Nope, there isn’t a running monologue that prefaces our college football rankings this week. That’s a first, though we plan on that to be the last time it happens as well.
We’re on the road in Central New York as we get ready to cover the No. 1 team in the county, the Clemson Tigers, play against Syracuse. It will be A Lot of Sports Talk‘s first time covering the No. 1 Associated Press team in person, and, to be honest, all the excitement of seeing Deshaun Watson electrify at quarterback and seeing a team up close that is just three wins away from a surefire trip to the College Football Playoff got the best of us, and we weren’t able to bring you a clever write-up as a prelude to our Top 25.
Who knows? Maybe I’m getting ready to watch the ultimate act of “Clemsoning” at the Carrier Dome on Saturday, and saving my writing creativity for next week to write about the choking phenomenon in person!
Umm…don’t bet on it!
With the College Football Playoff Panel keeping Clemson at the No. 1 spot this past Tuesday, the A Lot of Sports Talk College Football Poll panel of seven has spoken with its newest poll, and also agrees with the group as to who’s No. 1. Well, how was 2-24 shake out? As always, here are the seven people who combine to bring you our insightful aggregate poll: T.J. Basalla (super fan, marketing professional based in Ohio), Evie Van Pelt (managing editor at The Rebel Walk Magazine), Basil Mitchell (former TCU and Green Bay Packers RB), Sandy Weintraub (super fan, Director of Student Conduct and Community Standards at the University of Oregon), Nick Mancuso (patent attorney who attended USC as an undergrad and Oregon for law school), Adesina Koiki (Football Writers Association of America member/voter, A Lot Of Sports Talk editor-in-chief) and an anonymous football staff member at a Division II school who once coached at the FBS level.
Here is ALOST‘s 2015 College Football Top 25 for Week 11. If you have any comments and/or complaints, write them below on the Facebook window or email us at email@example.com. We’d love to hear from you.
I think we can stop doubting this year’s Clemson. They faced adversity and responded the way a national contender should. Two divisional cupcakes (Syracuse, Wake Forest), one downtrodden rival (South Carolina) and then the ACC title game are all that’s left for Dabo’s Bunch. (T.J. Basalla)
I still think the Buckeyes are the most complete and best team in America. No, they haven’t always played like it, but until they lose, they are still my No. 1 (Sandy Weintraub)
To anyone who published stories about the “Death of the Alabama Dynasty”, go sit in the corner and think about what you’ve done. (T.J.)
Well, at least after Saturday’s game with Oklahoma, we won’t have to hear anymore about Baylor’s marginal strength of schedule. Whether we still talk about the Bears’ College Football Playoff hopes as realistic is still up in the air, and that will be tested first in Norman. (Adesina Koiki)
It’s Senior Day in South Bend on Saturday, and it’s very realistic now that the true seniors on the squad will bookend their careers with appearances in the national title game. If the Irish win their final three regular-season games, they’ll at the very least be in the Playoff. (Adesina)
I did not see that coming. We may have to believe that Oklahoma State is really good. (T.J.)
Yes, Alabama beat LSU. I, for one, don’t care. The SEC is considerably weaker this year, and this Stanford team is a monster, hence why I have them ranked ahead of the Tide in my poll. Also, Bama lost to Ole Miss. (Sandy)
I’m still waiting for Iowa to do something silly, and I thought losing to Indiana might be it. But no. They’re still winning. Iowa might actually make the College Football Playoff. I had to compose myself before I typed that. (T.J.)
Before the game against the Tide, it was understood that if you stop Leonard Fournette, you have a chance to beat the Tigers. Much easier said than done, of course, but Alabama got it done. A tricky rivalry game with the Hogs for the Golden Boot is next for the Bayou Bengals. (Adesina)
A win is a win is a win…even if you beat Vanderbilt at home by two, like the Gators did last week. As a point of reference, Houston shut out the Commodores 34-0 in H-Town the week prior. (Adesina)
One daunting road test passed, yet another one awaits for the Utes, who follow up their win in Seattle with a trip to Tucson to face the disappointing Arizona Wildcats, who sit at 5-5. (Adesina)
Whether you thought TCU was living on the edge or not this season, Oklahoma State made that point somewhat moot with a throttling of the Horned Frogs. How sorry do you now feel for Kansas, TCU’s next opponent? (Adesina)
Can we address something here? That Sparty’s defensive successes over the past few years may have more to do with Pat Narduzzi than it had to do with Mark Dantonio? Michigan State had been walking a defensive tightrope all season and Nebraska finally snipped the rope. (T.J.)
Should Michigan and Ohio State win out (and the odds say they both will), we will have it like the old days: Michigan vs. Ohio State for a title – this time, a division title. (T.J.)
Could the Sooners be the best one-loss team in America? Baker Mayfield’s play at quarterback lately is definitely making people think that they might just be. (Adesina)
This is a really fun team to watch. (Sandy)
North Carolina is one set of terrible throws against South Carolina away from being the in the Playoff discussion. (T.J.)
Remember when I said a few weeks ago that UCLA, despite all their injuries and a couple of losses, could still play the role of spoiler given their recent history of strong finishes? It looks like that trend has started once again. (Adesina)
The Owls have passed their recent tests of winning against teams they should beat before a big showdown game. They play South Florida on Saturday, a week before playing Memphis at home. (Adesina)
Well, if you’re in a league with the No. 1 ranked team in America, like the Seminoles are, I guess being the second-best team in that conference isn’t all that bad, right? (Adesina)
Dak Prescott deserves to be in the College Football Hall of Fame. (T.J.)
Remember, this team has a win over Stanford and only lost to Michigan and Iowa this season. Another 10-win season – and even a 10-win regular season – is definitely attainable. (Adesina)
Piggybacking off of the comment with Mississippi State, Keenan Reynolds also deserves to be in the College Football Hall of Fame. (Adesina)
Though the Cinderella run ended at the hands of the team immediately above the Tigers, Memphis still has a lot to play for, as a New Year’s Six bowl appearance is definitely still in sight. Actually, it’s in sight for every team at the top of The American. (Adesina)
Overcoming an 11-point halftime deficit on the road in Boulder isn’t going to get a lot of widespread praise, but Clay Helton has done a great job taking over as the interim head coach just over a month ago. (Adesina)
Others receiving votes:
Wisconsin (16 points), Boise State (2), BYU (1), Toledo (1)
* – To break ties, we used a three-step criteria; 1) higher number of first-place votes, 2) higher number of ballots (out of six) the teams appeared in, 3) highest single ranking by an individual pollster (e.g. if Team A and Team B are tied cumulatively and appeared in all six polls, but Team A’s highest ranking by an individual pollster was No. 7 and Team B’s highest ranking by an individual pollster was No. 9, Team A wins tiebreaker)
[Cover photo (Derrick Henry) courtesy of Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images]