9-2
LW: 10 — Result: W, 24-17 vs. Navy
This was an incredibly fun game. Navy took a 17-10 lead at the beginning of the second half after a FIFTEEN play drive; that’s option-football at its absolute best. However, a missed field goal and an interception on a trick play doomed the Academy, as Notre Dame was able to squeak away with the win.
12. USC — Pac-12, 10-2
LW: 12 — Result: W, 28-23 vs. UCLA
Sam Darnold played as well as he needed to here, as it was a punt return touchdown in the first quarter that really set the difference in this game.
Overall, UCLA doomed themselves here by not getting results after long drives; a strip-sack of Josh Rosen in USC territory killed what could have been a game-tying drive in the second quarter, and a pick on the opening drive in the third quarter had a similar impact. Credit to USC’s defense for stepping up when they needed to, but UCLA had another case of getting close, but then letting a win slip through their fingers.
13. Penn State — Big Ten, 9-2
LW: 15 — Result: W, 56-44 vs. Nebraska
100 combined points? Are we sure this was a Big Ten game and not a Big 12 game?
A 28-point second quarter for Penn State put this game on ice early, and Penn State was eventually able to add on more to their lead in the third. Nebraska scored a bunch late in a desperate attempt at a comeback, but it was definitely too little too late at that point.
14. Washington State — Pac-12, 9-2
LW: 16 — Result: BYE
Some weirdness in the middle of the rankings means Washington State moves up despite a week off. They have Washington next week in a game that will help decide the Pac-12 North.
15. Memphis — AAC, 9-1
LW: 17 — Result: W, 66-45 vs. SMU
SMU actually help pace very well with Memphis here, until the Tigers scored three straight touchdowns in the fourth quarter to pull away. Memphis claimed a spot in the AAC title game with the victory, and they will get the winner of next week’s UCF-USF game for the championship.
16. Washington — Pac-12, 9-2
LW: 14 — Result: W, 33-30 vs. Utah
*pokes Washington with stick* You okay, Huskies?
Utah is a better team than their 5-6 record shows, and Tyler Huntley returning recently helps them a lot, but Washington has looked awful over the past couple of weeks. These kind of performances won’t cut it next week against Washington State, who will happily put up points if Washington doesn’t want to.
17. Oklahoma State — Big 12, 8-3
LW: 8 — Result: L, 40-45 at Kansas State
Final score was close, and Oklahoma State actually had the ball with a chance to win late, but…. this game was just embarrassing for the Pokes and they completely gave away their chances at getting into the Big 12 title game. Oklahoma State stormed back from a 42-13 deficit, which was really fun to watch, but the fact that it even got to that point was very disappointing to say the least.
18. LSU — SEC, 8-3
LW: 19 — Result: W, 30-10 at Tennessee
The only surprise here is that Tennessee was actually kind of in this game early after scoring 10 points in the second quarter. Otherwise, this game was just awful to watch, as neither team could really get much going on offense.
Also, we need better Week 12 games in the future. The fact this one was a primetime, nationally televised game after what we have gotten in previous weeks is… bad.
19. Stanford — Pac-12, 8-3
LW: 20 — Result: W, 17-14 vs. Cal
Anything can happen in a rivalry game… that’s almost what we got here, as Stanford was barely able to fend off Cal in an uncharacteristic defensive slog.
The big news here will be running back Bryce Love, who missed the fourth quarter after re-aggravating the ankle injury that has been bothering him for several weeks. It looks like he will be good to play next week against Notre Dame, but as we saw from Stanford’s 15-14 win over Oregon State when Love was out…. they’re toast if he can’t play.
20. South Florida — AAC, 9-1
LW: 21 — Result: W, 27-20 vs. Tulsa
Charlie Strong’s team was able to hold off Tulsa on Thursday night, which is good news, because we now get a battle between a 10-0 UCF and a 9-1 USF team next week. That should be really fun!
21. Mississippi State — SEC, 8-3
LW: 22 — Result: W, 27-20 at Arkansas
Mississippi State survived this game, as they had to score two fourth quarter touchdowns — including one with under a minute left — in order to walk away with the win against the struggling Razorbacks. Mississippi State gets Ole Miss in the Egg Bowl next week, where Dan Mullen could quietly put together another 9-win season in Starkville.
22. Michigan State — Big Ten, 8-3
LW: 23 — Result: W, 17-7 vs. Maryland
In what has become a habit of Michigan State games recently, the weather took over this game when snow started making it’s way onto the field. (over three hours of weather delays notably took over the MSU-PSU game a couple of weeks ago)
The result was just an awful game, as the two teams failed to combine for 500 total yards. If you DVR’d this one, you can go ahead and skip it.
23. Northwestern — Big Ten, 8-3
LW: NR — Result: W, 39-0 vs. Minnesota
Well I didn’t see this one coming.
Northwestern has now won six straight games, and their shutout of Minnesota was one of the biggest margins for any game this week. Not usually what you expect out of a Big Ten West matchup this late in the season.
Sorry PJ Fleck, there is no boat rowing going on right now.
24. Michigan — Big Ten, 8-3
LW: 18 — Result: L, 10-24 at Wisconsin
A loss to a Top 5 team on the road in what wasn’t a blowout shouldn’t drop Michigan completely out of the rankings, so it’s not going to here. Things don’t get any easier next week with Ohio State, and Michigan could be doing it without quarterback Jason Peters, who suffered a head injury in the second half of this game.
25. Boise State — MW, 9-2
LW: NR — Result: W, 44-19 vs. Air Force
After a disappointing start to the season, Boise State has now won seven in a row. They get Fresno State next week… and then they get Fresno State AGAIN the following week in the Mountain West title game.
Yeah, that’s a weird one.
DROPPED FROM THE RANKINGS: NC State (24), West Virginia (25)