I’m sad the regular season is over. It has been a great year. Is there any question that the CFB Playoff and these weekly rankings and debates have made the games more exciting and meaningful? Here is my latest Warren Report Top 25 – in under the wire before Tuesday’s second-to-last College Football Playoff (POC) show on ESPN.
As always, I welcome your feedback on Twitter @iamDougWarren
1. Alabama (12-0) @AlabamaFTBL (Last Week #1)
Until further notice. It’s Alabama’s world and we are just living in it.
2. Ohio State (11-1) @OhioStateFB (2)
They have played 4 of the top 11 teams (Michigan, Wisconsin, Penn State, Oklahoma) in this poll, and have went 3-1. Two of those wins came on the road. They have the best resume of anyone other than Bama. They belong at #2.
3. Clemson (11-1) @ClemsonFB (3)
Can the Tigers hold serve and beat Virginia Tech in the ACC Championship? We shall see. This team has played down to their competition far to often this season for that game to be considered a sure win. The Wolverines, Badgers and Nittany Lions will be rooting for Va Tach.
4. Michigan (10-2) @UMichFootball (5)
It was a tremendous effort by the Wolverines in Columbus last weekend. They just made too many mistakes to survive. That does not mean they are not still one of the four best teams in the land.
5. Wisconsin (10-2) @BadgerFootball (4)
If the Badgers roll Penn State in Indy, they will have to be considered for the playoff if either Washington or Clemson loses their conference title game.
6. USC (9-3) @USC_Athletics (6)
Nobody wants to play the Trojans in their coming bowl game. That loss to Stanford will haunt them for a long time. They would be playing Washington again Saturday if they had not lost to the Cardinal.
7. Washington (11-1) @UW_Football (7)
The Huskies are in the playoff if they beat Colorado Saturday in the Pac-12 title game. This is a very good football team that could make some noise in either the Fiesta or Peach Bowl if they get the chance. Their zone defense and big play wideouts could cause problems for an unfamiliar opponent.
8. Penn State (10-2) @PennStateFball (8)
James Franklin has done a remarkable job and should be a strong coach of the year candidate. Their loss to Pittsburgh will keep them out of the playoff even if they win the Big Ten title Saturday.
9. Colorado (10-2) @RunRalphieRun (10)
This team is sneaky good and could really throw the Football Four into chaos if they beat Washington Saturday night.
10. Western Michigan (12-0) @WMU_Football (9)
Western looks like they will make the New Year’s Six (they must beat Ohio at Ford Field Friday) and get a shot at one of the big boys. Good for them. They have earned the opportunity.
11. Oklahoma (9-2) @OU_Football (12)
The Sooners have a great offense . . . and no defense. That is why they don’t crack the Top 10 in this ranking. It would be an absolute joke of the POC shoehorns the Sooners into the Football Four if they beat Oklahoma State in Bedlam Saturday.
12. LSU (7-4) @LSUfootball (14)
Ed Orgeron is officially the Tigers head coach. I think that will be a good move for them long term, provided that Coach O hires a great offensive mind to update and run the LSU offense and mold future Tigers’ quarterbacks.
13. Florida State (9-3) @FSU_Football (18)
Jimbo Fisher made the right choice in staying in Tallahassee. With ACC Rookie of the Year, Deondre Francois, calling signals for the Seminoles for the foreseeable future, FSU will be back in the national title hunt in 2017.
14. Oklahoma State (9-2) @Cowboy_FB (16)
Bedlam should be a very good football game. And while the Cowboys and their arch-rivals in Norman are both quality teams, until the Big XII begins to play defense and schedules better as a conference, they will be an outlier more often than not for the Football Four.
15. Washington State (8-4) @wsucougfb (11)
The Cougars had their playoff destiny in their hands three weeks ago. Then they filled their diapers will back-to-back losses to Colorado and Washington. Such is life.
16. Utah (8-4) @Utah_Football (19)
The Utes are a good team. No more no less.
17. Stanford (9-3) @StanfordFball (21)
Stanford has won five-straight and back on track after losing three-of-four midseason. They have also found their offense, scoring between 34, 26, 52, 45 and 41 points during the win streak.
18. West Virginia (9-2) @WVUfootball (22)
The Mountaineers have put together another solid season. But they are hampered by the lack of conference juice and an underwhelming resume and schedule.
19. Louisville (9-3) @UofLFootball (15)
Louisville, like Washington State, just could seal the deal when the stakes were the highest. If Bobby Paterno can get their team motivated for their bowl game, they could really make a splash. If not, the Cardinals could fail to reach 10 wins.
20. Florida (8-3) @GatorsFB (13)
Jim McElwain has done a remarkable job in his first two seasons despite a lack of explosive playmakers on offense. They have a tall order this weekend versus Alabama. Maybe they can beat The Tide next year.
21. Auburn (8-4) @FootballAU (23)
Auburn was impressive early in the Iron Bowl, then Alabama got serious. Nevertheless, the Tigers have put together an impressive season and will be a tough test for their bowl opponent.
22. Virginia Tech (9-3) @VT_Football (NR)
If there is to be an upset this weekend, it will be the Hokies beating Clemson in Orlando.
23. Iowa (8-4) @TheIowaHawkeyes (NR)
The Hawkeyes have rebounded nicely since their 41-14 loss to Penn State November 5. Wins over Michigan, Illinois and Nebraska have shown once again that a solid run game and stout defense can win you a lot of football games.
24. Boise State (10-2) @BroncoSportsFB (25)
The Broncos loss to Air Force last weekend ended their hopes to supplant Western Michigan for a New Year’s Six at-large berth.
25. Navy (9-2) @Navy Athletics (NR)
The Midshipman have had a very solid year. Wins over Houston and Notre Dame were impressive. They still have Temple in the AAC Championship and their annual matchup with Army still on the schedule. If they win both games, they will reach 11 wins for the second-straight year for the first time in program history.
Falling out of last week’s Top 25: Texas A&M, Nebraska, Wyoming