OK, here we go. Here is my latest Warren Report Top 25. In under the wire before tonight’s College Football Playoff show on ESPN. Give me your feedback on Twitter @iamDougWarren
1. Alabama (11-0) @AlabamaFTBL (Last Week #1)
Auburn is really banged up. Considering The Tide struggled (by their standards) against UT Chattanooga last week, I don’t think Nick Saban is gonna allow a letdown in the Iron Bowl. An upset in Tuscaloosa would be monumental.
2. Ohio State (10-1) @OhioStateFB (2)
If the Buckeyes beat Michigan, they will probably make the playoff despite not making the Big Ten title game. If they lose, they will need others in the vicinity of the Football Four (Clemson, Washington, USC, Wisconsin, even Oklahoma?) to stumble too.
3. Clemson (10-1) @ClemsonFB (7)
The Tigers need to win the next two games and they will also be in the playoff. If they lose, they – like ACC counterpart Louisville – will be out. Pretty simple.
4. Wisconsin (9-2) @BadgerFootball (4)
Don’t sleep on the Badgers. If they beat Minnesota Saturday, they can beat any possible Big Ten East foe (Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State) in Indy. If they do so, it will be very hard for the Playoff Committee (POC) to ignore Bucky.
5. Michigan (10-1) @UMichFootball (6)
The Wolverines have a suspect run defense of late. Also a QB situation no in major flux. Nevertheless, their playoff destiny remains in their hands. If Jim Harbaugh can lead his team to wins in Columbus and Indy in the next two weeks, it will be as good a two-week job as he has had in his career.
6. USC (8-3) @USC_Athletics (11)
The Trojans’ season has been saved by a redshirt freshman QB named Sam Darnold. However, despite beating Colorado, the Buffs have a one game lead on USC in the Pac-12 South. The Trojans must hope for a Utah upset of the Buffaloes Saturday to pull even. Then, a pistol-whipping of Notre Dame and a win in the Pac-12 title game will make USC a real possibility for the playoff.
7. Washington (10-1) @UW_Football (8)
The Huskies loss to USC will likely haunt them into 2017. Like the Trojans, they must hope for a Utah win Saturday. Then, if they can beat Washington State in the Apple Cup and down USC in a Pac-12 title game rematch, their hopes for a playoff birth may come true.
8. Penn State (9-2) @PennStateFball (12)
A remarkable story has emerged in Happy Valley this season. James Franklin’s Nittany Lions have improved every week and are on the verge of a Big Ten Championship game birth. Ironically, they will be rooting for Ohio State Saturday, the team they beat to put themselves in this position.
9. Western Michigan (11-0) @WMU_Football (9)
The Broncos continue to get no respect. The fact that the POC last week ranked Boise State ahead of them is a joke. They have a tough test Friday afternoon in Kalamazoo versus Toledo. I would love to see the Broncos team in a New Years’ Six game. They probably won’t get the chance.
10. Colorado (9-2) @RunRalphieRun (13)
It will be interesting to see where the POC ranks the Buffaloes tonight. With Colorado, Washington and USC all lurking outside the Football Four, the Pac-12 is still saying their prayers that more carnage occurs in the SEC, Big Ten and ACC. But first, Colorado must beat Utah Saturday.
11. Washington State (8-3) @wsucougfb (10)
The Cougars had a New Years’ Six game in their sights, then they lost to Colorado. Now they have to beat Washington this Friday in the Apple Cup and win the Pac-12 Championship game to maybe force their way back in.
12. Oklahoma (9-2) @OU_Football (15)
This team plays no defense. They have a tremendous offense. Bedlam next week versus Oklahoma State looms large for both teams New Years’ Six chances.
13. Florida (8-2) @GatorsFB (19)
Jim McElwain has done a tremendous job in Gainesville. Their win versus LSU last Saturday was among the biggest in program history. If they can get healed up before their bowl game, their opponent will be in for a hell of a fight.
14. LSU (6-4) @LSUfootball (5)
Ed Orgeron had in inside angle on keep the job in Baton Rouge. The loss to Florida has changed that, which is too bad. He deserved a chance at a full season, but the restless Tigers’ boosters are too anxious to court Jimbo Fisher again to make that happen.
15. Louisville (9-2) @UofLFootball (3)
Another Cinderella playoff hopeful whose magic ran out (at the hands of Houston). Lamar Jackson will still likely take home their Heisman, but for the Cardinals the playoffs will have to be delayed for at least another season.
16. Oklahoma State (9-2) @CowboyFB (21)
Mike Gundy’s home is in Stillwater. It is hard imagining him being anywhere else. Next week’s Bedlam showdown with OU will be big. A Cowboys’ win would put be a major blow to an already disappointing Sooners’ season.
17. Texas A&M (8-3) @AggieFootball (17)
Is Kevin Sumlin really in trouble in College Station? There are new rumblings that he maybe. Amazingly, the Aggies are 6-point underdogs to LSU at home Thanksgiving eve. A loss to the Tigers may force wholesale changes in Aggieland.
18. Florida State (8-3) @FSU_Football (18)
Could Jimbo Fisher really leave Tallahassee for Baton Rouge? We shall soon find out. Meanwhile, the Seminoles need to beat a fired up Florida team to get to 9 wins. If Fisher does leave, the FSU job will be a major opening with a lot of interest.
19. Utah (8-3) @Utah_Football (14)
The Utes could help settle some POC dust if they beat a surging Colorado Saturday. That victory would likely hurt the Pac-12’s overall chances for the playoff however. The Big Ten still has the best shot to become the first conference to get two teams into the same Football Four.
20. Nebraska (9-2) @HuskerFBNation (20)
The Huskers QB situation is a MASH unit. With Tommy Armstrong’s hamstring and backup Ryker Fyfe’s broken wrist they will have their work cut out for them against a always tough Iowa team at Kinnick Stadium.
21. Stanford (8-3) @StanfordFball (25)
The only losses for the Cardinal this season are to #8 Washington (44-6), #10 Washington State (42-16) and #12 Colorado (10-5) in a four-game stretch between September 30 and October 22. Stanford could get to 9 wins of they beat Rice in Palo Alto on Senior Day. Amazing that 9 victories is now considered a down year now for this once morbid program.
22. West Virginia (8-2) @WVUfootball (16)
Another Big XII pretender comes back to earth at the hands of Oklahoma last Saturday. They gave up 316 yards rushing to the Sooners. But, the Sooners gave up 388 rushing yards to the Mountaineers. Have I said that I cannot stand conferences who don’t play defense?
23. Auburn (8-3) @FootballAU (22)
Like Tennessee and Florida, the Auburn Tigers are a banged up bunch. They are 17-point dogs to Alabama Saturday afternoon. The Tigers will have to wait for their bowl game to reach 9 wins.
24. Wyoming (8-3) @wyoathletics (NR)
How ’bout ‘dem Cowboys! Upsets of Boise State and San Diego State have bumped this team back into my Top 25. The Cowboys face New Mexico Saturday night. They win that game, they get a rematch with the Aztecs in the Mountain West title game with a chance to get to 10 wins.
25. Boise State (10-1) @BroncoSportsFB (24)
The Broncos only loss is to the Cowboys on October 29. Their biggest non-conference win is versus Washington State back on September 10. Other than that, they really have a schedule that is forgettable. Why the POC has the Broncos rated ahead of Western Michigan is a mystery?
Falling out of last week’s Top 25: San Diego State