Written by: Neil Brown (@downtowneil)
Edited by: Curt Ashcraft (@cashcraft740)
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With one week left in the college football regular season for most schools (Big 12 and AAC still have another week), the Our Sports Report College Football experts have decisively split the top ten into three groups. At the top, we have three teams splitting the first-place votes that are separated by just two points. Anyone who’s watched college football this season can guess which three teams we’ve selected. Things get quite interesting with the final playoff spot as four teams are separated by as many points. And then we have the final three teams which our experts are showing respect to for their great seasons, but they would require a miracle to crack the top four.
But its rivalry week, so miracles and chaos are bound to happen, right? The Iron Bowl, The Egg Bowl, and the Territorial Cup (Arizona State vs. Arizona) all feature top-25 match-ups. But let’s not forget about The Civil War, Florida State vs. Florida, and of course, the greatest of them all, Ohio State vs. Michigan. Even if the Wolverines are suffering through a horrible season that will all but end with the firing of their head coach, it will still be a game worth watching along with all of the other great and historic rivalries. Keep reading after the rankings to see what our experts have to say about each team!
1. Alabama (10-1): “I don't know who ticked off Nick Saban, but I hope they learned their lesson. Since losing to Ole Miss, the Crimson Tide have won six-straight and some see them as the best team in the country. If they can hold on to beat Auburn in the Iron Bowl, consider Alabama a guaranteed title finalist. Regardless, Alabama is the new #1.” –Curt Ashcraft
2. Oregon (10-1): “The Ducks haven't changed much in my mind as they took care of business and only have The Civil War ahead of them. If they keep winning, they're in the playoffs” –Matt Shock
3. Florida State (11-0): “A lot of people are going to find fault with a 3 point win over an awful BC team, but just think about this for a second. The team is still undefeated and, in case you have not heard, there was a shooting on the FSU campus (in the library) this last week. That is enough to shake any team up and the fact that they played through it deserves some recognition in my book.” –Matt Ruskan
4. Mississippi State (10-1): “An all-around throttling of SEC punching bag Vanderbilt should provide the swagger and spark this Mississippi State team needs headed into The Grove to face off with Ole Miss. The Rebels are coming off their third loss in four games, so look for the Bulldogs to try and jump on top early.” –Neil Brown
t-5. Baylor (9-1): “The Bears still have to play Kansas State, but if they win out by decent margins, then we could see Baylor possibly crawl their way in to that final playoff spot” –Elijah Gonzalez
t-5. TCU (9-1): “The Horned Frogs had a quasi bye week since they don't play until Thursday against Texas, and they should destroy the Longhorns without much trouble. If they lose to Texas, they're out of the top ten. If they squeak out a close victory, look for them to hold at number 6 next week.” –Matt Shock
7. Ohio State (10-1): “The Buckeyes started off very strong this weekend and looked like they were going to move up big time in the polls with a blowout win. However, they struggled with the Hoosiers and did not get the big deficit win they hoped for. We will see how the pollsters put style points into the equation, but the Buckeyes did not look impressive against the run game of Indiana. This team could be in big time trouble if they have to play the likes of Heisman candidate Melvin Gordon in the BIG 10 title game. The Buckeyes need a lot of teams to fall for them to find their way in the playoff.” –Elijah Gonzalez
8. UCLA (9-2): “All of the sudden, the Bruins control their destiny after dismantling cross-town rival USC. A win this week against Stanford and the kings of Los Angeles will have a spot in the PAC-12 title game against Oregon, where they can avenge a 12 point home loss to the Ducks from earlier this season. While the Cardinal is down from years past, they’ll still prove a tough test for Brett Hundley and company.” –Neil Brown
t-9. Michigan State (9-2): “The only two loses on the Spartan's record this season is against two teams ranked in the top six. Besides those losses, Michigan State has been routing everyone in their site, so if I'm Penn State this week, I'd watch out.” –Curt Ashcraft
t-9. Marshall (11-0): “It got too close for comfort, but they are still undefeated. Only FSU can also make that claim.” –Matt Ruskan