The College Football world exploded over the weekend but fear not, it’s opened up a world of opportunity in sports betting. Al Dannity sifts through the wreckage to deliver this week’s Power rankings.
1. LSU (11-0, 7-0 SEC, 8-3 ATS) The Tigers stranglehold at the top of these rankings faces a big challenge on Friday. For now they remain invincible. Last week: W 52-3 at Mississippi. Next game: Friday vs. Arkansas.
2. Alabama (10-1, 6-1 SEC, 7-4 ATS) Slow starts against cupcakes don’t impress voters. The Tide still did enough to move up purely by not losing. Last week: W 45-21 vs. Georgia Southern. Next game: Saturday at Auburn.
3. Houston (11-0, 7-0 Conf. USA, 9-2 ATS) Put your pitchforks away, this is as high as the Cougars are likely to get. Four teams in these rankings can jump Houston just by winning out. No team in the Top 10 is more susceptible to a big fall than the Cougars, with a dangerous trip to Tulsa awaiting Kevin Sumlin’s team on Friday. Last week: W 37-7 vs. SMU. Next game: Friday at Tulsa.
4. Stanford (10-1, 8-1 Pac-12, 9-2 ATS) I dropped the Cardinal a spot after a poor display in the Big Game. A primetime win over Notre Dame could yet, albeit highly unlikely, parachute them back into the BCS title picture. Last week: W 31-28 vs. California. Next game: Saturday vs. Notre Dame.
5. Oklahoma State (10-1, 7-1 Big 12, 8-3 ATS) Friday’s result, coupled with Oklahoma’s loss, means the Cowboys’ are all but out of the BCS title race. A loss in Bedlam and they can wave goodbye to a BCS bowl too. Last week: L 37-31 at Iowa State. Next game: December 3 vs. Oklahoma.
6. Arkansas (10-1, 6-1 SEC, 7-4 ATS) Once again I must calm down the more passionate among you. I’m basing this on body of work. Right now, the Hogs haven’t done enough to move any higher despite what the AP and BCS polls would have you believe. I will however guarantee they will move above LSU and no lower than the #2 slot in the unlikely event that they win at Baton Rouge. Last week: W 44-17 vs. Mississippi State. Next game: Friday at LSU.
7. Boise State (9-1, 4-1 MWC, 4-6 ATS) That loss to TCU is going to sting for a long time. If the Broncos had gone perfect this year, they would have finally made the BCS title game. Last week: W 52-35 at San Diego State. Next game: Saturday vs. Wyoming.
8. Virginia Tech (10-1, 6-1 ACC, 3-8 ATS) It’s been a few weeks since I issued this warning but it’s time for the Hokies to go on full Admiral Ackbar alert. This Saturday, at Virginia…it’s a trap! [youtube]http://youtu.be/dddAi8FF3F4[/youtube] Last week: W 24-21 vs. North Carolina. Next game: Saturday at Virginia.
9. USC (9-2, 7-2 Pac-12, 7-4 ATS) The Trojans would be all set for a re-match with the Ducks and in line for a BCS bid were it not for their post-season ban. That was tremendous hustle in Eugene. Last week: W 38-35 at Oregon. Next game: Saturday vs. UCLA.
10. Oregon (9-2, 7-1 Pac-12, 6-5 ATS) The Ducks should still win the Pac-12 North but only if they avoid a slip-up in the Civil War. Last week: L 38-35 vs. USC. Next game: Saturday vs. Oregon State.
11. Oklahoma (8-2, 5-2 Big 12, 6-4 ATS) Normally I’d include a highlight from a game as momentous as the Sooners’ loss last week. I will but not at this point in the rankings. Last week: L 45-38 at Baylor. Next game: Saturday vs. Iowa State.
12. Georgia (9-2, 7-1 SEC, 7-4 ATS) Legendary commentator Larry Munson passed away at the weekend. Fans of the Dawgs will miss him. As a Georgia great goes off to the great booth in the sky, listen to his most famous call one more time. [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vOhWVvsrq5k[/youtube] Last week: W 19-10 vs. Kentucky. Next game: Saturday at Georgia Tech.
13. Michigan State (9-2, 6-1 Big Ten, 7-4 ATS) The Spartans are certain to play in the Big Ten title game but they would do well not to overlook the Wildcats on Saturday. Last week: W 55-3 vs. Indiana. Next game: Saturday at Northwestern.
14. South Carolina (9-2, 6-2 SEC, 5-6 ATS) The Gamecocks will look to finish the regular season on a high when they battle Clemson on Saturday. Last week: W 41-20 vs. Citadel. Next game: Saturday vs. Clemson.
15. Wisconsin (9-2, 5-2 Big Ten, 7-4 ATS) That win over the Illini didn’t inspire confidence but a win over the Nittany Lions on Saturday and the Badgers will get a shot at the Big Ten title. Last week: W 28-17 at Illinois. Next game: Saturday vs. Penn State.
16. Kansas State (9-2, 6-2 Big 12, 9-2 ATS) Congratulations to everyone who made a killing when the Wildcats somehow went to Austin as underdogs. If they win at home against the Cyclones, they will almost certainly nab an at-large bid. Last week: W 17-13 at Texas. Next game: December 3 vs. Iowa State.
17. Michigan (9-2, 5-2 Big Ten, 8-3 ATS) I’m not going to say mission accomplished just yet but, after last Saturday’s statement victory, the Wolverines know a win over Ohio State will probably send them to a BCS bowl. Last week: W 45-17 vs. Nebraska. Next game: Saturday vs. Ohio State.
18. TCU (9-2, 6-0 MWC, 5-6 ATS) Despite their current low position, the Horned Frogs will go to the BCS if Houston fails to win out. Last week: W 34-10 vs. Colorado. Next game: December 3 vs. UNLV.
19. Penn State (9-2, 6-1 Big Ten, 3-7-1 ATS) The Nittany Lions will have a shot at the Big Ten title if they pull the upset in Madison. Last week: W 20-14 vs. Ohio State. Next game: Saturday at Wisconsin.
20. Clemson (9-2, 6-2 ACC, 7-4 ATS) This is what happens when you sleepwalk your way into a conference title game. It’s a massive 11 position drop for the Tigers and a deserved one at that. Last week: L 37-13 at NC State. Next game: Saturday at South Carolina.
21. Arkansas State (9-2, 7-0 Sun Belt, 9-2 ATS) The Red Wolves are #21 in these rankings but tied for #1 ATS. There’s no championship trophy for that but I’ll give them at least a share of the mythical National ATS title if they cover against Troy. If the Red Wolves win on senior day they will be the toast of bettors everywhere. Last week: W 45-19 at Middle Tennessee. Next game: December 3 vs. Troy.
22. Virginia (8-3, 5-2 ACC, 5-5-1) Boom! Just like that the Cavaliers are an upset away from making the ACC title game. This is going to be an interesting Saturday. Last week: W 14-13 at Florida State. Next game: Saturday vs. Virginia Tech.
23. Nebraska (8-3, 4-3 Big Ten, 3-7-1 ATS) The Huskers should feel sick after that showing. They saved their most inept display of the year for their trip to the Big House. Nebraska should still make it one of the better bowls despite that loss. Last week: L 45-17 at Michigan. Next game: Saturday vs. Iowa.
24. Notre Dame (8-3, 5-6 ATS) An ugly win at home over an awful opponent does not bode well for the Fighting Irish as they travel to Stanford on Saturday night. Last week: W 16-14 vs. Boston College. Next game: Saturday at Stanford.
25. Baylor (7-3, 4-3, 5-4-1 ATS) The Bears enter the rankings on the back of an historic win over Oklahoma. Robert Griffin III deserves to win the Heisman this year because he has been the most outstanding player in College Football. That said, his Heisman moment is undoubtedly a sign that sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good. [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKUQ-6izc0s[/youtube] Last week: W 45-38 vs. Oklahoma. Next game: Saturday vs. Texas Tech.
Last five out: BYU, Iowa State, Rutgers, Tulsa, West Virginia.